#SaveOurTheatres - (Babbacombe Theatre, Torquay)

by Babbacombe Theatre in Torquay, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 30th November 2020 we successfully raised £10,929 with 251 supporters in 82 days

We need your help to prevent the permanent closure of this iconic theatre

by Babbacombe Theatre in Torquay, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The funds donated will save the theatre from permanent closure.

  • 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.1598697163_auditorium_2017.jpg

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.

    Our Team

  • 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.  1599039580_staff.jpg

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  1598974511_lily_smaller.jpg

  • 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.

 Our History

  • 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.
  • 1599039710_colin_image.jpg
  • 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! 


Please donate, share this page and do what you can to help us to make sure our theatre survives this crisis. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£10 or more

50 of 50 claimed


Enter our draw with a £10 donation to win the following: An overnight stay for 2 people at the luxury De Savary CARY ARMS & SPA hotel, right on the sea at in one of the opulent beach huts. Enjoy dinner for 2, breakfast, 2 tickets to the Babbacombe Theatre and a his and hers treatment in the spa. see www.caryarms.co.uk The draw will be held when we have 40 participants. Worth over £600. Donated with thanks to the Cary Arms. See T&Cs

£15 or more

5 of 50 claimed


See Our STARS 2021 Calendar. Each month has a super picture taken from one of our shows over the last ten years.

£25 or more


Show your support by purchasing a BABBACOMBE THEATRE STAR Lapel Badge. All other rewards listed below will also receive this badge

£40 or more

4 of 100 claimed


Choose a performance to have a photo shoot with the cast of SUPERSTARS. Includes a framed photo signed by the cast and 3 photos sent to you by email.

£70 or more

4 of 10 claimed


HAVE A LINK to your business website from our dedicated Star Link website page for the year.

£100 or more

15 of 100 claimed


GOLD STAR SUPPORTER Admission as many times as you want during the year to any of the Babbacombe Theatre’s own productions, i.e. The Main Show (February to October) The Thursday Show (April to October) The Christmas Show (October to January) Subject to availability More benefits - contact the theatre for details

£120 or more

1 of 10 claimed


JOIN THE DIRECTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER for A day of Rehearsals, photo with the cast and two tickets for the first night.

£950 or more

1 of 3 claimed


TWO TICKETS to any 10 touring shows of your choice in 2021 and to each of our own 3 productions

£5,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed


SPONSOR OUR MAIN SHOW in 2022 and have your logo/name used to promote the new show on all publicity print & poster sites. A link from our homepage on our website to your website. Full page display advert in the show programme for this production every Tuesday & Wednesday, the Thursday show and the Christmas show - on screen Interval Adverts.

£750 or more

2 of 1 claimed


Sponsor I LOVE MUSIC 2021 – our Thursday Show and have a logo/name on leaflets & posters, a page in the show programme with logo or name on the running order page (centre-spread) with a dedicated paragraph as part of the show page on the website, a logo or name included on DVD covers, and up to 10 tickets for opening night

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