EM Forster Theatre is at the heart of the Tonbridge community, and is delighted to be opening its doors once again

It is great to be open again. There is nothing quite like live performance, and the excitement and buzz of that shared experience. The EM Forster Theatre is at the heart of Tonbridge School and has many uses across the school and the wider community. For the boys it is their drama classroom, where they have seminars, workshops and rehearsals.

We also produce three large-scale school productions a year, as well as many house plays and other student shows. On our third attempt, with restrictions lifting, we were at last able to present Into the Woods, our Junior Play, this summer, which was an outdoor, musical show held in the school’s Smythe Library Gardens. We are so lucky to have such beautiful grounds at Tonbridge School and are making the most of these this summer with a selection of outdoor productions.

The Theatre is, of course, open to the local community and we host a year-round programme of professional theatre, dance and comedy. Our summer season includes a mixture of indoor and outdoor shows, with something for everyone.In our amphitheatre, The Handlebards are returning with their particular brand of chaotic and brilliantly funny outdoor theatre, this time with their version of Macbeth. Britain’s Got Talent contestants The Noise Next Door will be performing comedy for all the family, and we are delighted to say that Wicked Productions will be back for an open-air panto version of Treasure Island, starring local favourites Tom Swift and Ant Payne, which is sure to provide the riotous fun many of us are in need of this summer!

This has been a tough year for so many people, and while we are restricted to 50 per cent capacity, we are committed to ensuring our events remain accessible to the local community and have kept our ticket prices low. We have really missed hosting local companies and, while it isn’t possible to have large casts at the moment, we can’t wait for LAMPS to be back with Tommy the Musical in the autumn, and look forward to welcoming back many schools and dance companies over the coming year.

The Society of London has ‘See It Safely’ approved us and we have many safety measures in place including hand sanitising, socially distanced seating, temperature checks and mask wearing. Drinks and snacks can be ordered via a web app and delivered to your seats, to avoid queues at the bar.

Other season highlights include a screening of the classic musical 42nd Street, the graduate company from Ballet Central returning for an amazing evening of dance, and children’s CBeebies favourites Sarah and Duck are coming to us for the first time in July. It will be so good to see our family audiences back in our auditorium!

Full details are at emftheatre.com or you can call the EM Forster Theatre on 01732 304241.

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