Theatre Royal veteran awarded British Empire Medal

Enid Pennington have been involved at the Theatre Royal in St Helens for more than 40 years
Enid Pennington have been involved at the Theatre Royal in St Helens for more than 40 years

A St Helens theatre enthusiast has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to the performing arts in North West, in the New Years Honours List.

Enid Pennington, of Eccleston Park, was given the prestigious award for her dedication to The Theatre Royal, where she has acted, directed and produced in hundreds of plays for nearly 70 years.

The former St Helen’s College lecturer made her first appearance at The Theatre Royal in 1948, starring in The Student Prince.

This marked the start of a hobby that would see her perform in up to four plays a year, showcasing her acting and singing talents.

Enid performed at The Theatre Royal for more than 40 years before being appointed director of the Unnamed Players in 1986.

Enid enjoyed directing plays from the Agatha Christie series and Ray Coonie farces at the St Helens theatre.

As well as directing at The Theatre Royal, Enid is closely associated with the Friends of the Theatre Royal Trust.

She is currently the organisation’s chairwoman.

For more than 30 years Enid has devoted her time into setting up monthly fundraising events, including bingo, fashion shows and garden parties to keep the theatre going.

She still puts her theatre talents into practise by often writing plays for St Helen’s Council, her latest project is a murder mystery.

She has also won numerous awards in the North West for her devotion to St Helens theatre, including St Helens Culture award and another in the Heritage Network awards ceremony.

A BEM, however, is Enid’s most prestigious award to date.

She said: “I am so thrilled to be given a BEM, not for myself but for the projects I am involved in. I see it as advertising what I do and keeping the arts alive, not praising me.”

If you’d like to join The Friends of the Theatre Royal ring 0151 4266190.