The Great Gale of Brixham 1866 - history drama Theatre & Performing Arts


On the night of January 10 – 11th 1866, a southeast gale blew up, and the storm is widely remembered in Brixham to this day

January 18th 2020 - 7.30pm

The Watermark, Erme Court,
Leonards Rd,
Devon PL21 0SZ
Telephone: 01752 892220
Online ticket booking:

On the night of January 10 – 11th 1866, a southeast gale blew up, and the storm is widely remembered in Brixham to this day. Much of the towns fishing fleet, as well as other ships sheltering in Torbay were destroyed, with a large loss of life.

The Great Gale of Brixham 1866, brings to life a pivotal historical event in Brixham. The show dramatizes the historical night and its aftermath, as well as delving into some of the other local stories of the town that are believed to have happened within the 19th Century. The Great Gale of Brixham 1866, was carefully researched from original newspaper sources, local stories and oral history from local families, written by the South Devon Players company founder, Laura Jury, a long term resident of Brixham. While it can only provide a snapshot of the events of the night, it brings to life one of the big historical events of the town, in a two hour production.

Performed by a professional cast of locally based actors, this production stars an actor from the famous TV series Poldark, where he played one of the MPs, in the lead male role, alongside an equally talent cast of Devon-based actors.
The Players last production; William Shakespeare's Macbeth, won an international award in the Long Island Theatre Awards, in New York, in June 2019.

The South Devon Players, founded in 2005/6 on the proceeds of a carboot sale, are winners of the national Epic Award 2017 for England, a national arts award celebrating creativity and innovation in grassroots arts, and now the 2019 Long Island Theatre Awards "Theatre Partner" award in New York. Based in Brixham, the Players primarily specialise in researched historical theatre productions and old “Classics”.

The fishwives of Brixham built a bonfire of their household effects on the end of the breakwater (half the length of the current breakwater, although in the same location) to try to guide their husbands home safely, while the men on shore in the town did all they could to save people from the ships which were wrecked along the Brixham and Churston coastline, and all those saved, both locals, and those from other parts of Britain, and indeed mainland Europe, were shown great kindness by the residents of the town who in many cases offered them lodgings in their own homes, even as they waited for news of their own loved ones.

It is said, however, that after the storm one could walk along the coastline from Brixham to Paignton, upon the wreckage of all the wrecked ships. Over a hundred bodies were identified, and records to this day also list many other unidentified seamen who were found torn apart by the fury of the storm and unidentifiable. A mass grave and memorial exists at St Marys Church in Brixham to this day. The full death toll from the storm will never be known – for example it was reported that two passenger steamers had been seen in Torbay, and some sailors, later rescued from the wreck of their own ship, reported that in the chaos of the night, in the bay, their ship had crashed into an unknown steamer which then sank, as far as they knew, with all hands.

In the 19th century, at the time of this storm, Brixham was one of the foremost fishing ports in England, and it was due to this storm that the people of Exeter, the county capital, raised funds for Brixham to have her first RNLI lifeboat; named The City Of Exeter, and the town has always had a lifeboat since.

More about us:

More details

Date(s)18 Jan 2020
WebsiteVisit website
VenueThe Watermark
AddressErme Court, Leonards Road, Ivybridge, Devon,

Explore localWhat's on in Ivybridge
 Local tourist information guide
Other eventsWhat's on at The Watermark

Main photo may be copyright © The South Devon Players

Nearest Hotels

Beacon Cottage


Beacon Cottage is a holiday home set in Ivybridge in the Devon Region and featuring a garden with a barbecue. The unit is 27 km from Torquay. Plymouth is 17 km from Beacon Cottage, while Exeter is 44 km away.

Postcode: PL21
Distance from The Watermark:
1.1 miles

CHECK AVAILABILITYHotel details, map & prices

The Garden Barn


The Garden Barn is a holiday home set in Ivybridge, 27 km from Torquay. The unit is 18 km from Plymouth. Exeter is 45 km from The Garden Barn, while Tavistock is 27 km from the property.

Postcode: PL21
Distance from The Watermark:
1.6 miles

CHECK AVAILABILITYHotel details, map & prices

Wadadli Lodge


Set 26 km from Torquay and 18 km from Plymouth, Wadadli Lodge offers pet-friendly accommodation in Ivybridge. The property is 43 km from Exeter and free private parking is offered. Other facilities at Wadadli Lodge include a seasonal outdoor pool.

Postcode: PL21
Distance from The Watermark:
1.7 miles

CHECK AVAILABILITYHotel details, map & prices

The Figgery


Set in Wrangaton, this holiday home is located 27 km from Torquay. The property features views of the city and is 19 km from Plymouth. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property.

Postcode: PL21 0EU
Distance from The Watermark:
1.7 miles

CHECK AVAILABILITYHotel details, map & prices

Farm Cottage


Located within Dartmoor National Park, Farm Cottage is surrounded by hiking and cycling trails. With stunning views of the South Devon Coast, it is ideally situated for exploring South Devons beaches and tourist attractions..

Postcode: PL21 0HB
Distance from The Watermark:
2 miles

CHECK AVAILABILITYHotel details, map & prices

Oaklands Cott


Oaklands Cott is a holiday home is set in Cornwood and is 32 km from Torquay. It provides free private parking. Plymouth is 12 km from Oaklands Cott, while Exeter is 47 km away.

Postcode: PL21
Distance from The Watermark:
2.2 miles

CHECK AVAILABILITYHotel details, map & prices

View all hotels near The Watermark

Your comments:

comments powered by Disqus

Disclaimer: This event is not organised by BritEvents, and we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information provided, errors, or omissions. Always check the information provided before you book tickets.

Event Details

Date18 Jan 2020
Time(s)7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
CostTICKETS £8 (£7 concs)
VenueThe Watermark
Erme Court, Leonards Road
Phone07855 090589
CategoryTheatre & Performing Arts

The South Devon Players

18 Oct 2019

The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, are a Devon based team, from Brixham, in Torbay, who specialise in creating theatre and film productions…

Contact organiser

View full profile