Meet King Henry V!
An actor who frequently works with us, Rich Sandford, is playing the title role in our production of Shakespeare's play Henry V, on at Brixham Theatre at the end of November. (Psst! tickets are on sale now! Pop over to https://www.southdevonplayers.com/box-office.html for ticket links and show information).
Originally performed online earlier this year, this show went on to be well received as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2021.
Henry V now heralds the South Devon Players full return to the live stage at Brixham Theatre, after the pandemic, with three performances of this drama set in and around the Battle of Agincourt. Transplanted to a war-torn "near-future", but performing the original text and characters, the play follows the both the English and French nobility, as well as a group of “common soldiers” combining action, drama, and comedy as we follow the fortunes of a wonderful array of memorable, and diverse, characters though the events of the campaign.
At the end of October, the cast will re-convene, to re-rehearse the show; ready for three live stage performances at Brixham Theatre – on the evening of November 26th 2021, and a matinee and evening performance on November 27th 2021.
Great news! We are so pleased to be returning to the live stage this year, with our production of William Shakspeare's Henry V.
Yes! A theatre show, on an actual STAGE! - **AT LAST!!**
Tickets have gone on sale at Brixham Theatre - you can book now at http://brixhamtheatre.uk
(direct link at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/brixham-theatre/the-south-devon-players-present-shakespeares-henry-v/e-vpblzv)
Brixham Theatre will have full covid safety procedures in place when it reopens in September 2021, and any questions relating to keeping your visit to Brixham Theatre safe, can be answered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Open theatre auditions for a southwest-touring theatre production of Ben Hur, based on Lew Wallace's classic novel.
The auditions will take place on Sunday August 29th, from 12.30pm - 5pm at our rehearsal base of Chestnut Community Centre, 1-3 Poplar Close, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 0SA.
People are welcome to "turn up" but with Covid-safety in mind, it is useful to contact us in advance because if we get a lot of applicants, we may stagger the castings through the afternoon to reduce group sizes.
We will let everyone who auditions, know the outcome of the casting by the end of the following week.
The rehearsals will take place many Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons (schedule dependent on role and actors availabilities given to us at auditions) at a local community centre in Brixham, before being performed in Devon, Cornwall and up in Bristol. Most of the show dates are already booked and are all on Friday evenings and/or Saturdays.
We do prefer that all actors are based in the Devon area.
Full Covid-safety procedures will be followed in auditions, rehearsals and shows.
We have roles for actors aged 18 - 80, which range from main principal actors, as well as smaller roles, and crowd scenes. We expect that most actors will end up taking on more than one role, other than key characters Judah Ben Hur, Massala, Myriam, Esther and Tirzah.
All actors and stage crew are guaranteed a minimum of an equal share of 100% of the ticket sales (as shared equally among the cast & crew) although our fundraising volunteers are also applying for specific funding to increase that to full Equity rates for you. Profitshares with us are very "open-book" and include full unedited copies of box-office sales reports.
This is a self-employed role and as such all actors will need to declare whatever they earn from the project to HMRC as part of their annual self-assessment.
Costuming is part-sponsored by Tesco Bags for Life.
All actors and crew will also receive copies of individual character posters featuring their main character, portfolio photos from dress rehearsals, videos of the performance, and copies of any press/ blogs/ reviews/ feedback in which they are featured.
Actors of all levels of experience are very welcome. We look at your talent and suitability for the role at auditions, not at resumes.
Some roles will require action (combat etc) scenes which will be headed by our fight choreographers. Training will be given. There is no nudity, or visual sexual content. There are a couple of verbal references to rape in a single conversation. There is very little bad language; the word "bastard" is used by one character. The show itself will be largely suitable for all ages.
All ethnicities, gender identities, religions, disabilities, and other demographics equally welcomed. The audition venue is fully accessible. If you have any questions abut this, or making the auditions accessible, please do get in touch and discuss (or with any other questions).
More info at https://www.southdevonplayers.com/auditions.html
This production is working from the original text. As it is a longer play, we have made some cuts, and it tells of the events in and around King Henry V's triumph at the Battle of Agincourt. With drama, humour and a wonderful range of characters, this is going to be a fantastic project to work on. You can read the original uncut text for the play for free on Project Gutenberg HERE
Ages. genders, etc at a glance.
As with all our Shakespeare projects, we tend to cast the majority of roles as gender-blind - this means that any gender can audition for the same roles. Shakespeare's plays were notoriously male-heavy, originally, but that does not always fit a 21st Century way of working. People of all ethnicities are welcome to audition for any role. We are also very flexible on ages. While we are not casting children (under 18s) in this show, we do not have strictly preconcieved notions of characters ages, other than ensuring that any family groupings reflect a relevant range of ages. What is most important is that we select the strongest actors for the roles.
As we come ever closer to the show for this amazing script, we are now rehearsing with the digital backdrops and most of the costumes for the final performance. We thought you woulld like a look behind the scenes, showing that digital theatre, can be great fun! (oh, and if you want tickets, our box office is over at https://www.southdevonplayers.com/box-office.html) The show itself is online for 48 hours from first broadcast to allow people all around the world to access the show at a time convenient for them.
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.
There are likley to be additional casting calls for smaller digital-only projects which will also be released around the same time.
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.
New digital theatre shows coming up in January and February 2021. TICKETS ON SALE NOW. Please share this information to anyone who may be interested!
The Lost Girl, is a drama set in Edwardian England, following a young woman, who feels stifled by society's conventions, whose father takes on a theatre, as a new business venture, with unexpected consequences.
Jack the Ripper is a steampunk-styled drama based on research into the Ripper, and theories as to his identity.
All funds raised from ticket sales are used to pay the actors and production crew (in equal shares), creating some work for professional creatives during the Covid-19 crisis. #supportuktheatre
Full viewing information and how to buy tickets, is all over on our website's box office page at
We must apologise for the quietness over the last few weeks - lots of things have been happening!
Taming of the Shrew news
First of all, we must apologise for the cancellation of The Taming of the Shrew. Due to illness in the team, it was impossible to continue to the deadline. (for the record those affected are recovering well!). The team behind that project plan to resurrect it in the future, timing to be decided in that team.
Sir Walter's Women
On the plus side, the performance of Sir Walter's Women went very well, with great feedback from the author - we certainly hope to work with Rachel again, especially when shows come back to the live stage in the future. It is wonderful to find a playwright who, like us, loves researched historical plays.
BSL Christmas stories
We are currently working on a pair of children's Christmas stories, both spoken as recordings and recorded in BSL (British Sign Language), which will be available for free via this website, in the next few days. (The signing for the second story is being done as we speak). This project has been very kindly funded by Western Power Distribution. It is the first time we have worked with getting BSL signing (the first of many projects, and increasing the accessibility of our productions) .
Welcoming new stage crew
We are delighted to be welcomeing new stage crew, Sophie on tech and set design, Rebekah who is a trainee ASM and filmmaker, Pete assisting with research and digital shows, and Jean on costuming. We are still looking for a stage lighting/ sound tech to join the crew - please check our Crewing page if you would like to be considered to join our upcoming team.
Next castings coming up:
We have our next open casting announcements coming up. With show dates for both virtual projects and "live" shows in discussion (we have provisional live show dates booked for later in 2021, but of course physical rehearsals and shows are dependant on covid safety, and venues being able to re-open to audience numbers which makes a show tour viable in terms of ticket sales for our actors.).
Please keep an eye on our newsfeed for the latest castings - we hope to announce during either December 2020 or Jan 2021.
We are currently in the final stages of updating the company documents and governance documents. As a lot of these are the policies and procedures by which we run, we ask that all actors, crew and anyone else who works with us, pops over to the Policies page to check up on them. As always it is all just really about checking the latest best practice, and making sure that our paperwork reflects what we do anyway. We find that it is best to keep things open and clear.
Next shows coming up:
Coming up next, we have two virtual shows already planned, Lost Girl and Jack The Ripper, rehearsals for both are well underway, and the tickets are on sale on our box office page
There is a lot of news for a short period of time, that affects most of our shows.
First of all, we are delighted to announce that our first ever Arts Council funded project, True Tales of Spooky Brixham, is now live for public ticket sales. We had a great session with most of the recording work last week, and are doing the final pickups tomorrow. This project will be fundraising for Brixham Theatre, our nearest local theatre, where we always perform for each show tour.
Secondly, theres Jack The Ripper. The live theatre shows were originally planned for the end of January (at Brixham Theatre) but with the governments expectation that Coovid restrictions will go on for another six months, and Brixham Theatre not reopening until May 1st 2021, we will be running a virtual performance in early Feb 2021 (tickets on sale soon), prior to the rebooked tour dates in May for the live performances of Jack the Ripper as originally planned. All venues originally booked will be contacted by the end of the week to rebook.
With this schedule in place, we can also announce that in, the early New Year , we will be castings for our second "live" post-covid show, Shakespeare's Henry V. The dates for this show run will be dictated by our inclusion with Bristol Shakespeare Festival, ideally live, or otherwise as an online show.
With our virtual season, there have been some date changes. The Lost Girl (script by Germaine Shames, based on the novel by DH Lawrence) is being rescheduled for mid January 2021. Between some internal live broadcast logistics, and a delay caused by struggling to cast the older roles, (a new casting advert will go out shortly for those roles) we have postponed the project so that it can be done to best effect and quality..
The other autumn virtual shows, Sir Walter's Women, and The Taming of the Shrew, are unaffected.
Our non-exclusive casting agency also remains open. While our books are closed to actors who have not worked with us (we work on being able to provide personal reccomendations from having ourselves worked with people), our actors are largely available for remote/ home-taped/ virtual/ voice over work, or castings on known Covid-secure sets. Please note that if seeking actors through us, these are all experienced professionals, and must be paid as such.
We have some new work coming in through the agency at the moment, and suitable team members will be approached over the next week or so for the work, which will all be done over Zoom.
We are also in the process of developing a welcome book for those who join our teams for one or more productions. For those newer to working professionally, or who are unsure what to expect, this outlines how things work and organisation expectations, aiming to answer frequently asked questions, and be an easy to access guide. This will be finished by Christmas.
And that's all for the moment. Stay safe, keep battling along, and never stop revelling in creativity!
Updated by our founder