New drama season at Exmouth Pavilion

SOUTH Devon’s theatrical life gets a new boost this summer with the arrival of the first season of summer plays at Exmouth Pavilion, just a few miles along the coast from Sidmouth, where the Manor Pavilion Theatre hosts the country’s only remaining summer rep season.

The debut Exmouth season is presented by Don’t Go Into The Cellar, and as the name hints, the series has a spooky mysterious feel, focusing on Gothic thrills and chills and some elegant Victorian wit.

The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes is a true labour of love, written and performed by Jonathan Goodwin, who has the distinction of being, not only a versatile actor, but a true Sherlockian, having joined the London Sherlock Holmes Society aged only 13 (only just pipped to the title of youngest ever member by Stephen Fry).

The four plays have been written by actor and director Jonathan Goodwin, and are performed by Goodwin and Sali Gresham, with Gary Archer directing.

The series begins on 8th August with The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes. Jonathan Goodwin plays the great sleuth in this new play, which features the great detective recounting highlights of his crime-busting career, with autobiographical snippets concerning his life and times, the adversaries he has faced and mysteries he has solved.

In the second, on 15th August, Sali Gresham plays the infamous Mrs Lovett, pie-making accomplice of Sweeney Todd. Penny Dreadful! Or, Mrs Lovett’s Revenge! is a one-woman show with chills and chuckles in abundance. Prepare to be appalled by a plethora of grotesque characters from the cheap and grisly pages of the Victorian era’s penny dreadful papers, in this blackly funny show. As Jonathan Goodwin says: “Go on – have a close shave with Mrs Lovett… She’d love to have you for dinner…”

Edgar Allan Poe was the arch creator of terrifying scenarios, so expect your blood to run cold in A Pandemonium of Poe on 22nd August. The evening’s eerie entertainment, performed by Jonathan Goodwin, will be an anthology of Poe’s finest feats of fear-filled fiction! Be led by the sinister Dr Trevellyan as he leads you into the deepest recesses of the human psyche.

The last of the quartet is Tea with Oscar Wilde on 29th August, an invitation to a chat show with a difference! Join Oscar Wilde (Goodwin) as he interviews a leading celebrity of the Victorian era, recounts a story or two and invites his audience to get “Caught in the Act”! The company promises an evening of comedy, music and audience participation.

Don’t Go Into The Cellar! Theatre Company is described as “the British Empire’s finest practitioners of theatrical Victoriana in the macabre vein!” – which gives a taste of their tongue-in-cheek style. The company performs at venues across the UK, from theatres to manor houses and festivals.

Pictured Jonathan Goodwin as Sherlock Holmes.