Our vibrant 113-seat theatre was established in 1938 on its present site which was converted from an old Victorian bakery. The theatre is run as a membership club and limited company managed by a Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for the general running of the theatre and for the artistic standards. ln addition to the Board, there is a Playgoers’ Committee, representing and elected by the members. The committee works with the Board and is responsible for the running of the bar, coffee bar and front-of-house aspects including club membership and the Box Office. BLT receives no external financial support and derives its income solely from membership fees and profits from productions, bar and tea bar. It is, therefore, vital that our membership continues to grow and our productions achieve maximum audience levels in order to sustain our existence.
BLT presents each year: eleven full-length plays (one a month, with the exception of August, when essential works and maintenance of the theatre is undergone), up to half a dozen ‘In The Bar’ shows plus Youth Group productions. Shows begin at 7.45pm and covers an extensive eight-night run (four nights for a bar production), commencing always on a Friday (with no performance on Sunday). Our purpose is to present the best of contemporary dramas, comedies, thrillers, farces, musical productions as well as the classics. We also aim to present occasional new plays which our members may not normally have the opportunity to see. ln recent years, BLT has given a number of plays their premiere production in the UK. We are always keen to attract new members to take part in productions and BLT offers a wide-range of opportunities for acting, costume, lighting & sound design / operation as well as set-design and construction. With eleven productions a year, there is plenty of scope for involvement in all aspects of theatre production and management.
Bromley Little Theatre has undergone many improvements over the past decade in order to create a more comfortable and enjoyable venue for our patrons. These include the installation of a lift for those who find the stairs difficult to manage, improved heating and air conditioning in the auditorium which makes our Summer productions more comfortable.
BLT is in a fairly unique position within the UK’s amateur theatre world, in respect that it has its own fully-equipped theatre complete with sound & lighting systems. Add to this the versatile staging area, a 113-seat / 12-row auditorium (with flip-up West End-style seating), and you will find yourself left with an extremely wide scope for performing a variety of events and productions. The lighting system consists of 8 dimmer units each with 6/12 outlets. These connect to a patch board containing 84 circuits which supply the lighting points on lighting bars in front and above the stage. Control for these is from computer lighting desks. Music and sound effects are controlled from the sound box, which contains mixers, CD & Mini-Disc players. From here, sounds & effects can be played to all parts of the stage, auditorium and the rest of the theatre. The sound box also controls the Audio-Loop for people using hearing aids.
The forerunner to our theatre – as we know it today – was the Bromley Little Theatre Movement which was started in 1934 by H.Wilson Pook. In 1935, Wilson Pook took a lease on the then derelict and vacant Victorian ex-Co-operative Bakery in North Street. As he recalls:
“I took a lease and designed the conversion. The old Alhambra Theatre in Leicester Square was being demolished and I bought some of the tip-up seats which were proudly installed in their very red plush glory. By 1937, the Bromley Little was up and running. I had my Theatre.”
Not long after this, Mr Pook relinquished the running of his beloved theatre to the hands of Colonel John Leather and his wife, Betty, known professionally as Bett Pinchard. They brought to Bromley Little many of the disciplines and high standards they had acquired in their professional life. The Theatre continued to run plays at the outbreak of World War II, but the blitz and the call-up of members to the Services, did mean the theatre was dark for most of the war years. From 1946 to 1965, John Leather presented plays of a very high standard and wide variety. In 1954, the stage was extended to its present size and the number of seats in the auditorium was extended to 113, the number we have today. In 1961, a professional company, run by David Korda, nephew of Sir Alexander Korda, appeared at the Little Theatre, featuring Prunella Scales, Jeremy Brett, Windsor Davies, Eileen Atkins and June Brown (later to play Dot Cotton in Eastenders). Also in 1960, our President, Michael York OBE, appeared in My Three Angels with Adrian Brine (who also went on to become a professional actor and director). We are proud that many other actors and directors have gone on to achieve great success in the professional theatre.
Artistic: Pauline Armour, Jane Buckland
Youth Group: youthgroup
Box Office: Paul Ackroyd
Membership: Christina Jeremiah
Building Development: Keith Jeremiah
Publicity: Pat Jones
Spotlights + Website: Stevie Hughes
Bar: Pauline Pead
The BLT Board
Jane Buckland | Chair | email directly
Richard Cornwell | Co. Secretary| email directly
Pauline Armour | Artistic Director | email directly
Jane Buckland | Artistic Director | email directly
Keith Jeremiah | Building Development Director | email directly
Pauline Pead | Members’ Liaison | email directly
Pat Jones | Publicty & Marketing Director | email directly
Hilary Cordery | email directly
The BLT Playgoers’ Committee
Pauline Pead | Chair | email directly
Ruth Jarvis | Secretary | email directly
John Sercombe | Treasurer | email directly
John Barrass | Committee | email directly
Sue Clarke | Box Office | email directly
Christina Jeremiah | Membership email directly
Pat Jones | Publicity & Marketing | email directly
Pauline Pead | Bar Manager | email directly
Ami Williamson | Youth Theatre | email directly
Robin Ferguson | Volunteers Coordinator | email directly