IT SEEMS people in Cirencester are unaware of the variety of live comedy, music and drama performances available just down the road from their homes.

Nicknamed Cirencester’s “Best kept secret,” the Sundial Theatre has been based at Cirencester College for 16 years, regularly playing host to famous names, local groups and performing arts students.

Yet members of staff there say the theatre has a higher number of regular visitors from areas such as Tetbury and Stroud than from its hometown Cirencester.

“The theatre absolutely transforms in the evening,” said business development manager Angela Davis. “But people in Cirencester don’t consider it a proper theatre as we just don’t have the capacity or the facilities of the bigger venues.

“It’s hard as we’re not in the centre of town; we would really like to encourage more footfall.”

Despite its limited capacity (it seats 272), the technical side of the Sundial is taken care of by a team of professionals who make sure the quality of the sound and lighting is superb.

“We don’t just turn up the sound to the max like some theatres,” said theatre manager Joe Beardsmore.

This spring the theatre is hosting over 20 shows featuring famous acts, local theatre groups, children’s shows and music and performing arts students from Cirencester College.

When the Sundial welcomed famous comedian Michael McIntyre a few years ago the tickets were sold out in three and a half minutes but for most shows at this community theatre it is normally possible to get tickets right up to the show.

The Sundial is now taking bookings for its spring season.

“We have plenty of choice for everyone,” said Joe. “We are committed to providing Cirencester with variety and entertainment whilst keeping the cost of tickets at affordable prices so as many people as possible can experience live theatre.”

See for a full list of the acts this spring.