Saddleworth Players

A man of many hats

Hi, I’m Ian Shepherd. I've never acted on stage, but I've spent 42 years at Millgate Arts Centre working on everything from sound and lighting, stage management, to front of house and the bar. My job here at Millgate Arts Centre now is in charge of ticket sales – the lifeblood of an organisation such as ours. 

I started this aspect of work when the management committee took the bold decision to computerise our ticketing operation five years ago.  We moved from a cash and paper-based system onto a fully web-based system utilising card payments, eTickets and mobile ticket delivery. It was a giant leap into the 21st century – but one that certainly seems to have paid off as it quickly established itself as the most popular method of booking, and paying for tickets. We now also have an experienced team in the background helping with marketing which is increasingly internet and social media based, but includes traditional methods such as local press, posters and flyers.

My other hat is as building manager, responsible for the day to day aspects of everything from changing lamps to health and safety - and out of hours call outs.  That is also my day job for a much larger site in Oldham – so it’s a bit like a busman’s holiday.  Nevertheless living so close it’s not such an onerous task.

The one thing that makes it such an enjoyable hobby is the friendship of so many dedicated volunteers, many of whom have worked here for decades like myself.  As with many similar community based organisations, it’s volunteers that make the difference between success and failure.  What’s more, we always need new blood, so even if you can just spare one evening per show, you would be very welcome and you’ll experience the warmth and friendship I have for many years.  So don’t delay – pick up the phone and give us a call on 01457 874644.

Ian Shepherd, May 30, 2017