We’ve had a few staff changes here at Camberley Theatre over the last couple of weeks. We are delighted to introduce you to our new Venue and Operations Manager – Andy Edmeads.
Congratulations on your new job as Venue and Operations Manager. Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve done and where you’ve worked previously?
Thank you! I’ve been working in theatre for a number of years, starting as a professional actor from the age of 13. For ten years I worked on a number of theatre shows, tours, education work in schools, voice overs, television and short films and worked with lots of great people from Hugh Laurie, Rob Brydon and Benedict Cumberbatch!
After graduating from the University of Exeter I began directing and writing and leading drama workshops for kids, adults and those with special needs before moving into Venue Management and Arts Marketing – so I’ve got a lot of varied experience!
I joined Camberley Theatre as Marketing and Business Development Manager in December 2014 and I’m delighted with the new role and continuing the good work the team around me have been doing since I came here – starting with producing another fantastic pantomime!
You know Camberley Theatre really well through your previous role here – what new ideas will you be bringing, now you are the venue manager?
I feel really at home here and think my knowledge and experience of the Theatre and previous roles at Surrey Heath Borough Council will mean I can hit the ground running!
Over the next 6 – 12 months there’ll be more stand-up comedy at the Theatre; our audiences love it and we’ve been lucky to have welcomed some of the best names this year like Russell Howard, Al Murray and Chris Ramsey – so expect lots more belly laughs and aching jaws!
I want us to further improve our reputation for events and welcome more community groups and societies to the Theatre to help them create memorable productions and events such as award shows, dinner dances etc.
Our Kids Parties have been a real hit since launching them in January and with our Pantomime getting such great reviews last year, I want us to do more family events and productions.
We’ll also be back at Frimley Lodge Park on 5th and 6th August for the fourth Frimley Lodge Live festival so watch this space for an exciting and eclectic line up!
Why do you think it’s important Camberley has a theatre?
The town (and the wider area!) are so lucky to have a venue like this here; asides from professional productions, we also hire to community groups, schools and charities for a number of occasions throughout the year. It’s our 50th birthday this year and if you look back through our history it’s always been a multipurpose venue and I want to see all our spaces used more.
Camberley is a town bursting with activity and locally there are lots of talented people and groups and we want to be the place they come to showcase this!
As every show is different here, we are used to working flexibly and adapting to the needs of our customers and we apply this same logic to our private hire events, parties and conferencing.
Can you remember your first trip to the theatre?
My first ever production I remember doing was year 6 at Junior School where I was Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Before that point I was the sulking kid made to be a shepherd in the Nativity but my teacher really inspired me and I never looked back! My parents got really into theatre because of me so from the age of 12 or 13 was going to the theatre regularly for everything from pantomimes, plays, drama festivals and musicals.
What’s your most memorable visit to the theatre ever been?
The most memorable as an audience member would be seeing Glenn Close as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire at the National Theatre. I love the play and Tennessee Williams and Glenn Close was amazing in that role. As a performer, Peter Pan in Woking where I played Tootles was an unforgettable experience and remains my favourite pantomime – I could watch that story over and over!
You organise the Children’s Parties at Camberley Theatre – what’s been your favourite party so far?
We did a Charlie and the Chocolate themed party which was great fun. 35 five year olds chanting Oompah Loompah rhymes stays with you for quite a while!
You were lucky enough to go to the Edinburgh Festival in August, have you got any tips for us?
I saw 32 shows in 5 days so my top tip is RELAX!!! In all seriousness, there’s so much to see and do at the Fringe that however long you go for it is never enough time. Plan ahead in advance and see as much as you can. It’s a great place to see new work and I love the Pleasance (great for comedy) and Assembly Gardens venues the best. See you there in 2017!
Thanks Andy – good luck with all your plans, really looking forward to seeing them in action.
A star is born. Andy aged 10 as Puck!