Roy Broadbent (1915-1972)
|Famous Lincolnshire sculptor and
interior designer, Mr Roy Broadbent, who was perhaps one of the
county's most talented amateur character actors, is the man who the
Broadbent Theatre is named in honour of. A Fellow of the Society
of Free Painters and Sculptors, he was well known for exhibiting his
work locally at the Usher Art Gallery and nationally in London.
Roy and his wife Dee were founder members of the Holton Players who were formed during the war by several other artistically like-minded conscientious objectors. Roy is quoted as saying that the reason why Holton-cum-Beckering became a remote centre of the arts, was because of the complete change of community life during the war which brought many artistically-inclined people into the village who grew to love the place and decided to stay. Roy and Dee's son, actor Jim Broadbent is the President of the Lindsey Rural Players.
After the war, the Players acquired an RAF nissen hut where plays were staged until 1960 when it was destroyed by fire. Although insured for £800, the costs of replacing the hut were too high. It was young Lincoln man Malcolm Bates who stirred the players' unchanneled resource and dramatic yearnings back to life when he approached them to help him stage the musical Oliver! To prevent this unique group of youngsters, gathered together for this one off production, from disintegrating, the Broadbents and five former members of the Holton Players decided to form the Lindsey Rural Players.
It was about this time that the Methodist Chapel at Wickenby came up for sale and it was Roy, with the imagination of an artist and the foresight of a businessman, who persuaded the Players to invest their still unspent capital in purchasing and converting the building. Tragically Roy was never rewarded with the sight of the Players treading their own boards... He died at the age of 57 before the company staged it's first production at the newly named Broadbent Theatre.
The above photo of Roy was taken in 1970 at one of his exhibitions and reported on in the newspaper. Click on the photo to read the clipping.
Roy as Fagin in Oliver!