Press Release: December 30, 2020
Internationally award-winning British theatre company, from Devon, continuing to create groundbreaking theatre work, using digital technologies, during the Covid 19 crisis.
The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, remain active through the Covid crisis, creating virtual theatre productions, as well as planning for the future.
This ongoing “virtual season” is a response to the Covid19 restrictions on performing traditional venue-based theatre. With the second outbreak making it highly unlikely that the actors and crew will be able to return to theatres before the summer of 2021, the Players consider it crucially important to continue to create professional work for creatives, and to send a strong message that we are continuing to create entertainment for existing, and new audiences, and to show that creative, dramatic performances can continue, albeit in a different medium.
While the Players will return to normal theatre performance as soon it is viable and safe for cast and crew, as well as audiences, in line with the current government guidance, they feel it imperative to keep working and creating in the interim.
For the time being therefore, the Players are working over cyberspace, with actors and crew joining us on screen from their home studios, in the UK, and Ireland, creating new dramatic performances online, where audiences all over the world can access the performance, and the cast & crew can earn equal shares of whatever is made from the online performances ticket sales (every penny goes to the actors and crew).
As is widely known, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, has caused the continued postponement and cancellation of live shows for several months, for every theatre in the UK. During lockdown, the South Devon Players decided to resist the trend of companies closing,and the Players decided to create online performances, in which the actors come together to perform online from the safety of their own homes. This in itself has not been easy, as many people in the team, have had to learn new technology & software, and find ways to make it work on household electronics, with the cast and crew working from their lockdown locations mainly in south Devon but also sheltering in place spread across the UK, as well as the Republic of Ireland, and the USA.
The Players keep each show streaming online for 48 hours to allow people to access the shows, regardless of work hours or global time zone
The next upcoming theatre shows begin with a theatrical adaptation of the novel The Lost Girl, by DH Lawrence at the end of January 2021. Alvina Houghton, the headstrong daughter of a widowed Midlands draper, comes of age just as her father’s business is failing. In a desperate attempt to regain his fortune and secure his daughter’s proper place in society, James Houghton buys a theatre. Among the travelling performers he employs is Ciccio, a sensual Italian who immediately captures Alvina’s attention. A celebration of freedom, however fleeting, and a testament to the power of the imagination to transform even the most mundane life.
The script has been vetted by international D.H. Lawrence scholar, Catherine Brown. Jessica Levinson Young, Artistic Director of Untold Theatre, writes, “I absolutely loved this script for The Lost Girl. It has incredible pace and the dialogue simply leaps off the page!" Another of Germaine Shames' D.H. Lawrence adaptations, THE VIRGIN and the GYPSY, received a reading at the 2018 Festival of New American Theatre.
This show is followed, in February 2021, by Jack the Ripper. A steampunk styled drama telling the tale - and some of the theories - behind the notorious 19th century London serial killer, Jack The Ripper.
This play was originally written and toured by the South Devon Players founder, Laura Jury, in 2017, to wide audience acclaim both from audiences and “ripperologist” historians allike and has been resurrected for our virtual performances.
For tickets and more information on either show, we ask that anyone interested visits our website https://www.southdevonplayers.com
The South Devon Players Theatre and Film Company, are developing a proud tradition of creating world-class historical and classical dramas. In 2019, their production of Macbeth, was booked for a second tour and won an international theatre award in New York for its professionalism and creativity. Laura Jury, the director of that production of Macbeth, & many of the Player's shows, and founder of the theatre company, has returned to lead this new project. Laura has also recently been selected to appear in an online Shakespeare project by the Globe Theatre. With lockdown, the Players have been using the internet to perform and stream digital theatre from Brixham, around the world to global audiences, with growing excellent feedback.
The South Devon Players were founded in the winter of 2005-6, on the proceeds of a carboot sale, to create professional opportunities for local actors, and has flourished ever since; previously winning national and regional arts awards, including the national Epic Award 2017 for England, a national arts award celebrating creativity and innovation in grassroots arts. Based in Brixham, a fishing port in Southwest England, the Players primarily specialise in researched historical theatre productions and adaptations of classical literature.