Show goes on after Newton Pop actor collapses

Masquerade trouper slowly recovering after hospital dash

WHEN theatrical trouper Ken Davis of Masquerade collapsed at his Newton Poppleford home with severe breathing difficulties, and rushed to hospital by ambulance, it looked as if the group’s Sausage and Mash show at Woolbrook at the weekend (November 27/28) would be in doubt.

But happily, its director Ray Pickworth, Ken’s partner for more than 50 years, rose to the occasion, not only taking on both of Ken’s roles, but also galvanizing friends and neighbours to ensure the show went on.

“I would particularly like to thank the volunteers and HQ staff from FORCE headquarters in Exeter, who were brilliant in coping with such unexpected changes, some of which were due to the shocking road conditions beyond Exeter,” said Ray.

He offered heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the group’s backstage staff, lighting and sound team and the magnificent cast who coped so well with Ray as an unexpected understudy, who performed without any rehearsal.


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Masquerade previously staged the same show to capacity houses at Tipton St John and it is hoped these four performances will raise about �3,000 for FORCE.

Ken told the Journal: “I would like to express my genuine appreciation to the NHS, particularly the paramedics, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) and more locally for the care and consideration given to me at Ottery St Mary Hospital.”

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He said he received many cards and flowers and couldn’t wait to get home to see his two Jack Russell dogs.

Although not yet out of the woods, Ken hopes to be up and about again “in the fullness of time”, although it seems unlikely he will be fit enough to continue with his lifelong passion of theatrical activities.

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