A local student is celebrating after becoming the youngest writer and director of the ever-popular Chagford pantomime.
The 17-year-old Early Years student at Duchy College Stoke Climsland, Luke Coombe, previously from Okehampton College, has already starred in musicals, serial dramas and pantomimes.
“I have always been interested in writing from a young age,” he explained.
“When I was writing my GCSE drama piece it was really hard hitting and I wanted to look at writing something more comical. I wrote a piece called ‘Happily Ever After’ and sent it to the organisers of the Chagford pantomime and they loved it.”
‘Happily Ever After’ is the story of how stories resolves themselves when problems occur, it follows two characters on their quest to solve everyone’s happy endings. The stories are a mixture of classic pantomimes and fairy tales such as Jack and the Bean Stalk, Mary Had a Little Lamb and Cinderella.
“It has been a really interesting experience writing the pantomime,” Luke continued.
“There is a cast of over 50 people and I have been responsible for all the casting. Rehearsals are due to start soon leading to the pantomime going live during February half term week. I am really enjoying the Early Years course here at Duchy, before starting I researched my options and even though it means a bit of travelling for me it was the best course around. I came and had a look around the campus and felt really comfortable here.”
Luke said he would ultimately like to combine his experience on the course and his acting to become a drama teacher or involved in drama therapy.
Team Lead for Early Years at Duchy College, Laetitia Mayne, said it is “fantastic to see Luke as an active member of his local community””
“We wholeheartedly encourage all of our learners to expand their skills set to provide valuable transferable skills which they can use in our sector,” she added.