THE Mowlem Theatre in Swanage is asking for the public's help to decide its future, as part of its first public consultation in more than 50 years.

Closed for the third time since the coronavirus pandemic began last March, the theatre has already undergone renovation and a number of management changes.

Now it is launching an online questionnaire so the town's residents can have a say on where it should be heading.

Mowlem board of trustees chairman, Matt Haysom, said: “We know The Mowlem has had a reputation of being unapproachable in the past.

"We want to change this, and this questionnaire will give people an opportunity to have their say.

"We hope to improve The Mowlem and its ability to serve our community.”

Thomas Curtis has been appointed operations manager and the majority of trustees have joined in the past year, brought in by former chairman Paul Grover and current chairman Mr Haysom.

A Theatre spokesman said: "The questionnaire has been created with help volunteered by Dr Maia Mackney who grew up in Swanage and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

"An open invitation to complete the survey is being emailed to organisations and individuals across Purbeck, but Mr Haysom acknowledges that lockdown makes it difficult to distribute printed copies.

"Instead, members of the public are encouraged to talk through the questions with friends and family who can’t access it online and to submit a copy on their behalf."

A link to the questionnaire is at with the deadline for completion being Sunday, March 7.