St Mary's Theatre club has bid a sad farewell to two of its biggest stars. 

Last week's second performance of In The Pink was followed by a surprise party to say goodbye to Kevin Leeman and Rachael Easterbrook, who have appeared in numerous productions.


Gifts were also given to costumes veteran Mo Love, lights technician Barrie Nuttall and recent club additions Ben Barrett, and Ian and Bev Hodgson, all of whom are leaving Scilly in the coming weeks.


Teacher Kevin, who has directed, produced and starred in many plays and pantomimes in the last 12 years, left the islands on Sunday with his wife Tracy.


He said of his time with Theatre Club: "We arrived in Christmas 2003 and by January 2004 I was helping backstage and it all went on from there."


Asked for his favourite memories, he replied: "It's always great being a Dame because I get to flirt with the musicians. It was fun getting up close, twirling your bosoms, sitting on their laps... In terms of plays, there are different moments and images in my head. The one where Tammy is there in lingerie, or me when I'm dashing across in a pair of knickers of my own in See How They Run. Some where I came into the audience, lots of really good things. 


"I am going to miss it. As a school teacher you need some kinds of an outlet. Some people have gig rowing, some go to the gym and I personally really enjoyed the theatre side. It's a great chance to meet other people, to put on a project from the start and see it right through. 


"I never thought I would be so involved with it. I did a pantomime when I was 20 but then nothing for 20 years until I came here. I never thought about it. And to have it reawakened to the point where I wanted to train to be a drama teacher and loved introducing kids to drama has been fantastic."


Previous chair and In The Pink co-producer Gail Sibley, who has worked alongside Kevin on many occasions, said: "Kevin has been an invaluable member of Theatre Club for over ten years, from chairman to producer, director and actor extraordinaire. He can be menacing, he can be funny, he has such great enthusiasm and without him, we really would have folded years ago."


Rachael left Scilly earlier this week with boyfriend Giles Lethbridge and dog Parson. They are moving to Newbury, where they will live on a barge and she will work in a school for the deaf, but they are expected to return in two years. She has been a member of Theatre Club for six years and was a past chairman as well as starring in at least three pantomimes and four summer plays.


Rachael said: "I've had a fantastic time at Theatre club. There are so many memories. Taking Gosforth's Fete to St Agnes was great, being a green witch and a Chinese man in panto... annoying Maggie Perkovic every time I would turn up for rehearsals with food because I was so busy that I'd just turn up with my dinner. She hated people eating. So me and Becky Thomas would sneak in food on purpose just to be annoying!"


Current club vice-chair Becky Thomas surprised Kevin by dressing as a giant rabbit during the party.

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