Birthday celebrations

We celebrated our 54th birthday with Dame Penelope Keith.

We first opened our doors on 2 June 1965, as a proud memorial to the much-loved French actress, Yvonne Arnaud (December 1890 - September 1958), who made her home in Effingham Common.

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Patron and much-loved actress, Dame Penelope Keith told us: "Yvonne Arnaud Theatre was one of the first theatres built after the war. Money was raised by local people and it has a place in the hearts of many people who live here. The lovely thing is there are always people in here; seeing a show or meeting their friends for a coffee, it's a real hub in the community."

Adding: "I remember seeing the theatre's opening production, A Month in the Country featuring Michael Redgrave and Ingrid Bergman. It was fantastic and I have felt honoured to play here over the years."

About Yvonne Arnaud

Born in Bordeaux in December 1890, Germaine Jeanne Arnaud was raised in Paris where she showed an early promise as a concert pianist, touring Europe an the USA as a teenage performer. It was when she attended a musical in London in 1911 that she discovered her true vocation and, just a few months later, appeared on stage at the renowned Adelphi Theatre. Germaine went on to use the stage name, Yvonne Arnaud and star in musical and non-musical comedies and dramas, including 1920s hit, A Cuckoo in the Nest.