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Artistic director at Romford's Brookside Theatre named in New Year Honours list for services to arts and community

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:37 31 December 2018

Brookside Theatre manager Jai Sepple is on the New Year Honours List. Picture: Ellie Hoskins/Brookside Theatre

Brookside Theatre manager Jai Sepple is on the New Year Honours List. Picture: Ellie Hoskins/Brookside Theatre

Ellie Hoskins/Brookside Theatre

"This is really an award for all those that have helped along the way, those that have performed at the theatre and the patrons who have supported us over the past six years - I'm incredibly proud of all of us."

“This is really an award for all those that have helped along the way, those that have performed at the theatre and the patrons who have supported us over the past six years – I’m incredibly proud of all of us.”

These are the words of Brookside Theatre’s artistic director Jai Sepple, who has been awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) in the New Year Honours list for his services to the arts and the community.

“To say that I am thrilled would be an understatement and being recognised or awarded in any way at all is one of the best feelings in the world,” he said.

“To receive recognition for any of life’s achievements is amazing, especially to receive acknowledgment as prestigious – I would never have imagined that one day my name might feature on the New Year Honours.”

The community venue in Eastern Road, Romford, was originally constructed in 1953, serving as the Romford War Memorial Social Club, to commemorate servicemen and women who lost their lives in the Second World War.

But after years of neglect, in 2011, Jai committed to restoring the memorial as well as re-open the historic building to become the town centre’s first ever community theatre.

Jai continued: “My wife, friends and I have worked assiduously to not only restore Romford’s long-forgotten Second World War memorial building but reimage it as Romford’s first and only live entertainment venue.

“We have not only managed to ensure that the memories of those from the borough who lost their lives during the Second World War are remembered, but the theatre has also become an incredibly important part of community life.

“The Brookside Theatre goes from strength to strength and we will strive to continue to bring quality entertainment to the local community with more sell-out plays and musicals, celebrity guests, live bands and acts.

“The project has not been without its challenges but I like to think that these challenges are what make you the person you are and I couldn’t have got this far without the love and support of friends and family.”

For more information on the theatre, visit brooksidetheatre.com

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