Ben is one of a kind. He is probably the only person to have taken a piss in the middle of the auditorium of The Bike Shed Theatre. He is definitely the only person proud enough to tell me.
Ben was our first full-time technical manager. He had been the composer and onstage musician for Beanfield in 2010. So inspired by his dedication, technical skills and ability to ask the awkward questions, he became an obvious choice for the new role.
His love of order resulted in an efficient running of the theatre in our first year. It would have been chaos without him. Ben has the wonderful quirk of saying “no” when asked to do something and then doing it anyway. He worked long hours, changing the configuration of the theatre on a weekly basis in the days when we didn’t have fixed seating. He was the perfect balance in our team, making me laugh enough times to counter the occasions when he infuriated me. He was unthinkingly generous, hilariously direct and the best hugger in a business renowned for good huggers.
Beyond this, though, he was an instinctive creative. His throbbing, threatening sound design for The Dumb Waiter gave subtle texture to the piece, and included the inventive placing of a speaker above the air conditioning unit. As George Lazenbleep, he created his own music, often tucking himself away in his tech room late in the evening, with a set of decks and pair of Budvar Darks. A mad genius in his laboratory.
Having spent the majority of a year in a damp cellar, it was understandable that he decided to leave in 2011, but no less sad. I miss his wicked laugh, his exclamation of “cock off” when I ask him to reconfigure the theatre for a third time that week and, most of all, his perfectionist approach to every technical aspect.