The Tuck Inn festival tour comes to Devon and Somerset

Benjamin Akira Tallamy

Benjamin Akira Tallamy, a writer, actor and musician, stars in The Tuck Inn festival - Credit: Benjamin Akira Tallamy

Cranbrook and Whimple are among many villages and towns across Devon and Somerset that are playing host to an exciting theatrical feast for the whole family this summer.
The Tuck Inn is an original open-air festival of live music, hot food and a new play that reimagines the legend of Robin Hood. 
For over 30 years, the Common Players have created high quality theatre to engage and amaze the communities of the South West.   With funding from Arts Council England they have been busily developing something special with local partners and promoters for communities to look forward to this summer. Anthony Richards, founder and director of Common Players and the creator of The Tuck Inn says: 
“We want to put our experience of creating outdoor theatre into something new, to provide opportunities for people to come together and celebrate freedom, after months of uncertainty.  Our professional family-friendly performance, with live music, vivid action and playful puppets will act as the core for a festival-like event, to create an immersive experience of fun and feasting with a band of outlaws in the greenwood – all in the comfort of your local village green or field.”
A delicious fresh food offering will be provided at each event at affordable prices by Catch 77 – a Community Interest Company that currently supports up to 115 families across Mid Devon on a weekly basis, providing fresh meal boxes and recipes. Other project partners include LiveWest and East Devon District Council who have been developing a three-day event around performances of The Tuck Inn for families living in Cranbrook; and the Biophilia Project based at Goffinland near Exeter who are hosting the rehearsals for the show and an opening weekend of performances connecting with communities in Exeter’s Beacon Heath, Whipton and Pinhoe areas.
The professional cast has a low carbon footprint!  All are Devon-based and with a rich experience of entertaining audiences in unusual places:  Benjamin Akira Tallamy, a writer, actor and musician with over 15 years’ experience in film and live theatre, has performed in Powderham Castle,  Beer Caves and Exeter Priory with companies such as Four of Swords and Wandering Tiger;  Richard Feltham, whom has twice toured with The Common Players, has played with Burn the Curtain and Wandering Tiger in Humbug, and is a director of Playing Dead Murder Mystery company.  Sarah White is a founder of Four of Swords who have a fearsome reputation for fiery and compelling adaptations of classics such as Macbeth in Exeter cathedral and she will bring her full-bloodied energy to the role of The Sheriff of Nottingham.  They will be joined by two Devon based Apprentice performers Sofia Pratt-Reichert and Sebastian Richards: 
There are 30 dates planned across the region in over 20 locations, including Cranbrook Education Campus (August 20, 21 and 22), Whimple parish field (September 4), Dulverton, Ilsington, Coleford, Silverton, and Lapford, as well as Instow, Ilfracombe, Torquay and Exeter. The Common Players have been collaborating with promoters and partners in each location to create bespoke events. Charlie Werner, Chairman of the Sandford Millennium Green, which will host the show on Saturday, July 31, says:  "We are thrilled that the Common Players are coming to Sandford Millennium Green to perform The Tuck Inn. This is just the tonic the village needs after our months of lockdown. An afternoon and evening of fun, music, food and drama for all the family."
Tickets are on sale now via the Common Players website – with prices varying, according to the support of very local organisations, between £5-£10.

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