The Teignmouth Players – A brief history
The Society was formed in 1964 by a small group of people with the aim of keeping live theatre active in Teignmouth and to give its members an enjoyable and worthwhile hobby.
The Players rented a room in Clampet Lane for a while and then they leased the old Lifeboat House, much larger premises, from Teignbridge D.C.
Fund raising, social events, rehearsals and set building all took place there with the Carlton Theatre being hired for staging productions.
When the lease on the Lifeboat House expired in 1979 the Players had to find alternative headquarters and the seemingly impossible task of leasing the Carlton Theatre was suggested. The Players were allowed to stay on at the Lifeboat house and after 18 months, a new Chairman helped by a handful of likewise intrepid members, and against a majority decision, decided to pursue the Carlton Theatre plan. After a further two years of fact finding, endless meetings with the Council and long negotiations, terms were finally agreed, and with a substantial amount borrowed from the District Council the lease was purchased from the outgoing tenant and against all the odds the Teignmouth Players took up residence at the Carlton Theatre on 1st April 1984 and finally left upon its closure in 2014, moving to its current location in The Ice Factory in Somerset Place.
Despite many adversities over the years, not least the dilapidated state of the theatre in 1984, two threats [in 1990 and 1996] that the theatre would be demolished and a failure in the lighting system in 1998 which cost £20,000 to correct, the Players survived and went from strength to strength presenting eight major productions a year including a regular summer season and being involved in the inauguration of a one act play festival open to all societies.
A youth section “The TYKES” [Teignmouth Young Keystone Entertainers] was formed in 1986 and their training and productions are very successful and popular.
The Teignmouth Players are an amateur society with a professional approach to theatre. They have registered charity status with members who give of their time and talents voluntarily to present Amateur Theatre at its best in Teignmouth. They are proud of their past achievements but look forward with ever more optimism to the challenges of the future which they hope will see them offering many more years of high standard, affordable live theatre in Teignmouth. This currently at the Ice Factory, a recently created and exciting space in the town that will be the Players ‘home’ base for the future. It will be the site for many productions with larger productions taking place in Pavilions Teignmouth.