Vera Vandall, of Saltdean, said: "They show a real variety of stuff which I like. I go to so many shows a year but the ones I really like are things like High Society which are fun and have lots of music and dancing.

"I remember watching John Osborne in the sixties and really struggling because it was so wordy. I couldn't work out what the fuss was about."

John Kennet, 74, of Southover High Street, Lewes, said: "We have been going to the Theatre Royal since 1963 and try to go as often as possible.

"I like the intimacy and the fact you are close to the action even if you are up in 'the gods'.

"It is a really nice audience relationship and you feel you are part of a community."

Angela Penfold, from London, said she still came down to see shows at the Theatre Royal even though she moved to the capital 15 years ago.

She said: "The show that sticks in my mind most was The Circle with Hollywood star Stewart Granger.

"It was supposed to go to the West End afterwards but couldn't because there was no space so it ended up just being shown in Brighton and I think he ended up going straight back to California afterwards.

"I remember I had a letter to give him from a distant relative of his who he had never met but was a friend of mine.

"Afterwards he contacted her and they met up several times which was nice."

Jody East, 25, of Dewey Road, Brighton, said: "I have been to the theatre lots recently as research for the Stagestruck exhibition we put on at the Brighton Museum and I really like it.

"I particularly like the fact it is an intimate space which really makes you feel you are part of what is going on on stage."