Monday, 2 January 2012

Classical Journey Tuesday 3 January 2012 - Updated! - photos of Cygnet New Theatre actors in Alan Ayckbourn's 'My Very Own Story': Sorrel Meechan, Tessa Gaukroger & Hannah Brooks - plus musicians: Ralph Hayward, Clive Betts & Mary O'Shea

Hikers on Dartmoor: Princetown, New Year's Day 2012
Happy New Year to all our listeners!

We start the year with a packed programme. Three actors from the Cygnet New Theatre, Exeter, came into the studio to discuss their latest production 'My Very Own Story' by Alan Ayckbourn.

Cygnet New Theatre, Friars' Gate
venue for Alan Ayckbourn's
'My Very Own Story'
Alan Ayckbourn: 'My Very Own Story'
Cygnet New Theatre, Friars' Gate, Exeter
Wednesday (4 January) to
Saturday (7 Jan) 7.30pm
(Matinée: Saturday 7 January 2pm)
Director Alistair Ganley
Piano compostion/accompaniment -
Musical Director: Elfyn Jones
Tickets: £10 (£8, £6) Matinée: £7
Family Ticket: £26
Box Office: 01392 277189

Newly enrolled drama student Sorrel Meechan discussed her involvement in the production - and the opportunities for drama studies at Cygnet.
Sorrel was joined by two other Cygnet actors - Tessa Gaukroger and Hannah Brooks. We heard about how they are all getting on at Cygnet.

On Wednesday evening they started the final run of 'My very own Story'.
Want to see them in action? - Of course we do!

First and foremost:
Pianist, Composer
& Musical Director
 - Elfyn Jones
Initial cameo appearance
for Tessa Gaukroger:
Gorff, the scary driver
confronts Rupert Fellowes
(Sam Burns)
Rupert's unlikely saviour:
Mrs Yerp (Sorrel Meechan)

a switch to another century -
and another character
Alicia (Tessa Gaukroger)
remonstrates with her dughter
Cecilia (Lucy Theobald)
Alicia's other daughter
Emilia (Hannah Brooks)
tries to attract
Frederick Stringer
(Matthew Neighbour)
"Would you like me to dance?"

! ! !

"What did you think . . . ?"
The Dance

The mystery unravels further
Alicia (Tessa Gaukroger)
 and Emilia (Hannah Brooks)
in another century
Alicia's motherly love
for Celilia and Emilia
does more harm than good
The finale:
 an older Cecilia
(Tessa Gaukroger!)
reappears in the first scene
and meets - Mrs Yerp!
(Sorrel Meechan)

The full cast of 'My Very Own Story' at the Cygnet New Theatre:
Tessa Gaukroger, Sorrel Meechan, Jason Phelps,
Joe Thurston, Lucy Theobald, Matthew Neighbour,
Sally Geake, Louisa Wilde, Hannah Brooks, Scott Goodaire
(Sam Burns just off camera)

Tessa and Matthew are just completing their studies
- and are available for professional work.
A brilliantly convoluted plot, cleverly performed - great characters and many wonderful dramatic effects - get a ticket if you can. Closes on Saturday!

Very soon the third year students will be presenting their 'show case' production at the Cygnet.
On Tuesday's 'Classical Journey', Tessa Gaukroger had all the details for us:

William Shakespeare: 'As You Like It'
Cygnet New Theatre, Friars' Gate, Exeter
Thur-Sat 16-18 Feb & Tue-Sat 21-25 Feb
Director: Amanda Knott
(previous Cygnet productions:
Noël Coward: 'Blythe Spirit'
Bess Wohl: 'Touch(ed)' )
Tickets: £10 (£8, £6)
Box Office: 01392 277189

"A fast-paced, zesty take on a classic Shakespeare play -
colourful and eclectic - and a lot of fun."
See it before they take it to London!

(Tristan Bates Theatre, Actors Centre, Covent Garden
  Monday-Thursday 27-30 February - link)

Hannah Brooks had news about yet another wonderful Cygnet production:

'How Well You Know Me'
Cygnet New Theatre, Friars' Gate, Exeter
Friday & Saturday 23/24 March 7.30pm
A double bill:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: 'The Yellow Wallpaper' - details
(Adapted from the 1892 version -
with parallel story, set in the 1950s, developed by the director)
Alice Gerstenberg: 'Overtones' - details
(One of ten one act plays published in 1921)
Director: Louisa Wilde (student - Acting with Directing)
(Louisa is Leonora in the current Ayckbourn Production - see cast photo above)
Box Office: 01392 277189

Plans for the future? -
Funding permitting, the company will prepare Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew' for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer. An exciting prospect! Many thanks to Sorrel Meechan for telling us all about that on Tuesday's show. And very best wishes for that production.

Hannah Brooks was able to add the essential details about how to support this admirable venture:

a) Anyone wanting to help with funds can shop online at - who make a percentage donation from all transactions (at no cost to the customer).

b) There will be a 'silent auction' at the Cygnet New Theatre on Friday 2nd March - an evening of monologues, songs and sketches. Local people will donates lots - e.g. restaurant vouchers, nursery products etc - which, will be auctioned to raise money, all in a convivial and entertaining setting.
(details at

Many thanks to the three student actors, Sorrel, Tessa and Hannah for coming in to discuss their work. What a memories those actors have!

Another perfect 5
Ralph Hayward plays his own composition, 'Accordion'
in 'dropped D' tuning on the Rodriguez Spanish guitar

The Estuary Players
'A Threepenny Opera'
two cockney rowdies:
'Walt Dreary' &
'Ready Money Matt'
(David Batty & Wallace Parfitt)
At around 11am we had another visitor. Local guitarist and composer Ralph Hayward was in the studio to play his own work. A very talented player with a very sweet tone. An unexpected and welcome addition was a phone call from Estuary Players actor, Wallace Parfitt, for an impromptu chat with Ralph about his music and interests.

Elizabeth Jane Baldry
at Chagford Film Society
showing of 'Fairy Tale Films'
in The Globe Inn, Chagford
Saturday 7th January 2012
Wallace also told us about a wonderful Chagford harpist, Elizabeth Jane Baldry, and her wonderful 'Fairy Tale films' featuring local children in Chagford.
Additional entertainment
at The Globe Inn, Chagford:
The Rodriguez Spanish guitar
is pressed into service again
- as Lucy Ogilvy sings 
Exciting Concerts coming up in Exeter and Devon:

Clive Betts
Mary O'Shea
     Soprano . . .
. . . and violin!    

Billie Bainbridge
Soprano Recital with Guitar
- in support of the 'Billie Butterfly' Fund
St Leonard's Church Exeter
Tuesday 10 January 3.30pm
J S Bach: 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring' (Cantata 147)
Adolphe Adam: 'Holy Night'
J S Bach / Charles Gounod: 'Ave Maria'
Brazilian Folk: 'Serteneja'
Chilean Folk: 'Ojos Azules'
Mexican Folk: 'La Valentina'
Soprano & violin: Mary O'Shea
Guitar: Clive Betts
Admission Free: Donations to the fund welcomed

Billie in the nativity play this Christmas
Monday 19th December
The 'Billie Butterfly' Fund was set up to find the money for a local Exeter girl who is receiving specialist treatment for an inoperable brain tumour. Billie Bainbridge has had extensive life-saving help from doctors in Texas - all paid for through the generosity of people donating to the fund. Billie's condition is currently stable, but continued therapy and care are still vitally important - and expensive. It is hoped that many will come to enjoy this free concert - and learn more about the fund, and spread the work. All donations are very welcome. More details, and information about how people can help -

David Cottam
Saturday 11 February
Nocturnes by Candlelight
Hockworthy Village Hall
!!!!! This was previously billed as Saturday 11 January
Saturday 11 February 7.30pm
Sorry! My mistake - Please don't go on the wrong night!
Guitar: David Cottam
'Cello: Hilary Boxer

Where? - M5, Junction 27, A361,
1/2 mile, Minnows Touring Park, turn right,
3 miles, Holcombe Rogus, turn left (Black Lane),
1 mile, Hockworthy!

Ruth Avis
 played Michael Nyman's
'Yamamoto Perpetuo'
in a 'Nonclassical' concert
at Exeter Bikeshed Theatre

11 December 2011 - details
Force Five Wind Quintet
Southernhay United Reformed Church Exeter
Friday 13 January 7.30pm
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quintet Opus 16
Gordon Jacob: Sextet for Piano
Francis Poulenc: 'Novelette'
Percy Grainger: 'Lisbon'
Peter Tchaikovsky: 'Nutcracker'
        (in 5 minutes - for flute and piano)
Norman Hallam: 'Charleston'
Gwyn Parry-Jones: 'Wind and Sea'
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Flute: Ruth Molins (Née Avis)
Oboe: Kate Osborne
Clarinet: John Welton
French Horn: Trevor Ives
Bassoon: Prue Tasman
Guest Pianist: Carol Galton
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tickets: £5 (U18 free) on the door
Proceeds to Southernhay Church Building Fund
                                         & St Petrock's Centre

The Living Room in London
(Minus Christopher Pepe Auer)
at their previous Exeter Concert: 30 October 2010
Living Room in London
Main Auditorium Phoenix Theatre Exeter
Friday 20 January 8pm
Violins: Ellie Fagg, Tom Norris
'Cello: Gregor Riddell
Saxophone: Chistoph Pepe Auer
Hang: Manu Delago
Tickets: £15.50
(Proceeds to The Friends of Buburi charity
- providing rural healthcare in Kenya)
Box Office: Exeter Phoenix 01392 667080

 The Bartholomew Quartet:
Violin: Anna Cockroft - Viola Simon Jones Violin: Dawn Ashby - 'Cello: Hilary Boxer

Bartholomew Quartet
St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton Sunday 22 January 3pm
Mendelssohn: Quartet Opus 44  Mozart: Prussian Quartet K575
Violins: Anna Cockroft (Exeter Bach Society); Dawn Ashby (South West Sinfonietta)
Viola: Simon Jones  'Cello: Hilary Boxer
Tickets: £6
Advanced Booking: Brian Lewis (Chairman of the Chapel Trustees) 01364 652768
Further Information:

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