Maureen might invite you to walk a mile or two with her but it is nothing to do with the endless energy required to run this busy community theatre but her new-found passion for clocking up the miles on foot.

Lock-down brought about all sorts of changes for everyone and for Maureen it was a case of buying a pair of walking shoes and stepping out. ‘It did start as a keep fit drive and a huge motivation for me was completing ‘virtual challenges’. Since March 2021 I have virtually walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats, climbed Kilimanjaro, completed the North Coast 500 and walked the perimeter of Iceland.  In total I have walked nearly four thousand miles and worn out four pairs of walking shoes. 

I feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world any many of my miles have been completed along the glorious Torbay seafront as I walked the 8-mile round trip to work.  Of course a busy day a the theatre can rack up quite a few miles too!’

Whilst virtually walking the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, Maureen decided that a bit of reality was needed and so this Autumn she will head to Spain to walk the final 100km of this famous pilgrims’ trail, ending at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Maureen is dedicating her journey to helping children living in difficult circumstances and the funds raised will be split between the ESSW Charitable Trust and the Palace Theatre’s own ‘Theatre Angel’ activities supporting young people in the South Devon community.  She explains ‘Here at the theatre we would love to see more involvement from young people from across the community.  Theatre can be so much more than watching a live performance and we are aiming to inspire a level of creativity that could  change individual futures.  We’ll be offering everything from stage-fighting and circus skills classes to podcasting and creative story-telling networks.’ ESSW Charitable Trust has already raised over £4,000 for humanitarian charities at events hosted at the Palace with a final show-stopper this September as Katrina from Katrina and the Waves perform for the charity.

The Camino route is a UNESCO world heritage site – recognised as ‘… a meeting place for its pilgrims [that] has facilitated a constant cultural dialogue between the pilgrims and the communities through which they pass.’

Please donate today and be part of a new cultural adventure right here in Devon.

The Palace Theatre Paignton