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Sadler’s Wells Theatre – Compact Case

By Freek Vermeulen


Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells Theatre, recalled an evening back in the autumn of 2004 when he was sitting in a balcony seat in an empty, unlit theatre, watching a crew dismantle a set following a final performance. Earlier in the day, the board had confirmed Spalding’s appointment as head of Sadler’s Wells, one of London’s most important dance and theatre venues.

He said: “I was very excited at the opportunity before me. But I also distinctly remember an uneasy feeling. I now had full responsibility for an organisation in turmoil, with no particular artistic direction, at a time of great organisational upheaval…not to mention an uncertain future due to a mounting monthly operating deficit.”
At the same time as Spalding’s appointment, Chrissy Sharp, an experienced arts administrator, had been appointed general manager. According to Spalding, “Chrissy and I were nervous, to say the least. …we had been given the reins of a company in crisis.”

Learning objectives

  1. Understand artic risk management
  2. Identify innovation in the arts
  3. Understand the issues in arts marketing


Publication Date: November 2023
LBS Case Code: CCS-23-001
Subjects: , ,
Geography: ,
Pages: 4
Format: pdf