Started by a Cambridge academic, it has been the launchpad for many acting, stage management and design careers and today is believed to be the longest surviving professional summer repertory theatre in the UK.
In typical repertory theatre, the company would present a series of different plays either weekly or fortnightly which they would have been rehearsing concurrently; a challenging and exhausting job that for generations of actors was their apprenticeship in theatre.
In Frinton’s case, seven plays, from comedy to drama, thrillers and musical theatre, are performed Tuesday to Saturday for seven weeks from mid July to the end of August each year.
The organisation of the series – which takes place at Frinton’s McGrigor Hall – saw British actor Jack Watling at the helm for several years. Following Jack’s reign, the season was taken over by his son, Giles Watling (of Bread, ‘Allo ‘Allo and Upstairs, Downstairs fame), and son-in-law Seymour Matthews.
As Connaught Productions, Edward Max introduced new writers to the season and is currently the artistic director, with the 2013 and 2014 seasons produced by mtp.
Famous faces who have appeared as part of Frinton Summer Theatre include Timothy West, Vanessa Redgrave, Linda Bellingham, Gary Oldman and Jane Asher.
Production shots from the 2013 season displayed throughout this website are courtesy of Dominic Clemence.