South Devon Players to bring Macbeth to the Bay


The South Devon Players, Brixham’s ever-innovative theatre group, are planning a version of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s darkly brooding, blood-stained tragedy, aiming to stage it early next year.

Great news for budding actors – they’ll be auditioning soon – and for theatre lovers and Shakespeare fanatics like me.

Living here in the Bay for some seven years now, there’s little I really miss about London, where I lived and worked for most of my life, beyond the easy access to galleries and museums, and theatre of all kinds on your doorstep. Both London Tates – Modern and Britain – were a short bus ride away, for example, and if, as a teacher I wanted to take my students to the theatre, it was never a problem: if they were studying Shakespeare, say, the chances were that there’d be not just one but several productions on within fairly easy travelling distance.

Healthwatch Torbay is conducting a survey to find out what young people feel about life in Torbay. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re visiting Torquay Academy this coming week to talk to Year 10s about it. One thing we’d like to know is what they’d like to see in Torbay that isn’t already here. I know that for me, hardly a youngster, that would include (pipe-dreaming, of course) a theatre showing something beyond middle-of-the road musicals and pantomimes, a decent rock venue – we had one once, as I recall from a visit when I was a teenager, seeing ELO, though I’m not exactly sure where – and an art gallery where touring exhibitions could be staged.

As far as theatre is concerned, we have the Little Theatre, of course, and things other than mainstream do crop up occasionally, but otherwise it means a trip way beyond the Bay (Plymouth, Exeter – London…) if you want to see anything different, or challenging, or new.

I’m certain that the arts are good for your health, so, once again, it’s great to see an always interesting group like The South Devon Players Theatre and Film Company offering us something exciting and different. You can find out more about them, by the way, including details about auditions for Macbeth (on July 22nd at Brixham’s Chestnut Centre) by visiting their website:

Bob Jope Healthwatch Torbay

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!