For the past twenty years or so, millions of Germans gather around the telly on a Sunday night to watch a family TV movie. These films have one thing in common: they are based on a novel or short story written by a very popular author and are all about love, romance and family fortunes. They always end well – and they all are set in beautiful parts of the world. 90 minutes of advertisement free soaps offer an escape from reality and a strangely pleasing and light-hearted end to the weekend.
For the first fifteen years these Sunday evening shows were dominated by the British author Rosamunde Pilcher. Set in Devon or Cornwall, they feature beautiful countryside, stunning manor houses, rose-clad cottages, good-looking and very well dressed people played by well-known German actors. The storyline tends to be a bit confusing at times, but who cares. Everyone is only watching it for the countryside anyway!
Yesterday I found out that one of the photographers whose images regularly feature on Exmoor4all and are available for purchase in our online store actually was a member of the English cast in many of these Pilcher films. I had known someone whose wife had been in charge of the flower arrangements, but hearing that someone I know personally actually played a part in the films which I probably watched many years ago with my mother in Germany, has connected yet more dots between past and present, and Germany and the UK.
Prompted by John Spurr who took part in 8 (EIGHT!!!!) of these films between 1999 and 2006, each of which has been watched by 12 million viewers, I started to search the internet to find one or two of the films he acted in, but had never watched. In the process of my research I have come across a film quite aptly named “Coast of Dreams” which is set in locations well known to us on Exmoor and a bit further down the coast in North Devon: It features the Valley of Rocks and Woollacombe Beach, Clovelly, Northcote Manor as well Tapeley Park in Instow.
I do realise that our English speaking followers will not be particularly interested in watching a 90 minute film in German. However, as I said before, not even the German speaking audience really care about the dialogues and storylines. So if you are looking for a little bit of escapism on a not so nice summer’s day, here’s your opportunity. Enjoy!
(And let us know if you spot John Spurr!)
(Written by Elke Winzer)
Paul Waby shot this video during his recent trip to West Somerset.
Can you guess the locations?
Pleasure Dome Theatre are back in the summer of 2017 after the success of their critically acclaimed production of Macbeth in The Valley of the Rocks. This year they are turning their attention to the story that runs through the heart of Exmoor: Lorna Doone.
Helen Payne, Creative Director of Pleasure Dome Theatre said: “What could
be more compelling than experiencing this timeless tale of love and loss immersed in the environment that inspired it? To help bring R.D.Blackmore’s vision to life we are recruiting local talent to swell the ranks of our professional cast.”
All ages, abilities and levels of experience are encouraged to attend the open auditions on 15th and 16th of April at Lynton Town Hall. There will be four sessions: 15th-10:00-1:00 and 3:00-6:00 and 16th-10:00-1:00 and 3:00-6:00.
Please only apply if you have good availability for the run August 29th-September 2nd and the preceding three weeks rehearsal. The audition will comprise of: an introduction to the team and the project, some drama games to get everyone working as an ensemble, some text work and scenes that will be workshopped with the director Scott Le Crass.
“Please arrive in good time to register before the sessions begin. We’re really looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Kindly RSVP with your preferred session to firstname.lastname@example.org,” Helena added.
For further information, please contact Elke Winzer, Tel 07881 504863 or email@example.com
Exmoor theatre company, Pleasure Dome, are set to be the first to stage an open air theatre production at the Valley of the Rocks near Lynton. In order to fund the production, Pleasure Dome have launched a crowdfunding campaign and so are calling upon the support of the local community.
This summer, Pleasure Dome Theatre Company, will bring open-air entertainment to both the community and holiday makers alike, by staging a production of Macbeth to mark the year of Shakespeare’s 400th birthday. This production will be the start of a seasonal programme of outdoor entertainment consisting of classical theatre, opera and modern productions situated in the stunning surroundings of the Valley of the Rocks.
“We are an artistic collective who aim to utilise the dramatic and beautiful scenery of The Valley of The Rocks near Lynton, making Exmoor a cultural destination as well as a tourist hub. We provide outreach programmes and will offer local opportunities to work within a professional company to aspiring youngsters and enthusiastic older members of the locale alike.”
“I decided to found Pleasure Dome in 2015 after a lifetime of thinking someone should do some theatre at The Valley of the Rocks. I spent my early summers scrambling up and down it’s weaving pathways and peering out to sea. I always thought it was an otherworldly and magical location, somewhere not quite of this planet, a place where the sea meets the sky, a place where imagination meets reality, and I can think of nowhere more fitting to perform in. ”
To buy tickets to Macbeth, or to become a patron of the company, visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/new-open-air-theatre-in-the-valley-of-the-rocks
To find out more about the production and the cast, please go to www.pleasuredometheatrecompany.com
Macbeth will run from the 2nd-20th of August at 7:30 (with no show on Mondays) and 3:00 Sunday matinees.
If this video doesn’t make you want to come to Exmoor, then we’re not sure what would!