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Hot off the Press: Dramatis to celebrate First Anniversary with ‘An Evening Soirée’!

Nope, we can’t quite believe it either!

To celebrate our first anniversary, we’re holding an evening of after-dinner entertainment at the Jeneses Arts Centre.

Learn more about the school and our future plans, enjoy two short performances from the Dramatis adults drama group, chat with other local residents over a glass of wine and music from a young musician AND raise money for a Bognor Regis charity. What more reason do you need to switch off the tv and come spend an evening with us instead?!

The first performance is a rehearsed reading. Written by members of Act Your Age (our sociable adults drama group), performers will read through their Sci-Fi/Comedy script based on what happens when the whole world loses their sight.

The second devised performance centres around three women who, while sorting through their recently deceased mother’s belongings, stumble across an object that wreaks havoc.

These performances will be followed by a wine reception.  Accompanied by live music from local musician, Isaiah Brown, it’s a perfect setting for guests to meet and chat with other members of the community!

Tickets are just £5 and include two glasses of wine per person and a £2 donation to Bognor Regis Pier Watch, the local charity that works to protect the Grade II listed building for future generations.

For more information and to buy your ticket, click here.

Hope to see you there!

 

Curtains Up

Curtains Up: Review of Home, I’m Darling

Home, I’m Darling
Duke of York’s Theatre, London
Click Here for more info.

Synopsis
Following a sold-out run at the National Theatre, Laura Wade’s ‘piercingly funny’ new play transfers to the West End for 11 weeks only. Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Humans) reprises her acclaimed role as Judy, in Laura Wade’s fizzing comedy about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950’s housewife. How happily married are the happily married? Every couple needs a little fantasy to keep their marriage sparkling. But behind the gingham curtains, things start to unravel, and being a domestic goddess is not as easy as it seems.

What the Press Say:

“Katherine Parkinson is outstanding. An amusing, affecting, inspiring evening of soft gingham and hard truths.”
The Times

“A cracking new play wittily directed on a fabulous fifties doll-house set.”
Mail on Sunday

“Sharp, funny and sad. Katherine Parkinson is brilliant.”
Independent

Our Reviewer says:

It’s a strange experience to write a review of a play I haven’t seen in its entirety!  Let me explain. All the seats for this play were sold out well in advance of its opening in the West End. Having read rave reviews about its previous performances outside the West End I was desperate to see it ….to the extent that I and my fellow playgoer sat in restricted view seats. And they were restricted to the extent that we couldn’t see all the action! It’s a tribute to the play that, nevertheless,  we thoroughly enjoyed it. Katherine Parkinson  (previous acting roles included being Doc Martin’s receptionist)  commanded the stage. The other actors played their parts more than creditably, but all eyes and ears were on Katherine who played the part of Judy a modern-day woman living out the dream as a would be 50’s housewife. Fantastic 50’s interior and wonderful 50’s clothes and don’t forget the music ‘Why must I be a teenager in love?’ etc etc. Why is she living as if she was a 50’s housewife? The play tells you why and there are a few surprises along the way. The play makes the telling point that we mustn’t get carried away by nostalgia. Katherine’s mother lived through the 50’s. She tells her daughter sharply that it wasn’t all about swishing about in full skirted gingham dresses. It was cold and grey with no central heating and the food was dire. My only quibble is that the reasons behind her adopting a 50’s lifestyle seem a bit thin and rather unlikely but this does not preclude any theatre goer being transported joyfully back to the mock 50’s.

Backstage Chats

Backstage Chats…with Rosie Fletcher

‘Backstage Chats…’ is a series of interviews with our drama heroes! From actors and directors to marketing peeps and crew, these conversations explore life behind the scenes of various drama related careers. We hope they inspire and motivate our Dramatis members in their own journeys to the stage!

This month, we spoke to musical actress extraordinaire Rosie Fletcher. Having trained at the prestigious Arts Education School, Rosie has gone on to perform in a variety of big name shows including Barnum, Wicked and Fiddler on the Roof. Dramatis recently had the pleasure of watching her in her latest role as one of the Fates in Hadestown at The National Theatre.

Dramatis: So, you’ve just been performing in Hadestown; amazing! What was that like for you? Do you just get used to these things as an actress or is each new job just as exciting?

Rosie: Oh it was amazing!  I was actually at another audition when I got the call, I don’t think the makeup artist was too pleased, as I just started bawling my eyes out but yeah, it was incredible, and yes each new project is just as exciting, as its always so different. I mean of course different people, play etc etc but the process can be so different too. When I was in Wicked, there was very much a set way to do things, but it’s been so interesting on Hadestown going through your own creative process and the discoveries you make along the way.

Dramatis: So do you get a long time to rehearse a performance? And how do rehearsals start? We’re always fascinated with the process

Rosie: Yeah, it varies depending on the performance really, but we did have an especially long time to rehearse Hadestown. It was two months of workshopping but you know, it never feels long at the time. And as to how we start; it’s usually with a read through. However, the very first thing we did at Hadestown was to go around the studio discussing what we each wanted to be referred to in terms of pronouns which was really interesting.

Dramatis: Something I’m sure a lot of people wonder: what do you do if you’re in a bad mood that day? Or if something’s gone wrong? I mean how do you get your enthusiasm?!

Rosie: Hahaha, well it’s like any job I guess; after you’ve been doing it for so long you just learn to be professional and say “right this is a job I just have to switch it on” and that’s it really. I mean yeah it’s not easy of course, especially if you have one of those “meh” days but by the time you’re in the theatre, warming up, you pick up on everyone else vibes and you’re in the zone really.

Dramatis: Performing things over and over again…you must surely get bored? Does that affect your performance at all?

Rosie: well yes, it can happen especially if you have an ensemble role and you don’t do too much. Admittedly when I was in Fiddler on the Roof at Chichester Festival Theatre there was one time I forgot to come on! But these things happen, we’re human…even in theatre! But for the most part I just have to be professional and do what I’m paid to do, I mean let’s face it, there are a lot worse jobs you could have right? I’m very lucky.

Dramatis: When you were at the back of the stage in Hadestown miming; what do you say to each other? Are you really talking or just saying rhubarb rhubarb?!

Rosie: Hahah no, we do try to mostly stay in character but there have been occasions especially as it’s The National where you can really see the audience’s faces and get distracted for a second. We all do that thing we did when were children and look out for people we know which can be awkward when your mum’s sat there looking like she might fall asleep  (!) but at least we don’t wave!

Dramatis:  Finally, as we love to hear people’s stories when climbing the ladder to success… what’s the weirdest/ most embarrassing thing you’ve been asked to do in audition?

Rosie: Oh wow, loads really and there will be plenty more to come I’m sure, such is the life of an actress! But erm, let me think….oooh so many! Well not long ago I had to turn up to an audition in a swimming costume (don’t worry, it was just an advert for a phone!) but I ended up borrowing a friends costume, only to find that it had a thong back! I then had to go in and was asked to flirt with my imaginary boyfriend before jumping off a diving board and then imagine I was flying around in space! So there I was in this thong swimming costume not being able to see what I was doing in these goggles and just waving my arms vigorously as if in space. It was…slightly awks to say the least but you just roll with it!

A huge thanks to Rosie for taking the time to speak with us. You can keep updated on her next role by following her on Twitter here. And you can read our review of Hadestown here.

 

Curtains Up

Curtains Up: Review of Hadestown

Hadestown
The National Theatre
Click Here for more info.

Synopsis
Hadestown is the acclaimed new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin that reimagines a sweeping ancient tale as a timeless allegory for our world. Hadestown follows two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit nature against industry, faith against doubt, and love against fear. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

What the Press say:

“Welcome to the intriguing and beautiful world of your next musical theatre obsession” Vogue

“Spellbinding. Hadestown, for a while, makes the whole world forget its troubles” Variety

“A beguiling a haunting fable for today” The Guardian

What our Reviewer says:

It’s safe to say that Hadestown is truly the best thing I have seen in the theatre in years! Making its way from Broadway to The National theatre this year, I couldn’t think of a better spot for its revival. With The National’s stage revolve put to best use and the allusions to current political issues, this alternative musical was very much at home here. An “old story” of the Greek myth (redressed in new clothes) Orpheus and Eurydice becomes almost unrecognisable in Rachel Chavkin and Anais Mitchell’s fantastic reworking into a folk opera. Think the texture of an indie film, meets ragtime jazz, in the deep south. Orpheus is a struggling musician who believes in the power of music to conquer even death and Eurydice, who despite loving him, has to eat. I won’t ruin the ending but down to Hades corporate world she goes, because “what are you gonna do when the chips are down?” Regret, trust, xenophobia and true love are all themes in this one off musical. See it and be changed!

Curtains Up

Curtains Up: Review of Art

Art
Chichester Festival Theatre
Click Here for more info

Synopsis

Art is a phenomenon and one of the most successful comedies ever staged. Having opened in 1996, it took both the West End and Broadway by storm, won the Olivier, Tony, Molière and every other major theatre award, and has been packing in audiences worldwide for more than twenty years. When Serge spends an extortionate amount of money on an all-white modernist painting, his close friends Marc and Yvan are baffled. But does their violent reaction to this provocative canvas mirror more dangerous antagonisms towards each other? Yasmin Reza’s dazzling study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance is a masterpiece. The all-star cast features BAFTA-nominated Nigel Havers (Downton Abbey, Chariots of Fire), Olivier Award-winning Denis Lawson (Bleak House, New Tricks) and British Comedy Award-winning Stephen Tompkinson (The Split, Wild at Heart, Ballykissangel).

What The Press say:

“Stylish, stimulating, beautifully constructed” Mail on Sunday

“Art is a phenomenon” Times

“You’ll roar with laughter” New York Post

Our Reviewer says:

I feel terrible!  A play written more than 20 years ago which has received great critical acclaim starring three brilliant actors Nigel Havers , Denis Lawson and Stephen Tomkinson left me cold. I saw this at Chichester Festival Theatre in January and was bored silly. The acting was superb but an hour or just over of three  men talking about the merits of modern art did my head in! It’s probably fairer to say that this is a play about friendship between men rather than the merits or demerits of modern art. One of the trio  Serge buys an “all-white modernist painting”  and is criticised in earthy language  by his friends  Marc and Yvan for spending so much money . There is little or no action and I have to say that although it is billed as a comedy I only laughed once ……..at the noise of discarded olive stones being spat into a dish in a funeral silence! My fellow theatre goer felt exactly the same. The audience seemed to enjoy the play which is probably why I feel terrible!