Are these theatres deserving of the UK Most Welcoming Theatre Award?

Theatre Royal opens its doors in 2015.

Theatre Royal opens its doors in 2015. - Credit: Archant

The Theatre Royal, Norwich and Marina Theatre, Lowestoft are up for the public voted award and want your votes.

Queues outside Theatre Royal.

Queues outside Theatre Royal. - Credit: Archant

The UK Theatre Awards 2016 take place on October 9 at the historic Guildhall in London and aim to celebrate outstanding achievements in regional theatre.

Awards include Best Performance in a Play, Outstanding Achievement in Dance and Best Design, with the winners chosen by industry experts.

But the most highly coveted award is that chosen by the public, the Smooth Radio Award for Most Welcoming Theatre, which is part of the 'My Theatre Matters!' campaign.

The award description outlines what they are looking for in a winner:

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft - Credit: Archant

'There are many things that shape your experience when you visit a theatre; a friendly chat with box office staff, enjoying a delicious coffee in the cafe, feeling like you're part of your local community, or being entertained by the panto!'

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The 2015 winner was the Theatre Royal, but unfortunately the one in Newcastle.

The regional winner was the East Brookside Theatre, Romford.

Theatre Royal, Norwich

The Norwich Theatre Royal has just celebrated a sell-out run of Norfolk sketch duo The Nimmo Twins, and throughout the year offers an eclectic mix to welcome fans across the whole spectrum of the arts.

In September they are showing Peppa Pig's Surprise, Sue Perkins, Pride and Prejudice and The Rocky Horror Show, which would certainly make for a diverse dinner party.

Additionally an Open Day on the August 27, with a chance to see behind the scenes, and Rocky Horror Show Afterparty on Friday 16 September complete with fancy dress competition, sets it apart as a solid contender for the award.

Peter Wilson, Chief Executive at Norwich Theatre Royal, said 'The Theatre Royal Family welcomes all audiences, all artists and all visitors with the same friendliness and courtesy.

We're proud and grateful to have been nominated, and whether we win or not, will stay the same.'

The Open Day will run from 10am-4pm is free of charge and will include tours of the auditorium, fun activities for children and demonstrations of lighting and sound.

You will even be able to purchase costumes from past pantomimes and Mr Potato will be guest-of-honour ahead of his upcoming Peppa Pig show on August 31 and September 1.

'This is an excellent way of experiencing the friendly and welcoming atmosphere at Norwich Theatre Royal.'

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft is also eligible, which has turned it all around following concerns of closures back in 2011.

Through the formation of the Marina Theatre Trust and fundraising efforts in recent years, the theatre has established itself as a community hub, supported by a network of volunteers.

The dramatic improvement to their facilities has also been replicated in the shows they have attracted to the venue, which has included west end productions.

Over the coming weeks, performances include Jekyll and Hyde, Alien's Love Underpants and An Evening with Aled Jones.

With a jam-packed calendar of events, it's no wonder chief executive Lee Henderson is singing the praise of the theatre.

'I'm delighted the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft is a contender in the UK Theatre's Most Welcoming Theatre Award.

'We are passionate here at the Marina about ensuring our audiences have an enjoyable experience and our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to welcome all our visitors from throughout our region and beyond.

'Winning this national award would acknowledge our commitment and show the country what Lowestoft can do!'

You can vote up until September 9 and you will automatically be entered into a draw to win £200 of theatre tokens. http://uktheatre.org/training-events/uk-theatre-awards/most-welcoming-theatre-award/

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