performance and choreography
In 1979 both Sue and John were appointed directors of the theatre's operating company, Genée Theatre Projects Ltd, which leased the theatre from the Genée Theatre Trust. This management company was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy but, John had a plan, whereby the school would provide a rescue package over a period of time. In return he demanded the resignation of the other directors to be replaced by the directors of Bush Davies. The take-over worked and paved the way for a ten-year period of relative stability, one which the theatre had not enjoyed since it opened in 1967.
How was it to work? Quite simply by John becoming administrator and in organising a viable programme for local audiences he was able to provide a broader platform for the work of the school. He could produce more shows and allow the theatre to retain the profits. Sue, naturally, was a vital ingredient of the plan. Obviously the school could do little more, as a whole, than continue to produce its annual summer show. But, John had recognised a fairly substantial pool of talent in various amateur drama groups in the area as well as some professional and 'resting' actors living nearby. We would audition and poach these unsuspecting actors-with-day-jobs and integrate them into a professionally-based, repertory-style, company, the Genée Theatre Company (GTC), one of the first Pro-Am theatre groups in the country. Of course the 'amateurs' relished the extra work and exposure but, it could be that a number of marriages may not have survived the demanding rehearsal and performance schedules!
Photgraphs on this page courtesy of Linda Rich
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