Williamstown Musical Theatre Company Inc are saddened at the loss of Bruce McBrien – our theatre community patriarch and one of the greatest supporters and promoters of our community. A real gentleman who will be sadly missed.
Bruce McBrien was born in Melbourne and studied Architecture. He however entered the world of catering and retailing, finally becoming a Buyer for Georges of Collins Street, before becoming the first Curator/Manager of ‘Rippon Lea’ at Elsternwick a position he held for 17 years. Upon retirement he was appointed Honoury Curator at Government House along with many other voluntary positions in Melbourne. He wrote ‘Marvellous Melbourne and Me’ subtitled Living in Melbourne in the 20th Century.
Bruce first appeared on stage in 1952 with Heidelberg Theatre Company and went on to perform in over 150 productions of the Lyric, Festival, Whitehorse, CLOC, PLOS and Elwood Theatre Companies. In 1986 he founded the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria, which now embraces over 80 companies and supports judges travelling Victoria for our awards for excellence program. They have became known as Bruce Awards in his honour. In 1990 Bruce was created a Knight of St John for community service and in 2000 received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to Musical Theatre.