Meet our Venue Manager
Hannah Kester joined the Neeld in December 2015 as the Venues Manager. We thought it would be good to get to know her better so we asked her a few questions …
How did you become interested in working in the arts?
I was born and raised in London and had great aunts that used to take me to see shows in the West End every weekend – the first show I was taken to see was Les Miserables and it was the first professional show I worked on as an assistant stage manager after I graduated. I never wanted to be a performer but wanted to work backstage which I did for a number of years before going into theatre management.
What made you apply for the role at the Neeld?
I started at the Neeld in December last year. I have worked in the commercial sector for a few years and wanted to return to working into a community based venue – the chance to open a new venue is a once in a career opportunity which I couldn’t pass up! I relocated from London to the south west a couple of years ago so regionally it was exactly where I wanted to be as well as professionally.
What is the best performance you have ever seen?
My favourite performance was War Horse when I was manager of the Bristol Hippodrome – it was the closing performance of a 2 year international tour so a hugely emotional night for the company and crew, there wasn’t a dry eye backstage let alone in the house! It had also been the most successful play in the Hippodrome’s 100 year history in its six week run and it was a great feeling to set a new record in a venue of that age and it’s something that I’ll always be proud of.
What show are you most looking forward to in the Neeld’s next season?
A Christmas Carol with Chapterhouse Theatre Company – it’s a timeless story that translates so well to stage and it’s a favourite with all ages and every member of the family can enjoy and I am delighted that it is to be the first of the Christmas shows at the Neeld.