00:00:03 My name’s Ian S, and I’m General Manager of the Grand Theatre and Opera House here in Leeds. Personally I’m involved in the actual booking of products into the show – into the theatre, and it’s negotiating the right deal and making sure that the people of Leeds can actually enjoy top quality entertainment here in their local theatre.
00:00:25 Truly one of the greatest parts of the day – of an evening’s actually standing at the very, very front of the auditorium, actually looking at the entire house which is completely full. And you know that’s great – it’s a great privilege.
00:00:38 My first job was actually in banking, and I was working in Edinburgh. And in Edinburgh at the time there was – there still is – a very special theatre called The Playhouse. And The Edinburgh Playhouse at the time was the number one rock venue for the – for Scotland, and I really wanted to work in that venue so – one way or another I actually got a job there. Initially I was still working in – working in the bank, and I actually initially took a – or managed to secure a part-time job, working as a DJ, in the night club attached to the theatre. I was working during the day- time 9 to 5, then as – got home, got changed, then packed my record bags and I was down – down at the theatre. And it was just tremendous. It was a wonderful double-life for – for a long period of time.
00:01:34 I had to go and wait for an opportunity, and eventually I became aware of something within – my company owned the Liverpool Empire and – so yes, I was offered an opportunity, had to leave straightaway. And did so. And I’m very glad I made the move.
00:01:54 I kind of knew from the very first day that I actually worked in Edinburgh that that was a perfect moment. Now I couldn’t really imagine doing anything else, even though I’ve actually worked at a lot of other theatres, it’s an industry which I love and you know it’s a passion, and a total vocation, so I’m very lucky to be working here.
00:02:15 When I was 6 years old what did I want – I wanted to be a rock star, tell me anybody that didn’t. I think I learnt pretty young that I had a level of interest in that scope, but I decided very, very early on that I did not want to be a performer. I had good fun at school. The punk movement had just started, and of course I was as interested in everything which was happening with the Pistols and the Clash. But equally the disco was happening at the time, and I just loved it all, and probably had too many other interests, rather than just going through my exams.
00:02:53 I realised that I probably wouldn’t have been the best candidate to go to University, and I had an opportunity of actually working in a bank. And it seemed like a great opportunity at the time, although I knew within heart of hearts that it wasn’t going to be the final job I was going to do, it was the first road – first foot on the road.
00:03:20 I would like to remain here for the next few years, to actually see the theatre progress and flourish and become even more successful, and I think to be General Manager in this particular theatre is a pretty good goal. I love being here, and I wouldn’t be doing it unless I was really happy doing it.
00:03:43 Sure there are other things to do and, you know, and I guess in many ways I would still like to go and put the rucksack on and travel round the world, which I’ve never done. That would be fun but, you know, I get so – there are so many interesting things that actually are still happening here that I think my adventures are actually here in Leeds.