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“nice shows just a bit dear”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Princess Theatre

Princess Theatre
Ranked #15 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: Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“nice shows just a bit dear”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2011

as i say they have some great shows on
cannon and ball ,bucksfizz ,frank carson

seen them all there but ticket prices are high and with the kids wanted ice lollys

just too dear

Visited August 2011
Thank chas m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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457 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Really lovely theatre, but be careful of refreshment prices.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2011

Had never been to the Princess Theatre before. Booked tickets for "Super Trouper" on 23rd August via the internet about 3 weeks before going on holiday to Torquay and was able to collect the tickets from the box office with no problems when we arrived in Torquay. The theatre is quite small, friendly and the staff are nice. It is a really lovely place to go and see a show, but to me it did look old and in need of a refurb. There was interval in the middle of the show, I went to the kiosk and bought 2 bags of sweets and a bottle of J20, was very shocked when I was charged £8.10! A bit of an insult to be honest, when I'd already spend £71 for 4 people on the tickets after they had lumped the booking fees and a £1 refurbishment levy on each ticket. That aside though, it was a good show and I enjoyed the evening.

Visited August 2011
2 Thank Abbafan1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
167 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Live Entertainment Lives OK”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2011

Just booked again to see a production of Dinnerladies at The Princess Theatre. We always try to visit the theatre whenever we are in Torquay, Reminds us both of when we used to go as children to see the likes of Ken Dodd, Morecambe and Wise, Val Doonican and many many others. This used to be a real treat on our holidays. Went on stage with SIR Brucie when I was about 6!! More recently we have seen Joe Pasquale (briliant) Jim Davidson (adults only!!!) and a few of the tribute shows.
Standrads are maintained at The Princess and although you don't see the real seaside variety shows anymore, some of the productions are West End standrard. Many of the shows are the touring productions of the big shows and we have seen some excellent entertainment. Prices are good and appropriate for the venue. Obviously some differences according to which show you see.
Shame is that the theatre is often only half full which depletes the atmosphere a bit. Great bar upstairs to order drinks in the break and look at the fab view and the lights if you are there when darkness falls.. Good bar and cafe on the side of the building for pre-theatre meal and drink. Only hope is that the rather officious front of house staff have retired by now!!

Visited April 2011
1 Thank Ali264163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tiverton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Fantastic shows are put on here all year round”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2011

I have been to this theatre many times over the years, particularly in the high season you could find yourself wanting to go to many shows. One year we stayed in Torquay for a week and went to 4 different shows. They are all very varied so it is well worth requesting a brochure from them. Then if you are lucky you could have as much fun on your holiday as we did what ever the weather.

Visited June 2010
Thank Fluffsmum1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dartmoor National Park, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,297 reviews
477 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4,250 helpful votes
“Good theatre and some good productions”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2011

This theatre, on Torquay's sea front, has been showing high quality professional productions for many years. The theatre is now part of the LiveNation group and often attracts high quality comedians and stage productions. The sound quality is fairly good in the theatre itself and ticket prices are not too expensive. Staff are generally friendly and helpful, and the seats, although a little rickety and cramped, are fine. My only gripe would be that they did not/do not take part in the ANLO Scheme providing discounted tickets for younger audiences.

Visited October 2010
4 Thank chammp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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