Bayside pulls out the stops to support at risk places in the Bay

October 19, 2020

This morning Bayside launched a concerted campaign to help some of our local attractions beat the impact of the localised lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions.

Following on from working with the Welsh Mountain Zoo earlier this year to promote fundraising and help the zoo recover much needed revenue during the spring and summer lockdown, Bayside has turned to the smaller groups and organisations which are struggling during the pandemic.

Today On Good Morning Colwyn Bay, Simon focused on the plight of the Harlequin Puppet Theatre in Rhos-on-Sea which is under the risk of closure unless money can be found to cover on-going costs.

Thanks to help from Tape Music and Film in Old Colwyn and Heritage based Imagine Colwyn Bay, Bayside was able to assist with their Crowdfunding project.

The theatre along with other theatres in Wales, has been crippled by the restrictions on live performance.

As Britain's oldest permanent puppet theatre, the Harlequin was built in 1958 by the late Eric Bramall and is now run by his partner, Chris Somerville, the only surviving member of the original team.

Despite the steady decline of the British seaside holiday, and the general shrinkage of theatre-going, The Harlequin still has a loyal family audience who continue to enjoy shows which delight the adults and enthrall the children.

For some young children this is often their first theatrical experience.

However sadly the theatre is under threat of permanent closure because Chris as an pensioner is unable to support financing the theatre from his own pocket and because ticket sales have stopped due to the pandemic.

The additional financial stress placed on the theatre following an arson attack in 2017 has made this a perilous time for the puppet theatre's future.

To support the theatre by buying tickets in advance for next season or to make a donation please visit