My favourite places
There's a dashing new CEO at the helm of the Everyman Theatre Cheltenham – and he knows all the best places to go… Take it away Mark Goucher, we're listening!
Mark Goucher, the Everyman Theatre’s dynamic new chief executive who’s bringing a West End razzmatazz to the bijou Cheltenham theatre (just take a look at his first season, hot off the press and full of hot, hot tickets and a new VIP Director’s Lounge pre-theatre experience!) has one foot in Gloucestershire and one foot in the big smoke where his production company Mark Goucher Productions is based (in Covent Garden, natch). His love affair with Gloucestershire started 20 years ago with a weekend cottage and is now a stable marriage with a forever home and roots as deep as an English oak’s. So I was curious, what might be the favourite places of a countryside-loving impresario with urban sensibilities? Over to you Mark.
Westward House Antiques, Tetbury
I love Tetbury for the great antiques shops. I have spent a fortune up and down Long Street over the years and am particularly fond of Westward House Antiques. The owner Richard is a clever talker and somehow or other hardly ever lets me leave without buying something!
The Potting Shed, near Malmesbury
Not too far away from Tetbury is The Potting Shed pub near Malmesbury. I only discovered it a couple of summers ago. The room is great and the food always rather good.
I took up riding quite late in Life and have been lucky enough to have owned some great horses. I was taught to ride at Camp Riding Centre which is between Bisley and Miserden. Miserden Park has become one of my favourite places to walk and ride. It’s a wonderful estate and to be able to ride over such beautiful countryside is both a privilege and uplifting.
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
I couldn’t not mention the Everyman Theatre, Gloucestershire’s beautiful Frank Matcham theatre, built in 1891. The Regency architecture of Cheltenham is really very magnificent and the more I get to know the town, the more I find to admire about it. The theatre offers a wide range of work for people of all ages. I hope that the work I will be able to either bring in or produce from here will make it even more dynamic and attract a wider audience.
William’s Food Hall, Nailsworth
I love William’s in Nailsworth. I have been going there for years. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but the fish counter is better than Harrods! The main reason to go is to see Mearl. She has run the show for nearly 30 years, is an extraordinary shopkeeper and loves a bit of gossip!
J. Sheekey, Covent Garden
My London office is in Covent Garden, which is also where my favourite restaurant J. Sheekey is. It’s the best fish restaurant in town. For me it is the ideal place to have lunch with actors and fellow producers. It’s a collection of small rooms, so unlike in a lot of restaurants, you always feel very private and discreet.
The Garrick Club, London
I have just been elected a member of The Garrick Club in London. It’s a mix of actors, lawyers and politicians. The building in Garrick Street is wonderful and has one of the finest private art collections in London. I feel very honoured to have been elected a member. Once you are a member of The Garrick, there’s nowhere else to aspire to really!
The Cotswold countryside
My heart is here in Gloucestershire though. I am very lucky to drive into the theatre through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. The Cotswolds are a very special place and I am very grateful that I have had the chance to live and now work here.
See the Everyman Theatre’s new programme here.