Simon Appointed New Kenton Manager

Simon Spearing has been appointed the new Kenton Theatre Operations Manager.

Simon has a wealth of  experience in all aspects of theatre, from greeting customers Front of House to climbing ladders, adjusting lighting  and everything else in between.

Beating a strong field of applicants, Simon has previously worked at the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth, The Camberley Theatre and Conference Centre and the Theatre Royal at Winchester.  He has been a self employed Production Manager touring mostly with rock bands and has even run his own pub!

Chair of Kenton Trustees, Julie Huntington said, “Simon was the victim of redundancies caused by Covid closures at the Theatre Royal, which left him free to apply to The Kenton for the job that he describes as “pulling together all his experience into one role.”  He was “over the moon” to get the phone call offering him the job.  He is looking forward to meeting all the members of the team, including all volunteers, who are an essential part of all theatre operations. The Trustees are looking forward to working with him and securing the future of our special theatre.”

Simon is currently living in Winchester but is hoping to move to Henley in the not too distant future.  He came to Henley last week to sign his contract with Julie on the stage socially distanced.

Simon is thrilled to have been given the chance to lead the Kenton Theatre.  He comments, “It’s obviously going to be difficult for everybody, but I really do feel that there is a real desire among people to start to return to the fun things they have missed for so long, and my job right now is to make sure that we as an organisation can welcome audiences back safely and securely, and of course to pass all the relevant information on to our staff, volunteers and audiences in order to make that happen.”

Once the theatre is able to reopen, Simon hopes to bring people together in the theatre again.  He says, “I hope we can start to move on to develop what we offer and how we interact with our audiences, and while I think we (in common with all other hospitality businesses) are in for a tough two years or so while we recover from the current situation I’m hoping to be able to work with a wide range of businesses in Henley (and beyond!) so we can support each other, share ideas, and provide people visiting or using the town and the wider area for leisure and recreation with as many options as possible. The theatre will benefit from having busy pubs and restaurants in the vicinity, and they will benefit from the theatre being busy and active, and so I hope we can all work together to make things better for everybody.”

Looking to the future, Simon added, “My plans are to develop the Kenton Theatre further, and to work with the team and the audiences to make it the best version of itself it can be. I have some thoughts along those lines already of course, but I think we need to focus on this first stage of recovering and rebuilding before we can really start to think about the longer term future.”