'Hansel & Gretel' for Christmas 2019 is now scripted (1st Draft).
This the darkest of Grimm's tales has thrown up many issues in our crafting which makes it unsuitable for younger children; we have therefore marked the poster as 12A as in the cinema. The script will deal with issues surrounding child abuse and how far an abused person can go to protect themselves against ongoing abuse; we also deal with issues about the apportionment of blame in abuse cases and many other challenging topics. As well as performing at Christmas we will be presenting a workshop about the devising of Hansel & Gretel for 'Everybody's Reading Festival' in Leicester on the 6th October 7pm @ Pork Pie Lbrary - Admission Free.
Earlier in the afternoon at Pork Pie Library on the 6th October at 3pm we will be presenting for children and adults our adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Ugly Duckling'. We are also intending that both children and adults can follow the show with some 'colouring in'. More details nearer the time. Again admission is free and tickets for both shows can be reserved at the Pork Pie Library or on our website.
December 2018 at The Swan in the Rushes - 'A Child's Christmasin Wales' - Dylan Thomas
2019 will involve an 'outreach project' with members of the group presenting in Loughborough and supporting a group in Keighley West Yorkshire to also perform 'Vagina Monologues' V-Day projects (a new treatment by Lisa Wood) - 28thFebruary, 1st & 2nd March 2019 in Loughborough (Fearon Hall) & 6, 7, 8th March at Kala Sangam Arts Centre, Bradford.
We have got the rights for April/May 2019 to perform Dario Fo's classic political piece 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist, but intend to try and reschedule this for 2020.
May/June/September 2019 we hope to begin work on a presentation based on Richard Bach's 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', for presentation in October for Everybody's Reading Festival and at Swan in the Rushes.
Why not contact us and think about being involved in a 'Stage Left Theatre Workshop' production. No previous experience is necessary and we guarantee that you will have an exciting and challenging time. We always introduce people new to performance in a protected way.
Reviews of Everybody's Reading presentations October 2018 @ Pork Pie Library.
Due to bad weather, an accident on the M1 and Leicester playing at home audiences were smaller than expected, but both performances were enthusiastically received. Parents who came with children to 'Ugly Duckling' were vociferous in saying there should be more shows like this, accessible to younger children. It was a delight to see and hear a two year old, quacking with the ducks and wildly barking with the savage dog. We love this space and its links with that famous daughter of Leicester, writer Sue Townsend. We look forward to presenting there again in the future.
Equally the workshop presentation of how we crafted our script for our forthcoming production of 'Hansel and Gretel' was received with requests that more presentations such as this would provide an invaluable resource for theatre groups and schools across the county. Some of the ideas created by those present will be used in final re-writes of the script.
(The above comments were drawn from feedback forms completed by people attending the performances.)
'A Child's Christmas in Wales'
Our first show at 'The Swan in the Rushes' was well received by audiences, who were excited to see a rarely performed presentation of this Dylan Thomas classic tale. The cast of 4 engaged the audience with skill and charm as they unfolded Thomas' remembrances of his childhood Christmas memories. This is a story worthy of further exploration/development and a second viewing at some time in the future. Collections taken at the performances and donations from the group allowed £100 to be given to 'Save the Chidren Fund', as the performance left the audience reflecting that unlike the granddaughter in the play, for many a lack of snow at Christmas would be the least of their worries.
Vagina Monologues Reviews:
One critic writing in 2006 described The Vagina Monologues as ‘probably the most important piece of political theater (sic) of the last decade’.
It’s a bold statement that needs some living up to. One thing, nevertheless, should not be in doubt, it is a vital work about women performed by women that opens up the world to both sexes about what it is like to be female in societies that remain predominantly patriarchal, and where accordingly women often suffer discrimination and frequently abuse.
SLTW first performed ‘TVM’ in 2014 and it was viewed as one of the company’s most successful shows. It raised over £1 thousand pounds for a local charity, 'Living Without Abuse'. Raising money for the non-profit V-Day movement created by the author, Eve Ensler, is a rationale behind staging this work of hers.
This year, SLTW member, Diana Reed, decided that she would like to see The Vagina Monologues performed by some female abuse survivors who she had worked with in Keighley. The company, therefore, decided to undertake a first for them by presenting the show both at one of their home bases at Fearon Hall in Loughborough and in West Yorkshire.
It was a big venture utilising most of the company’s creative team.
But it certainly paid off.
Once again, audiences in Loughborough responded and they were not disappointed. They were treated to a multi-media spectacular centred around the now familiar screen and back-projector that has become a feature of many SLTW shows. Supplement this with audio tracks and we had theatre for the twenty-first century.
But theatre is still about a communion between live actors and spectators to view them.
The new production had stalwarts from the 2014 show in Madeline Brookman, Daniela Buttarazzi, Colette Neilson, Jennifer Tillotson and Lisa Wood, who directed both productions. Once more they rose wonderfully to the occasion.
Jennifer Tillotson’s performance in The Flood was superb five years ago, but I have to say the delivery was even better on this occasion, giving it an increased poignancy. You may have gathered this particular monologue is a favourite of mine.
They were joined by Alex Fowkes, Emma and Leah Palfreyman and Diana Reed.
I have had the privilege to write in the past for Leah, and I have watched this young performer grow in confidence and competency since she first joined the company for The Tale of the Ugly Duckling. The message of My Short Skirt, that is, what women wear is not an invitation for sexual assault and abuse is arguably not an easy one for a teenager to give, but Leah presented a convincing performance that showed the maturity she has as an actor.
Singling out anyone in this production is a little unfair as SLTW prides itself on its ensemble work and in this production every single performer was on the money with some of the best acting I have seen from the company. Any professional theatre company anywhere would have been proud of this achievement.
But almost immediately I had seen the show I wrote the following on my personal Facebook page and some weeks on, I still feel the same:
Alex [Fowkes] had, in my opinion, one of the hardest pieces to perform, sexual abuse during the war in Bosnia and she rose to the challenge brilliantly. It was a lesson on how one performer can switch between characters seamlessly and by god did it move me with its power.
Those of us who lived through the collapse of the former Yugoslavia and its aftermath know that the stories that came out of Kosovo and in general Bosnia and Herzegovina were horrific. This makes this particular monologue harrowing, but it was beautifully handled, which is not only a credit to Alex, but her director Lisa Wood.
It was a nice touch to finish the evening with a video from the 'Surviving Sistas' who together with Madeline Brookman, Emma Palfreyman, Diana Reed, Jennifer Tillotson and Lisa Wood performed the show in Bradford.
Of course, those performances have now taken place to critical acclaim, and significant monies from both Loughborough and Keighley/Bradford are in the process of being donated to Living Without Abuse, Loughborough, Keighley DVS and (Women in Prison, Detention Centres and Formerly Incarcerated Women), the latter being the spotlight V-Day campaign.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach
In June our rehearsed reading of Jonathan Livingston Seagull was presented at Hop Loft, Swan in the Rushes on 2 nights.
The audience really appreciated the skill demonstrated by the cast of 6 in their reading of this iconic story of aspiration demonstrated by Jonathan as e strives to fly better,faster and with a desire to always push to be better. The cast were truly magnificent in their performance of the piece and interestingly spoke of how the demands of live reading of a text presewnts a performer with new demands than words that have been learnt, and indeed that the level of concentration demanded in 1hr 25 minutes of reading as an ensemble is intense. They now will present the piece at Pork Pie Library on October 12 as a part of Leicester's 'Everybody's Reading Festival'.