April 2023

Subtitled An Incendiary History of Exeter Theatre, the play charts the history of drama in Exeter and Topsham from the 15th to the 21st century..... and what a history it is!
We start with a notorious street theatre group banned by the Bishop of Exeter for corrupting nuns (unbelievably this group was known as the Brotherhood of Brothelyngham!) and discover the city's long-forgotten reputation as a theatrical trailblazer - the first recorded Robin Hood play, one of the first theatres outside London after the Civil War, Edmund Keane's dazzling (and intoxicated) performances, and of course the famous Theatre Royal fire - by no means the first - which forced the British Government to bring in theatre safety regulations.
Those who saw The First Cut or Isabella's Revenge in the Matthews Hall in 2019 or since then in its many outdoor incarnations, will recognise the style - we're calling it documentary pantomime - which presents real facts in a somewhat exaggerated and comic style. Like a House on Fire is written by Alan Caig, who wrote The First Cut, and he says that is guaranteed to contain no lies but lots of songs.
Estuary Players are offering a new group ticket for this production - one free ticket for every 10 booked - available to any organisation or club.
Home grown content has always been a special part of the Estuary formula, but it has come to the fore recently with The Mellstock Quire, Clare Philbrock's stage version of Under the Greenwood Tree which played in the November slot last November and then re-appeared al fresco at Powderham Castle at the end of July. Clare is also responsible for the scripts of the annual Mummers' Play, to be seen only recently up and down the High Street!


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