Landmark and Queens Theatres prepare to reopen with summer of entertainment

North Devon MP Selaine Saxby and David Hutchinson CEO of Selladoor out side the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple

North Devon MP Selaine Saxby and David Hutchinson CEO of Selladoor out side the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple - Credit: Selladoor

North Devon’s The Landmark and Queen’s Theatre have confirmed they will reopen this summer following over a year of closure due to the covid-19 pandemic. 

North Devon’s Theatres welcome the news that they have been successful in a new project grant bid from the Arts Council, which will provide the local venues with a £275,000 grant to continue to support arts and culture within the region. The grant bid was supported by North Devon MP Selaine Saxby, who was instrumental in getting the funding application to the Arts Council. 

The Landmark and Queen’s Theatre are of great value to the audiences of North Devon and protecting these local entertainment hubs is vitally important to maintain essential access to the arts. The grant helps to secure the venues long-term futures, offering a vital lifeline in their roadmap to recovery. 

These much-loved theatres have gone from strength to strength since Selladoor Worldwide, one of the country’s largest touring companies, and operators of Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple and The Landmark Ilfracombe, took over their management. The local teams are now ready to rebuild on this momentum as they reopen with a fantastic programme of events already on sale; from music to musicals, comedy to drama, dance, family entertainment and a brilliant variety of music events. 

The Landmark in Ilfracombe reopens on the July 22 with Small Pond Productions Little Shop of Horrors, before hosting a summer rep season with Ding Dong by Marc Camoletti and Tudor Gates and Spider’s Web by Agatha Christie. The season continues with productions including; Clue the Musical based on Hasbro's popular board game in October, Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever in November and a festive visit with Santa’s Best Ever Christmas on Christmas Eve! 

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Barnstaple’s Queen’s Theatre reopens with a busy Autumn/Winter season from the August 1, when Rhod Gilbert kicks off a season of comedy that will see acts including Al Murray, Jimmy Carr, Jon Courtenay and Simon Amstell grace the stage, to name but a few! In September, the Queen’s Theatre hosts the world premiere of Bideford writer Hilary Bonner’s debut play Dead Lies prior to it’s UK tour. The opening night will see Bonner’s theatrical journey turn full circle as her first experience of live theatre was as a small child sat in the stalls at the Queen’s Theatre. The year ends with the much-loved annual family pantomime as Barnstaple heads to the ball with Cinderella from the December 10. 

David Hutchinson CEO of Selladoor says “We are absolutely delighted to be able to officially announce the reopening of The Landmark and the Queen’s Theatre this summer. After a year of closure, we are thrilled to finally throw open our doors to audiences to come back to enjoy live entertainment. This was made possible by a significant grant from Arts Council England to support the theatres through the summer to reopening.” 

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“I want to thank my incredible theatre team in North Devon who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes during the toughest year of our careers. I also want to thank Selaine Saxby, our MP, who worked very hard to highlight the importance of these local venues. We hope audiences will come back and support their local theatres – as we have something for everyone at The Landmark and Queen’s Theatre!” 

North Devon MP Selaine Saxby said: “There is a real sense that the country is now moving forward and I’m delighted by the Arts Council grant. We will now be able to progress with plans to integrate the theatres more fully into their communities. 

“In Barnstaple this whole quarter will soon be opening up, it’s exciting times for the town. I think lockdown has shown us how important these sites are to the whole area. I would urge our local theatre goers to book now to support these wonderful venues.” 

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