Setting the scene for rural theatre venue

Broadbent Theatre interior
Broadbent Theatre interior

The Broadbent Theatre in the little village of Wickenby has been in existence for more than 40 years, but for some it is still a mystery.

But new chairman Ian Rushby is keen to change that and bring a new generation of audiences to enjoy the theatre and what it has to offer.

“We want to build on the last 40 years and make the theatre more accessible to people,” he said.

“We are always interested in hearing how people find out about the Broadbent and have done a questionnaire to see what draws people to it.”

And one of the things has to be the wealth of entertainment the venue provides.

Not only with its home-grown theatre group - The Lindsey Rural Players - but also the extensive range of visiting theatre groups the setting attracts.

“It is always a popular choice for touring theatre groups, with many keen to come back time and time again because they like what we have here,” added Ian.

“It is unusual to get a rural theatre venue with raked seating and a full stage.”

But that is just what the Broadbent has to offer.

From the outside, the building looks like the unassuming Methodist Chapel it was, but step inside and you are instantly transported to the world of theatre.

And there is a packed programme coming up, both from visiting theatre companies and home-grown talent.

This year also sees the reinstatement of the annual garden party, which will be held at The Manor House in Wickenby on Saturday July 27.

The theatre can also be hired for non-theatrical events.

But the key, Ian believes, to keeping the theatre alive is not just offering a programme of entertainment, but encouraging volunteers and linking up with other organisations.

“You don’t have to be a member of the theatre to volunteer and help out,” said Ian.

“There are lots of new skills to be learnt and the chance to meet people for anyone who wants to get involved.”

One way to do that is to join the working party organised for Saturday July 13, from 10am to 4pm, when there are lots of jobs to be done, from running repairs to tidying cupboards.

For more information on volunteering at the theatre, call the box office number on 01673 885500 or text 07989 694842.

Alternatively make contact through the website www.broadbent.org, where a full list of what’s on is available.