With a huge emphasis on recycling and re-using materials in our day to day lives, the Torch Theatre at Milford Haven is taking extra measures with its recycling campaign.

The festive panto of Beauty and the Beast is no exception, and the set will be created using materials which have been recycled from the 2023 autumn production of Private Lives.

From recycling the usual household waste such as glass, paper and food, the Torch Theatre is also ticking all the boxes when it comes to Green Dragon Status with the Arts Council of Wales which will be achieved later this year.

Andrew Sturley, Senior Technical Manager at the Torch Theatre says it’s vital to be recycling and repurposing sets and sceneries for productions.

He said: “Over 50 percent of the Private Lives scenery has been repurposed for our Beauty and the Beast pantomime, and following its last performance it will again be repurposed for Monty Python’s Spamalot show visiting the Torch early next year.

“It’s vital here at the Torch to follow the National Theatre Green Book, which is a recognised environmental policy in place in all theatres across Wales. One of the changes we’ve made is to use manpower rather than a van to collect sets from our workshop. We trolley as much of the set back and forth rather than using the van and so reduce our carbon footprint as the workshop is located up the road from the Theatre itself.”

Andrew added that the metal work for the fly-tower in the auditorium is also recycled and a lot of the metal work used has been welded together to prevent purchasing new material. From Private Lives to Beauty and the Beast, the Carmarthen Youth Opera will also use recycled material from the productions.

“We’ve gone above and beyond to think of ways to help the environment and one of those ideas has been to purchase thousands of Velcro ties as opposed to using electrical tape ones to recoil cables. We are constantly adapting and thinking of new ways of working to ensure we are green, that there is no wastage and that we earmark things to be used again for future productions,” said Andrew.

Marcus Lewis, Torch Theatre Senior Manager - Front of House and Operations says he is keen to ensure that the Torch is as environmentally friendly as possible.

“We have the usual recycling bins at Front of House and our Ushers work in line with Pembrokeshire County Council refuse collection specific bins.

"Since re-opening after covid, we’ve most definitely reduced the amount of black refuse bags and have specific skips for cans, plastics and food from the Torch Café and bar. We are also creating a Switch Off Campaign for the building over the next few months and some areas already have sensors so the light switches on and off when a person enters or leaves an area."

Over the next few months and during the Beauty and the Beast pantomime, volunteer ushers will be trained to allocate waste for specific bins and a new Environment Champion will be selected who will promote recycling within the Torch walls.

The Torch Theatre has also held Clothes Swap events throughout 2023 which have proved very popular.

Beauty and the Beast will magically make its way to the Torch Theatre stage from Friday 15 December to Sunday 31 December.

A relaxed Environment Performance will take place on Saturday 16th December at 2pm and BSL Interpreted Performance on Tuesday 19th December @at6pm.