Roger was one of the founders of Theatreplan and a partner and director of the company for many years. He is a theatre consultant with a wealth of experience and expertise in theatre planning and stage engineering. He has brought this knowledge to a wide range of important heritage theatre projects, including at the Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool and the Victoria Hall and the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, which was one of Roger’s first, and biggest projects, involving the repurposing of an old cinema.
Roger also worked as Project Leader for the technical installations at the St. Luke’s Centre for the London Symphony Orchestra. He also worked on the refurbishment of the Broadway Theatre, Barking, the conversion of a sports hall into the Cotterell Theatre at Kingston College, and the refurbishment of the People’s Palace at Queen Mary College in the University of London. His wider experience means Roger is adept at ensuring the future needs of operators are at the forefront in the design process.
Roger grew up in Stratford-Upon-Avon where theatre was part of the town’s everyday life. As a child he was fascinated by the Theatre’s unique rolling stage, spellbound by the movement and mechanics of the theatre machinery. Newly built scenery trucks would roll through the town and sets would be laid out on the lawn outside the theatre. Everyone knew someone who worked at the theatre.
Roger began his career in entertainment, working as a floor assistant at the BBC, on live black and white television programmes including children’s show “Crackerjack” and “The Val Doonican Show”. During these live shows, transmitted from the Shepherds Bush Empire, Roger often had to work on quick changes such as laying dance floors just off camera, ready for the next shot. He worked in various roles from Studio Management to House Engineering before moving to Lambeth Council’s Entertainments Office, where he would enterprisingly re-use sets from West End theatres, for Town Hall events. Roger was also one of the founders of the annual Lambeth Country Show, which still runs today.
Roger later went into theatre and in 1981 was approached by Richard York to work at the then brand-new Barbican Centre, where he became Technical Manager for its first 11 years. Roger was responsible for all technical operations and developing the facilities in the 2,000-seat Barbican Hall and other auditoria.
Roger enjoys a wealth of contacts within the performing arts industry and keeps well-informed of technical developments. Along with his love of industrial archaeology, and his 1895 rivetted iron hull narrow boat, he is a Fellow of the Association of British Theatre Technicians, Chair of the ABTT’s Historical Research Committee and organised the annual Theatre Show of theatre services and technology for 40 years.
Roger’s approach is to always be honest with clients and pay attention to the details.
Barbican Centre: Technical Manager
BBC Television: Studio Management And Engineering
London Borough Of Lambeth: Senior Arts And