TPS Studio Manager, Sean Ridley, has decided to step down from the role after four years at the helm.
Joining Team TPS back in September 2019, Sean quickly set to work with the task of revitalising the venue to host a variety events – including theatrical productions, music gigs and even wrestling!
During his time, he has overseen a refurbished Box Office area and Bar (including a move to a card system for both areas), a complete overhaul in the lighting and sound provisions for the venue – not to mention a website launch, venue rebrand and the construction of an outdoor canopy which serves as both an outdoor theatre and also a foyer.
Throughout the COVID period, Sean and the team worked tirelessly to upgrade the venue with a new sound system and additional lighting, before overseeing the production of several virtual events once restrictions allowed to ensure a continued output from the venue and also secured permission to be one of the first venues in the Country to reopen with COVID test events – before attracting a new style of event (Wrestling) to reopen the venue to full capacity for the first time in over 18 months.
This variety of productions was not to stop there – with the return of The Winton Players for their play ‘Ladies in Lavender’ and in 2022, the world famous Syd Lawrence Orchestra took to The Studio’s stage to a sell out crowd – inviting several TPS Students to join them for the concert that will be remembered for years to come. In early 2023, CCADS Theatre presented the first non-West End production of The Shawshank Redemption whilst in 2018 and 2022 the venue hosted two musical premieres of TINSEL (by Michelle Magorian and Robert Buckley) and Operation Santa (by Daf Hughes) respectively – with TPS being an ideal ‘producing house’ for new and upcoming works by local artists.
In 2022, The Studio surpassed 5000 ticket sales in a single year (a venue first) and the following year managed to overtake this feat by achieving in excess of 6000.
As well as stuff at The Studio itself, Sean also led the Lighting Design for the TPS whole school musical ‘FAME’ and managed all the tech for the first post-COVID major show of ‘High School Musical’ – both at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth – whilst several of his Technical Students have gone on to be full time technicians in the theatre/music industry, including Dom Turner (now full time at Chichester Festival Theatre) and Alex Chun (LD for famous bands such as Kasabian).
Sean leaves TPS Studio with it now standing as a fully fledged venue in it’s own right, and will be returning to it as a performer in February playing Christopher in The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time (tickets on sale now!).
He would like to thank everybody, staff, volunteers, visiting companies and patrons for their support during his time at The Studio, and looks forward to seeing where the venue will go next.