Photos Reviews


December 1986

by Keith Dewhurst, directed by Keith Palmer


Laura - Elizabeth Walker

Edmund - Andy Pearson

Emma Timms - Lynn Trout

Albert Timms - Keith Palmer

Mrs. Peverill - Rosemary Stephenson

Mrs. Andrews - Joyce Evans

Dorcas Lane - Diana Lucas

Zillah - Margaret Butt

Matthew - Gordon Halliday

Bill - Mike Pigott

Bavour - John Halliday

Solomon - Jim Orford

Thomas Brown - Brian Bowker

Mrs. Gubbins - Mary Jones

Mrs. Macey - Rosemary Whitehurst

Sir Timothy - Richard Thorne

John Gaskin - James Pettit

Robert Bowler - Robbie Edwards

Mr. Chitty - Ben Grimsey

Cinderella Doe - Miranda Leger

Loony Joe - Mike Boston

Cowman Jolliffe - Bryan Stephenson

Mr. Coulsdon - Fred Lewes

Mr. Wilkins - Ben Grimsey

Minnie Hickman - Miriam Fishwick

Ben Trollope - John Spree

Tom Ashley - Martin Bloomer

Mr. Cochrane - Bryan Stephenson

John - Keith Palmer

Laura (as an adult) - Lynn Trout

Villagers - Alison Palmer, Claerwen Evans, Joseph Evans, Carol Pettit, Joyce Evans & Rosemary Stephenson

Production Team:

The Rank and File Band: -

Musical Director - Martin Bloomer

Dance arranger - Mike Boston

Director - Keith Palmer

Stage Manager - Chris Scanes

Set Construction - Chris Scanes, Mike Trout, Barry Matthews, Brian Bowker, David Hopper & Philip Jones

Props - Rosemary Stephenson

Costume - Olive Rumford, Miranda Leger and Megs Rimmer

Lighting - Arthur Wheat

Front of House - Carol Pettit

Publicity - Lynn Trout

Posters - Diana Lucas

Production Secretary - Carol Pettit

Sign Writing - Norman Johnson

Photographs - Donald Steven


From Exmouth & East Devon Journal:

Full marks to the back stage team....

Transported on a 'journey of delight'

Audiences at the Estuary Players' presentation of Candleford at the Barnfield Theatre were transported back to rural life in late Victorian times - and it truly turned out to be a journey of delight.

The Topsham-based players maintained their reputation of staging productions of a high standard which are often away from the run-of-the-mill type. On this occasion, as in Lark Rise (1980/1) and Hard Times (1984), they were joined by the very talented Rank and File Band directed by Martin Bloomer.

Candleford covers one day in the life of the village of that name in January 1890, the action revolves around the post office and the blacksmith's shop. The atmosphere of both these centres of village life was captured perfectly by the well-designed and constructed set.

Under the capable direction of Keith Palmer, an enthusiastic cast brought the various village characters to life, making them all utterly believable.

As 'Laura', the central character who comes to work at the village post office, Elizabeth Walker gave an extremely sensitive performance, and so did Diana Lucas as 'Dorcas Lane', owner of the post office and the smithy.

Brian Bowker and Mary Jones gave excellent character studies as the religious postman and the grumbling postwoman, and Gordon Halliday really got into the salt-of-the earth character of the blacksmith.

Mike Pigott, John Halliday and Jim Orford brought a lot of fun into the proceedings with their interpretations of three young workers at the smithy, while Mike Boston handled the role of the village idiot very well.

Others portraying various characters very competently were Lyn Trout, Margaret Butt, Rosemary Whitehurst, Richard Thorne, James Pettit, Robbie Edwards, Ben Grimsey, Andy Pearson, Miranda Leger, Rosemary Stephenson, Joyce Evans, Bryan Stephenson, Fred Lewes, Miriam Fishwick, John Spree, and the director himself, Keith Palmer.

Musical director Martin Bloomer also portrayed one small character part very well. Giving good support as villagers were Alison Palmer, Claerwen Evans, Carol Pettit and Joseph Evans.

The 10 members of the Rank and File Band provided excellent musical support with some traditional numbers as well as some items from the National Theatre production of Candleford and some composed by members of the band themselves.

However, perhaps the one non-authentic aspect of the whole production was the amplification used by the band which, at times, tended to detract from the feel of the period.

Full marks to the back stage team lead by stage manager Chris Scanes - including those who were responsible for the excellent costumes and props.

- Reviewed by: George Pridmore


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