The Barn Theatre,
25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey
RH8 0AA.

Tel: 01959 561811
Email: barntheatre


Southern Counties Drama Festival



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Around the Barn



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Nicholas and Jill at the Diamond Jubilee of the SCDF

Nicholas Owen - Patron

Nicholas is a well-known journalist and TV presenter of the news, on the BBC News Channel and BBC One. He was born in London and initially educated at Hamsey Green Primary School just up the hill from the Barn Theatre. He began his journalistic career at the Surrey Mirror in 1964, soon moving to Fleet Street and thereafter switching to television reporting in 1981, since when he has become a household name. He moved from the BBC to ITN and after having been there for over 20 years he returned to the BBC in 2007 where he continues to present news and current affairs programmes. As a Strictly Come Dancing contestant he was voted off in the first week of the show in 2006 which he felt confirmed the news desk was the best place for him.

As a member of Reigate Amateur Theatrical Society (RATS) he enjoyed the live stage and has taken part in this festival and on the Barn stage, as a competitor, when in 1977 he won the Best Actor Award in Two Gentlemen of Soho.

Jill Perry - Vice Patron

Jill was in her final year at school when she became a founder member of both the then Student Players (now known as The Oxted Players) and the Oxted Operatic Society. She met her husband Brian Styles when he was in charge of lighting for the Pantomime in 1950, they were married in 1952 and continued to work together at the Barn for many many years. During those years Jill played most of the leads in the Operatic shows until a production of Iolanthe in 1957 when she was seven months pregnant - definitely unsuitable for the part of Phyllis, a ward of court!

The Betchworth Festival was always a highlight of the year and Jill was fortunate to be mentioned in the runners up for Best Actress many times. Then in 1979 she received the highest accolade as Best Actress for her portrayal as the maid in A Respectable Establishment. The opening of the play was a solo performance by the maid with two pages of monologue.

Now Jill still delights in being present as part of the audience in the many productions staged at the Barn Theatre and is delighted to be Vice-Patron of this festival which has been brought back to the high standard that we enjoy today.