Rebecca Kane Burton joins Really Useful Theatres as managing director
Andrew Lloyd Webber has appointed Rebecca Kane Burton as the new managing director of his theatres operation.
Burton joins Really Useful Theatres from the O2, where she is currently vice president and general manager. She replaces Bishu Chakraborty at RUT in September.
RUT said the appointment marked a “change in emphasis” for the organisation, with “significant business developments being planned”.
These include new partnerships with sponsors and commercial organisations, and the launch of a new ticketing platform next year.
In addition, RUT is in the process of buying the building next door to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which will become the new headquarters for the Really Useful Group, currently based in Slingsby Place, also in London’s West End.
Lloyd Webber said Burton had a “truly unique blend of heritage, commercial, venue management and ticketing experience” that would be “invaluable in enabling my theatres to continue to develop as wonderful venues”.
Burton spent eight years at English Heritage before becoming managing director of Alexandra Palace, before taking up her role with the O2, where she has worked for the past four and a half years.
At RUT, she will be responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s current and future business activities reporting into Mark Wordsworth, RUT’s executive chairman, and to the board.
Andre Ptaszynski will continue in his current role as RUT’s president and head of programming.
Wordsworth said Chakraborty was leaving following the successful “demerger” of Lloyd Webber’s activities that saw theatre operation brought under Really Useful Theatres four years ago.
He said Burton’s background in heritage would help on this side of the business, but added that her contacts in the music world would help the organisation maximise the use of venues outside of theatre productions.
“Hopefully we can push that side of the business on even further,” he told The Stage.
Wordsworth added that the company was in the process of building its own ticketing platform following the end of a 10-year ticketing contract with See next year.
“Rebecca oversaw, at the O2, the launch of its own ticketing business. She brings experience in that area too,” he said.
“To find a person who has the heritage background, the sponsorship and business partnership background, the ticketing background is quite extraordinary and we have been very lucky in finding her,” he added.
Burton said she had a “real passion for theatre and historic buildings”.
“Working across some of London’s most iconic and innovative theatres in the heart of the West End is a challenge I am delighted to accept,” she said.
RUT currently operates seven commercial venues in London, including the London Palladium, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Her Majesty’s, the Cambridge, the New London, the Adelphi and the St James, which will become a home for new musicals.
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