Graduating with honours!

Less than two weeks before our stage production of The Graduate begins a three night run at The Deco Theatre in Northampton (May 16th to 18th), we’ve already won an award!

We performed The Graduate for the first time at a drama festival in Hertford and were presented an award which is given at the adjudicators’ discretion for any outstanding feature of the Festival.

So congratulations to Ben Stanton and Julia Langley - who play Ben Braddock and Elaine Robinson in The Graduate - who were given an award in recognition of their outstanding performances in the roles.

We’re really proud of them, as we are all the cast and production team. And we can’t wait to perform the stage version of the iconic 1960s film at The Deco. For tickets: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/the-graduate/ or call 01604 491005

And .....

We’ve another awesome White Cobra production coming up in May: Come and see us perform ‘Big Bard Dream’, by Johnathan Freeth at Delapre Abbey, Northampton, on May 11th and 12th, and at Stanwick Lakes, Wellingborough, on May 25th.

Set in Shakespearean England, is there anyone who can inspire The Bard to complete his latest play? Maybe visitations from some of the famous characters from his other plays might help him!

We asked the Johnathan to tell us more...

Who's this play directed at - who would enjoy this?

“Mainly at families with slightly older children - it's family friendly but there are some references to Shakespeare's fondness for double entendres and jokes about private parts, so not the youngest children! We keep it clean, though, mostly - a little bit Carry On but not too much!

It's really a sort of introduction to the idea of watching Shakespeare for fun, and encouraging people to then come and watch our proper Shakespeare production of Twelfth Night without feeling any fear of it being too highbrow. There's references in there that a Shakespeare fan would pick up on and enjoy, but it's also fun for everyone else, especially with the songs we've included, with adapted Shakespearian lyrics.”

We’re assuming you’re a fan of Shakespeare!

“Very much so - I studied English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, and you cannot get away from Shakespeare there. We did close readings of sections of his plays where you unpacked so much from one page of dialogue that you could hardly believe there was so much in each sentence! I love Shakespeare in performance too though, and was taken to see open air productions as a child, by the same group I've since directed for -Antony & Cleopatra for Masque Theatre in 2017.”

Do you think Shakespeare really had a writers blank at any time?

“Judging by the output I suspect he never suffered from writers block in reality - but it's a handy way in to the play, and as it's set towards the end of his life (spoiler alert - it may actually be the end of his life!) he did write less, so maybe he was slowing down and struggling to find something new to say?”

Is there a bit of panto about this play?

“Just a bit - as there is a bit of Shakespeare in panto. The Nurse from Romeo and Juliet is surely the prototype panto dame! There are songs - including our Bardic versions of Summer Nights from Grease, aka Midsummer Nights, and Oh Mr Postman, aka Oh Mr Shakespeare, and the presence of a typical Shakespearian Fool brings the gag count up!”

How important to Shakespeare was comedy?

“Even in his darkest plays there's a fool, or a jester, or a scene of comedy, sometime in the midst of tragedy - a clown brings Cleopatra's asp on at the climax of her play, and makes jokes about suicide! The gravedigger in Hamlet, the porter in Macbeth, he always included some comedy, I guess because he felt life had to have its lighter moments too. I think he'd approve my gentle mocking of some of the clichés of his characters, and he did write out and out comedies like The Merry Wives of Windsor. He clearly liked a laugh - I think he'd have been great fun at the inn after a rehearsal!”

Big Bard Dream is at Delapre Abbey, Northampton, on May 11th and 12th, and at Stanwick Lakes, Wellingborough, on May 25th.