There's plenty to keep you entertained in Southend-on-Sea, even if it might sometimes take you off the beaten track. An eclectic array of music, drama and comedy awaits!
Entertainment in Southend
There's really only one place to start if you're a music aficionado in Southend and that's Chinnerys, a compact venue with an intimate feel and friendly atmosphere. It has a huge roster of tribute acts playing the songs of everyone from Pearl Jam and Bon Jovi to Fall Out Boy and the Small Faces, but it also puts on the real thing! The Charlatans, Ash and Arctic Monkeys are among the acts to have played at the venue, which often attracts fans travelling from all over the country.
Since the closure of The Dickens – which also used to put on bands when it was known as O’Neill’s – your next best bet for live music is the Railway Hotel on Clifftown Road, which has been run for over a decade by local musician Dave Dulake. It has long attracted a bohemian music-loving crowd. Music ranges from jazz and blues to ska and psychedelia, plus everything in between, and the Railway is also noted for it extensive vegan menu.
The Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre are both historic venues, making Southend-on-Sea a great place to visit for theatregoers. We've put together a detailed guide to Southend theatres to help you decide where to go to catch a show.
As well as hosting some top-quality dramatic productions, the Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre both put on a stellar programme of comedians. Big television stars such as Ross Noble, Jason Manford, Henning Wehn, Danny Baker and Dave Gorman are among those with the Cliffs Pavilion on their CV.
The Palace Theatre on London Road has attracted a varied range of comic performers, including Daliso Chaponda, Joe Pasquale, Sara Pascoe, Dylan Moran and Stephen K. Amos.
Southend United might not be the most glamorous name in football but they've had their fair share of success since in the 21st century. Arguably the most famous victory at their historic home of Roots Hall was in the League Cup in November 2006, when they defeated a Manchester United side featuring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
Six seasons later, the Shrimpers sold 32,000 tickets as they played at Wembley Stadium for the very first time in their history – although they lost to Crewe Alexandra in the final of the Football League Trophy. A second appearance at Wembley followed two years later and this time, Southend were victorious, beating Wycombe on penalties in the League Two play-off final. If you're planning to visit Roots Hall, you might need to be quick, as the club are planning to move to a new stadium at Fossetts Farm.
Fans of other team sports might like to pay a visit to Warners Bridge Park to see Southend Rugby Football Club, the oldest club in the town, having been formed in 1870. They play in a highly distinctive chocolate brown and white kit and in 2014, they changed their name to Southend Saxons. Unfortunately though, they were recently relegated from the London & South East Premier League.
Warners Bridge Park is also the home ground for Old Southendian Hockey Club, which dates back to 1921 and runs six men’s and two women's teams. It prides itself on the wide range of ages catered for, with coaching sessions run for children aged from six to 13 and an over-40s team taking part each year in the National Hockey Cup.