Record breaking start as Summer Play Festival 2019 launches

PUBLISHED: 07:01 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 07:10 29 May 2019

The queue for tickets at the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth for the Summer Play Festival. Ref shs 21 19TI 5509. Picture: Terry Ife

The queue for tickets at the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth for the Summer Play Festival. Ref shs 21 19TI 5509. Picture: Terry Ife

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Theatre fans made sure they will have the perfect seat after queuing up for tickets to this year's play festival.

Gillian and David Forward were first in the queue for the Summer Play Festival at the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth. Ref shs 21 19TI 5504. Picture: Terry IfeGillian and David Forward were first in the queue for the Summer Play Festival at the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth. Ref shs 21 19TI 5504. Picture: Terry Ife

The Manor Pavilion will once again host 12 shows in as many weeks from producer Paul Taylor Mills, who came to Sidmouth last Thursday to launch this year's event.

Tickets went on sale last Friday and brought a long line of people outside the theatre, resulting in a another year of record breaking sales.

Gillian and David Forward were the first in the queue, bringing their own chairs to camp out outside the theatre doors, eagerly awaiting the box office to open.

Paul Taylor Mills, the lead producer, said: "As ever, the Sidmouth residents have been so welcoming and we all enjoy coming to the launch night and seeing the tremendous affection and support that they have for the festival.

"The Sidmouth Play Festival is the longest standing weekly rep season in the country and we are all very proud to be part of something so special.

"The festival is going from strength to strength with more season ticket holders than ever before and we hope to surpass last year's record breaking box office sales if we can.

"The council's investment in an online ticketing system should definitely help with this by making it easier for holiday makers and residents to book their seats - 24 hours a day."

More than 250 people packed into the theatre on Thursday evening (May 23) to learn more about the plays on offer this summer, meet the producers and have a chat to with the cast.

Gillian and David Forward were first in the queue for the Summer Play Festival at the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth. Ref shs 21 19TI 5523. Picture: Terry IfeGillian and David Forward were first in the queue for the Summer Play Festival at the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth. Ref shs 21 19TI 5523. Picture: Terry Ife

Graham Whitlock, manager of the Manor Pavilion Theatre, said: "There has been a so much anticipation for this year's festival and our patrons have been eager to know what plays they can look forward to and to see Paul and his team again.

"There is great affection for everyone involved in the season and the launch night was such a happy and positive event. I am really looking forward to a great summer of theatre.

"The plays are very exciting with something for everyone to enjoy."

The season starts on Thursday, June 20, with the tense thriller Suddenly At Home by Francis Durbridge.

Stuart Burrows, James Pellow,Graham Whitlock and Jonny Clines outside the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth before the start of the Summer Play Festival. Ref shs 21 19TI 5517. Picture: Terry IfeStuart Burrows, James Pellow,Graham Whitlock and Jonny Clines outside the Manor Pavilion Theatre in Sidmouth before the start of the Summer Play Festival. Ref shs 21 19TI 5517. Picture: Terry Ife

Tickets are available from the Manor Pavilion box office and website.

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