Worthing Theatres: Standing ovation for treasured team member on the day of his funeral
Staff at the Connaught Theatre in Worthing stood outside to pay tribute to a long-standing team member on the day of his funeral.
Everyone at the theatre wanted to say a last goodbye to Sam McCarthy-Fox and the cortege passed along Union Place on Friday, August 13, to give them the opportunity.
Affectionately known as Mr Sam, he had been with Worthing Theatres for 25 years and was very much part of its fabric and heart, loved by staff and customers alike.
Over the years, Sam gathered an extensive archive of programmes, photographs and unique stories, which can be seen online at wtam.uk/visit/wtmstory.
The photo wall along the back wall of the Connaught Theatre was curated by Sam from his archive and a photo of him has now been added to pay tribute to all his hard work.
Amanda O’Reilly, chief executive, said: “For Worthing Theatres and Museum, Sam will always be ‘Mr Sam’, part of the heart and soul of the theatres, loved and respected by the team and customers.
“Sam was the perfect addition to the heart of the front of house team. His knowledge of the theatres, particularly the Connaught Theatre was second to none, with a favourite story being David Suchet’s first professional performance, which was as part of the Connuaght Rep many years ago.
“The archive was Mr Sam’s passion and the beautiful display of photos at the back of the Connaught is testament to his commitment. The public theatre tours will never be the same without our leading man, whose advice to new recruits was to ‘never let the absolute truth spoil the story’, and I think he particularly enjoyed sharing tall tales of the Grey Lady.
“When I think of Mr Sam I smile, he brought the sunshine into every room with him. Mr Sam will be tenderly remembered and deeply missed by everyone at Worthing Theatres and Museum.”
Paula Adams remembers working alongside Sam as a volunteer at many shows at Worthing Theatres.
She said: “He was such a lovely and friendly man, full of fun and life. He would always help out. Such a lovely man, will be sadly missed by all.”
Paul Baker, former Worthing mayor, said Sam had been a great support to him and was a huge factor in making his mayoral events a success.
He added: “Sam was an absolute gentleman and a terrific ambassador for Worthing Theatres. As chairman of Worthing Symphony Orchestra, he was always so supportive and loved by our audience. He was always a pleasure to talk to and will be sadly missed by all. His final curtain may have come down but the applause still goes on.”
Former colleague Ann Barlow has happy memories of the many shifts they worked together at the theatres.
She said: “Such a beautiful, kind, lovely man. He always had time to chat with everyone and a cheeky sense of humour.”