Next Club Nights:
Club night. NOTE: This is on the second Thursday! New Year Quiz, led by Derek Callam
Club night. NOTE: This is on the fourth Thursday, and will be held at the Wheelwrights! Back to normal in February.
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.
Fun and games at out clubnight in December! thank you to all those who provided a game!
In the November clubnight two plays were selected. Congratulations to Mark Wakeman for 'Ladies Down Under' written by Amanda Whittington. This will be performed in a two week slot in July 2015, and as a one off, the original cast of Ladies Day' will play the same characters! If you saw this play, we are sure you will be dying to know what happens when they spend their winnings on the 'holiday of a lifetime'!
The second play selected for a two week slot in September 2015 is Breaking The Code' written by Hugh Whitemore. Congratulations to Alan Ward for putting forward this play. Much interest has been generated in Alan Turing recently, but this play goes a step further in not only his involvement in cracking the code at Bletchley Park but also his controversial private life.
At the clubnight three one act plays were also selected to go to Totton in March 2015. Details will be available at a later date.
It is time once again to renew training for the Spring Front of House duties. This occurs on a two year cycle, so those trained in February 2013 will need to attend the Spring on Monday 26th January 2015 at 6:30. This session will last less than an hour, so please give your time to this valuable contribution to the Bench. Members not trained as yet are urged to attend as well.
At our clubnight in July 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.
Audition dates for NSFW are Tuesday 13th January, 7:30 - 10:00 in the Saltings room, and Sunday 18th January, 10:00 - 4:00 in the Langstone Room, both at The Spring. More details of parts can be found at 'NSFW (Not Safe for Work)' by Lucy Kirkwood
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!
Auditions for 'Love and Information' were held recently. Great turnout! Details of the cast can be found at 'Love and Information' by Caryl Churchill.
Sleeping Beauty News!
A wonderful production that entertained everyone from age 5 to 95! Let us hope the cast and crew have a restful Christmas! Details can be found on Sleeping Beauty.
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.