Retired couple spend £500,000 building a 60-seater THEATRE in back garden of their suburban semi putting on five shows a year

  • Former teachers Gwyneth and Hywel Jeffreys host friends and family
  • 30ft long theatre was built in the garden of their semi in Lakeside, Cardiff
  • Couple spent £500,000 equipping the professional-spec music hall
  • Venue hosts five performances a year to raise money for charities
  • Couple have hosted top artists including Welsh National Opera star Rebecca Evans

By
Daily Mail Reporter


PUBLISHED:

10:19 EST, 11 October 2013


|

UPDATED:

03:38 EST, 12 October 2013

A retired couple have spent £500,000 building a theatre in the garden of their suburban semi so they can lay on lavish music shows for friends and family.

Former teachers Gwyneth and Hywel Jeffreys spent a fortune kitting out the tiny music hall with all the equipment even the most demanding performer could want.

The venue in the converted conservatory behind their home in Lakeside, Cardiff, called the Hippodrome Music Hall, boasts high-quality lighting and recording equipment, as well as a fire escape.

Passion: Hywel & Gwyneth Jeffreys spent £500,000 on a theatre in their back garden

Passion: Hywel & Gwyneth Jeffreys spent £500,000 on a theatre in their back garden

The
couple host five shows a year – with top performers from world famous institutions, including the Welsh National Opera – from the 60-seater 30ft threatre.

Mr Jeffreys, 79, said: ‘Our friends and neighbours just love popping over for a performance.

After each show they produce a film which they sell to raise cash for
charity.

Out of the ordinary: Hywel and Gwyneth Jeffreys converted their conservatory into a fully functioning threatre behind their semi-detached house

Out of the ordinary: Hywel and Gwyneth Jeffreys converted their conservatory into a fully functioning threatre behind their semi-detached house


Venue: The former teachers host five performances a year from the theatre in the couple's garden in Lakeside, Cardiff

Venue: The former teachers host five performances a year from the theatre in the couple’s garden in Lakeside, Cardiff

‘I
was taught to collect money for charity from an early age and after
leaving full time teaching I found I had plenty of time on my hands.

‘This is an ideal way of raising money but also entertaining people in our own home.’

The couple invite a array of performers to take the stage all for charity.

Theatre

Popular: One of the packed performances in the couple’s conservatory-turned theatre

No expense spared: Hywel and Gwyneth Jeffreys spent a fortune installing modern professional-spec equipment into their theatre for performers to use

No expense spared: Hywel and Gwyneth Jeffreys spent a fortune installing modern professional-spec equipment into their theatre for performers to use

Theatre

Stars: Shows include opera-singers such as Welsh National Opera star Rebecca Evans

Stars of the shows include opera
singers such as Welsh National Opera star Rebecca Evans and the whole of
the Burry Port Male Voice Choir.

Former
deputy head Mr Jeffreys, 79, dons a wig to compere the performances which can
be beamed to TVs in other parts of the house to cater for an overflow
audience.

The couple
converted their former conservatory into the theatre and built over
their back garden – and named it the Hippodrome Music Hall.

Theatre

Proper production: One of the programmes produced for one of the performances

Pride and joy: Hywel and Gwyneth Jeffreys poured their heart and soul - as well as tens of thousands of pounds - into their passion for musical performances

Pride and joy: Hywel and Gwyneth Jeffreys poured their heart and soul – as well as tens of thousands of pounds – into their passion for musical performances

Tight squeeze: The theatre seats up to 60 people in the 30ft bespoke music hall

Tight squeeze: The theatre seats up to 60 people in the 30ft bespoke music hall

Packing them in: The tiny venue has all the facilities any theatre-goer would expect - everything from fully kitted out stage to a fire escape

Packing them in: The tiny venue has all the facilities any theatre-goer would expect – everything from fully kitted out stage to a fire escape

It has its own fire escape to comply with planning regulations and even has its own air conditioning to keep the audience cool.

He said: ‘We realised the conservatory was too limited for our purposes of raising money for charities so we rebuilt it.

‘We also wanted to have room for a sizeable audience so we turned it into a small theatre and it has proved a great success.

‘It is a lovely thing to do with our time since we retired.’

Good causes such Alzheimer’s research, heart and children’s charities all benefit from the couple’s efforts.

Mrs Jeffreys, 81, said: ‘We look forward to each show so much and at least is saves on doing the garden.’

Charm: Mr and Mrs Jeffreys have turned The Hippodrome Music Hall into a small venue with huge charm

Charm: Mr and Mrs Jeffreys have turned The Hippodrome Music Hall into a small venue with huge charm

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