Sidmouth community theatre bid

SIDMOUTH residents have been invited to have a go at community theatre by the director of a new production set to debut next year.

SIDMOUTH residents have been invited to give community theatre a try by the director of a new production set to debut next year.

Crosby Chacksfield and the Sidmouth Mummers want to share the joys of live performance with novice actors and singers with a series of workshops in January.

They hope to bolster the cast of their 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 hopes to unearth a few hidden talents with workshops at Sidford Social Hall on January 16 and 30, both from 4pm to 6pm.

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

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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,” Crosby told the Herald.

“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 run two theatre workshops and invite local people who may be interested to come along 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.