Aylesbury Waterside Theatre announces new director boasting 20 years experience in arts industry

The new director has previously worked for arts companies in Australia
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Aylesbury Waterside Theatre has announced its new director after the previous incumbent left for Brighton.

Grant Brisland has been announced as the new theatre director at the Aylesbury venue. He is taking over from Sophie Denney, who is fulfilling the same role at Royal Brighton Theatre, another company under the Ambassador Theatre Group umbrella.

Grant’s career spans more than 20 years working in arts venues, mainly across the UK but more recently in Australia where he worked as a member of the executive team of Home of the Arts, Gold Coast, and Queensland Ballet, Brisbane.

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre director Grant BrislandAylesbury Waterside Theatre director Grant Brisland
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre director Grant Brisland

Before heading down under, Grant was executive director of the Corn Exchange in Newbury.

Grant, who started in his new role last week, said: “Although I am less than two weeks into my new role, it’s clear to me that Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is the cornerstone of the cultural life of the town and region. With packed audiences last week for Peter Pan Goes Wrong and this week with The Woman in Black, I’ve hit the ground running and I’ve enjoyed meeting our audiences and artists. And with panto soon on the horizon, I’m heading out to buy my own super soaker. Watch out Andy Collins.”

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He also mentioned community projects that he hopes to build on currently undertake by the theatre, adding: “I am stepping into some sizeable shoes with the team having just won two Bucks Business Awards, but ensuring we are at the heart of the community will remain a core priority for us all moving forwards. With some fantastic community and charity partnerships, as well a growing Creative Learning programme, we will continue to strengthen our connections to ensure we have a meaningful, grass-roots impact in the region.”

Today (12 October), marks the 13th anniversary of the theatre’s opening. Among the community projects referenced by the new director is its role in promoting Youth Concern Aylesbury’s Food Bank Appeal.

Grant said: “Happy Birthday, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Thank you to the audiences, artists, and staff that have dreamt big and contributed to the success of this very special venue.”

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