Ottery resident produces props for Escot play

PUBLISHED: 14:26 17 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:42 18 June 2010

AN Ottery St Mary man with a history of working on creative projects both in the UK and abroad, has produced props and scenery for a performance at Escot Park on Sunday.

AN Ottery St Mary man with a history of working on creative projects both in the UK and abroad, has produced props and scenery for a performance at Escot Park on Sunday.

Roy Clements, 76, of New Street and scenic artist Sharon Kilhams from Uffculme, have been busy putting their artistic skills to work for Tale Valley Community Theatre's production Wind in the Willows, at Escot to raise funds for Tale Valley Trust.

Roy is an English graduate and graphic artist, who worked in the 1960s with Joan Littlewood in her theatre workshop in the East End of London, painting scenery and props for such seminal productions as Oh What a Lovely War.

He was appointed European Motor show designer for Rolls-Royce International Motors and remained in that post in Switzerland until retirement. He came to Devon to be near his grandchildren.

Of his involvement with Sunday's show - adapted by for the theatre by local writer Nick Pruce - Roy said: "I have enjoyed it enormously."

He said John and others had put in a lot of work in an intense period of time.

"It has been good being part of it," he added.

His props include a ticket office, leaves, together with jam tarts and sandwiches, which he hopes don't get eaten "as they are made of fibreboard and quite indigestible."

The production includes original music composed by Charles West sung by actors and backed by a 12-strong choir and three instrumentalists.

Director John Somers said: "Wind in the Willows is a romp and performing it outdoors in the redwood knoll at Escot presents particular challenges."

He has enlisted dancers from Sidmouth College to play the revolutionary weasels.

They perform a street dance and gang up behind chief weasel, Alex Davies, to take over Toad Hall.

Toad is played by local actor Geoff Nicholson. Other parts are played by Laurie Palmer (Ratty), Tom Pettitt (Moley), Trevor Vanstone (Badger), Freya Houghton (Gaoler's daughter) and Alex Davies with Stephanie Houghton as narrator.

To find out how mild-mannered Mole saves the day, see one of two performances at Escot on Sunday at 12.00noon or 2.00pm.


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