The new boss of the Waterside Theatre wants to bring more live music events to the venue.
Jamie Baskeyfield will also meet with community groups to see how the theatre can improve its offer to them.
The former manager of Oxford New Theatre started his new job on Monday, having swapped roles with previous Waterside boss Elizabeth Adlington.
He said: “I was absolutely jumping at the bit when I got offered the opportunity. It is a stunning building. When I drive into work a smile forms across my face – I do genuinely feel good when I park up in the morning.”
Mr Baskeyfield spent six years at the Oxford New Theatre while his CV also boasts running the Hammersmith Apollo and being a live music promoter working with globally renowned bands such as the Stereophonics.
“I think the perception is while the Waterside has been a great success there’s a desire to see more gigs coming through.
“There’s a fabulous facility here (for live music).
“If we can attract some gigs and see more of that then I think everybody will feel good about that.
“My job is to try and increase the number of music shows. But that must not sacrifice anything else. We have nine wedges in the pie, we just need the tenth one.”
Mr Baskeyfield said that he plans to speak to bosses at the Friars Club about putting on gigs at the Waterside.
“I’m keen on making contact with people and it would be good to chat with those guys and see what is possible.”
He said he was ‘well aware’ of criticisms of the theatre since it opened two years ago, including its £47 million price-tag for the taxpayer and claims it did not cater for community groups that would previously have used the Civic Centre.
“To use an analogy, I was a little bit cynical about the Olympic Games in terms of the huge amount of money spent, but like millions of others I have to say it was fantastic. It was a fabulous commitment by the local authority to invest in the property.
“This job is interesting not just from the operational role but also politically and I am very sensitive to the needs of the local authority and the pride they have in the building.”
He is keen to speak to community groups to see how the theatre can better accommodate them.
“Whether community groups or businesses or whatever it might be, I do genuinely try to make people happy.
“By listening to these various parts of the community I’m confident we can deliver solutions.”
“What we all desire is a full building 365 days a year, increasing footfall and keeping people happy – that’s the nature of our industry, it’s a place of public entertainment.”
The 43 year old, who lives in South Oxfordshire, said Mrs Adlington had ‘done a fantastic job’ while in her post.
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Weather for Aylesbury
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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Wind direction: North east
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