THE West Cliff Theatre may be currently on lockdown because of the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still take you on a tour of the historic arts complex.

Photographer Steve Brading was granted access to the famous Clacton theatre just days after it closed its doors in March.

Our gallery of snaps captures every angle of the world of showbusiness, including the glorious view from behind the sound and lighting desks and the costume cupboard.

Renowned for staging famous faces, access was also given to backstage areas where the likes of Anita Harris and Don Maclean would have relaxed prior to shows.

In addition to hosting celebrated stars, the West Cliff Theatre, which opened back in 1928, is also dedicated to putting local, up-and-coming talent in the spotlight.

Dancers, performers and singers from performing arts groups The Company and Stagestruck Academy have all showcased their abilities at the 600-capacity venue.

The West Cliff Theatre nurtures its own young talent and hosts regular youth workshops which lead to budding performers starring in the theatre’s productions.

For its own, in-house shows, the theatre also uses it own, creative props to make each performance as interesting as possible, which can be seen here.

West Cliff Theatre manager Rob Mitchell-Gears, said: “This is where my love affair with theatre all started and I will always be so very grateful to everyone associated with this beautiful building.

“The West Cliff is our second home, not just for the staff, or the artists, but also for the customers and it is a vital part of history.

“The building absorbs the laughter and joy of all those hundreds of thousands who have sat and enjoyed a performance and that atmosphere is almost tangible.

“We have such a brilliant team here, people who have given so very much to ensure its survival - their passion, love and enthusiasm is infectious.

“The West Cliff is such a vital part of our history, it is a vital part of the local tourism industry and it is so vital for our health and mental wellbeing.

“Theatre is not just a job, it is a passion, a way of life and I for one count myself as extremely lucky to find myself back where it all started as the manager.”