Sidmouth theatre festival that sold £14k worth of tickets kicks off

Sidmouth Summer Play Festival producer Paul Taylor-Mills.

Sidmouth Summer Play Festival producer Paul Taylor-Mills. - Credit: Archant

A summer event made up of 12 productions, which sold £14,000 worth of tickets within hours of going on sale, will begin on Thursday.

The hugely popular Summer Play Festival is set to kick off a three-month run of productions featuring works from iconic playwrights including Cooney, Coward, and Ayckbourn.

This will be the fifth year Paul Taylor-Mills, an award-winning West End producer, will take the helm as part of the festival being held at the Manor Pavilion Theatre.

The venue, owned and managed by East Devon District Council (EDDC), is the last in the UK to offer a season of repertory productions which seamlessly change every week from June to September.

Theatregoers will be in for a real treat with a great line up of 12 productions in as many weeks which include such classics as The Odd Couple, Ladies in Lavender and Dial M for Murder.

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Each production will show for a week from Thursday to Wednesday. Caught in the Net by Ray Cooney will be the first production to appear as part of the event, from Thursday until next Wednesday (June 28).

This will be followed by Murder in Company by Philip King and John Bolland commencing from Thursday (June 29), The Odd Couple by Neil Simon from July 6, Ladies in Lavender by Sean McKenna based on the screenplay by Charles Dance from July 13, Dial M for Murder by Frederick Knott from July 20 and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte from July 27.

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The Birds by Conor McPherson will be the next production starting on August 2, followed by Relative Values by Noel Coward from August 17, Birthday Suite by Robin Hawdon from August 24, Absent Friends by Alan Ayckbourn from August 31, Hobson’s Choice by Harold Brighouse from September 7 and House Guest by Francis Durbridge from September 14.

Cllr John O’Leary, EDDC’s champion for culture, said: ‘‘Some theatre goers have bought season tickets to see all 12 plays… They know they will be seeing the very best cast and sets which they normally would have to travel to London for.”

Call the box office on 01395 514413. Phone lines are open from 10am to 2pm and ticket start at £16/£17 for adults and £8 for under 16s.

Visit for more information.

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