Servian: Theatre comments were personal view

03:00, Jan 09 2014
 Meteor Theatre
In trust: Meteor Theatre, Victoria St, has been transferred to the One Victoria Trust

Setting the story straight Re: "Hamilton theatres lose $1.4m - and getting redder" (Waikato Times, January 6).

The quotes attributed to me are accurate. However, I clearly and repeatedly stated to the reporter that my response to that question was a personal view and NOT that of the One Victoria Street Trust, in whose spokesperson role I was otherwise being interviewed. Despite that, the story attributes the comments to me in that role and therefore to the trust as a whole by association.

For the record, the One Victoria Street Trust, as the new manager of The Meteor, has no view on the future of the other theatres in the city. My response as Trust spokesperson to the reporter on the central matter of the council theatres' operating loss was that the One Victoria Street Trust is "part of the solution". I also stated on our behalf that entrusting the Meteor to a community group aiming to pursue an artistic and business vision for the facility shows a (refreshing) willingness on the part of the council to move away from the clearly unsuccessful "hall for hire" approach to theatre management that pre-Hardaker councils had adopted.

Also, the missing "optimistic" half of my personal response was that the three theatres complement each other well in terms of size and audience and user type, and that the new Meteor approach could possibly be applied to at least the Clarence Street Theatre as well.

MARK SERVIAN

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