7 Questions with Linden Kemkaran

PR & Marketing Manager, Stag Community Arts Centre


  1. Tell us about your typical Monday morning?


Monday is the busiest day of my week and I hit the ground running.  I quickly catch up on emails and social media, and answer questions from artists looking to promote their shows.  I then take a brisk walk around the building to replace any out of date posters or flyers and generally make sure everything is looking fresh.  The following week’s cinema listings arrive in my inbox around 11am so my next job is to get them to the Chronicle ahead of the print deadline, then design and print the large poster that you see outside.  The afternoon is taken up with writing the weekly newsletter, updating social media and our app.  Before joining The Stag team, I spent nearly 20 years at the BBC as a senior broadcast journalist so I do like a bit of pressure and am a sucker for a deadline!


2. Can you explain about the Stag Theatre and what is on offer?


The Stag team is happy to host a variety of business events at the theatre and is delighted to continue its work with local businesses and Chamber members.  The Stag features a fully equipped 450 seat auditorium with the largest performance space in the South East, as well as a state-of-the art two screen cinema and studio. The theatre regularly hosts professional and community shows including pantomimes, dance, music and comedy as well as conferences and staff training days. The Plaza is the Stag’s studio space which accommodates a wide range of bookings and is a favourite venue for businesses wanting to hold meetings and corporate events including the Sevenoaks Business Show. For those looking to hold a drinks reception, small meeting or launch, the café and bar is ideal and has recently had a beautiful makeover. Three of the biggest retail names to come to Sevenoaks chose The Stag to hold their recruitment briefings and interviews ahead of opening in the town. Catering is available on site for all events and affordable meeting room space is available for any size group from 10-450.


3. Tell us something interesting about you or your organisation.


I hold a 2nd degree (dan) black belt in Taekwondo, but I hope never to have to use my skills at work!


4. What’s hot news at the Stag?


Gosh where do I start?  On the buildings side we have just refurbished the café using heritage Art Deco colours, courtesy of the very generous Little Greene Paint Company, and it’s now a truly lovely space for people to relax over great food and drinks or meet for business.  We’ve also launched the Upper Foyer area as a central and convenient bookable space for medium to large sized business meetings.  As for forthcoming shows, we are truly spoilt for choice!  Tribute bands are so hot just now and we’re lucky to have Letz Zep, Abba, Simon & Garfunkel, Tina Turner, The Beatles, Genesis, the Rat Pack and the real Bucks Fizz all gracing our stage, giving people a brilliant night out.  We also have our regular comedy nights with big name acts, and lots of other live music, dance and musicals.  And 2016 will end with a bang thanks to the talented and innovative Magic Beans Pantomime which is bringing us Sleeping Beauty in December.  There really is something for everyone at The Stag.


5. How are you attracting new patrons in the Sevenoaks area?


Being fairly new to this job at The Stag I’m taking every opportunity to speak to local people to find out what they love about The Stag and what they think we could do better.  Once I’ve drawn some conclusions I’ll be able to put together a proper marketing strategy to keep loyal customers and attract new ones.


6. What advice or services can you offer Sevenoaks Chamber members?


We have a dedicated bookings, marketing and events planning team who can offer all the help and support businesses need. Our central town location, events and technical expertise as well as being a unique venue, make The Stag the ideal choice for Chamber members. From hire spaces to sponsorship, creative advertising, partnerships and support in kind, there really is something to suit all businesses and their budgets at The Stag.


7. If you were in charge of Sevenoaks for a day what would you change or improve?


I spend a lot of time in Spain where every town, no matter how small, has a plaza mayor – or town square.  It’s great to have a large, attractive communal space where people can congregate for music, food, drinks etc. I would take Bligh’s and change it from a car park into a beautiful, tree-lined, car-free square, with cafes and restaurants around the edge, maybe a fountain in the middle and lots of places for people to come together to enjoy their town.  In answer to the (perennial) car parking concerns, I’d build a large multi storey in Buckhurst alongside the leisure centre.