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8 great Surrey theatres for an evening’s entertainment

PUBLISHED: 10:54 26 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:48 26 November 2015

G Live, Guildford

G Live, Guildford

Archant

It’s that time of year again when we make our annual pilgrimage to Surrey’s theatres to find the best backstage stories and pre-show foodie options

New Victoria Theatre, WokingNew Victoria Theatre, Woking

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2015

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Camberley Theatre, Camberley

Person interviewed: Jo Bartlett, marketing officer

 

Our best backstage story is...

During a showing of Peter Pan, one of the backstage crew was “flying” Peter and hoisted him up too high and fast, which meant he flipped head over heels! It wasn’t quite Cirque du Soleil, but it was pretty spectacular.

 

You may not know this about us but…

2016 is the theatre’s 50th anniversary – make sure to keep an eye on us, as there’s lots of great things planned!

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

We are just about to launch CT’s, which is our very own bar and will be a place for continental food and snacks, plus a great wine list, craft ales and cocktails on offer. So, shortly, CT’s will be the best place in town! In our opinion...

 

Exclusive reader offer:

This year’s panto, Aladdin, runs from Monday December 7 to Sunday January 3. Claim discounted tickets for £15 by quoting Surrey Life when booking.

 

• Camberley Theatre, Knoll Road, Camberley GU15 3SY. Tel: 01276 707600. Web: camberleytheatre.biz

 

 

 

 

Farnham Maltings, Farnham

Person interviewed: Jon Mileman, press officer

 

Our best backstage story is...

At one of our monthly stand-up comedy club nights, one of the scheduled comedians had to cancel at the last minute. Undeterred, our former venue manager, who fancied himself as a bit of a comic, had to stand in for them with an impromptu set. It went surprisingly well!

 

You may not know this about us but…

Over the summer, the Great Hall has undergone a large-scale redevelopment with better, more comfortable seating, a new projection booth and equipment. There is also the capability now to switch between a 400-seater venue for the biggest comedians and music to a more intimate 230-seat studio theatre for the expanding programme of contemporary theatre.

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

We’d have to say our very own Riverside Café! Every-one of our theatre shows, live screenings and comedy nights comes with a delicious pre-show dining option to suit every taste.

 

Exclusive reader offer:

Get tickets for children’s theatre for £6.50 when you book to see three or more children’s shows. Quote Surrey Life when booking.

 

• Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham GU9 7QR. Tel: 01252 745444. Web: farnhammaltings.com

 

 

G Live, Guildford

Person interviewed: Phil Brown, marketing assistant

 

Our best backstage story is...

Working at an entertainment venue, there are plenty of backstage stories to choose from, but they’re not all printable! Before a performance, an artist will send us a rider containing a list of requests for their visit. We’ve been asked to supply play-dough for a drummer, a giant albino python for a performance, an empty box for a ring and a straight banana!

 

You may not know this about us but…

The venue was plunged into darkness during a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra over the opening weekend in 2011. Pianist Daniil Trifonov was minutes into his piano concerto when the power cut hit. The performers continued playing in the dark, and at the end received a standing ovation.

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

I’m obviously biased, but we were recently named best entertainment venue at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2015, so I have to mention our offering! The Mezzanine Restaurant serves a selection of bistro dishes and British classics, all freshly- prepared from local, seasonal produce. You can also use your table during the interval. Our pre-show curries are very popular before big-name comedians, as is our not-to-be-missed Hogs Back Bar.

 

Exclusive reader offer:

Purchase early-bird tickets to see Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story on Monday September 19, 2016 for just £15 (tickets must be booked before Christmas Day). Use the promo code PeggySue when booking online, by phone or in person.

 

• G Live, London Road, Guildford GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. Web: glive.co.uk

 

 

The Leatherhead Theatre, Leatherhead

Person interviewed: Chloe Forestier-Walker, marketing assistant

 

Our best backstage story is...

Some years ago, during a heavy rainstorm, our control room sprung a leak and our technician had to run the show from underneath an umbrella.

 

You may not know this about us but…

The theatre is built within the original walls of the 1939 Crescent Cinema.

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

Rialto Lounge on the High Street offers delicious Italian food. Become a Leatherhead Theatre Friend and receive 15% off your bill.

 

Exclusive reader offer:

Show your copy of Surrey Life to receive 20% off at our Coffee Shop during November, including newly-stocked Loseley Bakery cakes and ice creams.

 

• The Leatherhead Theatre, Church Street, Leatherhead KT22 8DN. Tel: 01372 365141. Web: theleatherheadtheatre.org

 

 

 

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Person interviewed: Kate Lee, general manager

 

Our best backstage story is...

A few years ago, Su Pollard was starring in a farce alongside Lionel Blair, and in-between scenes she used to go to the stage door to have a chat. However, on one occasion, she went ‘stage right’ and ended up in our smaller theatre, The Rhoda McGaw, and got lost. She eventually found her way back to the stage door but the supervisor had locked it to go for a loo break! So, as Su frantically banged on the door, Lionel Blair entertained the audience with an impromptu tap dance until she returned!

 

You may not know this about us but…

We welcome a wide range of productions at the New Victoria Theatre, including ice skating shows, where the stage is transformed into an ice rink! Some 14 tonnes of ice are used (nearly the same weight as three elephants) and it takes over two weeks to defrost once it has been removed from the theatre.

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

Our very own Piano Bar is open an hour-and-a-half before the performance and there you can enjoy a wide range of drinks, including speciality cocktails, in lovely surroundings.

 

• New Victoria Theatre, Peacocks Centre, Woking GU21 6GQ. Tel: 0844 871 7645 / Web: atgtickets.com/woking

 

 

 

Richmond Theatre, Richmond

Person interviewed: Stacey Pedder, press officer

 

Our best backstage story is...

You will have to ask one of the many fantastic actors that have been here over the years; they are extremely secretive!

 

You may not know this about us but…

In 1982, Cinderella opened at Richmond Theatre and went on to run for a whole year, until February 1983!

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

For a meal, I’d say Pizzeria Rustica (ticket holders can pick up an advertising card at the box office to get 20% off their bill) at The Quadrant and, for a drink, The Duke Pub on Duke Street.

 

• Richmond Theatre, Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ. Tel: 0844 871 7651. Web: atgtickets.com/richmond

 

 

 

Rose Theatre, Kingston

Person interviewed: Amy Smith, marketing and press officer

 

Our best backstage story is...

Having grown up watching plays and musicals directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, to have my first day working at the Rose in his rehearsal room felt surreal and really special!

 

You may not know this about us but…

The design of the Rose auditorium is based on the original Elizabethan Rose, the first purpose-built playhouse to ever stage a production of any of Shakespeare’s plays.

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

The Rose Café for a quick bite and beverage, or we’re right next to the river for a lavish dinner at the restaurants on the waterfront.

 

Exclusive reader offer:

Claim £5 off the top two price brackets for A Christmas Carol from Tuesday December 1 to Sunday December 6. Quote Surrey Life when booking.

 

• Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston Upon Thames KT1 1HL. Tel: 0208 174 0090. Web: rosetheatrekingston.org

 

 

 

 

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Person interviewed: James Barber, theatre director

 

Our best backstage story is...

Rex Harrison once announced, in front of the whole cast, ‘Young Man! There’s a RAT in my dressing room!’ Appalled, I hurried up the stairs, into his dressing room only to discover a small, plastic rat… He loved a practical joke.

 

You may not know this about us but…

Lots of people probably know this now, but we opened in 1965 so we’re celebrating our 50th birthday; hurrah (read all about it at surreylife.co.uk)!

 

The best place in town for a pre-theatre meal or drink is…

We’re spoilt for choice – the Theatre has a Riverview Restaurant, Café, two bars and a terrific members’ club, so there’s no need to get cold and wet looking for a pre-theatre meal or drink this winter!

 

• Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX. Tel: 01483 440000. Web: yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

 

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