Shrewsbury theatre owner ordered to pay £6,000 to firm after closure

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | Crime | Published:

The owner of a theatre which closed with immediate effect last week has been ordered to pay more than £6,000 to a Shrewsbury company.

The Wightman Theatre, which is based in a former dance hall in Princess Street, Shrewsbury, ceased to trade with the owner, Adrian Monahan stating his ill health had led to him being unable to run it properly.

But since then a number of people have come forward saying they are owed money by Mr Monahan.

Daniel Lewis, of Shrewsbury-based Cattle Productions took legal action against Mr Monahan following the staging of a two-night run of a charity pantomime.

A judge in the County Court Money Claims Centre found in Mr Lewis' favour and in May ordered Mr Monahan to pay him £6,101.

Mr Lewis said: "He is a con man. I have a court judgement against him and have been fighting to get more than £6,000 from him. He has been ordered to pay but he closed the theatre last week. I think he owes money to a lot of people.

"When we staged our pantomime there were a lot of problems at the theatre. He said he had restored it but it was in a state of disrepair. There were safety issues and there was no lighting backstage.

"I'm cross about the money as, not only is it owed to crew members, it is also owed to the two charities we were supporting. It is devastating to think that they will not get their money. We always give something to a charity from each performance and they have not been able to benefit."

Mr Lewis started his legal proceedings in January after making repeated requests for payment. Mr Monahan was subsequently sent a court summons to appear and pay the money. "We have heard nothing apart from reading about the theatre closing," he added.

Mr Monahan said that any outstanding monies would be paid by the end of September.

"Anything that is outstanding with the Wightman Theatre will be repaid," he added.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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