New creative duo to take the helm at Norwich’s Maddermarket Theatre

Stash Kirkbride and Peter Beck are the new creative directors at the Maddermarket Theatre.
Photo by Simon Finlay. Stash Kirkbride and Peter Beck are the new creative directors at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Emma Knights emma.knights@archant.co.uk
Friday, April 11, 2014
6:45 PM

A new creative duo is soon to take the helm of one of Norwich’s theatres.

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Stash Kirkbride and Peter Beck are the new creative directors at the Maddermarket Theatre.
Photo by Simon Finlay.Stash Kirkbride and Peter Beck are the new creative directors at the Maddermarket Theatre. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Stash Kirkbride and Peter Beck, two of the team behind the city’s Hostry Festival, have been appointed joint creative directors of the Maddermarket Theatre and start on May 1.

Both have a long connection with the St John’s Alley theatre and say they are extremely excited about their new roles.

They also already have a wealth of experience of working together in the arts - they first met through Future Radio, before working on a Shakespeare project together and then setting up the Hostry Festival, the autumn arts extravaganza at Norwich Cathedral which has been running for a number of years.

Now they are looking forward to embarking on this new challenge which will see them take the lead in the day to day running of the Maddermarket and also play a key role in organising the theatre’s programme of shows. Both of them will also direct two of the Maddermarket’s shows each year.

Mr Beck, 39 and who lives in Wymondham, said: “I think Norwich is a city with lots of civic pride. People are proud of what Norwich has to offer and the Maddermarket is part of that mix. I’m really looking forward to working alongside some fantastic people to continue to make the Maddermarket thrive and prosper.”

Mr Kirkbride, 46 and who lives in the city centre, said that they had a “massive bank of ideas” that they were looking forward to sharing in the coming months to build on the theatre’s success and encourage even more people to enjoy being a part of the theatre and watch shows there.

He said: “We will be welcoming new volunteers in all areas of the building. Anyone interested in finding out more about the theatre and how to play their part however big or small, both on or off stage, back stage or front of house, can contact us directly on our emails.

“We will also be interested to meet with Norfolk businesses and individuals who’d like to form new and lasting partnerships with the theatre.”

He added: “Our motto will be to take our work very seriously, but not take ourselves too seriously along the way. It’s going to be a fun, busy inclusive time ahead for the membership. Those who have given so much over the years are about to be rewarded with a renewed excitement for this beautiful theatre, from two Norfolk theatre people who together have over 50 years experience behind them.”

The first Maddermarket show Mr Beck appeared in was Much Ado About Nothing in 1992, while Mr Kirkbride’s first show at the Maddermarket was Scapino in 1987.

• Mr Kirkbride and Mr Beck can be contacted at stash.kirkbride@maddermarket.org and peter.beck@maddermarket.org

• The next Maddermarket production, Humble Boy, runs from April 24 to May 3. For more information visit www.maddermarket.co.uk

• Do have a Norwich theatre story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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