Monday, 13 July 2009


The tiny snowball that was pushed from the top of a hill all those weeks ago has gained huge proportions and is now hammering along at a great rate of knots. Unstoppable.

Welcome to Phil, our new Friar Francis, and his wife (Phil's, not the Friar's) Pam, who is joining the ranks of the ladies of the court.

We are ready for the off. Fine tuning the dancing; tweaking the moves; playing with characterisations.
Jane is off to Stratford-upon-Avon tomorrow, to spend a long, long day rummaging through the labrynthian warehouse that is the RSC costume department.
Photo-shoot on Friday then a final, mad rush to get the programme off to the printers.

This Saturday - 18th - we will be wandering round Dartmouth with Mock Hobby Horse, the band who will playing live during the performances, handing out flyers and reminding people of the upcoming event.
T-shirts will be on sale, C.D.'s too.

It's all very exciting.
The tickets are on sale at the Tourist Information Centre...and we have a meal-deal happening with The Dartmouth Apprentice. The details will be given you when you buy your tickets, but it's very special.

Keep an eye open in the programme for your chance to win an exclusive, one off t-shirt. It will be the only one of its kind!

Looking forward to it now.

Monday, 15 June 2009


Everything is just going SO well, it makes you kind of wonder what might go...NO! Not going there! We are, in the greater scheme of things, well in advance of ourselves; many books are down and we're getting into the nitty gritty of moves and character. It's all VERY exciting!
Thanks to everyone for their marvellous efforts.
Tickets are in the pipe-line AND


We have T-shirts! Drop us a line from the web-site
if you would like one! We have Small, Medium, Large, Xlarge and XXlarge.
Only a tenner!

I will try to keep more news on the blog; apologies for laxness!
See you soon!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

the local journo

It's the biggest one I've ever seen - zoom zoom

Proof, if proof were needed!

It's amazing what you can do with skill, a few pins and a couple of tablecloths! Here's our Lucy having her hem tampered with by Jenny.

Just a short post to show you what we get up to at rehearsals and to prove that it is fun, not all serious actorly discussions about motivation and charater! Although that does have its place...sometimes. A good time was had by all.

We're getting into the serious stuff now, refining and adding to the characters, playing about with positions, trying to imagine what it is going to look like up at the Castle. Some of the moves will change, there's no doubt about that, but what is so fascinating, as Malcolm observed, is watching the words on a piece of paper, suddenly springing to life. Makes it all worthwhile.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Updates and So On.

You can always tell when a production is gathering pace, there's just so much going on at rehearsals! Several people wandering round, wrapped in what looked like old curtains (and probably were!) and bits of salvaged ball-gown from from the 60's, being chased by Janie and Jenny, pins clamped derterminedly between their teeth, trying to get some idea of what the finished costume will look like. And if it will fit.

As Malcolm moves people round the makeshift staging area, playing with positions and starting to build the characters, there are other, smaller groups, heads buried in their scripts, getting a handle on their characters and, if they're anything like me, trying to decipher what it is the people are actually saying! As has been mentioned before, thank heavens for 'No Fear Shakespeare'.

We're only a couple of weeks in and the production is already starting to shape up nicely. If the audience laugh half as much as we do when we're rehearsing, it's going to be hilarious.
Dogberry and his Watch are already starting to look as if they will out-do the Mechanicals from MSND and the trio of drunkards from The Tempest, in terms of comedic presence.
It's really fascinating to see how a performance comes together...and Beatrice and Benedick had one of those 'WOW' moments last night, when they did a pivotal scene together; watch out on the night!


For those who may not have a schedule, please be aware that the first rehearsal next week is on

MONDAY 18th at 7pm in the Guildhall - there is NO Tuesday rehearsal that week.

Back to normal on Friday.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Still looking...

...for a Friar, but other than that, everything is zipping along in the most amazing way! The enthusiasm that was apparent at the rehearsals on Tuesday was something to see (and feel!) many people.

As ever, the mood was light but the ideas were flowing and Malcolm seemed to floating around with a huge, beatific grin on his face. And well he may; we've got a terrific cast, some who have never performed Shakespeare before; but they're getting to grips with it all in the most surprising way. Thank you 'No Fear Shakespeare'.

As the weeks progress, we'll be taking some rehearsal photos and putting a small selection up here, but the bulk of them will be on the web-site (for the uninitiated, here it is again ) so pop over and have a look.

Keep your eyes open for things happening around Dartmouth, in relation to Dartmouth Shakespeare Week, and we'll also have the DSW t-shirts on sale in the next couple of weeks too - and that's another first for us.

Malcolm will be sticking a post or two up here in the not too distant future, just to let people know what goes through the mind of a Director putting on a production of this size...other than blind panic!

Been talking about next year's production already!! Let us know what you think. These are the short-listed plays:
King Lear

Going in a completely other direction next year, it seems, AND another new apsect: we will be having TWO directors! count 'em...2.
Janie (The Tempest) and Gil (who directed 'Buying Back The Past') will be taking up the challenge. Already looking forward to it!

Get in touch about the choices...always good to get feedback and suggestions.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Just in Case... hadn't noticed (like me!) there are NO REHEARSALS this Friday ( 8th May ). So we can spend the evening trawling the attractions of the Dartmouth Music Festival instead! And do the same Saturday and Sunday!

Back to it on the following Tuesday though!

Janie started the laborious task of measuring everyone in the cast this Tuesday and also began looking at the material she has in store. Amazon is an excellent place for finding what you need and she has recently found a book full of patterns for Elizabethan clothes; you can guarantee that this will be getting much use over the next couple of months. You can also reckon on the costumes, that she and Jenny will be making, being spectacular. At some point in the not too distant future, there will be the usual excursion to the Royal Shakespeare Costume department, in Stratford-Upon-Avon, to chose the principal's attire. The RSC costume facility is an incredible place; the size of a couple of aircraft-hangers and spread over three floors, you can find pretty much anything that you might need for your production...and not necessarily Shakespearean!
This is a photo from 'The Tempest' and you can get some idea of the costume-making skills by having a look at the male costumes on show here.
Ariel's costume (you can see her to the left, standing on the deck of the galleon) was designed and made by Kelly and Jacqui of Ethera, in Dartmouth.
It feels like we're really on the road when you start getting tape measures wrapped round you and people asking what size shoes you take. 8, if anyone's interested!