THE show is going on at Weymouth Pavilion.
That’s the message from councillors who say ticket sales are slowing down for shows booked in the weeks running up to closure amid confusion over whether the venue is still operational. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council will close the theatre complex at the end of May after which it will be handed over to the community to run. But for now it is still very much open for business.
With the announcement earlier in April that the Tourist Information Centre at the venue was closing early, some people wrongly believed the curtain had also come down on Pavilion shows, said council tourism spokesman Ian Bruce.
He is urging people to support the shows this month which include Roy Orbison and Friends, An Evening of Burlesque, Lights, Camera, Action, The Fureys and Davey Arthur and That’ll Be the Day.
Coun Bruce learnt of the downturn in bookings at a Pavilion Steering Group meeting attended by councillors and theatre staff.
He said there was similar confusion at the end of last year when the council started publicly discussing its plans for the Pavilion including the option to demolish, which affected pantomime ticket sales for a while.
Coun Bruce said: “The box office, telephone and online bookings, and most importantly the shows, are all operating and we have some great shows in May.
“The public asked us to keep operating as long as possible and to get a new operator in as soon as possible and now I am calling on all those who support having live theatre in Weymouth to make sure May’s shows are a sell-out.”
Derek Block, the man behind the That’ll Be The Day shows, said as far as he was aware tickets had been selling well, with the stalls already full.
As the last show at the Pavilion before closure, Mr Block said audiences were in for a real treat with a segment in the show devoted to the history of the theatre. Mayor-elect Ray Banham has been invited to attend and may even get involved.
The council is currently inviting tender proposals from non-profit groups interested in taking over the Pavilion. Proposals need to be in by May 31.
Coun Bruce added that the new tourist information points, being introduced as part of continuing a service after the TIC closure, should be up and running in mid-May. These will be based at the council offices on North Quay and the harbour office. Portland TIC will continue to run this summer and basic tourist info is still available at the Pavilion until its closure on May 31.
Pavilion Steering Group chairman Ray Banham and Coun Bruce asked theatre manager Max Grayson to pass on their thanks to all the staff at the complex who had worked tirelessly throughout the year.
THERE’S PLENTY OF GREAT ENTERTAINMENT COMING
Friday, May 3: Roy Orbison and Friends: Barry Steele presents his all live spectacular multi-media tribute to The Big O, featuring classic hits. Tickets £18.
Saturday, May 4: An Evening of Burlesque: Experience the thrills and spills of modern day burlesque, featuring an all-star cast of elegant, beautiful girls. Over 18s only. Tickets £22.
Friday, May 10-Saturday, May 11: Lights, Camera, Action (The Weymouth School of Ballet and Theatre Arts): A fast moving evening packed full with singing and dancing with music from the movies featuring children from 2 years through to adults. Tickets £10. l Tuesday, May 14: The Fureys and Davey Arthur Legends of Irish music and song, they have been entertaining audiences worldwide for 35 years. Tickets £18.
Saturday, May 25: That’ll Be The Day: Prepare yourself for a party as the legendary That’ll Be The Day rock ‘n’ roll variety show, returns by popular demand with a new production. Tickets cost £22.