Well now, this looks like it could be fun! My first Gateway Theatre column for the Midweek Herald.

I shall be filling you in on all the behind-the-scenes gossip that goes on in theatreland, though you may find a few other local dramas have the odd cameo appearance.

Some of you will know me from columns past; a bit like Dickens’ Scrooge and his ghosts, I’ll be sharing stories of what has been, what is, and what will be in the future, and if you find me haunting your every thought, then my work here is done.

But let’s not dwell on spooky spirits, I fully intend to make you smile and laugh, or at least giggle, as Shakespeare once said, all the world’s a stage in East Devon, and one woman in her time plays many parts, and before I lean into my slippered pantaloons, let me tell you about April (the month, not the girl).

In between the biblical rainfalls, we announced our first official patron, Horatio Morpurgo. If you don’t recognise the name, then go to the bottom of the class.

Horatio is an essayist, author, and ambassador of our local seas.

Midweek Herald: Theatre manager Sophia Moseley.Theatre manager Sophia Moseley. (Image: Gateway Theatre)

I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised he agreed to be a patron, but then again, when you are cornered by a wild-eyed theatre manager, who follows up the encounter with a bleeding-hearts email, resistance is futile.

I’ve also approached others with a link to the area, including Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Chris Martin, and Brad Pitt; I want to create a catalogue of celebs to champion the Gateway Theatre and all it does for the community.

Ideally, I’d also like them to be hugely wealthy with lots of cash to splash around; I have a very long wish-list.

I’ve seen some local emerging slebs on my social media feed, one or two with very strong local links, but I’m a save-the-best-til-last kinda gal.

So, if you are looking for somewhere to escape the nonsense that is going on in the world, you need only step through the doors of the Gateway Theatre. 

I can’t promise there will be many A-listers to greet you, but you won’t find a warmer welcome anywhere else.

Which leaves me with my closing line, as Pablo Picasso said: the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls; given how well the theatre volunteers cleaned up around the outside of the building as part of the Seaton Chamber Ship Shape month, you’ll be in good hands!