Two regional theatre appointments

Published: 6 December 2021
Reporter: David Upton

Adam Knight
Gwen Oakden

Blackpool Grand has appointed Adam Knight as new chief executive.

He will take over when Ruth Eastwood steps down to resume her freelance career. Adam is currently theatre director at HQ Theatres and the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe.

He has a wealth of experience, from the ICC Waterfront & Ulster Hall, to the Savoy Theatre in London and Edinburgh Playhouse. Plus, as an extra bonus, in a previous role as operations director of the Grand Opera House in Belfast, he’s had experience of managing another Frank Matcham theatre.

Before turning to management, Adam was a professional actor, trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He is currently completing an MSc in Management at the University of Manchester and, in 2010, won the industry accolade of London Theatre Manager of the Year. He is a founding board member of Gary Clarke Company Ltd and co-chair of Theatre and Dance Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Gwen Oakden has been appointed deputy to The Lowry’s CEO Julia Fawcett

Oakden, who joined the Salford venue in 2015 and leads the organisation’s fundraising activity, will work closely with Fawcett on The Lowry’s civic role, relationships across the sector and key stakeholders.

Oakden said, “pandemic aside, there will be new and fresh challenges ahead that I look forward to working on to ensure we always get the best possible outcome for Salford.”