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Forthcoming Attractions


Give Pounds to Spend a Penny!


Ceri Dupree - EYEcons

Female Impersonator Ceri Dupree brings his new 2015 show EYEcons to the stage in a sensational evening of visual comedy, impressions, music and 1000’s of pounds worth of astounding jaw dropping costumes. Once described as "Joe Longthorne meets Lily Savage…. only with better legs!!" Ceri delivers his unique comic twist to many new characters including Cilla Black, Lady gaga and Joan Rivers. You also won’t be surprised to see some old favourites like Dolly Parton, Cher and Shirley Temple. Amazing costumes, pin point parodies and a gag a minute show lasting for over two hours paying ‘tongue in cheek’ reverence to some of Ceri’s favourite women

Starts October 1st at Curve Theatre Leicester more dates at


Get Ready For Classic Tale With A Twist This Summer


The producers of the smash-hit ‘Robin Hood’ are returning to Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome theatre this Summer with another fantastic show.

 This time, promising fun for all the family, with Wicked Productions debut ‘Treasure Island’ for four show days at the end of the summer holidays 27th – 30th August when the audience will be taken on a magical trip into a world of Pirates and Princesses as one of the nations favourite children’s novels is given a new twist.

 ‘Treasure Island’ is a spectacular family show created to spark the children’s imagination whilst also entertaining all the accompanying Mums, Dads, Grandmas and Granddads!

 “So weigh anchor mateys, bring your booty and prepare to set sail for magic, puppets, monkeys, parrots, tropical islands, Pirates, Princesses and MORE blummin’ Pirates!!”

Darren Weir for the theatre told OT, "We are so pleased to add this show to this summer's programming at times of day that are going to suit the whole family.  It will be the talk of the Summer I'm sure  and to get Tracy Beaker herself is amazing!!!  - Youngsters would be fools to miss this show!"

Ticket prices start at just £13 with even cheaper options available with the RHT's family ticket.

Tickets are available from the box office on 01323 80 20 20 or online







Disney and Cameron Mackintosh are delighted to announce that their multi award-winning musical Mary Poppins is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal from Thu 8 Sept – Sat 29 Oct 2016 as part of a tour of the UK and Ireland.

Following his recent successes with Barnum and Oliver! at the Newcastle Theatre Royal, Cameron Mackintosh is returning with yet another favourite in Mary Poppins. He said: “It’s hard to believe that it is already 11 years since Mary Poppins first landed on the London stage.  My goodness……time flies even faster than our beloved Nanny!  I’m delighted to bring this wonderful musical to Newcastle after spreading its magic around the world.  Since we originally staged the production we have found even more magical ways to stage this timeless tale and I’m sure you will find our new Mary practically perfect in every way”.

The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. The stage version of Mary Poppins is brilliantly adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film.

The stage production of Mary Poppins is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh and has a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes. It has a timeless score by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman including the songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Feed the Birds with new songs and additional music and lyrics by the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The producer for Disney Theatrical Productions is Thomas Schumacher.

The internationally renowned and multi award-winning creative team assembled for Mary Poppins is led by stage and film director Richard Eyre. Co-direction and choreography is by Matthew Bourne, with co-choreography by Stephen Mear. Set and costume design is by Bob Crowley with lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Paul Groothuis and orchestrations by William David Brohn. The National Tour of Mary Poppins is directed by Anthony Lyn and choreographed by Geoffrey Garratt with musical supervision by Stephen Brooker.

The stage production of Mary Poppins originally opened in 2004 and ran in the West End for three years and over 1,250 performances. During this time it won the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreography and Best Set Design as well as the Evening Standard Award for Best Set Design and the Variety Club Award for Best Musical. The Broadway production ran for over six years where it won the Tony Award for Best Set Design. The show has subsequently toured Australia, New Zealand, the U.S, the UK, has been seen by over 11 million people and is currently breaking box office records in Vienna.

Mary Poppins appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Thur 8 Sept – Sat 29 Oct 2016. Public and online booking opens on Saturday 30 May. Become a Friend of the Theatre Royal and you can book from Tuesday 26 May.  To become a Friend, visit: or call 08448 11 21 21.

Tickets from £22.50 (save 50p per ticket by booking online). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online (from 30 May) at


Oscar Wilde’s grandson offers a new stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

125 years after the first publication of the famous Gothic horror, Buxton Opera House is offering a chance to see the literary masterpiece, performed live on stage on Sunday 24 May at 7.30pm. The Picture of Dorian Gray, set in the decadent world of Victorian London tells the story of a beautiful, narcissistic young man who becomes infatuated by the exquisite portrait that his friend has painted of him. He makes a Faustian pact that he will remain forever young while the picture grows old.

European Arts, the company behind the stage adaptation has recently won Stephen Fry’s admiration after the actor-writer attended a showing of their recent production of The Trials of Oscar Wilde. ‘Utterly compelling, brilliant ensemble acting – GO!‘ Stephen Fry.

The piece also has the family seal of approval with Oscar Wilde’s only grandson, Merlin Holland having co-written the stage adaptation. Holland has studied and researched Wilde’s life for the last 30 years and is the editor of Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess, the first uncensored version of his grandfather's 1895 trials.

The Picture of Dorian Gray features a talented cast familiar from stage and screen, including: Guy Warren-Thomas as Dorian Gray (Spooks The Greater Good, Downton Abbey) and Rupert Mason as Basil Hallward (Eastenders, A Touch of Frost).

The Picture of Dorian Gray takes place on Sunday 24 May at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £12.50 to £15 and discounts are available. To buy tickets or for more information call the Box Office on 01298 72190 or visit


For more information, press or competition tickets, please contact Jennifer Mather

Press Officer Tel: 01298 72050 email:


Immediate Release

Back To Broadway is the all-singing, all-dancing, theatrical sensation that invites you to take a breathtaking journey through the magical world of musicals! Now in its 4th successful year, Back To Broadway returns with a stunning new show for 2015. All the best-loved songs from the world’s greatest musicals are showcased in a spellbinding and captivating stage spectacular! Be enthralled by the unforgettable ‘One Day More’ from Les Misérables, the glitz and glamour of Copacabana, the uplifting ‘Time Of My Life’ from Dirty Dancing and the fantastic ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked: just some of the timeless showstoppers performed live on stage by some of the country’s finest performers currently touring the UK. So join us for an evening of non-stop entertainment that will leave you clamouring for more. With unforgettable performances, dazzling costumes and original choreography, all backed by a stunning New York setting, Back To Broadway is the hit show not to be missed!

Back to Broadway was formed in 2007, initially to raise funds for Devon based cancer charity ‘Force’. Since then many changes have been made, developing the show into an exciting musical extravaganza

Featuring the cream of the country’s singers and dancers drawn from the West End, National Opera and major UK touring productions, this colorful production will transport you to the magical world of musical Theatre

Back to Broadway has also established itself as a major player in the world of corporate entertainment, performing at exclusive events in the UK, Mexico and Paris, as well as prestigious wedding venues and major charity events

Music like fashion may change, but great songs and great artists are always appreciated.  Back to Broadway seeks to maintain that tradition.

BACK TO BROADWAY is on at The Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne on FRIDAY 5th JUNE at 8pm.  Tickets on sale at the box office 01323 80 20 20 or online


immediate Release

As the Nation starts to prepare for this year's Eurovision and it celebrates its 60th Year, the Royal Hippodrome invites you to come and relive the days when we actually won!  Bucks Fizz - yes Bucks Fizz are coming to the RHT for one night only on Saturday 18th April at 7.30pm!  Cheryl, Mick and Jay formerly of "Bucks Fizz" are on their "Paradise Regained Tour"  With over 20 singles released including 3 number ones, "My Camera never lies", "Land of Make Believe" and of course "Making your mind up", they sold in excess of 15 million records, spending 219 weeks in the UK charts alone!

Although working for several years now, there was obviously a fourth person - so in comes Bobby McVey who was also a Eurovision entrant but in 1984 for the UK.

This is a rare opportunity for 80s nostaligia fans and fans of Eurovision to let their hair down and have a crazy night!  So make up your mind today and buy your tickets from the Royal Hippodrome Box Office 01323 80 20 20 or  Tickets cost £19.50 and will be well worth the value.



Buxton Opera House unveils its sparkling summer season, with a host of famous names and major national tours on the bill including Belle and Sebastian, Michael McIntyre and the glittering Wild West musical Calamity Jane.

Drama on offer includes a national tour of the ghost story The Woman in Black, scaring audiences onto the edge of their seats (16 to 20 June). There will be a new stage-adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Gothic horror The Picture of Dorian Gray (24 May) and West End star Jodie Prenger (Oliver!) takes to the stage from 26 to 30 May in Calamity Jane.

Comedy includes the legendary Ken Dodd on 3 May, Stewart Lee has fresh material at the ready (8 May) and Michael McIntyre is to perform a warm-up gig for his new arena tour on 26 June. Children can go face-to-face with a dinosaur during the sensory experience Jurassic Adventures on 27 August and kiddie’s favourite Sing-a-long-a-Frozen returns on 10 August.

Music highlights include Buxton Festival in July offering thrilling opera, whilst August brings The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company with comical operettas. Scottish Indie-pop band Belle and Sebastian will appear to a full-house (returns may be available) on 18 May, whilst a new and exciting live music event Buxton Folk in May will see some of the country’s leading folk musicians (including June Tabor on 2 May and Celtic Fiddle Festival on 10 May) perform in venues around Buxton.

Visit the Box Office to pick up your copy of Buxton Opera House new season brochure, call 0845 127 2190 or book online at

Ceri Dupree ~ Fit For A Queen 2015
28th March 2015 at 8pm
at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne
Can this be too camp for Eastbourne? - NEVER!

To celebrate thirty years on the stage, female impersonator Ceri Dupree

stars in this sensational new show paying homage to some of his favourite ladies. You can expect side

splitting comedy and a visual feast of spectacular, eye popping and jaw dropping costumes. The show

provides over two hours of musical parodies, dazzling quick changes and rapid-fire stand up at a pace that

will leave you amazed. The first half celebrates stars from around the world and the second half pays tribute

to the best of British. If you love a touch of class, Hollywood glamour and a laugh out loud giggle fest all

culminating in an exciting and breath-taking finale this is not to be missed!

“Joe Longthorne meets Lily savage….only with better legs!” Blackpool Argus

“Dupree storms the stage with style, wit and glamour at a pace that leaves you breathless!” Time Out

“Slick and saucy, rude and risqué, fun and fantastic, its glamorous camp fun, but underneath the 'falsies' is an accomplished

character actor!” Leicester Mercury

Tickets cost £19 / £17 concessions
or via the Congress Theatre or Tourist Information Centres




There will be two benefit gigs in Brighton in April to raise money for the 'Our Brighton Hippodrome' campaign, which is fighting to save this wonderful theatre.


Our Brighton Hippodrome benefit gig

by Gerry Oxley

Sunday 12th April 3pm (doors open 2.30pm)

at the Komedia Studio, Gardner Street, Brighton

An afternoon's entertainment bringing back memories, using a selection of vintage film clips featuring singers, dancers, comedians, dance bands and unique speciality acts that appeared at the Hippodrome during it’s heyday, supported by posters and programmes.
PLUS a rarely seen short documentary, ‘Sleeping Beauties’, focusing on the Brighton Hippodrome.
PLUS hear Max Miller on stage at the Brighton Hippodrome.
An afternoon of non-stop nostalgia presented by Gerry Oxley, Brightonian Vintage Film Collector.

All proceeds go to ‘Our Brighton Hippodrome’ seating.
Tickets £10 / £8 concessions from Komedia box office or Jo Jameson 07815 443174 /


Our Brighton Hippodrome benefit gig

Sunday 19th April 3pm (doors open 2.30pm) at the Komedia Studio, Gardner Street Brighton

Special benefit screening of the only film shot in the Brighton Hippodrome: Be My Guest (1965). See the magnificent interior of the theatre with the added bonus of other Brighton locations and a bunch of mid-sixties pop acts. With an introduction about the film and the Hippodrome.

All proceeds go to ‘Our Brighton Hippodrome’ Cabaret seating.
Tickets £10 (concessions £8) from Komedia box office, or Jo Jameson 07815 443174 /


After surgery, Joe Longthorne is on the road and promising not to disappoint.

Joe Longthorne has returned to his beloved stage with his first performance since undergoing 12 hour surgery for mouth cancer on 2nd July 2014. On 1st January 2015 he was at Viva Blackpool where he answered a Q & A with host Leye D Johns. Whilst at home recovering he has been working on new music and projects as 2015 is his 60th birthday year and now he is embarking on a new tour.

Joe Longthorne began his career over three decades ago with appearances on Junior Showtime, followed by a grounding on the tough Northern club circuit.

His big break came in 1981 when he was a finalist on London Weekend Television's Search for a Star - this lead to appearances at the London Palladium with Bob Hope and The Talk of the Town. A short time later, Joe received the Variety Club of Britain award as Most Promising Artiste of the Year. Television specials in the UK and USA followed.

Joe's repertoire of voices is endless and includes hundreds of the world's top singers, however, he is perhaps best known for his impersonation of Shirley Bassey who has commented, "Joe can do me better than I can do myself".

During his career, Joe has received gold and platinum discs for his albums, enjoyed sell-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as touring Australia several times.

He appears at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne on Saturday 24th January at 8pm. Tickets cost £20 and are available from usual outlets, online at and the box office on 01323 412000.



Our next big show comes this January 2015 with Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society’s Mother Goose Pantomime! This is a traditional family pantomime suitable for all ages.

Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society (LMCS) Presents a Traditional Family Pantomime called MOTHER GOOSE - Mother Goose and her family become very rich, thanks to Candy the magic goose, but Mother Goose is old and ugly, and would give anything to become young and beautiful again. Demoness Vanity, the bad fairy, makes a pact with her to turn her ugliness into beauty in exchange for the magic goose. Mother Goose's silly son Billy, with the help of his sister Jill, her fiancée Jack, and Virtue, the Fairy Queen, set out to get Candy back and put things right. With plenty of fun along the way with Bodjit and Scrathit the slap-stick village odd job men and the dastardly Squire Snyde, all ends happily ever after in the best pantomime tradition.

This production promises to be lively and colourful with a definite nod towards the feel of the fifties “Rock ‘n’ Roll” era, yet also bring the audience bang up to date with songs by Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow and from Disney’s classic Frozen, as well as a selection of recent West End hits! Plenty of slap stick humour, custard pies and all the familiar audience participation, you will be booing the villains and cheering our heroes from curtain up to finale. Come and join Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society for a magical evening of fun to cast away your post-Christmas blues.

Tickets are £13.00 for Adults, £12.00 Concessions and Party Rates are available.

Public Bookings available from Monday 20th October 2014 via the Society Box Office Only. Call 01903 730775 (when unmanned answer service available, please leave a message and LMCS will get back to you).


Thursday 15th January 2015 – 7.30pm

Friday 16th January 2015 – 7.30pm

Saturday 17th January 2015 – 2.30pm (Matinee) & 7.30pm

Sunday 18th January 2015 – 1.00pm & 5.00pm (Matinees)


Music and Anecdotal Wit of an Old Age Pensioner – with Rick Wakeman

Former Yes keyboard player, Watchdog presenter, renowned Grumpy Old Man, and Fellow of the Royal College of Music and Professor of the London College of Music, Rick Wakman has led a rich and varied life.

In his one-man solo show (coming to Buxton Opera House, Sunday 25 January), Rick recounts hilarious and unlikely anecdotes from a career that has included musical collaborations with David Bowie, Cat Stevens and Elton John, as well as worldwide tours with Yes and his own band The English Rock Ensemble.

Classically trained pianist, Rick was a much-sought-after session musician in the late Sixties and early Seventies when he played on more than 2,000 records by a wide variety of artists which included such diverse talents as Cilla Black, John Williams, Marc Bolan and Black Sabbath.

In the early Seventies, he found fame in his own right as a member of first Strawbs, then Yes and subsequently with his solo releases. During his career Rick has sold more than 50,000,000 albums. Audiences at ‘Evenings with Rick’ are treated to his immense musical talent, with his witty banter punctuated by displays of dazzling virtuosity on the piano.

Rick is as much of a familiar face (albeit an older one) now, as he was in the Yes years, with the funny man regularly making TV appearances (Never Mind The Buzzcocks, The News Quiz, Just A Minute). He boasts taking part in every single episode in the Grumpy Old Men series, as well as making just fewer than 100 appearances on Countdown, not to mention presenting on Watchdog.

Rick’s show is supported by The Cadbury Sisters, who sing captivating songs in perfect three part harmony.

Rick Wakeman will appear at Buxton Opera House on Sunday 25 January at 7.30pm. Tickets for his show are priced at £23, £26 and £29. To buy tickets or for more information call the Box Office on 0845 127 2190 or book online at

Duggie Chapman pantomimes up coming!

Christmas at Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre

Buxton Opera House is offering a host of glittering festive events to enjoy this winter.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and this year Buxton Opera House is offering two opportunities to relive the famous tale. Crowd of 2 Theatre returns to Pavilion Arts Centre (with a cast of four actors, some chains and a mask or two) to perform its latest adaptation of the festive favourite on Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 December.

Whilst Buxton Opera House’s Junior Theatre Company (aged 8 to 10) will bring Ebenezer, a musical adaptation (with a catchy score and all the familiar characters) to the Arts Centre stage on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 December.

Visitors can sing carols and Christmas songs in the beautiful Edwardian Opera House during Christmas with Buxton Musical Society, appearing with Worcester College, Oxford on Sunday 14 December. The award-winning Brighouse & Rastrick Band are also back with The Very Best of Brass and Comedy on Friday 19 December, combining their talents with ex-Houghton Weavers frontman Norman Prince.

Twas the Night before Christmas by Distraction Theatre Company will play at Pavilion Arts Centre on Friday 28 November, a heart-warming story of two sisters Ellie and Bella (who live in a gossiping Victorian village) and their father, who must do all he can to raise enough money for their dowries. The theatre company return the following night for The Twelve Days of Christmas (Saturday 29 November at 7.30pm); a popular and vibrant show following Elizabeth Fairfax and her rather unusual Christmas of 1895. After having declared his love, Mr Edward Fitzwilliam lavishes Elizabeth with the most extraordinary and ridiculous 12 days of her life.

Don’t miss two visits from the ever popular British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, bringing a flavour of ‘Christmas in Vienna’ with waltzes, songs and tunes in A Viennese Strauss Christmas Gala on Sunday 30 November and orchestral favourites from opera, ballet and film during New Year’s Eve Gala. Revellers at the Gala can also enjoy a pre-concert 3-course dinner at 7.15pm in the Pavilion Garden’s complex.

As always Buxton Opera House is the place to see pantomime, this year’s feel-good show is Jack and the Beanstalk (Thursday 11 December to Saturday 3 January), starring Steve Nallon from TV’s Spitting Image and Joseph Elliot ‘cook’ in the popular CBeebies series. Whilst children will also love Father Christmas Needs a Wee, a TaleGate Theatre musical adaptation of Peter Allan’s much loved book, with witty humour and fantastic music (Friday 19 December at the Arts Centre)

For more information on Christmas shows or to buy tickets contact Buxton Opera House Box Office on 0845 127 2190 or buy online at

For more information, press or competition tickets, please contact Jennifer Mather

Press Officer Tel: 01298 72050 email:

Fascinating Aïda Charm Offensive

Following a hugely popular visit in 2013, the comedy trio Fascinating Aïda returns to Buxton Opera House in November with their show Charm Offensive.

If you haven’t already seen the show, Fascinating Aïda offers a night of singing and satirical cabaret, performed by three ferocious ladies. Over the years the funny females have received three Olivier Award nominations. Their Cheap Flights Tour had over 10 million YouTube hits from fans wanting to get a quick comedy fix.

Now celebrating 31 years of fun Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Liza Pulman are determined to grow old disgracefully. In their new show audiences can expect topical new songs hot off the press plus relive some outrageous old favourites…

Fascinating Aida was founded in March 1983 by Dillie Keane after the trio started performing in a West End wine bar. They soon caught national attention appearing on television for the first time in July 1983. Since then members have varied frequently, although the central characters Dillie Keane and Adele Anderson have continued to perform regularly.

Fascinating Aïda takes place on Saturday 22 November at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £17.50 and £19.50 and discounts are available. To buy tickets or for more information call the Box Office on 0845 127 2190 or buy online at

For information, press or competition tickets, please contact Jennifer Mather

Press Officer Tel: 01298 72050 email:

September 9th

Delighted to announce that Britain's OLD THEATRES magazine which we publish has just arranged the twinning of Morecambe Winter Gardens theatre with the 4th Street Theater at Moberley, MIssouri, U.S.A. Both theatres are supported by volunteers. A full report will appear in our late Autumn Edition or can be seen in our Newsletter.
More information: (Morecambe WG is pictured)
Please E Mail oldtheatres@googlema if you wish to purchase a copy

August 5th 2014

July 27th 2014

Buxton Opera House selected to take part in prestigious 2015 National Theatre Connections Festival

Buxton Opera House has beaten stiff competition to win a place in the National Theatre Connections Festival. The Opera House will produce one of ten plays by new writers, to run at the Pavilion Arts Centre in March before transferring to another, yet to be decided, regional theatre. The production will be directed by the Opera House Learning and Participation Officer Craig Sanders, who has directed new writing for NT Connections since its re-launch in 2011 and who headed up the application process to win the Opera House a place.

Buxton Opera House Interim Chief Executive, Stella McCabe commented:

"I am delighted that Craig’s hard work has paid off and Buxton Opera House’s Young Company has been selected to be part of National Connections next year. It is not only a wonderful opportunity for the young people involved, it also allows us to celebrate new writing and re-connect the Opera House with other theatres regionally and nationally.

It is the perfect way to launch our new Young Company which will offer young people from across the High Peak region the opportunity to develop not only their performance skills but also gain experience in aspects of marketing and technical theatre”.

Connections began 20 years ago and since then the National Theatre has commissioned and published more than 140 plays, allowing young people across the UK and Ireland access to the very best new writing for theatre. The Connections Festival is renowned for providing an exceptional experience to all participants and as a result gets hundreds of applications from theatre groups across the country.

"We were inundated with applications, and were heavily oversubscribed for this extremely exciting year of Connections." said Emma Friend, Assistant Producer for NT Connections.

The Festival provides theatre students experience of professional theatre-making, mirroring that of a professional company producing a new play in any theatre in the country. Participants will create marketing campaigns, design sets and costumes, operate lighting and sound boards and stage-manage their performances.

Craig Sanders, Learning and Participation Officer at Buxton Opera House added:

“It will be a phenomenal opportunity for those involved and importantly, it will celebrate the fantastic talent of young people in the High Peak and beyond at a national level. We are launching our new Young Company in the autumn and so anyone aged 12-25 with a keen interest in theatre from performing to backstage, marketing and design should get in touch and join us to be part of something really special".

For information about how to join Buxton Opera House Young Company and the National Theatre Connections Festival, please contact Learning and Participation at Buxton Opera House by emailing: .


For more information, press or competition tickets, please contact Jennifer Mather

Press Officer Tel: 01298 72050 email:




July 13th 2014

Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre appoint new Chief Executive

High Peak Theatre Trust, the charitable Trust that operates the Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre, are delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Glinn as the organisation’s new Chief Executive. He will take up his role in September 2014.

Simon comes to Buxton after more than 11 years in Liverpool. He joined the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic as Executive Director (Liverpool Philharmonic Hall) in March 2003. He is part of a Directorate team led, since 2008 by Chief Executive Michael Eakin, that manages the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko and its associated ensembles; an extensive learning programme; and, managed by Simon Glinn, the Grade II* listed Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

The Hall is the home of the Orchestra and one of the UK’s premier arts and entertainment venues, presenting one of the most diverse and high quality concert hall programmes in the country. It is currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment prior to re-opening in November 2014, in this its 75th Anniversary year.

Clive Beattie, Chairman of High Peak Theatre Trust commented

‘We are delighted to welcome Simon to Buxton and to the Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre. He has an enviable track record in developing both buildings and organisations, alongside establishing programming and artistic relationships with a range of world-class performers and companies. He joins the organisation at a pivotal moment in our history and I and the Board look forward to working with him and supporting him in the development of his exciting vision for the future.

‘I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to freelance Arts Consultant, Stella McCabe, who has been working with the team as Interim Chief Executive since January this year. Her experience, hard work and dedication have enabled the organisation to make great progress during her time here, perfectly positioning us for Simon’s arrival.’

Simon, who takes up his post in early September, said: ‘After more than 11 very happy years at Liverpool Philharmonic, I am delighted to be joining the team at High Peak Theatre Trust. Buxton Opera House is one of the country’s most beautiful theatres, a stunning example of Frank Matcham’s work. There is so much potential to position the venue at the heart of the UK theatre industry and I am excited to lead the team in Buxton, a town that prides itself on its festival programme.’

June 27th 2014

Buxton Puppet Festival is back in Town!

The puppets are back in town from Monday 3 to Saturday 9 August with the return of Buxton Puppet Festival, a co-production by Buxton Opera House and Funny Wonders. As usual there’s a host of colourful workshops and performances to look forward to in locations around the town.

Performances in Pavilion Arts Centre this year include Aladdin (Sunday 3 August) a large scale shadow puppet show about a poor street boy who falls hopelessly in love with a Royal Princess. Or why not join Miss Amelia Buttersnap, an expert on fairies who embarks on a journey to photograph one (A Real Fairy Story, Tuesday 5 August 2pm & 4pm). Whilst Ticky, Ticky, Boom, Boom (Wednesday 6 August, 4pm), a traditional tale from Jamaica tells the story of a cheeky spider Anancy who doesn’t like to do much work, but what happens when the monkey tries to help?

Other puppet shows include The Three Billy Pigs (Thursday 7 August at 2pm) a light hearted storytelling with live music and a little bit of eco awareness and Dangerous Dave on Thursday 7 August at 7pm) takes a journey with a miniature superhero fighting his way out of a wet paper bag into a domestic food processor! For themes of a conjugal nature don’t miss All at Sea with Noah, telling the story of Noah and his wife who start to bicker after getting instructions to build an ark (Friday 8 August at 2pm).

Outdoor puppet shows are also incorporated in the Festival with A Melange of Marvellous & Magical Monsters on the Pavilion Gardens Bandstand, with creations from Buxton Infant School Puppet Club (Friday 8 August at 3.30pm).Or why not enjoy a walk in the peaceful English countryside and see creatures from every continent as well as some of our own British wildlife (Round The World Safari on Saturday 9 August 11am & 2pm).

As always there free puppet shows to enjoy on the Opera House forecourt: The Wychwood Puppets (Wednesday 6 August 11am & 3pm), The Man in the Moon (Thursday 7 August 11am & 3pm), The Blue Dragon (Friday 8 August at 11am) and Peculiar Puppet Pantomime (Friday 8 August at 3pm).

Workshops for children to get artistic include Stories in Shadow and Sand (multimedia and shadow puppetry)on Monday 4 August at 10am and two workshops by puppeteer Keith Barns: Potty Puppet Foam/Animal Puppet Workshop For Children, Tuesday 5 & Wednesday 5 August at 10am. Jig Dolls Puppet Making Workshop (and performance) will take place on Thursday 7 August at 10am.

Tickets are on sale now. Pick up your Buxton Puppet Festival leaflet from Buxton Opera House Box Office or visit the website for more information or to book tickets.

June 20th 2014


Readers of OLD THEATRES magazine will be delighted to know that The Good Old Days recreating the famous BBC T.V Show which ran for 50 years is to make a welcome return.


The show will be previewing for one week before going on tour next year and will be showing at the The Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne on Monday 25th August with our special guest Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke.

June 1st 2014

May 20th 2014

The show is being organised by this year’s Queen Ratling, Rosalie Kirkman in conjunction with the London Hippodrome Casino to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Vesta Tilley’s birth on 13 May 2014. The evening will feature a host of Lady Ratlings performing their favourite Music hall ditties along with some special guests from the Grand Order of Water Rats and a few speciality acts.

Song, dance, comedy, magic, juggling and even some plate spinning – what’s not to like? With tickets at just £10, 15 or £20 and drinks and food available at very reasonable prices it promises to be a fun night out.

You don’t have to get your knees up and sing along but it will probably be hard to resist!

The tickets are available now from the Hippodrome website and telephone number or to personal callers.           020 7769 8888

Presented in the Matcham Room the doors will open at 7pm for an 8pm start. Advance booking is strongly recommended (please note that due to the Casino licence it is over 18s only).

The Matcham Room, Hippodrome Casino,

Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7JH.

The performers aren’t detailed on the publicity but subject to availability the line up will be:

Denise Nolan, Roy Hudd, Jan Hunt, Bella Emberg,  Paul James, Andrew Van Buren and Allyson, Joane Hall, Victoria Yellop, Steve Rawlings, Paul Rhodes, Linda Watts, Kaplan Kaye, Ken Joy, Melody Kaye, Babs Bruce, Anne Wickens, Taryn Kaye and Debbie Flitcroft.


The Grand Order of Lady Ratlings Cup of Kindness Charity gives help and assistance to innumerable charities, organisations and individual good causes by purchasing items to make life happier for people in need. Charity Number 1101033. President – Barbara Windsor MBE

The Grand Order of Lady Ratlings was established in 1929 as a social and charitable organisation for females in the entertainment profession.

Rosalie Kirkman is this year’s Queen Ratling having worked professionally as a Tiller Girl and dancer at the Talk of the Town (in the Hippodrome building). Her aim during her year as Queen is to raise the profile of the organisation in the hope of attracting new and young members and also to organise several extra fundraising events for the Cup of Kindness Charity.

The London Hippodrome opened in 1900, designed by renowned architect Frank Matcham as acircus variety theatre. The design included a 100,000 gallon tank in which polar bears and sea lions would swim. Works in 1909 enlarged the stage and advanced the proscenium arch to make the venue more suitable for Variety. Famous performances include an appearance by Harry Houdini and the British premiere of the ballet Swan Lake. In the 1950s the building was transformed into the legendary Talk of the Town which hosted star performers including Shirley bassey, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr, The Jackson Five and Tom Jones. The building was later used as a nightclub, including a period under the management of Peter Stringfellow and in 2008 returned to its roots as a circus venue for burlesque cabaret La Clique. Following a major refurbishment the Hippodrome Casino opened its doors in 2012.

Vesta Tilley was the most famous, and best paid, music hall male impersonator of her day achieving success in America as well as the UK. During the first world war she was renowned for the recruiting songs she sang encouraging young men to sign up which earned her the nickname ‘England’s Greatest Recruiting Sergeant’.

April 23rd 2014

BUXTON OPERA HOUSE New Season Brochure is Released

Buxton Opera House & Pavilion Arts Centre has released its new April to August 2014 Season Brochure, offering up a host of sparkling events for all the family.


The curtain will rise once again for one of Britain’s best loved entertainers, the late Eric Morcambe, when the award-winning drama tribute Morecambe takes place from Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 May. Whilst on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 June the Opera House celebrates the 50th anniversary of Joe Orton’s classic black comedy Entertaining Mr Sloan, a dark exploration of sexual liberation in the 1960s. For an altogether different night come and see the hugely popular puppet musical Avenue Q (from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 June), which follows the story of college graduate Princeton and his journey to find himself in New York.

Children and Family Events

The inaugural Buxton Family Festival will be taking place from Friday 1 to Sunday 17 August, with the Opera House participating in a host of events: TV’s Milkshake will return to the stage on Sunday 10 August for a musical spectacular, whilst those who love One Direction can come and see the next best thing Only One Direction Midnight Memories Tour on Saturday 9 August. For a fun-filled picnic with the family whilst watching Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – The Musical, mark Saturday 16 or Sunday 17 August on your calendar. Also don’t miss the ever popular Buxton Puppet Festival when it returns from Monday 4 to Saturday 9 August, complete with a colourful array of shows and street performances.


As always there is a host of famous name comedians to cheer us up. Jason Manford will deliver his trademark likeable charm and teasingly intelligent wit on Tuesday 13 May, whilst Jon Richardson, the perennial singleton and misanthrope will appear with his show Ndiot on Sunday 25 May. Dawn French, the beloved star of Vicar of Dibley and French and Saunders – will be at the Opera House on Saturday 14 June. Other comedians include Jimmy Carr (Tuesday 29 July),The Ken Dodd Happiness Show (Thursday 24 April) and Josh Widdicombe (Sunday 18 May).


After last year’s success Summer Pops Week is back from Wednesday 30 July to Tuesday 5 August and includes performances from the close harmony swing-pop group The Puppini Sisters on Wednesday 30 July and the singing sensation Barbara Dickson will return on Thursday 31 July. Irish instrumental band Lúnasa will perform with Bella Hardy (BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of The Year) on Friday 1 August. Other acts include The Feeling (Saturday 2 August),Last Night at the Summer Proms (Sunday 3 August) and From The Jam (Monday 4 August).

Opera will include a season of Gilbert and Sullivan shows running from Friday 8 to Saturday 23 August and the esteemed Buxton Festival will return from Friday 11 to Sunday 27 July.

There’s lots more events to enjoy, pick up your copy of the brochure from Buxton Opera House Box Office or visit the website for more information or to book tickets.

April 11th 2014

Calling Rock ‘n’ Rollers Everywhere!  

‘The Greatest Rock & Roll Band In The World’ is a bold statement but Showaddywaddy has lived up to the title as they recently

celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Formed in the 1970s in Leicester from several local bands, they have sold more

than 20 million records and have toured the world.  Their live show features all of

their biggest hits, many of which reached number one

in the pop charts of Europe.

We are now pleased to announce that the legendary ‘Showaddywaddy’

will be performing at The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne on Fri 25 April for one night only!

So are you ready to ‘Hey Rock & Roll’ and dance your

‘Three Steps to Heaven’?  Spend an evening ‘Under The Moon of Love’ and

come and join the ‘Dancing Party’ because ‘You’ve Got What It Takes’!

‘When’? Fri 25 April…see you there and ‘Remember Then’!

April 8th 2014

Buxton Opera House & Pavilion Arts Centre has released its new April to August 2014 Season Brochure, offering up a host of sparkling events for all the family.


The curtain will rise once again for one of Britain’s best loved entertainers, the late Eric Morcambe, when the award-winning drama tribute Morecambe takes place from Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 May. Whilst on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 June the Opera House celebrates the 50th anniversary of Joe Orton’s classic black comedy Entertaining Mr Sloan, a dark exploration of sexual liberation in the 1960s. For an altogether different night come and see the hugely popular puppet musical Avenue Q (from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 June), which follows the story of college graduate Princeton and his journey to find himself in New York.

Children and Family Events

The inaugural Buxton Family Festival will be taking place from Friday 1 to Sunday 17 August, with the Opera House participating in a host of events: TV’s Milkshake will return to the stage on Sunday 10 August for a musical spectacular, whilst those who love One Direction can come and see the next best thing Only One Direction Midnight Memories Tour on Saturday 9 August. For a fun-filled picnic with the family whilst watching Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – The Musical, mark Saturday 16 or Sunday 17 August on your calendar. Also don’t miss the ever popular Buxton Puppet Festival when it returns from Monday 4 to Saturday 9 August, complete with a colourful array of shows and street performances.


As always there is a host of famous name comedians to cheer us up. Jason Manford will deliver his trademark likeable charm and teasingly intelligent wit on Tuesday 13 May, whilst Jon Richardson, the perennial singleton and misanthrope will appear with his show Ndiot on Sunday 25 May. Dawn French, the beloved star of Vicar of Dibley and French and Saunders – will be at the Opera House on Saturday 14 June. Other comedians include Jimmy Carr (Tuesday 29 July),The Ken Dodd Happiness Show (Thursday 24 April) and Josh Widdicombe (Sunday 18 May).


After last year’s success Summer Pops Week is back from Wednesday 30 July to Tuesday 5 August and includes performances from the close harmony swing-pop group The Puppini Sisters on Wednesday 30 July and the singing sensation Barbara Dickson will return on Thursday 31 July. Irish instrumental band Lúnasa will perform with Bella Hardy (BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of The Year) on Friday 1 August. Other acts include The Feeling (Saturday 2 August),Last Night at the Summer Proms (Sunday 3 August) and From The Jam (Monday 4 August).

Opera will include a season of Gilbert and Sullivan shows running from Friday 8 to Saturday 23 August and the esteemed Buxton Festival will return from Friday 11 to Sunday 27 July.

There’s lots more events to enjoy, pick up your copy of the brochure from Buxton Opera House Box Office or visit the website for more information or to book tickets.











18th  March 2014



ON 21ST MARCH 2014

RHT Management and Derek Block Promotions are pleased to announce that due to unprecedented demand that Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome's Grand Circle has been opened up to accommodate further patrons for the "Illegal Eagles" on

Friday 21st March.  

A spokesman for the Royal Hippodrome told OT, "We are very pleased with advance ticket sales for this show and it has not been since Miranda Hart coming in November that we have needed to open these high seats".

As the seats are located higher up the ticket price for these seats are reduced at £19

Tickets available from the Box office 01323 412000 or online

13th March 2014


Stage-Door Theatre Company presents 'Par for the Course') - Captain’s Day at the Seven Lakes Golf Club gets off to a bad start when the men’s Captain is indisposed. Club Secretary, Simon, relishes the chance to take over but is soon thwarted by the arrival of Vice Captain, Nick, and his girlfriend, Tiffany. Ladies Captain, Fran, and enthusiastic but hopeless Barry, add to the confusion as a series of disasters mount. With the unexpected arrival of Simon’s wife, Laura, tensions build and things go from bad to worse. Set on the clubhouse patio, everybody soon discovers that personal relationships OFF the course are more dangerous than the hazards ON it – love or loath golf, it will never seem quite the same again!


This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.  Performances will take place fromWednesday 9th April 2014 to Saturday 12th April 2014.  Each performance will commence at 7.30pm (doors opening at7.00pm).  Tickets are £11.00 or £10 for concessions.  PLEASE CONTACT 01903 856801 to book tickets for this performance.

24th February 2014

The Only Way is Downton

Luke Kempner’s tour-de-force impressions comedy The Only Way is Downton will be at Pavilion Arts Centre on Friday 14 March at 7.30pm.

Having made his name with YouTube hit Downstairs At Downton, and appearances in musicals including Les Mis and Avenue Q, Kempner’s debut solo show won critical acclaim and sell-out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe last year.

As celebrities start appearing at Downton Abbey, cultures clash and eras hilariously collide in this brilliant new parody, which takes in many other popular TV shows and familiar modern voices to help the cast of Downton save the estate from financial ruin – again!

The Only Way is Downton takes place on Friday 14 March. Tickets are priced at £12 and £14 and discounts are available. To buy tickets or for more information call the Box Office on 0845 127 2190 or buy online at

23rd February 2014



Rose-Marie is delighted to be back in the UK along with the release of a new album Songs for My Mother and a theatre tour to coincide with a Greatest Hits album release. She brings her stage show to Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome on March 1st.

With current record sales of over 15 million records, all 20 of her album releases going to gold or platinum status, Rose-Marie is one of only a handful of UK female artists with a strong enough repertoire to pull in audiences for a one-woman show in the British Isles and also Las Vegas, from where she recently returned after five years.

She has turned her hand to country, Irish, American Songbook, torch songs and pop covers. Her Best Of album featuring her favourite songs went Top 5 in the UK album charts.

An appearance by Rose-Marie on Big Brother’s Little Brother left Dermot O’Leary speechless with her accordion version of the Big Brother theme and breathless after she got him to Riverdance with her as the credits rolled!

Also gracing the stage with her at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre will be special guest, comedian, Billy Hunter.

Rose-Marie is yet another touring artiste who has chosen to come to the Royal Hippodrome Theatre to support its sustainability for the future. To support the theatre all locals and visitors of Eastbourne need do is to go out and have a good time..

Box office 01323 412000 or This is a great way to spend an evening in the run up to St Patrick’s Day.

10th February 2014

After a sellout UK tour in 2013, Dirty Dusting returns to the stage in 2014. Treat yourself to an evening of pure theatrical Viagra!!

Three cleaning ladies, (past their sell by date) start up a telephone sex line!!! “The Telephone Belles” – A Dirty Sex Chat Line that really cleans up!

Gladys, Elsie and Olive are three cleaning ladies who are about to be “put out to pasture” by their overzealous office manager Dave. Feeling they have little chance of gaining employment elsewhere, the ladies have to boost their falling income!

A chance wrong number requiring A Sex Chat Line rings into the office and gives them a great idea….. “Why not run a Sex Chat Line?” After all, their age and appearance won’t matter on the telephone and providing they can keep this a secret from their boss….they could be onto a winner!!

Needless to say……things don’t go entirely according to plan.

“Dirty Dusting Telephone Sex”-  A Chat Line that Really Cleans Up

This is a heart warming feel-good comedy that will have you rolling in the aisles and smiling every time you answer the phone!

Written by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, this production is directed by Leah Bell who injects this hilarious play with a fresh and lively approach coupled with her own unique style.


Crissy Rock (Hit TV Series Bendorm and I’m a Celebrity)

Leah Bell (Comedienne and actress)

Dolores Porretta Brown (Stage and TV actress)

Jason Jones (Hit TV series Hebburn)

This hilarious comedy comes to Eastbourne for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Wednesday 26th March at 7.30pm.  Tickets cost £20 and are available from the box office 01323 412000 or

8th February 2014

7th February 2014


The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne was in its past renowned for the very best of British comedy.  Famously Bruce Forsyth was performing at the theatre when he got the call to cover for Sunday Night at The London Palladium—and the rest is history.  Now the home of comedy welcomes a season of one night comedy productions.  The first is next month —on Valentines Day –

14th February at 7.30pm.

How To Make A Killing In Bollywood comes from the Edinburgh Fringe and is a brand new comedy about two best friends (Raza and Gurjit) who decide to quit their jobs in a       takeaway restaurant and head to India to pursue their Bollywood fantasies.

As they begin to pursue their dreams events don't quite go to plan and their friendship is tested to its limits.  Just how far are the boys willing to go to realise their dreams?

Punctuated with well-choreographed, vibrant Bollywood style dance numbers and  a         fantastic soundtrack, the story takes us from the Magic Grill takeaway to the teeming streets of Mumbai at cracking pace.

A tale of ambition, hope and friendship - everything you need to Make A Killing In Bollywood

"Brilliantly choreographed and superbly acted" - Edinburgh Spotlight

"An excellent night`s entertainment”  - Broadway Baby

Tickets cost £15 / £11 concessions and are available via the usual outlets, Eastbourne Theatres 01323 412000 or


The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne was in its past renowned for the very best of British comedy.  Famously, Bruce Forsyth was performing at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre when he got the call to cover for Sunday Night at The London Palladium—and the rest, as they say, is history.  Now the 'home of comedy' welcomes a season of one night comedy productions.  The first is next month —on Valentines Day –14th February at 7.30pm.

How To Make A Killing In Bollywood comes from the Edinburgh Fringe and is a band new comedy about two best friends (Raza and Gurjit) who decide to quit their jobs in a takeaway restaurant and head to India to pursue their Bollywood fantasies.

As they begin to pursue their dreams, events don't quite go to plan and their friendship is tested to its limits.  Just how far are the boys willing to go to realise their dreams?

Punctuated with well-choreographed, vibrant Bollywood style dance numbers and  a fantastic soundtrack, the story takes us from the Magic Grill takeaway to the teeming streets of Mumbai at cracking pace.

A tale of ambition, hope and friendship - everything you need to Make A Killing In Bollywood

"Brilliantly choreographed and superbly acted" - Edinburgh Spotlight

"An excellent night`s entertainment”  - Broadway Baby

Tickets cost £15 / £11 concessions and are available via the usual outlets, Eastbourne Theatres 01323 412000 or

Henrietta Hippo’s Funhouse is back


Saturday 1st February sees the first of a new monthly series of Saturday Morning Children’s shows at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne’s Seaside Road.  (Last year there were 4 pilot shows which were on the whole well received and at advance ticket prices of just £4 the show offers exceptional value for money.)

The purpose behind the shows is to introduce children (aged 3—10) to live theatre.  

The show itself is this year produced by co-producers MM productions and  Trap Door Productions Ltd and promises singing, dancing, games and educational elements with a new set and a great fun house crew.  If you remember old fashioned Saturday morning TV— imagine that live on stage!  

Each show is themed where children (and adults) are encouraged to come dressed up—with prizes for the best dressed!  The first show has a “pirates” theme so get out those eye patches and stuffed parrots!

This year, the monthly show is hosted by new team Nikki and Damon.  Both are no strangers to the stage nor the classroom with Damon being a qualified teacher!  There will be funny moments in the show including Henrietta’s new cookery spot!  A Hippo in a kitchen?  Disaster looms!

A great morning’s entertainment during this gloomy weather on offer at Eastbourne’s oldest theatre.  

The first show starts at 10.30am and tickets cost £4 in advance or £6 on the door—available from usual outlets and Eastbourne Theatres Box Office 01323 412000 or at

January 19th 2014

January 19th 2014


Having become the first ever band to reach the semi finals of Britain's Got Talent following up with a performance for Her Majesty, The Queen as part of th Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Jive Aces have truly established themselves as the UK's top Jive & Swing band.

The band are renowned for their hot, swinging music and high-energy stage show playing songs made famous by such greats as Bobby Darin, Louis Prima and Sammy Davis Jnr as well as a selection of superb originals.

Their forthcoming album, "King of the Swingers: A Salute to Louis Prima" was recorded in Hollywood, California and features very special guests such as Kenny Ball, Ray Gelato and Toni Elizabeth Prima (daughter of Louis Prima and Keeley Smith) and includes their hit version of the classic "Bring Me Sunshine" of which their video now has over two million views on YouTube and has won seven film festival awards.

The Jive Aces have brought the house down at thousands of festivals, theatres, and dance halls throughout the UK, Europe, the USA and beyond, also making hundreds of TV and radio appearances world-wide.

The yellow-suited sextet have worked with such people as Van Morrison, John Travolta, Isaac Hayes, Lisa Marie Presley and many others in their career so far.

The Jive Aces are performing at Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday 11th January 2014 at 7.30pm.  Tickets £15 / £13 concessions.  Box Office 01323 412000 or

December 13th 2013



The Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier will once again be welcoming audiences to  the Cromer Christmas Show from Thursday December 12th when the theatre   re-opens after the damage caused by the storm surge earlier this month

A weekend of hard work by members of the Cromer Pier Staff, North Norfolk District Council and the Contractors FPE Global has seen a remarkable transformation from a scene of almost total devastation.

General Manager Rebecca Wass said “I would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over the weekend to get us up and running again, I can not praise the North Norfolk District Council enough they have been brilliant and understood the urgency to get the theatre open” She told OT:  “My thanks also to FPE Global who gave up their weekend to undertake the repairs to the bar and theatre and to the theatre staff who have rallied round.

I also have to mention the many offers of help we have received from members of the public and to Barry Parsons of Ardvac for his help with cleaning in the bar.”

At present the Box Office, Gift Shop and Coffee Reef remain closed as they were hit the hardest by the surge. A temporary Box Office has been set up in the Pavilion Bar, which at present has only one telephone line in. Anyone who has already purchased tickets for shows from 12th December will not be affected and should arrive as normal for the shows.  At present the Box Office can only issue tickets for performances of the day but it is hoped that by the end of the week a fully function Box Office will be established so that tickets can once again be purchased in advance. Rebecca Wass has asked all those who have tickets for shows that have been cancelled to wait for the Box Office staff to contact them personally to arrange to discuss their purchase. It is hoped that the new computer system will be up and running next week and that the data can then be retrieved so that all customers can be contacted.

North Norfolk District Council has surveyed the pier and found no major problems and have declared it safe for members of the public to use. However they ask that everyone who visits the pier stay within the designated areas while repair work continues. The promenade will be open to taxis and mini coaches to drop off and pick up as normal in front to the pier.

December 9th 2013


Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome Theatre Company’s production of White Christmas is now in full swing for the festive season. The town’s oldest theatre has been making good use of the most up to date ways of promoting the show via social media. There is a Twitter campaign; which is trying to get a thousand followers by Christmas, this has already been backed by celebrities including Gail Porter, Kim Mazelle & Sovereign FM radio host, Simon Osborne who have been re-tweeting away.

@Whitechristmas3 will be giving away free tickets to followers if the target is hit.

The show is already proving a great success with over 1000 people already attending the Turkey & Tinsel matinees. Musical Director, Nicola Brazier stays in the pit during the interval and chats to visitors who are all full of questions, the most common one being ‘Is this really an amateur show?’

Reviewers of the show have called it ‘A Christmas Cracker’, ‘full of light-hearted fun, uplifting singing and dazzling dance routines.’ an excellent show that remains true to the Irving Berlin movie.’ And ‘A Christmas treat not to miss’

White Christmas is currently playing matinees on Thursdays until it officially opens on December 19th for a full run until January 4th with matinees and evening performances.

December 8th 2013

Music Tour News

UK Concerts present:



13 FEBRUARY 2014 – 11 APRIL 2014

UK Concerts are proud to present the hugely talented, Louise Dearman, who is the first actress in the history of the worldwide production of hit musical Wicked to have starred as both Glinda & Elphaba, for her debut UK Tour ‘IT’S TIME’.

The UK tour starts on 13th February 2014 in The Octagon Theatre, Somerset and finishes on 11 April 2014 in Courtyard Theatre, Hereford.

Louise will be performing some of her favourite musical theatre songs, live with her band, along with a popular selection of modern and classic showstoppers. The tour will leave you spellbound.

Louise Dearman is a widely known British musical theatre actress, who has built up a lucrative catalogue of performances both on national tours, in the West End and, in 2005, released her first album ‘You And I’ which featured 12 tracks from well known musicals, including ‘Funny Honey’ from Chicago and ‘On My Own’ from Les Miserables then in 2012 released her second album, ‘Here Comes The Sun’. Her third album, ‘It’s Time’ is released on Monday 18th November on Silvascreen Records.  The album ties in with Louise’s exit from Wicked on 16 November 2013.

Louise Dearman said: “I am delighted to announce my very first UK tour 'It's Time' which coincides with my third studio album of the same title. To be able to perform in venues across the UK with my own show is so exciting and something I've wanted to do for such a long time. People can expect to hear a mix of classic musical theatre with some contemporary favourites from the iconic divas I grew up listening to. I'm delighted to introduce my team including Mike Dixon (Music Supervisor) Barney Ashworth (Musical Director), Adam Murray (Director) and Matthew J Hampson (Producer).

Not only has Louise taken the West End stage by storm, she has also collaborated with Mark Evans to launch a new book, "The Secrets Of Stage Success", a guide for those who want to follow in Louise and Mark’s footsteps and develop their own career as performers.

Louise also headlines St James Theatre on 16th & 17th December 2013, to celebrate Christmas and perform a collection of songs from Louise’s theatrical past, present and future, along with some Christmas classics. She will also be starring in; An Evening of Movies and Musicals at West End’s Apollo, Victoria on 1st December and at Swansea’s Grand Theatre on 7th December and in Cardiff on 26 April 2014.

With lots of exciting projects taking off, Louise will feature on Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC Radio 2 on Friday 20th December at 8pm.

Louise graduated from Laine Theatre Arts College and won the Musical Theatre and Opera Award and immediately after, joined the touring cast of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as the lynchpin role of The Narrator. In 2000, Louise was cast to play Jan for the UK tour of Grease, later returning in 2003 to the Palace Theatre London to play the same role for six months.

Other amazing roles Louise has played include Sarah Brown in the national tour of Guys and Dolls, Mimi in the Piccadilly Theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls, Lucy Harris in the UK national tour of Jekyll and Hyde and in 2007, Louise played Debbie at the Edinburgh Festival’s production of Debbie Does Dallas and played Cinderella in both Stoke-On-Trent in 2007 and Milton Keynes in 2009, as well as playing the Fairy Godmother in Wimbledon’s 2008 production of the highly successful pantomime.



THURS 13TH                  THE OCTAGON THEATRE SOMERSET      / 01935 422884

SUN 16TH                       LEEDS CITY VARIETIES                                       / 0113 2430808

FRI 28TH                        NORWICH PLAYHOUSE / 01603598598



TUES 4TH                      THE CAPITOL, HORSHAM / 01403 750220

FRI 14TH           THE GWYN HALL, NEATH tp:// / 0300 3656677

MON 17TH                     NUFFIELD THEATRE, SOUTHAMPTON /      023 8067 1771

TUES 18TH                    THE STABLES, MILTON KEYNES / 01908280800

THURS 27TH                  HARLOW PLAYHOUSE / 01279 431945

SAT 29TH                      BLAKEHAY THEATRE, WESTERN SUPER MARE's-on.aspx / 01934 645493


FRI 11TH                       COURTYARD THEATRE, HEREFORD / 01432 340555

Olly’s hot, hot, hot … at Cromer Pavilion Theatre

Olly Day was delighted to be asked back to the Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier to star in the  Cromer Christmas Show 2013 but never expected to be eating ice cream in the stalls surrounded by pretty girls waving fans!

To Olly’s great surprise the Pavilion Theatre has been equipped with six brand new heaters especially for the Christmas Show and they certainly seem to work. Olly said, “This is great now we can all enjoy the show in the warm, adding now when the audience applaud my jokes they are doing it because the like the gag and not just to warm their hands”

And that’s not all that is hot about this years show, ticket prices have been set so that audiences have a choice of ticket prices starting at just £9.50 with children’s tickets priced at only £5.00.

General Manager Rebecca Wass said, “As we go into Christmas, we know everyone is feeling the pinch so we decided to offer ticket prices from £9.50 so that everybody has the opportunity to see this great family show.”  She continued: ‘We are all really looking forward to this year's show and are certain that the heating in the theatre will make the experience even better”

December is going to be a busy time on the pier with Santa’s Grotto opening each weekend from 11am - 4pm in Footprints Gift Shop at the entrance to the pier.

Tickets to see Santa are just £5 which include an early present from Santa himself. The Grotto will welcome children between the ages of 2 – 12. Each child will receive a present from Santa or if they have purchased a ticket to see the Cromer Christmas Show at the Pavilion Theatre they can call in and meet Santa for free.

Of course there will be time for families to enjoy a stroll along the pier and perhaps for Mum and Dad to enjoy a glass of Mulled Wine and a Mince Pie in the Pavilion Bar before heading home.

Cromer Christmas Show 30 November – 29 December

Shows at and 7pm

Except 3,4,5 Dec and 10, 11, 12 Dec. Matinee performances only

No Shows on Mondays

Christmas Day Matinee performance only 24th December

Tickets from £9.50 - £19.50 Children £5.00

Box Office 01263 512495

For further information contact Bruce Stratton CTIS Ltd

01263 515900   07850 050715

November 14th 2013


The Royal Hippodrome Theatre launched its festive season last week with the first performance of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

It is the first time in nearly 20 years that the towns’ oldest theatre has been open during the winter.

The newly formed  Hippodrome Community Theatre Company (RHT Community Productions) has produced the show and they have certainly been up- cycling to the max! Virtually every piece of furniture, set dressing and curtaining has been reclaimed from the darkest recesses of the building. Nothing has gone to waste, chairs have been re painted, moth eaten, threadbare curtains have been revived and they even found a decaying old grand piano which has been transformed into a glossy white centrepiece for one of the shows biggest numbers!

The audience on the first performance were treated to a fantastic show, which left most of them singing along in their seats. Some visitors were expecting a Christmas themed concert but were delighted to discover that it is the full musical taken from the film of the same name. There is a full orchestra, very talented cast, many of whom have come to Eastbourne from West End shows and thanks to the Arndale Centre the theatre will be fully decorated from their recycled Christmas decorations!

The company is playing matinees every Thursday through to Dec 12th, then a full run starts on December 19th until January 4th. Check website for full performance schedule. Tickets can be booked directly through the theatre or via Eastbourne Theatres Box Office on 01323 412000.


In the world of television magic, no one has enjoyed more success than Paul Daniels. From the moment he burst onto our screens, his magic shows have topped the ratings. He is undoubtedly the most successful TV magician of the 20th century, and has become a true magical legend.

The people and visitors of Eastbourne are invited to come and see his brand new show where he will perform a selection of his favourite magic and a number of new tricks never performed in public before. He will be joined by the very lovely Debbie McGee. A show full of magic, comedy and amazement.  

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre, in Eastbourne is no stranger to Paul, having performed on its stage many many years ago.  His tour has taken him all across the country, but the team at the Royal Hippodrome are hoping that he will find the reception at the town’s oldest theatre to be the most welcoming.  

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee will be appearing on Saturday 9th November at 7.30pm.  Tickets cost from £17.50 and are available from Eastbourne Theatres Box Office 01323 412000 or online via

November 3rd 2013

October 13th 2013

October  9th 2013

NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL’S INFAMOUS PANTOMIME                                                                                             


Newcastle Theatre Royal has announced that this year they will be offering a ‘Relaxed Performance’ of their infamous pantomime - regarded in the business as one of the best pantos in the country!

Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, learning disability or sensory and communication disorder into theatres to give those who otherwise might feel excluded the chance to experience live theatre. This is a specialist provision created to provide an opportunity for people who would otherwise find it difficult to go and see a show  – for example people who make involuntary noise, or are likely to need to talk a lot, or move around. During a regular performance this can disturb the other audience members, and the show, but at a relaxed performance it’s expected that the auditorium will be noisy and a supportive atmosphere is created.

Relaxed performances were originally developed specifically for young people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition and were called ‘Autism Friendly’ performances.  However, as they are also suitable for people with learning disabilities and sensory and communication disorders, the more inclusive term ‘Relaxed Performance’ was adopted.

These performances have been developed over several years at a handful of theatres in the UK with the support of national charities such as the National Autistic Society and Contact A Family, plus the regular feedback and support of families, carers and adults with autism. Autism now affects around one in 100 children.

 The show, which takes place on Tuesday 14 January, will have a less formal, more supportive atmosphere in order to reduce anxiety levels. Lighting and special effects will be slightly altered – including removing strobes and flashing lights and reducing very loud noises, however the content of the show will not be specifically changed so there is no worry of losing the magic of pantomime along the way!

The offering of a Relaxed Performance extends far before the show itself. The Theatre Royal will work with patrons in the lead up to the performance, ensuring they have everything they need to prepare them for their visit to the theatre. Patrons will be sent a visual story detailing what they can expect to happen on the day of the show. This will depict what they can expect on arrival at the theatre, the plot of the show, images of the performance and actors, and details of any difficult to comprehend scenes.

Angela Slater, Equalities Coordinator at Time To Change, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Newcastle Theatre Royal are taking this step towards making the theatre an experience that can be enjoyed by more and more people including those on the autistic spectrum and those who have communication, learning or sensory needs. Going to a pantomime is an experience that many children and adults look forward to and enjoy during the winter season and this relaxed and supportive session should make it possible for even more to take part.”

Pat Bolton, Participation Practitioner at Gateshead based Parent/Carer Forum, Parents in Power, said: “For children with Autism and other Leaning Disabilities attending a theatre performance can be extremely difficult. It is great that a magnificent place such as the Theatre Royal recognises this and is happy to put on a relaxed performance of Jack and the Beanstalk where children can begin to enjoy the theatre. I hope this will be a success with more to follow for the whole family to enjoy.”

Philip Bernays, Chief Executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal, said: “We are absolutely delighted be able to welcome a new audience to the experience of live theatre with our first Relaxed Performance. We believe our pantomime is the perfect show as it provides something for everyone, young and old alike. We are working hard, alongside local charities, planning the performance to make sure that all patrons feel as comfortable as possible and experience the magic of pantomime. I would like to extend my thanks Benfield Motor Group for their kind donation, which will go a long way in helping to produce this show.”

Jack and the Beanstalk – Relaxed Performance appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Tuesday 14 January 2014. Tickets are £8.50 (booking fees apply) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at


Richard Digance is a rare performer in that he's respected by comedians for his original material and by musicians for being an accomplished performer/guitarist. His loyal following confirms his wide appeal, from the younger generation attracted by both his guitar playing and the fact he has inspired many modern-day performers, to the super-loyal who have followed Richard since the time he had his own ITV series and even further when he started out in folk clubs.

His evergreen career has been acknowledged through numerous awards within both the music and entertainment industries, from a BAFTA Nomination as a TV entertainer to a Gold Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. He has supported Steve Martin in the USA, Robin Williams at The London Palladium and is included in The Virgin Anthology of Songwriters for his important contribution to British comedy songwriting. When presented with the Gold Award from the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters he was described as someone who for half a century has travelled the world with just a guitar and an immense collection of stories gathered through his own experiences. That kind of says it all.

As a poet Richard's works are included in The Oxford University Press anthology of British Poetry, used in the Feardon Teaching Aids publications in the United States and as English Literature syllabus material in British Columbia, Canada plus The School Magazine in New South Wales, Australia.

He has survived all trends with his two and a half hour one-man show, his summer festival appearances in the UK, the United States, Canada and Dubai, his cruise work and television appearances.He is both an accomplished musician, rated by many as one of Britain's greatest acoustic guitarists, inspired by his good friend Ralph McTell, and an entertainer who many younger comedians, including Ross Noble, claim as one of their major influences. On his own ITV Saturday-night show Richard has played guitar with Queen's Brian May, The Moody Blues, Status Quo, Chris deBurgh, Juan Martin, Marc Cohn and Elkie Brooks.

He is listed in the Virgin Encyclopedia of Music and his poems are used as teaching aids by Fearon Publications in the USA and by The University of British Columbia in Canada.

However, Richard Digance does not rest on his immense reputation. In the last two years he has broadened his appeal, firstly by proving to be one of Britain's most sought after cruise entertainers and secondly by returning to his musical roots through major music festival appearances.

Now he is going to grace the Royal Hippodrome stage with a man show that will have the audience leaving with a huge smile on their face.  Richard is at the RHT on Saturday 12th October at 7.30pm.  Tickets are £15 or £13 concessions.  Box Office 01323 412000 or


Saturday 19th October at 7.30pm sees the welcome return to the RHT of quite simply one of the most  successful and popular singers the UK has ever          produced.

Now in the 5th decade of her career, ELKIE BROOKS is still proving to be one of the most powerful and versatile vocal talents of our generation. With numerous hit singles, million selling albums and awards, her annual tours are a treat for fans old and new.

Elkie last performed at the RHT back in 2007 and is looking forward to a return to Eastbourne.  Her tour has so far taken her around the country where she has been performing to standing ovations and sell out audiences.  

Reviews of concerts in recent years, usually by critics that were not even born in the 70's, are all highly complimentary and focus on the facts that ‘she can still do it, the voice is still there, she can still hit the notes’ etc. which is all very nice. But if only they realised that through 50 years of singing every day, constant touring and her desire to improve herself, technically the voice has grown, the range has grown, the power has increased and the control is absolute. There is no question that she can ‘still do it’

Performing some of her classic hits, blues and jazz, an electric evening with Elkie is guaranteed to leave you begging for more.

2012 saw the release of Elkie’s much anticipated autobiography Finding My Voice and a re-release of her highly acclaimed album Powerless.

Elkie is a stunning performer and whatever she does, she does it best live. Don't miss the chance to see a truly great artist in action.

Tickets cost £24.50 / £23 concessions and are still available from Eastbourne Theatres box office 01323 412000 or via

September 1st 2013



On Saturday 7 September at 7.30PM – “Fused” – the season opening show for the Autumn 2013 season at Southsea Kings Theatre, combines local professional and amateur dancers performing contemporary, urban, and traditional dance styles for one night of high octane highly polished and fantastic dance routines. The evening is in aid of charity, so please do come along to support the fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Kings Theatre Trust.

For tickets please phone the box office on 023 9282 8282

Autumn and Winter Attractions

at Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome

The management team behind the newly branded Royal Hippodrome Theatre have     produced a new brochure to compliment its one page coverage in the main Eastbourne Theatres Brochure.  Members of the public should keep an eye out for it in all the usual places as well as tourist information centres, libraries and the like. The brochure highlights the varied programme coming to the Royal Hippodrome up until January 2014.

As part of its continuing mission of increasing the profile of Eastbourne’s 130 year old theatre the team have lined up some great shows.Highlights include the UK premiere of A Portrait of Matt Monro  before it embarks on a National Tour, the ever popular Billy Fury Story as well as the wonderful Blake in Concert. Other October highlights include Richard Digance, Elkie Brooks and Derek Acorah.

As part of its community brief, the theatre is hosting a special Big Gala Concert in Support of St. Wilfrid’s Hospice on 25th October and welcomes the Rattonian Youth Group for their half term production of Bugsy Malone.  The theatre is also piloting a new young children theatre show called, Henrietta Hippo’s Funhouse which is directed at children aged 3—10 years of age and is designed to bring children together from all backgrounds and locations    on a Saturday morning.

This coupled with the RHT Community Production of White Christmas ensures that the Hippodrome becomes a part of the local community whilst also bringing some touring professional productions like the hit musical, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee starring Darren Day on 15th and 16th November.

The Royal Hippodrome caters for all tastes with ticket prices for some shows starting at as little as just £4.  Get your brochure today or go online for more information or call the box office on 01323 412000

The Players' Theatre

& Wilton's Music Hall Present

A Wondrous Music Hall Night

We have invited the world famous Players' Theatre, one of the last surviving music hall companies, to close the British Music Hall Society's 50th Birthday party celebrations.

The Players’ Theatre Club have been recreating Victorian music hall for 75 years. Produced by Jan Hunt, spiritual grand-daughter of East End girl-turned-superstar Marie Lloyd, this show will feature songs, comedy, magic and that special staple of music hall - the audience sing-along.

Music hall developed as a form of popular entertainment in Britain in the 19th century. A mixture of songs, comedy, and speciality acts such as conjuring; it entertained patrons who were busy drinking and smoking the length and breadth of the country. Song sheets will be provided!.

"Anyone who enjoys a modern day alt-cabaret extravaganza such as La Cirque should be glad of the chance to see how the earlier generation laid down the conventions”

The Times

"A joyful outing to a forgotten era for fans of the genre”

The Stage

"This is cutting edge Victoriana… rich in the eccentricities beloved by the British and their visitors”

Time Out

August 11th 2013


John Lennon once said, “I want the Barron Knights to tour America with me”.  It’s obvious to see why.  Since the early days of the sixties the Barron Knights have been admired for their musicianship and great vocal harmonies and having had 14 comedy hit records worldwide makes them truly unique.  

The Barron Knights toured with the Beatles in 1963/64 and with the Rolling Stones in 1964/65. They have performed at the London Palladium more than 300 times, four shows for the Royal Family including one at Buckingham Palace. British Airways, Fords, Barclays, Singapore Airlines and many others have asked for their services.  They have written for Ken Dodd, Tom O’Connor and Andy Williams.  

The Barron Knights are supremely talented, a showbiz phenomenon and the best tonic the NHS could give the population”.  

The people of Eastbourne can pick up their prescriptions at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday 17th August at 7.30pm.    Tickets are £17 (£15 concessions).  Tickets are selling fast but are still available from the usual ticket outlets or by calling the box office 01323 412000 or going to

August 1st 2013


The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne is proud to announce that for the first time for over 15 years there will be a Christmas show at Eastbourne’s oldest theatre.

Irving Berlin’s spectacular Christmas musical, WHITE CHRISTMAS is coming to the Royal Hippodrome for the festive season.  A brand new production, with energetic choreography, dazzling costumes and a fantastic cast will delight audiences young and old.  A classic style musical based on the Paramount Pictures 1954 film of the same name.  Featuring classic songs such as Sisters, I love a Piano and the iconic White Christmas.

The new team in charge of the theatre, as part of its community brief, has set up RHT Community Productions who will be producing the Christmas musical.

Darren Weir, one of the directors of the company said, “Eastbourne has a long and established history of local community theatre with some fantastic local talent.  There are just too many groups to mention.  Everybody knows of each other but individuals may not have had an opportunity to be on stage together.  

"This project is about bringing all that talent and more together and revitalising the Royal Hippodrome and helping to give it a purpose. We are also very grateful to the Arndale Shopping Centre for agreeing to be our headline sponsor as a sign of their support for what we are trying to do at the Hippodrome”.

A special licence has been obtained from Rogers and Hammerstein who own the rights to the production.  They do not usually grant such a long licence but were interested in hearing about the regeneration of the Hippodrome and made an exception.

The RHT are bringing together a dynamic new creative team as award winning director/choreographer Sarah Dormady and accomplished Musical Director Nicola Brazier come together for the first time to create what promises to be an exciting production.

The run will start with six Thursday matinee performances starting on 7th November    followed by a fuller run from 19th December—4th January.  Ticket prices are between £10 and £14.50.  

Tickets are on sale now from the Eastbourne Theatres Box Office (01323 412000) and online at  Group bookings are also encouraged with further discounts available via e-mail or by calling 01323 726756.

July 25th 2013


On Saturday 3rd August the renowned clarinettist, Mr Acker Bilk MBE makes a welcome return to Eastbourne’s oldest theatre, The Royal Hippodrome.

Initially associated with the British traditional or "trad" jazz movement, Acker Bilk rose to prominence in Britain and the United States as the bandleader responsible for the hit instrumental Stranger on the Shore, which became the theme song of a popular British television series.

With a career spanning over 60 years, in November 2008 Acker was awarded The Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal for Lifetime Achievement, and April 2009 saw the Variety Club honouring Acker with A Tribute to Acker and his Music.

Acker's music has also been enjoyed in Outer Space. A cassette belonging to Gene Cernan was flown around the moon in Apollo10. This cassette featured the likes of Doris Day, Kingston Trio and Acker Bilk, the music that Gene and his friend Al Bishop thought was best suited for his forthcoming journey in that time. This cassette is still in existence and is owned by Larry McGlynn who lives in USA and collects items that have been flown in space. Acker seems to be everywhere, his fans are from all around the World and the Moon!     

Acker Bilk MBE is in high demand and only performs at a couple of venues a month and it has been over 10 years since he was last in Eastbourne and so the Hippodrome is proud to welcome back an old friend.

Tickets are £19 each or £17.50 for concessions and the show starts at 8pm.  Tickets are available from the usual Eastbourne Theatre outlets and

July 13th 2013


Multi-talented and much-loved comedian, actor, writer and musician Adrian ‘Ade’ Edmondson has been confirmed in the cast of Neville’s Island at Chichester’s Theatre in the Park this summer.

He will play Gordon, one of four businessman sent off on a team building exercise in Tim Firth’s comedy about a disastrous outward bound expedition. They succeed in becoming the first people ever to get shipwrecked on an island in the Lake District. What should have been a bonding process turns into a muddy, bloody fight for survival amid a carnival of recrimination, French cricket and sausages.

Edmondson rose to prominence during the 1980s when he became best known for roles in the BBC comedy series’ The Young Ones and Bottom, in which he appeared alongside his long-time collaborative partner Rik Mayall. Edmondson also appeared in The Comic Strip Presents…TV series. Other screen credits include The Supergrass, Jonathan Creek, Holby City, Miss Austen Regrets and Teenage Kicks, which he also co-wrote. He formed the band The Bad Shepherds and has also written and performed for the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. He has also appeared as a regular TV presenter on programmes such as Ade in Britain and The Dales and was a finalist in the 2011 series of Let’s Dance for Comic Relief.

Edmondson features in Neville’s Island alongside actor and comedian Rufus Hound, with further casting still to be announced.

Neville’s Island will be the second production staged in the Theatre in the Park, a temporary state-of-the-art auditorium which has been built while the Festival Theatre’s £22 million RENEW redevelopment continues. Directed by Angus Jackson - the director of the Olivier Award-winning production Goodnight Mister Tom - this promises to be a technically and visually ambitious staging of a darkly funny play. Jackson also directed If Only, which plays at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, until 27 July.

Neville’s Island runs in the Theatre in the Park from 11 – 28 September, Evenings 7.30pm (except for Press Night, Friday 20 September, 7pm). Matinees 2.30pm. 18 – 25 tickets £8.50, other tickets from £10.

To book, visit or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312

July 8th 2013

July 4th 2013

Legends Chas and Dave are coming to the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne on Saturday 13th July at 7.30pm.  The duo are an inspiration to many new and young bands and their popularity amongst younger crowds is ever increasing.  Word of their visit to Eastbourne has spread like wild fire and already most of the seats are now sold.

 RHT Management are pleased to announce the opening of the Hippodrome’s Grand Circle Seating and restricted view seating.  (The Grand Circle seats are not for those afraid of heights mind you—but what a view!)

 Limited regular priced tickets are available at £24.50—the newly opened seats are priced at £15 each.  Call the box office on 01323 412000 or go to and follow the link.   But be quick—once they’re gone there are no more!

June 25th 2013


As part of the continuing development of the Hippodrome Theatre, the RHT has organised  a summer school for children for anyone aged 7—18 years of age. The Summer School is being run by Trapdoor Theatre School and the Ratton Acadamy of    Performing Arts.

Around 80 students will be put through their paces as they prepare for the culmination of the summer school, two performances of Stiles and Drewe’s “Just So” based on the immortal short stories of Rudyard Kipling on 24th August at 2.30 and 7.30pm.

There are a few spaces still available for this amazing opportunity to take part in a summer school in Eastbourne’s oldest theatre.  The Summer School runs daily from 19– 24 August.  For more information on how to take part in the summer school E-mail or call 01323 638368.  (Tickets to the performances cost £10 each and are available from Eastbourne Theatres’ usual outlets or the box office on 01323 412000)

For more information on the RHT please see our website

May 29th 2013

Eastbourne Royal Hippodrome gets ready for 2nd One Night Stand

Sophie Evans will be making her first ever appearance in Eastbourne in a one off concert at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre taking place on Saturday 8 June.

The programme consists of 30 great songs. Highlights of the concert include Sophie performing songs such as Make You Feel My Love, One Night Only and of course Over the Rainbow. There are songs from musicals such as Wicked and Miss Saigon. Her multi talented guest Tim Prottey-Jones will perform two songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, the brilliant Send in the Clowns and the Beatles classic The Long and Winding Road.

Also on the bill are 30 local children from Eastbourne Stagecoach and Cavendish School. They come together to support Sophie on Sing which was written specially for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and was performed by the Military Wives Choir at the Jubilee concert.

Although you may not have seen Sophie in concert she does possess a stunning voice and this will definitely be a concert you won't want to miss. So book your ticket now available at or at the box office 01323 412000.

(Tickets £15,50  - £16.50 with £2 concessions.)

May 19th 2013


Few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi-award winning Blood Brothers. Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, Blood Brothers has triumphed across the globe.

Now, as the show celebrates its 25th Anniversary, two of stage’s most famous brothers hit Newcastle Theatre Royal, Monday 10 – Saturday 22 June.

Scooping up no less than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable. It tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited, by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret.

When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children, she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet. It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax.

‘You’ve never seen a musical like Blood Brothers. Every night of the week audiences stand and cheer. See it for yourself and understand why.’ New York Times

‘Brings the audience to its feet in roaring approval’ Daily Mail

Voted most popular British musical of time by New York Time readers, the memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

Incredible show stopping music, remarkable staging and devastating five star performances put Blood Brothers in a league of its own. The sensational cast includes, Maureen Nolan, in the role of Mrs Johnstone – a role she played in the West End, and that sisters Bernie, Denise and Linda have also played. Original cast member Warick Evans stars as the narrator and Sean Jones will play Mickey, a part he has played both in the West End and on the national tour.

Written by Willy Russell, one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. Willy Russell’s countless credits include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita enjoyed a two year run in the West End and was later made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.

Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright.

Blood Brothers appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from 10 – 22 June 2013 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thursday 2pm and Saturday 2.30pm). Tickets are available from £14.00 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or book online and select your own seat

May 19th 2013



Minerva Theatre, Chichester

14 June – 27 July

Angus Jackson - director of the 2013 Olivier Award-winning production Goodnight Mister Tom - returns to Chichester with the world premiere of If Only by David Edgar.  This political drama is a witty and astute exploration of the moral dilemmas at the heart of coalition government.  

It’s 16 April 2010, the day after the first prime ministerial debate. Stranded in Malaga Airport by the Icelandic ash-cloud, a Labour special advisor, a Lib Dem staffer and a Tory candidate consider their options. Can their parties survive without them? How will they get back home? And who’ll end up in government?

Fast forward to 4 August 2014 when the three politicians meet again. One of them knows something that could change the outcome of the 2015 election. Should they reveal it? And at what cost?

David Edgar’s plays include Destiny, Pentecost and Written on the Heart for the RSC and The Shape of the Table and Playing with Fire for the National Theatre. His multi award-wininng RSC adaptation of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby was revived by Chichester in 2006, followed by his new version of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder in 2010.

Associate Director Angus Jackson’s credits for Chichester include Goodnight Mister Tom (also West End and UK tour), The Browning Version (also West End), Canvas, Bingo (also Young Vic), Wallenstein and Funny Girl. He will direct Neville’s Island at Chichester’s Theatre in the Park in September. He has also directed Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Rocket to the Moon and The Power of Yes for the National Theatre.

May 5th 2013

May 4th 2013


in association with CAMERON MACKINTOSH





Music by CY COLEMAN   Lyrics by MICHAEL STEWART                                                                                                                               Book by MARK BRAMBLE

(In a Revised Version by

Cameron Mackintosh and Mark Bramble)

15 July – 31 August

Theatre in the Park, Chichester


Chichester Festival Theatre will unveil its temporary state-of-the-art auditorium, Theatre in the Park, with a major new production of the musical Barnum, presented in association with Cameron Mackintosh.

The production will be co-directed by

Timothy Sheader, Artistic Director

of the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park and LiamSteel,

with rising Broadway star Christopher Fitzgerald in the title role,

alongside the award-winning Tamsin Carroll as Barnum’s wife, Chairy.  

Christopher Fitzgerald will play P T Barnum.

A rising star on Broadway, he has garnered great acclaim for roles such as Boq in the original cast of Wicked; Og in Finian’s Rainbow, for which he received Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations and won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical; Young Frankenstein (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations); Amour (Drama Desk nomination); and Launcelot Gobbo opposite Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice.

.  The purpose-built temporary building will house 1,400 seats and a thrust stage. It will be just a few minutes stroll across Oaklands Park from the Festival Theatre site.  

 Jonathan Church, Artistic Director, Chichester Festival Theatre, said: “At the point that RENEW was given the go-ahead we had already been discussing with Cameron Mackintosh the idea of taking a completely new look at Barnum in Chichester. It was our belief that the thrust stage and ‘concrete tent’ nature of the theatre might be a good environment to reinvent this brilliant musical”.

“However, the news that we were going to move out of the theatre and create a temporary performance space led to an even more perfect possibility – Barnum in a tent!

  We are obviously thrilled by the prospect of this production for our audiences and to be working with Cameron Mackintosh, Timothy Sheader and a wonderful cast led by Christopher Fitzgerald and Tamsin Carroll on this exciting adventure.”

 Co-producer Cameron Mackintosh said: “Listening to the Barnum score, by chance, about eight years ago, I was again attracted to its dynamic personal story, the infectious rousing score and universal timelessness. I realised that the true heart of the story is the relationship between Barnum and his wife, Chairy, a couple that needed each other.

 Sadly, by this time, Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart, the writers of the original music and lyrics were dead. However, the book’s author, Mark Bramble, who I’ve known for many years, was very much alive. He was eager to collaborate on rebuilding a new version of the show with a considerably reconstructed score”.

 “I am thrilled we have found an American, Christopher Fitzgerald, a Tony-nominated actor whose reputation is poised to explode at exactly the same time in his theatrical career as Jim Dale’s did when Barnum first opened on Broadway. I am also delighted that Jonathan Church’s charming nagging and personal enthusiasm for Barnum over the years has helped to bring this project to fruition.

March 17th 2013


Words and music by RICHARD ADLER and JERRY ROSS


Based on Bissell’s novel 7̐½ Cents


Choreographer STEPHEN MEAR

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

22 April – 8 June

Distinguished director Richard Eyre returns to Chichester to open Festival 2013 with the evergreen Broadway musical, The Pajama Game.

Love is in the air at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory as handsome new Superintendent Sid Sorokin falls head-over-heels for firebrand Union rep Babe Williams. But when the employees are refused a seven-and-a-half cents an hour raise, sparks fly and the couple find themselves deliciously at odds. Will love, eventually, conquer all in this delightful romantic comedy?

The Pajama Game includes the songs Hey There (You With The Stars In Your Eyes), Hernando’s Hideaway and Steam Heat.

March 12th 2013

March 6th 2013


March 1st 2013



Theatre in the Park, a temporary state-of-the-art auditorium, will stage two productions at the heart of Chichester’s Festival 2013. The brand new space will be erected in June while the £22 million RENEW redevelopment of the Festival Theatre continues.

 Mirroring the Festival Theatre’s auditorium, the purpose-built temporary building will house 1,400 seats and a thrust stage. It will be just a few minutes’ stroll across Oaklands Park from the Festival Theatre site. Theatre in the Park will be unveiled with a major revival of the musical   Barnum presented in association with Cameron Mackintosh. Directed by Timothy Sheader,  Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, this production will star the versatile and consummate Broadway entertainer Christopher Fitzgerald in the title role.

 Angus Jackson directs Neville’s Island, the second production to be staged in the Theatre in  the Park. Tim Firth’s comedy about a disastrous outward bound expedition promises to be a  technically and visually ambitious staging.

 Richard Eyre returns to Chichester to direct the musical The Pajama Game, which opens the Festival season in the Minerva Theatre. (Love is in the air at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory but sparks fly when employees are refused a pay rise.)

 Other highlights of Festival 2013 include the return of the critically acclaimed productionThe  Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht—one of the undoubted hits of Festival 2012.  Directed by Chichester’s Artistic Director, Jonathan Church, the production will once again  feature Henry Goodman reprising his award-winning performance in the title role. Set in Chicago in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the play is a powerful and sharp-witted parable of the rise of Hitler. Following the Chichester run, the play will transfer to the West End’s Duchess Theatre.

February 10th 2013


The London Philharmonic Orchestra continues its 2012/13 season at Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre with a concert of

orchestral contrasts on Sunday 17 March.

Sibelius’s Second Symphony has long been thought of as a symphony of liberation. Composed while Finland was

under Russian rule, the Symphony’s rousing and triumphant finale has often been seen as a comment by the

composer on the country’s much-desired freedom.

The striving unity of the Orchestra in Sibelius’s Second Symphony is contrasted with the solo violin of Bruch’s muchloved Violin Concerto No. 1. The weave of the violin captures the audience as it floats, battles and rhapsodises against

an orchestral mass that sometimes supports, sometimes cajoles and sometimes contradicts. Award-winning violinist

Jarosław Nadrzycki, who made his debut with the Moscow Conservatoire Orchestra at the age of 12, takes the solo

part of this radiant Violin Concerto, having performed to great acclaim with the Simón Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela

and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Opening the concert is John Ireland’s London Overture, which instantly evokes sleepy London mornings and the

bustling city streets of the day.

Booking information

Tickets £12 - £24 | Premium Seats £28 | Group discounts of 20% available

Congress Theatre Box Office 01323 412000 |

January 10th 2013

December 11th 2012


In association with the Black Swan Folk Club, York Literature Festival 2013 presents a rare chance to see two unique talents on stage together, fusing storytelling and music to great effect. Martin Carthy's career spans more than 50 years and his work has inspired artists such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Richard Thompson. He has performed on dozens of albums and is one of the most respected elder statesmen of English folk and acoustic music.

Peter Robinson is an acclaimed crime writer who has published 25 novels since 1987. His stories featuring Inspector Banks are set in the fictional North Yorkshire town of Eastvale, modelled on places like Ripon and Richmond. He has received many writing awards and his books have been translated into 19 languages. A second television series about DCI Banks was shown on ITV in Autumn 2012.

 Miles Salter, Festival Director, said: 'We are very pleased to welcome Martin Carthy and Peter Robinson to York Literature Festival 2013. It's great to welcome them as both have significant links with York or North Yorkshire, and Peter Robinson did a PhD in English at the University of York.

As a festival, we are interested in staging literature related events in ways that capture the imagination, and this event is sure to do that. I'm looking forward to seeing Martin and Peter in action.'

This concert will sell out so make sure you book your tickets early! Tickets priced £14 are on sale NOW from the National Centre for Early Music.  Phone 01904  658338 or visit for more information.

More news about York Literature Festival 2013 soon!

November 24th 2012


The clocks have gone back, the evenings are darker and there’s a chill in the air, which must mean one thing…. Christmas is on its way, and Eastbourne Theatres has plenty in store for that perfect festive celebration.

An exciting star-filled autumn season draws to a close but with an array of music, dance and festive treats, not to mention the famous Eastbourne Pantomime, there is still much to see at Eastbourne Theatres, giving you the perfect excuse to celebrate Christmas in style this Winter.

The Congress Theatre plays host to a number of concerts this December which are sure to put you in the festive spirit. Starting the ball rolling on Saturday 1 December is 10cc In Concert. Celebrating their 40th Anniversary the band, formed in Stockport in 1972, bring their brand new concert to Eastbourne. From their breakthrough debut single Donna to their final No 1 Dreadlock Holiday via all their hits along the way, this night is sure to get you up on your feet.

If you want to party, get your dancing shoes on for Dancing Queen In Concert on Sunday 2 December. Packed full of the 70s biggest hits from Abba, Grease and others, this party show is sure to have the whole family dancing in the aisles.

If you’re looking for something different then why not catch the Eastbourne debut of the Russian State Ballet and Opera House who are presenting a double bill of ballet classics, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty complete with live orchestra from Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 December.

And, if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite then the Congress Theatre also welcomes Beyond the Barricade, returning to the venue with all the greatest West End hits on Saturday 15 December, That’ll Be The Day Christmas Show on Sunday 16 December and Christmas With The Rat Pack, set to beat the winter blues away with classic hits such as Baby, It’s Cold Outside, White Christmas and Winter Wonderland on Tuesday 18 December.

Not one to be left out, the Devonshire Park Theatre invites you to the perfect festive celebration as the famous Eastbourne pantomime returns for its 12th year! Sleeping Beauty runs from 13 December – 13 January and stars the fantastic Bernie Nolan as the Evil Carabosse, local comedian Tucker as Chester the Jester and the South’s favourite Dame, Martyn Knight, who returns for his ninth year as Dame Nellie Night-Nurse. Packed full of all the essential ingredients that make an Eastbourne pantomime special this dream of a show is one not to be missed.

For the perfect festive celebration you can book tickets by calling Box Office on 01323 412000 or visit for full listings.

November 20th 2012

October 3rd 2012



Devonshire Park Theatre

Thursday 8 – Saturday 10 November, 7:45pm

Friday & Saturday Matinees 2:30pm

Chaucer’s classic text is brought up to date in this exciting new adaptation of The Canterbury Tales which comes to Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre from 8-10 November.

Following its acclaimed run at Southwark Playhouse, Tacit Theatre’s uniquely immersive production of The Canterbury Tales comes to Eastbourne. Putting the audience at the heart of the action this fascinating production brings the medieval masterpiece right up to date, through an explosion of live music, storytelling and general mischief.

At turns enchanting, scandalous and disgusting the tales unfold in a mixture of story and song as this multi-talented ensemble cast of rogues and wenches tell stories to entertain each other on their journey to Canterbury.

In The Knight’s Tale, The Miller’s Tale, The Friar’s Tale and The Summoner’s Tale and others, Chaucer’s characters remain as engaging and recognizable as they were in the 14th century.

Featuring live folk music and stories that are not for the faint-hearted, this is storytelling theatre like no other.

Please note: This productions has an age recommendation of 14 and over.

The Canterbury Tales is at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne from Thursday 8 – Saturday 10 November at 7.45pm. Friday and Saturday Matinees 2:30pm. Tickets are priced from £13.50 - £18 with concessions available. To book call Box Office on 01323 412000 or online at

September 27th 2012
















INFORMATION on 01502 712329

September 18th 2012


Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Tuesday 9 October, 2.30pm. Enjoy an afternoon of classic Variety when the Best of British Variety and Music Hall comes to the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne


The spirit of music hall and good old fashioned variety comes to Eastbourne with this delightful afternoon show. With an array of variety performers, Best of British Variety and Music Hall is sure to brighten up the greyest of October days.

Starring legendary comedy star Stu “I Could Crush A Grape” Francis, West End singing star Marilyn Hill, and local Eastbourne ventriloquist, Steve Hewlett, this production has all the spirit of the variety days.

Joining the cast will be Illusionists Van Buren and Allyson, impressionist Adam Daye, 50s singer Jamie Steen and the Martyn St James Band.

Keeping a watchful eye on proceedings is your host and Chairman, Mervyn Francis, there to ensure you all enjoy the spirit of yesteryear in this special matinee performance.

Best of British Variety and Music Hall is at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne on Tuesday 9 October at 2.30pm. Tickets are £13.50 (concessions available) and can be purchased from Box Office on             01323 412000       or online at  

August 16th 2012

August 12th 2012

Kim Cattrall   Michael Pennington

Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

Director Janet Suzman

7 – 29 September

Chichester Festival Theatre

International screen and stage star Kim Cattrall leads the cast of William Shakespeare’s enthralling depiction of politics and passion, alongside distinguished actor Michael Pennington, in the final production at Chichester’s Festival Theatre this summer.

Desire and duty collide in Shakespeare’s captivating tragedy in which two charismatic leaders, Mark Antony of Rome and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, are caught in an all-encompassing love that threatens the Empire. Like Romeo and Juliet, this is the tale of two impassioned lovers, doomed by the complexities of the world in which they live. But unlike the youth of Shakespeare’s earlier tale, Antony and Cleopatra play out their tragic story among warring countries, where their relationship stirs jealousies and hostilities in the Roman and Egyptian political worlds.

July 26th 2012


Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins

Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 August

Theatre on the Fly

Chichester Festival Theatre

Award-winning actress and screenwriter Eileen Atkins will recreate the persona of the most famous British actress of the 19th century to deliver two timeless speeches on Shakespeare’s Women at Theatre on the Fly in Chichester.

Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins shines a light on Shakespeare’s portrayal of women with two addresses that remain as timeless and relevant as when they were first delivered over 100 years ago. Ellen Terry was born into a family of actors in the mid-1800s and was still a child when she first began acting in Shakespearean plays. She eventually joined the company run by actor-manager Henry Irving and for more than two decades was considered the leading Shakespearean and comic actress in Britain. Two of her most famous roles were Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

In 1910 Terry embarked on a tour of America, delivering a series of lectures on Shakespeare's heroines. On her return to England, she continued to present these lectures between regular stage appearances over the next few years.

Eileen Atkin’s career has encompassed award-winning roles on stage and screen. Her Chichester credits include The Cocktail Party, Vivat! Vivat Regina!, A Room of One’s Own and Vita and Virginia, and West End productions of The Sea and The Female of the Species.

July 19th 2012



Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

13 December 2012 - 13 January 2013

Eastbourne's famous pantomime for 2012 is the family favourite, Sleeping Beauty, with Bernie Nolan will be starring as the evil villainess Carabosse.

 Bernie is no stranger to Eastbourne she recently starred in the hit West End show Chicago at the Congress Theatre, and made her first Eastbourne

appearance at the same theatre 34 years ago in summer season with Ronnie Corbett.

During her time in the town Bernie said: "I love coming to Eastbourne, it's such a lovely place with lovely people and Beachy Head is truly awesome. I love

appearing in pantomime; Christmas is such a special time to spend with family.         I live around an hour and half away from Eastbourne so I will be able to see my

family over the festive period which will be wonderful!"

As lead singer of the Nolan Sisters Bernie conquered the pop charts with hits including: I'm in the Mood for Dancing, Don't Make Waves, Attention to Me and

Gotta Pull Myself Together. The Nolan's sold millions of records worldwide, particularly in Japan where they sold over 9 million albums.

She went onto become one of the nations favourite personalities on stage and        TV in shows including Brookside and The Bill. She regularly performs in smash

hit West End shows including; Flashdance and Blood Brothers where her devastatingly moving performances always brought standing ovations.

Of performing in pantomime, Bernie said: "What I love most about appearing in pantomime is that it's such fun and a little less serious than a straight play or a

musical, but given the choice I'd much rather play a Baddie, Goodies are boring!"

Sleeping Beauty tells the story of the beautiful princess who is cursed by the evil Carabosse to sleep for 100 years and can only be awoken by true love's


 With tickets priced from just £10.50, and some performances already almost sold out the advice is book early to ensure the best seats for your family this Christmas!

To book call the box office on

01323 412000 or online  

June   18th





6 July – 25 August

Chichester Festival Theatre

Derek Jacobi returns to Chichester Festival Theatre during its 50th Anniversary season in Heartbreak House, Bernard Shaw’s comic exploration of love and social mores. The notable cast also includes Emma Fielding and Ronald Pickup.

Bernard Shaw, the master of wit and social commentary, brilliantly debates money and morality, idealism and realism, as he chronicles a society teetering on the threshold of enormous change. On the brink of World War I, Ellie Dunn, her father and her fiancée attend a house party at the home of eccentric Captain Shotover. The guests are soon divided by Ellie’s pragmatic decision to marry for money, not love.

June 12th 2012

Chichester Festival Theatre

June 18th to September 1st

Box Office (01243) 781312

Alex Bourne and Hannah Waddingham lead the distinguished cast of Kiss Me, Kate at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer, alongside David Burt, Adam Garcia and Clive Rowe. This musical production directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Stephen Mear, is at the heart of the Festival Theatre’s 50th anniversary season.

Featuring music and lyrics by Cole Porter, with book by Sam and Bella Spewack, Kiss Me, Kate is an exuberant show-within-a-show, bringing together the worlds of gun-toting gangsters, sparring actors and Shakespeare’s original characters from The Taming of the Shrew.

 Alex Bourne will play Fred Graham/Petruchio. His theatre credits include West End productions of We Will Rock You, Chicago, Grease, Beauty and the Beast and Only The Lonely and Showboat (RSC and Opera North) as well as the national tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

Hannah Waddingham will play Lilli Vanessi/Kate. Her theatre credits include the West End production of The Wizard of Oz for which she received the 2012 Whatsonstage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, Into the Woods (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), for which she received a Whatsonstage Award nomination, A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory and West End) and Spamalot (Broadway and West End), receiving Olivier Award nominations for both productions, as well as West End productions of Grease, The Beautiful Game, for which she received a Critics’ Circle Award nomination, and Lautrec.

David Burt will play Gangster 1. His theatre credits include the West End productions of Crazy for You, The Woman in White, the title role in Edmund Kean, for which he received an Evening Standard Award nomination, the original RSC and West End production of Les Misérables, Cats, Evita and La Traviata (Donmar Warehouse), for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. Other credits include The Merchant of Venice, Candide and Troilus and Cressida (all for the National Theatre) and The Beggar’s Opera (RSC) for which he received an Olivier Award nomination.

Adam Garcia will play Bill Calhoun/Lucentio. His theatre credits include West End productions of Grease, Saturday Night Fever (in which he played the central character Tony Manero), Wicked and Tap Dogs. He was recently a judge on television's Got To Dance; other screen credits include Brittania High, Wilde, Coyote Ugly and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Clive Rowe will play Gangster 2. His theatre credits include the role of One Round in the recent West End production of The Ladykillers, West End productions of The Fantasticks and Chicago, Twelfth Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Troilus and Cressida (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), Caroline, or Change, Candide and Peter Pan (all for the National Theatre), Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre, for which he received an Olivier Award, Carousel at the National Theatre, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination, Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night for the RSC, and Carmen Jones at The Old Vic. Rowe’s credits also include numerous acclaimed performances as a Dame in pantomimes at the Hackney Empire, and his role in the popular children’s BBC TV drama series Tracy Beaker.

The cast also includes Michelle Bishop, Kevin Brewis, Wendy Mae Brown, Christopher Dickins, Paul Grunert, Mark Heenehan, Shaun Henson, Samuel Holmes, Holly James, Richard Jones, Carolyn Maitland, Jo Morris, Harry Morrison, Jason Pennycooke, Tanya Robb, Warren Sollars, Holly Dale Spencer and Kate Tydman.

Trevor Nunn has been Artistic Director of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He has directed some of the most critically acclaimed and popular musical and Shakespearean productions in recent decades.  His musical credits include Porgy and Bess, My Fair Lady, The Woman in White, Les Misérables, Starlight Express and Cats. Other theatre credits include Flare Path, Rock ‘n’ Roll, King Lear, Hamlet and Macbeth. His Chichester credits are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which transferred to the West End in 2011, and Cyrano de Bergerac.

19th  May 2012



Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Wednesday 13 June, 7.30pm

Entertainer and performer Joe Longthorne is back on the road, and returning to Eastbourne with a new show at the Congress Theatre on Wednesday 13 June.

Joe's repertoire of voices is endless and includes hundreds of the world's top singers, including; Lionel Richie, Dean Martin, Elvis, Stevie Wonder and Cliff Richard. However he is perhaps best known for his impersonation of Shirley Bassey who has even commented; "Joe can do me better than I can do myself".

With a career spanning over three decades, Joe began with appearances on Junior Showtime, followed by a grounding on the tough Northern club circuit.

His big break came in 1981 when he was a finalist on London Weekend Television's Search for a Star, which led to appearances at the London Palladium with Bob Hope and The Talk of the Town. A short time later, Joe received the Variety Club of Britain award as Most Promising Artist of the Year, after which television specials in both the UK and US followed.

During his career, Joe has received gold and platinum discs for his albums, enjoyed sell-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as touring Australia several times.

In 2007 Joe was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Variety Club of Britain. Tributes were made by a host of famous names including: Ricky Tomlinson, Barbara Windsor, Engelbert Humperdinck and Lord Archer.

Now, Joe is looking forward to new challenges, new songs to sing and new audiences to thrill with his unique talent and irrepressible zest for life.

Catch Joe Longthorne at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne on Wednesday 13 June at 7.30pm. Tickets priced at £18 and £19.50 available from box office, 01323 412000 or online

15th May 2012


26 June – 2 September

As Chichester Festival Theatre celebrates 50 years of internationally renowned work, Festival 2012 looks to the future with Theatre on the Fly, a temporary new space for the next generation of theatre-makers and theatre-goers.

Theatre on the Fly echoes the exciting traditions of The Tent, a second auditorium which appeared opposite the Festival Theatre in 1983. The Tent nurtured a generation of emerging theatre-makers such as Sam Mendes and housed productions which were often more experimental than those on the main stage. The success of The Tent prompted the creation of the Minerva Theatre on the same site.

With the support of the Heller Foundation and Arts Council England, three young directors have trained at Chichester Festival Theatre during the last five years.  Now, their debut Chichester productions – Blue Remembered Hills, Playhouse Creatures and Fred’s Diner - will be at the heart of the Theatre on the Fly season. The space will also house an eclectic season of late night comedy, live music and cabaret, the Youth Theatre’s production of Noah, theatre activities for children, and Anniversary readings.

Theatre on the Fly is to be designed and built by Assemble, an award-winning collective of young artists, designers and architects specialising in creating temporary arts structures from reclaimed and donated materials. Their previous projects include The Cineroleum, which transformed a derelict petrol station in Clerkenwell into a hand-built cinema, and Folly for a Flyover which turned a cavernous gap between East and Westbound traffic on the A12 into a waterside arts venue.

In the best traditions of the original Festival Theatre, the temporary space will be built with community support from B&Q, who have sponsored the construction, Friends, Youth Theatre members, supporters and anyone else who wants to take part in the creation of this spectacular structure. Email for more information about how to participate in this project.



26 June – 14 July

During a summer afternoon during the Second World War, a group of seven-year-olds play, fight, fantasise and swagger. Events take a darker turn as childlike games begin to reveal fears, hostilities and rivalries. In this celebrated play, originally written for television, the roles of children are played by adults.

Dennis Potter was an acclaimed English television screenwriter and journalist, best known for the BBC TV serial, The Singing Detective. Other credits include Lipstick on Your Collar, Brimstone and Treacle and Pennies from Heaven.

Anna Ledwich trained at Chichester Festival Theatre from 2008 – 2010. Her directing credits include Dream Story and Lulu (Gate Theatre), Lovely and Misfit (Trafalgar Studios) and A Christmas Carol (with Dale Rooks, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre). She was Associate Director for Private Lives (Toronto/Broadway) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (West End/Sydney International Festival). She is a recipient of the Gate/Headlong Theatre Award.



19 July – 11 August

After 17 years of puritanical rule, Charles II has been restored to the throne and at his command, the theatres have finally re-opened. But for the first time in English history, women are allowed to perform on stage. This exuberant, witty play looks at the plight of the first actresses to tread the boards, stripping away the costumes and make-up to reveal their determination, spirit and sheer nerve.

April De Angelis’ recent work includes Jumpy (Royal Court Theatre), A Gloriously Mucky Business (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith) and Calais (Paines Plough). Other credits include Ironmistress (Young Vic), Hush (Royal Court Theatre), The Positive Hour (Out of Joint/Hampstead Theatre), A Warwickshire Testimony (RSC) and Wild East (Royal Court Theatre). She has also written for Glyndebourne and English National Opera.

Michael Oakley trained at Chichester Festival Theatre from 2010 – 2011. He won the JMK Award for Young Directors for which he directed Edward II (BAC). Other credits include The Changeling (Southwark Playhouse), Graceland (Old Vic New Voices) and Shooting Truth (Chichester Festival Youth Theatre & NT Connections). He was most recently Associate Director of The King’s Speech in the West End.

Playhouse Creatures contains language and themes of an adult nature.


Director TIM HOARE

15 August – 2 September

Fred’s American Diner on a busy English motorway. Chloe wants to emigrate, Melissa dreams of university, Heather wants to rebuild her life, Sunny wants Heather – and someone is going to kill Fred. This comic and disturbing new thriller by an acclaimed young writer serves up an unsettling portrayal of human relationships.

Penelope Skinner’s first play, Fucked, was a sell-out smash hit and Critics’ Choice in Time Out. Her recent play, The Village Bike (Royal Court Theatre) won the George Devine Award and the Most Promising Playwright Award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Tim Hoare was the final Heller Foundation director trained at Chichester Festival Theatre from 2010 – 2012. He assisted on Penelope Skinner’s Eigengrau at the Bush Theatre, has assistant and associate directed several Chichester productions, and directed the revival of Yes, Prime Minister in the Festival Theatre earlier this year.

Fred’s Diner contains strong language and themes some may find distressing; not suitable for children.

The designer of the three productions is Andrew D Edwards. His theatre credits include Backbeat (co-designer West End), Les Parents Terrible (Donmar Warehouse), Lettice and Lovage, Single Spies, Heroes and Educating Rita (Watermill), A Voyage Around My Father (Salisbury Playhouse), Measure for Measure (Theatre Royal Plymouth/UK tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (Madrid/European tour), No, It Was You (Arcola Theatre) and The Increased Difficulty of Concentration (Gate Theatre).

Blue Remembered Hills, Playhouse Creatures and Fred’s Diner will be at Theatre on the Fly, Evenings 8pm, Matinees 3pm. Tickets £17, with concessions and day seats available. To book online, go to or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.

In addition to these three productions, there will be a mix of readings, late night music and cabaret, events and workshops. Tickets free - £10. For further information go to or view the Theatre on the Fly e-brochure.

10th May 2012




Tuesday’s 8 & 22 May, 5 June, 10 & 24 July, 14 & 28 August, 4 & 18 September 2012

                                                            5pm Winter Garden, Floral Hall                                                              

Eastbourne’s legendary Tea Dances promise to put a spring in your step as they continue every month at the Winter Garden, Floral Hall throughout the summer.  Providing exquisite musical accompaniment in the stunning setting of the Floral Hall ballroom is                 Chris Mannion, who will once again take the helm for this summer.

The Winter Garden, a Grade II listed building, was built in 1875 and the Floral Hall used to house a skating rink in the winter, a concert hall in the summer and has since played host to many live music, dance and corporate events. A venue that is stooped in rich history makes the Floral Hall the perfect place to dance along to the music of days gone by. No matter what!

14th  April 2012


Andy Eastwood writes: Five instruments owned by the wonderful legend of comedy, KEN GOODWIN, are now for sale on my website. Ken would have turned 79 yesterday but he passed away in February after suffering Alzheimers for some time. His wife Vicki asked me to advertise these ukes, which will be of interest not only to players but anyone who is fond of showbiz/variety history!

9th April 2012


We are delighted to welcome the King of the Diddymen, Ken Dodd OBE, to the Profile pages of the next Edition of OLD THEATRES magazine. Ken is, indeed, Britain's master of mirth as he talks to our Chairman, Terry Kirtland, about his love of entertainment and for all his fans who pack out Britain's theatres where he performs.

Ken certainly knows his audiences, and in this delightful feature, he tells us about his early days on stage and the thrill he had when he first appeared at the famous London Palladium. He also recalls his many visits 'on stage' at Leeds City Varieties and says it was an honour to be on stage there at the re-opening of the refurbished venue.

Ken is also very proud of his Liverpool roots and to have been awarded The Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2008. He tells us he has been privileged to perform for the Royal family on many occasions, and it was an honour when H.M. the Queen bestowed the OBE on him in 1982. "My greatest pleasure is making people laugh", he says.

Commenting on OLD THEATRES magazine, Ken added: "It is an excellent publication. There is nothing like it. It is theatre nostalgia at its best. May it continue to go from strength to strength". Ken, you are a national treasure, and so say all of us !

30th March 2012


Saturday 7 April Winter Garden, Eastbourne

10am – 11:30pm, Various Session Times

As an outstanding venue for dance, the Winter Garden has a National and International reputation for elegance, quality and flexibility with its three ballrooms, and now local dancers have the opportunity to experience this in this Ballroom Extravaganza, perfect for the Easter Weekend.

This unique day of Social Dancing includes an outstanding dance programme of Modern Ballroom/Latin, Argentine Tango and Social Sequence dancing, plus ‘Learn & Improve’ classes, as well as helpful supervised practice.

The all day event includes Coffee Dances, Tea Dances and a Gala Evening in each of the three disciplines and dancers are welcome to visit each of the Ballrooms to enjoy developing and improving their dancing in each of the individual styles, as well as enjoy the exqusite surroundings of each Ballroom.

The spectacular Gala Evening will be accompanied by live music from the famous Ross Mitchell Combo and Singers, under the direction of Steve Pert whilst a variety of recorded music will accompany the dancing throughout the day.

With something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginner with the enthusiasm to learn, this Easter Dance Day is for you, and with an all day ticket available for just £18, it’s fantastic value too.

Easter Dance Day is at the Winter Garden, Eastbourne on Saturday 7 April 2012. Tickets are available in advance or on the door for individual sessions:

COFFEE DANCE: 10am – 12.30pm, £4.50 Advance price, £5.50 Door price

TEA DANCE:  2pm – 4.30pm, £4.50 Advance price, £5.50 Door price

GALA EVENING:   7.30pm  – 11.30pm, £11 Advance price,   £12.50 Door price,

DAY TICKET: £18 Advance price, £21 Door price

To book your tickets now call Box Office on 01323 412000 or visit us online at



Translated by MICHAEL FRAYN


30 March – 28 April

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Staged during Chichester Festival Theatre’s very first season in 1962, Uncle Vanya has become a key part of its history, so it is particularly fitting that a new production of this enduring play opens Festival 2012, Chichester’s 50th Anniversary season.

For years Vanya and his niece have worked tirelessly to keep the family’s run-down estate from ruin. The return of Vanya’s brother-in-law and his captivating wife, coupled with the visits of the charismatic Doctor Astrov, bring old loyalties and new loves into conflict in Chekhov’s masterly exploration of his characters’ passions, hopes and desires.

Anton Chekhov’s plays include The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and The Seagull.

Michael Frayn has translated most of Chekhov’s plays. His own work includes the plays Noises Off and Copenhagen, as well as the novels Spies and Headlong.

The cast features Roger Allam in the title role. His credits include Falstaff in Henry IV Parts I and II, for which he won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Actor. In the same year, he received the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award for the film Tamara Drewe. He last appeared at Chichester in Pravda (Festival 06).

March 6th 2012



Winter Garden, Eastbourne

Sunday 13 May, Doors Open 7pm

The Cribs come to the Winter Garden Eastbourne on Sunday 13 May as part of a select national tour, tickets have just gone on sale, some are still available although the advice is – book now or risk missing out!

An indie rock band with quintessentially British influences like The Beatles, Sex Pistols and The Smiths, The Cribs have a legion of fans and have been described as the biggest cult band in the world.

The band formed in 2001 when three brothers set up a small studio in an ancient mill. Originally from Wakefield, the band consists of twins Gary and Ryan Jarman and their younger brother Ross Jarman. They are set to release their fifth album this May.

Entitled In the Belly of the Brazen Bull, the album marks a return to their classic three-piece status and heralds another chapter in the upwards trajectory of the Jarman brothers.

Having announced a short burst of live dates late last year, which sold out in minutes, The Cribs tie in further dates to coincide with the release of the album.

Theatre General Manager Gavin Davis said: “It is quite a coup for us here in Eastbourne to get The Cribs at the Winter Garden, it reinforces our commitment to bringing live music to the town and I’m sure it’s going to be a great night.”

The Cribs are at the Winter Garden, Eastbourne on Sunday 13 May, doors open at 7pm and tickets are priced at £18 in advance (Door price to be confirmed if any are available) plus £1.50 per ticket booking fee. To book call the box office on 01323 412000.

Age restriction: 14yrs+, under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

February 28th 2012




Friday 23 March, 8pm



Congress Theatre

Star of Have I Got News For You and Just A Minute, Paul Merton, returns to his stand-up roots in new show Out Of My Head at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne on Friday 23 March, 8pm.

Wonder at the bizarre workings of his mercurial mind and join the master of improv comedy for a night of sketches, music, magic, variety and dancing girls (two of them aren't girls!). Paul Merton is returning to his stand-up roots for the first time this century.

The tour also features fellow Comedy Store players Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch (the comedy pianist from Whose Line Is It Anyway) and Suki Webster.

Paul has appeared in every series of Have I Got News For You which is the BBC’s longest running panel show ever and he has become one of the stalwarts on BBC Radio 4’s classic comedy Just A Minute. His early credits include the original improvised Channel 4 show Whose Line Is It Anyway, where he was part of the A-Team of comics who showcased sparkling wit and all-too clever improvisations each week to audiences of millions.

In addition to comedy Paul has a number of writing credits to his name for radio and television shows that examined the history of comedy, epxlored the worlds of his comic heroes and has presented his own travel shows. He was voted one of the ten greatest wits of all time in a public poll by The Guardian and won a BAFTA and two British Comedy Awards in his own right not to mention a futher three shared British Comedy Awards.

The key to Paul’s comedy, is his acutely sharp, lightning quick mind and his canny knack for finding the absurd in the ordinary, don’t miss your chance to see him live.

After more than a decade away from the live comedy stand-up circuit Paul makes a very welcome return, come and see the master of quick fire in this new show, Paul Merton, Out of my Head at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne on Friday 23 March, 8pm. Tickets priced at £23 with concessions available, to book call the box office on 01323 412000 or book online

February 22nd 2011

Kiss Me, Kate casting announcement

Acclaimed musical theatre performer Adam Garcia will feature in Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer.

Adam Garcia will play Bill Calhoun/Lucentio. His theatre credits include West End productions of Grease, Saturday Night Fever (in which he played the central character Tony Manero), Wicked and Tap Dogs. He is currently a judge on television's Got To Dance; other screen credits include Brittania High, Wilde, Coyote Ugly and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Kiss Me, Kate is an exuberant reworking of The Taming of the Shrew in which the worlds of gun-toting gangsters, sparring actors and Shakespeare’s original characters collide. In a classic show-within-a-show, Lilli and Fred’s romantic shenanigans offstage tangle with the onstage story of Kate and Petruchio.

Cole Porter’s dazzling score is shot through with wit, charm and Broadway energy; it includes Too Darn Hot, Brush Up Your Shakespeare, Another Op’nin’ , Another Show,

So In Love Am I and Always True to You (In My Fashion).

Cole Porter’s musicals include Anything Goes and Can-Can.

Trevor Nunn has directed some of the most critically acclaimed and popular musical and Shakespearean productions in recent decades.  His musical credits include Porgy and Bess, My Fair Lady, The Woman in White, Les Misérables, Starlight Express and Cats. Other theatre credits include Flare Path, Rock ‘n’ Roll, King Lear, Hamlet and Macbeth. His Chichester credits are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which transferred to the West End in 2011, and Cyrano de Bergerac.

Stephen Mear has choreographed She Loves Me (which he also directed), The Music Man, Funny Girl and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for Chichester. His West End credits include Mary Poppins, Hello, Dolly! and Crazy for You.

 Trevor Nunn and Stephen Mear worked together on the National Theatre’s 2002 production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes which transferred for an extended run to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

February 2nd 2012




Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Sunday 26 February, 3pm and 7.30pm

Strictly Come Dancing favourites Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag return with their fabulous new show Let’s Do It on Sunday 26 February at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne. Tickets have already sold fast - so the advice from the box office is to book now, or risk being disappointed!

Britain’s favourite dance couple from will be joined by guest dancers and a superb live orchestra conducted once again by Richard Balcombe.

With music from Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Kander and Ebb and Cole Porter the show will include classic hits including; An American in Paris, Fascinating Rhythm, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), The Blue Danube Waltz, Don’t Rain on My Parade and Cavatina.

Anton and Erin have sold out three UK tours and their visits to Eastbourne have been a particular treat. The pair first met in 1997, when Erin left her native New Zealand and moved to London. They have both enjoyed glittering television careers and also choreographed the hit show Simply Ballroom. Don’t miss your chance to see the pair at the very peak of their profession!

Anton and Erin - Let’s Do It, is at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, on Sunday 26 February at 3pm and 7.30pm. Tickets priced £29.50 and £36 can be purchased from Box Office on 01323 412000 or book online at

January 13th 2012

At the British Music Hall Society's Annual Ball at the Royal Garden Hotel in London's Kensington High Street on Sunday 4th December 2011 the Society awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award to popular duettists of the fifties and sixtiesPearl Carr and Teddy Johnson--a much deserved honour.

Pearl and Teddy are seen holding the award (a Rose Bowl engraved with their names), with Bobby Crush, the BMHS President Roy Hudd OBE and the Society's Chairman, Doreen Hermitage.

Picture by Ralph Reardon.


Jayne Darcy, OLD THEATRES magazine PA, writes:


The new Edition of OLD THEATRES (No.10) is producing amazing responses from readers. It was definitely our most comprehensive issue, yet covering a huge number of topics, and we are delighted to be getting such good feedbacks. The magazine is a platform for all theatres and theatre supporting groups in the UK so do contact us, preferably by E Mail: and just

JOIN IN! You won't be disappointed.

We are very grateful to our readers for providing information and illustrations for us as we go forward in our quest to keep Britain's cherished halls of entertainment 'Alive !'

November 18th 2011


25 - 27 November, Coxwold

Next weekend some great artists from around the country are descending on North Yorkshire to create a jam packed festival of theatre, music, dance, poetry, workshops, markets, food, drink, treasure hunts and more. And it is FREE to attend!

The Little Festival Of Everything launches the collaboration between The Fauconberg Arms pub in Coxwold and The Flanagan Collective. The Fauconberg Arms, as well as giving over their entire pub over to the festival (from the bars to the heated summer house and the toilets!), will be providing specially designed food and drink across the whole weekend, doing away with their usual meal times meaning you can have food when, how and where you want it.

Some York Theatre Royal regular faces will be putting on performance and workshops including: Damian Cruden, Michael Lambourne, Liam Evans-Ford, Hannah Davies, Helen Cadbury to name but a few, plus Pilot Theatre will be live streaming the event on Pilot TV. The weekend includes readings of new plays, lots of family theatre, a ceilidh band, magician, cabaret, folk, storytelling, poetry workshop, dance workshop, stage combat workshop, interactive events and lots lots more. On the Sunday morning there will also be a Little Market of everything with traders selling everything from local cheese to stories!

You can either book places for specific events or just turned up and get involved in one of almost 100 events across the weekend. We have got artists and musicians from near and far who are coming to test out their work, present brand new ideas and let their imaginations run wild in one of the most beautiful settings your could dream of having. We want to encourage collaboration, conversations and innovation between everyone, artists and audience alike. Look on the website for the full programme and give us a call to reserve places for the events that have restricted capacity (but are still all free), or just turn up and join in!

The Festival is supported by Theakstons, Welcome to Yorkshire and local businesses making it totally free for people to attend. Think log fires, real ale and entertainment - what more could you want on a November weekend!

We hope you can join us!

November 17th  2011



A new comedy by NICK FISHER


28 November – 3 December

Festival Theatre

Nigel Havers leads the cast of a new contemporary comedy about the trials of modern relationships by the BAFTA award-winning writer Nick Fisher.


In Basket Case, dependable Miranda and her ex-husband, the smoothly charming and wholly unreliable Guy are thrown together when their faithful old family pet takes a turn for the worse. Reunited over the dog basket, Guy and Miranda find they haven’t ‘moved on’ quite as they’d imagined. When they are joined by family friend James, as well as Martin, the vet and a long-time admirer of Miranda, the scene is set for some startling home-truths.

Nick Fisher’s writing credits include the BBC TV series’ New Tricks, Hustle, and Holby City. He is the creator and writer of Manchild, which starred Nigel Havers. Basket Case marks Fisher’s first foray into writing for theatre. Originally devised as a potential Manchild storyline, the writer was persuaded by Havers to develop the idea for the stage. Fisher also has a diverse range of writing credits in film, radio, print journalism and books, is a much-published expert in fishing and fish cookery and the author of several teenage advice books.

Basket Case features leading actor Nigel Havers as Guy. His numerous television and film credits include A Passage to India, Chariots of Fire, The Charmer, Manchild, Coronation Street and the US series Brothers and Sisters. He will also be joining the ITV 1 Downton Abbey cast as Lord Hepworth in the much-anticipated Christmas special. On stage, Havers played Serge in Art both on tour and in the West End, and starred in the record-breaking tour of Rebecca.

David Cardy plays James. His credits include his long-running role as Chris Theodopolopodous in the BBC sitcom Birds of a Feather. His theatre credits include Dreamboats and Petticoats (West End and tour), the West End production of Ghost Stories, the tour of Losing Louis, and English Touring Theatre’s production of King Lear.

Christine Kavanagh - who appeared alongside Nigel Havers in Manchild - plays Miranda. Her theatre credits include Albert Speer (National Theatre), The Liar (The Old Vic), Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth (both for the RSC).

Graham Seed plays Martin. This marks his first stage appearance since his dramatic exit from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers earlier this year, when his character Nigel Pargetter plunged to his death in the 60th anniversary edition of the series. He returns to Chichester Festival Theatre later in the Winter season as Prime Minister Jim Hacker in Yes, Prime Minister.

Robin Lefevre’s theatre credits include Bodies, Translations, Aristocrats and Are You Lonesome Tonight? which won the Evening Standard Best Musical Award. His screen credits include the Channel 4 drama series Jake’s Progress.

Basket Case is at Chichester Festival Theatre from 28 November – 3 December, Monday – Saturday evenings at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.15pm. Tickets: Monday – Thursday evenings and matinees £11 - £30, Friday and Saturday evenings £12 - £33. Friends & Concessions, Groups 10+ and Schools 10+ discounts available. To book, go to or call the Box Office on             01243 781312      .

November 1st 2011


All ye landlubbers prepare to shake with fear, or bounce with laughter at ye rip-roaring adventures due to be exposed (exposed! ooo, bold!... Whatever will he say next?) at Theatr Fach, Dolgellau, in January. There will be heroes and heroines, villains and scoundrels, wicked stepmothers and magical mirrors, adventure and romance, singing and dancing, and pirates, pirates and more pirates.  But where’s Long John Slither (he’s behind you! – oh no he isn’t – oh yes he is). Because of all the other things that go on before Christmas and everyone being busy (oh no they aren’t! … oh yes they are! ... Oh, shut up, whoever’s interrupting this important article!), Dolgellau Amateur Dramatic Society has decided to present its pantomime in January; and what a pantomime it is going to be (and in more ways than one!...  I told you to shut-up!... Oh keep you riah on! … humph … theatricals – they’re all the same!)

Already read-throughs and casting have taken place; Theatr Fach has been awash with fearsome pirates ever since.  Rehearsals are underway and it’s all hoist-the-main-brace (oooh yes please!) and swig the grog from now on. Ye writer of this escapade is David Walker, and direction and production will be by David Walker and Richard Withers.Further on, David Walker explains the motivation for his writing this extravaganza, and what he is planning to achieve (oh yes!…we’ve heard all that before, haven’t we? … frankly, I think he is making a load of excuses for himself in advance). The sets being designed and constructed by John Bond are enough to turn you mal-de-mer green so audiences might prefer to bring a packet of Kwells rather than a bag of sweets. It certainly sounds as if it’s going to be an experience to remember – whether with pleasure or distraction remains to be seen. Performances will be on the evenings of Thursday, Friday and Saturday January 12th  to 14th, with a matinée performance on Saturday afternoon.

October 29th 2011



                                             THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III     




14 – 19 NOVEMBER

Following his critical acclaim and popular success in Festival 2010’s Yes, Prime Minister, distinguished actor David Haig makes a welcome return to Chichester Festival Theatre in the title role of a highly praised play.

One of Alan Bennett’s biggest hits, The Madness of George III originally premiered at the National Theatre in 1991 and went on to become an international theatrical sensation and an award-winning film. With a cast of 24, lavish costumes and a masterful central performance, this epic production combines drama, politics and humour in a vivid theatrical portrait of English history.

George III was the third Hanoverian king of Great Britain. He studied science, founded the Royal Academy of Arts, took a keen interest in agriculture and fathered 15 children. During his reign, Great Britain and Ireland became the United Kingdom and Britain lost its American colonies. In spite of all this, he is best remembered for his bouts of unbridled lunacy, when he was subjected to the appalling medical treatments of the day and battered by power struggles between politicians and his ambitious son and heir. Throughout all of this he remained a fascinating and profoundly moving figure.

David Haig plays George III. His numerous stage credits include the role of Prime Minister Jim Hacker in Festival 2010’s Yes, Prime Minister, which later transferred to the West End, as well as West End productions of The Country Wife, Art and Journey’s End. Other stage credits include Hitchcock Blonde (Royal Court Theatre and West End), Dead Funny (Hampstead and West End) and Tom and Viv (Royal Court and Broadway).

He received an Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Our Country’s Good and Olivier Award nominations for his roles in Donkeys’ Years and Mary Poppins. His screen credits include The Thick of It, My Boy Jack and Four Weddings and a Funeral.  His writing credits include My Boy Jack for the stage and screen and The Good Samaritan.

October 20th 2011

The next issue of the OLD THEATRES  Newsletter which is sent out to subscribers in between Editions of OT is about to be distributed with latest updates and the announcement of New Years Honours which we will be bestowing. So many people help us get the magazine together that we think it is right to recognise the part that play as we seek to publicise Britain's great halls of entertainment, past and present.

We are delight that we have now reached Edition 10--a very important milestone for us, so we are really in the mood to celebrate ! If your theatre or theatre organisation is not listed with us, do contact us by E Mail and just JOIN IN!

There is no doubt about it, we have made great strides to produce a unique publication which gets great reviews whever it goes. As for our web pages, we are pleased to report that from January until October 1st, theatre devotees from 625 cities from around the world have logged in to see how we are doing.

(Our long ago illustration is of a Welsh theatre at the beginning of its life which is a survivor !  So we went inside to get a series of photographs and to prepare a history--we think the results will surprise you!)

October 20th 2011


Sweeney Todd  is receiving standing ovations as the theatre's own production continues to receive rave reviews. Michael Ball gruesomely plays the 'demon barber', while Imelda Staunton provides much needed bursts of laughter as she prepares pies with interesting fillings. The set on the Festival Theatre's thrust stage is a work of art with a flaming oven and hideous mincing machine, providing an eerie and menacing atmosphere, enhanced by a strong music score. The production runs until November 5th


York Theatre Royal presents

Laurel and Hardy

Fri 21 Oct - Sat 5 Nov

Written by Tom McGrath

An un-missable comedy contemplating the life, loves and losses of the prolific comedy duo.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are stuck in a waiting room somewhere between death and eternity.  Before they can pass into the next world, they take a look back at their lives and loves to offer a fascinating insight into their off-screen relationships and personal heartaches.

With some of their finest comedy routines, musical numbers, dance and slapstick, the charm and wit of Stan and Ollie are reborn in a warm and affectionate homage to one of the most successful prolific comedy teams in history.

Directed by Damian Cruden

Designed by Liam Doona

Music by Christopher Madin

Times: 7.30pm with 2.30pm (Sat), 2.00pm (Thu) matinees

Performance Location: Main House in the round

Tickets £10 - £16 Tue - Thu; £10 - £18 Fri&Sat; £10 - £12 Matinees; £10 SIF; £7 Students, Schools & u25s

Family Ticket: Tue - Thu £44, Fri & Sat £48 (2 adults, 2 children u16)

Members 15% off 2 tickets

Concessions Available

Signed performance: Wed 2 Nov, 7.30pm

Audio Described: Sat 5 Nov, 2.30pm & 7.30pm

After Show Discussion: Tue 1 Nov

September 28th 2011

Late News: SHIREBROOK EMPIRE in Nottinghamshire, which was featured in the current Edition of OLD THEATRES magazine, was badly damaged by fire at the beginning of September. Demolition is likely. The c1910 cine-variety theatre was last used as a bingo hall, but has been derelict for some time. An investigation is taking place to determine the cause of the blaze.

September 12th 2011


A THEATRE FOR ALL SEASONS The History of the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham by Michael HASTED with a foreword by Steven Berkoff

To be published on 30th September 2011 by Northern Arts Publications, an imprint of Jeremy Mills Publishing Ltd

Hardback, 196 pages, lavishly illustrated with more than 200 pictures, full colour throughout

Price £25              ISBN 9781906600617

The Opera House in Cheltenham’s Regent Street opened on 1st October 1891 with a performance of Lady Clancarty starring Lillie Langtry. The theatre was designed by one of the greatest theatre architects of all times, Frank Matcham, who designed nearly 200 theatres in Great Britain including the London Palladium. Over the next seventy years The Opera House was to play host to some of the greatest names in British theatre and variety.

The theatre survived imminent closure in 1959 to rise from the ashes as the re-named Everyman Theatre in 1960. For the next 35 years it was the home of repertory, nurturing such talents as Steven Berkoff, Josephine Tewson, William Gaunt and Penelope Keith.

When the rep ended in 1995 the theatre reverted to being a venue for touring shows and has presented some of the best pre and post West End plays and musicals ever since.


Based largely on the reminiscences of actors, directors and other members of staff who worked at the theatre as far back as the 1920s, A Theatre for all Seasons tells the story of the good times and bad, of the financial problems that nearly closed the theatre on several occasions, the ghosts and

the personalities of a typical British provincial theatre.

August 11th 2011



Chichester’s Festival 2011 closes with Sweeney Todd, the musical commonly acknowledged to be Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, in a cast led by distinguished musical performer Michael Ball and Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton.

Set in nineteenth century London and laced with Sondheim’s characteristically brilliant wit and dark humour, the musical depicts Sweeney Todd’s savage quest for justice and retribution after years of false imprisonment. Aided and abetted by the pie-shop owner, Mrs Lovett, he sets out to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family. Combining a gory sensibility with elements of English music hall, the production offers a fascinating portrait of a man driven to madness by injustice and grief.

Michael Ball plays Sweeney Todd. His theatre credits include Hairspray, Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Passion, Aspects of Love, The Woman in White and The Phantom of the Opera. He made his English National Opera debut as Hajj/Poet in Kismet and in 2005 he made his debut with the New York City Opera as Reginald Bunthrone in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience.  Ball co-produced Chichester Festival 2010’s West End transfer of Love Story. He also has a successful recording career, and released his eighteenth album, Heroes, and completed a nationwide tour earlier this year.

More follows

Imelda Staunton plays Mrs Lovett. Her theatre credits include A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre, the West End production of Entertaining Mr Sloane, Life x 3 (National Theatre and The Old Vic) and Guys and Dolls (National Theatre). Film credits include the Harry Potter series, Taking Woodstock, and the title role in Vera Drake, for which she received BAFTA, European Film and Venice Film Festival Awards, as well as an Oscar nomination. Television credits include Psychoville and Cranford.

John Bowe plays Judge Turpin. His credits include the West End production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Lady from the Sea and Heartbreak House (Almeida Theatre), Edward Bond’s Lear (RSC and European tour) and Saint Joan (The Old Vic).

Peter Polycarpou plays Beadle Bamford. He was last seen at Chichester in Festival 2010’s Love Story, which later transferred to the West End. His other credits include the West End productions of Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and The Secret Garden, Oklahoma! for the National Theatre, and the popular BBC sitcom, Birds of a Feather.

The cast also features Robert Burt, Luke Brady, Lucy May Barker, Daniel Graham, Gillian Kirkpatrick, James McConville and Simeon Truby. The ensemble includes Valda Aviks, Will Barratt, Josie Benson, Emily Bull, John Coates, Robine Landi, Brian McCann, Tim Morgan, Aoife Nally, Adam Pearce, Vincent Pirillo, Wendy Somerville, Anton Stephans, Kerry Washington and Annabelle Williams.

Stephen Sondheim’s credits as composer/lyricist include Road Show, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Into The Woods and Assassins. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. His film credits include Reds and Dick Tracy, for which he won an Oscar.  He has also received numerous Tony and Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.

Jonathan Kent’s credits include Chichester Festival 2010’s A Month in the Country. His recent work includes the National Theatre production of Oedipus starring Ralph Fiennes, and The Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne.  Kent was joint Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre where his work included When We Dead Awaken, All For Love, Medea, The School For Wives and Gangster No.1.  Other theatre credits include Le Cid, Mother Courage and Her Children and The False Servant, all for the National Theatre.

Design is by Anthony Ward whose credits include Festival 2011’s She Loves Me, ENRON (Festival 2010 and 09), Macbeth (Festival 07), Posh at the Royal Court, as well as West End productions of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Oliver! and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He has won a Tony Award for Costume Design for Mary Stuart, and Olivier Awards for the Set Design of Oklahoma! and the Costume Design of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Grande Magia and The Way of the World.  

Choreographer is Denni Sayers whose credits include Don Giovanni (Glyndebourne), Ibsen’s Emperor and Galilean and Oedipus (National Theatre), Parsifal and The Flying Dutchman (ENO), Cyrano de Bergerac, Carmen, Paul Bunyan and The Bartered Bride (all for ROH).

Lighting Design is by Mark Henderson whose credits include A Month in the Country (Festival 2010), ENRON (Festival 2010 and 09, the Royal Court Theatre, West End, Broadway and tour), West End productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Iceman Cometh, Copenhagen, Hamlet and The Real Thing (all also on Broadway), All My Sons, Mourning Becomes Electra, The History Boys and The Habit of Art (National Theatre).

The musical director is Nicholas Skilbeck whose credits include West End productions of Sister Act, Hairspray, Billy Elliott – The Musical, Mamma Mia! and Cats.

Orchestration is by Jonathan Tunick whose credits include Road Show, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods, Passion, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple and Nine.

Sound design is by Paul Groothuis whose credits include Festival 2011’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; His Dark Materials, Edmond, Henry V and A Streetcar Named Desire (all for the National Theatre), Anything Goes, My Fair Lady and All My Sons (National Theatre and West End), as well as the West End productions of Children’s Hour and Flare Path.

Sweeney Todd is at Chichester Festival Theatre from 24 September – 5 November, 7.30pm (except Press Night Thursday 6 October, 7.00pm), matinees 2.15pm. Tickets £10 - £28 (University of Chichester Previews), £13 - £33 (Previews/Press Night) and £14 - £38 (Evenings/Matinees) are available online at or from the Box Office on 01243 781312.




Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Tuesday 24 January – Saturday 4 February 2012

Tickets are now on sale for the West End and Broadway smash-hit musical, Sister Act. Embarking on its first National Tour, this habit-forming smash hit stops off at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne from Tuesday 24 January – Saturday 4 February. Tickets will sell fast, and with an early booking discount of £5 off, there’s no better time to book those tickets and secure the best seats!

The show, which played to over a million people at the London Palladium during its West End run and is currently a huge hit on Broadway, will star Coronation Street’s Denise Black as Mother Superior, Brookside and The Royal favourite Michael Starke as Monsignor O’Hara, and rising new star, Cynthia Erivo, as nun on the run Deloris Van Cartier.

When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won't be found - a convent! Disguised as a nun she quickly finds fans amongst her fellow ‘sisters’ but makes the wrong impression on the convent’s strict Mother Superior.

When she turns her attention to the convent’s off-key choir, helping the nuns to find their true voices and breathing new life into the rundown neighbourhood, her cover could be blown for good. With the gang giving chase, is time running out for Deloris? Or have they underestimated the power of her new found Sisterhood?

Cons available, Early Booking Discount: £5 off top 3 prices only until 30 September 2011. To book call the box office on 01323 412000 or online

(Photo courtesy Catherine Ashmore)

August 4th 2011

Playwright Den Stevenson writes: My Glenn Miller musical the 'Bugle Boy' has its first pro curtain up at the Devonshire Park Eastbourne from the 20th to the 23rd of September prior to its West End curtain up on the 9th of October in the famous and delightful Garrick Theatre! I went to school in Tunbidge Wells; worked there and lived in the Vauxhall Inn inTonbridge and the Rose & Crown in Brenchley. My father went to Bexhill Grammer School; then lived in my grandfather's Grand Hotel on Hastings sea front until it was taken over by the ''Spitfire Boys' and my Godfather was a matinee singer with Billy Merrin's band who played the South Coast until the war broke out; met Glenn's brother Herb and became the Herb Miller Orchestra Booker; played a show for the Prince's Trust when I got the idea of a Glenn Miller Musical.

For a taster of my show, pleaselog on to my website:


Joe Aveline writes: The concept of OLD THEATRES has always intrigued me. Especially those which stand the test of time. The next notable anniversary will be next year (2012) when the theatre at Hvar in Croatia celebrates its 400th birthday. When you walk through the doors you remind yourself that Shakespeare was still alive when the first patrons did so. Like the Derby Hippodrome the foundations are really solid, and, like the Hippodrome Restoration Trust intends, changes have been made to suit the times as they wend their inexorable way.


Andrew Woodfield writes: Thanks to your excellent article in Edition 8 of OLD THEATRES magazine, the Elsie and Doris Waters exhibition at Steyning Museum, which was their home town in West Sussex, is doing good business. We had the Max Miller Appreciation Society in yesterday, and The Grand Order of Water Rats are coming the week after next.

Duggie Chapman MBE writes: As you know, it is the Centenary of Crewe Lyceum Theatre in September, and we will be putting on a Matinee Music Hall there on September 7th.

July 29th 2011




Friday 19 August, 7.30pm

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

King of controversy and master of tongue-in-cheek, Jim Davidson, returns to the Congress Theatre this summer on Friday 19 August, 7.30pm for a night of comedy and laughter which will be anything but politically correct!

In what promises to be his most outrageous show yet the stand-up comic puts the world to rights with his trademark humor and banter.

Jim Davidson is one of the countries naughtiest and most dangerous live comics who is also well known for presenting television favorites including the snooker game show Big Break and The Generation Game.

Highlights of his outstanding career have included five visits to the Falkland Islands and countless engagements across the world entertaining British service personnel. In 1999 he travelled to Macedonia to entertain the Forces and in the same year he founded The British Forces Foundation charity which aims to promote the well-being of service personnel. In 2001 Jim davidson was honoured to be awarded an OBE for his services to charity.

Love him or loath him there is no denying that Jim is a master of the stand-up routine and one way or another he will promise a night that you won’t forget! Step into Jim’s world of adult humour and wit and you will be entertained – just enter with a light-heart!

Jim Davidson’s Seaside Frolics is at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, on Friday 19 August, 7.30pm. The show is strictly for adults only. Tickets are priced £19.50 and can be purchased from the Box Office on 01323 412000 or book online at Needless to say this event is not suitable for children!


Herbert Hayhoe writes: Thanks for a lovely magazine, and it was nice to see the old Norwich Hippodrome mentioned in some of them.

July 22nd 2011

On Saturday 17th Sept 2011 the Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre are to produce another night of variety Twice Nightly 4 at

the Doncaster Civic Theatre.

It is almost 70 years since the area around the theatre was badly bombed .

The Grand Theatre played a great part in raising moral during the 2nd world war and despite everything the shows went on and on and on.

On 1st  September 1942  Doncaster received a heavy enemy attack, mainly targeting the railways, unfortunately the Grand Theatre was situated almost next to the Station and a large land mine was dropped directly opposite to theatre and several buildings  were completely demolished, but the only damage to the theatre was a statue located about the glass canopy which fell through and all the glass was smashed,  several pieces of shrapnel were found in the roof, but there was no structural damage to the building. Fortunately the evening show was over but two people were killed and 5 injured in the surrounding area.

In the photo, The Manager Edgar Stretton, Secretary Ann Burton, Ozzy (the doorman) Ted Bunting, Stage Manager, Mr and Mrs Porter are among the staff clearing up the next morning.

There is to be a feature in the next show portraying the war time with  tributes of Vera Lynn, Max Miller and Marlene Dietrich, narrated by Journalist Phil Penfold who will be the Compere for the evening.

July 12th

John Chippendale writes: Many thanks for the latest Edition of OLD THEATRES in-between Editions Newsletter. I found it very interesting. As you know in Brighton and Hove we had many theatres, closed, more's the pity. But we have the great Brighton Theatre Royal which is still going strong. I have just been to Worthing Pavilion to see the marvellous John Mann playing his wonderful organ and grand piano. A great time was had by all !

July 11th 2011



3 – 6 August, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s masterpiece of musical theatre Tell Me on a Sunday returns to Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre this summer from Wednesday 3 to Saturday 6 August starring Claire Sweeney as the ever hopeful romantic.

Considered one of Lloyd Webber’s most intimate musicals this show has been especially re-modelled for Claire, with an exclusive new song Dreams Never Run on Time, and includes the chart topping songs Take That Look off Your Face, Unexpected Song and the title track Tell Me on a Sunday.

Tell Me on a Sunday charts the romantic misadventures of an English girl in New York. Brimming with optimism, she seeks success and love, but as she weaves her way through the maze of the city and her own anxieties, frustrations and heartaches she begins to wonder whether she's been looking for love in all the wrong places.

Originally conceived for television starring Marti Webb, Tell Me on a Sunday has been performed by legendary musical theatre stars Sarah Brightman, Lulu and Denise Van Outen. In 2010 Claire Sweeney stepped into this celebrated role to rave reviews.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s numerous awards include 7 Tonys, 3 Grammys, 7 Olivier’s, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, 2 Emmys and the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. Don Black is an Oscar winning lyrist (Born Free) and penned numerous James Bond theme tunes, and chart hits including Michael Jackson’s Ben and Lulu’s To Sir with Love.

Claire Sweeney is one of the countries favourite actresses, she shot to fame in Brookside and has since gone onto become one the nations sweethearts with numerous television credits including; Strictly Come Dancing, Loose Women, Celebrity Big Brother and most recently Candy Cabs. Her musical theatre career includes lead roles in West End productions of Chicago and Guys and Dolls and she was the first entertainer to visit Afghanistan and Oman to entertain the troops.

Tell Me on a Sunday at Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre, Wednesday 3 to Saturday 6 August, nightly performances at 7.30pm and Thursday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets priced at £16 to £25 with concessions available. To book call the box office on 01323 412000 or online

July 4th 2011


Chichester Players are presenting, On Stage, selections from John Cleese and Connie Booth's brilliant comedies, Fawlty Towers, at the New Park Centre, New Park Road, Chichester, from Wednesday, June 29th to Saturday July 2nd. Tickets £8 each are available from New Park Centre Box Office (01243) 786650. The production forms part of Chichester Festivities.

Chichester Players web pages:


Acorn Antiques
'The Musical'
By Victoria Wood
21-24 September 2011
Pavilion Theatre Worthing

The comedic genius of Victoria wood is finally brought to Worthing after a successful sell out run in the west end and a national tour. The cast of local actors have brought together the best from the west end and the touring production into an explosively funny new adaptation to Victoria woods classic sitcom.
The show is a musical within the musical, and is much like the original series. Miss Babbs (Pam Stringer) and Miss Berta (Kate Dowse) run "Acorn Antiques", and are aided and amused by their friends and cleaner: Mrs Overall (Alison Booker) and Mr Clifford (Lee Payne). Soon, they discover a third sister, Bonnie (Julie Jordon) who is initially scheming and devious (for instance, she fires Mrs Overall, even after finding out she's her mother). The plot unfolds, the sisters are faced with financial woes, and family secrets. The show ends with the triumphant return of Mrs Overall, a windfall, and the unition of Miss Bertha and Mr Clifford. All is well in Manchesterford.
Alison bookers precision comedic timing will make you believe Julie Walters has donned the role once again for this outrageously rib tickling musical. With an possible attendance of some of the original television cast including wood this is deemed to be an exciting production for the Worthing based company. This production has been produced by the award winning WLOC who have just collected the National operatic and dramatic association award for Best Musical for their ground breaking production last year of Bad Girls ‘the musical’
As the dawn of the company’s 40 years in entertainment we are sure this will be another triumph for the diverse and exciting new direction of Worthing theatre.

Box office 01903 206 206

June 25th 2011

June 18th 2011




June 13th 2011





Choreographer ANDREW WRIGHT

Based on the MGM film

Screenplay and adaptation by BETTY COMDEN






Distinguished performers Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen lead the cast of the classic musical about the golden age of Hollywood at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer.

Singin’ in the Rain evokes the era when the silver screen was changed forever by the emergence of talking pictures, and the creation of a new kind of film where the actors actually talk…and sing…and dance. The glorious score features Make ‘em Laugh, Good Morning, Moses Supposes and Singin’ in the Rain.

Adam Cooper plays silent movies star Don Lockwood. Cooper’s stage credits include Swan Lake and Cinderella for Matthew Bourne’s company, Adventures in Motion Pictures, numerous roles for The Royal Ballet company including Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake, Singin’ in the Rain (Sadler’s Wells), the West End production of Guys and Dolls, Shall We Dance (Sadler’s Wells) and White Christmas. His screen credits include a brief but notable appearance in Billy Elliott where he features in the film’s closing Swan Lake sequence.

Daniel Crossley plays Lockwood’s best friend, Cosmo Brown. His theatre credits include Mary Poppins (UK tour), Me and My Girl (Sheffield Crucible), Anything Goes and Love’s Labour’s Lost (both for the National Theatre), the award-winning production of Hello, Dolly! (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park) and West End productions of Fosse and Chicago.

Scarlett Strallen plays Kathy Selden. Her theatre credits include The Music Man (Chichester’s Festival 08), the title role in Mary Poppins (West End and Broadway), HMS Pinafore (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park) for which she received an Oliver Award nomination, The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC) and West End productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mamma Mia!, The Witches of Eastwick and Peggy Sue Got Married.

Katherine Kingsley plays Lina Lamont, a shrill-voiced leading lady. Kingsley’s credits include Hobson’s Choice (Chichester’s Festival 2007), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Donmar Warehouse), the roles of Marlene Dietrich and Madeleine in Piaf (Donmar Warehouse and the West End), for which she received an Olivier Award nomination, Rose in Aspects of Love (Menier Chocolate Factory), The 39 Steps (UK tour) and High Society (West End and UK tour).

The cast also features Michael Brandon who plays film boss R. F Simpson. Brandon originated the title role of the infamous talk show host in Jerry Springer -The Opera at the National Theatre and in the West End, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. His other theatre credits include Wet Weather Cover, On the Waterfront and Speed the Plow. On screen he is perhaps best known as police detective Lieutenant James Dempsey in the popular 1980s ITV crime drama Dempsey and Makepeace. Other screen credits include a recent episode of BBC 1’s Hustle, The Last Days of Lehman Brothers and a forthcoming mini-series This September by Rosamund Pilcher.

Sandra Dickinson plays Dora, a radio show host, and Miss Dinsmore, a diction coach. Dickinson’s credits include the BBC television series’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and 2 Point 4 Children, as well as the films Space Truckers, Supergirl and Superman III.

Jonathan Church is Chichester’s Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director. His credits for Chichester include The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, The Grapes of Wrath, Pravda, Hobson’s Choice, The Circle and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Parts I and II. His credits also include Master Class and the Olivier Award-nominated Of Mice and Men.

The production is designed by Simon Higlett, Associate Designer at Chichester, where his previous work includes Festival 2011’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (which transfers to the West End in June), Yes, Prime Minister, Taking Sides and Collaboration (all of which transferred to the West End), The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Parts I and II.

The choreographer is Andrew Wright whose credits include 42nd Street (Chichester’s Festival 2010), Once Upon a Time at The Adelphi which won the TMA Award for Best Musical Production, and Almost Like Being In Love at the National Theatre.

Musical direction is by Robert Scott whose credits include Funny Girl (Chichester’s Festival 08) and Carousel (Chichester’s Festival 06), and West End productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and She Loves Me.

Lighting Design is by Tim Mitchell, Associate Lighting Designer at Chichester, who has previously lit Bingo (which transfers to Young Vic in early 2012), Yes, Prime Minister, The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, The Master Builder, Oklahoma!, The Grapes of Wrath, Cyrano de Bergerac and A Small Family Business for Chichester.

Sound design is by Matt McKenzie, Associate Sound Designer at Chichester, where his credits include Festival 2011’s She Loves Me, Love Story (Festival 2010 and West End), 42nd Street, Oklahoma!, The Music Man, Funny Girl, Babes in Arms, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Parts I and II, Carousel and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Singin’ in the Rain is at Chichester Festival Theatre from 27 June – 10 September,

7.30pm, (except Press Night, Tuesday 5 July at 7pm), matinees 2.15pm. Tickets £10 - £28 (University of Chichester Previews), £13 - £33 (Previews/Press Night) and £14 - £38 (Evenings/Matinees) are available online at or from the Box Office on 01243 781312.


CLACTON RAMBLERS Debra writes: Do you have any information about the Ramblers at Clacton? My grandad was a music hall performer named Billy May who played there for quite a few summer seasons in the '30

OLD THEATRES Newsletter: The next edition of the OLD THEATRES Newsletter, which keeps readers informed of what is happening between issues of the magazine will be distributed to subscribers in the next couple of weeks. It contains important information on theatres which are "under threat" and will alert us to the fact that many of our country's lovely theatres could be bowing out over the next few years. The next edition of OLD THEATRES magazine (Edition 9,due out in September) provides some frightening

information, so please ensure that you have ordered your copy.

Russell J. McDonald writes: Thanks you for the excellent work you are all doing in these difficult times. I wish you all continued success, and, as always, will eagerly await the next issue.

George Hook writes: It's worth every penny !

May 31st 2011

Rosemarie Ronalde writes from Australia: We have had a most exciting week. Your great magazine was torn two and fro between the two of us until we managed to finish reading it. Well, all Ronnie and I can say is that OLD THEATRES is like a classic bottle of vintage port--it gets better with age ! Every new magazine is better than the last one ! I am in the stage of re-reading it, making sure I haven't missed anything.

Ned Williams writes: “I saw Duggie Chapman’s Night at the Music Hall at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre last Spring and took along 30 mature students that I had just taken through a ‘half day school’ on the history of Variety theatre. I also took them to see a show about Vesta Tilley at the Swan at Worcester. The show at The Grand was excellent.




Monday 27 June – Saturday 2 July

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

Following a sell out tour including a hugely popular visit to Eastbourne last year, the award winning West End smash hit show Calendar Girls is returning to the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne from Monday 27 June – Saturday 2 July.

This uplifting and moving production features a new all-star cast, including a trio of female comedy actress from some of BBC’s biggest and best loved comedies; Lesley Joseph who is known and loved as the irrepressible Dorian Green from Birds of a Feather, Sue Holderness who is most recognised as Marleen from Only Fools and Horses and The Green Green Grass and Ruth Madoc who starred in Hi-de-Hi.

Receiving rave reviews and playing to packed houses during its week in Eastbourne last year, the show tells the moving story of a group of ordinary women who do something extraordinary and spark a global phenomenon when they persuade one another to pose for a charity calendar -with a difference!

Based on an inspiring true story, Calendar Girls is quirky, poignant and hilarious. The cast also stars Kathryn Rooney (Calendar Girls West End), Camilla Dallerup (Strictly Come Dancing), Helen Fraser (Bad Girls), Deena Payne (Emmerdale), Kasey Ainsworth (EastEnders) and Kevin Sacre (Hollyoaks) as Lawrence the photographer.

Adapted from the global smash hit film of 2003 and written by Tim Firth, who penned the screenplay for the original Miramax film. Tickets are on sale now and already selling fast, so don’t miss out and book today for this tear-jerking yet uplifting and deeply touching show.

Calendar Girls at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, from Monday 27 June – Saturday 2 July. Evenings 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday Matinee 2.30pm. Tickets priced £14.50 - £26.50, concessions £2 off, can be purchased from Box Office on 01323 412000 or book online at

May 25th 2011

David Aspinall writes: Congratulations on producing such a superb publication as O.T.
You and Ted and your team deserve medals as big as the town hall clock !!!

May 20th 2011


I hope you will be interested in a great treat at the theatre for all “mad dogs and Englishmen”, watching Noel Coward’s wonderful “Cowardy Custard”. Starring Kings Theatre Patron and “Fascinating Aida” star Dillie Keane and Britain’s best loved cabaret artists Kit and the Widow, this wonderfully English delight is at the Kings Theatre, Southsea on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 May 2011. This a real early summer treat. More details at

May 14th 2011

Lance Salway writes: The fascinating feature on Elsie and Doris Waters reminded me of the time when I was six or seven years old and was taken to a pantomime at the Imperial Theatre in Brighton in which they were appearing. At one point in the evening, children were encouraged to go up on the stage to sing and, much against my will, I was pushed on to the stage by my mother. I was, of course, terrified, and when I opened my mouth to sing - I think the song was Let him go, let him tarry - not a sound came out. It was then that Gert (or was it Daisy?) said: "A regular little Bing Crosby, isn't he?" and brought t he house down. I've been on a lot of stages since then but that was thge most embarrassing appearance of them all!

Many thanks for another fascinating issue of OLD THEATRES --absorbing reading and excellent value, as always.

May 12th 2011

M. Gambles writes: OLD THEATRES magazine is always a good read with wonderful pictures. Will you be doing anything about Chiswick Empire? I can remember it coming down in 1959.

Jayne Darcy replies: It is a theatre which is on our list for a future edition, so let's hope it will be soon !


Brian O'Gorman writes: What a treat to arrive home and find the magazine in the post. Wonderful material . Well done to all !


Ted Lees has just received the latest edition of OLD THEATRES magazine: Fantastic ! Fantastic ! Fantastic ! More power to your elbow, and everything else !

May 5th 2011


The world-famous London Palladium opens its doors - come backstage for a glimpse of 100 years of theatre history.

In December last year, the world-famous London Palladium celebrated its centenary - and now you have a chance to get a glimpse of 100 years of theatre history as the Palladium will opens its doors for a series of exclusive guided tours from May 2011, each lasting about one and a half hours.

The London Palladium opened on Boxing Day 1910 and since then has hosted Music Hall, Variety, Revue, Pantomime and spectacular musicals with equal success. Made famous worldwide through television’s
Sunday Night at the London Palladium, it has also hosted more Royal Variety Performances than any other theatre.

With displays of memorabilia throughout the building celebrating its rich heritage and the major stars that have appeared on stage, the tour will also take in areas not usually open to the public as well as the new facilities and areas recently refurbished as part of the centenary celebrations. The route may vary according to the building’s daily activities and the walk will involve several long flights of stairs.

The London Palladium tours will take place at 11.30am on the second Friday of each month, beginning on Friday 13th May and with the last one this year on Friday 9th December 2011.

Each tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. Tickets for the tour are £10. Total capacity per tour is 30 people. As there are lots of stairs, the tour is not recommended for the infirm and ladies are advised to wear flat shoes.

To BOOK a London Palladium tour, call the theatre box office on 0207 8508775





Devonshire Park Theatre

Thursday 14 July – Saturday 13 August

Tuesday – Saturday 7.45pm, Wednesday & Saturday 2.30pm

Murder By Misadventure is an ingenious thriller set to intrigue audiences at the Devonshire Park Theatre this summer. In a luxury penthouse apartment, idyllically built overlooking the English Channel a deadly battle of wits is taking place…

Harold Kent and Paul Riggs are successful television crime writers but Kent wants to dissolve their association by fair means or, if necessary, foul. Taking inspiration from one of their own scripts, it’s the perfect murder, or is it… Everything appears to go extremely smoothly until the tenacious Inspector Egan arrives on the scene, but is anything as it seems?

Locking horns in this deadly battle are Gareth Hale and Norman Pace. Originally best known as one of the nations favourite comedy double acts, they have gone on to carve out successful independent careers as actors in their own right, appearing in the West End and all over the country. Now they re-unite for the first time in over a decade. Gone are the comedy characters and instead it’s just them, cast opposite each other in a play for the first time ever! Norman says of Murder by Misadventure “gone are the sketch show characters of our past, instead it’s just us, and a plot that has more twists and turns than a plateful of spaghetti.”

Murder By Misadventure is a complete departure from the Hale and Pace comedy shows millions tuned in to during the 1980s and 90s. “For the past decade or so, Gareth and I haven’t worked together at all in the UK; only in Australia, where we have toured our comedy sketch show, The Hale and Pace Show, so the chance to work with me old mucker in a play is too good to miss.“ says Norman.

Produced by Eastbourne Theatres, the team behind Gotta Sing Gotta Dance, Private Lives and Deadly Game, not to mention the last 10 Devonshire Park Theatre pantomimes, this summer production is a shrewd, tightly plotted thriller written by Edward Taylor. Find out this summer who will win this deadly battle of wits, surely there is only one outcome…

Murder By Misadventure is at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre from 14 July – 13 August. Tickets priced £13.50 - £18, Under 16s £8, concessions available can be purchased from box office on 01323 412000 or online at

April 29th 2011

CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE Singin’ in the Rain casting confirmed

Michael Brandon, Sandra Dickinson and Katherine Kingsley have been confirmed to appear in the musical Singin’ in the Rain at Chichester Festival Theatre, alongside Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen.

Michael Brandon will play film boss R. F Simpson. Brandon originated the title role of the infamous talk show host in Jerry Springer -The Opera at the National Theatre and in the West End, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. His other theatre credits include Wet Weather Cover, On the Waterfront and Speed the Plow. On screen he is perhaps best known as police detective Lieutenant James Dempsey in the popular 1980s ITV crime drama Dempsey and Makepeace. Other screen credits include a recent episode of BBC 1’s Hustle, The Last Days of Lehman Brothers and a forthcoming mini-series This September by Rosamund Pilcher.

Sandra Dickinson will play Dora, a radio show host, and Miss Dinsmore, a diction coach. Dickinson’s credits include the BBC television series’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and 2 Point 4 Children, as well as the films Space Truckers, Supergirl and Superman III.

Katherine Kingsley will play Lina Lamont, a shrill-voiced leading lady. Kingsley’s credits include Hobson’s Choice at Chichester (Festival 2007), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Donmar Warehouse), the roles of Marlene Dietrich and Madeleine in Piaf (Donmar Warehouse and the West End), for which she received an Olivier Award nomination, Rose in Aspects of Love (Menier Chocolate Factory), The 39 Steps (UK tour) and High Society (West End and UK tour).

The Singin’ in the Rain cast also features Adam Cooper, whose credits include On Your Toes and Guys and Dolls, as silent movies star Don Lockwood, Daniel Crossley, whose credits include Hello, Dolly!, Chicago, Fosse and Mary Poppins, as Cosmo Brown, and Scarlett Strallen, who has appeared in The Music Man (Festival 08), Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as Kathy Selden.

Singin’ in the Rain is at Chichester Festival Theatre from 27 June – 10 September,
7.30pm, (except Press Night, Tuesday 5 July at 7pm), matinees 2.15pm.

April 24th 2011


George Callander writes: Hello, all at Old Theatres Magazine.Where have you been hiding yourselves? Old theatres are my passion - being someone who grew up in Aberdeen and had the delight of roaming the non-public areas of the Tivoli while waiting for my grandma to finish bingo!
I stumbled upon your magazine quite by accident - you are hard to find! I have ordered the most recent issue to look at. If I like it I can assure you I will be a very chuffed and loyal subscriber!

Jayne Darcy, OLD THEATRES PA, replies: Welcome George, We were delighted to hear from you, and you'll also be pleased to know that our next edition features an article on Aberdeen Tivoli's restoration project.


Kenny Cantor writes: Thought the video on Worthing Pier Pavilion was delightful. I played there as principal comic in Clarkson Rose's Twinkle in 1974. It was the last year of his production. Great memories !

April 21st 2011

One of the most powerful and dynamic musicals of all time comes to the Kings Theatre, Southsea in May 2011. Blood Brothers is a stunning show that will have you laughing and crying in equal measure, as it has done for over 20 years wherever it has played. Starring Nikki Evans (X Factor) in the lead role, this wonderful West End show comes to Southsea for one week. More details at


Edition 8 of OLD THEATRES magazine is now in production ready for delivery to subscribers at the beginning of May. It is an excellent edition featuring the mighty Middlesborough Empire on its colour cover, together with an in depth article on Burnley Empire which is at the top of The Theatres Trust "At Risk" list. If you haven't ordered it yet, please send cheque for £6.66p made payable to T.G. Kirtland, 20, Rife Way, Felpham, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 7BW (Price includes UK postage and packing)

Just a few copies of the current edition of the magazine (Edition 7) remain which can be sent out to you at the same price, until we give instructions for a reprint. So please take advantage of that now--while present stocks last !

April 14th 2011


A bumper summer is guaranteed as Eastbourne Theatres spring into action to provide the best in family entertainment.

The packed season of live theatre includes this year’s in-house production, Murder By Misadventure, an ingenious thriller starring Gareth Hale and Norman Pace. Appearing in the same play together for the first time EVER, Eastbourne Theatres are delighted to be re-uniting them for this special one-off project playing the Devonshire Park Theatre from 14 July – 13 August.

The drama continues throughout the season when twelve daring ladies return to Eastbourne in the marvellous Calendar Girls (27 June – 2 July), the cast includes Lesley Joseph, Sue Holderness and Kacey Ainsworth. Other dramatic highlights include the National Theatre’s production of The Pitmen Painters (6 - 11 June), The Ghost and Mrs Muir (14 - 18 June), Devonshire Park’s Studio Season (21 - 25 June), and wartime farce See How They Run (18 August – 3 September).

Providing high quality musical theatre this summer, the Congress Theatre will be home to Blood Brothers (4 – 9 July),Tell Me On A Sunday starring Claire Sweeney (2 - 6 August) and brand new show, Summer Ice Spectacular, which glides in from 25 August – 4 September. Created especially for Eastbourne by Wild Rose, the producers of Peter Pan & Snow White on Ice, this show will take you on an exciting journey through the wonderful world of musical theatre, complete with stunning skating, a live band and vocalists. An unmissable show that you won’t see anywhere else this year!

Determined not to leave the younger generation out, there is also some great entertainment for the children to enjoy, including: Mr Benn (10 - 11 June), The Tiger Who Came To Tea (1 - 2 July) and The GO!GO!GO! Show (20 - 21 August).

All of that, plus welcome returns for the Shaolin Warriors (11 May), Jonathan Ansell & Friends (8 June), Sally Morgan (17 June), Jimmy Carr (11 August), Ken Dodd (7 August), Spirit of the Dance (15 - 18 August) and Jim Davidson (19 August). Eastbourne Theatres is guaranteed to provide you with the best in entertainment to ensure this Summer is sizzling, even if the weather is not!

Pick up a brochure or visit for full season details. For all tickets, call the box office on 01323 412000.

April 7th 2011

In support of Oban Phoenix Cinema this Saturday, April 9th, will see the arrival of Great Western Auctions, led by TV’s Anita Manning. Starting at 11am at the Caledonian Hotel, entry is £5 and you can have a maximum of 3 items appraised by an expert. Free tea and coffee and all proceeds are going in to the purchase pot for the cinema.

OLD THEATRES magazine. David Hutchison writes: I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the publication of the magnificent OLD THEATRES magazine. Indeed, a not only look upon myself as a subscriber, but as a member of a special club. Keep up the good work.

Jayne Darcy, PA OLD THEATRES magazine replies: That is quite a compliment, David. In fact it quite made our day. We are impressed !

April 1st 2011

Following our picture feature in the Spring edition of OLD THEATRES magazine on the Royal Variety Theatre at Rushden, Northants, Rushden History Society will be including an article on the venue in their September Magazine. They are also
hoping to have a celebration... Probably at the RITZ, as the Royal is now ASDA.
It will include placing a Blue Plaque in ASDA's foyer, where there is already one commemorating the original site of "Rushden Feast", the Annual Fair, before the Royal was built.

March 31st 2011

Join the cast of the Wizard of Oz at a special gala performance on 21st April in support of Comic Relief.
Follow the yellow brick road over the rainbow and into The London Palladium for a special Comic Relief gala performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production, The Wizard of Oz. Starring Michael Crawford as The Wizard and Danielle Hope (winner of the BBC's smash hit Over the Rainbow) as Dorothy.

This extra special night will be the only performance of the popular stage show to feature the dog 'Dangerous Dave' – BBC's Over the Rainbow's winning Toto!

The curtain is set to rise on this one time only event at 7.30pm on Thursday 21st April and all profits from the sale of this performance will go directly to Comic Relief.

Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay this production, totally reconceived for the stage, contains all the much-loved songs from the Oscar winning movie score, all the favourite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

March 26th 2011

March 22nd 2011

Old Timer writes: Reference the poster showing Marie Lloyd at a mystery Queens Theatre, there were several theatres of that name where she could have appeared--Battersea, South Shields, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Leeds (Holbeck), Gateshead, Keighley, ewcastle upon Tyne, Shipley and Stoke on Trent among them, depending on her age and at what time!

The one that most of your subscribers will go for is, without doubt, the Queens, Poplar, a very well attended London suburban hall. If any of your readers would like to see what it was like (with architect Bertie Crewe attentions) it can be clearly viewed inside and out in the film, Pool of London, starring Bonar Colleano, hopefully out on a DVD. The theatre was taken down in 1964.

It is possible that the poster was a handbill or the front of a programme cover for the Poplar house. It was always known after some previous changes of name as the Queens (Poplar) Ltd--but not until 1927, after her death. There are no further clues that I can see and Miss Lloyd's image is vague. She lived from 1870 to 1922 so was a star when the music halls were being built.

March 16th 2011

Rollers at the ready! Drew Quayle’s critically acclaimed comedy play The Salon is back at the St Helens Theatre Royal this month, it returns backcombed, buffed, polished and bigger and better than ever before from Thu 31 March - Sat 9 April.

Welcome to a beauty spot like no other. If you want perfect nails, a relaxing massage or that perfect perm then there are plenty of places to go, but if you want jealousy, bitchiness and gossip then this is the salon for you!


Jill Millard Shapiro writes: I noticed in OLD THEATRES Edition 7 (page 34) that the article on the Windmill Girls in Australia claims that Sally Ann Crow was the only genuine London Windmill Girl. Lynne Leisham (pictured far left) was also a Windmill Girl and the two girls pictured in the centre on the bottom row were a double act called Jan and Kelly who performed with the Windmill Girls in some of the production numbers. I can assure you that this is correct because I was a Windmill Girl and worked with all of them.

I have enjoyed reading your magazine and wish you success with future editions. Kind regards.

Many thanks for the additional information, Jill. It must have been a wonderful time for you



Keep Smiling Through


Monday 11 April, 2.30pm

Winter Garden, Eastbourne

Britain’s best matinee, We’ll Meet Again returns to the Winter Garden, Eastbourne on Monday 11 April with a new programme of ‘Hits from the Blitz’.

This bright and breezy wartime revue pays tribute to the great entertainers of the 40’s who kept Britain smiling through her darkest days.The regular show team return, bringing back memories of the great Max Miller, Bing Crosby and the sensational George Formby. This season the company are also joined by singing star, Lucia Mattise, who pays tribute to Forces Sweetheart, Vera Lynn

Between 1942 and 1943 Eastbourne was the target of German 'hit and run' raiders, making it the most bombed town on the south coast. During this time, however, British spirit was high and We’ll Meet Again reminds us all of an era to be proud of.

With the fabulous music of The Martyn St James Band and entertainer, Mervyn Francis as host, this wartime revue is guaranteed to leave everyone with a warm and sentimental glow.

We’ll Meet Again takes place at the Winter Garden, Eastbourne, on Monday 11 April, 2.30pm. Tickets priced £12.50, over 60’s £10.50 and can be purchased from Box Office on 01323 412000 or book online at

March 11th 2011


Ken Wisdom writes: Another great OLD THEATRES magazine. I aways look forward to the next one. Well done!


Top Girls casting announcement, Chichester MInerva Theatre

Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Stella Gonet, Lucy Briers and Olivia Poulet have been confirmed to appear in the Festival 2011 and Out of Joint co-production of Top Girls at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

Suranne Jones will play businesswoman Marlene. Jones is best known for her performance as Karen McDonald in Coronation Street. Since then she has featured in numerous television dramas including Vincent, Unforgiven, Five Days and Single Father. Her stage credits include A Few Good Men in the West End, and the touring production of Terms of Endearment.

Catherine McCormack will play Lady Nijo/Win. McCormack’s notable screen credits include Braveheart, Spy Game and 28 Weeks Later. Her theatre credits include an Olivier Award nominated performance in All My Sons, Dinner (both at the National Theatre) and the West End production of The 39 Steps.

Stella Gonet will play Isabella Bird/Joyce/Mrs Kidd. Her television credits include the drama series’ The House of Eliott and Holby City. Theatre credits include Racing Demon, Skylight, Hamlet and The Voysey Inheritance (National Theatre), and RSC productions of Measure For Measure, Three Sisters and The Revenger’s Tragedy.

Lucy Briers will play Pope Joan/Louise. Her theatre credits include West End productions of Some Kind of Bliss and Ivanov. Television appearances include the role of Mary Bennet in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which also featured Oscar Award winner Colin Firth.

Olivia Poulet will play Dull Gret/Angie/Jeanine. Her credits include recent roles in the television comedy The Thick of It, as well as the film In The Loop.

One of the boldest and most original plays of the 1980s, Top Girls remains equally relevant today. It’s Thatcher’s England and hard-nosed businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests - all powerful women from myth and history – create an extraordinary gathering. A provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain, the play examines the compromises made by women in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind.

Caryl Churchill’s plays include Cloud Nine, Serious Money, for which she received the Evening Standard Award for Best New Comedy and the Olivier Award for Best New Play, Far Away and A Number.

Max Stafford-Clark returns to Top Girls, having directed its premiere at the Royal Court in 1982. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1979 – 1993 and of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh from 1968 – 1970. He co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Group in 1974 and Out of Joint in 1993. Among his directing credits are regular collaborations with writer Caryl Churchill, including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Serious Money and Blue Heart.

Top Girls is a co-production with Out of Joint.

(Contains adult themes and strong language.)

Top Girls is at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, from 23 June – 16 July


A Celebration of Music Hall at Wilton’s in London

Wednesday 23 rd March

Champagne Charlie

Starts 8pm, Tickets £12, £10 concessions Thursday 24th March

An Evening of Music Hall

Starts 8pm, Tickets £12, £10 concessions Friday 25th March

Discussing the first Music Hall Superstar

Starts 7:30pm, Tickets £10.

Wilton's Music Hall is staging three nights inspired by Champagne Charlie. Join us for Chris Beeching's

highly acclaimed Champagne Charlie tribute, follow it with a night of Music Hall featuring music from Marie

Lloyd, Nellie Power and Albert Chevalier and finish the week with a talk including rare images and songs that

illustrate the life of George Leybourne (Champagne Charlie) himself.


Christopher Beeching premieres a special One Act version of his entertainment about George Leybourne

(Champagne Charlie). Linked to the publication of Beeching’s biography of Leybourne, The Heaviest of

Swells, the show will is based on the life and songs of this Lion Comique. Written by Glyn Jones,

Champagne Charlie

has been seen at venues throughout the UK. A CD has been recorded of Leybourne’s

songs and excerpts from the show have been broadcast on television and radio, most recently on BBC4’s

Rude Britannia, as well as in the forthcoming BBC4 documentary on the history of music hall. The colourful

costumes are reproductions of those worn by Leybourne in his performances. The pianist will be Paul Knight.


A host of well known music hall artistes and entertainers have been gathered for your delectation. Miss Jan

Hunt, Miss Gemma Page, Mr. Jim McManus and Mr. Christopher Beeching sing songs from a bygone era

made famous by Marie Lloyd, Nellie Power, Albert Chevalier, and of course the Great George Leybourne.

The evening will be presided over by your incomparable chairman Mr Robert Meadwell, while the dexterous

fingers, of Mr. Paul Knight will accompany the entire ensemble. Step back in style to the glorious and

glamorous Victorian Days of the historic Wilton’s Music Hall.




March 2011 sees the publication of The Heaviest of Swells, the first volume of the biography of the man best

known as Champagne Charlie. On Friday March 25th, as a special addition to events at Wilton's Music Hall

related to George Leybourne's life, using songs and rare illustrations, actor and author Christopher Beeching

takes us on his extraordinary journey of discovery into the true background of this important artiste of the

Music Hall.

As Peter Bailey, social historian and author of Popular Culture and Performance in the Victorian City, writes

in his Foreword to The Heaviest of Swells: 'Beeching combines assiduous scholarship and imaginative élan

to bring Leybourne's often tortuous career to full blown authentic life. Here we have the archival scrupulosity

of a literary detective and the insider's identification with his subject that comes from his own showbiz

experience Illuminating and delicious.'



23rd, 24th & 25th March

Show Times:

8pm – 9:30pm

Talk Times:

7:30pm – 9:00pm

Show Prices:

£12 Full Price, £10 conc.

Talk Prices:

£10 only

More information:

Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley,

off Ensign St, London. E1 8JB

March 6th 2011

A treasure trove of new material from one of Britain's favourite show business couples, Elsie and Doris Waters (Gert and Daisy) who are being honoured by their home town of Steyning in West Sussex by an exhibition of their memorablia. They will also be featured in the next edition of OLD THEATRES magazine which is nearing publication. The exhibition at Steyning museum, which adjoins the town's library opens later this month and will run until September.

The exhibition ‘HULLO EVERYBODY’— was the usual phrasing that Gert and Daisy used to open their act.

On view are theatre and film posters, cinema stills, photographs, theatre programmes, costumes and a small selection of their Norman Hartnell couture. Visitors will also see a selection of letters relating to their tour of Burma and the Far East.

Steyning is a town full of medieval character, good food and a warm welcome. Founded by enthusiastic residents, Steyning Museum tells the story and development of the settlement, reputedly founded by St. Cuthman in the Saxon period. A registered charity, the Museum is administrated and staffed entirely by volunteers. Admission is free but donations are always welcome.

The nearest railway station is Shoreham by Sea where there an hourly bus service (2A) serves the town.There is also the less frequent service (106) from Worthing and the Burgess Hill to Pulborough/Horsham (100) service. (Please note: Services 106 and 100 do not operate on Sundays). Car parking is available near the Museum which is opposite the parish church and behind the library.


Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10.30am to 12.30pm. Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

Saturday 10.30am to 4.30pm.





Tel: 01903 813333

March 3rd 2011

Brian Jones writes: I enjoyed the magazine and our reminiscences about the great Larry Grayson. My wife and I have been recalling Larry, as Billy Breen of course, and particularly remember him often in Nuneaton market place on a Saturday with his poodle. His appearance was then not so common in a mining town, but he was always popular
The magazine also had a piece about
Nuneaton Ritz cinema. As you know, towns of that size then had several cinemas, the Ritz was the 'creme de la creme' of it's day. Larry used to talk about the Grand at Hartshill, but that was out of town and I never went there, I went mainly to our local flea pit, the Palace at Stockingford.
On Saturday morning for a treat we went to the Ritz to the ABC Minors and if you force me I can still sing most of "We are the boys and girls well known as......."
Which you may remember.
Regards, and I hope we meet again,

February 24th  2011

The sparkling family musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, returns to the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, from Tuesday 5 – Sunday 10 April, starring the popular runner-up from the hit BBC series, Any Dream Will Do, Keith Jack.

Watched by millions every Saturday night, the show was produced to find a leading man for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new West End production, and Keith, chosen from tens of thousands of wannabes, charmed audiences week after week with his vocal talents, finally finishing in second place. He went on to play the Narrator in the UK tour of Joseph and returns for the 2011 UK tour in the lead role.

Bill Kenwright, one of the most successful and prolific producers in British theatre today, (whose current hit West End shows include the musicals Blood Brothers and Cabaret and acclaimed drama, The Letter), was on the expert panel of judges alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber, Denise Van Outen and John Barrowman and is delighted that Keith is taking on the leading role.

Since appearing in Any Dream Will Do, Keith has appeared as Aladdin in Aladdin at the King's Theatre Glasgow, the title role in Peter Pan at His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen and created the lead role of Charlie in the new musical Only the Brave, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Keith has also released two albums. The most recent, An Evening at the Musicals, was released last year.

Retelling the biblical story about Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical sings out to young and old alike. With a score of wall to wall hits - including Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do, Joseph continues to enjoy huge success across the country with standing ovations at every performance.

See Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne from Tuesday 5 – Sunday 10 April 2011. Tickets are priced from £13.50 - £27 with concessions available for selected performances, to book call the box office on 01323 412000 or online

February 23rd 2011

Professional photographer Cris Matthews reports that restoration work on Leeds City Varieties is now well advanced, and to prove it here's his picture of the interior as viewed from the stage of this famous music hall. The theatre has been featured several times in OLD THEATRES magazine, so please contact us for back numbers.

February 17th 2011


At the heart of the sixth season from Artistic Director Jonathan Church and Executive Director Alan Finch will be ‘a Festival within a Festival’ celebrating the achievements of playwright Terence Rattigan in the centenary year of his birth. There will be productions of two of his finest plays, The Deep Blue Sea and The Browning Version, both of which will play in conjunction with the world premiere of a connected piece, Rattigan’s Nijinsky by Nicholas Wright and South Downs by David Hare. There will also be a series of Rattigan-themed rehearsed readings, discussions and talks.

For the first time, the season also features three musicals, She Loves Me, Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd, which will form the beginning, middle and end of the Festival. Vastly different in style and content, these three productions reflect the diversity and range of musical theatre itself.


Book by Joe Masteroff

Music by Jerry Bock

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

9 May – 18 June, Minerva Theatre

Director & Choreographer: Stephen Mear

Designer: Anthony Ward

Lighting Designer: Chris Davey

Musical Director: Phil Bateman

Sound Designer: Matt McKenzie

Orchestrator: Steven Edis

A witty and warm-hearted musical gem - later reworked for the big screen as The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail - this is the delightful story of Georg and Amalia, two lovelorn assistants in a 1930s parfumerie. They squabble by day but at night write anonymous love letters, both unaware that they are each other’s secret correspondent.

The cast features Joe McFadden. Last at Chichester in Festival 05’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, his other credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Rent on stage and Heartbeat, Casualty and Cranford on television.

Dianne Pilkington plays Amalia. Her stage credits include The 39 Steps, Wicked, The Wolf Man, Taboo, Tonight’s The Night, The Beautiful Game and Les Misérables.

The musical will be directed and choreographed by Chichester Festival Theatre Associate Stephen Mear.

His productions for Chichester include The Music Man and Funny Girl. Other credits include the forthcoming West End production of Betty Blue Eyes, Shoes, Mary Poppins, for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Choreography, together with Matthew Bourne, and Hello, Dolly! for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer.

February 17th 2011

Rushden Heritage Society is featuring details from OLD THEATRES article (Edition 7) on their town's Royal Theatre, in the Summer Issue of their magazine. The Royal Theatre was opened 100 years ago THIS Year.. And Closed 50 years ago THIS Year. So that will be interesting reading for the Locals.

February 16th 2011

Keith Rose reports: Australia Hall, Pembroke, Malta was built for the troops involved in the First World War, Malta being a staging post. It had a deep stage and also showed films. Although burnt out, there is a planning application in to restore it. A study in dereliction--there was the most amount of human excrement in it, that I have ever seen!

Reg Bibby writes: Really enjoyed reading about the history of Aldershot Hippodrome in Edition 7 of OT magazine as I did my National Service near that town between 1950 and 1952. Many of us used to go to the Hippodrome every Monday night. But I also went to Aldershot Theatre Royal where there was a repertory company, with David Crosse and Hazel Douglas there, both of whom I later on saw on TV! Would you please ask Joan Hinde if she remembers Wigan Hippodrome.

February 12th 2011

Ken Sutcliffe writes: The Empire Theatre in Ashton-under-Lyne (now remaining as the Tameside Hippodrome) opened in 1904. The Theatres Trust Guide on Page 5 quotes a 3-tier auditorium (do stalls and two circles count as a 3-tier?) and the Stage Guide of 1910 gives stage dimensions 90ft x 45ft and a proscenium of 36ft. I wonder if you have subscribers in that area who might know someone, obviously now quite elderly, who has recollections of the pre-1933 interior? Or there might be other lines of enquiry in the town.

Richard Roper writes: Could the Queens Theatre Music Hall poster showing Marie Lloyd be the old Queens Theatre that stood in Long Acre, London? Just a thought.

Ken Renshaw writes: Kindest regards to the wonderful team that continue to bring your publication to us.

February 11th 2011

Mike Luther writes: Many thanks for the magazine. I started as Stage Electrician working the old Grand Master at Golders Green Hippodrome .I then progressed to Stage Direction for Richard Stone productions and Pantomimes for the Delfont office.
I was also Stage Manager for Butlins for 3 years at Clacton before it was sold off. I have worked in many theatres in London including Wimbledon, Lewisham, Odeon temple Fortune, Gaumont State in Kilburn all putting on shows in the 70's.Whitehall Theatre - Come Spy with Me. The Adelphi - Light up London. The Apollo - The last production of The Black & White Minstrels.Wembley - Holiday on Ice. The Rainbow Theatre (Finsbury park) many pop shows here. Those were the days. (All these shows were late 60's early 70's).

February 10th 2011

Margaret Herbert writes: Marie Lloyd on stage at the Queens Theatre. Supporters of Doncaster Grand theatre need your help to tell us which theatre it was and where! I do hope your readers will come up with some ideas.

February 9th 2011

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Neil Stanley writes: “Wow, what a fantastic celebration this is shaping up to be! We are delighted to be working closely with Eastbourne Pier who are organising this special event and joining a national celebration of Britain’s tourism industry. Welcoming over 4.8 million visitors to Eastbourne every year and supporting a huge infrastructure of tourism related jobs in the town, Eastbourne is a popular seaside destination and the Pier is a key attraction for our visitors.

“One of just a few of the country’s remaining Victorian Piers, Eastbourne Pier benefits from continued investment by its owners Six Piers, including the new Ocean Suite function space, which opened just last year. This makes a fitting venue for such a celebration and I hope Eastbourne’s tourism industry, residents, and visitors, will all join us on this evening and help to raise funds for the Pier’s chosen charities at the same time.”

The picture shows the view from the top of the Ocean suite on Eastbourne Pier.

February 8th  2011

Michelle Petrie, personal administrative manager, Eastbourne Pier, writes: We do have a few events coming up in The Ocean Suite on Eastbourne Pier, including the Pier Charity Event which is due to take place in March 2011.

We are also hosting our Airbourne event from 11-14 August 2011. We are offering a limited number of hospitality packages over the four days of Airbourne at a price of £50 per person which includes unrivalled viewing of the airshow, exclusive use of The Ocean Suite bar and Roof Terrace bar, free official programme, 2 course lunch and afternoon refreshments.

February 7th  2011

Alison Goldie, Director The Drama Business writes: The website looks fantastic!

February 4th  2011

Michael C.Green writes: I am a neighbour of Peter Goodwright and he regularly lends me your fascinating magazine to read. I was interested to see the picture "Lost Empire" on page 44 (Edition7) and determined to solve the problem.

The picture is of the Empire Theatre in Swindon which was demolished probably in the 1950s and replaced with a ghastly 3 storey building. It had been known as the Queen's Theatre until, I believe, 1906 when it was renamed the "Empire".

Best wishes in all your endeavours!

Ted replies: Spot on, Michael. Swindon Empire was a wonderful building. So sad that it's gone!

George Hook writes: I must say that every edition of OLD THEATRES gets better and better. You must put in a lot of work. On the subject of Leeds City Varieties (Edition 6) the photograph at the bottom of Page 49 Preservation Matters is described as the empty stage view. In fact this is the gutted dressing room view. Some of the outer walls were left standing due to the proximity of other buildings (note all the windows and remains of stairways). Many thanks for the DVD of Bristol Empire.

February 1st 2011

Rosemarie Ronalde writes: Your website and it looks absolutely terrific and Ronnie's remark at the end was: Wait for it....
don't I look good? Cheeky so and so!
OLD THEATRES magazine just gets better and better. You really have a "Hit" there on your hands. Nobody is permitted to interrupt Ronnie when he sits in his Den and reads it, word for word.

February 1st 2011

January 31st 2011

Philippa Unett writes: Thanks for the great article on Crewe Lyceum in Edition 7 of OLD THEATRES magazine.

Clive Stock writes: What a lovely web site. The poster included so many of my closest and past friends--memories galore! Many thanks, and congratulations on all that you are doing to create interest in our profession.

January 30th 2011

Geoffrey Lord writes: "Absolutely delighted with the website. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to many more editions of Old Theatres."

January 29th 2011

Reg Bibby writes: Very much enjoyed Alan Chudley's article and excellent pictures on Aldershot Theatres in Edition 7 of OLD THEATRES magazine.

I was in Aldershot from 1950 to 1952 during my National Service. I used to go to the Hippodrome every Monday night. I have also been to the Theatre Royal to see the repertory company there, who included David Crosse and Hazel Douglas. (I have seen both on television since then.)

Would you ask Britain's first lady of the trumpet, Joan Hinde, if she remembers the good old Wigan Hippodrome.

We certainly will, Reg. And not only that, we have just located a picture of the interior of Aldershot Theatre Royal!

January 27th 2011

Rog Ness writes: Thank you so much for organising a copy of OLD THEATRES for me. It is absolutely fantastic! I was interested in the articals on the Guildford and Aldershot theatres, as I currently live and work in Guildford (I am a theatre designer - sets and costumes, but also do a lot of work at the King's Theatre, Southsea, where I am also a member of the Trust).

January 22nd 2011

Judith Owens Lancaster writes from the USA: Your new web pages are beautiful, stunning, gorgeous! I keep trying to retire from show biz, but I guess I'm in it for life!

Richard R. Roper writes: The new OLD THEATRES web pages are great. Well done, once again.

January 18th 2011

So enjoyed Aladdin at Wolverhampton Grand theatre. The production was very good, I especially liked the puppet on the bench coming to life.

The kids in the audience gasp was breathtaking and of course Mr Biggins was good.

January 18th 2011

January 16th 2011

OLD TIMER writes: I think the theatre at Gosport was called the Olympia and like many at that time in the smaller towns had a much chequered career. I don't think it was built until the early I920s and didn't last a great deal of time.

January 15th 2011

David James writes: I am delighted to receive your publications which I very much enjoy reading. One of my colleagues at work (who also reads the magazine) lives in Gosport, Hampshire, and wonders if anybody had any information about a theatre which used to be on the High Street, Gosport. I will gladly pass it on to him. E Mail:

January 14th 2011


Theatre historian Phil Yates has been honoured by the University of Winchester. An Honorary Fellowship was conferred on him, reflecting his achievements as a writer, archivist and historian, particularly regarding the Theatre Royal, Winchester, and his local connection, as a resident of the city, to the University and the region that it serves.

Phil, a regular contributor to OLD THEATRES magazine, was one of the founder members who formed an Action Group in 1974 to save the theatre, (which had been used as a cinema for many years) from demolition.He was appointed Hon. Historian and Archivist to the theatre in 1980

The award was presented to him during a graduation ceremony in Winchester Cathedral by the Chancellor of the University, Dame Mary Fagan. Now in his 84th year, Phil said he felt very humbled, and accepted the award, as far as the theatre was concerned, on behalf of those volunteers who in the early years struggled so hard to save a theatre for Winchester.

January 11th 2011

Trevor Morson writes: Thanks for the latest edition of OLD THEATRES. The photos are so clear, and Ted's backstage photographs are so good. I hope we see many more in issues to come. Keep up the good work.

Terry Davis writes: Another great issue arrived today.
The puzzle theatre (page 42) is of the
Windsor, at Bearwood, West Midlands. I managed to get
into it early this year (May ). Must have been an interesting place in its heyday. I have an old
programme for it -- 1948.

Jayne Darcy replies: You are correct with your identification, Terry. But not the first, unfortunately. I think yours is an earlier programme than the one we have been sent. Our shows a picture of its exterior on the cover.

January 9th 2011

Here we are at Bognor Regis, the nearest town to where your OT magazine is produced. And after just a short walk along the promenade, we are soon at Bognor pier and at the town's last remaining old theatre. Sadly, the building is now the remaining shell of a theatre, but it is still in use as its auditorium has become a disco. But the town's historic Picturedrome which was also used as a theatre is now council owned and set for a bright future.

If you have any information for us about Britain's OLD THEATRES which you think we might like to include in the magazine or on our web pages, please E Mail us

(All items are welcomed, but please understand that we cannot guarantee to publish everything, and reserve the right to edit any material submitted. All information is published in good faith and whilst all reasonable care is taken to ensure its accuracy, we take no responsibility for the accuracy of statements, content, or any omissions within the advertisements or for the loss arising from non-publication of any detail or advertisement.

January 8th 2011

Brian O'Gorman writes: There was a long History of Theatre in Bognor and many more places offering it than may now be supposed in 1940's and 50' .
There were two Cinemas pure and simple . The
Odeon , part of the Chain and spacious and comfortable . Being a seaside place Bognor was very early in receiving the new releases.
The well loved
Picturedrome featured good solid family fare and second or third releases .
Theatre Royal at the end of the Arcade was a gem - compact and cosy. It was the local equivalent of the Gaumont Chain and British Films were to be found there. I remember The Guinea Pig, Angels 15, Great Expecations,Trio and Quartet -Somerset Maugham Compilations, among others .
It is uncertain when it stopped being a theatre for live shows
Before it burned down there was the
Pavilion where my aunt Vivi was one of the earliest Rosebuds for Clarkson Rose. In immediate post war it was mainly used for Dancing . I do not remember any shows there.
On the
Pier, which was under the control of Harry Buxton. there was the main auditorium , where I saw the Pantomime Aladdin, a hilarious troupe The Jerry Builders and later the great Max Miller - June1955. There were films in the winter,
Also in the tiniest space imaginable, above the present fun fair rooms , was the Repertory. Even when full, it could not have taken much money but the actors and the plays were good - recalling especially
The Truth about Blayds and the cast buying the same fish and chips as us afterwards !
And finally, the
Esplanade where Seaside Concert Party flourished under Eric and Brenda Ross with Dazzle and Gate Eastley . This was a permanent venue and a feature of the town's attractions .
In those days one went out for fun !

Brian O'Gorman is the son of Joe O'Gorman, who played variety halls all over the country. A member of the British Music Hall Society research group, he has built up a collection of posters, photographs and memorabilia about the O'Gorman Brothers who were popular favourites for so many variety and music hall audiences. Brian captures that golden age of Variety by giving illustrated talks to theatre supporter groups all over the country).

January 7th 2011

Richard L. Roper writes: How wonderful to read about Peter Goodwright in Edition 7 of OLD THEATRES. I have seen Peter several times in Panto and Variety Shows and the farce Run For Your Wife. The first time I saw him was in the Pantomime Goldilocks and The Three Bears at the Sheffield Lyceum, 1963-64 Season. The star of the Panto was David Whitfield and Joe Black and Tony Heaton were also in the cast. My sister and I had met David in Blackpool during the summer of 1963 when he was appearing in the summer season production at the Winter Gardens Pavilion and we had our photograph taken with him in the Winter Gardens buildings. After seeing the panto at the Lyceum, he autographed it for us and Peter signed my programme. The panto was produced by Tom Arnold and John Beaumont.