Who we are
Did you know that Samuel Taylor Coleridge refers to a Pleasure Dome in his seminal poem, Kubla Khan, inspired by Exmoor's dramatic landscape?
"I decided to found Pleasure Dome in 2015 after a lifetime of thinking someone should do some theatre at The Valley of Rocks. I spent my early summers scrambling up and down it's weaving pathways and peering out to sea. I always thought it was an otherworldly and magical location, somewhere not quite of this planet, a place where the sea meets the sky, a place where imagination meets reality, and I can think of nowhere more fitting to perform in. " Helena Payne
Creative Director- Helena Payne
Helena read English at The University of Exeter before training at DSL. Represented by Atwell Artist Management she studies voice with Sheila Barnes. As an actor she has played Edmund in LEAR, Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Will Doone in Lorna Doone and Lady Macbeth with PDTC. Other work include Sexism is Bad… at The Arcola, Top Girls at The Southbank Centre, Praxagora in The Assembly Women, Mrs Smith in The Bald Prima Donna at The Old Red Lion, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Guiderius in Cymbeline at the CSF, The Blind/The Intruder at the Old Red Lion and its transfer to the Tabard, The Alchemist at the Riverhouse Studios, Viola in Twelfth Night and Margaret in Much Ado at PSF, and Like Enemies of the State at the Pleasance. She regularly records at Abbey Road with London Cantamusica and recently recorded audiobook All the Perverse Angels at Pinewood Studios. She has toured with Heritage Opera as Mercedes in Carmen and other sung roles include Annio in La Clemenza di Tito, Mrs Noye in Noye’s Fludde at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, Alidoro in La Cenerentola and Mustardseed in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Minack Theatre. She loves The Valley of Rocks and thanks you for indulging her childhood dream in turning this spectacular space into a theatre.. What has she done then?
Scott LeCrass- Associate Director
Scott comes from Birmingham, trained as an actor at Arts Ed and was a director on the Birmingham
Rep’s first Foundry Programme.
He is thrilled to return to The Valley of Rocks to direct for a 3rd year, following his previous
productions of Lorna Doone, The Importance of Being Earnest and Macbeth.
Director- Ghost About The House (The King’s Head), A Curmudgeon’s Guide to Christmas Round
Robin Letters (Hope Theatre), Alice in Wonderland (Old, Rep, Birmingham) The Biggest Tarantino
Fan In The World (Vaulty Towers/Arcola, Minaturists), The Chechnya Plays (The King’s
Head/Theatre Deli), Kicked in The Sh**ter (Hope Theatre/Theatre in the Mill, Bradford), A
Christmas Carol (Theatre Deli/ICAT), After Orlando (Finborough), Sid (Arts Theatre, Sherman
Cymru, Jersey Opera House), Cancel The Sunshine (Hope Theatre/NHS commission and Hospitals
Tour), Cousins Grimm and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime (Page to Stage/Tristan Bates), The Killing of
Sister George (London Theatre Workshop), Open House (Birmingham Rep and tour), Diary of a
Madman (Omnibus/Jack Studio).
Assistant Director- Coming Up (Watford Palace), The King’s Speech (Chichester/Birmingham
Rep/UK Tour), A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep), Von Ribbentrop's Watch (Oxford
Playhouse/Watford Palace), Kurt and Sid (Trafalgar Studios).
Scott received a Best Director Offie Nomination for his productions of Kicked in The Sh**ter and
Sid. Alice in Wonderland was a runner up and a finalist for two What’s On Birmingham Awards
Forthcoming projects: The Witches by Roald Dahl (Watford Palace Theatre).
Jai trained at RADA and won the 2016 Association of Lighting Designer’s ETC Award.
Recent designs include I’ll Take You To Mrs. Cole (Complicite); Whitewash (Soho Theatre); Aesop’s Fables (Unicorn Theatre); The Actor’s Nightmare (Park Theatre); Mapping Brent (Kiln Theatre); Mary’s Babies (Jermyn Street Theatre); Glory (Duke’s Theatre/Red Ladder); Cuzco (Theatre503); The Hoes (Hampstead Theatre); Losing Venice (Orange Tree Theatre); King Lear (Exmoor National Park); A Lie of the Mind (Southwark Playhouse); 46 Beacon (Trafalgar Studios with Rick Fisher); Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Road (White Bear Theatre/Trafalgar Studios 2); Acorn (Courtyard Theatre. Off-West End Award nomination for Best Lighting).
Helena Stafford Northcote- Dramatiser of Lorna Doone
Helena Stafford Northcote is an emerging new writer and co-founder of Heads and Tales Theatre company. Her work has been performed professionally at the Arcola, the Pleasance and the Hope theatres in London. She is currently working on bringing medieval fairy tales to the stage in an actor-muso production with Heads and Tales. Helena started out writing as a teacher, her first plays include numerous adaptions of fairy tales, Greek myths and Shakespeare for children. Having trained as a professional actress she quickly started writing professionally and absolutely loves producing her own work. Helena has worked with the Pleasure Dome theatre company for the last 3 years and is delighted to have been specially commissioned to write a new adaptation of Lorna Doone for this year’s production.
Kathleen is a costume designer and maker for theatre, film and television. After graduating from the London College of Fashion with a Master's Degree in Costume Design, she has gone on to work on various productions such as the Oscar winning 'Phantom Thread,' the Sky One comedy series 'Bounty Hunters,' and HBO's upcoming superhero series 'Watchmen.' Her theatre credits include creating costumes for the world tour of 'Deitrich: Natural Duty' and Iris Theatre's production of 'The Three Muskateers,' performed at the Actors Church in Covent Garden. Kathleen has worked with the Pleasure Dome Theatre Company before on their production of 'The Importance of Being Ernest' and their original staging of Lorna Doone. She is excited to be back and reviving this show for the 150th Anniversary.
Kimon Pallikaropoulos- Composer and Musical Director
Kimon Pallikaropoulos graduated from Somerville College, Oxford, attaining a BA (Hons) in Music with piano performance. He is a keen classical/jazz pianist and founding member of Prog Rock trio "Setria III", while also performing with Jazz-Pop band “Gabriella and The Planets” at venues all across London. Kimon acted as music director/composer to Pleasure Dome's previous production of Lorna Doone in 2017 after several successful runs of sell-out musical “Cripes! I'm Prime Minister” and Alejandro Postigo's "Copla", in which he served as accompanist, composer and music director. The music performed in this year's productions is a combination of arrangements and original compositions, with much of the verse written by poets from the region.
Josie trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre school, playing Lorna will be a delight as she already shares her middle name with the character, and her mother is also named after the Romantic heroine of the Devonshire Valleys.
Previous Credits include UK/USA tours, Regional tours,lyric Hammersmith, Norwich playhouse and York theatre Royal. New writing credits include: Love letters- Lyric Hammersmith, First Kiss: under the Influence of 90’s NOT TOO TAME at Latitude, Beginners guide at Theatre 503, and After Orlando at Finborough.
She is delighted to be working with the Le crass once again, taking on this iconic role and looking forward to having the wind through her hair on the cliffs of Exmoor.
Edward is an actor and musician who trained at The Guildford School of Acting. Since graduating, Edward has toured with The Young Shakespeare Company, and performed in numerous theatre productions across London.
Edward is a co-founder and director of Encompass Theatre Collective, a company which specialises in immersive theatre in non-traditional performance spaces. He is also a performer with ShakeItUp! The Improvised Shakespeare company, and has performed with them in London, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warsaw and Rome.
Performing has given Edward many opportunities to travel the country, however none have been as exciting to him as performing at The Valley of Rocks.
Jamie trained at Drama Centre London: Theatre Credits include: A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter (Bridge Theatre) , Dead Giveaway (Southwark Playhouse), Legacy (Blueprint Theatre Company), What’s Not To Like (Park Theatre), Promise (Rosemary Branch), King Lear (The Space), Romeo & Juliet (UK Tour), A Taste of Honey (UK Tour), Martyrs of Warsaw (Finborough Theatre) and No Smoke (Arcola Theatre) TV & Film Includes: My Spy Family & Nuryan. Also recently won the 3 minute round of Monologueslam Newcastle.
Steven is currently based in London after living and working as an actor for 3 years in Barcelona, Spain. As well as multiple roles in professional and fringe stage productions Steven is experienced in commercial, TV and film acting.
Theatre credits include: Fine Thanks (Savoy Theatre); Ear for Eye (Royal Court); The Break-Up Autopsy (Etcetera Theatre); Miss Julie (Chichester Festival Theatre);Sherlock Holmes (English Theatre Company); Alice in Wonderland (Chichester Festival Theatre); Shooting Truth (National Theatre: Connections); Creative Collisions (Cockpit Theatre); Almost Maine (Almeria Theatre); Magical Plastic Chicken (Pentameters Theatre).
Film includes: The Kill Team; One by One; Submarine Man.
Television includes: Ghosts; El Crac.
Theatre: Ghost about the House (King’s Head Theatre), Lakavu (Hope Theatre), Frank Sent Me (Underbelly, The Otherplace, King’s Head Theatre), Lover (Etcetera Theatre), The Answer to it All (Old Red Lion), Cardenio (Rose Theatre), The Rover (New Diorama), Our Father (Soho Theatre), The Bacchae (Southwark Playhouse), Twelfth Night (Cockpit Theatre), The Malcontent (White Bear), Iphigenie En Tauride (Rye Festival), Suddenly Last Summer (Hampstead Theatre), Twelfth Night (Blenheim Palace).
TV: Ants and Elephants (Stanley Road), Sedition (HBO), PIPI (Silverbullet Films), Balikapapan (Smithsonian Channel)
Matt is from Australia and trained at the Oxford School of Drama
Nayomie enjoyed a successful theatre acting career in London, performing in several Shakespeare plays with ACS Random, undertaking comedy stand up on a weekly basis, as well as launching her own theatre company - writing and devising an entirely new play with ten others. Performing with Stickyback Theatre Company at the Brighton Fringe was another highlight for Nayomie before having children, as well as performing in several Fringe Theatre pieces at The Space I’m Canary Wharf. Nayomie is a keen writer and contemporary dancer and will be performing in the Dancing Feet Company showcase in October at The Queens Theatre.
Nayomie is currently running her own tennis & gymnastics coaching business whilst parenting her two young children. The role of Sarah in Lorna Doone will be her first acting role since her maternity leave and she is extremely excited to be making her return to the stage with Pleasure Dome Theatre Company.
Roxanne comes from Kent but has lived in Lynton with her family for 11 years. She works in Organisational Development and has a passion for learning, understanding people and supporting them to learn. This is the second time Rox has worked with Pleasure Dome Theatre Co. The experience of working with such a talented and professional company in 2017 was immeasurable to her and she is excited to be reprising her role as Annie, just down the road from where she lives at The Valley of Rocks. Not content with working and raising 3 young children, she has recently also started her own business making beeswax wraps to encourage us to ditch the cling film. See www.roxswraps.com for more details.
Taylor Rose lives in Exmoor and is thirteen years old. He will be commencing West Somerset College in September after leaving Minehead Middle School as Deputy Head Boy and is thrilled to be casted for the first time with The Pleasure Dome Theatre Company, playing young John Ridd, a farmer and a Doone.
Taylor's ambition is to become an actor as he loves bringing stories to life. He has played with The Dunkery Players in Cinderella and this is where he fell in love with the stage.
Taylor also enjoys mountaineering. He scaled Snowdon and has completed the south west three peaks. Taylor's next challenge is Ben Nevis in October.
At the start of his career, with a love of books and the theatre, he attends Fusion Theatre Company. Taylor's hobbies also include playing the guitar and keyboard. Taylor plays for Dunster Cricket Team
Born and raised in Porlock,this is Rachel's first appearance with The Pleasure Dome Theatre Company, playing Mother Meldrum, Counsellor and Betty.
Rachel has appeared with the Dunkery Players in A Tomb With A View and The Village Hall Murders and more recently with The Barnstormers, where she was casted in Pygmalion, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime as Nellie and in Great Expectations as Biddy and Mrs Pocket.
Rachel will be playing in The Barnstormers' Goodnight Mr Tom in November.
Leading a busy life as a mother of four children, a black Labrador and ten chickens, Rachel has a full time job working at West Somerset College as Cover Supervisor and Form Tutor.
After studying History at the University of Oxford - during which time he appeared in films by students at the Ruskin School of Art - Theo has worked across the UK government, in both the Houses of Parliament, and the Civil Service.
Last academic year, he began studying, part-time, for a Master’s degree in Computer Science, alongside work.
This summer, he has taken a sabbatical from work, during which time he was delighted to be offered a role in this summer’s production of Lorna Doone.
He currently lives in East London, and in his spare time, enjoys reading about history and running.
Tabitha Payne lives in Watchet. She has been performing since she was nine years old, her very first role was as Fizzy in Bugsy Malone where she sang her first stage solo. Since then she’s been in various other productions at The Regal Theatre in Minehead.
She loves to sing Jazz, folk and opera and she is currently working towards her grade eight exam.
This is her first production outside of Minehead and her first with a professional group. She is really looking forward to playing the part of Lizzie Ridd in this year’s performance and especially looking forward to performing out doors with the amazing Valley of Rocks as a backdrop.
Freya Warren-Brand is a 13 year old young lady. Freya was born in Swindon, but moved to Lynton with her family, when she was 6. Freya lives with her Mum, Dad, dogs, Lola and Phoebe and the cat Annabelle.
Freya went to Lynton Primary School and then moved onto Ilfracombe Academy.
Freya has been performing since she was a toddler. From dancing around the living room, to school productions, and in Brendon Panto...
She joined a drama club from a young age, developing various skills.
Freya enjoys a comedy role and is sometimes a little cheeky. At school Freya enjoys confrontational roles.
Freya loves The Harry Potter series, reading the books, watching the films and listening to the audio books. she has been to Harry Potter World three times, and collects all the memorabilia.