Epsom Playhouse's Trevor Mitchell on his perfect Surrey weekend
As manager of the Epsom Playhouse, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Trevor Mitchell is a busy man - which is why he likes to make the most of every second come the weekend, usually with his West Highland terrier in tow...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2009As manager of the Epsom Playhouse, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Trevor Mitchell is a busy man - which is why he likes to make the most of every second come the weekend, usually with his West Highland terrier in tow...After a hectic week at the Epsom Playhouse, either attending rehearsals, programming shows or quite often travelling around the UK viewing new productions, my weekend at home in Leatherhead is keenly awaited as there are 48 quality hours of what is known as 'Trevor time' approaching. Being a well-organised and methodical person, I quite like to get the domestics out of the way on a Friday night. Shopping, washing and cleaning, and catching up on a week's worth of TV, particularly Grand Designs, are all out of the way in one evening and my work bag ready-packed for Monday morning. Paws for thought Having recently acquired a West Highland terrier puppy, Havercous (which is Greek for havoc!), much of my weekend is spent out with the dog. I now prefer this kind of exercise, rather than going to the gym for a workout, and the weight loss is incredible with all the regular walking. My favourite ritual on a Saturday morning is an amble through Leatherhead town centre. There is such a great community atmosphere in the town and everyone knows each other so lots of socialising goes on along the route. There are some lovely craft stalls in the High Street, too, with good bargains to be had. Recently, many restaurants and coffee shops have also opened up, which has given this wonderful town a real lift. This is usually followed by a long walk on Bookham Common still with the dog in tow. There are some really great treks with ever-changing scenery depending on the seasons. As I write, the frost on the trees, reflecting in the numerous lakes, is so tranquil after a hectic week at the theatre. There is also a sense of joy, with evidence of young buds appearing on the trees and shoots sprouting from the ground, announcing that spring is just around the corner. After nearly 40 years in showbiz, I have made many friends who like to visit me from London. One of my favourite hobbies is cooking, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than trying out complicated recipes on them! If I am not entertaining at home, I love to go out to eat. My favourite places are La Capanna in Cobham or the Spaghetti Tree on Walton-on-the-Hill and more recently Mae Ping in Epsom. On Sunday mornings, I like to relax with the papers, a mug of coffee and some good classical music. I really enjoy the young crossover artistes, such as Blake, El Divo, Natasha Marsh and Hayley Westenra, as well as the big band singer Peter Grant, the Italian pianist and composer Eduardo Einaudi and my jazz idols Stacey Kent and Clare Teal - a morning of musical heaven! Sunday pub lunch Sunday lunch is normally part of a long walk with the dog. I love having a pub lunch at the Royal Oak in Holmbury St Mary. In the summer, you can sit outside and eat, which the dog will really enjoy as he loves the open air and sense of freedom. Alternatively, the Abinger Hatch on Abinger Common is another huge attraction for me. It is so homely with its big open fireplace, the eclectic mix of furniture and the traditional Sunday roast. These lunches are usually followed by a drive through the Surrey Hills, which are so pretty when the bluebells are out, a stomp around Shere and a visit to the nearby Silent Pool. Late afternoon is a good steam in the spa at my gym, followed by a couple of lengths in the pool. Early evening, I like to catch up on thank you letters, reply to e-mails and pay the bills. To help clear my head ready for another entertaining week at the Playhouse, I do like to go to a late screening at the Odeon Epsom. It is only recently that I have developed a liking for films having always preferred live performances. How good is the new Batman film? I am so pleased Heath Ledger got a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker; meanwhile, I eagerly await the next Harry Potter film. And then another week is upon me and it's a week closer to my annual holiday in Greece, a destination I have enjoyed for many years and will make my 78th visit to this year!
My Surrey Weekend is a monthly guest column in Surrey Life magazine, where we discover how some of the county's high profile characters spend their weekend. To catch up with the series, click here.
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