The Churchill Theatre in Bromley is celebrating 40 years of entertainment when its birthday arrives this month.

Opened by Prince Charles on July 19 in 1977 with a capacity of 780 seats, it has been home to hundreds of shows over the years that have included appearances from the likes of the late Ronnie Corbett, Hugh Grant and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Only Fools and Horses star Lyndhurst first featured in a double bill of Black Comedy and The Private Ear in 1987, with Grant entering the scene in the adult comedy High Flyers three years later, before Corbett starred in Cinderella in 1993.

Michael Bignell, from St Paul’s Cray, was working at the bar on opening night four decades ago and has remained a prominent theatregoer ever since.

He said: “I have been coming to the pantomime in Bromley since I was young and I have hardly missed a year. It was a family tradition, my mother used to love it.”

Speaking about one of his favourite performances he has seen at the theatre, Michael said: “The best one we have seen here was Phantom of the Opera [the play].

“It had scenery done by the London Dungeons, and when you go down into the cellars, this huge door opened with a creak.

“The best show I have seen for scenery.”

In celebration, The Churchill Theatre will be sharing stories about the theatre throughout the month of July on social media using the hashtag #mychurchillstory.

You can send your story in to Champa Kapumpa, the theatre’s PR and Marketing Officer, at

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