Final act for Eye Theatre

CELIA WIGG Tom Scott will be parting with a treasure trove of memories when Eye Theatre's closing sale is held this weekend.


Tom Scott will be parting with a treasure trove of memories when Eye Theatre's closing sale is held this weekend.

Poor attendance prompted his reluctant decision to call it a day after 14 years as the theatre's founder and artistic director, after struggling to keep going for two years.

The shutters went up on July 29, after the summer drama classes ended, and yesterday he and his wife Helen were taking a last look at some of the props and costumes, ranging from elegant suits and jackets to policemen's helmets and a collection of wacky wigs.

The sale has been prompted by practical reasons. The couple will be moving into the building, which started life as the assembly room at the town's former White Lion coaching inn, and simply need more space.

"We have got so many costumes we will be giving some away, but obviously we do hope to make some money because we have still got some theatre bills to pay."

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Mr Scott said: "There really is something for everyone, not just those interested in theatre but also people looking for household bargains such as a tea set or drinking glasses.

"I really like the masks which go back to Equus nine or 10 years ago, and there's some from Alice in Wonderland. There's a garden shed that was used in quite a few Ayckbourn plays, a piano, a chest of drawers with attached mirror used by hundreds of actors, and some dazzling 1920s and 30s frocks.

"Some of the things do bring back memories. I started the theatre 14 years ago, but I think we are both hoping we can get a buyer soon."

His wife said: "It's time to move on."

The 85-seater theatre is one of the smallest in the region and, although Mr Scott hasn't lost hope of someone taking it over, his plan is to carry out improvements and put it back on the market as a house.

He said: "I will probably establish another theatre company, although not here. Our last production was Love Child and we may be taking that elsewhere with the same cast, possibly next year."

The sale takes place at the theatre in Broad Street from 10am to 4pm tomorrow and on Sunday. Mr Scott is selling equipment like lighting on the eBay internet auction.

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