Casting Call for “Faery Tale” Sunday 13th December

Casting call – Red Spider would like to invite all those interested in getting involved in the next Red Spider production “Faery Tale” to come along to the read through on Sunday 13 December.

We would like adults and children to be involved and the Sunday meeting will hopefully give Nick a good idea of who to cast.

The details are:

Jack Frost and the Stolen Rainbow
Read through and casting
Sunday 13 December – 2.30-4.30pm at Lewdown Victory Hall
Everyone welcome
Contact Nick Watkinson for more information:

All The Fine Young Men

Dispatches from the Front: No1

At a convivial and highly enjoyable launch reception at Coombe Trenchard on Friday November 6th, Red Spider Company set out a plan of campaign for its production next July to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Battle of the Somme. Some 60 people enjoyed presentations, music, and a scene from the production. Those present now have an opportunity to step forward and volunteer for service next year. For more information and photos from the event have a look at the Red Spider Facebook page and website.

We are eager to put in place teams for special activities in the coming months. These will include direction of the play itself which has already been written but is now under review and revision. We need people with an interest in direction and preferably experience to come forward and join the production team.

We also need musicians and instrumentalists to work on the musical content of the event which will need to be woven carefully and ingeniously into the action on stage. There will be a need for instrumentalists and singers especially.

We will be organising workshops, we hope with professionals, in the New Year on staging and music. If you would like to join these fun events please let us know so that we can ensure that you receive details.

Members of a four person Sub Group of the Red Spider Committee are hard at work on a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for financial support for the project. We have had lots of advice and are confident that we can put in a bid which will be relevant and attractive. Work now in progress will culminate in an application to Heritage Lottery by the end of this month.

Frank and Mary Rolfe who have already begun work on an exhibition of First World War material to accompany the production next July would like to hear from anyone with objects or material of interest from the period.  Please get in touch with us if you would like to join Frank and Mary in putting the exhibition together, designing graphics and generally ensuring that we have a lot of original material of interest to present.

The heavy battalion of those interested in set design and building needs volunteers. The production will rely for its impact on the dramatic telling of an absorbing story, on the music and its presentation, and on elaborate and attractive costume. But we need in addition inventive ideas for staging. The principle will be to prepare versatile and easily moveable blocks of scenery which can serve multiple purposes. They need to be easily  transportable to different halls in West Devon.   This presents a challenge to those interested in scene design and construction. We would love to hear from you as soon as possible if you like the idea of getting involved.

Lighting and sound effects will demand imagination and an innovate approach. If this activity interests you, we would love to hear from you as well.

Our teams will not be complete without generalists who enjoy getting involved with music and the theatre. Even though you may not have any specialist experience or interests, do get in touch if you would like to become involved in all that we will need to do during the coming months to prepare for action next July. Please get in touch with the Production Secretary, Dee Nicholds by email or telephone: or 01566-770854

In Dispatch No 2 which will go out before Christmas we will let everyone know how we are getting on, so watch this space!

“All The Fine Young Men”

Red Spider Company


With generous encouragement from Sarah and Philip Marsh, Red Spider Company launched on Friday 6th November its ambitious new musical drama written and researched by members of the Company to commemorate next July the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Battle of the Somme. Some 60 invitees to Combe Trenchard enjoyed their hospitality, samples of the music and a scene from the play and heard presentations on aspects of the project.


The production in mid-July 2016 will present the fortitude, heroism and tragedy of six fictional young men from West Devon and the communities and families from which they came, in the face of the cataclysm that was the First World War.   This will be in a real sense a community project in which the involvement of as many local performers, musicians, organisations, schools, colleges, companies, creative groups and individuals as would like to join us will be warmly welcomed.


We hope that the project will be of interest and relevance to local people of all ages. Ways in which people can get involved will be developed and announced as our preparations get under way. We intend to hold a number of workshops led by professionals in the first part of next year to encourage participation in the project. Sponsorship from local companies and organisations who wish to lend their support and in the process promote their own activities will also be warmly welcomed.


To follow our progress and register your interest, please get in touch with our Production Secretary, Dee Nicholds via email or follow us on Facebook;








‘All The Fine Young Men’ Summer 2016 Production

Red Spider Company is putting on another production 

‘All The Fine Young Men’ is a musical play written by Alan Payne and Michael O’Brien due for production in the summer of 2016. This play follows the stories of six young men during the period of the First World War 1914-1918. As well as the battlefields of France, the local community features prominently in the story: Lewtrenchard Manor and the Forgotten Garden, the Ambrosia Factory in Lifton and Dartmoor. Alan and Mike together with members of the RSC committee are preparing an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, First World War: then and now scheme for funding, for what we hope will be a heritage legacy project that will involve people of all ages from across the community. Musicians, singers, actors, production team members, programme and set design, filming – everyone is welcome. In addition there will be an exhibition of material from this period to compliment the play, curated by Mary Rolf. We plan to launch the project on Friday 6 November at Coombetrenchard (further details to follow). With this date in mind we would like to ask for help from our members and our local community. Do you have any information about this period in history that you would be willing to share with us? This might be in the form of photographs, letters, local stories about individuals involved in agriculture, industry, mining, gardening, working for the estates in the area etc. If members of RSC have contacts in the media (radio, TV, the press) who they think would be interested in covering the launch or being involved in the project then please do contact us.


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