Mansfield Palace: boss leaves after quarter of a century

Published: 3 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Sad but grateful: Andrew Tucker

Andrew Tucker, cultural services manager of Mansfield’s Palace Theatre, is to retire after 26 years’ service with the town’s district council.

He said the COVID-19 crisis had totally turned his life around. “Here I was at the end of March with a wonderful financial year coming to a close and a potentially very successful theatre programme about to be launched to take me through to July and the long-awaited prospect of retirement.

“The next thing I know is the theatre is shut down immediately and when I was set up to work from home, I faced the dismal task of having to contact all the theatre companies and agents to try to rearrange dates for shows affected.

“It’s been a total change for my wife and me as we are both working from home—something that’s never happened before. However, just as much as it’s nice to spend some additional time with my other half, I’m particularly sad not to be spending the last working days of my career with colleagues.”

In 1994, Tucker and his wife left Durban, South Africa for England and he was offered the job of general manager of Mansfield’s Civic Theatre, later to be renamed the Palace.

In 1997, the council, which runs the theatre, was awarded £1.63 million from the National Lottery to transform the venue. Since then, more than one million people have gone through the theatre’s doors.

Tucker added, “it’ll be extremely sad having to say goodbye to colleagues, many of whom I’ve worked with for many years. I’d like to thank them all most sincerely for their specific contributions that have made my term of office so successful and enjoyable.”

Hayley Barsby, the council’s chief executive, commented, “a big thank-you to Andrew for leading the cultural offer for the district and in creating a destination for many to attend the gem that is the Palace Theatre.

“We now have a venue that artists love to visit and who return season after season. It’s also a place for people to experience a friendly and engaging venue and for young and old to create memories.”

Tucker will be succeeded by Sian Booth.