Shanklin Theatre is one of those rare traditional Victorian theatres which is surviving against the odds. It is located in Shanklin town on the Isle of Wight.
We visited Thursday September 8, 2016, for an evening show called Best of the West End and beyond.
The cast, five men and five women gave their all for around two hours with a much needed mid-way fifteen-minute interval.
They sang, danced, made the audience laugh at times, did multiple quick changes and smiled their way through what must have been a gruelling couple of hours.
The show was probably something we would not have booked at home but during a week's vacation we thought, why not, and we were very glad that we did
The show included songs from shows old and new and even included a brief scene from the Full Monty with the guys stripping off, well almost.
Staff on the door, selling refreshments in the bar and working front of house are usually volunteers.
We sat in the downstairs stalls and it brought back memories of years gone by theatre visits. The seats were the traditional kind and a million miles away from modern theatres.
But that just added a special quality to the night.
So would I reccommend the show?
Absolutely it was highly enjoyable and the audience loved every minute.
However even some residents of local hotels such as the local Shanklin Beach opted to arrive by coach. For them the distance between their hotel and the theatre must have seemed huge as it incorporated a steep hill and a long promenade.
The only other quick and easy way up from the beach is the traditional Shanklin lift. That costs £1 going down and £1.50 up, pensioner concessionary price.
Check out full lift details here.
The lift is not a 24/7 affair but is a quick, smooth and easy way up or down the 45 metres to or from the beach. It is operated by the local council. The lift was closed briefly for repairs but is up and running again summer 2016:
Easter to 23 May 10am to 6pm
24 May to 23 July 9am to 10pm
24 July to 31 August 9am to 11pm
1 September to 26 September 10am to 10pm
27 September to 31 October 10am to 6pm
Prospect Rd, Shanklin PO37 6AJ
It has a full programme which you can check out here
Box Office: 01983 868000
Friends of Shanklin Theatre