Tag Archives: Coffee with Vera

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.

 

 

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!]

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.

Writing workshop @LyricBridport

I will be facilitating a workshop at the Lyric Bridport called…

Starting to Write using Site and Autobiography.

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Come and find out how your own stories can kick start your writing; I will be using anecdote, memory, songs, place and even gossip to help create the first steps of your text.

My shows have always been inspired by site, my first Coffee with Vera took place inside a synagogue and won the Wildfire Critics Choice award at the 2014 Exeter Ignite Festival.

My second, Homeward Bound commissioned by Theatre West, is inspired by a baseball diamond within my local park in Plymouth and received a five star review from Exeunt.

Lets find out how to create multiple stories that all lead back to place.

Where: The Lyric Bridport, 10am-1pm, Saturday 9th July. Price £20

 

Coffee with Vera returns to the Plymouth Synagogue

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When I first performed Coffee with Vera it was inside the vestry of the Plymouth Synagogue. My decision to use the vestry rather than the synagogue was twofold. The synagogue can be accessed through an appointment to view with a guided tour, conducted by the caretaker. It can be considered a performance in itself, which gives a particular reading of the site. This is very much a male dominated space where the men perform the service and the women are seated upstairs away from the males. This is, according to Rabbi Aaron Moss, so that both male and female can focus on their prayer away from the opposite sex, an opportunity to be with your ‘true self, to communicate with your soul’ (Chabad.org: online). Roberta Mock states that ‘women were (and still, in traditional Judaism, are) “exempt” (that is, excluded) from most religious learning, prayer, and ritual’ (Mock, 2007:2). Secondly, the vestry is a lived in space; the building houses two flats, one for a rabbi and one for a caretaker and there is a kitchen to make refreshments. ‘Women’s sphere of influence is defined exclusively in halacha, or Jewish law, as “domestic affairs”’ (Mock, 2007:2).

For the next three weeks I will be performing Coffee with Vera within the Plymouth History Festival and I have been asked to perform within the synagogue itself so apart from the Saturday (when I will be in the vestry for the Sabbath) I will be performing within what I consider a male space. Will this change the performance? I have no idea but it will be interesting to find out.

Mock, Roberta (2007) Jewish Women on Stage, Film and Television. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

COFFEE WITH VERA
Saturday 9 May, 3pm to 4pm (in the vestry)
Tuesday 12 May, 11am to 12pm (synagogue)
Sunday 17 May, 11am to 12pm (synagogue)
Tuesday 19 May, 7pm to 8pm (synagogue)
Synagogue Chambers, Catherine Street, Plymouth, PL1 2AD
Watch Ruth Mitchell’s award winning performance of ‘Coffee with Vera’ in the Plymouth Synagogue, followed by coffee and cake in the Vestry with “Vera” herself.
Admission is free. Donations are welcome. Booking is essential via 07753 267616 or phccaretaker@yahoo.co.uk