Ooooooo my first posting on a fabulously favourite subject!!! Well, I’ve delightedly selected a small yet exquisitely expert theatre company for this momentous occasion!! The delightful, the incredible, the uber talented…Pocketwatch Theatre Company!!!
Photo credit Matt Stockman
Each Summer and Easter season and Summer Half Term, Powderham Castle (located just outside Exeter in the village of Kenton, venue of the most recent Radio One Big Weekend and home to the current Earl and Countess of Devon) is home to Pocketwatch Theatre Company who, quite frankly, are flipping awesome! Working tirelessly and mostly outdoors through the changeable British weather is no mean feat, yet Pocketwatch have all eventualities covered!
Featuring themed weeks which include Robin Hood, Pirates and Mermaids, Candy Capers, Royals (genius!) Wonderland, Pirates, Enchanted Dragons, Knights and Witches, the team of performers entertain children of all ages and also throw in the odd aside for the benefit of us grown up kids! Savvy?!
When we visited this Summer Half Term the company were performing Wonderland Week up in the American Woodland Garden which was a new location for them. I did not think they could get any better from when we had seen them perform in the Pleasure Garden right beside the Castle wall but Oh Me Oh My! The added ambiance, magical rhododendron enclosed pathways, Folly and Leat all made the Wonderland Week exquisite. A whole level of ‘magical’ was added to the show. Not to mention the choice of music for the tea party – divine!
Photo courtesy of Jonty Depp
- The Queen of Hearts (Claire Fisk whilst also taking on the responsibilities of Stage Manager) was fab, sporting a beautiful ruby encrusted heart-shaped necklace and threatening, in the nicest possible way, to chop off heads!
- Alice (Elisabeth Burnette) was sweet and innocent whilst cheekily asking for wine at the tea party table (well done that girl!). The little girls in the audience just love her as she helps them find hidden objects which the Queen must have for her birthday gifts.
- Marchie (Hare) (Ben Tallamy) as always was brilliant! Played by a talented fellow who pens some quality songs both quirky and thought provoking. Marchie, with his steam punk fashion always makes me chuckle! His little quips to the adults are so well timed and capture the moment perfectly.
- And last but most definitely not least, dear Hatter (Jonty Depp)! I’m sorry but I actually think our Hatter is the real deal! Superb! Costuming to the extreme, nothing is left to chance with the delivery of this charming character…even if there are a few ‘cheesy’ jokes flying around! Watch closely and you may just catch a glimpse of his Futterwacken!
When we had our magical holiday of a lifetime to DisneyLand Florida, we went to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and saw a Captain Jack ‘act’…Twin 1 and Twin 2 both said – “He’s not the real Captain Jack! Our Captain Jack is the real one!”(to be perfectly honest, he wasn’t a patch on our home grown talent!)
And that’s the beauty of Pocketwatch – we all believe!
If you’re sensible enough to visit Powderham when the team is performing I promise you won’t be disappointed! The detail in which they plan their performances is brilliant; costumes are elaborate, scripts are sharp, props are abundant, audience and child interaction and participation occur seamlessly and hilarity is a given. The cries of ‘Sword, Pig, Monkey’ can be heard at our house long after an encounter with a certain long-haired, broken compass wielding, Rolling Stones-esque pirate Captain!!! (Take a visit during Pirate week; it’ll all become fantastically clear!). It’s a little extra on your entrance fee (£3 per child) to the Castle but honestly I would be happy to pay more – the effort Pocketwatch go to and the enjoyment that the children experience is beyond measure.
Photo credit of Benjamin Borley
With their availability for private parties too (which by the way are equally as well planned and entertaining as any performance) your party can really go off with a bang and be such a special, memorable occasion for little ones (and us big ones!)
To have (in my humble opinion!) the UK’s best Johnny Depp lookalike character actor, in any number of his unique guises, entertain your kids along with members of the company is just magical. I guarantee your Mum friends will want to stay to these parties, and will even adhere to your fancy dress stipulations! (and here I speak from personal experience at Twin 1’s & Twin 2’s 8th birthday party! Mummies, you know who you are!!!)
Photo credit mike pitches for Plymouth Barbican Waterfront.
But nothing beats seeing them in action! They can also be found at Pirate Festivals so other websites include:
And for dates of their upcoming Summer Season at Powderham check here:
other websites of interest:
The Aloha Mummy 🌸