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Next Week Coffee with Vera at the Theatre Royal Plymouth

 

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This week I will be performing my show Coffee with Vera Front of House at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. I never thought I would still be performing this show seven years after first making it but it’s certainly not going away. The Theatre Royal are co-producing Amsterdam with the Actors Touring Company and it’s currently in the Drum theatre. To compliment the show they have asked me to bring Vera in to create four coffee mornings [except they are in the afternoon].

Originally the show was inspired by the Jewish Ladies Guild of the Plymouth Synagogue, and  to recreate a coffee morning similar to those that the Ladies Guild hosted every month. Vera is a character who is the chair of the guild and she will co-host a coffee morning at the Theatre Royal whilst Ruth will investigate her own potential Jewish roots.

Vera will be handing out teas on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th and discussing the coffee mornings of the Ladies Guild, back in the day when the choice of coffee would have been Mellow Birds or Camp, give or take a few other well known names.

Free Performances

  • Friday 6th @ 2.30 and 5pm Front of House
  • Saturday 7th @ 12noon and 5pm Front of House

https://theatreroyal.com/whats-on/coffee-with-vera/

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Coffee with Vera was first supported by Plymouth University.

 

 

The Secret Listener in Bodmin

My performance of The Secret Listener will be performed in Bodmin this Saturday October 12th. The Regimental Museum is a perfect venue for a matinee, obviously they have many WW2 artefacts on display, but they also have a spy HQ where you can learn about code breaking and have a go at Morse Code. They are happy for the audience to explore the museum as part of their visit. The show starts at 2pm in the Officer’s Mess so there will be plenty of time to extend your time into the museum itself. Otherwise you can come along to the Old Library in Bodmin at 7.30pm. Autumn is well and truly here and what better way to spend an autumnal evening inside a cosy theatre space listening to stories, you can’t get more traditional then that.

Inspired by Olive Myler’s story in Jews in North Devon During WW2 by Helen Fry

Tickets from intoBodmin https://www.intobodmin.co.uk/box-office

  • 2pm @ Cornwall’s Regimental Museum in the Officer’s Mess
  • 7.30pm @ The Old Library, Bodmin

Vera travels to Cornwall

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My first solo show is making a trip to Cornwall, to Bodmin to be precise. Last year I played Millicent Fawcett in Dreadnought South West’s production of The Cause and we opened the tour in Bodmin. The Old Library there has been turned into an arts centre by that south west creative entrepreneur Fin Irwin and his CIC company, intoBodmin and in a few weeks I am going to perform Coffee with Vera there. Why? Because the space is perfect – the auditorium has both a performance area and a cafe and as Vera is a show in the form of a coffee morning, it fits perfectly.

I shall be getting out and dusting off my Grandma Doralee Patinkin’s Holiday Cookbook [mother of Mandy Patinkin] for my cake recipes and taking along a selection of brownies and blondies, I mean what’s not to like there. Past audience members have been known to order the book straight after the performance!!!

Coffee with Vera The Old Library Bodmin

Thursday 7th February @ 3pm 

Tickets £7 [includes coffee and cake!]

The Cause – the finale!

December 14th marks the centenary of the first votes for some women, and it’s the last chance to see ‘The Cause’, Dreadnought South West’s play inspired by an imagined meeting between two great leaders of the women’s suffrage campaign – Emmeline Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett.

The play has had a fantastic response from audiences during its tour of the South West and North West.

“I thought this imagined meeting was a wonderful way to explore these two women’s lives and campaigns.  Hooray for two female leads and a subversive take on their relationship.  I’m inspired to find out more about the history I thought I knew about.  Thank you!”

This final performance is at Exeter Phoenix at 7.45 on Dec 14th. There’s more info and booking  details here: https://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/the-cause/. After the performance, you can join Dreadnought South West for celebratory events, with a party in the bar and great music by women.

‘The Cause’ considers the impact that a lifetime of political campaigning has on an individual and explores the divide between the violent direct action of the suffragettes and the peaceful constitutional means of the suffragists.

You can see the trailer here:  https://vimeo.com/dreadnoughtsw/thecausetrailer

Photos by Jim Wileman and Natalie McGrath

2018 Autumn Tour for The Cause

Autumn Tour schedule for Dreadnought South West’s The Cause

For a review of the show click here

(14th December is the centenary day when women over the age of 30 with a property qualification voted for the very first time. There will be a range of events and activates around this date)

Theatre, but not as we know it

At the 2017 Edinburgh festival we saw Middle Child’s All We Ever Wanted was Everything late one night at Summerhall, in a circular tent and it was packed. Gig theatre, (a mash up of theatre [new writing] and an [original] music gig) as it is termed has brought new young audiences into the theatre and you can see why, there’s an energy that goes beyond the norm and it’s infectious.

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Last night we headed to the Lost Gardens of Heligan to another circular tent for the start of Kneehigh’s Asylum summer season which started with Ubu Karaoke. This was a retelling  of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry and modern classic songs that aid the telling of the story to a twenty-first century audience. The title may imply that people have to get onstage and sing along but that is a false assumption, the cast always lead the songs, which are surtitled and the audience sings along as one. In fact from the start, the usual rules of theatre are left aside. Gone was the 15-20 minute interval and we were told there was a 5 minute breather, we could come and go throughout the show, the doors of the tent were always open and the bar alongside the stage was available throughout the performance. The audience were sitting, standing and dancing; even partaking of games during the Ubu Olympics but never was anyone asked to do anything they didn’t want to do. The whole event was relaxed for everyone and the audience loved it. The analogy of Ubu, who gets to be king by a devious route, wan’t lost on anyone in the audience and nothing had to be spelt out for us to see the modern day equivalents. The fact that it was so relevant to what is happening now made people sing louder, sing like no-one was watching because no-one was watching, we were all partaking. When Ubu was first produced in 1896 it caused a riot and last night the riot was contained within the audience as they formed armies to follow their leaders. If you are on holiday in Cornwall or live in the south west GO. This isn’t gig theatre, its not even karaoke theatre, Knee-high call it ‘promenade musical’ but its something deeper and at this moment in time its obvious that people need it.

Ubu Karaoke is on at the Lost Gardens of Heligan from now until Saturday 25th August

More info here http://www.kneehigh.co.uk/show/UBU-Karaoke.php

Re blogged from https://seafieldview.wordpress.com

Next lot of tour dates for The Cause

Hot weather is coming, or more accurately, has arrived but before the summer break Dreadnought SW‘s The Cause will be heading out for four more dates before we can hit the beach. Really looking forward to visiting new theatres in places I love, particularly looking forward to re-visiting the Lyric which is beyond charming and reminds me of the film The Smallest Show on Earth, if you’ve been, and more importantly know the film, you will understand what I mean.

Friday July 6th :: The Redgrave Theatre Clifton, Bristol https://redgravetheatre.com/event/2018/07/the-cause/368/

Saturday July 7th :: The Guildhall Barnstaple, Note tickets available via Exeter Phoenix https://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/the-cause-barnstaple/

Tuesday July 10th :: The Lyric Bridport [a 2.30 matinee here as well as an evening show]                 https://bridportandwestbay.co.uk/events/the-lyric-theatre-the-cause-230pm/

Thursday July 12th :: The Blackmore Theatre Exmouth  http://blackmoretheatre.co.uk/production/the-cause/  

 

From September we will be back on the road, check out the Autumn Tour here

Vera’s ‘popping up’ in the Plymouth Fringe

Coffee With Vera

May 29 @ 6:30pm7:30pm & May 30th @ 2pm- 3pm

 

Ruth Mitchell

Venue: Plymouth Synagogue
Running time: 45-60 minutes
Recommended age: 12+

Coffee with Vera is a performance inspired by 1960s coffee mornings created by gathering stories from the oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue in continuous use in the English-speaking world; the Plymouth synagogue.

The character of Vera Jockleson co-hosts a coffee morning with Ruth and recounts how this form of social gathering was a monthly fund raiser for the Ladies Guild. Through Vera we hear of past events and stories whilst at the same time Ruth tries to connect her own history to the place by searching for her (possible) Jewish relatives.

A leading actor for 25 years, in 1993 Ruth created the role of Helga, a German Jewish mother in the Verity Bargate award winning play Kindertransport by Diane Samuels. The assumption that she was a Jewish actor gave her the impetus in 2013 to look for those cultural connections.

Awarded the Intellect postgraduate award in 2013 and the 2014 Wildfire Critics Choice Award at Exeter Ignite, Coffee with Vera now returns to its spiritual home.

Spring Tour dates for The Cause

In just over two weeks we open The Cause in Bodmin and will continue to tour the south west of England throughout the spring. Here are the first set of dates.

For the full tour schedule with links to the venues box offices etc. go to http://dreadnoughtsouthwest.org.uk/the-cause-tour-schedule/

25th & 26th April Callywith College Bodmin  @ 7.30pm  [2.30pm matinee on the 26th]

27th April Crediton Arts Centre @ 7.30pm

3rd May Acorn Penzance @ 2.30 & 7.30pm

10/11/12th May the Barbican Theatre Plymouth @ 7.30pm

21st & 22nd May  Phoenix Arts Centre Exeter @ 8pm [10.30 on 21st & 1.30pm on the 22nd]

31st May the Rondo Theatre Bath @ 7.30pm

7th June Ivor Potter Hall Bude @ 7.30pm

8th June St Austell Arts Centre @ 7.30pm

9th June Heartlands Pool Camborne @ 7.30pm

15th & 16th June Yeld Hall Chippenham @ 7.30pm [2.30pm on the 16th]