TOP TV comedian Ed Byrne, pictured, sax legend Snake Davis and four new productions for the Cornish stage headline the 2013 season at Cornwall's unique open-air moorland theatre, Sterts.
A summer packed with drama, music and laughter for all the family on the edge of Bodmin Moor kicks off in very fitting style with Cornish company BishBashBosh's exciting new production of Daphne Du Maurier's Jamaica Inn, on May 17.
Sterts' own theatre company presents four new productions throughout the summer season:
The heart-warming comedy drama Calendar Girls.
Arthur Miller's classic tale of the Salem witch trials, The Crucible.
The family favourite musical The Sound Of Music.
And a special youth production of the schools' edition of the international super-hit Les Misérables.
Other standout features of 2013 at Sterts, which can be found at Upton Cross, between Liskeard and Launceston, include the second Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival, from May 24 to 27. The event, launched by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, proved such a success at its 2012 debut that it is set to become a firm fixture on the Cornish cultural calendar.
There's music ranging from sax legend Snake Davis to the flag-waving Last Night of the Proms, from tributes to Roxy Music and the Bee Gees to the jive of Cornwall's swing maestros Company B. Drama includes top-quality visitors like Heartbreak (with Shakespeare including Romeo And Juliet) and Miracle (with Waiting For Godot).
There's a special programme for school holiday time, with fantastic family events like Mark's Ark Wildlife Encounters and a residency by Cornish favourite Squashbox Theatre, also a big hit at the Minack.
And there are authentically Cornish events, from poet Murray Lachlan Young's play-in-verse The Incomers to BishBashBosh's magical drama The Beast Of Bodmin Moor. And the new play Oxygen, funded by the Arts Council, tells the story of a suffragettes' pilgrimage from Cornwall to London 100 years ago exactly, in June 1913.
During 2012 nearly 13,000 show-goers enjoyed the Sterts combination of home-made hit shows and star visitors like comedian Shappi Khorsandi and folk superstar Cara Dillon. Sterts provides stage and backstage opportunities for nearly 200 local people ranging in age from schoolchildren to pensioners.
The box office took nearly £104,000 during the 2012 season, in which a highlight was Sterts' own new Arts Council-funded community play Cornish Phoenix, after which the Arts Council made the point that Sterts is an outstanding example of a thriving community-run organisation.
All the takings are ploughed back into the arts in Cornwall through Sterts' mission of making access to the arts available to all.
Sterts' chair Glenda Ellis said: "Two things matter above all else to us – the quality of the productions we offer, whether it be professional or amateur, and the breadth of the appeal. We want all the family to find something to thrill and entertain them."
There's lots more information available on www.sterts.co.uk, and the theatre can be contacted on 01579 362382.