Herald letter prompts more matinee shows

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THE COUNTRY’S longest running summer show has added matinee performances after seeing a letter in the Herald.

Staff at the Royal Hippodrome read the newspaper’s letters’ page earlier this month when one local wrote in to ask why there was no afternoon performance of the venue’s current show, A Sentimental Journey.

Starring the ever-popular Irish funnyman Jimmy Cricket, the show is jam packed with music, laughs and dancing and the people behind it say it offers a welcome look back at the sort of variety performance which initially put the Hippodrome on the map.

It runs until September 26 and has enjoyed strong crowds despite concerns earlier this year that the show might not go ahead following problems with the previous promoters.

Local hoteliers banded together in a bid to safeguard the future of what is one of Eastbourne’s hidden gems and, such has been the demand, additional shows have been organised.

A spokesman for the theatre – which is the oldest in the town and has played host to a Who’s Who of stage stars – said, “A pair of matinee performances have been added to the run of A Sentimental Journey, giving people an opportunity to take shelter from the unseasonal wind and rain and lift their spirits with this traditional summer extravaganza.”

The inspiration came from one reader’s letter to the Herald and the people behind the show say the decision has been met with a wave of appreciation from locals and tourists alike.

The afternoon shows will take place on Tuesday, August 28 and Wednesday. September 12, with tickets priced at the discounted £13.50. They are available from the box office now on 01323 412000 or online www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk.

Tickets for the evening performances, which take place on Tuesday and Wednesdays at 8.15pm, are also available, priced £17, with discounts available.

Earlier this month the show’s star, JImmy Cricket, praised the determination of locals who made staging A Sentimental Journey possible. He said, “The Royal Hippodrome has a unique and intimate atmosphere and any artiste that performs there immediately falls in love with it. I applaud both the council and hoteliers of Eastbourne for putting on a traditional family variety show there this year.

“The fact that audience numbers have increased steadily as the summer has progressed proves that there is an appetite for that sort of show these days. Here’s to the future.”