Hail Hail, The Ship Is Here!…

Written by ‘Monmouth’ Trainee-Producer & Actress Becky Varndell

With just two weeks to go until the opening night of our Lyme Regis Community Play ‘Monmouth’, the cast and crew have been very busy rehearsing and putting the finishing touches together.

On Sunday evening we donned our 17th century costumes and headed for the Cobb in sweltering conditions to practice the pre-play procession. We got some odd looks from the hoards of holidaymakers enjoying their chips along the seafront but generally generated a lot of excitement as we paraded past practicing our rebellion songs.

The rehearsal was fantastic and despite the heat everyone was in very high spirits; dedicated, energetic and open to new developments. It’s so fantastic to observe a wide-ranging group of local people of all ages and abilities coming together to create a community. It really has become something of a family.

Speaking of local talents we are thrilled to have renowned local photographer Si Emmett as our official ‘Monmouth’ photographer. He came along with us on Sunday to take some photographs of the Duke of Monmouth’s landing on the Cobb and the subsequent rebellion procession up to the theatre. Take a look at some of his fantastic photographs:

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‘Monmouth’ will be performed at the Marine Theatre on 6,7,8 & 13,14,15 July

The optional pre-play procession begins at 6.45pm on the sandy beach and the play begins at 7.30pm inside the Marine Theatre (approx two hours running time including interval).

Book your tickets here or contact Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre on 01297 442138.

Dorset Magazine ‘Monmouth’ Photo Shoot

This Monday 22nd May some of the ‘Monmouth’ cast got kitted up in their 17th century costumes (created by the talented Rose May) and headed out to the Lyme Regis seafront along with ‘Monmouth’ director Clemmie Reynolds.

They donned their best rebellious poses standing behind Clemmie whilst local Lyme Regis based photographer Si Emmett snapped away, making sure to capture the stunning Jurassic Coast in the background.

Look out for the portrait and an exclusive interview with Clemmie in the July issue of Dorset Magazine!

Meanwhile here are a few snaps our assistant director Alex took of the shoot…








Get your tickets for ‘Monmouth’ HERE!

All the world’s a stage but there’s nothing like home grown and local…

…and not just food!

Written by Maya Pieris

Plays and poetry, in playwright David Edgar’s opinion, are natural bedfellows and I would agree, as for this article I’m deserting my preferred area of poetry for plays, in particular the community play. And where I live we are not short of excellent examples.

Having just been at a NODA awards dinner, where the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, won a regional award for its 2016 community production of The Tempest of Lyme, I’d say the am-dram world is very much alive and high kicking! The community play owes a debt to Ann Jellicoe, actor, writer and director, who inspired the community play concept in London before moving to Lyme Regis with her artist husband Roger Mayne. For Jellicoe, the community play had to be the result of a long period of research with the chosen community in order to artistically embed the subject matter of the play, with the people who were to perform it and in the location. And the female perspective is often central, as in her play Western Women, which looked at the role of women in the Siege of Lyme during the Civil War.

At this very moment, cast members from Dorchester to Lyme taking in Bridport on the way are at some stage in production for three community plays, a scene no doubt repeated around the country. The Lyme Regis and Dorchester plays are using community histories as their starting points. For Lyme’s Marine Theatre this is to be the Monmouth Rebellion, a pivotal period in West Country history especially in Devon, Dorset and Somerset, and one which still lingers in folk memory and in place names. A lot of scene setting is being done beforehand, both for the theatre community and the potential audience through talks, workshops and other theatre-based events which allow funds to be raised as well as raising a wider awareness of the play. And the local press are helping to get the town in the “mood” by running a series of food related columns devoted to 17th century recipes! The Bridport play has taken as its story the idea of a flea circus led by Madame Celine and has ukuleles at the musical heart showing how varied the subject matter can be for a community play but all sharing community as the starting point.

For more information about these three community plays look on their websites. And come to all if you can!





Last summer’s Marine community play ‘The Tempest of Lyme’



RTR BandAid Dirty - High Res


Your money has hit the roof!

We are thrilled to announce that we have now raised enough money for the first part of the roof-fixing process! Woo hoo!

Thanks to everyone who has donated and been involved in fundraising events, we are able to spend the amount raised so far (£7,500) on securing a new flat roof before the remainder of the work is eventually completed. We are still quite a way off before reaching that goal of raising the full £95,000 but this does mean that the decorative, drip-catching paddling pools can be put away and we can enjoy an exciting few months of events in the dry!




Any fin is possible!


Mackerel Feast

Wow! The money and support just keeps ‘shoal-ing’ in! A huge thanks to Mark Hix and all involved  with the Mackerel Feast evening. Thanks to you all, we have £1,101.10 to add to our Raise the Roof campaign. Fin-tastic!

THE KINGDOM OF PAUL NASH: Cabinet of Living Cinema | 24 September 8pm

 Paul Nash



Call the box office on 01297 442138

Please note that a 10% booking fee applies online and via the Tourist Info Centre


Show time: 8.00pm

Running Time 2 hours approx

Ticket Price: £12 adults £10 under 18s (TF discount applies)

 This  is  the  Cabinet’s  second  ‘graphic  novel  ballad’  developed  in  2016.  The  ballad  tells  the  story  of  Nash  and  Eileen  Agar’s  affair in  Dorset  in  the  mid  30’s  through  their  relationship  with  the  Purbeck  world  which  enchanted  them;  objects  washed  up  on  the beach  they  endowed  with  personalities,  strange  rock  shapes  with  animistic  qualities,  fossils  like  ghosts  embedded  in  the  ancient strata,  a  landscape made  surreal  both  by  quarrying  and  the  remnants  of  ancient  geology.

Eileen  gave  Nash  a  box  of  painted  shells  in  1935. He  was  enraptured  with  the  gift  and  with  her. She  became  his  muse,  an  “exquisite  stone  that  could  fly”,  though their  flight  was  not  to  last  and  later  letters  revels  Nash’s  desperation  at  her  decision  to  end  the  affair.This  encounter  with  Eileen  in  Dorset  represents  one  of  the  most  significant  waymarks  in  Nash’s  journey  to  a  new  form  of  painting  that  would  use  the  oneiric  juxtaposition  of  continental  surrealism  to  bring  together  a  host  of  animistic  objects  from  the  English  landscape:  megalithic  stones,  serpent-­like  flowers,  totemic  found  objects,  the  sun,  the  moon,  the  tides.    He  was  a  painter-­poet  in  the  tradition  of  Blake  and  began  to  infuse  his  paintings  with  this  wealth  of  symbols,  creating  a  new  language  for  English  landscape  painting. These  developments  concluded  in  Nash’s  most  accomplished  cycle  of  work  in  the years  preceding  his  death  in  Boscombe,  Dorset,  1946,  where  he  declared  once  more  to  be  within  reach  of  “his  kingdom”.In  addition  to  exploring  Nash  and  Ager’s  relationship,  our  fable  also  explores Nash’s  rehabilitation  after  the  death  of  his  father  and  his  experiences  in  the  trenches  in  1917,  in  particular,  the  guilt  he  may  have  harboured  knowing  that  his  entire  company  had  been  wiped  out  shortly  after  he  was  invalided  in  May  1917. Nash’s  paintings  are  preoccupied  by  the  symbolism  of  death,  rebirth  and  flight  and  his  journey  in  the  30s  represents  a  kind  of  awakening  after  a  long  period  of  psychical  trauma:  “unless  I  somehow  drown,  I  shall  spread  my wings”.