The Company

Site-specific theatre

Montfort’s March, May 2014 – Site specific play commemorating the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes

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Shortlisted for the 2011 South East Co-operative Community Awards

 

Montfort’s March

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Montfort’s March

It is the morning before the Battle of Lewes and Simon de Montfort’s army is camped in East Chiltington
ready to set off onto the Downs to Lewes, to surprise Henry III. Do you have what it takes to join De
Montfort’s Army?  This new site-specific play is suitable for anyone who can manage the 4 mile walk over the Downs , and is willing to help the spread of democracy!

Performances on 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 18th May, with bus pick up at 2pm,
except the special twilight performance on the  anniversary of the battle on 14th May, at 6pm.
Tickets available from the Lewes Tourist Information Centre,  187 High St, Tel 01273 483 448 and
the Brighton Festival Fringe, Tel 01273 917 272 or www.brightonfringe.org

For all performances meet at the Bus Stop on the Nevill Road/A275 (opposite Nevill Crescent), Lewes, BN7 1NA.

Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear for a 4 mile walk, and bring a cold drink. There are no toilet facilities available during the performance.  No dogs please.

Montfort’s March is part of  Battle of Lewes 750, and is supported by Art’s Council England, the South Downs National Park, the Houses of Parliament, the East Sussex Art’s Partnership, Lewes District Council, Lewes Town Council, Adams and Remers, Bill’s of Lewes, and East Chiltington and Hamsey Parish Councils.

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Steyning Festival Theatre Trails - Sunday 1st  & Sunday 8th June

The return of the ever popular Theatre Trails – 6 unperformed and unpublished plays are given their first outing with these rehearsed readings, with each play performed in a different venue.  Lunch is sandwiched between the 2nd and 3rd plays, and there is a Q & A session at the end hosted by the Steyning actor Gary Whelan.

Previous Productions

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Mr Punch’s Pleasure Palace

It’s 1933 and even a small seaside town like Bexhill feels the wind of change.  The socialist Earl De La Warr is leading the way to build a People’s Palace on the seafront, but will the town follow his lead?

Written by Suzi Hopkins, and directed by Stephen Israel, this site specific promenade production was built around the De La Warr Pavilion, and the Colonnade, at Bexhill.  With a community cast of 42, working alongside professional actors, director and designer, this production beat the summer gales with the enthusiasm of the cast.

“On a very, very windy but wonderful Thursday evening  I saw your production of Mr Punch’s Palace and was struck by the energy and skill of the performance ~ even helped carry Mr Punch’s booth in the gale…good fun!”
Audience Member

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Up In Smoke

Performed on a steam train travelling between Tunbridge Wells and Groombridge, this site specific production looked at the effects of Great War and the general election held on December 14th 1918, when women voted for the very first time.

Commissioned by The Weald Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme, in partnership with the Tunbridge Wells Museum and the Spa Valley Railway.

“A unique experience.”

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Where Be Dragons

St Leonard’s Forest played host to a tale of dragons, smugglers and Percy Bysshe Shelley, in this family theatre trail.

Commissioned by the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership Scheme, and supported by WSCC and the Forestry Commission.

“Absolutely fantastic!!”

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The Jigsaw Puzzle

This modern interpretation of Hippolytus was written as a celebration of the centenary  of the Stoneland Players (their first ever performance was Hippolytus in 1910). It was performed by, and for, the community of West Hoathly in the beautiful Church and Churchyard, and the topiary gardens of the Jacobean Manor House.   Nearly all the characters were based on real people who lived in West Hoathly at the time of the 1911 census. This play, with traditional folk music,  was commissioned by the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership Scheme, and supported by the Art’s Council, WSCC, Mid Sussex DC & West Hoathly PC.

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And that will never be…

This site specific theatre trail led the audience through the strictures of Puritan Sussex to the narrow mindedness of Victorian England, sampling fresh gingered bread on the way.  Set amidst the historical buildings of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, with traditional English folksongs and rumbustious humour.  Commissioned by the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum and supported by WSCC & Awards for All.

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Warren Broadwater

A site specific family theatre trail at Broadwater Warren RSPB Reverse, The Professor and Miss Daphne Crufts (together with her pooch Lady), argued and explored the conservation issues surrounding regeneration of the ancient lowland heath site.

Commissioned by the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership Scheme, and supported by ESCC and the RSPB.

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Peacehaven on Special Offer

This site specific play, with music, performed in ‘The Dell’ on the seafront, celebrated the eccentric development of the town of Peacehaven from the 1912 up to the 1950s. It was commissioned by Peacehaven TC, supported by ESCC, the Co-op & Southern Water.

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Gert & Daisy & the Irish Affair

The famous music hall duo, ‘Gert and Daisy’,  led their audience through the beautiful town of Steyning, recreating with songs and humour, the tragic story of Charles Stuart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea.

Commissioned by the Steyning Festival and supported by WSCC.

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Off the Buses!

Audiences were taken to the heart of unions and racism in 1950’s Britain, as they rode vintage buses, answered old fashioned telephones, joined a wildcat strike, and ate spam sandwiches!

This site-specific play was written for the eclectic and wonderful Amberley Working Museum, and was commissioned by Poems and Puddings.

Reg Varney, eat your heart out Blakey

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Centuries Apart

Directed by Stephen Israel, and commissioned by Poems & Puddings, this Site Specific Trail explored the conflict of love and duty across two and a half centuries.  The audience experienced the action in and around the period houses of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, against the backdrop of the rolling South Downs.

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Glucksteyne

This play looked at artists and poets who had lived in the town of Steyning (including W B Yeats, Hannah Gluckstein and Aleister Crowley). The audience were led through the historic homes and streets of Steyning by a local historian, as the tale of fame, failure and reward unfolded around them.

Commissioned for the inaugural Steyning Festival by the festival & Poems & Puddings.

“One of the most amazing things the festival has produced” Artistic director of the Steyning festival

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Ostrich Feathers

Love and anti-Semitism were rife around the woods and lake of Buchan Country Park, as the audience were led by an ESCC Park Ranger on this site specific theatre trail.

Commissioned by Poems & Puddings as part of the Walking West Sussex Festival

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And His Name Was Jim…

Directed by Clive Holland, this 18 date tour of Village Halls and Art Centres in Kent and Sussex, was funded by WSCC, Applause, Lewes District Council and Rother Council.

  • Mr Punch’s Pleasure Palace

    Mr Punch’s Pleasure Palace

  • Up In Smoke

    Up In Smoke

  • Where Be Dragons

    Where Be Dragons

  • The Jigsaw Puzzle

    The Jigsaw Puzzle

  • And that will never be…

    And that will never be…

  • Warren Broadwater

    Warren Broadwater

  • Peacehaven on Special Offer

    Peacehaven on Special Offer

  • Gert & Daisy & the Irish Affair

    Gert & Daisy & the Irish Affair

  • Off the Buses!

    Off the Buses!

  • Centuries Apart

    Centuries Apart

  • Glucksteyne

    Glucksteyne

  • Ostrich Feathers

    Ostrich Feathers

  • And His Name Was Jim…

    And His Name Was Jim…

Future

“You can’t see the wood for the trees…”, October 2013

An in house performance piece for the Bourne Free Youth Club, Eastbourne,  in association with Rhythmix.

De La Warr Pavilion, 29th March 2014

A youth performance project, celebrating the Bexhill Museum’s centenary, inspired by the stories of its founders.

In partnership with the Bexhill Museum and the De La Warr Pavilion.

Steyning Festival Theatre Trails, 25th May & 8th June 2014

Six unperformed and unpublished plays performed in site-specific venues all around Steyning.  This will be the 6th outing for the ever popular trails

Montfort’s March, May 2014

A site-specific play commemorating the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes, to be performed across the South Downs.

Community Work

The Company has worked extensively with the Community during projects. Groups worked with include:

  • The Sussex Youth Parliament
  • Chailey Heritage School
  • Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
  • Families for Children
  • The Flintstone Centre
  • The St Andrew’s Primary School, Steyning
  • Rydon Community College
  • The Stoneland Players
  • Chichester Boys Club
  • The Towers Convent School
  • Bourne Free Youth Club, Eastbourne
  • Creative Cafe for Culture Shift

About The Company

The Company was formed in 2006, as a non-profit making organisation, with the aim of bringing accessible, quality theatre into the heart of rural communities in Sussex and Kent.

An initial tour of 22 Village Halls and Arts Centres has been followed by 11 commissions of new site-specific plays that reflect the history, landscape and culture of each site.

We are a local company, working alongside local people, tapping into the huge pool of talent in Kent and Sussex, employing actors, musicians, writers, directors and designers from these areas to work with us.

Patrons:  Hamish Black, Raymond Briggs and Teresa Wells

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Artistic Directors:

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Suzi Hopkins

Suzi trained in mime and drama, working for 15 years as an actor before switching careers to become a writer. She has completed two works of Children’s Fiction, has adapted and performed “The Other Wise Man”, and has written eleven site specific plays for The Company.

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Stephen Israel

Stephen worked as an actor/director for 20 years before setting up The Company. He believes passionately in locally based arts.

  • Artistic Directors:

  • Suzi Hopkins

    Suzi Hopkins

  • Stephen Israel

    Stephen Israel

Contact

Comments or questions are welcome.

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