Wolverhampton Grand at 125: Jeremy a box office attraction

By Marion Brennan | Wolverhampton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Theatre-goer Jeremy Hobbs had queued for 20 minutes at the Grand's box office when he lost his temper, banged on the glass partition and declared: "This is absolute nonsense – something's got to be done."

Jeremy Hobbs with box office manager Maureen Gage

He then complained to the Wolverhampton theatre's director and general manager Colin Angus who outlined the problems the box office were having.

As a result Mr Hobbs volunteered to help behind the counter for a couple of days a week.

The encounter took place in October 1983, not long after the theatre had re-opened following a three-year closure, and our picture shows him settling into his new role assisting box office manager Maureen Gage.

"I was irate when I banged on te glass," said Mr Hobbs, who ran a nursing home in the city. "What I didn't realise was the pressure the staff were under.

"The box office has been deluged with inquiries. There were three phones, now they are getting two more."

Reflecting a time before new technology was part and parcel of everyday life, he suggested the real root of their problems.

"Having seen the box office at work, I feel a lot of the criticism is unjustified. Unfortunately the staff don't have a computer, which I think is essential in a modern theatre. Using seat plans is old hat."

But he added that the service had "improved dramatically".

The image is reproduced here as the Express & Star joins with the Grand to mark the theatre’s milestone 125th anniversary later this year.

* If you have memories or pictures, email or write to 125 Memories Project, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, WV1 1DE.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.


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