At the end of June we lost an incredible colleague and friend, Ean Burgon who passed away after a long illness. Today would have marked his Fortieth Anniversary with the Theatre. If we could, all his friends at the Royal Exchange would have come together, shared stories and talked about how Ean was at the heart of our theatre for almost 40 years. We can’t do that yet, but we can mark this day in a different way and all raise a glass to a generous, wonderful, warm hearted man whose passion was theatre in all its forms.
Ean was quite simply part of the fabric of the Royal Exchange Theatre. He began his ‘behind the scenes’ career as an usher before taking up a role in the Box Office and soon becoming our Box Office Manager, with an instinctive knowledge of what customers needed. After the 1996 bomb Ean got stuck in and took on whatever challenge came his way. He was unassuming, compassionate and reassuring. Once back in the Royal Exchange building Ean embraced the challenge of moving the Exchange into the digital world, becoming the company’s first IT Manager. He literally plugged us all in and was always there when you needed a little more power and that extra bit of energy to get you though the day. Finally, Ean became our Head of Data and Tessitura Development, he was a wizard with the figures, helping us to understand what our audiences wanted and needed, and helping us to open our arms wide and welcome everyone in. Which is exactly what he was like with us all.
On top of his outstanding work Ean saw every production, making sure each new company felt at home. He was a beloved, friendly face in the green room, always ready with a smile for anyone who needed it. He was also a lifelong passionate actor himself, a natural.
Theatre was in Ean’s blood and we miss him very much – so today we will all remember how incredibly lucky we are that we got to work with him everyday for almost 40 years.