Theatr Colwyn Manager Celebrates 25 Years with a Free Screening
In the early 1990s, a young actor stepped onto the stage of a Colwyn Bay theatre in a production of The Wizard of Oz.
The actor, Phil Batty, had no idea that two and half decades later he’d be celebrating a landmark anniversary working at that very same theatre!
To celebrate his 25th year at Theatr Colwyn, Phil is holding a treat for all the community in the form of a free screening of the new children’s film, Peter Rabbit, which will be shown on April 21 at 2.30pm.
Although the tickets are free, a donation in the form of tinned, in date food, is required (no perishables) and all tins given will go to the local food bank.
He said: “I thought it would be nice to celebrate my 25 years here by giving everyone in the community the chance to come along and enjoy a film for free, at the same time as bringing in some donations for the local food bank.”
Phil’s first appearance on stage at Theatr Colwyn back in the early 1990s was as Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
“I thought that it was a nice place, so I stayed and did a pantomime and then actually ended up putting pantomimes on.
“Then I did some work in the rep season, did a few plays and applied for a job as assistant manager to Gareth Owen, which I got and ended up staying for the next 25 years.”
Theatr Colwyn holds a very special place in Phil’s heart as it is where he met and fell in love with his wife, Kandy, who was working there as an usherette.
Phil, originally from Yorkshire, started off as a children’s entertainer and started learning the skills of a ventriloquist at an early age.
Most children get a bicycle to ride around, but I got a ventriloquist’s doll, which is unusual when you are eight years old.”
A career in TV beckoned and Phil found work in his home city of Leeds, on programmes including Emmerdale Farm and How We Used To Live. From there, he moved to variety shows, pantomime and summer seasons all over the UK working a children’s entertainer, then on to the theatre and into repertory work.
He is looking forward to seeing what the next few years brings in both the theatre and the cinema, as Theatr Colwyn continues to thrive.
“It’s a really exciting time at Theatr Colwyn. Our audience numbers overall are doing very well and we hope to build on that with getting in first-run films and continuing to work with all the local drama companies in the area.”