“I always thought it was an otherworldly and magical location, a place where imagination meets reality, and I can think of nowhere more fitting to perform in,” enthuses the Creative Director of the Pleasure Dome Theatre Company, Helena Payne, who is putting on a series of theatrical outdoor performances at the iconic Valley of Rocks on Exmoor this summer.
The Importance of Being Earnest is being staged from the 8 – 26 August and Lorna Doone 29 August – 2 September. Lorna Doone was an obvious choice; a local story woven into the very fabric of the Exmoor landscape. The Importance of Being Earnest perhaps less so. However, Helena liked the idea of trying something completely different. “The play is a parlour farce where the characters engage in glittering witticisms and immaculate manners, so why not stick them on a cliff edge, amongst the goats and buffeted by the elements to see how they cope? By making bold decisions, we force ourselves to be more creative. We are looking forward to staging both plays enormously.”
The Pleasure Dome Theatre Company are a young, professional collective who are keen to bring accessible open-air entertainment to both the local community and the many holidaymakers visiting Exmoor. They also provide outreach programmes and offer local opportunities to work within a professional company to aspiring youngsters and enthusiastic older members of the locale alike.
Helena spent her childhood summers scrabbling up and down the Valley of Rocks, creating plays and dreaming of pirates and fairies, so when it came to finding an outdoor location in which to perform, there was no contest.
Tickets cost £15 per adult, £10 for under 16’s and over 65’s and £45 for a Family Ticket. Shows start at 7.30 pm (or 3.00 pm for the matinees) but visitors are free to arrive at any time to explore valley or enjoy a picnic in the sunshine.
A percentage of every ticket sold goes towards CareMoor for Exmoor. People can book tickets online by going to the PDTC home page (https://www.pleasuredometheatrecompany.com/) and click on the links (easy to see) – they can download the tickets to their smartphone or print them off.
Please note: It can get chilly in the evening, so bring warm clothing, blankets and cushions. If rain is due, the production will be moved to Lynton Town Hall (updates will be available on the Pleasure Dome Theatre Facebook page). More info: www.pleasuredometheatrecompany.com