Rye Players always looks forward to a visit from Rye News, especially when they know Kt Bruce will be taking the pictures and they can try out their costumes. The next production is an abridged version of Much Ado About Nothing set in post-war 1940s England. Director Paul Thomas is one of several new members to have joined the players in recent months and it is thanks to his encouragement that the play was chosen.
An experienced Shakespearean actor and director himself, Paul has drawn the cast from across the community, some seasoned performers and others comparative newcomers.
A chance conversation with hair specialist Holly Robertson at her Beauty Lounge in Rope Walk was the start of theatrical adventures for her young son Leo, aged 10.
Racing around the stage on a scooter, Leo delighted audiences last December in his first rôle as one of the seven dwarves in Snow White. Admittedly the step from town panto to Shakespeare is not a conventional one but Leo is taking it in his stride and relishing his dual roles as messenger and watchman. “What I enjoy,” says Leo, “is the people I’m doing this with and the feeling of being in a play. It makes me feel good.”
Much Ado is the first Shakespeare play to be presented by the players and with rehearsals going so well, they are wondering why they waited so long. The opportunity to perform in the magnificent St Mary’s Church is very special and the group is hugely grateful to the rector, Revd Paul White, for allowing this.
Future plans include An Afternoon in Wonderland on June 25 at Peasmarsh Place. The players will re-enact and portray some scenes from the Alice books as part of a fundraising event in aid of Rye Memorial Hospital. There is still time to get involved if you contact the group on social media or at the email address below.
On August 12, the group will provide the monarch and her courtiers for the town’s commemoration of the 450th anniversary of the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Rye. This spectacular event is currently in the planning stage in the capable hands of the town crier, Paul Goring, Simon Parsons at Rye Heritage Centre and Ian Bowden from the Rye Jazz Festival: a community collaboration if ever there was one and an essential date for the diary.
And then it is September 23 and time to perform a new comedy, Book Club by Kate Bromage, at the Mermaid Inn as part of the Rye Arts Festival.
If you would like to get involved with your local drama group, contact them via social media or directly to the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org and to book tickets for Much Ado About Nothing on June 2 and 3, go to: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/rye-players/e-eblkba
Image Credits: Kt bruce .