Sophia goes Backstage! with theatre volunteers…

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The Marine Theatre stands on the frontiers of the Lyme Regis sea defence, and inside, a band of plucky volunteers  guard her bastions. Sophia, ace Backstage! blogger, met some of them this week and asked…


What does it take to be a Marine Theatre volunteer?


Anne-Marie and Ian Marshall fell in love with the Marine the moment they moved to Lyme from Hampshire 4 years ago and straight away became ‘Friends’ and it wasn’t long before they realised just what it took to keep the theatre ticking over so with paint brush in hand, they joined the small band of volunteers and got stuck in,

“There’s a lovely community feel about it, there’s no pressure, you just fit things in as and when you can” said Anne-Marie.

Lyme Regis born and bred Joanna Hopkins has been linked with the theatre all her life and first performed here with the Operatic Society in 1966. In her 4th year as Chair of the Musical Theatre, Jo organises performances, licences and grants but still finds time to spruce up the paintwork when it starts looking a bit sad,

“I’m happy to take on whatever needs doing to keep the theatre alive.”

Whilst husband Danny who is a retired educational trainer turns his attention to any carpentry or mechanical jobs that need doing.

A very familiar face is retired nurse Gill Steinberg who has been a volunteer since 1996 when she moved to Lyme from Kent, and was a founder member of the theatre rescue team. You will often find Gill in the coffee bar serving a wide range of refreshments on performance nights,

“There is such a nice atmosphere and the highlight is when people compliment us and what we do.”

So in answer to my question on what it takes to be a volunteer, it’s the great affection and enthusiasm everyone holds for this very special Little Theatre by the Sea.

Join us one and all if you would like to find out more or get involved.


Thanks Sophia. Thanks to all of our Volunteers. More Backstage! behind the scenes theatre news and views in 2016.