Thursday, 3 September 2009

East Budleigh actor’s journey from Delhi to Dali

Budleigh Salterton’s recently founded Film Society will soon have the option of screening a locally-made movie starring one of the area’s well-known theatrical names.

East Budleigh resident Michael Terry, pictured left, has been combining rehearsals for the Salterton Drama Club’s production ‘Murder, Mayhem and the NHS’ at Budleigh’s Playhouse with appearing at Torquay in a surreal comedy docu-drama directed by Exeter-based film maker Tom Austin.

The movie is based loosely on the life of Spanish artist Salvador Dali. “It’s called ‘La Legende~Dali’ and looks at the relationship between Dali and Hitchcock in the making of ‘Spellbound’– I play Alfred Hitchcock,” says Michael.

Set in a boxing ring, the film tells the story, in a dramatic, theatrical way, of Dali’s relationships – with his family (primarily his dead brother, of whom he believed he was a re-incarnation), his nymphomaniac wife, and the canvas. Dali duels in the ring with his ghost brother, who is a Dali figure/alter ego showman. He also travels through the landscapes of some of his paintings.

The 1945 film ‘Spellbound’ is not one of Hitchcock’s best known works, but is notable as the first cinematic example of psychoanalysis being used as a plot device to solve a mystery. Its most celebrated scene is the visually stunning dream sequence, designed by Dali, where the central image is of an oversized pair of scissors cutting through an eye painted on a curtain.

Michael has been a member of the Salterton Drama Club for over 25 years and has appeared in and directed numerous plays, plus around 10 Pantomimes. More recently as a member of the Northcott Community Company he has been seen in ‘Matthew Miller’, ‘Cider with Rosie’ and ‘Cold Comfort Farm’. ‘La Legende~Dali’ is not Michael’s first venture into cinema. Last year he and fellow Northcott Community Company member Jan Hookway were filming in Mumbai, playing a naive English couple who accidentally get caught up in the rivalry between different sets of Indian gangsters in a film called ‘Delhi Belly’ due to be released next year.

Michael has had to juggle the surreal scenes of the Dali film with the very real problem of getting back from Torquay to rehearsals at the Salterton Playhouse in time for the Drama Club production, which opens on Monday 7 September. “In between rehearsals I am filming in Torquay on Saturday and all day Monday, with a quick dash back to Budleigh for the show,” he says.

I reckon he deserves an extra round of applause on the opening night from his Budleigh audience for all his efforts.
For information about the Salterton Drama Club see

Images of Salvador Dali (above, right) and Alfred Hitchcock (above, left) courtesy of and

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