Jazz Hands at Palace Theatre in Paignton, Devon

Based in the heart of Paignton, The English Riviera’s oldest working theatre, a 380-seater little gem built in 1890, is enjoying a glittering, new lease of life. In May 2018 Torbay Council handed over the management of the Palace Theatre to the newly formed, Jazz Hands Community Interest Company, led by Directors, Maureen McAllister and Deirdre Makepeace, both experts within the tourism and marketing fields.

Within an impressive six months of operating, the dynamic team achieved success at the South West Tourism and Hospitality Awards, winning a Bronze award for Sustainability and a Silver for Customer Service. Regular and first-time visitors alike are enjoying the improvements that have already been made to the theatre’s interior which includes the relocation of the box office to the bar area, new colourful and clear signage and modern branding.  An exciting, entertaining and inclusive event programme emerged in the first year with highlights including the world premiere of Agatha Christie’s forgotten play, The Lie with an all-star cast script reading; Chicago Chamber Opera Tours production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion; appearances by well-known television personalities such as Michael Portillo, Dan Cruickshank, Jason Donovan and Peter Andre as well as sporting legends, Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne, Henry ‘Blowers’ Blofeld and Jonathan ‘Aggers’ Agnew.

Jazz Hands maintains close working relationships with national and international touring theatre companies as well as community groups and local organisations such as Doorstep Arts, ROC Creative and Paignton Pantomime Productions. Bijou Theatre Productions produce four quality drama productions each year at the theatre including the much-anticipated summer season run of Agatha Christie’s ‘Black Coffee’.

The theatre offers something for everyone with forthcoming affordably priced shows and comedy acts such as Hardeep Singh Kohli’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival Preview, popular live bands and musical tribute acts, top drama and dance shows, and lively children-friendly adaptations including Treasure Island.

The future of the theatre looks very bright with plenty of new initiatives already planned including hosting BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? live broadcast on 14th June with a celebrity panel who will discuss the topical issues of the day, hosted by Richard Dimbleby.

Deirdre, Jazz Hands Director of Marketing says:

‘Being on holiday definitely prompts people to enjoy a night at the theatre and the beauty of this lovely old theatre is it’s in the heart of the English Riviera, close to Paignton’s seafront but in its old town conservation area. We were immediately grabbed by the opportunity to take on the theatre as we just couldn’t imagine the town without it!  It’s now a year since Jazz Hands Community Interest company took the helm and, with calm seas, fair winds and some amazing support from both the local community and visitors alike, it’s really been a fantastic first year with much to look forward to in the future’.

To find out more visit www.palacetheatrepaignton.co.uk


Palace Theatre Paignton
Exterior, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Devon

Take your seats and let the show begin as the curtain rises at one of Devon’s favourite community theatres. With performances and events running 50 weeks of the year you will be sure to find something to suit your tastes, from popular dramas to top-name entertainers and of course a very popular Panto season – oh yes there is! Benefiting from a major refurbishment in 2006, the 368 seats provide not just comfort but excellent viewing from all areas. You can select and book your seats online 24/7 and enjoy pre-show and interval drinks in the bar. The Palace Theatre is in the heart of Torbay, just a 2-minute walk from Paignton town centre and with free roadside evening parking. Bravo! Encore! You’ll want to keep coming back for more.



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