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News > OB News > OB has lead role at Brentwood Theatre.......

OB has lead role at Brentwood Theatre.......

...with more OB and School support behind the scenes

10 Nov 2020
OB News

Apart from those OBs who have returned to work at their Alma Mater, is there an OB that works closer to the School than Ian Southgate (1992-2003)?

Ian is the current Manager of Brentwood Theatre, which sits on the opposite side of the Shenfield Road to the School. The theatre first opened its door in December 1993 after a long period of conception and fundraising, since when it has been a welcoming home to local amateur dramatic groups, touring companies and in-house productions.

In recent (normal!) years, the theatre welcomes over 20,000 visitors and hosts more than 250 performances, but, of course, much of this year’s planned schedule has fallen victim to the pandemic. Undeterred, and with production casts unable to meet up to rehearse, after the first lockdown was lifted, Ian launched – to much acclaim - a socially distant community cinema (the town lost is last commercial cinema in 2000) showing films such as ‘Judy’ starring Renee Zellweger and ‘Rocketman’ the Elton John biopic.

The School connection doesn’t end with Ian. Headmaster Michael Bond is a Trustee of the theatre, as are OBs David Tee (1948-56) and Jos Hollington (1972-81).

As a registered charity, the theatre’s income - like all charities -  has suffered during the pandemic, culminating with having to cancel the Christmas Show (which Ian had worked so hard to get 'covid-safe' ready) at the 11th hour due to the move into Tier 3.

If you live local to Brentwood do visit the theatre once restrictions are lifted for an entertaining evening out. There’s a bar in the foyer, of course!

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