of the Barn (FOBs)
In 1981, a concerned supporter of the theatre John Sturgeon, launched
a "Buy a Tile for £2" campaign to fundraise for repairs to the roof.
Having rapidly raised £500, John at the suggestion of Bruce Reed was
joined by Terry Rolph to form an association whose aim was to "provide
financial and other support to the maintenance, improvement and betterment
of The Barn Theatre at Oxted as a site and base primarily for theatrical,
operatic, cultural and artistic activities but also for such purposes
as may be beneficial to the people of Oxted and District".
A Committee was formed and an annual membership of £1 brought forth
Thus began a vast
variety of fundraising which continues to this day. Between 1983 and
1991 over £16,000 went towards funding roofing, insulation, re-wiring,
up-dating stage lighting and raking the auditorium. In 1991 the FOBS
undertook the re-seating of the theatre, financed by the sponsorship
of each seat marked with a named brass plaque.
In 1997 the theatre
achieved charitable status and thus began a progressive increase in
hirers and income, enabling more self-financing. At this time the FOBS
role developed as they began to staff more of the front-of-house services
for the theatre.
In 2005 FOBS bestowed
"Honorary Membership" on His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent at the
official opening of the Barn 2000 extension and in 2006 the organisation
celebrated 25 years of service to the theatre. During this time they
raised and donated in excess of £75,000.
A "SUNDAY CLUB"
was started in 2006 and opens the bar from 12.00-2.00pm on the first
Sunday of every month. This has proved a delightful additional social
facet to the role of the FOBS.
The organisation currently has almost 300 members. The subscription
is £5 per person per annum,( £10 per annum from January 2022)
To become a Friend of the Barn or to find out more about them, contact
the membership secretary Chris Muscio (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or collect an application form directly from the theatre where they
are prominently displayed.
The benefits of
- regular mailing of the quarterly "WHATS ON"
brochure and the "BARN THEATRE NEWS"
- using the bar at the monthly Sunday Club openings
- invitations to special events
- making new friends
- having your views heard
The theatre hosts two resident societies who organise their own Front-of-House
services but the FOBS service all other productions/events. The hirers
provide basic cover for such things as programmes, car park and box
office but the FOBS manage the bar, coffee, sweets and ice creams as
well as other general Front-of-House duties.
The Front-of-House duties are outlined here.