BARRIE Cottam, dubbed ‘Mr Playhouse 2,’ has been honoured with a Shaw theatre group’s inaugural Life Presidency award.
Barrie is artistic director at Playhouse 2 (also home to Crompton Stage Society) and has been with the Society since 1969.
Recently, the management committee decided it wanted to honour his constant and unwavering commitment to the theatre, culminating in the Life Presidency accolade.
Barrie was first introduced to Playhouse 2 through his first wife, Ann who heard Crompton Stage Society was short of a young man for their upcoming play, ‘The Other Cinderella.’
Enter stage right for Barrie to mark his acting debut.
After a short spell of living in Brighton, he returned to the North to find Playhouse 2 in an unfortunate state of affairs.
The management committee had left in droves and it looked as if the theatre was about to close.
However, a new chairman was appointed and Barrie became treasurer before adding directing to his repertoire to his CV in 1989.
He subsequently took up the role of artistic director, became a member of the gigs committee – a venture he suggested that has just celebrated its 20th anniversary – builds sets, works behind the bar and much more.
“It was a complete surprise to be made Life President of Playhouse 2,” said Barrie.
“I am truly honoured. I think that right now the society is the best it’s ever been and that’s down to the people involved. The camaraderie is just brilliant.
“These days the thing I love most is being an audience member, I still get excited when the lights go down and a play or a gig starts.
“Playhouse 2 has been such a big part of my life and I hope that it continues to be for a long time to come.”
Barbara Micklethwaite, Chairman of Crompton Stage Society, said: “Having a President is a first for Playhouse 2 and Crompton Stage Society, and we couldn’t have honoured a better person with the title than Barrie.
“He has dedicated so much of his time to the theatre in so many different capacities that when the idea was proposed to the management committee it was agreed immediately.
“So many people are involved at Playhouse 2 and without their support and commitment we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“Over the years Barrie really has gone above and beyond.
“To put it simply, Barrie Cottam is Playhouse 2.”
The next production at Playhouse 2 is Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ on from Saturday, February 24 to Saturday, March 3.
This is a play that Barrie himself has acted in, so the timing is apt.
Tickets for ‘The Importance of Being Earnest are available online: www.ticketsource.co.uk/playhouse2 or at Interiors, Market Street, Shaw. Also phone Interiors on 01706 840400.