Entertainment

Great live music can be found on a weekly basis at pubs and venues throughout the town. Film and comedy nights can also be enjoyed on a regular basis. Additionally the Whitstable Playhouse present a number of plays throughout the year as well as streaming events live from the Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Opera. During the summer months Fairs and Festivals are a big draw to the town, not least the world famous Oyster Festival in late July.

The Playhouse

Theatre
Work 104 High Street Kent Whitstable CT5 1AZ Work Phone: 01227 272042 Website: www.playhousewhitstable.co.uk

Biography

Photo of The Playhouse

Towards the end of 1945 thoughts were turn­ing to renew­ing the var­i­ous social activ­i­ties of the pre-war days. The Vicar of Whit­stable, Canon Hill­yard, invited Ralph Lind­ley to form a drama group from within the con­gre­ga­tion of All Saints Church. Early in 1946 such a group formed, together with a com­mit­tee of Offi­cers and mem­bers. The drama group, nat­u­rally called The Lind­ley Play­ers, also per­formed an annual pageant at the Sum­mer Fete held by All Saints Church. They were, after all, an inte­gral part of the social activ­i­ties of the Church. This, in addi­tion to two pro­duc­tions each year, con­tin­ued until Ralph Lind­ley retired and left Whit­stable in 1955.

Dur­ing the next 20 years the Play­ers con­tin­ued to thrive and expand their activ­i­ties, putting on pro­duc­tions at var­i­ous dif­fer­ent venues. How­ever, there was always an ambi­tion for the Lind­leys to have their own the­atre and a build­ing fund was cre­ated to save towards that dream. In 1978 the United Reformed Church in Whit­stable High Street was put on the mar­ket and a small group of Lind­leys realised the poten­tial of the build­ing to con­vert into a the­atre.

By the end of 1980, enough money had been raised in order to start nego­ti­a­tions with the United Reform Church for the pur­chase of the build­ing. Con­ver­sion work on the audi­to­rium and bal­cony began in April 1981 and was com­pleted a year later. Pro­duc­tions were to con­tinue at St Mary’s Hall in 1981 and 1982. The mem­bers work­ing at week­ends and one evening every week did the bulk of this con­ver­sion work. The work involved build­ing a stage, remov­ing the bal­cony from the side walls, installing a stepped audi­to­rium floor, build­ing a light­ing con­trol and sound con­trol room in the bal­cony and addi­tional seat­ing. The lower floor was con­verted into a bar, club room and dress­ing rooms.

Since the open­ing pro­duc­tion “Voy­age Round My Father” in 1982, (with John Mor­timer the play­wright present), the Play­house has been expanded, re-furbished and fit­ted out with the lat­est state of the art sound and light­ing equip­ment. The hard work by vol­un­teers over the years has resulted in The Play­house The­atre being a per­for­mance venue suit­able for a wide range of live enter­tain­ment. The Play­house The­atre is home to own­ers and oper­a­tors the Lind­ley Play­ers, but it is also a high spec­i­fi­ca­tion per­for­mance venue used by many exter­nal ama­teur groups and pro­fes­sional acts.

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