New boss says the city’s Theatre Royal is for everyone to enjoy

New executive director at Theatre Royal, Wakefield Katie Town, as she takes the reins from Murray Edwards.

New executive director at Theatre Royal, Wakefield Katie Town, as she takes the reins from Murray Edwards.

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Wakefield’s Theatre Royal has a new Executive Director on board, marking the start of a new chapter in the theatre’s life.

Katie Town has moved from the National Theatre’s learning team to take over from Murray Edwards who was at the helm for the past 18 years.

Miss Town said: “I wanted to join the Theatre Royal Wakefield as it is a thriving theatre at the heart of its community.

“I believe that great theatre should be for everybody, and the Theatre Royal Wakefield programmes a wide range of drama, comedy and music which ensures there’s something for everybody to enjoy.”

And Miss Town wants to build on the past successes of the theatre by reaching out to an even wider audience.

She said: “I want to broaden the range of performances that are presented at the theatre. Some families only visit our theatre once a year to see our very successful pantomime.

“I want to introduce more family-friendly performances to ensure they have reasons to visit throughout the year.”

During her time at the National Theatre Miss Town helped to build and open a new Learning Centre, allowing people of all ages to get hands-on experience with all aspects of theatre.

And she plans to continue the Theatre Royal’s work with young people though its performance academy and Wakefield Youth Music Theatre.

She said: “We’ll continue to create and stage productions for our audiences and to work with our young people, communities and artists.

“The Theatre Royal is in a very strong position, achieved by the commitment of the dedicated team of staff and an active group of volunteers, all of whom have made me very welcome.

“There’s a positive buzz around the theatre and a real appetite to re-focus our energies and build on past successes.”

Miss Town’s immediate task is to help the theatre to recreate history by staging The Wakefield Mystery Plays in August 2016. The production will be performed by local youngsters inside Wakefield Cathedral.