A Day In The Life Of… Paul Turner, Finance Manager


How long have you been working at The Marlowe Theatre?

I joined in July 2011. [That’s just a few months before the new building opened]. For two years before that I audited the theatre’s construction accounts, and then applied for the job as Finance Manager during the final phases of construction.

What inspired you to work in theatre?

When I did those audits, I thought it looked like an interesting place to work. I was at a time in my life when I wanted to go back into doing some form of management, because I took a step back from that when my daughter was born. I’ve always had an interest in the theatre, although obviously that’s grown over the last five years.

How did you get to where you are today?

When I left school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I started working in an office and decided that accountancy was for me. I worked mainly for manufacturing companies, before a stint in local government as an auditor.

What does a typical day for you look like?

Long! I’m quite lucky because my job’s really, really varied. I don’t work with one single department, I work with every single department across the whole theatre, from programming to the technical side, to the catering operation front of house, working with creative projects and marketing, so every single department. But, ultimately my whole responsibility is the budget for the theatre, and making sure that balances. So that involves forecasting for shows throughout the year, and turnover for the restaurant and most importantly, looking at profit margins.

What is the best part of your job?

The variety. At the end of the day, accountancy is accountancy, it’s all numbers, but instead of putting out widgets, we’re putting out shows, but to have the excitement of talking about the next production, and to have that relationship with these huge organisations, that’s really exciting.

And what frustrates you about the job?

At the moment, it’s to do with time. We’ve gone through really rapid growth, so there’s not enough time in the day to do everything that I really want to do.

What would you say has been your proudest moment since working at The Marlowe?

Well, as an accountant there’s nothing better than hitting all of your financial targets and we’ve done that for the last three years. But overall, I feel that my job is to make sure we’re maximising our use of our resources, so the fact that our creative department has continued to grow over the last few years  is something I think we should all be proud of.

Favourite productions you’ve seen at The Marlowe?

I’m a big play fan, and I love a farcical play so for me, The Play That Goes Wrong, or The 39 Steps. As a family, we’ve enjoyed Zoo Nation’s two visits, with Some Like Hip Hop and Into The Hoods earlier this year, which was absolutely brilliant.

 Outside of work I…

I’m married, with a thirteen year old daughter –  fortunately my wife and daughter like theatre as well, and they’re very patient with the hours that I work. I do a lot of volunteering – I’m the chair of the finance committee for the Dover Girls Grammar School, which is the school my daughter attends. I’ve been doing that for about 18 months now, that’s great fun I really enjoy it. I also chair the darts league in Dover, because I’m a huge darts fan – we’ve got over 500 people every Friday night playing darts in Dover. And my other passion is the gym – I’m in there about ten times a week.




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