2023 round-up and look to 202430th December 2023
As the year comes to a close, we thought we’d take a look back over 2023 to see how we at The Play’s The Thing have been busying our time; and also share our plans with you for 2024.
We had an incredibly exciting start to the year when we received Arts Council funding to take ‘Hidden Stories’ on tour to local stages around the UK.
‘Hidden Stories’ comprised of two original plays that told the real untold stories of two young women who were tried and executed for murder.
‘Now You See Me’ written by Carly Halse told the “hidden story” of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain in 1955, in this captivating one-woman show.
‘Darlint Peidi’ written by Rosemary Hill took an intriguing look at the story of Edith Thompson, who was hanged for the murder of her husband in 1923. In reality though it was for adultery. Rosemary cleverly compared how women were treated in the 1920s to those forty years in the future. Had much changed?
These thought-provoking plays were well received by audience members and gained five-star reviews from local theatre critics.
The plays were staged at very different venues, including Westacre Theatre in Kings Lynn, Hangar Farm Arts Centre near Southampton and The Guildhall in Thetford, the latter being a court room provided a very apt environment for the plays. We also performed in London, Warwick, at The Brighton Fringe and Bedford Fringe, which was a fantastic experience. We finished back in Milton Keynes at our much loved Stantonbury Theatre. We ran workshops and Q & A sessions throughout the tour.
For Rosemary, it was wonderful to see her play develop from her first scratch piece at Taking the Stage in 2021 to a touring play.
She is now busy writing her second play, which we will tell you more about very soon.
Rosemary enjoys passing her knowledge and experience on to young creatives and continues to hold unique and hands-on workshops with local schools, colleges and universities.
This year she worked with make up students at the University of Bedford on make-up design when working with a director. How can the make up artist help deliver the director’s vision? The group focused on make-up for characters in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
The team love working with young people and we have regularly been working with MK College to support performing arts there.
Working with young people and growing their creativity, confidence and passion for the arts will be a focus for us for the new year.
2023 ended on a high when The Play’s The Thing Theatre Company was a finalist at the SME MK and Buckinghamshire Awards in the Positive Impact Award. Here’s to being recognised for the work we do in our community next year!
Still to come in 2024
There’s still lots more exciting theatre to come from The Play’s The Thing Theatre Company in 2024. But first, it is time for Pepper’s Ghost, our community theatre, to take to the stage.
You might have seen it on our social channels (Facebook, Instagram, X - formally Twitter) that Pepper’s Ghost will stage ‘Not A Game For Girls’ by Benjamin Peel at Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes from 16th - 19th May 2024.
The play tells the dramatic story of the Dick, Kerr’s Ladies, one of the most famous women’s football teams during the First World War – so popular the Football Association tried to ban them!
Using a mixture of real life and fictional characters and blending drama, songs and choreographed games “Not A Game For Girls” captures the spirit and camaraderie that led the Dick, Kerr’s Ladies to ignore the prevailing social attitudes from both genders and prove most emphatically that they were wrong to dismiss football as “Not A Game For Girls”.
Not A Game For Girls – join the team
Cast - we are holding auditions on Sunday 11th February 2024 2pm - 6pm at The Bath House in Wolverton, Milton Keynes.
If you are interested in auditioning for a role, or joining us as a set designer, please get in touch with Rosemary Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes from 16th - 19th May 2024 to see this compelling play by our brilliant community theatre company, Pepper’s Ghost. Tickets are on sale now.
We’re very proud of how far we have come this year and shared our new plays with audiences across England.
There is still lots more to come with both our professional and community theatre company, our workshops and forums. We hope you will be able to join us.