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Colosseum man takes over at Northampton’s Deco

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Paul Scarbrow, former general manager of the troubled Colosseum in Watford, is running The Deco theatre in Northampton following its £5 million refurbishment and launch.

The venue is owned by the Jesus Army, an evangelical Christian group, which has converted the former cinema to its original style and equipped it with state of the art facilities and theatre technology. As well as using the building for the group’s own projects, the auditorium will be hired out for touring productions and plays. The programme for booking will start in January.

Scarbrow has been quick to insist that the organisation will not impose stipulations on the content of any shows visiting, despite a spokeswoman telling The Stage earlier this year that this would be the case.

He said: “It’s no different to any other venue. There’s no one putting any restrictions on what I can put on. It’s very much a case that they want to realise some of their investment back. Commercially it has to make money but it will also have a role to play in the community.”

He joins The Deco from the Watford Colosseum where he was general manager for more than ten years. The venue closed earlier this year after the management company running it went into liquidation. He was keen to underline the difference between the Hertfordshire venue and his new venture in Northampton.

Said Scarbrow: “It’s different to Watford. This is essentially a completely new building. The Deco has been designed to create an intensely memorable backdrop for a wide range of events from conferences and exhibitions to West End style productions and music gigs. It offers an exciting and different alternative to the more traditional type of venue. It is a fantastic venue and I am extremely proud to be part of what is effectively a piece of British history.”

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