Vital grant for Marine Theatre

THE historic Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis has received a vital boost with a £50,000 grant from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.

Director Gabby Rabbitts said: “We are so pleased and relieved. Alongside savings, fundraising, and support from our volunteers, this will help us leap eagerly from the pandemic to provide the whole community with enjoyment, at a time when we need culture more than ever.”

The Marine has been experimenting successfully with outside, distanced and online events. The autumn programme will include a screening of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya starring Toby Jones and Roger Allum, and a film about artist Frida Kahlo. Tickets are on sale soon for a newly created stage performance of A Christmas Carol. .

A fuller reopening is hoped in the spring, with plans for a special series of events to welcome the community back. The Reopen the Marine Theatre Fund was launched and the venue has worked hard to cut costs. Dressing rooms have been upgraded, using money specially earmarked from the Coastal Revival Fund and Sir Ian McKellen’s performance, which celebrated the Marine’s 125 year anniversary last year.