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The Tower Theatre

North Road | Shorncliffe, Folkestone CT20 3HL, England
+44 1303 223925
Review Highlights
Dad's Army

Excellent performance, although there does seem to be a problem with the acoustics in this lovely... read more

Reviewed 22 September 2017
Kent, United Kingdom
via mobile
Folkestone Jazz Club in the Foyer Lounge of the Tower Theatre

This was my first trip to the venue and a very pleasant one. Smaller than the main theatre, very... read more

Reviewed 14 April 2017
Ron G
Hythe, United Kingdom
Read all 26 reviews
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THE TOWER THEATRE ABOUT US The Tower Theatre is a Community Theatre for anyone to visit or use for their own functions or meetings. FHODS (Folkestone and Hythe Operatic and Dramatic Society) are very proud of the 300 seat auditorium and the large function area allowing them to offer more than the very best in drama and light entertainment. FROM CHURCH TO THEATRE The square brick tower of the former Garrison Church of St Mark in Shorncliffe, near Folkestone, is a landmark for miles around. There were once several major Army units stationed all around, but gradually the Garrison shrank and finally became the home of one unit only – a Battalion of Gurkhas, who had small use for a Christian Church. By good fortune it stood at the edge of the barracks on a public road, so could be detached from MOD property by re-aligning a fence, and in 1998 the decision was taken to ‘alienate’ – in civilian parlance, SELL IT. It was built of brick, with gothic doors and windows in stone, and powerful over-arching concrete arches across the vault of the nave – altogether a fine piece of architecture, but an astonishing feat in 1941! Where did they find the bricks two years into the War, when even the re-building of bombed-out houses was already being restricted to ‘Utility Build Standards’? One would have thought too that the skilled builders would have gone off to fight; or was foreign prisoner labour used? In fact the building shows no sign of economy, and its size and provocative position on a hilltop, visible from NAZI occupied France, and a marker for every passing bomber raid, might well have been conceived as a statement of defiance – a one-finger gesture! If so, it had the desired effect: within days, Lord Haw Haw’s mocking tones were heard announcing the newly completed Church at Shorncliffe was to be bombed, and allegedly an attempt was made two nights later, but it was unsuccessful. Curiously, military churches are not consecrated, but dedicated, and notice was taken of the threat, for when Archbishop Fisher arrived to perform the Service of Dedication to St Mark, he was (surely uniquely?) given an escort of Spitfires as overhead protection. 57 years later, the final moving service was held at the 11th hour of the 11th month of November – a significant moment to close a soldiers’ church. Afterwards the stained glass was relocated, the organ sold, the books and banners removed, and the Sale advertised. It was FHODS’ opportunity. The Society received the keys in 2001 and the planning (and fund-raising) began.
  • Excellent62%
  • Very good38%
  • Average0%
  • Poor0%
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Travellers talk about
“jazz club” (4 reviews)
“actors” (3 reviews)
“cinderella” (2 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:30 - 16:30
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
North Road | Shorncliffe, Folkestone CT20 3HL, England
+44 1303 223925
Write a ReviewReviews (26)
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1 - 10 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 22 September 2017 via mobile

Excellent performance, although there does seem to be a problem with the acoustics in this lovely theatre, as it was very difficult to hear what the actors were saying in the first half of the show.

1  Thank JanieBeaumont
Reviewed 14 April 2017

This was my first trip to the venue and a very pleasant one. Smaller than the main theatre, very friendly and great sound.

1  Thank Ron G
Peter H, General Manager at The Tower Theatre, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2017

Thank you for comments, the Folkestone Jazz Club do a fine job.

Reviewed 28 December 2016 via mobile

Went to see Cinderella and have to say what a fantastic experience it was. The show itself was a dream to watch and Buttons and Cinderella the stand out actors. The venue itself was very good and we would return to watch other shows.

Thank Kevin G
Reviewed 4 October 2016

Attended a back to Basie concert with a friend, second row from the front, my kind of music. What a blast, what a venue, sold out as well this venue is one of a kind. Every week in the other section top jazz stars from...More

Thank peter w
Reviewed 24 September 2015

This is 'Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club' Soho.....in Folkestone. It is an amazing achievement, created and sustained by Beryl And Derick, the organisers. For several years now they have brought the very best of British and World class jazz to our area. Last Tuesday, I witnessed...More

1  Thank rdevenish
Reviewed 26 February 2015

Very impressed with the performance of 'Les Miserables' at The Tower Theatre. Performed by the youth section who put their heart and soul into it. We have seen this production in the West End several times but enjoyed watching the youngster perform. A well deserved...More

1  Thank barbiefolkestone
Reviewed 21 February 2015 via mobile

A half term trip and our first to this theatre. Was really impressed by the youth theatre's performance of Les Mis- my 12 year old enjoyed it and it wasn't hugely different to the west end show we saw years' back- all the key points...More

Thank Flyinmy
Reviewed 5 November 2014

Spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening watching a very proessional adaptation of this musical. This was our first visit to this very interesting venue. The ticket prices, refreshments and programme were incredibly modest. The youngsters in the cast were adorable and I am sure some will...More

2  Thank Bernard B
Reviewed 4 November 2014

Been here lots of times: to see shows, quiz nights and concerts. The Tower is the home of FHODS, an enthusiastic band of volunteers who put on plays, musicals and pantomimes and also run the Theatre. There is a popular weekly Jazz Night. The Theatre...More

Thank smashinglady
Reviewed 24 August 2014

If you want a good night out, you should consider going to the Tower Theatre!!. Great shows and a beautiful theatre . Jazz night every Thursday featuring world class acts is worth checking out! There is a fantastic Play coming up " sailor Beware" so...More

1  Thank slumberjumper
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