Brookside Theatre’s Jai Sepple shares ‘incredible day’ of collecting British Empire Medal with family
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 April 2019
Jai Sepple/BRD Associates
The artistic director of a community venue was “honoured” to be presented with a British Empire Medal last week.
Jai Sepple, from the Brookside Theatre, Eastern Road, Romford, was invited by the Queen to go to the Tower of London to collect his award from the Lord Lieutenant for his services to the arts and the community of Romford.
Jai said: “It was an incredible day which I was very lucky to share with family.
“Collecting suggest a prestigious award at the Tower of London will obviously make you feel a little nervous but also very proud of the work that we’ve all done here on the war memorial and theatre.
“The only thing we were a little worried about was getting back from London in time for a rehearsal for our latest show Assassins as both Harri [Jai’s wife] and I are playing two of the assassins.”
The community venue in the heart of 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.
However, after years of neglect, the building had been left as an eyesore.
But 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.
The venue is now a go-to hub for entertainment, giving members of the community a chance to take centre stage and perform in beloved shows such as Little Shop of Horrors, War of the Worlds, Big the musical and the latest production Assassins.
It was announced at the end of last year that Jai would be presented with the award as part of the New Years Honours list.
He said: “I just feel so honoured to have received such an award and do so on behalf of all the family, friends and volunteers that have turned these buildings once again into the memorial to the fallen that were originally intended to be and, at the same, time open such a great community arts venue.”
For any more information on the Brookside Theatre, visit brooksidetheatre.com
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