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“Always fab!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Princess Theatre

Princess Theatre
Ranked #14 of 63 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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Always fab!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

So lucky to have this great theatre here in Torquay, quality show as usual. Helpful staff and a fab location!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank avpwilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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451 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great show!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2014

Liked the ambience and friendliness. Great show (Beatles). Impressive scene changes and use of lighting technology. Front of house staff really friendly. Overlooking Torbay for half-time drinks. Would go again.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank sandymcw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornwall
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“An old fashioned building with very up todate prices.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2014

This building has character that's missing in so many theaters these day. It's not just the tape on the carpet outside the upstairs toilet (it was there when we visited in March and it's still there in July). But the very building oozes old fashioned charm from a bygone era. The staff are very helpful and deserve a pat on the back.
But it charges top prices for its sundrys bottles of water and wine. I have to say there is something so wrong about people drinking in a theater, also brining in beer and lager from the bar. It's fine and expected in the bar but not in the auuditorium.
As for the show we drove over 100 miles each way to see Evita. Production was average but the sound was total rubbish far too much bass in the first half and very loud for both sections.
I hope that things improve before we visit again in August but I will not be holding my breath.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Cornishfool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“cramped”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2014

We were on second to back row and could barely see the stage,Evita, however I saw someone borrow a cushion so at half time paid £5 to borrow a cushion and moved to the back row, we then had a clear view. I would say if you can't afford best seats here don't waste your money. Evita was OK, nothing special even though London production.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank misty11133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ryan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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