Variety brings a unique quality - my Sidmouth with Goronwy Thom

Goronwy Thom

Goronwy Thom - Credit: Archant

Goronwy Thom regularly brings a variety of entertainment to Sidmouth and here discusses his love of the town.

Please introduce yourself…

My name is Goronwy – which you pronounce Go-ron-wee.

I am a comedy cabaret act (if people are laughing).People think I look a bit like Aled Jones or Chandler from Friends.

I ran away from Sheffield (my home town) aged 15 to join a circus school in London. I have performed ever since trying to make people laugh, in many places across the world.

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What is your favourite building in Sidmouth and why?

The Manor Pavilion Theatre.

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To have such a wonderful performance space in a town like ours is incredible. I have played in thousands of venues and this one is special.

Many towns have lost their theatre completely or have one in a state of complete shambles.

Graham Whitlock and the entire team have made sure that the theatre thrives and long may that continue.

I first produced ‘Variety by the Sea’ there in 2006, and continue to do so regularly. From those shows I formed a company called Slightly Fat Features (because I am ‘slightly’ fat!). This company has won awards at many festivals and continues to tour regularly including runs in The West End and appearances at the London Palladium.

Without the Manor Pavilion and the audiences of Sidmouth this wouldn’t have happened. Some of my most memorable nights on stage have happened in there.

What do you think is Sidmouth’s biggest asset?

The independent shops. To have a thriving high street with so many independent traders is incredible. I hope the town can continue to have the same balance as it does now, that the chain shops don’t take over; it would lose its unique quality.

What is your favourite memory associated with Sidmouth?

Meeting my partner here during Folk Week. I was performing in the Market Square and I fell in love with her and the town. I then moved here in 2006 and have lived here ever since.

What’s your favourite attraction and why?

The sea and the stunning scenery. To have this beauty on your doorstep is amazing. To be honest I try not to tell people about it too much, I don’t want it to get too crowded!

How do you think Sidmouth can improve as a town?

I have two young children and there are lots of young families in Sidmouth, more than some people think. I think more could be done for that age of children – for example, improvements to the playgrounds, especially the one in the town. There are such wonderful things you can do in a small area to make a very exciting and unique space for all ages.

I’m sure more could be done for older children and young people as they grow up in the town too. Some regeneration into existing areas and new ideas for young adults and teenagers would surely be a good idea.

? You may still have time to get a ticket to see Variety by the Sea on Friday, April 27, at the Manor Pavilion, Sidmouth, but the show will be returning on Saturday, November 24, and Goronwy is hoping to appear in the Market Square during Folk Week.

You can find out more about the entertainment of Goronwy Thom by visiting

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