White Rock Theatre

White Rock, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1JX

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White Rock Theatre

About

The White Rock Theatre is home to some of the best live entertainment in East Sussex. It’s one of the county’s largest venues with 1066 seats and a standing capacity of over 1800. May 2022 saw the venue’s highest ever attendance for Scottish rock band, Primal Scream.

The venue strives to be a cultural asset for Hastings and the wider community, hosting a broad programme of events each year.

Situated in a commanding position on the shoreline, the White Rock Theatre’s Seaview Lounge and Circle Bar offer unbeatable views of Hastings Pier and the English Channel.

A refurbishment in 2019 and installation of flat-floor seating in the auditorium gave the White Rock added flexibility. It successfully hosts a huge variety of live music, comedy, musicals, dance, sport, plays, family shows, talk shows, school performances, festivals, competitions, exhibitions, and its famous annual pantomime.
 

History


Built on the site of the old East Sussex Hospital, the White Rock Pavilion was opened by HRH Edward, Prince of Wales in April 1927. It was built for the Hastings Municipal Orchestra and attracted world-renowned musicians. Piano luminaries like Rachmaninoff and conductors like Sir Edward Elgar performed on the White Rock stage.

Decca Records used it as recording studio while the BBC broadcast several radio concerts from there. These included three consecutive Christmas Day concerts from 1935-1937, after the King’s Speech, that were heard around the world.

The pavilion underwent a re-modification in 1937 and again in 1985 when it was renamed the White Rock Theatre. While the theatre was closed during the pandemic lockdowns, a small team of dedicated staff removed red carpet in the entrance foyer and restored the original parquet flooring underneath. The shiny floor complements the building’s other classic art deco features.
 

Community Programme


Offering a range of versatile spaces that can be adapted to suit requirements, it’s also an ideal venue for private hires and can be used for meetings, rehearsals, workshops, conferences, parties, and celebrations. The Sussex Studio encompasses a multi-functional space, with access to The Campbell Room.

Different community groups use the building on a long-term basis including Hastings Knitters since 2017, and Active Arts (Hastings & Bexhill Mencap) for their performing and visual arts course for adults with learning disabilities.

The long-running Creative Learning, Youth & Community Programme has given hundreds of young people in the area professional and affordable performing arts experience. The Summer Youth Project has been running since 2003; two weeks in the summer holidays for children aged 8-18 with four performances on the main stage.  

West End Experience has run workshops as an annual Easter Youth Project for ten years. Giving young people the opportunity to work with a professional choreographer, musical director, creative director, and West End stars.

For those getting their very first introduction to the arts, there’s the annual West End Weenies for ages 4-7, plus weekly classes for Tots (ages 2-4), Tiddlers (4-7), Youth Theatre (8-16), and Theatre Company (8-19).

The White Rock Theatre is owned by Hastings Borough Council and managed by The Guildhall Trust.
 

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket prices vary accoring to performance. See our website for details.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4 of 5 stars
    • Excellent
      91
    • Very Good
      71
    • Average
      32
    • Poor
      13
    • Terrible
      18

    Recent Reviews:

    • Pauline J
      Bye Bye Baby show
      5 of 5 stars
      Thursday, 1st February 2024
      Wonderful show, me and my friend had a brilliant evening! Well worth seeing and a special thanks to the drummer Philip he helped 2 old ladies out with these ringo parking things that we don’t... Read full review
    • Maggie S
      Hastings, United Kingdom
      Good Ballet - Terrible venue
      3 of 5 stars
      Monday, 26th February 2024
      Went to see ballet Nutcracker. Ballet very good indeed despite small stage. BUT, the seats are disgusting. My friends seat had no arm cover left on one arm and she found after we had left that her... Read full review
    • mj l
      An evening with Jo brand, great show.
      5 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 21st April 2024
      It’s a great venue. We went to see Jo Brand Live, it was a great show. There’s some parking spaces on the street behind. Opposite Hastings pier on the sea front. Some of the seats have a bit tight... Read full review

    Map & Directions

    Facilities

    Accessibility

    • Accessible Lift - Lift access to all levels
    • Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors - (Infra-Red Hearing Support System / infra-red neck receivers available in the main auditorium for performances with microphones
    • Guide Dogs Permitted
    • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors - At front of venue
    • Wheelchair user accessible - Ramp access

    Establishment Features

    • Toilets

    Provider Preferences

    • In town/city centre

    Opening Times

    Season (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
    DayTimes
    Monday - Friday10:00 - 16:00*
    Saturday10:00 - 14:00*
    SundayClosed*

    * .

    Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

    Events

    Saturday, 8th June 2024 - Sunday, 9th June 2024

    Poster for Trevor Nelson Soul Nation.Trevor Nelson Soul NationThe UK's best touring Old School Party hosted by DJ Trevor Nelson and friends.
    more info

    Friday, 25th October 2024 - Saturday, 26th October 2024

    Poster for John Bishop Back At It TourJohn Bishop - Back at ItComedy superstar John Bishop returns to the stage.
    more info

    Friday, 13th December 2024 - Tuesday, 31st December 2024

    Poster for Peter Pan panotmime at White Rock Theatre HastingsThe Magical Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan
    more info

    What's Nearby

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