Mark’s Saturday

My weekend begins with rehearsals at Wyvern Theatre which is the base for Prime Theatre, Swindon’s only theatre group for children and young people. I could be rehearsing with professional actors who tour the country with their plays or working with local youngsters – at any one time we have up to 100 kids involved from 5 to 25 years of age; not just acting but as writers and technicians, too.

We work on maybe four big projects a year; some of our plays are performed in theatres, others are community projects. It’s mostly contemporary works and we perform all over Swindon - at the Arts Centre, STEAM Museum, the Central Library and even outdoors. We have also performed plays on BBC Wiltshire. Recent works include ‘This Is Our Town’ at STEAM and a version of The Odyssey at the Arts Centre. And we’re currently working on a community project at St. Mary’s Church at Lydiard Park.

In the afternoons I go for a run at Coate Water with my 10-year-old goddaughter Lissi, she’s a really fast runner and I’m already struggling to keep up with her! The prize at the end of the run is an ice cream at the café next to the Splash Park or we might go on the Miniature Railway. All in all, it’s great fun in an idyllic setting.

In the evening my godson Coby might join us and we’ll head up to Regent Circus for a night’s entertainment. We usually eat at Ask Italian and then it will be the latest superhero movie, though I must admit I am finding them longer and longer these days!

Mark’s Sunday

Sundays are for lazy days hanging out with my husband Ben. He’s also a theatre director so we can’t avoid talking shop. We actually met working together at The Salisbury Playhouse on a play called ‘The Boy Friend’. There was a film version with Twiggy, but our version was much weirder though I’m not complaining as it brought us together.

Ben is also a trained chef - I always say he loves to cook and I love to eat! He buys prime cuts from the butcher in the Wood Street Food Hall and wine from Magnum Wine a few doors along. If he’s not cooking we go to Carluccio’s in the Outlet Village which we can walk to from our house on York Road. We’re right next door to County Fayre which has been voted the best fish and chip shop in Swindon.

If we’ve got visitors from out of town they always want to visit the Magic Roundabout so we might stroll down there through Queen’s Park. If we’re on our own we’ll head further afield to get the wind in our hair at Barbury Castle, The Ridgeway or Avebury. Living in Swindon we’re surrounded by beautiful countryside which is a real privilege.

Sunday evenings we’ll put our feet up and watch a box set, I have just ploughed my way through every episode of ‘Line of Duty’. I am originally from Wigan and first moved to Swindon 18 years ago. I then moved to Salisbury to work at The Playhouse for 10 years there but jumped at the opportunity to move back here in 2014 with Prime Theatre. I’ve made great friends here, my godchildren are here, and there is far more going on culturally than Swindon gets credit for. We’re really happy to be here. And if any young person reading this has an urge to tread the boards, they are guaranteed a warm welcome at Prime Theatre.