PATRONS of Frinton Summer Theatre are set to enjoy their first event of the year next weekend.

The popular theatre was due to celebrate its 80th anniversary this year, but it was forced to remain closed as social distancing requirements made performances "uneconomic".

But thanks to the support of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, the theatre will be offering three performances of its Christmas Cabaret now that Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been eased.

Artistic director Clive Brill, who is producing and directing the show, said: "We are enormously grateful to receive the grant and this will be our first opportunity to demonstrate our determination to use those funds to the benefit of our fans and supporters."

The cabaret will feature Frinton regulars John D Collins, Jemima Watling, Will Taylor, Sarah Lambie and Steven Edis.

It will also comprise Christmas songs, comedy, tunes from the shows, poetry, a ghost story and a fun quiz

Three performances will take place at Frinton-on-Sea Lawn Tennis Club on Friday, December 11, and Saturday, December 12.

Social distancing measures will be in place, which means there will only be 66 tickets for each show.

Theatre trustee Angela Gostling the event would "lift the spirits of those lucky enough to buy tickets".

Frinton Summer Theatre, which was formed in 1934 and is the longest-running summer repertory theatre in the UK, was unable to take place earlier this year due to the Covid restrictions.

But it was handed £68,000 from the Government’s £1.57billion Cultural Recovery Fund to help it survive the pandemic.

Mr Brill said that without the grant the future of the theatre was at risk.

Tickets can be purchased directly from the tennis club or by e-mailing the theatre on