The Friends of Shanklin Theatre (FOST) are a group of people from the Isle of Wight and beyond who share a common interest in supporting Shanklin Theatre. Many are also dedicated volunteers, helping Shanklin Theatre and Community Trust with the day-to-day running of the Theatre.
The Friends now have over 600 members, 150 of which are volunteers.
By becoming a Friend, you will help fund essential work required to keep Shanklin Theatre open whilst receiving excellent benefits such as:
- Discounts on tickets for selected shows. Look on the latest Theatre brochure, the Theatre website and posters to find the shows with discounted tickets for Friends.
- FOST Newsletter “Stage-Write” which brings the latest news on FOST and the Theatre.
- Priority bookings whenever possible giving FOST members the opportunity for a short while (generally a day or two) to buy tickets in advance of the general public. Members are notified by email.
- A monthly Members’ draw of 3 x £10 Theatre vouchers. The draw is free and the membership number is automatically added to the draw.
- No fees to exchange tickets for the same show. For non members, the fee is £2 per ticket.
- Advance notice of forthcoming big shows, when possible. Members will be notified in advance by email of the date the tickets are going on sale. This gives the opportunity to be one of the first to buy tickets.
The Friends of Shanklin Theatre (FOST) was created in February 2008 following an announcement by the Isle of Wight Council, saying that they were considering closing the theatre.
This year we are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of saving the Theatre by putting on a special and unique non profit show featuring local amateur and professional groups plus an audiovisual display relating the history of the theatre – see details here
In June 2012 FOST volunteers were proud to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) for their hard work in re-establishing Shanklin Theatre; four volunteers were elected to attend the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace representing the Theatre and the Isle of Wight. Also during that year FOST volunteers were invited to a formal presentation of the QAVS at Osborne House, Cowes
By becoming a volunteer you will help the day to day running of the theatre. The jobs are varied, interesting and require many different skills.
Our volunteers are involved in running the front of house, the box office, the bar, ushering, bucket collection after every show and selling confectionery, ice cream or prize draw tickets.
They clean and maintain this grade II listed building, attend various summer and winter festivals and fêtes, carnivals, regattas and island wide shows, organise an annual garden party and distribute Theatre brochures locally.
The catering team fulfils other important roles, such as providing catering for the monthly coffee, cake and chat mornings, volunteer breakfast mornings, volunteers’ Thank You evening, star hospitality and refreshments for local open gardens under the National Garden Scheme.
Other roles include social media & publicity, IT support, Theatre tour guide, historic theatre material archiving and scrap-booking, website maintenance, welfare and volunteer co-ordination.
All our volunteers receive ongoing training which is paramount for providing consistent customer satisfaction and safety. The theatre has won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for four consecutive years, not only for the quality of its shows, but also for the services provided by its volunteers.
Updated May 2018 Michael Beston.