The Wyvern Theatre’s new director Derek Aldridge is set to make his mark on Swindon – he hopes to bring the best national touring productions to the town, as well as working closely with schools to “ensure the theatre is accessible to young people.”
Derek, aged 34, has three young children (6, 4 and 18 months) and lives in Cirencester. Before the Wyvern he was General Manager of Cheltenham Town Hall and previously worked in other theatres, gaining a passion for the development and outreach possibilities theatres present to the community.
He believes the Wyvern Theatre is “pivotal” to Swindon's developing cultural scene. “It’s so important that a full time professional theatre thrives in a town the size of Swindon and can provide access to the arts for a wide number of people. We are also home to Create Studios, Sixth Sense Theatre Company, Theatreworks and Reach – so we’re a hub of arts activity in the town. I believe that the Wyvern Theatre should be a focal point of the town and I aim to encourage the development of our audiences, along with ensuring we offer the best theatre that already gives so much to the community.”
And as Swindon copes with job losses and the recession Derek explains, “Even in hard times – perhaps particularly in hard times – people need a treat. So we will continue providing excellent customer service, keep prices as realistic as possible, and put on an exciting programme. We’re proud to be participating in the national ‘free theatre tickets for under 26' scheme to develop our younger audiences.”
Derek concludes, "I am excited to be here and I'd love to hear from anyone who has views on what they would like to see at the theatre, so people are welcome to contact me by e-mail: email@example.com."