Sidmothian writes Formby show

Sidmothian Ewan launches show about George Formby in Lyme Regis

A BALLET dancer turned actor has returned to his roots to stage a show he has written about George Formby.

Sidmothian Ewan Wardrop, 36, will launch Formby at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis from Monday, April 9 to Saturday, April 14, before it tours in Exeter and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Ewan, who joined Jan Cload’s Sidmouth Ballet School at the age of seven, said: “I have played the ukulele for about 15 years as a hobby and last year decided to write a one-man show about George Formby.

“It will feature lots of his songs, dancing - his wife, Beryl, was a championship clog dancer - and it will tell the story of his life and those around him, including his famous father, George Formby Snr.”

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Ewan will re-create one of Beryl’s dances and will play all the parts in Formby himself.

No doubt his family, who all live locally, will be in the audience for his show.

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Now living in London with wife Emily and children Jeannie, three, and Arthur, one, Ewan gained a place at the Royal Ballet School and trained there as a dancer and later at Elmhurst Ballet school.

“As a professional dancer I worked mainly for Matthew Bourne’s company, AMP, touring the world, appearing on Broadway and in the West End in his shows.

“I also collected an Olivier award, along with the rest of the cast of his Play Without Words for best choreography.

“His show Swan Lake was a big hit all over the world and when it played in LA, it was attended by many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Jack Nicholson and Shirley Maclaine.”

This was a defining moment in Ewan’s career, but since he turned to acting he has worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Complicite and The Royal Opera House.

“Most recently I appeared in the award winning play Enron in the West End and in Terrence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea at the Chichester festival theatre,” he said.

Once Formby has done its run, Ewan will be in Newcastle performing in West Side Story.

He also likes to keep his hand in with his dancing, and said: “I work as an actor now mostly, but once a dancer, always a dancer.”

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