Interim director wants to make a mark

Paul Kerryson may only be the interim executive director at Buxton Opera House but certainly doesn’t see the role as one of caretaker.

He took over the helm in December in the wake of Simon Glinn’s departure for what he reckons is to be a six month term while the High Peak Theatre Trust hunts for a new figurehead for the venue.

“I do not want to just sit here. I would not have not taken this job if I was just keeping the ship on course. I want to make some sort of impact. I want to bring in an energy which will hopefully make a difference, galvanise staff and put structures in place,” said Paul, who was the founding artistic director of Curve in Leicester.

High Peak Theatre Trust chairman, Carol Prowse said of the appointment: “Paul has a national reputation having held many positions in high profile theatres and he played a pivotal role in the opening and artistic development of the Curve theatre, Leicester.

“His expertise and knowledge of the arts will be a huge asset and we look forward to working with him.”

Throughout his time at Curve Paul also self-directed many highly successful productions, including The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh, The King and I, which sold out on a national tour, and Chicago, nominated for a UK Theatre award for Best Musical.

The hugely successful production of Hairspray, created under Paul’s direction, is set to go on its second national tour performing at Buxton Opera House in October.

Paul has numerous accolades for his services to the theatre industry most notably an MBE awarded in the 2015 New Year’s Honours.

He has an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University and he was named one of the industry’s 100 most influential people of 2015 by The Stage newspaper. Paul also received the UK Theatre Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre in 2014.

He said: “Having lived near to the glorious Buxton Opera House for the past 20 years, it is a great privilege to be appointed as interim executive director. I will look forward to working with the talented Buxton Opera House team to enhance the local and national reputation of this great venue.

“I will be seeking creative partnerships to bring the very best in a wide range of high quality productions to the Opera House, whilst also providing a platform for local talent, participation and learning at the heart of the programme.

“There is a lot to build on here. With the changes that are taking place in the town, with the development of the Crescent, this is a fantastic opportunity for the town as a whole to take an overall look at what is on offer in Buxton. I would like to see the Opera House at the forefront of that.”