FRED BENTHAM (d.2001)
Reading Fred’s obituary in The Times I couldn’t help wondering if there was anyone at The Questors today who would have any idea of who he was or how influential he was or, indeed, how much his knowledge and expertise was at our disposal when we were planning the “new” theatre. Bob Anderson perhaps, but probably no one else. I myself would not have known him, but for his friendship with Alfred, which dated back right to the very earliest years of our theatre.
Fred was the guiding spirit of the Strand Electric and Engineering Company which he joined in 1932. Fred it was who advised such distinguished theatrical personalities as Basil Dean and John Christie when he was planning Glyndbourne. Fred it was who introduced the light console, based on a cinema organ and now an indispensable piece of equipment in any control Box. Fred it was who edited Tabs for many years as well as Sightline, the journal of the Association of British Theatre Technicians of which he was a founding member. And Fred it was who gave us invaluable help and advice when the new Questors Theatre was being planned.
With his death The Questors has lost an old friend - let us not lose sight of all he was and all he did for us. It was an awesome contribution and one we would do well to remember and be thankful for.
[Questopics 468, September 2001]