After selling out all 200 seats in six days, the organisers of April’s Music Scene Memories of Torquay Town Hall have set up another opportunity to remember the resort’s star-studded history.
Music promoter Lionel Digby, who brought some of the biggest names in music to the town hall during a 30-year cavalcade of superstars, will join film director John Tomkins for the premiere on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 April.
Music Scene Memories at Torquay Town Hall features many local people who were part of the scene, sharing their memories of watching and even playing alongside big-name chart acts of the time.
Earlier still, he was the first man to bring ground-breaking rock and rollers to town, and the film features his memories of working with the likes of Screaming Lord Sutch and Wee Willie Harris, who was known as the ‘wild man’ of rock and roll.
The premier event at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Torquay’s Abbey Road will feature live music from musicians who supported the big bands in the sixties at the Town Hall as well as a question-and-answer session with Lionel Digby and John Tomkins.
Mr Tomkins said: “Ever since I collaborated with Lionel on a short film about the music scene at Torquay Town Hall in 2020, Lionel has talked to me about the many other stories and people we could have interviewed for that film.
“At that time we were partly restricted because of lockdown, so last March we started to make a special edition of the film.
“Lionel got out his contacts book and invited many of the people he worked with in the heyday of the town hall, some of them traveling across the country to be interviewed.”
The result, said Mr Tomkins, makes the extra effort well worthwhile. The film will also be added to the digital archive at Torquay Museum.
“What started as a special edition of the film has turned into something really special,” he said.
“I like to think of it as a re-imagining of the original film, with more than 40 minutes of re-filmed and new interview footage, animations and band archive photos.
“It really does showcase the legacy of the extraordinary music scene at the Town Hall which was instigated and promoted by the remarkable Mr Lionel Digby.”
Host for the evening will be local historian Dr Kevin Dixon, and there will be an exhibition of music memorabilia in the theatre’s foyer. All ticket profits will go to Children’s Hospice South West.
Seats are selling quickly at:
‘Torquay: A Social History’ by local author Kevin Dixon is available for £10 from Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street, Torquay, or: