Great opening night for No Holds Bard!

March 16, 2012

The No Holds Bard festival of new one act plays enjoyed a very good opening night – with above average audience numbers for a Thursday.  The plays combine stand-up comedy, bloody sword fights and romantic mix-ups to give a modern take on Shakespeare’s plots and turn them into plays for today.

The festival showcases four plays that won a competition run by Newport Playgoers as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project. Sponsored by our local newspaper, the South Wales Argus, the ‘No Holds Bard’ festival is at the Dolman Theatre from 15th – 17th March. For a taste of the plays check out the photos below:

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Argus Sponsors Festival of New Plays at the Dolman Theatre

March 2, 2012

The South Wales Argus is sponsoring a festival of new one act plays that combine stand-up comedy, bloody sword fights and romantic mix-ups to give a modern take on Shakespeare. The ‘No Holds Bard’ festival at the Dolman Theatre from 15th – 17th March, promises to be an evening of lively entertainment that makes Shakespeare totally accessible for today’s audiences and turns his plots into plays for today.

A scene from 'Roman and Julia' by gary Dooley

A tender moment between two people (Rose Bissex and Daniel Penfold) who meet in 'Roman and Julia' by Gary Dooley

The festival showcases four plays that won a competition run by Newport Playgoers as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project. One play will go on to be staged at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre – and possibly to Stratford as part of the World Shakespeare Year celebrations.

Two of the plays – ‘Poor Yorick’ by Phil Mansell from Newport, and ‘Only Words Remain’ by Kevin Myers of Cardiff– are by writers who are no strangers to having plays staged at the Dolman. Kevin’s play ‘Surviving the Century’ and Phil’s play ‘Bunkered’ were two of the four winners of a highly successful golf-themed writing competition organised to tie in with the Ryder Cup coming to Newport.

A scene from 'Poor Yorick' by Phil Mansell

Yorick (Will Smith-Haddon) and Hamlet (Chris Powell) plot revenge and job opportunities while Queen Gertrude (Sue Morgan) looks on in ‘Poor Yorick’ by Phil Mansell.

The other two winning plays to be performed as part of the festival are ‘To Sleep Perchance to Die’ by Russell Walker and ‘Roman and Julia’ by Gary Dooley.

“The aim of the competition was to give a new twist on Shakespeare and create plays that today’s audiences will enjoy and connect with,” said Playgoers’ President Richard Dymond, “I hope the people of south Wales will come along and enjoy an evening that looks set to be full of fun and surprises.

A scene from 'Only Words remain' by Kevin Myers

A mysterious elderly man (Chris Bissex) meets a woman from his past (Lillian Hynes) in ‘Only Words Remain’ by Kevin Myers.

”We are particularly pleased and proud that our local newspaper, the Argus, has kindly sponsored the three night festival of one act plays,” he added.

A scene from 'To Sleep Perchance to Die' by Russell Walker

The Dreamer (Luke Bowkett) faces another scary moment as he lives the actor’s nightmare over and over again in ‘To Sleep Perchance to Die’ by Russell Walker.

Tickets for the ‘No Holds Bard’ festival, which is at the Dolman Theatre from 15 – 17 March, can be booked by phoning the box office on 01633 263670 or visiting dolmantheatre.co.uk.

 


Actors wanted for RSC Open Stages!

November 24, 2011

CALLING all actors! Here’s your chance to be in one of the four plays selected for the No Holds Bard festival of one act plays, which is Playgoers’ contribution to the UK-wide RSC Open Stages event.  The plays will be performed 15 -17 March 2012 on the main stage.  Each play is about 20 to 30 minutes with no more than 6 cast members. Sets will be simple, with the build starting on 12 March. 

This is your chance to be part of an exciting project co-ordinated by the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).  Its aim is to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre to re-forge the bond with the world of professional theatre.  Newport Playgoers is proud to be part of this scheme which will culminate in a national showcase of amateur performances at the RSC’s home inStratford-upon-Avon, to coincide with the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012.

 The Winning Plays and Playwrights

Kevin Myers

Kevin Myers

Only Words Remain’ by Kevin Myers

 Staff at a nursing home are faced with a puzzle when an elderly man with no name is placed in their care. But who is the mysterious Mr Smith? A story about love, loss and the power and persistence of language.

 

 

 

Russell Walker

Russell Walker

To Dream Perchance to Die’ by Russell Walker

A play exploring everty actor’s nightmare as it happens over and over and over again.

 

 

 

Phil Mansell

Phil Mansell

Poor Yorick’ by Phil Mansell

Yorick the jester is not dead – he’s on the road dying a death as he pioneers a new kind of comedy called stand-up. When this fails he is persuaded by his tavern wench girlfriend Bess to return to Elsinore and get his old job back – but when he arrives he finds there have been many changes, and he becomes embroiled in Hamlet’s plans for revenge.

 

 

Gary Dooley

Gary Dooley

Roman and Julia’ by Gary Dooley

The course of true love for an elderly couple in a nursing home runs far from smooth – until a friend lends a hand.