Equity have released this news update: Equity responds to Prime Minister's latest Covid press conference
It’s a minefield trying to figure out safety & backups for shows while also trying to be fair to everyone. Plans for returning to physical rehearsals and shows at The South Devon Players will involve more safety measures than “minimum legally required” simply because we want everyone to be as safe as possible in their theatre involvement and in their wider lives- though we hope the measures will remain welcoming to all as well.
We are still working on the full details, which may be subject to alteration in line with official / verified scientific guidance., however, the draft safety measures for rehearsals are as below:
In a nutshell for rehearsals and castings, we will be keeping good ventilation at all times (if it is a cooler day bring a warm top as we will have windows open and a through-draught. ).
People not actually up rehearsing a scene, will be asked, if possible, to wear a mask, and we will be encouraging the use of hand sanitizer on arrival and after using community centre facilities.
If these are not possible for medical reasons, then we are happy to exempt you.
We will ask that visitors (people who are not actors/ crew or volunteers) who pop in, are expected in advance and are visiting for a serious reason (eg: trade union visit, journalist, emergency services, etc)
Unexpected visitors will not be allowed to enter. "Do Not Disturb" signage will be on the door for this reason.
Everyone will be asked to sign in and out, and will be requested to not attend if they are ill. (there will be no non-attendance note for this). Anyone who is self-isolating due to possible Covid exposure, may connect to rehearsal over Zoom.
We will also encourage people to bring their own mugs for coffees and tea, and, if using community center mugs/glasses, to ensure that they are washed, dried and put away after use.
Crew will arrive early and check the rehearsal room. It is a shared space with other local organizations, and we will ensure that it is of an acceptable standard of cleanliness before rehearsals.
Everyone will be asked to help leave it in an equally good condition for the next user groups of the building.
Costumes will be in individual ziplock bags (not to be shared)
A specific box containing disposable masks, gloves, sanitizer, wipes, disinfectant and other cleaning and protective materials, will be present in the rehearsal cupboard.
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 we look towards busier times again after the pandemic, we are also looking for people who would like to get involved with us, behind the scenes, to help create shows, and increase access to our work. The roles we are looking to fill vary hugely in commitment and theme, but as long as you are based in the relevant area, are reliable & communicative, and love the arts, then we should get along very happily indeed. Please read on to find out what we are looking to fill. If you would like an informal chat about any of these roles, do please drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, at any time.
*NB, at the moment, due to lack of funding, all of these roles are voluntary. We hope, eventually, to be able to make all of these roles paid positions by dint of raising the funds to do so! Sadly with the Brixham Pannier Market being permanently closed by the town council, we have lost our large second-hand book stall, meaning that we are having to create new sources of fundraising even for basic things like rehearsal space, from scratch.
We would also like to be very clear that we take Covid-safety extremely seriously. While some roles can be done, or at least prepared for, from home and can therefore start sooner rather than later, any roles that involve working out and about with others/ in groups will only begin when it is safe to do so - we estimate August onwards. In the meantime, training and preparation, as far as can be done remotely over Zoom etc, will happen for those roles in preparation. All of our "face to face" work in groups will have Covid-safety measures in place.
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 email@example.com
We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the owners of local health food shop Oats ( <- please like their page!) who will be stocking our fundraising book stall, beginning during next week!
Thank you so much to Oats for helping support our work!
You can visit their website at https://www.oatsofbrixham.co.uk
We are sad to announce that today we, along with all other stall-holders, recieved the sudden news that after the pandemic, Brixham Pannier Market will not be reopening, as the local Brixham Town Council have decided to not renew the hire to the market. The Pannier Market was held in the market hall in the town hall complex, in Brixham Town Centre.
Over the past year, when able to open, it won a national award for it's support of local businesses, and was featured on ITV, for doing the same.
Sadly there was no consultation with stall-holders when the Town Council decided to close it.
This of course has negatively impacted quite a few local businesses, completely closing-down at least one, and for our company, has resulted in the end of our book stall, which fundraised for rehearsal space (in turn putting those funds into a local volunteer-run community centre), as well as providing a face-to-face place where people locally could find out about our work.
With the town having a higher-than-national-average demographic of older people who are often less familar with using the internet, having a face-to-face point of contact was invaluable, as well as the fundraising.
Our existing stock of books (all of which had been donated) will be sold off over the spring (ideally in bulk), and we will be focussing on different ventures, including building up our ebay shop, and, once it is fully safe to do so, arranging a point in town where people can come and meet us and find out about our work, once a week.
Regardlless of how things have turned out, we cannot thank Shaun and Mark Kennard enough for all their hard work in trying to get that market running well, and for their support for all local businesses and organisations. Everyone at the market has made enduring friendships, which will continue into the future, but it is truly the end of an era.
We will find new ways to fundraise and new ways to make ourselves accessible on a general face-to-face level in our local town, as we slowly come out of the pandemic.
If anyone might be interested in acquiring three large crates of books (all subjects, fiction and non-fiction), please drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week was the first week of Zoom-based rehearsals (rehearsals 2 & 3) for our production of Shakespeare's Henry V.
The actors are already doing brilliantly, with characterisations, and action already starting to show through, and while of course this is the earliest days of the rehearsal process, and there is everything to yet work on, there is some strong work already coming through. As a director I am loving the expression in the tones.
As part of our planned upgrade to blogging our shows, and including an education pack for each show from this production onwards, we are going to be sharing a lot of behind-the-scenes clips from rehearsals and interviews, as we work through the process.
One of the challenges with performing in this way, is that very often, the actors are limited by constrained space at home, and while, later, green-screens will allow for production backdrops (we are working on the acting side of things first), the actors are expressing the majority of the action, expression and reactions/ interactions, theough head to chest images on zoom, and entering/ leaving the frame. They are also able to react to stimuli that their characters may percieve around them, off camera (which we will see in future videos).
Therefore, in many ways. the acting, being closer to the camera, and therefore to the percieved view of the audience.
The text and modern translation from the No Fear Shakespeare website HERE
Follow the other updates for this production HERE
Fortune is Bardolph’s foe, and frowns on him;
For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must ’a be,--
A damned death!
Let gallows gape for dog; let man go free,
And let not hemp his windpipe suffocate.
But Exeter hath given the doom of death
For pax of little price.
Therefore, go speak; the Duke will hear thy voice;
And let not Bardolph’s vital thread be cut
With edge of penny cord and vile reproach.
Speak, captain, for his life, and I will thee requite.
Anchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.
Why then, rejoice therefore.
Certainly, anchient, it is not a thing to rejoice at; for if, look you, he were my brother, I would desire the Duke to use his good pleasure, and put him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.
Die and be damn’d! and fico for thy friendship!
It is well.
The fig of Spain.
Casting the French King in Henry V
(This is a recast, due to the original actor having a date clash with a previously contracted (pre Covid) project that is now resuming. )
This is an "original text" production of William Shakespeare's Henry V. There have been a few small cuts due to running time. It is set in a postapocalyptic near-future, after an ecological disaster, and this setting informs the show design.
- Age: In order to fit with the current casting, the actor needs to be of an age suitable to play the Dauphin's parent. This requires the actor to be a minimum of 45 years old.
- Gender: Because we are casting gender-blind on this show, we are happy to cast either a male or female.
- Location: While spring 2021 rehearsals, and the Bristol Shakespeare Festival performance are all digital and performance happens online the actor needs to be based in or around the Devon area due to the 4 physical blocking rehearsals during November in preparation for the phsysical performances at the end of November.
- Due to the use of digital rehearsals and performance, the actor should have the facility to use Zoom.
Rehearsals are already underway, on Sunday afternoons 1-pm-4pm, and wednesdays 7pm-9.30pm. These will run up until the July online performance. We will then reconvene to have four-five wednesday rehearsals in late October-November, in preparation for the live shows.
- Late July 2021, Henry V is being performed online as a digital broadcast show, in the second half of July 2021, as part of the Bristol Shakespeare Festival.
- Late November 2021, Henry V will be performed live at our home theatre venue, Brixham Theatre
Equal profitshare, the same as all other cast and crew, using the the ticket sales for the performances, split equally. Please see the profitshare information on this page, which explains in more details how we work it out.
Our digital rehearsals and show all require the cast and crew working from home which is, intrinsically, safe. While we expect to be returning to physical rehearsals and shows in August/ September 2021, anything subsequent to that will be subject to the current status of the pandemic, and the liklihood of additional safety and cleanliness procedures in the rehearsal hall.
Please email us on email@example.com, for audition sides, with any questions, etc.
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.
Updated by our founder