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Fast Show-inspired sketches 'grossly misrepresent' town's history

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 22, 2013

An Utterly Unreliable History of Tavistock charts a series of events that didn't actually occur, from the AD60s, to the present day

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Mistakes, uncorroborated evidence, falsehoods, bias, sleaze, deliberate inaccuracies and downright lies... it may sound like any edition of The News of the World, but is in fact the premise of Tavistock's latest theatre production.

An Utterly Unreliable History Of Tavistock will be performed at The Wharf this Friday as part of the town's annual arts festival. A joint venture by Regarding Eve and The Tavonians, the aim is to present an alternative and decidedly quirky view of the West Devon town's past and present.

Delving into everything from Sir Francis Drake and Bodicea to a Tavistock Dating Agency and visiting aliens, the 11-strong cast will rattle through a Fast Show-inspired set of some 17 sketches.

Written by Frank Woodcock and Catherine Barnes and directed by Steph Reese, the show is on for one night only – which is perhaps circumspect considering the array of targets the company has in mind. Facing merciless – though gentle – send-ups are everyone from the Chamber of Commerce and the Conservative Club to Daily Mail readers, church-goers, mayors, local politicians, the Health and Safety Executive, women's movement, Home Guard, vicars, royals, 40mph drivers, Crebers, Bedford Hotel and – of course – The Wharf.

Frank Woodcock said: "We intend to take a pop at just about everyone except left-wing, Guardian-reading Quakers."

And by way of a special offer, he added: "If you have not been insulted or grotesquely misrepresented in this show, but would like to be ridiculed in a future production, please contact the Tavonians."

Tavistock Music and Arts Festival marks its tenth anniversary this year, with events running until May 6. Festival chairman Christopher Kirwin said: "It draws people from all over Devon and Cornwall who not only get to experience a diverse range of performances but also the many delights Tavistock has to offer. Local people should feel very proud to host a festival like this and embrace the diverse programme we have put together."

An Utterly Unreliable History Of Tavistock is at The Wharf in Tavistock on Friday, April 26, at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £6, are available on 01822 611166. Full festival programme details can be found at www.tavistockmusic.co.uk



Queen's Theatre: Jethro, Thursday 7.30pm; The Gothic Suite, Saturday 7pm.

St Paul's Church: Barnstaple Keyboard and Light Music Club present Ian Griffin. £5, members £2. Tuesday 7.45pm.


Methodist Church: Choir weekend, Saturday 7pm Concert by Bethel Choir. Faith supper to follow; Sunday - Choir Sunday, service led by Mrs D Irving. Sunday 10am.


Village Hall: Craft and Table Top Sale Saturday 10am-noon.


Parish Church: A Concert of Renaissance Music performed by Resonet. Retiring collection. Saturday 6pm.


Town Museum: Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-4.30pm, Saturday 10.30am-2.30pm. Closed Sunday and Bank holidays.


Village Hall: Air Ambulance Jumble Sale. Saturday 2pm.


Village Hall: Bugle Silver Band supporters committee Bingo. Eyes down Monday 7.30pm.


The Old Chapel: Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman. Tickets £12 in advance, £13 on the door. Saturday.


Town: Trevithick Day. Saturday. Get a ringside position for the main events of the day which starts with the children's dance winding through the town at 10:15am followed by the adults dressed in Cornish black and gold at 2:30pm and ending with the Parade of Steam Engines at 3:15pm following a route around the town with the Mayor of Camborne taking the salute at Trevithick's statue outside the town's library.


Village Hall: Cardinham Sports club Quiz and Chilli Night . £6 per person includes Chilli. Max 4 people per team. All welcome. Booking essential 01208 821591. Saturday 7pm.


Three eyes Chapel, Kerley Downs: Spring Service at Billy Bray's Chapel with preacher Mr R Picken. Soloist Peter Wilkins. All welcome. Sunday 2.30pm.

The King's Head; Big Breakfast in aid of Cancer Research UK. Saturday 9am-1pm.


Stone Lane Gardens: 'Mythic Garden' outdoor sculpture exhibition in a woodland setting. Entry £5 adult, £2.50 child. Details 01647 231311. Daily 2-6pm.


Village Hall: Playford style country dancing. Friday 7.30pm.


The Flavel: Mair Pattersun: A Lighter Side Of Life - Art Exhibition until April 29.


RAF Memorial Museum: Open daily 10.30am-4pm. Free entry. Donations appreciated.


Northenhay Gardens: Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink. Fri-Sun.

Northcott Theatre: The Misanthrope theatre. Tues-Sat.

Phoenix: Quercus, chamber music. Tuesday 8pm; Martin Simpson, interpreter of traditional songs and song writer. Thurs 7.45pm; Dreadzone Sat 8pm.

Exeter Bike Shed: Theatre with The Incomers. Tues-Sat.


Withycombe Methodist Church Hall: Exmouth Folk Dance Club Callers. Thursday 8pm.


Princess Pavilion: an evening with Gerry and the Pacemakers. Thursday 7pm for 7.30pm; Talon, the best of Eagles. Friday 8pm.


Merlin Theatre: Frome Drama Club presents The Farndale Housing Association Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery. Wed-Sat.


Methodist Church: St Erth Concert Band presents Saturday Night at the Movies, an evening of music from the biggest blockbusters of the last 60 years. Tickets cost £3 at the door, with under 12s free. Refreshments after the concert. Saturday 7.30pm.


Village Hall: Goonhavern & District Old Cornwall Society Meeting. Friday 7.30pm.


Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels: Recital piano and organ by David Robinson. Saturday 7.30pm.

Plough Arts centre: The Boy at the Edge of the Room (theatre). Tues 8pm; The Hutt People, music (Gallery Gig). Thurs 8pm; Rodney Bewes: As A Boy Growing Up, theatre, Fri 8pm; Streetz Dance Crew, Sat-Sun 7pm and 3pm.


Paynter's Lane End Hall: Country Market Tuesday 9.15-11am.


Arts Centre: The Ianus Consort concert. Friday.


Lukesland Gardens: Open Sunday and Wednesday. 24 acres of fine woodland garden.


Village Hall: Gaming Evening, 16+ age group. Friday 5-10pm. Admission £1.


Central Methodist church: 'Crowdy Crawn' showcasing tales of the Church's people through displays etc. Items for sale. Admission free, donations appreciated. Sat 10am-3.30pm.

Eagle House Hotel: Launceston Electronic Organ Club with Brian Hazelby from the Western Midlands. Admission £5 for non members. Wheelchair access available. Tuesday 7.30pm.


The Gatehouse: Open Garden for NGS. Streamside garden. Admission by donation. Times:10-4pm. Until Friday.


Victory Hall: Plant and Jumble Sale. Saturday 2pm.


Church Hall: Spring Fayre, bric a brac, jumble, cakes, jams etc. Admission in box at entrance. Proceeds to Launceston and District Cats Protection. Saturday 11am-3pm.


Long Room: Liskeard Country Market. Friday 8.30am-12noon.


St Martin's Church: Arts in St Martins, The Tudor Players present 'The Shop at Sly Corner'. Admission £5 for church funds. Wed-Fri 7.30pm.


The Community Centre: Antique and Collector's Market. Friday 11am-3pm.


Village Hall: Spring Quiz with Robin Burley. Saturday.


The Marine Theatre: Theatre with The Incomers. Sunday 8pm.


Village Hall: Okehampton Sequence Dance Club. £1.50 per person. Beginners welcome. Wednesday 8pm-10.30pm.


Parish Church: Concert by the Rame Peninsula Male Choir with music director Jonathan Delbridge. Doors open Sunday 2.15pm. Admission £4. Raffle in aid of church funds.


Esplanade Hotel: Newquay Pentire Probus Club lunch, guest speaker Jane Coomer and Jane Barlow, Care Planning and financing. New member welcome. Details 01637 878990. Wednesday 11.30am for noon.


Courtenay Centre: Rebel Country presents Alan Gregory. Friday 8pm-11pm.


Methodist Church: Annual Garden evening with speaker Mr Nick Bacon of Trelawney Nursery and Royal Cornwall. Tkts £4 on the door. all welcome. Friday 7.30pm.


The Old Dairy: Siobhan Purdy 'My life in paintings'. Until June 4.


Centre: Plymouth Half Marathon. Sunday.

Plymouth Atheneum: Dead Interesting: Victorian Residents of Ford Park Cemetery by Dr Ian Hodgins. Thursday 7.30pm.

St Andrew's Church: SPiA Classical Masters Series with the Ten Tors Orchestra, Saturday 7.30pm.

St Edward's Church Hall: Plymouth Railway Circle. Swiss Railways when locomotives still ruled the rails with Louis Watkins. Monday 7.30pm.


Matchroom: Plymouth county Music club presents Yorkie. Tickets £6 on the door. Saturday.

Rees Centre: The Plympton Seniors Association meet most Mondays 1.45pm. New members very welcome. Friendly group.


Village Hall: The Rattery Craft Fair. Original work by selected local artists/makers. Sunday 10am-4pm.


Village Hall: Whist Drive, Tuesday 7.30pm.


Victory Hall: Whist Drive good prizes. Friday 7.30pm.


Elliotts Store/Museum: Open Wed, Thurs, Sat, 2pm-4pm. Until end of September.

Mary Newmans Cottage: Open Wed-Thurs and Sat-Sun 12noon to 4pm Until end September.


Parish Church: St George's Day Celebration Concert with Sidmouth Town Band and Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir. Tickets £7.50 from Sidmouth TIC . Tuesday 7.30pm.


Museum: Open daily 10.30am-5pm. Until end of October. Admission free.


Wheal Martyn: Park and Museum open daily 10m-5pm.

Town Museum: Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2.30pm, closed Sun and BH. Admission free.


Village Hall: St Buryan Farmers Market. Saturday 9.30-12.30pm.


Church: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Wind section with Triggshire Wind Ensemble. Thursday 7.30pm.


New Craftsman Gallery: Exhibition of ceramics, paintings, sculptural furniture. Until May 11.


Wellsprings Leisure Centre: Sugarcraft Southwest, Region 6 Cake Decorating Exhibition. Saturday 10am-4pm.


The Wharf: The Tavonians present 'A Totally Unreliable History of Tavistock'. Friday 7.30pm; Rock On featuring Mad Dog McCrea. £10 on the door. Sat 8pm; The Paul Rose All-Star band. Sunday 8pm.

Tavy Club: Folk Evening with Tavy Tars and friends. Entry by donation, Thursday 7.30pm.

The Abbey Chapel: Kelly College Music scholars. Tickets £5 on the door. Wednesday 1pm.

College: SING a showcase of local choral ensembles. Tickets £5 from the Wharf or on the door.. Tues 7.30pm

St Eustachius's Church: Organ Recital by Jonathan Delbridge. Tickets £5 on the door. Tuesday 1pm; Organ Recital by Gabrielle Lewis and David Crocker. Tickets £5 on the door. Thurs 1pm; Dante Quartet with Rosemary Turner (soprano) Sunday 8pm (Tkts the Wharf).

Gallery 26, Bedford Hotel: Jazz Supper with the Jazzologists. Tickets £12 in advance from the hotel, or if available £15 on the door.Mon 7.30pm.

Museum: Open daily 11am-3pm. Major exhibition commemorating the 70th Anniversary of US 29th Infantry Div arriving for training in SW Devon in May 1943. Until Oct 13.


Princess Theatre: The Solid Silver 60s Show. Friday 7.30pm; Bill Bailey: Qualmopeddlar. Saturday 8pm.

Babbacombe Theatre: Spellbound, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 8.30pm.


Civic Hall: Plant Heritage Devon Group Plant Fair. Entry £1, members free. Sunday 10am-2pm.


Hall for Cornwall: Truro Country Market. Tuesday 9.15-3pm.


School: Wadebridge Choral society spring concert 'The King Shall Rejoice' Saturday 7.30pm. Tickets £10 on door, or Wadebridge Bookshop.


North Down Plntn 672 118: North Devon Ramblers walk Higher and Lower Brangrove - Hollacombe. About eight miles. Sunday.10.30am.

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