Previous projects and involvements
Beowulf - touring theatre show: November - December 2022
A chieftains magnificent royal hall in Denmark is ravaged by a newly woken creature of the night, and Beowulf, a warrior hero, alongside his small band, travel to the hall to destroy the creature.
He is successful, although encountering two such creatures instead of only the one, before travelling back to his homeland, where war and strife between clans eventually lead to him being crowned king.
But there are other creatures that dwell in the dark places. An escaped slave stealing a golden cup, awakes the dragon, and Beowulf is called upon to defend the people once more...
Staged with drama, action and larger-than-life puppetry, as well as excerpts of the original poem, this is an all-new retelling of the drama.
With both regard for production costs and for the environment, the shows set, props and costumes are all created from recycled and salvaged materials, with no loss of quality in the production itself.
Similarly, the cast - drawn from Torbay and Plymouth - range in experience from those who have performed professionally for decades, to those who are completely new to performing but are seeking to launch their career as actors, with a wide range of ages and skills.
Ben Hur - touring theatre show: April - June 2022.
The story follows a young prince who is accused of attempted murder and sentenced to die as a galley slave, but survives, eventually returning to his homeland, to find that his mother and sister are missing. Despite exacting revenge against the Roman commander who destroyed his family, he finds no peace... until once again his life is changed by two family slaves whom he freed, and a man from Nazareth.
This play is based closely on the novel by Lew Wallace, adapted to be feasible for the stage.
This show took 8 months to rehearse, with the need for meticulously choreographed action scenes, and an enormous amount of costuming and logistics. It has been a fabulous come-back from the pandemic!
Henry V (online theatre show, Edinburgh Fringe, August 2021)
A post-apocalyptic -set production of William Shakespeare's Henry V
Performed and created over Zoom, this show was recorded for screening online via the Edinburgh Fringe Festival's "Fringplayer" in August 2021.
We had hoped to do some live performances in the autumn of 2021, but unfortunately Covid caused unsurmountable issues around that and the production, in discussion with venue, had to be shelved.
The show remains online for viewers, via the online specialist theatre streaming "on demand" service SceneSaver.
To enjoy the show in perpetuity, please pop over to
HENRY V ON SCENESAVER
Henry V marks the closure of our soley online "Lockdown" productions. We are now back in rehearsal for our live stage show, of Ben Hur, rouring in 2022
The Legend of Triniman's Basin (Online show, Nov 2020)
The Devon Legend of Triniman's Basin; researched and commissioned by Ivybridge Community Arts. Performed over Zoom, and edited by members of the South Devon Players Theatre & film Company. The legend of Trinimans's Basin, is a legend taking place around Ivybridge. There are several versions, but the one we are exploring, is thus: According to legend, the young gardener of Stowford House fell in love with the daughter of the family who owned Stowford House. Unfortunatly, he uncurred the wrath of the butler, who eventually murdered him. The butler then went to the River Erne to collect sand to clean away the blood, but in so doing, the rope holding the sacks he had taken for the sand, wrapped around his neck, and he fell into the river and drowned. There is an indented stone in the river, where it is believed he was collecting the sand.
Feedback: What a great job the players have done full credit to all involved during these difficult times ..... so good to see the play brought to life .must say it came as a (good) surprise ..an early xmax present !
Feedback: This is very good.
Congratulations to all those involved - well done! An uplift in these Covid times.
Sir Walter's Women (online theatre, Nov 2020)
This is a one-act drama about the life of Sir Walter Raleigh as he manoeuvres his status as a favourite of Elizabeth I to satisfy his political ambitions. Into the Court arrives Bess Throckmorton. They fall in love and marry in secret, to the great and lasting displeasure of the Queen. The Queen dies and the envious James I comes to power and the play ends with Sir Walter's incarceration, trial and execution.
True Tales of Spooky Brixham (Online show, Oct 2020)
Exploring local folklore; funded by the Arts Council England & Torbay Culture, this film project stars four local actors, who, playing the part of local ghosts, tell four tales of local folklore, researched by our company founder, also a long-term resident of Brixham. In time for Halloween; - Find out why the Smugglers Haunt Hotel, near the library, got it's name. - What is the dark tale of the Black House, near St Mary's Square? - What is the tale of the Coffin House on King Street? - Who is the famous actor whose ghost haunts Brixham Theatre?
Snow (Online show, October 2020)
The second of our main lockdown shows, and the first of our "autumn season"; we reached out to writers and creators who might like to share their scripts with an online audience. Utilizing a structure akin to Cloud Atlas and The Hours, SNOW, by Ashley Griffin, follows three disparate storylines that all revolve around the fairy tale Snow White. Exploring the power and importance of storytelling, in Snow six actors playing multiple roles tell the stories of the Grimm Brothers who originally collected and published the classic fairy tales, the Campbells – a Victorian theatrical family whose lives begin to mirror Snow White, and modern day Astrid – a young woman who, after her abusive mother puts her in a coma, must decide whether or not to wake up. Incorporating aspects of American Gods, and classic storytelling techniques a la Peter and the Starcatcher, SNOW is a dark and moving play that mines our storytelling traditions both in style and subject matter
William Shakespeare's Macbeth (online show, July 2020)
What do you do, when a global pandemic hits, and all your live shows have to be postponed for an unknown period of time?? (cancellation is not a word in our vocabluary, all the planned live shows will happen once it is safe and practicable to do so, when theatres are able to reopen) Many theatre companies have simply had to close, not knowing if or when they will be able to reopen. Most actors and theatre crew, overnight, lost their livlihoods. We had that choice as well, but in the grand tradition of the South Devon Players, finding ways to adapt and survive, we decided to find ways to move our performances online.To try to keep our actors earning at least something from online shows. To remain open - just in cyberspace, until we can reopen in a more traditional manner.
This show brings to live Shakespeare's classical, brutal tragedy, and is performed uncut, with the use of digital backdrops, cross-camera fight choreography, and an international cast.
Archive page here Macbeth Online Programme
The Great Gale of Brixham 1866 - Brixham shows - Dec 2019
In January 1866, a freak easterly storm came up, destroying much of the towns fishing fleet, and other shipping in the Channel. The women of the town, and the few men on shore, came together in a struggle to save whatever they could from the storm, lighting a fire of household possessions on the breakwater to try to guide any surviving ships to safety.
Following the storm, the people of Exeter raised funds for Brixham to have her first RNLI lifeboat, which was delivered to the town later the same year, named The City Of Exeter.
William Shakespeare's Macbeth (second tour) Sept- Oct 2019
Photos by Ange Harper
Les Miserables - Theatre, May/ June 2019 (Brixham shows)
Les Miserables is set in early 19th Century France, and follows the story of Jean Valjean, a convict who through the kindness of others, finds redemption; but, having broken parole and changed his identity in order to make a new life as the kindly mayor of a small town, is hunted mercilessly by Javert, who is unable to believe that anyone with a criminal record, can be anything but evil. After rescuing Cosette, the small daughter of a woman forced into poverty, from near-slavery, and escaping re-arrest by Javert, he reaches Paris. Years later, grown into a beautiful young woman, Cosette falls in love with a student and revolutionary, Marius. But their marriage is forbidden by Marius's aunt, on the eve of 1832 revolution. The revolution is brutally quelled, and Marius is rescued by Jean Valjean. Javert, who had been taken captive by the revolutionaries, is released by Valjean, but unable to comprehend this kind behaviour from someone who he viewed as evil, Javert takes his own life. Marius and Cosette are finally given permission to marry, and Valjean gives them a diary telling his life story....
(rehearsal photos below)
Brixham Before D-day - film, April 2019
This video, made in April 2019, records the memories of Brixham residents who were children in the town during the war. We were going to inclide recreations and cutaways, but in the end, the magic of these wondeful memories, needed to be shown uncut regardless of glitches - with nothing taken away from the history that can be learned from these eyewitness stories. It was truly an honour to be able to record such wonderful stories and meet such wonderful resilient people.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2019 The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company. Reproduction without written permission strictly prohibited.
The Cowtown history concert (collaboration project, March 2019)
On Saturday Night some of our team (Wayne Cutler Allison Abbott Sarah Gregori Fiona Humphreys Laura Jury) supported Friends of Brixham Library with their concert celebrating their historical research of the farming area of Brixham ("Cowtown") as organised by Phil Trayhorn, at St Mary's Church Brixham
Photos by Christine Bovey and Laura Jury
William Shakespeare's Macbeth (Jan/ Feb 2019)
News blog as the project unfolded
“Blood will have blood”
Macbeth, Act 3 scene 4
Shakespeare's classic drama of ambition, power and fate, first thought to be performed in 1606, is now brought to life in a dramatic new adaptation performing the original text, set in a post-World War 3, near-future wasteland.
Performed by a professional cast of locally based actors , this production will come to Brixham Theatre and then Torquay Museum in the New Year. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's best known dramas, alongside King Lear, Orthello, Hamlet, and Romeo & Juliet. It tells the tale of a Scottish war hero, who, tempted by ambition and power, and supernatural whisperings, begins a series of murders, to take and hold the throne. Returning home from war, Macbeth encounters three mysterious women, whose prophecy of kingship, sets in motion his ambition, and ultimately his fall into madness and blood.....
This production design combines the dark aftermarth of a nuclear WW3, the exotic of the supernatural, and dramatic lighting, with immersive soundscapes to create Macbeths world in a new vision of the drama. Months of intensive rehearsal and preparation are taking place to prepare the show, which will be performed around Torbay between January and February 2019, with the production having an emphasis on using recycled materials for costumes and props, wherever possible.
1307 : The Fall of the Knights Templar (June/ July 2018)
Legends remain. What became of the Templars treasure? Were they really heretics or victims of a political trap? Legends also tell of them protecting various secrets, including those that could destroy the church - some of those legends relate to the Holy Grail; the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, or lost gospels, or even that Jesus had descendants, and that they lived on in the "Sangreal" bloodline, the latter explored most famously by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code.
Our production also explores some of the legends in a researched drama set beginning in Acre, and then across the old historical Templar sites of Bristol, Templecombe in Somerset though to Trebeigh in east Cornwall.
More information on the show can be found at THIS link
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Assassins Creed fight show (outdoor performance Oct 2017)
And the Assassins Creed-theme showteam was born, we decided to put together a fight show for the final Brixham Buccaneers Pirate Thursdays. This is a charity, volunteer-run annual series of family friendly events - mainly pirate, but they often want different entertainment, and we work with them a lot.
Lucius, Steve, Ray, Laura and Rich created the final performance. It went so well than we have been asked back for the Pirate Thursdays next summer!
Steampunk Jack the Ripper (stage show, July 2017)
Mordred (stage show, Sept 2016)
TOTNES: STUDIO 31, DARTINGTON HALL Friday Sept 16th 2016
DARTMOUTH: THE FLAVEL ARTS CENTRE Saturday Sept 17th 2016:
Robin of Sherwood (stage show, Jan 2016)
Written by Max Coulson, directed by Ryanna-Mae Lloyd
Survivors of the Titanic: (stage show, September 2015)
FULL SHOW PHOTO GALLERY
The Hunger Games: The Fourth Quarter-Quell (fanfilm/ showreel project)
This has been a sideline project by some of our members, to create a half-hour Hunger Games fanfilm. While obviously money cannot be made from a fanfilm, it did allow for many important possibilities for our members. Many of them are signed to, or hoping to sign to, our casting agency, and wanted to expand their showreels beyond our usual norm of historical drama. It also allowed us to explore new techniques for filming and for our members to practice their film-making skills.
The trailer is complete, with the full film being edited now. (link will be added when the full film is online)
Members are discussing a sequel.
Zorro! The Panto (Jan-Feb 2015)
The Californian town of Torbaymuda is home to the handsome and evil Capistrano, the local mayor, who also runs the local school. Afraid only of his mother, Bertha (an ex-army sergeant major and now self-styled supermodel), Capistrano rules Torbaymuda with terror, and the aid of the beautiful witch Luciana, who has her own plans for the domination first of Torbaymuda, and then the rest of the world. Capistrano and Luciana have designs to steal the pirate treasure discovered by a rather strange tribe of local hippies and surfers, led by their “witch doctor”, Gary, but have reckoned without the fearless champion swordsman, Zorro; the hidden identity of the apparently bumbling geography teacher from the school, Diego de la Vega, who generally lives at the mercy of his students.
A 1920s Cabaret - September 2014
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: June 2014
PROJECT WEB PAGE (with videos and photos)
Les Miserables: The Memoirs of Jean Valjean: Sept - Nov 2013
PHOTO GALLERY & MORE
YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF FILM CLIPS
WATCH THE FULL PRODUCTION (coming soon)
Skypirate fantasy student film... July 1st 2013
Click through HERE for more photos
The Battle of the Winter and Summer Kings - May 26th 2013
Sea Shanties at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club - May 25th 2013
The Ballad of Resurrection Bob (April/ May 2013)
The Ballad Of Resurrection Bob, is not based upon fiction – in fact, it is based upon events that are as true as can be ascertained !
Bob Elliott, nicknamed “Resurrection Bob” lived at what is now the Smugglers Haunt Hotel where a plaque commemorates his escapades. At the time of the story, what is now the hotel was divided into two cottages, and it is believed that the coffin itself, was in the area that is now the Reception. This escapade is believed to have happened in 1851.
With humour, laughter, and a talented cast, this escapade, and its results, are brought to life in an energetic drama for the whole family.
Show audience feedback from The South Devon Players theatre company, Brixham production of The Ballad of Resurrection Bob last weekend:
1) " Very entertaining with impressive creativity"
2) " Another excellent show"
3) " Very good, enjoyed it very much"
4) "Excellent, you obviously enjoyed putting on the play and we really enjoyed the whole production - well done"
5) "Enjoyed the play very much"
Full show page: HERE
A Medieval Christmas 1285 (January 2013)
The theatre show the events in Exeter of that year, as a core storyline, with flashbacks to scenes of the conspirators, and then telling the story of King Edward visiting a local lord who was rumoured (incorrectly) to be implicated in the plot. The show is set in the lords hall while he is holding a Christmas/ Midwinter celebration. Thus, this groundbreaking medieval show is filled with traditional medieval entertainment including mumming, carols, dance, and live harp and flute music, as well as a full scale play. The audience are seated as if in the hall as guests, thus adding to the flavour of a medieval “experience
Click this link for the full story - and watch a video of the production
Brixham Heritage Photoshoot (September 2012)
The Musketeers and the Pirates (July - Sept 2012)
Final performance Sept 6th 2012.
Filming for BBC 2 Escape to the Country, July 2012
Episode to be broadcast sometime in the 2012-2013 winter.
The Wooing of Isabella - July 2012
A humorous drama, researched and written by Natasha Eyre
Feedback from the show The Wooing of Isabella, directed by Natasha Marie Eyre:
- Best local theatre group we know of, fantastically talented!
- Great performance by all, great script, well done to everyone involved!
- Well done Natasha and your cast - pity about the lack of sword fighting, deserved a bigger audience
- Superbly written, good cast, it deserves to have a full house!
(Photos shown are rehearsal images)
The Three Musketeers at Paignton Carnival - July 2012
Our members and supporters who attended, braved blazing hot temperatures and despite the heat, happily dressed up in period costumes - and we ended up winning second prize in the adult pedestrian class!
The Musketeers And The Pirates - Brixham Pirate Festival Performance May 2012
This 20-minute play tells the humourous, fictional story of his attempt to recruit a crew of privateers. Unfortunatly, there is a problem with the small-print, and the Cardinals old nemeses, the Musketeers, are also in town.This show is being performed again every Thursday afternoon, July 26th- Sept 13th for free by Brixhams Old Fishmarket, supporting the Brixham Pirate Thursdays.
Talk about the South Devon Players at Preston Church Hall- Paignton - April 16th 2012
The Great Gale of Brixham 1866 - March/ April 2012
The true story of the Great Gale of Brixham, which occurred on Jan 10th 1866, and destroyed much of the towns fishing fleet, written from eyewitness reports, as a 1-act play. the story told through the eyes of historical people who lived through the storm. One of our members is also conducting a postgraduate research thesis about community theatre and community education, based on this production as a case study.
A massive storm hit Brixham in January 1866 and destroyed much of the fishing fleet (towns main industry) and other shipping sheltering in the bay. The women of the town lit a bonfire by the harbour of all thier household effects to try and guide the men home (bear in mind that was a big deal in those days, they didn't have social security and if the men died they had nothing anyway in general terms). Reports vary but between 100 and 150 people died, and theres a memorial and mass grave in a local churchyard up the road. As a result of the storm the citizens of Exeter raised the money, off thier own bats, for Brixham to have her own lifeboat which was delivered a few months later - hence that Torbay (Torquay/ Paignton/ Brixham etc) has its own RNLI lifeboat to this day).
A Tale of Two Cities The Panto - December 2011
Performed in Brixham and Paignton, during December 2011
Halloween At Lupton House - 2011
The Lost Templar Fleet - August 2011
Wonderful blog entry about our show from an audience member:
With stunning fishing town Brixham as a backdrop its hard to go wrong, particularly for family holiday-makers. The South Devon Players perform historical pieces amongst ice-cream, fish and chips, replica galleons in the harbour, right there in the historic quay-side fish market. Totally open access (to the point where some passers-by become temporary bit-part players) was its strength. As I stood, I heard holiday-making dad's explain to youngsters in Yorkshire, Mancunian and Liverpool accents, “its a play, look”, “A what, dad?”. “Listen, they're telling you a story”. So there's another one, a really good reason to get theatre out there. The beautiful serendipity of just happening across of piece of story-telling, a seed of a notion in a child's mind that performance is fun and perhaps important. Even the temporary appreciation of a harried dad who is just glad of something to distract the kids. Accessibility and new audiences are really good reasons to go out-of-doors.
The Pirate Mutiny - July 8th 2011
High octane pirate themed theatre and combat, as part of the annual Festival Of The Sea.
Improv pirate street theatre and combat workshops - Plymouth. May 22nd 2011
Only a few members of the Players were able to travel up to Plymouth, but it went very well. There is fanatsic feedback from the festival organisers
South Devon Players were way cool in being so adaptable to what the people wanted ! It was fantastic to see all the kids happy faces - David Saunders
You guys were superb! Liz just told me the story of your table - if only I knew I would have blagged you one. I was slammed busy and hardly had a moment free. WE DID IT THOUGH! You were all in from the beginning and I so appreciate your tenacity - Next year is going ahead and there will be more people there. Can I publish your open letter on the blog? Bless your cotton socks and thanks for helping what was a "silly dream" come alive
The Opening of Pirates Of The Carribean; On Stranger Tides; Paignton May 18th 2011
Barbary Pirates - Spring 2011
The Knights Templar at Brixham Museum (April 23 2011)
Find below photos of the team, along with the other lovely people from the museum!
Gentleman Of The Road
The Trial Of Anne Bonney & Mary Reed - Spring 2010
Troy the Panto
The Trial Of Anne Bonney And Mary Reed - Brixham Fishmarket version.
The Squires Temptation - South Devon Players
A saucy "Carry On" comedy by local playwright David Murphy, set in a down-at-heel Tudor tavern.....
Realm Of Heroes - May 2008-March 2009 ( & look out for more!)
A spin-off fantasy drama taking place in a mysterious world inhabited by elves and humans, who seek for a treasure, as war looms.
The Court Of King Arthur - The South Devon Players
A play, of magic, intrigue, sorcery and magic, telling the tale of King Arthur, as a Dark Ages Cornish chieftain.
Brixhams Castle - By the Brixham Battery Heritage Group
in association with the Brixham Battery Museum, and the producers of the Onedin Line. A theatre show charting the story of Brixhams Napoleonic fort, performed in the open pair at Berry Head
The Ballad Of Resurrection Bob - The South Devon Players
A musical of sea shanties and two famous local stories entwined into one - The explots of Brixham's most famous smuggler "Resurrection" Bob Elliott - who lived in what is now the Smugglers Haunt hotel, and the great storm of Brixham in 1866 which wiped out much of the fishing fleet.
CLICK HERE for a streaming version of one of the songs in rehearsal
Robin Hood The Panto - The South Devon Players
Robin Hood The Panto was performed in Brixham, and Berry Pomeroy. A new take on both the art of pantomime, and on the story of Robin Hood
BBC TV and Radio projects - BBC
We were contacted three times for castings during the autumn of 2006, for local BBC projects, both for Inside Out and a radio play about Hallsands
The Christmas Lights at St Marys Square (2006)
The Players were asked to turn on the Christmas lights in Upper Brixham - as pirates!
Royal British Legion Armistice Concert
This concert took place in Brixham Theatre, in November 2006, and featured poetry readings and a wartime play, Brixham At War, performed by members of the Players.
The Tale of Reverend John Prince - The South Devon Players
The comic tale of a South Hams vicar, who was not only a well known author, but whose more nefarious activities with a local girl were supressed - until now! Performed in Torbay and the Totnes area August- September 2006.
Registered at Companies House: Company number 11569166