The Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare
|Architect||Hans Price (original building)|
In 1946 an old market building, designed by Hans Price, a local architect, was converted into a 500-seat theatre. For the next 18 years this theatre, The Playhouse, provided the town with a great variety of entertainment. Stars included Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse and Ken Dodd. On 21 August 1964 a fire destroyed most of the theatre and the unsafe structure had to be demolished. In 1969 at a cost of £230,000 a new theatre opened and has been in continuous use ever since. The stage measures 59 feet (18 m) by 28 feet (9 m) and can be extended by covering the orchestra pit.
On 6 June 2007 the theatre staged the world première of Houdini—The Musical, which is based on the life of the escapologist Harry Houdini. The musical includes Houdini's famous trick the Chinese Water Torture Cell.
The following is a list of recent annual pantomimes:
- 1996 - Jack and the Beanstalk starring Keith Harris with puppets Orville the Duck and Cuddles the Monkey
- 1997 - unknown
- 1998 - Aladdin starring Stefan Dennis
- 1999 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves starring Anne Charleston
- 2000 - Cinderella (cast not known)
- 2001 - Jack and the Beanstalk starring Antonio Fargas, Paul Moriaty and Katy Reeves
- 2002 - Peter Pan starring Derek Griffiths and Sonia
- 2003 - Aladdin starring Peter Amory, Bindya Solanki and John Pickard
- 2004 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves starring Bernie Clifton, Danielle Nicholls and Kim Hartman
- 2005 - Cinderella starring Jimmy Cricket as Buttons, with children's TV personalities Lucinda Rhodes-Flaherty and Jacqueline Boatswain.
- 2006 - Dick Whittington starring Jeremy Edwards, Anna Kumble and Shaun Williamson
- 2007 - Jack and the Beanstalk starring Bruce Jones and Sue Hodge
- 2008 - Peter Pan with Timmy Mallett and David Griffin
- 2009 - Snow White starring Peter Duncan and Vicki Michelle
- 2013 - Sleeping Beauty