Playhouse manager takes a curtain call

Gary Roden with Phantom producer Cameron Mackintosh.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Gary Roden with Phantom producer Cameron Mackintosh. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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THE general manager of the Edinburgh Playhouse, Gary Roden, 31, will be leaving his role at the end of August to become the managing director for Parkwood Theatres and Culture.

In his three years at the Playhouse, Mr Roden has made significant contributions and developments to the 3000-seat venue, by securing more than £1 million in redevelopment works.

He has also overseen improvements to the venue, including a £120,000 refurbishment of a bar and function suite, £110,000 on fixing the pavement outside the Playhouse, £50,000 on roofing works and £80,000 on dressing room developments.

Mr Roden said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to manage this wonderful theatre, leaving it and the fantastic team behind at The Edinburgh Playhouse has been a difficult decision. However, I have been given an extremely rare leadership opportunity with an exciting theatre venue operator – something which has always been 
a long-term career ambition of 
mine.”

In his time at the Playhouse, Mr Roden has seen 1.25 million customers come to the theatre to enjoy the performances and has managed the theatre’s largest online sale for the popular hit production Disney’s The Lion King.

“I am very proud of our increasing attendance figures during my time at the venue and the vast improvements that have been made across many areas of the building,” he said. “I am confident that the new general manager will be able to continue the Playhouse’s success as they will have an opportunity to lead one of the best theatre teams, in one of the most beautiful entertainment venues in the UK.”

Mr Roden’s new role will have him overseeing operations at four of the 85 facilities managed by Parkwood Leisure, under the Parkwood Theatres and Culture brand..

The company runs venues including the Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare and the Hawth Theatre in Crawley. Mr Roden will be responsible for the strategic development and growth of the business.

His love for the theatre is apparent in the many years that he has spent working in the industry. Before working at the Playhouse, Mr Roden was manager of The Bristol Hippodrome in 2007.

Within three-and-a-half years he managed to bring 1.5 million visitors through the doors and handled a £1m investment programme for the building.

Mr Roden has also had previous experience of producing and touring work in his role as general manager of New Perspectives Theatre Company.

He left Bristol in 2010, at the age of 28, to come to Edinburgh to manage the Playhouse.