Snake in the Grass
12th to 16th February 2019
A psycho-thriller by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Steve Atkins
"A creepily, scarily, eerily enjoyable evening." Sunday Times. “Deliciously creepy.” Variety. “… laughter and spine-tingling horror.” BBC . “more subtle and powerful than the genre would seem to allow.” Guardian.
Undoubtedly a master craftsman in the sphere of comedy, this is one of Sir Alan's few ventures into the scary world of the psychological thriller, and as you might expect, his characters are totally believable, well written and fully three dimensional, complete with dark humour. Set in a large dilapidated garden with a ruined summerhouse, the characters relationships revolve around ‘daddy’, the obnoxious and abusive late owner of the house and garden, who has died three weeks ago.
(Please note that this production contains language that some may find offensive)
9th to 13th April 2019
Highly entertaining and affecting theatre by Alan Bennett, directed by Glynn Oram
"Talking Heads places Alan Bennett in the highest tier of English dramatic writers" (New York Times) "His finest achievement - indeed masterpiece wouldn't be too strong a word" (The Daily Telegraph)
Alan Bennett sealed his reputation as the master of observation with this series of ground-breaking monologues, originally on BBC TV, and then onto BBC Radio, international theatre and even the A Level syllabus. In ‘Soldiering On’ we meet Muriel, a cheerful, no nonsense pillar of the community and volunteer; who attempts to remain cheerful despite what life throws at her. Irene is ‘A Lady of Letters’, who writes to cure societies’ ills as she sees them, until one letter too many results in a life changing event for her. A ‘Bed among the Lentils’ sees Susan, a bored and unhappy vicar’s wife, start a relationship with an Asian grocer which ultimately changes her life.
Additional auditions for Jane Austen’s "Emma" adapted by Martin Millar and Doon MacKichan
Performance Dates: 25 - 29 June 2019
Emma is about youthful pride and foolishness. Jane Austen wrote about Emma “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”. Emma is spoilt and precocious and thinks herself to be naturally gifted in conjuring up love matches. She sets out to find an eligible match for her friend Harriet Smith but her plans go awry, mainly due to Emma’s obsession making her blind to the reality around her. Her brother-in-law and close friend Mr Knightley watches over Emma’s efforts with a critical eye.
Jane Austen herself wrote mainly at night, spending her days looking after her collection of nephews and nieces. Only when her writing was finished would she sometimes allow the stories to be acted out by the youngsters, with Jane often taking the role of the leading man.
This was the inspiration for this adaptation as it is the nieces who act out the majority of the story and play multiple characters. It is fast, witty and vibrant. The nieces create the energy which drives the play. Jane herself narrates and comments on the story whilst also taking on her leading man role of Mr Knightley. Only Emma and Frank Churchill play themselves – there needs to be a sense that they are from another world.
Despite the “youthful” reference I would like to stress that I don’t necessarily plan to cast to age! The exception to this will be Emma and Frank. The most important factor in casting will be the actors’ ability to create the right feeling for each of the characters - and the ability to switch characters rapidly!
Actor 1 - Female Emma (age 20s)
Actor 2 - Female Jane Austen / Mr Knightley
Actor 3 - Female Niece 1 / Miss Bates / Servant/ Messenger
Actor 4 - Female Niece 2 / Jane Fairfax / Postman / Pageboy / Gypsy woman
Actor 5 - Female Niece 3 / Mrs Weston / Mrs Elton / Shopkeeper
Actor 6 - Female Niece 4 / Harriet Smith / Servant
Actor 7 - Male Frank Churchill (age 20s)
Actor 8 - Male Mr Elton / Mr Woodhouse / Robert Martin / Mrs Cole / Gypsy man
Most of the actors will be on stage for the entirety of the play – observing and commenting (and sometimes singing)! Staging will be very simple, using single costume props to indicate the change of character and with the actors creating the image of the scene through ensemble performance. We will have basic costume for the period but with modern touches and twists.
Rehearsals will start in April 2019 and will aim to be 2-3 per week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays although am happy to be flexible where possible but majority will rule!)
I would expect most of the cast to be needed for every rehearsal.
I think this is a really fun adaptation of a classic Jane Austen. I hope you will like it too! If you would like to borrow a script or learn more about the play please do contact me.
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