It is with the greatest pleasure that the Board of Trustees announce the appointment of a new General Manager, Amanda Laidler.

Amanda comes to us as a seasoned theatre professional.  She started out her theatrical life as a scene shifter and dresser at the Oxford Playhouse when she was just 19.

Since then her work has encompassed every department in the theatre, except  for performing on the stage!  She brings to us extensive experience from both professional theatres and opera companies in administration and marketing. Whilst living in Yorkshire she worked with Opera North, the Harrogate Theatre and the Theatre Royal York.  It was at that time that she discovered the joy and talent of the non professional theatre, employed as a stage manager taking large amateur musicals into theatres, including the huge cast of the famous York Mystery Plays.

Moving to the Midlands shortly after her daughter was born, she worked freelance and for eight years at the Longborough Festival Opera, in the Cotswolds.   In Warwickshire she has worked with Second Thoughts in Stratford and the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra and fourteen years leading a youth music theatre group.

She joined the Loft Theatre early last year and has been working in the box office since then, so will be a familiar face to many.

We are delighted to welcome her as she accepts the handover from our outgoing GM, Chris O’Brien.

Chris came to the Loft with a specific three year time frame to concentrate on a raft of projects to turn around the operational side of the theatre.  Expecting to relocate, the Loft had not invested in its surroundings for some time and when this move was unrealized Chris set about focusing on leading multiple projects to refurbish all the front of house areas.

Not knowing the Loft when he arrived gave him an objective view and he also set about restructuring the operational teams and a set of systems and processes which gave us shape and order.  His day job in an IT leadership role at the RSC allowed us to benefit from his knowledge and experience of what works operationally and technically.  He has brought about positive change.

Chris has become a huge part of the operational team and he leaves us having created a foundation second to none.  Happily he is staying as a Trustee, but his professional life has escalated to a point where the Loft cannot play so much of a leading role.  We shall miss him and we thank him for all he brought to us.



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