Two former pupils of The King’s School, Ottery, are appearing in a professional standard production in Exeter as part of their college course in musical theatre.

Boat is an original musical developed in conjunction with students at Exeter College’s UAL Musical Theatre course, and will be performed at the Barnfield Theatre from Thursday, May 18 until Saturday 20.

Sidmouth Herald: The first-year cast, with Millie in back row on the rightThe first-year cast, with Millie in back row on the right (Image: Exeter College)

Sophie Alford and Millie Blackmore, who both attended The King’s School, are among the cast, with Sophie – a second year student – playing a lead character and Millie, a first year, in a supporting role. They and the rest of the cast will have their final grades for the year determined by the project. They are assessed on their written work about the production, the rehearsal process and the final performance.

Sidmouth Herald: Sophie AlfordSophie Alford (Image: Sophie Alford)

Ben Smith, head of performing arts at Exeter College, said: “Millie and Sophie have been fantastic students, showing a range of singing, acting and dancing skills.

"Sophie is playing a lead character and has created a realistic and believable character based on a B&B owner from the seaside town in which our musical is set.

"Millie is part of the ensemble and is developing skills ready to take on a main role in next year's production. Both girls have been a credit to their secondary school and local town, and they can't wait to share their work with family and friends when we perform in mid May.” 

Boat, written by Elfyn Jones, is set in the seaside town of Sandymouth at the end of the summer season. It’s raining, the paint on the beach huts is flaking, and tempers among residents are fraying.

A mysterious empty boat is moored by the harbour wall. Some people say it has been there before, some say it’s a portent of doom, no-one knows for sure… but some of the residents have an irresistible urge to climb on board.

The performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings start at 7.30pm, and there is a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets for all performances are £12 and available from the theatre’s website.