The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

Wendy Bowen

Wendy participated in 27 productions at the Barn.

Wendy died in hospital in Devon at the beginning of December. Husband Rodney was with I.C.I. so it may be that Wendy had appeared at the Barn with the I.C.I. Drama Group before joining the Welwyn Drama Club which is where she first appears in our archives.

After doing the costumes for a couple of plays in 1966 Wendy was cast as Jackie Coryton in Louis Davis’s production of Hay Fever later that year, and then went on to choreograph the joint musical production by the Folk Players and the Drama Club, The Wayward Way, directed by Buddug Maxwell. (By then we had discovered that Wendy had been a professional dancer with the Tiller Girls!) Apart from choreography Wendy worked as a prompter, House Manager, costumier and in props, and for the next few years was involved in several productions each season. She choreographed our first production of Oh What a Lovely War which opened on the exact 50th Anniversary of the Armistice in November 1968.

In the spring of 1969, she played the saucy maid Victoire in the Feydeau farce Hotel Paradiso, which was the last main house production of the Welwyn Drama Club before the amalgamation and forming of the Barn Theatre Club.

In the first season of the new club, she did wardrobe for Trelawny of the Wells and soon after was cast in I Remember Mama and as Clara Soppitt in When We Are Married.

She gave a memorable performance as the poignant Lily Clamacraft in Alfie in 1972, and in that year also became a member of Council. More involvement as wardrobe mistress and choreographer (Salad Days and our pantomime) followed, and then she excelled as Fay in Joe Orton’s Loot and as a joyously naturalistic Annie in Table Manners.

Wendy had often penned lyrics for Club Night cabarets, and in 1980 she was one of the writers of our staged history of the Garden City, Hippo on the Doorstep.

Rodney and Wendy moved to the West country and set up a holiday accommodation business in Stoke-in-Teignhead, and played host to the local Music Hall group, the Barnstormers (of which they had been founder members in 1974), who they invited on a couple of occasions to perform in Devon. Rodney is Chairman of the Teignmouth Drama Festival and friends from Welwyn Garden often visited the performances and stayed with the Bowens.

A lively, bubbly and very sociable friend, Wendy tackled many of the jobs the Club offers to the enthusiast, and will be remembered with great affection by those who worked with her before she went to the West Country.

We offer our condolences to Rodney and all the family and her 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