Larger than life

Saturday, 6th May, 2017

Andrew Beven, who passed away on Saturday, was a talented performer.  PICTURE:  Darrin Manuel Andrew Beven, who passed away on Saturday, was a talented performer. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

Entertainer extraordinaire Andrew Beven will long be remembered as a fun-loving person who impacted so many lives, a funeral service for the talented performer was told yesterday.

Hundreds of mourners packed into Liberty House to farewell the well-known local who passed away on Saturday aged 42.

They heard Mr Beven, who was accepted into The Australian Ballet School in Sydney at 17 and went on to forge a successful dance career, was a larger-than-life character who loved to entertain.

“Andrew was highly successful in productions and musicals such as Happy Days that went across Australia, La Cabaret and Grease Lightning,” said Pastor David Trinder, who delivered the eulogy. 

His passion for performing continued when he returned to Broken Hill, where he was involved in organising many shows and teaching dance.

Over the years he instructed and prepared dozens of debutants for their proms, Mr Trinder said.

“Andrew was exceptionally versatile in whatever he did, from working in hospitality for many years in many local establishments, to becoming the face of Coles.

“He loved his work, theatre and dance and enjoyed dressing up in drag. He was quite the entertainer.

“But above all Andrew greatly loved life and those who truly knew him loved him even more.” 

While many saw his flamboyant and gregarious side, Mr Trinder said underneath all of the costumes and the laughter was another side to the former Willyama High School student.

“When Andrew stripped back all those layers he was a homebody who loved being home with his mum, looking after her when she was sick, caring for her in a nurturing way, taking her out for cups of tea,” he said.

“Andrew cherished his mother and was always concerned for her welfare or if she was home on her own.

“He, like everyone else, had his own personal challenges and struggles; shed a lot of tears, made mistakes, but was always resilient and would bounce back.”

Dozens of people took to Facebook this week to pay tribute to Mr Beven, who was the oldest of three children.