Weymouth donkey the inspiration behind sand sculptor's Shakespeare tribute

MULE BE LUCKY:  From left, Gracy the donkey, sculptor Wilfred Stijger, and Mark Anderson

MULE BE LUCKY: From left, Gracy the donkey, sculptor Wilfred Stijger, and Mark Anderson

First published in News by

A WEYMOUTH donkey has acted as a muse for a sand sculptor highlighting the works of William Shakespeare.

The donkey’s head has been included to pay tribute to Nick Bottom’s character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Melanie Rush, the donkey ride operator on Weymouth Beach, brought two donkeys along to Sandworld for artist Wilfred Stijger to look at.

Five-year-old Gracy took the leading role, while Jasmine played her understudy.

Nick Bottom’s character is famously known for having his head transformed into that of a donkey’s during the play.

Mr Stijger said: “It’s a strange story about love and identity. I was 18 when I read the story for the first time.

“I’ve changed my donkey as of course I have an excellent model. I changed the mouth as it was a little bit wide.

“Now I’m doing the eyebrows so it looks better.”

Ms Rush said: “The fact that I’m taking my donkeys to Sandworld is all a bit bizarre.

“It’s fantastic that he’s now changing a few things to make the donkey look more like a donkey.”

The tribute to the playwright, which also highlights Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth, will feature at Sandworld’s new ‘Literally Sand’ exhibition.

Sandworld director Mark Anderson said: “It was a great opportunity for us to work together.

“The images we had weren’t brilliant so Mel offered to bring one of her fine specimens along for Wilf to use as a model.

“I’ve worked with Mel for over 20 years now. She worked in the cafe when I was on the beach. Then she bought the trampolines and took over the donkeys.

“The beach community is quite close knit and everyone sort of helps out.”

Twelve craftsmen from across the globe are at Sandworld creating a variety of sculptures.

Other pieces of work to feature at this year’s exhibition include scenes from The Jungle Book and The Lord of the Rings.

The exhibition will open on Saturday, April 5 from 10.30am.

Five local authors will attend the grand opening, including Kit Berry, Carol Hunt, Laura James, Kathy Sharp and Kate Kelly.

Discount on tickets

Don’t forget it’s not too late to take advantage of the Dorset Echo token collect, and get your Sandworld Season Pass at a reduced price. All you have to do is buy back copies of the Dorset Echo featuring the tokens from the Echo offices at Antelope Walk, Dorchester or the Granby Industrial Estate, Weymouth, and purchase the Dorset Echo this Saturday containing the entry form. You can redeem your pass from Sandworld from Friday, April 4 – Saturday, April 12 so don’t miss out!

Turn to page four for the latest token.

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