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Review of Princess Theatre

Princess Theatre
Ranked #15 of 62 things to do in Torquay
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Princess Theatre first opened it’s doors on Wednesday 7 June 1961. Top of the bill on the opening night were the late, great Tommy Cooper and the legendary Morecombe and Wise.The theatre was built by Torbay Council as the main feature of the redevelopment of the Princess Gardens area on Torquay seafront. The theatre replaced a marquee which was erected annually to house light entertainment. The theatre is located on the seafront and boasts panoramic views across Torbay where, weather permitting, you can see the towns of Brixham & Paignton. The theatre is still council owned and was originally lease managed to Apollo Leisure in 1991. Apollo Leisure was then bought out by SFX, which was then acquired by Clear Channel Entertainment. In 2005 Clear Channel span off the entertainment arm of its business and Live Nation was born. In 2009 Live Nation put their theatre division up for sale and at the end of the year a successful sale went through with the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). ATG are the current managers of the theatre. The Princess Theatre is Torbay’s largest touring venue with a seating capacity of 1,491. The theatre is a touring house only and has a variety of independent production companies visiting the theatre. It has played host to a wide variety of entertainment, including opera, ballet, concerts, wrestling, comedy, pantomime, ice shows & West End musicals. Theatres in seaside resorts are traditionally known for their annual Summer Season consisting of light entertainment and family variety shows, and Torquay is no exception. In the past the Princess Theatre saw the Summer Season lasting 22 weeks of the year and artistes such as Jim Davidson, Jethro and Jimmy Cricket to name but a few, made regular appearances. Today, the Summer Season is a somewhat shorter affair and realistically lasts about 6 weeks. A traditional summer line up can still be found in our programming with one night shows making up the summer diary. Although the Summer Season was historically the main focal point of the diary it is not the case today. There is no longer an “in season” time frame and we have regular visits throughout the year with West End musicals, such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Chicago, Starlight Express, Rocky Horror, CATS, Sunny Afternoon and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as well as concerts, comedians, mediums and finishing the year with a traditional pantomime. . The theatre stages and supports local amateur societies with their performances and endures in the local community, like hosting our award-winning 'Natvitys'. In 1998 an extension was built onto the side of the theatre to house Breezes cafe bar, which is open to public throughout the year, irrespective of any ‘dark’ period in the theatre. Breezes caters for all; locals & tourists as well as patrons of the theatre. When the theatre is open for a show Breezes’ two bars work alongside the Princess Theatre bar to ensure no customer goes without! The top of Breezes also has a function suite, which can be used for meetings, press functions, parties and private hire. The view from the function suite and upper deck is fabulous, as it is the best viewing point in which to see the full splendour of Torbay.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Reviewed July 8, 2014

This is such a beautiful and amazing theatre with some AMAzing performances that come here. I think Eapage review below is absoloutley nonsense as it is stunning and you have to experience this beautiful theatre. The only thing I would agree with is that parking is horrible and expensive in the multi-story car park down the road.

The staff are friendly however one of the ushers can be quite distracting talking through a performance on the upper circle!!!! Naughty! And not closing the doors when the second half of Evita started which let lots of light into the theatre from outside. A member of the audience had to go close the door!!!

Amazing none the less. My favourite attraction in DEVON.

Thank Ryan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 - 291 of 498 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2014

we have just been to the princess theatre to see Evita. it was amazing. Marti Pellow sang his heart out and looked like he was really enjoying performing. but the show belong to Madelaine Alberto. What a voice, what a performance. it was truly brilliant. it was the opening night. the theatre felt alive. we sat in the front half of the stalls and could see everything. strongly recommend anyone thinking of seeing this show which is on tour from the west end, to stop thinking about it and DO IT !!!!
We love this theatre. parking is easy although not on site. the bars are well stocked. the staff are very pleasant. the ladies toilets are a rather long way down. not quite underneath the stage but feels almost like it is. but don't want to end this review on a negative note. so will recommend the chocolate ice cream for the interval instead as it was very delicious.

Thank clareamanda o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2014

The Theatre right on the sea front. steps to enter not the easy for the older person . The view is good from any part of the theatre . Sound carried well .

Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014 via mobile

Shabby, and in need of a complete refurb. Uncomfortably cramped and hot which spoilt our visit to see Evita. Parking's atrocious too. Never again

1  Thank Eapage57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2014

It was our first visit here and we weren't disappointed. Managed to get front row seats for the performance, which are amazingly close to the stage - I've never been that close to the stage in any other venue, which made the performance all the more intimate - literally sat an arms length from the stage edge!
Staff were friendly and helpful, and the venue was clean and tidy.
Great central location, easy to get to and well run - would visit again

Thank PcCruel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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