Roger Fox and John Whitaker become Founder Consultants.
Roger Fox and John Whitaker retired as Directors of global technical theatre consultancy Theatreplan, in April 2023. Both helped to build the consultancy whilst working alongside the late pioneering stage engineer, Richard Brett. Having been with Theatreplan as Partners and subsequently Directors for a combined total of over 60 years, they will be continuing their working association with Theatreplan, as Founder Consultants.
Roger has brought his knowledge and expertise to a wide range of important heritage theatre projects, including at the Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, and the Victoria Hall and Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, which was one of his first, and biggest projects, involving the repurposing of a 1928 cinema into a modern No.1 touring theatre.
Roger also worked as Project Leader for the technical installations at the St. Luke’s Centre for the London Symphony Orchestra, 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, University of London.
John was part of the team that designed Theatreplan’s flagship venue, Copenhagen Opera House which opened in 2014. He considers London’s St James Theatre (now The Other Palace) and the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, as highlights of his consultancy career. Other projects include the Derngate in Northampton, Brighton Dome, and School of the Arts and Genexis Theatre in Singapore. John has become a specialist in smaller flexible theatre spaces including Channing School Performing Arts Centre, Quarry Theatre at Bedford School, and the Michael Croft Theatre at Alleyn’s School in Dulwich.
Roger and John collectively provided technical consultancy for the multiple award-winning renovation of the Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, which won The Stage Theatre Building of the Year in 2019 and a RIBA National Award. In 2022 they completed work on a lecture hall/performance space for the RIBA award winning Duke Street Riverside development for Norwich University of the Arts.
Roger Fox said, “Both of us have enjoyed a busy and productive time with a variety of talented colleagues at Theatreplan and we look forward to contributing to further exciting schemes in the coming years”.
At a company event in May, both Roger and John were presented with gifts to mark their retirement as Directors. John received a signed print of his favourite venue, Glyndebourne Opera House, by Sir Hugh Casson. Roger was presented with an original 1950s British Rail advertising poster for Stratford-upon-Avon, the town where grew up and developed his love of theatre.
Director Dave Ludlam said, “John and Roger have played an immeasurable part in the development of Theatreplan into the successful company it is today, with its wide portfolio of projects around the world. The Board thanks them for their unstinting commitment to the company and is happy to know that Theatreplan will continue to benefit from their expertise and knowledge for future projects.”
5 June 2023Contributor