The Show Will Go On. A new design designed for the Covid-19 pandemic, keeping the lights on for theatre, fundraising for the ongoing survival of The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, an internationally awardwinning team based in the Southwest of England, with performing members in several countries. During the pandemic, we are creating new shows streaming online from home, and making lots of plans for when we can return to live touring. Every penny raised from each sale of this design, goes directly into our Covid-recovery programme.
Internationally award-winning Brixham theatre company brings Shakespeare's classic Midsummer Night's Dream to life, defying lockdown in an international, online performance, with actors performing from their homes.
“The course of true love never did run smooth ”
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 1 scene 1
Shakespeare's classic comedy, is brought to life in a lockdown production, by a theatre company based in Brixham, South Devon.
Already in rehearsals for the live shows, with a national tour being booked for the live shows, when the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, caused postponement and cancellation of live shows for several months, for every theatre in the UK. Of course, many theatres, both venues and production companies had no choice but to close, and work for professional actors temporarily collapsed.
The South Devon Players decided to resist the trend, and as well as postponing (not cancelling!) the usual shows to such time as when it is safe for theatre venues to reopen, the Players decided to create online performances, in which the actors come together to perform online from the safety of their own homes. This in itself has not been easy, as many people in the team, have had to learn new technology & software, and find ways to make it work on household electronics, with the cast and crew working from their lockdown locations mainly in south Devon but also sheltering in place spread across the UK, as well as the Republic of Ireland, and Los Angeles in California.
The first of these online performances, is a full length, costumed production of William Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy; A Midsummer Night's Dream. Keeping as close as is possible to the originally planned steampunk styling of the live shows, the members of the team are dilligently rehearsing and learning software online, creating costumes and makeup styles, to create this show, and develop an entirely new way to present theatre using modern technology during this time.
Following this first performance, the Players are also planning further online shows, performing Shakspeare and other classic dramas, in the same way.
The South Devon Players Theatre and Film Company, are developing a proud history of Shakespeare productions, as part of their focus on 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 in London. The South Devon Players were founded in the winter of 2005-6, on the proceeds of a carboot sale, to create professional opportunities for local actors, and has flourished ever since; previously winning national and regional arts awards, including the national Epic Award 2017 for England, a national arts award celebrating creativity and innovation in grassroots arts. Based in Brixham, the Players primarily specialise in researched historical theatre productions and old “Classics”.
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream will be broadcast on the evening of May 30th 2020, as a ticketed event online, with tickets costing £5 each. All details on how to book tickets, and receive the online viewing links, are available at the company's website www.southdevonplayers.com.
Laura Jury (also sometimes appearing under the stage name Laura Jay), from The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, Brixham appears in Leaders Council podcast alongside Geoff Hurst.
The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently in the process of talking to leadership figures from across the nation in an attempt to understand this universal trait and what it means in Britain and Northern Ireland today.
Laura from The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company was invited onto an episode of the podcast, which also included an interview with Geoff Hurst. Host Matthew O'Neill asked both guests a series of questions about leadership and the role it has played in their careers to date.
Matthew O'Neill commented, ‘Hosting a show like this, where you speak to genuine leaders who have been there and done it, either on a national stage or within a crucial industry sector, is an absolute honour.’
Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said, ‘I think the most informative element of each episode is the first part, where Matthew O'Neill is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.’
You can listen to the podcast in full here: https://youtu.be/LIZ9du16ot0
You can also discover more about both Laura Jury and Geoff Hurst here:
In these times, with budgets stretched, and marketing of shows always being a challenge for any theatre company, we are proposing this new initiative, where theatre companies exchange advertising. A text page of line adverts in a programme, where we list each others productions in the same region, means that we all reach more audiences, encourage theatre-going, and grow together. This isn't intended to exchange money, just help one another with a few lines of text.
Since it is based on an exchange, (just with the provision of a checking copy to the companies involved, to prove openly that agreements are honoured), it should hopefully be something that is accessible to all companies.
We are based in the Southwest (Southwest UK), and that is the area that we would cover, but if people in other areas of the country want to initiate the same kind of idea - that would be awesome :)
Please get in touch if you would like to exchange with us, and get involved in this new idea.
Laura (company director) - email firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, in conjunction with the South Devon Players Supporters Trust are launching the next part of our fundraising drive, with the corporate sponsorship pack. This is to raise funds for ongoing productions; expenditure includes rehearsal hall hire, costumes, props, printing of scripts & publicity materials, insurances, wages to cast & crew, provision of educational workshops & training. This supports the cultural work of our company, leading to the creation of educational experiences in theatre, literature and history, for our audiences & cast, as well as the development of both theatre-industry specific skills, and wider transferable skills for general employment and day-to-day life, for those working with us.
For more information; or to chat about this project, please contact email@example.com, or call Laura on 07855 090589
The South Devon Players Supporters Trust launch new gift memberships "The Friends of the South Devon Players
Our wonderful Supporters Trust, formed of long-standing friends and fans of our work, are busy creating ways for members of the public to help support the work of our company.
As a result, we are launching public memberships, where for a small annual fee, every penny of which is used to directly fund production costs (rehearsal space, costumes, props, show posters, etc). members of the public can gain exclusive benefits.
We should be be very clear here. Buying a "Friends of" membership does not confer any preferential treatment should the member wish to apply to join our cast or crew (we are strictly against pay-to-play) and make this statement to avoid any misunderstandings.
Friends of the South Devon Players memberships are available at £10 for 1 year & can be purchased, or gifted.
Memberships purchased in November and December 2019 will arrive presented in a South Devon Players Christmas Card.
- Concession rate on a ticket for each show (please contact for online code for each show)
- Tickets available to members one week before they go on general sale.
- Show posters signed by the cast.
- Membership card.
- Text thank you in programme.
- Access to social events at least twice a year.
To purchase, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org with "Friends of South Devon Players" in the title line.
We are delighted, and excited, to announce our Friends scheme.
With times for the arts being tough, especially finding the funds to survive, we are hugely grateful to a number of Southwest people who have come together to form the South Devon Players Supporters Trust who will be assisting the Players with fundraising and help like "front of house" etc when needed, to help us keep running. Funds raised will support the costs of rehearsal space, materials for props/ costumes, critical techincal equipment, through grant applications as well as our traditional fundraising through table top sales & raffles, sponsored activities, etc.
As we get the Players onto a safe steady finanical footing, we hope that this will also extend into being able to provide busfares for those performers on low incomes who cannot afford the bus to rehearsals, and the provision of formal performance and career training for local performers; something that is now completely lacking outside of youth theatre, in Torbay after the closure of the drama courses at the local college.
It is a huge change for us, and so incredibly welcomed to have the support of this amazing Supporters team. There are many things being ironed out still, and we will soon be announcing a membership scheme for people wishing to join the Supporters.
The trustees of the Supporters are people who are not formally connected to the South Devon Players, or the company directors, in any way, as cast, crew, or administration of The South Devon Players; but who simply wish to see the Players survive, continue our work, and grow, after themselves experiencing our shows, and work, as audience.
We also wish to make it clear right from the outset, that membership of the Supporters has no bearing on any selection for involvement in shows or projects; and that The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, and The South Devon Players Supporters Trust, are both strictly against "pay to play" situations. Becoming a member of the Supporters Trust will not gain anyone preferential treatment in being cast.
On Saturday and Sunday we had the cast photoshoot for the vast majority of the cast, and these photos will be going out this week (some already have) attached to press releases marketing the show!
Many thanks to Brixham Theatre , one of our show venues, for letting us shoot on the stage in the morning!
Photos by Andrew Barnes and Laura Jury.
Shows are Friday May 31st, and June 1st at Brixham Theatre, and then June 7th at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter. Our box office page HERE has links to all the relevant tickets! Book today!
We are delighted to announce that the tickets are on sale earlier than expected, for our winter production of Macbeth!
"Performing William Shakespeare's original unabridged text, the award-winning South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, homegrown in Brixham, bring this drama to life in an all-new production. This classic tale of ambition, destiny and murder takes place in the near future, dramatized across a post-WW3 Scottish landscape, performed by a strong team of local professional and semi-professional actors.
Winners of the 2017 Epic Award for England, an annual national award for groundbreaking innovation and creativity in the arts, the South Devon Players specialise in high-quality productions based on classical texts, and researched history, developing and showcasing the talent of actors and other creatives from around South Devon.
You can get your tickets for Brixham Theatre, for performances January 18th - 19th,
from their ticketing section
And you can get your tickets for Torquay Museum, from our ticketing platform
Updated by our managing director,