A special week for the Marine Theatre

Marine Theatre director Gabby Rabbitts and town councillors David Sarson, Michaela Ellis, Kelsey Ellis, Gillian Stammers, David Ruffle, Belinda Bawden, Jeff Scowen and Stan Williams celebrate the venue’s 125th anniversary at this week’s programme launch

NOT since my one line in a school production of ‘Oliver!’ have I ever considered treading the boards again. But this week I found myself spending more time in our little theatre by the sea than ever before!

No, I won’t be appearing in this week’s ‘Lyme Regis Revue’, marking the 125th anniversary of the Marine Theatre, but I’ve definitely been joining in the celebrations.

On Sunday I attended the packed-out free screening of ‘All Over The Town’. As I’ve mentioned before, the film – made in Lyme Regis in the 1940s – resonates quite strongly with me as it follows two local reporters who take on the town council.

I forgot how funny it was and some of the jokes about local reporting are still spot on today. But my favourite line was one of the more serious from newspaper editor Nat Hearn, played by Norman Wooland: “If we can’t stand up for the things that matter to us in our own town, what hope do we have?”

How true, I thought, and how great that many in Lyme are not afraid to do so.

I was back at the Marine on Tuesday night for its launch of this season’s programme – the highlight of which is sure to be a visit from acclaimed actor Sir Ian McKellen in July, already sold out I’m afraid.

It was brilliant to see the launch so well supported and everyone joining in with the 125th anniversary celebrations – buying pin badges and tickets for the grand raffle, which has already raised an impressive £6,000 for the theatre’s upkeep.

The next evening I was back again to photograph the dress rehearsal of ‘The Lyme Regis Revue’ – a special anniversary production showing off the talents of our local organisations and then I watched the whole thing again on opening night! You can still get tickets – now half price – for performances for the final performance tonight (Saturday).

By the way, how was everyone’s head on Sunday morning after Guitars On The Beach? Hmm… thought so. With the weather finally on side it turned out to be a brilliant event – one of the most enjoyable I’ve attended over the past seven years – so congratulations to all organisers and performers.

Woodmead Halls

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