- Our theatre risks permanent closure because we continue to be unsubsidised and funds are paramount to cover our overheads. It’s hard to believe but the Babbacombe Theatre does not receive any subsidy of any kind, yet it is famed for having a ‘better atmosphere than the London Palladium!’ (Bruce Forsyth). We therefore need your help to raise £10k to ensure that key staff are not lost during the period when we are closed and after we re-open when there will be reduced revenue due to social distancing.
Can you imagine a future without this popular local Theatre? We can’t either, but it could become a reality if we don’t act now.
We hate seeing the theatre empty like this. We want to throw our doors open and reclaim that famous atmosphere. With your help we will be able to reopen and allow our audiences to continue to enjoy our live performances.
- Many of you will already know our key members of staff who have and will continue to work tirelessly to save the theatre
- General Manager Sharon Waring
- Front of House Manager Marie Chapman
- Stage Manager Thomas Martin
- Administrator Chantelle Shortland
- Please help to ensure that they continue to do so.
About Babbacombe Theatre
- The theatre’s 600 seat intimate auditorium has become popular amongst touring shows and in particular from enduring comedy names such as Jimmy Tarbuck, Jethro and Gyles Brandreth to the new breed of successful TV comedians Tim Vine, Henning Wehn and Ed Byrne to name a few. And of course one mustn’t forget the legendary and much missed Bruce Forsyth…
- Bruce Forsyth posed for this photograph before his surprise return, on stage with a live audience back in 2001. He was filming his biopic TV documentary. Bruce said, “Right now I am full of nostalgia because 46 years ago, I appeared here is summer season”. He went on to say, “The atmosphere in this place, you can’t beat it. Stay kind to it and treasure it all you can”. He said although it was only a 600-seater auditorium, it had a better atmosphere than the London Palladium!
- Now the Theatre actively seeks out new and versatile performers for their productions which, together with their youth policy, have resulted in the discovery and development of young talent. Many of these have gone on to successful careers in the entertainment business having appeared in the West End, major national tours, film and television. In particular most recently Lily Laight who has appeared in all of these mediums and can be seen with Michael Ball in Hairspray at the London Coliseum next year
- The ENTERTAINMENT factor is paramount to the successes of the productions at Babbacombe Theatre and 2020 marks the 6th consecutive year the venue continues to be ranked on TripAdvisor’s Theatres and Performances listing as not only the Number 1 theatre in Devon, but also ranked as the Number 1 on Things To Do in Torquay!
- It is also, a winner of the Certificate of Excellence Award again making it nine successive years. In addition it has just been announced that the theatre is in the TOP 10% of ATTRACTIONS WORLDWIDE having just won the Travellers’ Choice Award, based on reviews and ratings on TripAdvisor
- The Babbacombe Theatre is also the only theatre in the Bay to have produced successive 5 STAR productions for six years.
- Although bands had performed during the summer on the site where Babbacombe Theatre now stands, it wasn't until 1920 that a small bandstand was built.
- This was followed in 1935 by a larger structure with a canvas awning and although an improvement on the alfresco concerts the inevitable wind and rain did its worst.
- In 1938 the Babbacombe Concert Hall was built and it remained virtually unchanged for almost 50 years, until the present management took over when improvements started to be made to enable more lavish productions to be staged.
- From its heyday in the 1970's, successive failures in the early 1980's led to the council deciding to close the theatre, however in 1986 Colin Matthews saved the theatre when he stepped in to take over the venue from the Council. Since then his artistic and creative flair as the show’s producer and director has seen him turn the venue into one of the most successful theatres of its size in the country. The theatre’s own productions have been extended, with the main season now running from February to October and with the regular Christmas Show too, the Babbacombe Theatre’s productions run virtually throughout the year.......or we did until lockdown!
- Please purchase one of our excellent rewards or just donate what you can to help us keep the lights on in our beloved theatre. .
- If you have a fundraising idea, please make a personal fundraising page to support us. All funds you raise will go towards our target and you will be able to promote our rewards from your page too!