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LIFE LESSONS: Euton Daley, chief executive of Oxford's Pegasus Theatre
10:10am Wednesday 18th April 2012 in Columns
WHAT I’M CALLED: Euton Daley.
MY AGE IN YEARS: 53 – I was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica in 1958.
WHAT I DO: I am the chief executive and artistic director of Pegasus Theatre in Oxford. This means leading the organisation and its artistic direction and involves programming the venue, seeing new work and developing a programme for supporting/nurturing artists. I have been at Pegasus for 22 years.
WHERE I LIVE: In Temple Cowley and have been in the same house since moving to Oxford in 1990.
WHO I LOVE: Goes without saying, my wife and family (both immediate and extended), they help you through all the difficult times.
HAPPIEST YEAR: 1994, the year my first child was born and 2008 – the year I was included in the New Year’s Honours list for an MBE for services to the arts. I also have lingering memories of 1976 enjoying life in the heatwave.
DARKEST MOMENT: Being detained at Prague airport in the early 1980s. I was on a visit to plan a youth exchange and had a journal about the political theatre movement in the West. I was detained for over four hours by guards who, I later found out, pretended not to speak English and refused to look at my letter of invitation and directions (written in Czech). In the end, they confiscated my book.
PROUDEST BOAST: I’ve tried to live my life not boasting about things I’ve done. There are, however, some proud moments – such as playing schoolboy and league representative football at places like Villa Park and Molineux. The births of my three children are other moments as is sharing my MBE award at Buckingham Palace with my dad, who passed away not long after.
WORST WEAKNESS: Chocolate, alcohol, a football obsession, ‘loud’ (but good) music, not enough hours sleeping, working too many hours... the list is endless!
LESSONS LEARNED: I have a sign above my desk – ‘The only dumbest question is the question you don’t ask’. This is a quote from the inventor Paul MacCready and it’s a reminder not just to accept things, to challenge and not to be afraid of asking questions, especially obvious ones.
DULLEST JOB: I don’t have any, honest! I was brought up to not think that anything was beneath me and to do whatever I do with pride and with energy and commitment.
GREATEST SHAME: None – Like everyone else, I’ve done things in life that, looking back, I have not been proud of but the important thing is what we learn from them and how we move on.
LIFELONG HERO: Nelson Mandela. I have long admired how he retained his dignity and hope for humanity throughout his personal suffering and how he motivated his fellow countrymen to rally against the evil of apartheid.
OLDEST FRIEND: Other than my wife, it has to be Jane, a friend I grew up with in Birmingham.
WIDEST SMILE: Every time one of my children achieve something; seeing people achieve things that others thought not possible.
FAVOURITE DREAM: Scoring the winning goal in a football final.
BIGGEST REGRET: Not keeping up with the times and all this social media stuff – Facebook, tweeting etc; finding the time and keeping in touch with more friends.
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