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Selladoor Worldwide wins contract to run two north Devon theatres previously threatened with closure

The Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe
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Selladoor Worldwide is expanding into venue management after winning the contract to run two theatres in north Devon.

The theatre company will run the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe from January next year. It comes just a few weeks after it was announced that Sellladoor Worldwide would be programming the Pavilion Theatre in Blackpool.

Historic Pavilion Theatre saved in partnership that will see it revived as an immersive theatre venue

News of Selladoor’s successful bid comes as it reveals a bolstered management team, including Stuart Shanks as director of venues.

Both the Queen’s Theatre and the Landmark Theatre closed suddenly in 2017 after the trust that managed them went into administration.

Shortly after, Parkwood Theatres won a 12-month contract to run the venues.

Now, Selladoor Worldwide will take on their operations, with plans to make the Landmark a “launch pad for high-quality drama and family work”.

The Queen’s Theatre will aim to attract touring dramas and musicals.

Selladoor Worldwide chief executive David Hutchinson said: “At the heart of Selladoor has always been making diverse, dynamic and daring theatre. We’re delighted to be bringing our mission to create, support, platform and promote quality theatre and artists to our North Devon theatres.”

Mark Kentell, contracts delivery manager at North Devon Council, described Selladoor as “an exciting, dynamic theatre company with fresh ideas and a firm commitment to making both of our theatres successes in their own right”.

Despite Parkwood Theatres winning the contract to run the Landmark last year, it has been underused, but will reopen next year with Ian McKellen’s one-man show.

Shanks, the company’s new director of venues, has worked as general manager at HQ Theatres, and was commercial director at Parkwood Leisure, which operates Parkwood Theatres.

The company has also hired Grant Sellen as head of programming. He is a former senior programmer at Ambassador Theatre Group.

Thomas Betis, formerly HR manager at Le Pain Quotidien, has joined as head of people.

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