Dovery Manor Museum, Doverhay, Porlock, Somerset, TA24 8QB. United Kingdom
Dovery Manor Museum © 2018 All rights reserved.
Registered Charity Number 1079760.
Visitors to Dovery Manor Museum, Porlock, were greeted by a ‘Temperance Woman’ (Penny Kelham) warning them of the dangers of ‘demon drink’ before being welcomed with wine and canapés to a performance by the Museum Players!
The audience were transported back to 1890 in the museum’s atmospheric solar as Gordon Kidd sang the haunting ballad the Lakes of Pontchartrain. Mistress of Ceremonies, Jane Hill, then introduced the ‘Lord and Lady Mayoress’ of Porlock (Tony Richards and Christine Greenwood) and the honoured guest for the evening, the ‘father of American Literature’, Mark Twain. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known to the world as Mark Twain, was a frequent visitor to England and lectured widely throughout the country. A superb performance by Andrew Rees ensured the audience truly believed they were in the presence of the great man himself, as he treated them to amusing anecdotes from his life and excerpts from his famous novels, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Mr Twain also answered questions from Reverend Thorough-Goode (Nigel Greenwood), John Learned, the local school master, (John Hill), Exmoor Belle (Chris de Verre Hunt) Captain Tom Perkins (Mark Palmer) as well as the Lady Mayoress and the Temperance Woman.
Chris de Vere Hunt and Bill Ball gave enchanting renditions of songs from the period, three Stephen Foster numbers "Oh! Susanna", "Old Folks at Home" and a lovely duet of "Beautiful Dreamer". Coffee and chocolates put the finishing touches to a delightful evening.
The entertainment was compiled and written by Lita Strampp and directed by Lita Strampp and Julia Rees. Props were provided by The Blue Violin Company and the wonderful late Victorian costumes created by Marjorie Steeds.