In addition to shows, Southend Theatres also arranges and runs a number of other activities deisgned to address the needs and interests of the wider community.


Tea & Tales

Storytelling for Grown-ups

Professional oral storytellers Hannah Brailsford and Peter Optical invite you to listen and engage with folk tales, fairy stories, wonder tales and myths both from our own shores and around the world, whilst enjoying a cup of tea/coffee and a slice of cake.

Stories exist all around us and in each of us, and storytelling is used in all art forms, but the most ancient of these is traditional oral storytelling. It is said in storytelling circles that an oral storyteller speaks 'eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart', no script, no props, no cameras, no books or paper. Just a listener, a comfortable seat and the magic of 'Once Upon a Time...’

So join us on the first Wednesday of every month* at the Palace Theatre from 2:30 – 3:30pm. Entry includes a cup of standard tea or instant coffee. Cake is available at £1.50 a slice and speciality hot drinks may be purchased in line with current prices.

Entry: £2

Storytelling for Grown-ups

2022 dates:
  • Wednesday 1 June
  • Wednesday 6 July
Subject to change

Dementia-Friendly Cinema

Our Dementia Friendly Cinema Events run throughout the year. Although these events are not exclusively for people with dementia, it is particularly suitable for people affected by dementia, their partners, family members and people who care for them professionally. Everyone is welcome but please be aware that there may be people talking during the film, moving around and leaving the cinema.

A Pianist will be in the foyer prior to each film screening.

Future Dementia-Friendly Cinema dates scheduled:

  • No dates currently scheduled

Backstage Tours

Backstage tours a​re run at both the Palace Theatre and Cliffs Pavilion, and are available for everyone - whether you are a school, community group or simply theatre enthusiasts.

Tours are run for groups of between 10 and 30 and are tailored to suit your needs. For groups of children, a minimum of one adult is required per 10 children.

In addition to seeing backstage at the venue, participants will gain an insight into its history, and the many different departments that operate to help make Southend Theatres one of the top receiving houses for touring productions across a range of art forms.

To book a backstage tour or for more information, please contact Rachel or call 01702 390472.

Tours cost £2 per person.

Book a tour via email


Southend Theatres delivers talks to a variety of community and educational organisations. Our talks will give you an insight into the theatres’ history and the many different departments that operate to help make Southend Theatres one of the top receiving houses for touring productions across a range of art forms. We can also cover careers in the arts if requested by the organisation. There will also be the opportunity to view archived theatre programmes dating back across the decades.

Our Theatre Talks are free of charge but we request that a donation is made to our charity partner GOSH.

To book a talk please contact Rachel.

Springboard - Drama Workshops for young adults

Springboard is our new weekly programme for adults aged 19-25. 
Our skills-based sessions cover a range of devising skills including improvisation, characterisation, physical theatre, and narration. Springboard is focused on drama skills and is not musical theatre based. 

Whether you have outgrown your previous youth theatre group, want to refresh your theatre skills, or try something brand-new. No previous experience is necessary. 
Our evening classes fit around a busy schedule and run on a £3 PAYG basis. 

Build your confidence, learn new skills, and meet like-minded new people.

With only 15 places available, booking in advance is essential. Simply email to reserve your place.

Cost: £3 per session.

Book a place at a session

Springboard runs every Thursday in term time from 7:30 -9pm at the Cliffs Pavilion..

To sign up to springboard simply download, complete and return the form below. A member of the Community & Education Team will get in touch

Sign-Up Form