Next Club Nights:
We welcome old and new members to our club nights. If you are interested in joining the company please do come along to The Spring Arts Centre and be part of our club evening.
The next clubnight is our AGM. An important date in your diary!
At our last clubnight we had the play selection for slots in February and April 2015. The February slot will be 'Love and Information' by Caryl Churchill, directed by Jacquie Penrose. The April slot will be 'NSFW (Not Safe for Work)' by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Sue Dawes.
It is exciting to choose two plays that have both been written by women in the last three years. Congratulations to both directors, and to Sue for her debut!
In March, plays selected were: September slot, Dealer's Choice by Patrick Marber, to be directed by Pete Woodward; December slot, Sleeping Beauty by Mark Wakeman, to be directed by Roger Wallsgrove. Congratulations to the directors and to Mark for writing another full length pantomime.
Auditions for Dealer's Choice were held recently. The chosen cast can be seen at Dealer's Choice.
Sleeping Beauty News!
Auditions are taking place in the Langstone room on Sunday 31st August at 11.00 am and Monday 1st September in the Saltings Room at 7.30 pm. Members and potential members are welcome and Roger Wallsgrove is happy if people wish to come to both.
Rehearsals will be mainly on Sundays and Mondays with some Wednesdays as well - beginning in the week of 22 September.
Production dates are from the get-in on Sunday 30th November to the get-out on Sunday 14th December.
The show opens on Thursday 4 December. There two shows on the Saturdays (11.00am and 2.30pm) - with no Saturday evenings. There are no performances on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday 7th, 8th, 9th December.
All England Theatre Festival March 2014
Three plays were chosen from Supernova for the All England Theatre Festival held at Hangar Farm Arts Centre in Totton. These were 'The Challenge' by Chris Vanstone (Thursday 27th March), 'Grotto' by Mark Wakeman (Friday 28th March) and 'Sense and Sensibleness' by Pete Barrett (Wednesday 26th March).
Firstly, a fantastic result for 'Grotto', winning the coveted Archie Gay Trophy for Overall Winner! This play, written by Mark Wakeman, was the winner of the Herald Cup for Best Original Script. Also, a strong performance by Kirsty Terry resulted in her winning the TDF Cup for best adult actress, and Claire Lyne won the Chairman's Cup for Best Director.
This play then went onto Teignmouth for the semi final. Claire and her cast and crew did a fantastic job and although they did not win to get through to the final, performed exceptionally well. Many thanks to all the club members who travelled to Teignmouth to support this production.
Congratulations to all three productions at Totton for getting commended by the adjudicator. Results for The Bench successes are below:
Best Overall Production:
Winner: 'Grotto' by Bench Theatre
Winner: Claire Lyne for 'Grotto'
Winner: Kirsty Terry for 'Grotto'
Commended: Jessi Wilson for 'Sense and Sensibleness'
Best Original Script:
Winner: Mark Wakeman for 'Grotto'
Commended: Chris Vanstone for 'The Challenge'
Commended: Simon Walton for 'The Challenge'
Commended: Dan Finch for 'Grotto'
Best Supporting Player:
Commended: Dan Finch for 'Sense and Sensibleness'
Commended: Liz Brown for 'Grotto'
In April 2014 we had London Suite, written by Neil Simon, and directed by Robin Hall and Paul Millington. Photographs and a review can be found at London Suite
New plays? Super! Supernova 6 was held in February 2014. A very successful week was enjoyed by good audiences. Congratulations to all involved! Details of the plays can be found on Supernova 6.
Have you purchased a Rugby style shirt or one of the new polo shirts with the bench logo? Contact Jacquie Penrose for a smart new look!
Members are gently reminded that membership cards must be offered at The Spring box office when claiming free member ticket(s). These tickets are for the named member only & are not transferable to family and/or friends.
The News Guide Awards 2013 were announced in November, with the Bench once again well represented in three categories. From these, the final shortlist was made. Wonderful news for Iron in the Best Amateur Production category, Sally (Iron)in the Best Amateur Actress category, and Sam (Look Back in Anger) in the Best Amateur Actor category.
Congratulations to all the following for being nominated:
Best Amateur Production
'Iron' and 'Absent Friends'
Best Amateur Actor
Mark Wakeman in Absent Friends, Tim Taylor in Ladies' Day, Sam Treharne in Look Back in Anger
Best Amateur Actress
Sally Hartley in Iron, Robin Hall in Look Back in Anger
The Southampton Daily Echo Curtain Call Awards 2013. Bench Theatre received FIVE very worthy nominations! In summary they were:
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama:
Sam Treharne, Cliff in Look Back in Anger. Bench Theatre. A wonderfully subtle performance.
Best Actress in a Drama:
Sally Hartley, Fay in Iron. Bench Theatre. A searing, cold eyed performance as the incarcerated Fay.
Robin Hall, Alison Porter in Look Back in Anger. Bench Theatre. Brilliantly developed performance leading to the climactic moment.
Aladdin. Bench Theatre. Originally scripted pantomime was practically perfect.
Fantastic result on 'Aladdin' winning Best Pantomime. Congratulations to all the Bench members involved!
Alan Ward, Look Back in Anger. Bench Theatre. Gets a great result from a largely inexperienced cast and shows a subtle, fresh understanding of this classic drama.