Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich advertises for new general manager

The Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Steve Adams.

The Maddermarket Theatre. Photo: Steve Adams. - Credit: Archant

The new role of general manager at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich is being advertised today as trustees continue to defend their decision to make management changes at the city venue.

An advertisment for the post has appeared on the theatre's website seeking applications for the role with a salary of between £26,000 and £30,000, depending on experience.

The move is the latest development at the theatre where its board of trustees has decided not to renew the two-year contracts of joint creative directors Stash Kirkbride and Peter Beck.

The decision has sparked an outpouring of support for the duo, who oversaw an ambitious revamp of the venue where they championed a diverse programme.

Dozens of people signed a lengthy open letter from a group called Support the Maddermarket, which detailed 'serious misgivings' about the way the decision was taken. The letter, which was sent to the trustees, called for a 'constructive dialogue' about the situation. The board has now responded with a letter of explanation running into seven pages and has said, while it is grateful for Mr Beck and Mr Kirkbride's achievements which have reinvigorated and breathed new life into the theatre, it upholds its belief that the theatre should return to a previous management structure.

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'The board remains convinced that the Maddermarket will ultimately be best-served by reverting to the previous structure of a full-time general manager and a full-time director of productions,' said the letter signed by the board's chairman Susan Seddon and fellow trustees.

Mrs Seddon has said that it is likely the director of productions post will be advertised at a later date.

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The trustees have said both Mr Beck and Mr Kirkbride are welcome to apply for the roles.

The Support The Maddermarket group, whose members have requested not to be named individually, said: 'With over 70 signatories [to the Support the Maddermarket letter], we had hoped for a constructive dialogue to emerge from this, but the response showed no sign that the board have any intent to self-question or reflect.'

The group said, in its opinion, key questions of why and how changes were made when 'the Maddermarket was on an upward trend' have not been answered.

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