Licence to entertain at refurbished Hippodrome

Chas and Dave at The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne
Chas and Dave at The Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre officially changes management on Easter Monday (April 1) with refurbishment work and an exciting Summer programme of shows.

The 130-year-old theatre in Seaside, previously run by the Borough Council, has become a Community Interest Company called Royal Hippodrome Theatre Management set up by a group of hoteliers from Eastbourne Hospitality Association.

Darren Weir, one partner in the new management company, said, “The whole idea is to show the building can be sustainable and the local community wants it. This year is a dry run and we are really trying to put the theatre back on the map.”

The Summer Show, a variety performance with a focus on song and dance, starts on April 30 every Tuesday and Wednesday and will run through to October 2. In addition, there will be a packed programme of one night only shows at the theatre.

But Darren says the theatre is not exclusively for shows and that a dance studio on the third floor is currently being refurbished to accommodate a line dancing group. It is hoped other groups will hire the facility .

Eastbourne Hospitality Association will have its base a the theatre box office and provide a small tourist information centre. The secretaries of the Eastbourne Hospitality Association will sell tickets to shows and event across the town. They are due to move in and open the office from mid-April.

The special one-night shows include the following

May 4: The Real Thing

May 25: Rat Pack with Kenny Lynch

June 8: Sophie Evans (left) from BBC’s Over the Rainbow

June 15: Grease (film)

July 13: Chas and Dave (pictured)

August 3: Acker Bilk (above)

August 17: Barron Knights

For full listings visit

Email enquiries@royalhippo