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A musical partnership comes together as part of a six piece band to share new songs that represent the progression of a strong musical relationship.

Angélique and Doug come to Shelley Theatre on Thursday 12th March for a musical evening and highlight how they have progressed over two years working together.

Angélique says, “In 2018, I was looking for a musical director. Two years later, Doug (Gould) and I have live performances to look back on, an album on the horizon, and now a set list of over 30 songs.”

“Under Doug’s guidance, our progress has been incredible and a journey that we are both on. …

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Shelley Theatre Bar Manager, Tom Dunne

From the early days of finding our rhythm to the aspirations for the future, extending the Shelley Theatre offering has progressed year on year.

Tom Dunne is the Shelley Theatre Bar Manager and a member of the team since we first started to make our imprint on the community back in 2013.

We spent some time with Tom on how he has seen the theatre develop and the plans for the future.

The Past

When looking back at the early days of Shelley Theatre, Tom says, “In the space of a few years, the building is unrecognisable from when we started.”

“For instance, I remember back in 2013 when one of our loved volunteers, Julia, was working from a makeshift bar made from a scaffolded trestle table with a door on top, the bar choices back then were red wine, white wine, beer or coke!” …

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A performing arts society are taking onboard their biggest production yet.

Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth Performing Arts Society (PARTS) present Chicago at Shelley Theatre from Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 7th March. Producer (and second-year TV Production student), Matt Adams shares how the build-up is going as he makes the step from performer to the production team.

Matt performed in last year’s show, Half A Sixpence. Shelley Theatre has been the annual home for other PARTS shows, Our House and American Idiot.

Why did the team choose Chicago as this year’s production? Matt says, “The society has been going for around 20 years and we wanted to put on a show that feels big with the glitz, glamour, and songs. …

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Diana Hunter

As our programme of performances increases year on year, being the first point of contact for artists and making them feel welcome, ensures their time with us is stress free and enjoyable. This means artists can ease into their performance.

Diana Hunter is part of the Shelley Theatre team and someone you may have seen, spoken to or just given a ‘hello’ to as you walked into the theatre.

We wanted to shine the spotlight on our brilliant team at the Theatre. So you know the people who make this family what it is.

Diana moved to Bournemouth from Salisbury in 2017 and began as a volunteer, then became a Front of House Manager and today is responsible for ongoing contracts for up and coming shows and liaising with a host of up and coming performers.

Moving from the customer-facing to the operational side, Diana acknowledges the importance of making sure everyone feels relaxed. “It is so important for everyone to be relaxed when visiting or working with us. For instance, successful working relationships only encourage longevity of performances. I particularly enjoy working with theatre groups such as The Handlebards (a traveling Shakespeare company by bike) over the years and building a rapport with up and coming companies, such as Rogue Opera (who encourage affordable opera), and bring a high calibre of show every year.” …

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A musical for anyone who has loved Grease, Hairspray and Scooby Doo, comes to the stage.

BIGLITTLE Theatre School present, Brenda Bly Teen Detective at Shelley Theatre from Wednesday 19th to Saturday 22nd February. Musical Director, Colin Billing shares the importance of providing young performers with a professional environment to deliver.

Colin co-founded the school in 1996, alongside Principal, Michelle Guy, and now as a not-for-profit organization, part of the school’s work is to help develop and students who are considering a career within performing arts. Colin says, “We are preparing students for their future.”

“We performed Little Women at Shelley Theatre in 2019 and was a huge success, not only in terms of sold-out shows but also seeing how our young performers develop personally.” …

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A new season returns to Shelley Theatre showing classic films in a theatrical environment.

Dirt In The Gate present films in original 35mm prints. However, before audiences get to enjoy, the whole movie sourcing process takes Darren and Ruby Payne on a journey over the world in their quest to preserve a cinematic experience that could be lost forever.

Darren highlights, “2019 was an amazing year. We have shown our oldest film, The Pajama Game in its original 1957 technicolour print. At the other end of the scale, we showed recent films, such as Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, in one of the few places outside of London on 35mm film.’

“Every film has a history. When people come to an evening of Dirt In The Gate films, they are watching history unfold and seeing them exactly as they were shown decades ago. For instance, what you may have seen at the UCI at Tower Park in the 80s and 90s, you are seeing exactly as it was shown from when you went to the cinema when you were younger.” …

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Zoe Dunne, Theatre Manager

One of my most memorable live performances was seeing my very first opera (it was Mozart’s, Marriage Of Figaro).

I was taken by my Aunt and Uncle. I remember sitting in the auditorium just before the show, unsure if I was going to understand and enjoy the performance. I had been told that it was in a foreign language and there were surtitles. I wasn’t convinced I was going to be able to keep up with the surtitles and watch the show and appreciate the staging.

The show started, the first notes were sung and WOW! The voices, the costumes, the set! It was so powerful. I was entranced in what happening before me!

I could keep up the surtitles and they were funny which was something that I was surprised with, the performance was enthralling. …

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Producer, Ian Evans

A Tony award-winning play comes to Shelley Theatre depicting real life masterclass sessions with an iconic 20th century opera singer.

Masterclass comes to Shelley Theatre on Wednesday 5th (with a relaxed performance) to Saturday 8th February. A play set in the 1970s and the masterclass sessions delivered by Maria Callas at Juilliard School, in New York.

Ian Evans, producer from performance company, Questa Teatro, shares what audiences can look forward to this show and an element for what has been very rarely performed.

Ian says, “Masterclass, by Terrence McNally is a very popular, but at the same time, challenging production. The reason is because whoever is playing Maria Callas, performs 90% of the show. Not only do they act, but they also have to perform opera. This is what we will deliver. No other production has done this with an actress who is also a trained opera singer. …

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Zoe Dunne, Shelley Theatre, Theatre Manager

Firstly, I would like to say Happy New Year!

Live theatre is something that everyone should experience, it’s good for the soul!

The wonderful thing about theatre is that it expands your imagination, it brings people families and friends together, a way to escape a bad day and absorb yourself in something lighthearted, thrilling or musical.

We have an exciting year ahead planned, here are just few of our upcoming winter highlights!

Snow White — Rotten To The Core (Thursday 9th to Sunday 19th January). As we start each year, our friends from Bourne Free kick off the opening weeks with their adult alternative panto. This is most definitely a show for adults and for those who are not easily offended! The Bournefree guys have been with us since 2016 and have always played to packed houses! …

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Making opera affordable to all audiences is being championed by a visiting opera company.

Rogue Opera present Mozart’s, Don Giovanni at Shelley Theatre on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th January.

A report from Arts Council England highlighted that only 4% of UK adults surveyed nationally had seen an opera. Compared to this, 23% of adults had seen a live play.

This is something that director, Bronwen Stephens-Harding wants to address.

“It is unsettling to see that opera is becoming a disappearing art. It needs to be addressed. …


Shelley Theatre

Shelley Theatre is the theatre on your doorstep you never knew about. From film to performances, come and see how we're bringing this historic building alive.

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