Patron Christopher Biggins visits Hitchin theatre launch

MORE than 200 people packed into a Hitchin theatre last Saturday night, to celebrate the completion of a new youth wing and studio.

The evening, which followed a two-year appeal that raised �265,000 for the Queen Mother Theatre (QMT) facility, also saw actor and TV personality Christopher Biggins pop in to lend his support under his role as patron.

Biggins, as he is more popularly known, has highly praised the QMT’s youth group, particularly for its work in a modern adaption of The Lord of the Flies.

The play earned a four star rating when it was performed at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Biggins said: “I live in Hackney not far from the scene of those dreadful riots and, having seen the results of so much violence involving young people it is so encouraging to see such worthwhile projects as this new Youth Wing.

“Any enterprise that helps our young people to achieve a positive outlook on life deserves our fullest support.”

During the evening, appeal chairman Les Edwards was made an honorary life member of the Bancroft Players and founder president Richard Whitmore also paid tribute to Rory Reynolds, who set up the original youth group shortly after the theatre opened in the 1980s.

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He said: “Rory’s campaign to provide the young people of Hitchin with their own facilities at the QMT clearly caught the public’s imagination, as was proved by the fantastic support we received from the community.”

The new facility, which adjoins the main theatre, seats more than 80, and has its own rehearsal room.