Sidmouth ‘buzzing’ over summer festival season

Sidmouth favourites joins Charles Vance company for rest of his silver jubilee season

WITH its season just half-way through, Sidmouth is buzzing about the 25th anniversary Charles and Imogen Vance summer play festival.

Several of Sidmouth’s favourites now join the company for the second half of its run, including celebrated Sidmouth alumni James Pellow.

Alan Wadlan, Kirsty Cox and Janette Froud have cleared their schedules in order to return to the Manor Pavilion Theatre to be part of the silver jubilee.

Yesterday, Thursday, August 11, saw the opening of the next play in the season – The Years Between by Daphne du Maurier.

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This is a compelling and moving drama set during World War Two. Diana Wentworth’s husband has been missing for nearly three years, during which time she and her young son Robin, played by Sidmouth College student Sam Neale, 14 – who featured in SACOS’s production Half a Sixpence - have become increasingly comfortable in the company of their neighbour Richard Llewellyn.

One evening Diana receives a visit from Sir Ernest Foster, who is ‘in Government’, with news that will change both her own and Robin’s life yet again.

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Well-known, Exmouth based, actress and writer, Jane Bennett, directs this play, which stars James Pellow, Sam Child, Janet Farrow, Laura James, Christopher Mark and Jessica Morley.

It has a strong local feel, with several popular faces in the cast.

David Wilkes, seen regularly in productions in both Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton, plays Sir Ernest.

David also appeared in the summer season last year as the film producer in Plaza Suite.

Also making guest appearances again this year are Ray Pickworth and Anna Sutherland as the vicar and vicar’s wife.

Next play in the run (August 18-24) is Terence Rattigan’s While the Sun Shines, a wacky comedy set in London during the Blitz.

Centre-piece of the season is Charles Vance’s own adaptation of Jane Eyre, which has enjoyed two successful national tours and is revived exclusively for Sidmouth to coincide with the release of a new film adaptation of the Bront� classic.

Suddenly at Home, (August 25-31), is a Sidmouth favorite by Francis Durbridge, and in Something to Hide by Leslie Sands, (September 1-7), one unexpected turn follows another in a twisted web of lies, deceit and perhaps, murder.

In total contrast, join in the crazy, off-duty lives of a m�lange of medical students in Doctor in the House by Ted Willis, based on the popular Richard Gordon novel andsubsequent hit film, which runs from September 15-21.

The season concludes with Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary by E.V. Tidmarsh, which runs from September 22-30.

With mistaken identity, slamming doors and farce of a most desperate kind, it’s a hysterical play of un-bridled proportions and a rollicking way to end the season.

Tickets are �13, on sale from the theatre box office. Tel: (01395) 579977.

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