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Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival (SICF) has announced the final act for its flagship gala show at Theatre Severn this summer.

Due to take place on the evening of Sunday 14 July in a Live At The Apollo style format, the line up now includes Paul Smith, who will perform alongside Josh Pugh, Jack Gleadow, Janine Harouni, Scott Bennett and MC for the evening, Thanyia Moore

Resident compere at Liverpool’s Hot Water Comedy Club and fresh off the back of selling out venues such as Liverpool’s M&S and London’s Wembley Arena, Paul Smith will have also staged his biggest performance to date in his home city by the time he reaches SICF with his latest tour, Pablo. Pablo has been described as Smith's biggest and funniest show yet, featuring a mix of his trademark audience interaction and hilarious true stories from everyday life. Audiences will experience jaw-aching, laugh out loud comedy that only he can deliver.

Comedians performing at the other festival venues in Shrewsbury such Albert & Co, Frankville, The Loft at The Old Post Office, Henry Tudor Inn, The Old Market Hall and Rad Beer include: Dom Hatton-Woods, Dave Twentyman, Dean Coughlin, Ignacio Lopez, Tez Ilyaz, Josh Jones, James Cook, Freddy Quinne, Jenny Hart, Michael Odewale, Rob Mulholland, Harriet Dyer and Michelle Shaughnessy.

Commenting on the final booking and the now complete SICF line up, co-director Beth McGowan said: “This year we have a truly diverse mix of performers, delivering a broad brush of humour to cater for all tastes. We will also be offering comedy at new venue Rad Beer and welcome Henry Tudor Inn back to the fold. Finalising the line up with the announcement of probably one of the fastest rising comedians on the circuit in Paul Smith, is really exciting. Our audiences will be spoilt for choice.” 

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About Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival

Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival was established in 2016 by Kevin Bland, a former stand-up comedian who has promoted comedy in Shropshire and beyond for over a decade and Beth McGowan, who holds over 20 years’ experience in sound production and event management. Neville Street joined as the third partner in 2022, bringing over two decades of arts-based public relations experience to the team. Kevin finally retired in 2023. 

The festival aims to promote up and coming comedians as well as present, well-established artists to compere the Gala Show. These have previously included Greg Davies, Russell Kane, Lee Nelson and Dan Nightingale.

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After more than three years since its closure, the restaurant at Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury is set to reopen, offering theatre goers a pre-show dining experience including 2 and 3 course menus and more. 


Theatre Severn, which is owned and managed by Shropshire Council, put a tender out for a new operator last year, and the former head chef of the town's Beefy Boys, Liam Tinsley, won the lease. Now executive chef at The Restaurant at Theatre Severn, with plans to revive the restaurant back to its former glory, Liam has worked in some of the finest restaurants in Shropshire including the Peach Tree, Lion & Pheasant, River Town and the Mytton & Mermaid.


Liam Tinsley said: “I am so excited to be taking on this new venture at the fantastic Theatre Severn. With the restaurant just steps away from your seats, and a balcony offering some of the best river views in Shrewsbury, I am thrilled to be able to offer theatregoers a chance to dine at the venue again. We will be offering a bistro style menu, which will change to accompany the different performances. With the option of 2 or 3 courses we will ensure customers are seated, served, and finished just in time for the show, so you never have to worry about missing the main event”. 


Venue and Programming Manager David Jack said: "Following a long absence we are delighted to be able to offer pre-show dining experiences again. We know how much our customers have missed the convenience of being able to enjoy a meal at the venue just steps from their theatre seats and we’re very excited to see what Liam has lined up on the menu”.


The Restaurant at Theatre Severn reopens on Thursday 9 November and is now available for online reservations at

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The cast of Theatre Severn’s forthcoming pantomime JACK AND THE BEANSTALK have been unveiled as the venue prepare to bring magic and mayhem to the county this Christmas with their most extravagant show yet, it’s going to be a GIANT of a pantomime! 

With almost 30,000 tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk snapped up already, 2 months before the show opens on Wednesday 29 November. Tickets are selling faster than ever! 

The pantomime is written by Telford-born Paul Hendy and produced by Evolution, the hugely successful creative team behind pantomimes at Theatre Severn since 2011. Brad Fitt, Shropshire’s legendary pantomime dame returns to direct the show and star in his 12th season at Theatre Severn in the role of Dame Trott. 

Brad will be joined by comedy favourite Tommy J Rollason (as seen in last year’s production of Beauty and the Beast) in the role of Billy. Theatre Severn also welcomes West End star Lucas Rush as panto baddy Luke Backinanger and Reece Duncan in the role of Jack. Aimee Lorenza Boyd and Shali Bordoni also join as part of the ensemble.

David Jack, Theatre Services Manager said “Following the huge success of Beauty and the Beast last year we’re delighted to share another magical pantomime season with you all again and to be working with the team at Evolution for a 12th year! Jack and the Beanstalk is a family favourite, and we can’t wait to see what magic Evolution has in store for audiences this year. We’re sure it will feature everything you’ve come to know and love about Theatre Severn pantomimes, and more!”

Writer and Producer, Paul Hendy said “I'm absolutely thrilled we are back at Theatre Severn this year to produce Jack and the Beanstalk! We've got a fantastic cast ready to bring this timeless tale to life; the team is already working tirelessly and I'm excited to collaborate with Brad Fitt, as Dame and Director, again for a 12th year! Get ready for a magical adventure filled with laughter, surprises, and a whole lot of fun. It's going to be a panto season like no other, and I can't wait to share it with you all!”

Jack and the Beanstalk opens at Theatre Severn on Wednesday 29 November 2023 and runs until Sunday 7 January 2024. Book your tickets now! Available from the Box Office (01743 281281) or online here.

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  Theatre Severn have unveiled a programme of open-air theatre as they team up with Shrewsbury Castle for another summer of alfresco fun. Expect Shakespeare classics, Princess picnics, family favourites and more, from some of the UK’s best touring theatre companies. On Sunday 23 July, Once Upon a…
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Ever wondered what it would be like to work Front of House at Shropshire's premier arts venue?

We are looking for enthusiastic staff to join our large Front of House team at Theatre Severn. Ideal candidates will have experience of working in a busy environment, previous bar work will be an advantage, with a good understanding of customer care, communication skills and teamwork. 

For more information and to receive a copy of our FAQ information sheet, please email Box Office on

Minimum age for applicants is 18 years old. Apply online for casual Front of House vacancy here. 

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We are delighted to share news that Theatre Severn will receive a grant of £532,978 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help us reopen soon and rebuild our local culture.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including Theatre Severn in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations look ahead and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

This grant will enable Theatre Severn to confidently pursue plans to re-open and curate an exciting summer season of events for all ages, including outdoor events at Shrewsbury Castle and participatory activities for children and young people.

Mark Barrow, Executive Director of Place at Shropshire Council, said:
"We’re thrilled to receive funding from the Culture Recovery Fund.

Staff at Theatre Severn have worked tremendously hard to find new ways to bring the theatre to audiences and to support the COVID-19 support effort in the county, with the venue currently serving as a walk-in rapid testing centre.

Despite best efforts, theatres and the wider culture sector like so many others have been hugely impacted by the pandemic and have had revenue streams slashed. We are incredibly grateful in receiving grant funding to support the recovery of Theatre Severn and enable us to explore an exciting programme of events for people of all ages in the months ahead and give everyone something positive to look forward to."

In line with the UK Government Roadmap, Theatre Severn currently plans to re-open from 17 May 2021, initially with a programme of film screenings and selected live events, where appropriate social distancing and reduced capacities will be in operation until restrictions can be lifted further.

We are a theatre

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
"Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. 

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society."

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said:
"We’re pleased to be investing in Theatre Severn through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. This funding will offer them the opportunity to plan for the future and prepare for reopening in the coming months. From hosting stand-up comedy and contemporary dance to family theatre, pantomimes and live music, the theatre plays a crucial role in bringing interesting and exciting cultural events to people across the region.

"The Government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to reopen safely. Building upon investment made in the first round of Recovery funding, we’re pleased to see that many more well-loved community projects, theatres, galleries, museums, clubs, music venues, festivals, key cultural suppliers along with other creative spaces and projects have benefited, and their communities will feel a boost as a result. Now that we’re hopefully on the road to recovery, there is much to look forward to as organisations get ready to reopen their doors, welcoming back audiences and making plans for the future."

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.  

Culture creates jobs, supports livelihoods, and brings joy to everyone. The UK leads the world in the creative industries and we can all feel pride in that.

#HereForCulture is a movement that unites the public, government and cultural organisations in support of our fantastic cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, galleries and heritage.

We thank you, our audiences, for your incredible support and understanding and can't wait to welcome you again soon. In the meantime, check out our WHAT'S ON page and find lots to look forward to later this year and beyond.



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We are thrilled to announce a major new partnership with Shropshire-based Chartered Financial Planners Croft & Oakes. The agreement will explore mutually beneficial opportunities and will see Croft and Oakes become a significant supporter of future projects at the venue. 

Earlier this year, Theatre Severn posted record annual attendance figures as more than 180,000 people flocked to the venue during the previous 12 months to enjoy the popular programme of theatre, dance, comedy, opera, live music and more. Our Autumn season includes hit musical Blood Brothers this month, alongside Madness frontman Suggs, acclaimed journalist Simon Reeve, comedians such as Dylan Moran and Jon Culshaw, plus live music from Kate Rusby, The Stylistics and China Crisis, before culminating in another spectacular pantomime season with Mother Goose.

Venues and Programme Manager David Jack said "We are delighted to team up with Keith & Chris at Croft & Oakes, and look forward to working together over the next 12 months and beyond. We are hugely proud of our recent success at Theatre Severn and as we approach our 10-year anniversary in 2019, it is exciting to explore new opportunities and partnerships which will play a part in a bright and burgeoning future for the venue."

Serving clients in Shropshire and beyond, Croft and Oakes offer financial advice to both individual and business clients in Shropshire, including Pension Planning, Inheritance Tax Planning, Investments, Business Protection and Shareholder Agreements.

Speaking about the partnership, Christopher Oakes said "We are honoured to be partnering with Theatre Severn into their 10th anniversary year.  As regular visitors, we see first hand the dedication David and his team have put into growing it to one of the premier entertainment venues in Shropshire.  Croft & Oakes are hoping to support Theatre Seven into an equally successful second decade!"

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