Wells Theatre Festival is excited to announce that renowned film, televisionand theatre director and Wells resident Jim Cellan Jones has come on board as a Patron of the Festival. He is particularly associated with the ‘Classic Serial’ during the golden age of BBC drama, and some of his most notable work has been in televising late 19th-century and 20th-century British literary works. Two of his most ambitious and successful directorial adaptations are The Forsyte Saga (1967) and The Fortunes of War(1987); and he is also noted for his award-winning productions of Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill(1974) and Harnessing Peacocks(1993). He also directed the award-winning TV sitcom – A Fine Romancestarring the Festival’s founding patron Dame Judi Dench alongside her late husband Michael Williams.

Jim has been Head of Plays at BBC Television, Chairman of BAFTA, and Chairman of the Directors Guild of Great Britain.

As Festival Patron, Jim is playing a special role as mentor to the young cast of the community production of Romeo and Juliet. Apiring actors, Finn Hazelwood (21), Jago Lotts (16), Julian Laws (16), Beth Milward (16) and Chloe Waters (16).

Artistic Director Ros Johnson said: “We are so honoured to have Jim as our local patron. Not only is he one of this country’s most respected directors but he is also passionate about encouraging young people to experience high quality theatre for themselves and passing on his knowledge and expertise to young people starting out in the business. I am delighted that he has agreed to act as mentor to our budding young actors”