Today I went to an ‘open day’ at the wonderful Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne. There was a tour of the theatre, giving the history of the building and describing some of the shows that had been produced there. Then there was a look backstage. The actual stage, which has quite a steep rake, was surprisingly small, and the area at each side of the stage was quite limited. I should imagine that it is difficult working there with a big cast.
It was fascinating to stand on the stage and look out at the auditorium. I tried to imagine a sea of faces looking at me and felt quite tempted to take a bow – but resisted the temptation!
I was disappointed not to see the resident theatre ghost. He is supposed to be a violinist who was in the orchestra on the Titanic and went down with the ship. He was an Eastbourne man who was often in the theatre orchestra, and there is a memorial to him at the bandstand on the seafront. He is supposed to have been seen going down into the orchestra pit on several occasions – but not today.