Post written by: Erin Walcon
I spent a lovely day at the Swan Theatre in Worcester on the 28th of October, chatting with Chris Jaeger, Artistic Director of Worcester Live. (Chris is a man of many talents - GoDA adjudicator, director of the Swan Theatre & Huntington Hall, navy advisor to the Royal Navy & the RAF, and a professional drummer too!)
We first met Chris at the GoDA adjudicator training day, and his insights into the challenges of the cultural economy were so fascinating that I made a second trip to Worcester to continue our conversation. Drawing on his wealth of experience, Chris described the challenges and necessity of amateur theatre group bookings to keeping professional theatres financially viable. Through Chris, I became acquainted with the work of Kay's Pantomime, originally a group of Kay's Catalogue employees first established to perform an annual panto and still going strong in a new form today.
Since taking over the Swan Theatre in 2002, Chris and his team have worked to strengthen relationships with amateur groups in the region - and his descriptions of how this has changed over time were truly fascinating.
It was such an honour and a privilege to speak with Chris - thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me!