There’s one more theatre angel in our auditorium. This week we said a final farewell to a well-loved member of staff, Jim Broughton, and we have marked his passing by dedicating a theatre seat in his memory.
James Rowland Broughton (1938-2014) seems to have crammed numerous incarnations into one lifetime: a design draughtsman by profession, he was also a devoted husband and father, a dutiful serviceman, a keen soccer player and referee, a dedicated city councillor and scholar, and latterly a published novelist. He took great pride last year in seeing his first three novels into print and at the time of his death had several more in the pipeline.
At Nottingham Playhouse we knew Jim best as our Stage Doorkeeper and Performance Fire Warden, twin roles which he embraced with enthusiasm in retirement – although retirement seems an inappropriate word for a man of his boundless energy, enthusiasm and enterprise. It was after a shift as Fire Warden last month that Jim, active to the last, unexpectedly collapsed and died. He will long be remembered at the Playhouse for the hearty welcome he always extended to colleagues and visitors at Stage Door; for his vast store of humour, anecdote and erudition; and for his constant cheer and ready laughter.
Livia McLauchlan, House Manager and Jim’s close colleague, said:
“Jim was an invaluable member of the Front of House team. He was always welcoming and helpful whether he was working at one o’clock in the afternoon or one o’clock in the morning. His death came as such a shock. We were working together at the Playhouse only a few hours before he died. I am delighted that he has a dedicated seat in the auditorium. It is a truly fitting way to remember a remarkable man.”
Dedicating a seat in our auditorium is an increasingly popular way to uphold the memory of a loved one, mark a significant date or turn a love of theatre into lasting support. At the same time as putting Jim’s plaque in place, Nottingham Playhouse was also pleased to dedicate a seat in memory of his fellow Stage Door Keeper Geoff Nightingale, who retired from service some time ago but who is likewise remembered with great fondness.