Funding boost for Seaton community play

Legendary smuggler Jack Rattenbury a key character.

A GRANT of nearly �9,000 has ensured that the curtain will go up on Seaton’s ambitious new community play next year.

WINEFRED is a gripping tale of East Devon smugglers and the lives of people who lived along the coastal strip in the early 19th century.

It will be presented over five days next July by a new group called the Heritage Players.

Now Seaton Visitor Centre Trust (SVCT) which is organising the project and

raising funds, is celebrating a donation of �8,700 from the “Making it Local” grants scheme.

Announcing the award, its chairman Paul Diviani, said: “Seaton’s regeneration is close to many hearts and Making it Local is delighted to join with partners in funding this fascinating theatrical experience which I am confident will be as enduring in promoting our town and its setting as the Jurassic Coast itself.”

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WINEFRED, based on the novel by the late Victorian parson Sabine Baring-Gould, has been adapted for the stage by John Seward, a member of the SVCT. It is set in and around the hamlet of Seaton in 1839, the year of the catastrophic landslip between Lyme Regis and Axmouth - a thrilling climax to the drama.

The story spotlights the smuggling which was endemic to the coastline around Seaton, Beer and Branscombe at the time, and the real life smuggler Jack Rattenbury is one of the leading characters.

Directed by local resident Penny Elsom, musical direction is by Paul Wilson of Wren Music, Devon’s folk and community arts development organisation.

Performed at Seaton Town Hall, the play is an opportunity for many local people of all ages, to take part, either front or back stage.

There are 30 speaking roles and chances to participate in crowd scenes and musical performances, open to adults and children living in the rural villages and towns along this stretch of the Jurassic Coast. Experience with acting or reading music is not essential.

Auditions take place at Seaton Primary School on Monday January 17 and Wednesday January 19 from 7.30pm.

To learn how to take part visit or phone 07972690581.