Sidmouth community theatre challenge

SIDMOUTH residents have been invited to have a go at community theatre this weekend.

SIDMOUTH residents have been invited to help out a promising community theatre production this weekend.

Crosby Chacksfield and the Sidmouth Mummers want to share the joys of live performance with novice actors and singers with a pair of workshops this month.

The first of which will take place at Sidford Social Hall from 4pm to 6pm on Sunday.

It is hoped the event will help boost the planned community production, Johnny Jack’s War, scribed by Branscombe playwright Peter Wilson, which is set for Sidbury Village Hall in November 2011.

The play charts the opening months of the First World War and its impact on a local rural village.

Director Crosby is on the lookout for as many as 40 performers and helping hands and hopes to unearth a few hidden talents on Sunday.

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The workshop at Sidford Social Hall will be followed by another on Sunday, January 30.

“We don’t just want actors, but need people for publicity, costumes, back stage, fundraising and administration. The workshops will involve singing some of the First World War songs as well as drama exercises and improvisations,” Crosby told the Herald.

He became involved with the Sidmouth Mummers in the early 1980’s when he was head of drama at The King’s School in Ottery St Mary and subsequently became head of sixth form there.

He was assistant director for Ottery’s first-ever community play, the Ballad of Tilly Hake, at The King’s School in 1985.

“My passion is for community theatre,” said Crosby.

“I enjoy working with people who may have never acted before or have been involved with the uplifting experience of live performance.

“I would like to invite local people who may be interested to come along to the workshops and explore theatre techniques and to see if they would like to become involved in Johnny Jack’s War.

“We need about 30 to 40 performers of all ages to reflect the people of a local village as well as front of house and back stage crew.”

Sidmouth Mummers’ Gaffer and Old Father Christmas Henry Piper and his wife Rosie have agreed to be music directors of the play.