production photography by Miles Davies www.milesdaviessite.com

Southwick Players

23rd August




Southwick Players

23rd August

Upcoming Productions

 Our next shows and booking information

Click here for all online bookings, or call the box office on 01273 597094

Southwick Players Youth (SPY) present

Fantastic Mister Fox

by Roald Dahl, adapted by David Wood
July 18-21 2018, 7.30pm, matinee on July 21st

A real children's favourite from the mind of Roald Dahl


Fantastic Mr Fox is a tale of "goodies vs baddies", with the wonderfully witty Mr Fox running rings around his enemies … the revolting Boggis, Bunce & Bean.

When Mr Fox steals one chicken too many from a local farm, the farmers decide the only cure is to rid themselves of Mr Fox by any means possible. Outwitted at every turn, the farmers ploys backfire, and the animals celebrate with an enormous feast at their expense.


This adaptation is enormous fun, and will capture the imagination of young and old alike - and most of all, will have audiences enthralled ... with creative, magical staging, it will be a wonderful play for the
Southwick Players Youth Group.


David Wood has adapted many children’s stories for stage, including Dahl's "The Twits" and "The Witches".

The Corn Is Green
October 10-13  2018

A heart-warming and poignant comedy

Into a tiny Welsh mining village in 1900 steams an

opinionated and driven English woman – determined to
educate them all, whether they like it or not. Into this mix
of opposites is thrown the most talented, if uneducated,
Welsh miner that she has ever seen, and she sets him on
the road to a future nobody ever dreamed possible.
A story of triumph over adversity, of following your heart,
following your dreams. Of conflict and sorrow.  Of inspiration.

Emlyn Williams most enduring play, even more inspiring due
to it being semi-autobiographical. It premiered in 1938 in
London with him in the lead role, and since then it has endured
many revivals and films, with different versions starring such
acting royalty as Deborah Kerr, Bette Davis, Ethel Barrymore,
Katherine Hepburn; the last revival in 2007 starred Kate Burton,
daughter of Richard Burton.

There are delightful dramatic clashes of English against Welsh,
of middle class education against working class illiteracy,
of old traditions against new knowledge.


Our Pantomime
It’s panto time again - oh yes it is - and what better story to tell this year than the nation’s favourite and most magical fairytale – Cinderella. Full of romance and fun, with a cast of amazing and colourful characters, this panto has it all. Follow the twists and turns of this traditional rags-to-riches story of Cinderella who is bullied by her wicked stepmother, Medusa the Baroness Hardupp, and her two ugly step-sisters, Asphyxia and Euthanasia. Treated as a servant by her step family, Cinderella meets Prince Charming, posing as a palace servant, as she is gathering wood in the forest. But they part without exchanging names so the Prince arranges a Ball inviting every eligible maiden in the county in the hope of finding her. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella goes to the Ball and ... well, you know the rest. The show pack is now available and can be obtained by sending an email to sally.diver@hotmail.co.uk - Audition pieces, including music tracks for character parts with songs, will be available, as will full details of the planned performance dates, along with dress and tech rehearsals as some of these will fall between Christmas and New Year. Rehearsals start in September. Auditions will be held on 26th July, in the Deall room.

Southwick Players' 2019 SEASON

by Ariel Dorfman
If we were playing charades, this would be a play, a film and an opera. The Roman Polanski directed movie starred Signoury Weaver, Ben Kingsley and Stuart Wilson; the opera premiered in Stockholm in 2009 and Ariel Dorfman’s play won best new drama at the 1992 Oliviers. An unnamed South American country, most likely Chile post Pincochet, has recently thrown off the shackles of dictatorship and is now experimenting with a new-found democracy. To try to heal the wounds of the past, the government sets up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission - but whose truth and will the process reconcile bitter enemies? Dorfman focuses in on these questions on a personal level in the shape of former political prisoner, Paulina Salas, who had been raped by her captors, led by a sadistic doctor whose face she never saw. The doctor played Schubert's composition Death and the Maiden during the torture sessions. Years later, after the repressive regime has fallen, Paulina lives in an isolated beach-side house with her husband, Gerardo Escobar. On his way back from a meeting with the president, at which he is asked to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Escobar gets a flat tyre. A stranger stops to help him and drives him back home. Later the same night the stranger returns to question Escobar about the Commission and Paulina is convinced she recognizes his voice as that of her torturer. She then takes the law into her own hands in her own personal Truth and Reconciliation Commission. My previous productions with the Players have been pretty large casts but Death And The Maiden is a three-hander: one woman, two men, all aged somewhere between 35-50. Richard Lindfield, Director

Wed 6


Sat 9 March 2019

BEN HUR (subject to rights)
by Patrick Barlow - 5-8 June 2019
THE BOOK: Lew Wallace, the illustrious American Civil War General, composed his 948 page ‘Ben Hur – A Tale Of The Christ’ in 1880. Set in AD26, this is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala, an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves, Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge but an encounter with Jesus leads him to the Crucifixion, where he discovers forgiveness and finds redemption. THE FILM: William Wyler’s 1959 3-hour cinematic version of this biblical epic featured 365 speaking parts and 50,000 extras. Ben-Hur had the largest budget ($15.175 million), as well as the largest sets built, of any film produced at the time. Costume designer Elizabeth Haffenden oversaw a staff of 100 wardrobe fabricators to make the costumes, and a workshop employing 200 artists and workmen provided the hundreds of friezes and statues needed in the film. Filming commenced on May 18, 1958, and wrapped on January 7, 1959, with shooting lasting for 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week THE PLAY: Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of ‘Ben Hur’ re-enacts all of Lew Wallace’s story and all of William Wyler’s ambitious film, yet he does it within the confines of a stage. Oh, by the way, he also manages to do it with just FOUR actors. Yes, four actors play 35 characters between them (although we will probably use seven actors). It will be fast, frenetic and VERY FUNNY. Admittedly, our ‘Ben Hur’ will be on a budget very much reduced from Mr Wyler’s but director Ron Common assures us that it will contain all the scenes for which the film became famous – the birth of Christ, Ben Hur’s rivalry with Messala, the sea battle with pirates, the unforgettable and incredibly exciting and dangerous chariot race, exotic dancers – you will see all of these and much more as the story takes us though Rome, Syria, Jerusalem, the Mediterranean, Egypt and then back to Rome for the exciting finale. This is a play within a play wherein the much-vaunted and immensely talented (in his own mind, at least) Daniel Veil will, with other equally talented members of the Daniel Veil Collective, bring to life this incredible story; with a script written and directed by Mr Veil himself and with a budget even smaller than ours. THE AUTHOR: Patrick Barlow was also responsible for writing the famous adaptation of ’The 39 Steps’ which enjoyed a long run in the West End and which was performed at the Barn only a couple of years ago. ‘Ben Hur’ is in a similar vein! Ron Common, Director DINNER
by Moira Buffini - 11-14 September 2019 I am very pleased and excited to be directing this play in September 2019, since it has long been one of my favourites and I think Moira Buffini is one of our best modern playwrights. This production is to be The Southwick Players’ entry into the Brighton and Hove Arts Council’s Full Length Drama Festival. We will play it on the floor of the auditorium. At the moment I am planning to have audience on three sides, but we shall see. The play is a black comedy about the dinner party from hell, in which the situation becomes more toxic by the minute. The titles of the different sections give you some indication of how the plot develops. We have: Aperitif The Starter (Primordial Soup) The Main (Apocalypse of Lobster) The Dessert (Frozen Waste) And Finally (The Cheeseboard) Paige is throwing a dinner party in honour of her husband Lars who is celebrating the fact that his pop psychology book ‘Beyond Belief ‘is now a best seller. Paige anxiously checks with the waiter, whom she has employed for the occasion, that everything is prepared for the imminent arrival of her guests. It is only when she hands over his payment of £25,000 in cash that one suspects the meal may contain some rather nasty surprises. The guests are: - Wynne - a post-feminist dippy-hippy artist who specialises in so called erotica. Hal - a microbiologist who knows a great deal about deadly microbes. Sian (Hal’s girlfriend) - a journalist and news reader who resents the way Hal keeps referring to her as a ‘news babe”. Mike - an uninvited guest who, having crashed his van in the fog, calls at the house seeking the use
of the telephone and ends up staying for dinner. The Waiter - silent, ubiquitous and deadly. Each character is a gift to play - including the silent waiter. Beautifully written, the narrative has many twists and turns and will keep the audience firmly on the edge of their seats. If you are cast in the play, it will keep you at the top of your game. An interesting twist of this play is the waiter who has no lines except at the very end of the play: “I never charge for my services.” and yet who is central to the action. The audience soon picks up that this is no ordinary waiter and puzzles over his identity. I won’t give away how the play ends but watch out for shocks! Harry Atkinson, Director THE MATCHMAKER by Thornton Wilder - 11-14 December 2019 The Matchmaker is a wonderful American farce in which tin cans explode, people hide in wardrobes and behind screens, identities are mistaken, and there are no fewer than our four romances. Written by Thornton Wilder, it has a plot borrowed from a Viennese comedy of 1842, and was first staged in Edinburgh in 1954. By the time it got to Broadway in 1955 it was already an international success and was turned into the musical Hello Dolly in 1964. It tells the story of wealthy Yonkers merchant, Horace Vandergelder, who employs the services of a matchmaker, Dolly Levi, to find him a wife. Dolly, a feisty and resourceful widow, has designs on Horace herself. Irascible and tight fisted, despite his fortune, Vandergelder has two overworked clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker. He also has a niece, Ermengarde, who wants to marry Ambrose Kemper, a penniless artist, of whom he strongly disapproves. Vandergelder is planning a trip to New York to court a widowed milliner, Mrs Irene Malloy. Cornelius and Barnaby, encouraged by Dolly, take advantage of the fact that their employer will be absent from the store to go on their own adventure – which takes them to exactly the same place. She has also advised Ermengarde to go to New York to elope with Ambrose, thus setting the scene for some classic farce in Mrs Malloy’s hat shop and the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant. The final act introduces the wonderfully bonkers Miss Van Huysen when all the characters meet in her apartment: all the complications are resolved and Horace reveals he has a heart after all. The play has a large cast of 16+, ranging from walk-on waiters to the towering roles of Dolly and Horace. It will be great fun to rehearse and provide a wonderful pre-Christmas treat for our audiences. Kate Armes, Director

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