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We are thrilled and incredibly grateful to Tesco Bags of Help/ Tesco Community Grants, for confirming today that they will contribute £1,000 contractually ringfenced for our production of Ben Hur over the coming year, specifically contributing to costumes, props, and making involvement more accessible for local people. A final usage report of the specific use of the funds will be made to Tesco Bags of Help will be available on our website, in the fundraising section, in due course.
Hello lovely people!
Apologies for the delay in updating.
First of all, we think and hope that we have got the mailchimp glitches sorted out. It should all come out smoothly only Friday to everyone again as usual. We do ask anyone recieving our newsletter to let us know if anything seems glitchy though!
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
In very good news, we are, for the first time, but not the last, bringing our shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This year we will be taking Henry V, and next year Ben Hur. Many thanks to our actor Eve Germaine, for finding the details of such a fantastic opportunity!
As soon as we have ticketing information, we shall of course be sharing the details all across oour website and social media.
The rehearsals are going fabulously well; it is a real privilege to work such brilliant cast! Everyone is almost off-book and thier characterisations are flawless - it is simply a case now of practicing the techincal aspects and the show will be ready.
A number of people have been asking for the audition packs and sides - which are already available. The information packs are on our website - and please email us on email@example.com for sides.
Over the past months three people have been able to get their membership of Spotlight approved based on their South Devon Players credits - which is a question we are often asked - so it does indeed look as if the credits are easily accepted. Again, all fantastic news for everyone building thier careers.
And that, in a quick summary, is the main news of the last little while.
Stay safe, and keep well!
Excellent news announcement!!
This year our digital production of Henry V, and next year, Ben Hur, will be going into the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Logistics have been checked and all are fine.
The hope, longterm, is to make this another of our our annual “traditions” and another outlet for showing our work further afield, raising the profile of not only our organisation, and future work, but also of all the amazing Southwest actors and crew who work with us.
Stay tuned for more details over the summer. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place each August, and is now piloting remotely streamed work as well as performances from venues in the city of Edinburgh.
As always, regular and new actors (and stage crew!) are equally welcome to apply, and we look forward to hearing from everyone who is interested. This is looking to be our biggest single stage tour yet, with more venues, and streaming performances to global audiences from at least two venues.
If you would like to find out more, or discuss the project, then do please drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of the crowdfund can be found at https://crowdfunder.co.uk/benhursdp
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, has caused the continued postponement and cancellation of live shows for well over a year, for every performance venue in the UK. Now, the UK government has published an expected roadmap of eventually being able to reopen the theatres by the end of the year.
Ben Hur is the Players' big returning big project, returning to theatrical "normality" after Covid. It is also the company's biggest/ most ambitious show to date, pushing performance, technical, set, lighting and costuming ingenuity to new heights, bringing this beautiful tale to the stage.
Based on the famous novel by Lew Wallace, Ben Hur is set in the first century AD. Judah Ben Hur, a young nobleman of Jerusalem; a city under the occupation of the Roman Empire; is accused of attempting to murder the Roman governor, by his erstwhile closest boyhood friend, Massala, now a Roman commander. Sentenced to life as a galley slave; a sentence which usually led to death within months, Judah survives, and after a pirate attack on the Roman navy in the Agean sea, travels to Rome a hero, having saved the life of the Roman commander in his escape. He once more returns to Jerusalem, seeking his mother and sister, who were imprisoned for the same attack, and finds no trace of them. He does however, find Massala, and blinded by rage, challenges Massala at the annual arena "Games". Massala is killed in the games, with his dying breath, reveals to Judah that his mother and sister were in fact released and driven from the city as lepers. With all hope, and all lust for revenge, gone, Judah is lost, but fate is not finished with him. He eventually finds his mother and sister, who are miraculously healed by a preacher, who has recently come to the city........
A historical drama set in Biblical times, the tale of Ben Hur is interwoven with the life and death of Jesus Christ, who appears twice in the drama. This is ultimately a powerful tale of hope and love, set within the dramatic and often brutal times of the Roman Empire.
The script features a wide range of strong, memorable characters, both male and female, with a large age range, carefully crafted into a show which will not only explore ambitious creative and inclusive theatre-making, but also a show, that regardless of any religious or political belief of the part of the audience members, will remain a powerful, beautiful memory for years to come.
Subject to coming safely out of the pandemic, and in accordance with the UK government's expected roadmap to national recovery from the pandemic, allowing for rehearsals and performances from August onwards, the Players expect to cast the show in August 2021, when they will also begin rehearsals, twice a week (Wednesdays and Sundays) in the room they rent in their local community centre. The show will be toured to local & regional venues, including theatres, churches, and other spaces, during the spring of 2022. The team usually perform in at least 4 towns and cities, ranging from their home town of Brixham, up to Bristol, but they are also hoping to expand the tour this time for such an exciting show, and are actively seeking new venues. The team will also be filming the show for online broadcast through our website. Should dates of recovery from the pandemic change nationally or regionally, the project dates may change in line with that, but this project will go ahead.
The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company is an internationally awardwinning theatre company based in the beautiful fishing port of Brixham, in South Devon (hence the company name!) in the southwest peninsula of England. Founded in the winter of 2005-6, to create theatre opportunities for local actors in an area of high poverty and deprivation, the South Devon Players specialise in carefully researched historical dramas; often new writing based on new historical research, Shakespeare, and as in this case, staged adaptations of classical literature. Bringing these stories alive on the stage, brings historical research, and some of the great classical tales, to life in an accessible, colourful, experiential format - so much more different than the black and white of the pages of a book.
An inclusive, female led company, the company welcomes actors and crew at all levels of previous experience, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, education, or other kinds of identities/ demographics. The Players hold the belief that talent and professionalism is everywhere, and needs only a chance to shine. The only requirements of the company is that those who join the team have the desire and drive to create groundbreaking top-quality theatre, work positively in a team environment, developing and sharing skills, and that good manners, positivity, reliability and kindness are paramount .
The Players are launching the crowdfund for this project to help support their return to the live stage, with funds going towards costumes, props, and the costs of production, as well as funds towards payments for the actors and crew, facilitating a high quality and positive project to return from the lockdowns and Covid crisis.
The South Devon Players Theatre and Film Company, are developing a proud tradition of creating world-class historical and classical dramas. In 2019, their production of Macbeth, was booked for a second tour and won an international theatre award in New York for its professionalism and creativity. Laura Jury, the director of that production of Macbeth, & many of the Player's shows, and founder of the theatre company, has returned to lead this new project. Laura has also recently been selected to appear in an online Shakespeare project by the Globe Theatre. With lockdown, the Players have been using the internet to perform and stream digital theatre from Brixham, around the world to global audiences, with growing excellent feedback.
Coming over the next few weeks, we will be uploding the information on our main 2021 casting calls. (Please note that we expect there to also be a number of other smaller digital-only projects, especially while we continue to create digital projects during the Covid crisis. These two major shows look forward to when it is safe, and viable to return to the live stage.
We are excited to announce that the next primary casting calls will be for a production of
William Shakespeare's Henry V, and for an all new stage adaptation of Lew Wallace's classic novel Ben Hur.
At the time of writiing, the Covid pandemic continues unabated, with a shocking "second spike", but in positive news, two vacciences have been approved for national use, and so, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Some levels of lockdown do allow for theatres to open in a socially distanced way, but with rapidly changing infection rates in different regions, as well as the fact that with nessecary social distancing it is impossible to sell enough tickets to a venue to allow for the cast and crew to earn anything, and tight backstage areas where actors and crew are unable to socially distance (and that is before you even look at the mechanics of the interactions on stage!!!)
Until we can perform viably and safely in theatres, our work will remain digital.
Our lineup of live shows (when we can return to the stage) will be tours of
- Jack The Ripper (currently in rehearsals, then a digital performance, which will then be held until we can return to the stage, for a live tour).
- Henry V (subject to being able to return to the theatre during summer 2021, if not there will be a digital-only project linked with some larger national Shakespeare digital events)
- Ben Hur (some work on visual and computer effects will begin summer 2021, requiring the two principals to be cast and contracted early, to have visual effects built around), but rehearsals etc will commence after Henry V, and the shows are hoped to be toured in winter 2021-2022. This will be our biggest and most complex show to date.
Planning has never been so difficult - as it is not a simple case of scheduling one show after another, as in normal times; it is also affected by the undercertainties of the pandemic. This means that dates are still highly uncertain at the moment, even to return to the rehearsal hall.
Following the digital performances of The Lost Girl and Jack The Ripper, we will be having a week of "down time" to assess what the likely timeline is at that point. This means that we hope to start accepting auditions for Henry V, in the middle of Feb 2021. We may also schedule some short-term digital-only plays, if, at that point, it looks as if we will be remaining digtal-only into later summer.
As always we are happy to keep a note of anyone interested in auditioning for us, in order to send a reminder when the audition packs are uploaded.
Updated by our founder