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28 October 2014
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Lane Theatre is right up Newquay's street
Theatre set
Set designers recreating 1940s London

Lane Theatre occupies a unique position in Newquay. It is the only live theatre in a town with no cinema.

Run as a charity by volunteers, the space is as professionally run as many full-time operations.

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The Lane Theatre
Arts Centre Trust

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Fact file banner
+
Newquay Dramatic Society formed in 1930.

+1960s NDS move to Crantock .

+1981 Lane Theatre opened.

+Current production Black Chiffon runs from November 28 to December 15.

 

The Lane Theatre is run and mainly used by members of the Newquay Dramatic Society which was formed in 1930.

In the early days the NDS performed at the end of Town Promenade in a marquee, rehearsing in local hotels. The Society began to branch out after 1945.

Theatre set
Authentic 1940s furniture for Black Chiffon

By the 1960s a village hall in Crantock had been purchased to provide a rehearsal room, a scenery store and a social room. During this period the troupe played in Newquay’s Cosy Nook theatre at either end of the summer season.

By the end of the 1970s it was clear that the NDS needed a new base. In 1981 they were able to perform in their current home, the Lane Theatre.

Local businessman David Eyles was the driving force behind the move to the almost derelict site. Plans were completed in such a short space of time that as the audience came in for the inaugural show, the carpet fitters were leaving by a different doorway.

Ten years after moving into Lane, an extension was opened which included a meeting/rehearsal room and a bar area. In 1999 the building received lottery funding for new dressing rooms and general upgrading.

The NDA put on four plays a year, two in the summer for 10 weeks each and two shorter runs in the winter.

At other times during the year the space is used for rehearsal and one act plays. The capacity of the theatre is around 160 and tickets are normally £5.

Stage preparations
Preparations continue for the new production

Every performance opens with a he audience is pregala charity night. A charity is selected to benefit, then they will sell the tickets and keep the revenue. Over £2000 will be raised in 2001.

In the summer t

dominantly tourists, with many people returning year after year to visit the Lane. The plays are normally comedies although challenging work such as Ibsen has been put on.

It would be wrong to see the building as the sole preserve of thespians. The Newquay Society of Artists hold meetings at the Lane. Their work is displayed in the green room, where paintings are sold, and their work often adorns the stage sets.

While the theatre is beautifully kept, behind the scenes it still needs funding for a failing heating system. They are always on the look out for the county's young talent too.

The theatre is currently playing Black Chiffon by Lesley Storm which is running from November 28 to December 15. Death Trap, a suspense thriller opens on February 13 and finishes its run on March 2. The summer season will see a premiere of Eric Chappell’s new play Summer’s End. Eric wrote the television series Rising Damp, among many other credits.

Tickets for all shows are available from Newquay Library on (01637) 876945.

Email the theatre: lanetheatre@cs.com

 

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