In March we focused on one of our longest standing members, Helen, and this month we turn to one of our younger members who has made a huge contribution in recent years.

Sophia Burton, in her early 20s, has just finished a stint as President of the society, having served on the committee for the last few years. She has had to cope with one of the more difficult years for theatres, so we thank her for being at the helm during all the postponements and early closings.

Sophia has been involved in most aspects of theatre at Torbay: having started in Jacqué Mandeno’s drama classes, she has been on-stage in several big musicals, including The Gondoliers and Oklahoma. She has taken on roles as Director, Production Manager and Stage Manager, as well as being responsible for gathering and caring for props. She has been part of the popular “Backstage Club” on Wednesday mornings whenever her working life allowed, and has acted in and directed several short scenes for Club Nights over the years, often with a group of friends from teenage drama classes, who have stayed close to each other and to Torbay Theatre over the years.

One of Sophia’s most outstanding gifts is for writing: we have her to thank for four years’ running or more of July School-holiday plays for the very young: always a quest requiring the young protagonists to solve their problems with the use of head, heart and action, with the help of a smattering of characters of all ages, many possessed of magic powers, and there’s always at least one riddle, and plenty of scope for the little ones to get up on stage and help.

Sophia’s siblings have also been involved in almost every show over the last eight years or so, lighting, stage managing, filming, playing in the orchestra, and on-stage. She even took our Club Night international one night in 2019: Sophia linked up to our Club Night from Japan, where she was spending a year, and she was able to receive the traditional operatic “happy birthday” song from all present, across the miles.

We look forward to many more years working with Sophia in many different ways.