Romford theatre’s plea for volunteers to help keep it supporting its community

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2014

Theatre manager Jai Sepple with the chair believed to have been moved by a ghost

Theatre manager Jai Sepple with the chair believed to have been moved by a ghost


A charity theatre that has restored two Romford war memorials and supported a social club for the elderly has made a plea for volunteers to help it continue its good work.

Brookside Theatre, in Romford War Memorial Social Club, Eastern Road, has transformed its surroundings by renovating a boarded up memorial to those who died fighting in the First World War.

But the theatre is completely reliant on volunteers.

Jai Sepple, theatre manager, said: “We get no funding or grants, it’s all down to ourselves.

“We still have a lot of work we want to do but we can only do as much as the theatre will allow us to do.

“We have plans to extend it, we need to do a lot of work to the land - we want to put in an outdoor seating area - but we can’t do those things unless the theatre survives.”

The project to transform the building into a 150-seated theatre was headed by Jai back in 2011, with the intention of using all money made from the shows for the upkeep of the memorials and the running of the club.

This means that volunteers are needed to help put on the stage productions as well as the catering and looking after the building itself.

Jai said: “The Romford war memorial had been here since 1953, half boarded up and shut up, so we had to restore that. The other half of the hall was in quite a bad state, but used by the senior citizens as a social club, the club needed help, so that’s what we do.”

As well as improving the environment of a historical building the theatre supports local arts groups, as well as attracting an increasing number of celebrity performers.

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