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Stables - 1959

Stables – 1959

Milestone for Stables Theatre

Volunteers are helping the public to mark an important milestone in the history of a town’s theatre. Lynda Foy writes.

They’re selling T-shirts, bottles of wine and other memorabilia to highlight the Diamond Jubilee of the Stables Theatre and Arts Centre in The Bourne, Hastings. The 60th anniversary in June will also be celebrated by the visit of the Chicago Heights Drama Group to stage The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 by John Bishop.

The American theatre company and the Stables  launched an exchange programme 20 years ago and, since then, they have visited each other several times.

Tickets for the Chicago group’s latest production on June 21, 22 and from June 26 to June 29, are on sale at the Stables’ box office and selling well.


Colourful trio: Volunteers Gill Jenks, left; Veronica Sceal and John Tudgay with Golden Jubilee T-shirts and programmes at the Stables Theatre, Hastings.

Gill Jenks, from the theatre’s wardrobe department, said:  “If people become members then they get tickets at a reduced price. It is excellent value for theatre tickets and there is a very high standard of shows here.

“The theatre offered a wide range of comedy, drama and youth productions, with its art gallery showing a variety of exhibitions”, she added.

Box office worker John Tudgay said local people could book functions and events at the theatre and gallery.

Veronica  Sceal,  a box office worker,  said: “The theatre is now covering all aspects of performance. We have a lot of semi-professional people working here and the standard is very high. Owning our own theatre is a great advantage for us.”

Stables volunteers:

Volunteers Gill Jenks, Veronica Sceal and John Tudgay at the Stables Theatre, Hastings.

The 125-seat theatre, originally a stable block dating from 1746, was in danger of being demolished in the 1950s until the Old Hastings Preservation Society stepped in. With support from the Georgian Society, the building was listed for its historic and architectural value.

With help from Dick Perkins, a member of the Hastings and District Theatre Guild, the Stables Trust Limited was founded to convert the building into a theatre. It was opened by Sir Ralph Richardson on June 16, 1959, and the building has been extensively expanded since then.

Diamond Jubilee events include a Jubilee service on June 30 at All Saints’ Church, Hastings Old Town, at 4pm and a Family Fun Day on August 18 from 12 noon to 3pm. Other events include the Little Theatre Guild Conference, hosted at the Stables from September   20 to 22.

A Little Theatre Gala Night will be held on September 21 with another Gala Night scheduled for November 22, the last night’s performance of Joking Apart by Alan Ayckbourn.

More details about membership, tickets prices and souvenirs from the box office on 01424 423221 or


Posted 15:29 Thursday, May 30, 2019 In: Arts News

1 Comment

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  1. John Lipsham

    The steep seating arrangement in the Theatre, creates a visual closeness with the performers, resulting in an exciting experience.
    And regarding the Art Gallery; I have attended art exhibitions there, including my own [which was kindly attended by The Mayor at the request of a ‘Stables’ organiser]. So may I say ‘Thank You’ to everyone involved with the ‘Stables’ and please keep up the good work.

    Comment by John Lipsham — Thursday, Jun 6, 2019 @ 08:38

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