An interview with Andy!
“TAI CHI BUDDIES” at Theatr Brycheiniog
An Interview with Andy Marshall
Did you know we have a TAI CHI class being held in the Theatre? It's very exciting. The class is ran by Andrew Marshell one of our amazing stewards, he does an excellent job so we decided to asked Andy some questions about his involvement with the Theatre and his class.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN BRECON?
My wife Jane and I moved to Brecon from South Wales in 1980. My daughters were both born in Brecon Hospital and went to Llangorse and Crickhowell schools. Jane worked for the Council and at the Leisure Centre. We never think of moving away. They’ll need to take me out in a box!
WHEN/WHERE DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH TAI CHI?
1999 in the Studio at the Theatr, I joined a class run by Heather Williams of the Rising Dragon Tai Chi School. Tai Chi has a very uplifting effect for me. I used to walk into her class, but float out! I have been hooked ever since. It feels like coming home, to be running sessions in the very room where I started learning all those years ago. Heather still mentors our group from her home in Aberystwth. What a wonderful piece of symmetry!
WHEN/WHERE DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE THEATR?
I took early retirement from the Civil Service in 2002. I had always fancied working at the Theatr, so I asked them for a job. Fortunately they were just starting a reorganisation of the Front of House, and I was offered a role as 1 of 3 Duty Managers. I did that and loved it until 2013. As a DM, I always held the Stewards in high regard. They are all volunteers and fulfil a vital role in ensuring the safety of the audience, as well as keeping customers informed and making them feel welcome. Simply, we could not run the Theatr without them. So when I finished working at the Theatr, I joined their ranks. The Theatr is “dark” at present because of the virus, but once we become “unlocked”, I thoroughly recommend joining-up to anyone with a love of theatre.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE THEATR THAT YOU LOVE?
This is quite easy to say. I love it for the joy that it brings into peoples’ lives. There is nothing like the experience of live theatre. Obviously not all shows will do it for all people all the time. But to see an audience bounce out of the auditorium having seen a show that really hits the spot for them is beyond compare. It makes me feel very proud that I can play a small role in something that does that to people. I especially love seeing children in the Theatr. Once given a taste for the magic of theatre, many have gone on to get involved and onto the stage themselves with either Mid Wales Dance, Westenders or Brecon Little Theatre. Some have even progressed from there to a career in the “business” themselves. Not bad for a small provincial theatre, eh?
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE THEATR?
Simply, I love the Theatr. I love the bricks and bones of it. Back when I was a Duty Manager I used to relish the opportunity to be the last one in the building before locking up. It is like being with a dear friend. The whole place is alive for me.
WHY DOES THE THEATR MAKE A GOOD TAI CHI SPACE?
The room has wonderful light and space, and can be used in a safe way in this very difficult time. Jane and I founded Tai Chi Buddies in a very small area of the Library. For various reasons we are unable to continue there. Being offered a home by the Theatr is like winning the Lottery for us.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUNNY STORIES ABOUT THE THEATR?
Two little boys, about 4 and 6 came into the Theatr with their Mum and Dad one afternoon, basically to use the toilet. When they came out, the mother asked what the building was, clearly having no idea that it was a theatre. (This is more common than you would imagine!) It was a wet day, and the kids were plainly bored, so I asked them if they would like to see the biggest room they had ever seen in their lives? Of course they would! So I opened the auditorium doors and led them in. The first reaction was that their mouths fell open. Then they started to laugh, and then jump up and down with excitement. That said it all for me.
Thank you Andy!