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Plymtree Performing Arts (PPA)

A non-profit association of individuals who aim to bring cultural experiences to the village with good quality performing artists. The arts are represented through dance, poetry, theatre, puppetry, music, circus and comedy. The preferences of villagers will be sought, as far as possible, to enable the bookings to reflect the demand for specific arts. The venue for the performances will predominantly be the Parish Hall, but other venues will be considered including open areas such as the Recreation Ground. While all the performances will entertain, the association strives to meet other criteria and uses the medium of art to widen awareness of other cultures, of regional differences, of other lifestyles or minority groups. Some performances will be aimed at young people.

It is hoped that the association will put on at least two events per year. Costs of tickets will be kept to the minimum consistent with breaking even.

Each year, PPA will support a different charity and will contribute part of any profits made to that particular charity.

Plymtree has a long standing association with Cancer Research UK, so PPA have decided to make a contribution from events held in 2018 to Cancer Research UK.

A summary of the experiences so far

You and Me (little soldier productions) 23rd November 2013

Looking back, this was a brave start to Plymtree’s performing arts experience. Most people don’t really have much experience of drama like this, and the two actors spoke for some of the time in Spanish. But the two young women soon endeared themselves to the audience and the theme of dementia was handled with both sensitivity and raucous laughter. We tried a Q and A at the end, and the actors spoke about their lives as actors in Britain. A lovely evening.

Great Expectations (Rabbit Theatre) 14th February 2014

If we think You and Me was a brave choice, how about a one-man show telling the story of Great Expectations? And add to that a wild night in Plymtree that resulted in a tree falling on the power lines and plunging the ‘theatre’ into darkness. Resilience and improvisation was the order of the night. Candles were sent for, and local man John Somers shone his torch on the actor so that we could see some of his face. A face rather critical to the portrayal of around 8 different characters. During the break we had a themed meal of ‘vittles’ a hunk of bread and cheese. It was a memorable evening, and one actor David Mynne said he will look back on fondly.

Growing Up Before Your Very Eyes (Brian Patten) 22 March 2014

Well, if we thought drama would be difficult, how about poetry? A number of people felt that poetry was not their thing, with memories of school no doubt. Pity, as Brian Patten is certainly on my A list of national treasures. Many of us grew up in the 60s with his early poetry along with Roger McGough and the late Adrian Henri. His poems range from the very funny to the deepest of emotions of loss.

We decided to ask local musician Jim Causley to share the bill with Brian. Jim is a relative of poet Charles Causley, who praised Brian’s work in the 1960s. It seemed too good a chance to miss, and they both appreciated meeting each other for the first time.

Ian Sherwood musician and singer 26th October 2014

We carried on with music, and were delighted to host an evening with Canadian Ian Sherwood. This man performed on guitar and saxophone with the clever use of playback loops so give a depth to the songs. His lyrics were great, and the audience soon warmed to him due to his stories and observations between songs. This was a performer with a personality that enhanced his excellent music, and he went down a storm. (happily not one that brought down any power cables)

Gypsy Dreamers musicians 30th January 2015

This group of musicians from London came to wow us with their talents and song, and indeed they did, with two standing ovations. A packed house enjoyed the café theatre atmosphere as Natalie, Sara, Patrick and Thierry played music including jazz, chansons, folk and self-penned material. Percussioninst Thierry performed in his native French language, and singers Natalie and Sara gave us some of the best vocals we have heard. Sara is an impressive jazz singer with her own band, and asked whether we would host her band in Plymtree as she was so affected by the warmth of reception we gave her. A lovely evening, enhanced by the excellent curries served by the PPA team.

Plymtree Performing Arts Association is a voluntary and non-profit group.

Contacts for the PPA team are:

Sue and Martin Hopper 01884 277973 and Maggie and Peter Draper 01884 277553