Graduating from Hit Film to Stage Success

April 25, 2016

It launched Dustin Hoffman’s career and was one of the most iconic films of the ‘60s. Now ‘The Graduate’ is coming to Newport’s Dolman Theatre.

"Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs Robinson?" asks Ben (Chris Harris). (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs Robinson?” asks Ben (Chris Harris). (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Benjamin (Chris Harris) is initiated into sex by Mrs Robinson (Kate Summers) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Benjamin (Chris Harris) is initiated into sex by Mrs Robinson (Kate Summers) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Audiences can follow the disastrous sexual odyssey of Benjamin Braddock as he is initiated into sex by the woman he always addresses as Mrs Robinson.

She is a middle-aged married woman with a drink problem, who also happens to be a friend of his parents.

Mrs Robinson (Kate Summers) is not happy when Benjamin (Chris Harris) starts dating her daughter Elaine (Catherine Morgan). (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Mrs Robinson (Kate Summers) is not happy when Benjamin (Chris Harris) starts dating her daughter Elaine (Catherine Morgan). (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

They pressure him to date a girl of his own age and complications arise when the girl is none other than Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine.

A sparkling satire on middle class, aspiring America, the play offers a fascinating take on the expectations of parents and the reflected glory of designer offspring.

The Graduate is at the Dolman Theatre from Tuesday 10 – Friday 13 May at 7.15 pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday 14 at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

Ben's (Chris Harris). proud parents (Rob and Claire Jacob) welcome him home from college. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Ben’s (Chris Harris) proud parents (Rob and Claire Jacob) welcome him home from college. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Advertisements

Playgoers Set to Raise Curtain on New Season

July 28, 2015

Never let it be said that Newport Playgoers rest on their laurels. After a highly successful season that saw them win several awards, the local amateur dramatic society is preparing to unveil a new programme of plays.

Playgoers’ new season opens with ‘Up Pompeii’. Previously Playgoers ventured to ancient Rome with ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum’. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Playgoers’ new season opens with ‘Up Pompeii’. Previously Playgoers ventured to ancient Rome with ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum’. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Rehearsals are already well under way for September’s offering, ‘Up Pompeii’, the stage version of the show that Frankie Howerd made such a hit on TV. Like Playgoers’ last venture to ancient Rome, ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum’, this romp is packed with nubile slave girls and saucy double meanings that are sure to raise lots of belly laughs.

In contrast, October’s play is Charles Dickens’ spooky classic ‘The Haunting’. It’s followed by ‘The Ladykillers’ based on the much-loved Ealing comedy about a gang of crooks in a boarding house and their clumsy attempts to murder their little old landlady.

The new year brings ‘As You Like It’ which is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies with its heroine, Rosalind praised as one of his most inspiring characters. There’s plenty of black humour as well as drama in ‘The Anniversary’ in which a domineering mother keeps a tight hold on all three of her sons with gifts, threats and ruthless exploitation of their weaknesses – but as the family is brought together to celebrate Mum’s wedding anniversary (regardless of deceased Dad) revolt is in the air.

One of the highlights of last season - ‘According to Claudia’ by local writer Phil Mansell won the award for Best Play presented by the Gwent Drama League. (PHOTO; PHIL MANSELL)

One of the highlights of last season – ‘According to Claudia’ by local writer Phil Mansell won the award for Best Play presented by the Gwent Drama League with several cast members nominated for best actor awards. (PHOTO; PHIL MANSELL)

Playgoers New Generation take to the stage in March with a play about the swashbuckling adventures of ‘Robin Hood’, and this is followed Ibsen’s classic story of repressed Scandinavian sexuality, ‘Ghosts’.

On a lighter note, May sees the stage version of the 1960s film classic ‘The Graduate’ in which young Benjamin Braddock, who is worried about his future, is seduced by the infamous Mrs Robinson. The season ends with ‘Maurice’s Jubilee’, a play set in the royal celebrations of 1977. This play by award-winning actress and writer Nichola McAuliffe. is a funny and poignant exploration of one man’s enduring commitment to his dream of meeting the Queen – and an eternal love triangle fallen on hard times.

Another winning play  from last season – the musical comedy ‘Nunsense’ won the award for Best Overall Production. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Another winning play from last season – the musical comedy ‘Nunsense’ won the award for Best Overall Production. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

It all adds up to a season of plays with something for everyone. A new innovation will be the introduction of signing for the deaf on the Thursday evening performance of every play.

Playgoers who own and run the city’s 400-seat Dolman Theatre are always looking for new members and have a special introductory offer of a first year’s membership for £70 for adults (a saving of £42.50) or £35 for students (a saving of £41.50). They are always looking for volunteers keen to help out with the staging of each production. This includes everything from doing front of house, box office or serving refreshments and sweets and programmes. Or maybe you have the urge to tread the boards or work backstage. Everyone is welcome – you’ll find it’s a great way to make new friends – and have fun! For more information or to book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.


Playgoers introduce Signing for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

May 27, 2015

Following the success of a trial run, Newport Playgoers will be using signing for theatregoers who are deaf or hard of hearing at their next production, ‘Nunsense’ – as well as for at least six of their next season’s productions.

Signing expert Gaye Hampton is pictured (second from left at the back) getting in the mood by donning a habit and joining the cast of Nunsense in rehearsals. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Signing expert Gaye Hampton is pictured (second from left at the back) getting in the mood by donning a habit and joining the cast of Nunsense in rehearsals. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The signing will be done by Gaye Hampton from the Sign Language Studies Centre which provides deaf, deaf blind and disability training and consultancy services to both individuals and organisations at their centre in Newport or in-house across the UK.

Gaye, who is profoundly deaf herself,  is committed to improving communication and access for all deaf, deafblind and disabled people.

Gaye has a keen interest in the entertainment world and is working with Claudia Barnes, chairperson of Playgoers’ Artistic committee, to develop a project where the Dolman theatre becomes more accessible to deaf people by provision of an interpreter for some of the productions throughout the year.

The signing symbol which will be displayed on posters and the website when signing will be available for a Playgoers perfromance

The signing symbol which will be displayed on posters and the website when signing will be available for a Playgoers perfromance

As well as June’s production of the musical romp ‘Nunsense’, signing will be used at the Thursday evening performance of  six of next season’s plays including ‘The Ladykillers’, ‘The Graduate’ and ‘The Haunting’.

‘Nunsense’ is at the Dolman Theatre from 17 – 20 June at 7.15 pm, with a matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. There will be signing for the deaf and hard of hearing members of the audience at the Saturday night performance. For more information or to book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.