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Al Murray, Russell kane and Alistair McGowan headline a new season of shows at the Plough in Torrington

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: March 28, 2013

  • Nobody Rides The Unicorn by Puppetcraft.

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REGULAR readers of Journal2 will know that a bunch of top comics are heading to the Plough this spring. Names already announced through these pages include The Pub Landlord Al Murray, hyper bouncy Russell Kane, impressionist Alistair McGowan, clever comedy giant Richard Herring and political activist Mark Thomas.

There's also a return visit for stand-up mime act The Boy With Tape On His Face.

This illustrious comedy line-up is complemented by strong programming in theatre, film and music.


SIXTIES favourites Gerry And The Pacemakers, the all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain and The Military Wives Choir are all heading this way. There are also visits from gorgeous guitarist Kit Holmes, a cappella group Coope Boyes and Simpson and dub dance pioneers Zion Train.

Legendary guitarist Gordon Giltrap joins forces with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and there's an evening with Nigerian singer Funmi Olawumi.

Jazz fans won't want to miss the Brubecks playing the music of the late, great Dave Brubeck while fans of Sixties music might want to get tickets for Oh Boy, at RHS Garden Rosemoor. For classical guitar enthusiasts there's an evening with Sam Welbourne.

There are tributes to top rock anthems in GA GA and a homage to Kate Bush in Cloudbusting. Plus, there's ska, dub and punk attitude from Radical Dance Fraction.


FANS of folk and roots might enjoy gigs with folk singer Bob Fox and West Country acoustic favourites Show Of Hands. Plus, there's fiddle and guitar with Leveller Jon Sevink and Dan Donnelly. Folk fans can also look forward to fiery fiddle from acoustic pin-up boy Seth Lakeman.

Jim Causley will be joined by Julie Murphy and Ceri Owen-Jones to celebrate the verse of Cornish poet Charles Causley and there's an evening with Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin.

Children's Shows:

THE classic story of Beauty And The Beast will be retold by multi story theatre company. There's also a heartwarming tale of friendship in Babe The Sheep-Pig by Illyria. Songs, sketches and sci-fi themes will all be part of the fun when Scottish Falsetto Puppet Theatre perform Chunky Woollen Knits. And there's more puppets when PuppetCraft presents Nobody Rides The Unicorn.

Cube Theatre, meanwhile, tell the story of Fred who has lost his dad in Freddy Dare And The Ginger Robber.


ROSEMARY Ashe, the Olivier Award nominated star of London's West End, pays tribute to Ethel Merman, the legendary first lady of the musical comedy stage.

There's also bitter sweet physical comedy from Patricia Rodriquez and Mercè Ribot in You And Me.

Snap Catch Siam, meanwhile, is an award-wining new play by Asian Productions, inspired by real-life events.

Open Air Theatre:

LATER in the year the Plough will be digging its unique furrow by hosting open-air theatre at some of the region's most impressive stately homes and gardens. Throughout June and August there will be performances of classical stories ranging from As You Like It and Romeo And Juliet to Waiting For Godot and Lark Rise. Venues include Castle Hill at Filleigh, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Hartland Abbey and The Vicarage Garden in Torrington.

Local shows:

YOUNG singing sensation Kiera Osment, folk troubadour Chris Millington, folk three-piece Roholio and gypsy swing outfit Gypfunk are just some of the local names appearing.

Studio Theatre, meanwhile, are out to tackle Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound while The Plough Youth Theatre perform The Wizard Of Oz.

There are a crop of charity gigs too. The Jongleurs and the Dambuskers join other local musicians in a night of fundraising for Children's Hospice South West, Devon Air Ambulance and the Plough. Chris Millington, meanwhile, leads a night of folk to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Speed The Plough is back and local musicians will once again showcase their talents to raise money for the Torrington arts centre.

The Plough's packed new brochure also includes a great line-up of films ranging from high-profile blockbusters to documentaries and world cinema movies. There's also exhibitions, talks and workshops to discover. Events take place in a range of venues across the region including Devon Hall in Bideford, RHS Garden Rosemoor and St Anne's Arts Centre in Barnstaple. Tickets from the Plough Arts Centre, Torrington. Box office: 01805 624624.

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