THE chief executive of a Portsmouth theatre who oversaw its £4.5m revamp is quitting after eight years in the role.
Caroline Sharman, who is also the New Theatre Royal’s artistic director, led the multi-million project to reinvigorate the 160-year-old venue and bring it into the 21st century.
I think this it’s great for the theatre, and it’s great for me. Simply, it’s one year since we reopened, so it felt like the right momentCaroline Sharman, outgoing chief exeuctive of New Theatre Royal
The Guildhall Walk theatre reopened its doors in October last year with a new stage, fly-tower and backstage area, a creative studio space, and a refreshed auditorium.
She is stepping down at the end of next month, one year on from the reopening.
Caroline said: ‘I think this it’s great for the theatre, and it’s great for me. Simply, it’s one year since we reopened, so it felt like the right moment.
‘I thought it would be exciting to have some new energy now that I’ve played my part.
‘It’s a great team here and a wonderful building and I know they can take it on from here.’
For the immediate future, Caroline will be completing a masters in business administration.
‘This is my final year of the masters I’ve been doing, so that’s very exciting – I have my dissertation to complete by February, and then I’ll see where that might take me.’
Judith Smyth, chairwoman of NTR’s trustees said: ‘Caroline has made a major contribution to secure the future of our theatre and we are all very grateful for her leadership through some very challenging years. She will be missed.
‘We will be recruiting a new CEO but meanwhile Sheena Hulme, director of operations will step up to caretaker the role, with the support of the current team.
‘We’re confident that the theatre will continue to go from strength to strength, welcoming exciting and adventurous shows that challenge perceptions.
‘We have a beautiful building and a strong programme of great performances to look forward to.’
Sheena has a wealth of experience in the theatrical world, having previously managed a variety of theatres including Dominion Theatre, London as well as Britain’s largest theatre, Hammersmith Apollo in London.