The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

Rodney Bowen

Rodney participated in 6 productions at the Barn.

Rodney died on Easter Sunday, at his retirement apartment in Devon. Although not involved at the Barn for nearly 40 years, he was very much part of the Club at its inception. He started at the Barn doing lighting for a Welwyn Drama Club production in 1965 and then ventured on stage in the joint musical productions with the Folk Players in 1966, An Italian Straw Hat and The Wayward Way, and Oh What a Lovely War in 1968. These efforts combining the resources of both clubs were instrumental in the eventual amalgamation in 1969. Rodney was also on the WDC committee.

In the Barn Theatre Club’s inaugural season Rodney was Stage Manager for The Killing of Sister George, and directed a festival play in 1970. His last part was in Everything in the Garden in 1974. Work commitments overtook him but his wife Wendy was still active until her last appearance for the Club in Picnic in 1982.

They moved to Devon and started a holiday rental complex near Teignmouth, and then after many successful years there retired and moved to nearby Shaldon. With the Teignmouth Players they were involved in the summer productions in which one of their plays played every Thursday night (the same play for the whole summer) in the Teignmouth Pierhead Theatre, for the summer visitors. Rodney was also Chairman of the Teignmouth Drama Festival. They were always ready to welcome old Garden City friends to stay with them, and also invited the Barnstormers Music Hall to play in the Shaldon Village Hall.

Apart from being a shrewd businessman, Rodney was enthusiastic and hardworking, and very good company. He imparted his easygoing style to everyone he worked with, and was deservedly successful. Most of the ‘older’ generation of Barn members will have enjoyed his company at some time, and although he chose to live elsewhere for so many years he kept in touch with all his friends.

We send our condolences to Andrew, Mark and Tim and their families, and to Rodney’s many friends.



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Part 1, 18th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 19th Jan 8pm

Parts 1+2 20th Jan 2.30pm

Part 1, 23rd Jan 8pm

Part 2, 24th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 25th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 26th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 27th Jan 2.30pm

Part 2,  27th Jan 8pm