I was chatting to one of our honorary alderman last week, about his time at Worthing Borough Council.
He recalled that on being elected as a councillor, many years ago, the then chief executive told him he would get on very well but the subjects of bowls and theatres were controversial and perhaps best avoided. Having grasped both painful “nettles” myself, it seems things have not changed much in the intervening years.
On the latter subject, a few days ago I was pleased to meet the council’s new theatres general manager, Amanda O’Reilly, who came to us from Havant where she ran the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre.
At our meeting, Amanda showed great enthusiasm and passion for our theatres.
Like me, she sees a great deal of untapped potential within our fine venues. The financial performance of the venues will take some time to turn around, but I feel confident that we have chosen the best person for the task ahead. With the support of our hard-working theatres staff, I look forward to lots of new programming initiatives in the coming months. Even prior to Amanda’s arrival new ideas have started to flow including busy jazz nights at the Denton Lounge and National Theatre Live performances streamed to packed audiences in the Ritz.
The theatres are loved by many in Worthing and surrounding towns. They can only survive if the public continue to support them with their patronage so please do your best to visit as often as possible.