Town council full of praise for ‘very encouraging’ theatre

Gaslight, one of the plays performed at the Manor Pavilion Theatre this summer. Picture: Manor Pavil

Gaslight, one of the plays performed at the Manor Pavilion Theatre this summer. Picture: Manor Pavilion Theatre - Credit: Archant

The Manor Pavilion Theatre has been highlighted for praise after it grossed more than £200,000 in its summer season.

As part of its professional summer repertory season, the theatre hosted 12 plays in 12 weeks and saw a total of 38 talented actors and six directors take part.

The festival brought in visitors from across the country who extended their stay so they could see more than one show.

At a town council meeting on Monday November 5, the subject of the theatre’s success was raised with many councillors commending the staff on their hard work.

Councillor John Dyson said the rising figures were ‘very encouraging’ and that he had spoken to people who had come from far and wide to the festival.

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He said: “It has got some momentum behind it and although it’s in the hands of the district council, it’s very much in our interest as a town council to make sure it goes well and I can only report it’s going very nicely at the moment.”

Theatre manager Graham Whitlock was complimented for his work in helping the theatre to achieve its best ever year.

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He said: “We at the theatre are totally committed to our statement ‘Your Entertainment is our Passion’ and with the most successful year on record and exciting plans for 2019 we will continue to strive to provide live theatre at its very best.”

Cllr John Rayson complimented the theatre on what a ‘great asset’ it was to Sidmouth, saying all the shows he attended in the summer were extremely good.

The theatre is not quite in the black yet but is ‘doing a lot better’ and Cllr Ian McKenzie-Edwards praised this considering the arts are not known for making money, usually having to receive subsidiary in most places.

Seeing the increase in sales, East Devon District Council, which funds and manage the theatre, has invested in a fully computerised online ticketing system which will be installed next year. Customers will still be able to book at the theatre and over the phone, but the addition of the system will mean tickets can be purchased at any time of day.

The theatre is currently selling tickets for the performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Aspects of Love’ which will be performed in the area for the first time.

South West based company EX3 Productions secured the rights to perform the musical which follows the life of actress Rose Vibert and her romantic entanglements.

The musical first debuted in the West End in 1989 and to find out more turn to page 14.

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