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Rehearsals are well underway and already the ensemble work is bringing the play to life. Over 30 people are involved in the cast and the enthusiasm is fantastic. Martin our director and Matt our musical director are bringing skill, expertise and knowledge to make the rehearsals such fun, but creating great results.
A Brilliant read through thank you to everyone who attended. The play really came to life and some great singing of newly written songs by Matt. Thank you all so much for coming and do spread the word with friends.
Rehearsals are Mondays and Wednesdays at 7.30pm at the Congregational Church Hall Oakham.
The Sunday Rehearsals are at 12.15 pm to 4.00pm at Oakham Castle during September. In October reheasals will be at the Scout Hut, Grampian Way, Oakham from 11.30am to 3.30pm.
REHEARSALS START SEPTEMBER 2nd 2018 at 12.15pm in the Great Hall, Oakham Castle, Oakham
Andy has finished the first draft of the script and it is brilliant. There are fantastic parts for men and women and young people. The stories of the returning servicemen and their families is very well written and the characters very believable. There is also a brave horse. The scenes follow the years after the war and how this affects these families and the social and political climate around them. There is an election, the flu epidemic and the opening of Rutland Memorial Hospital all within the piece and there are characters such as the Earl of Gainsborough, the Ruddle family and the Fenwicks that I think will ring some bells.
Here is a list of some of the characters
George Cooke A photographer and our narrator
Eliza A farmer, whose son is returning from war
Tom Eliza’s husband
John The son of Tom and Eliza; a returning soldier
Mary Working in the kitchens at the Fenwick’s; married to Daniel
Daniel Another returning soldier
Elsie Fenwick Of North Luffenham House; served in the war as a nurse
Guy Fenwick Elsie’s husband, an ex-soldier and local councillor
Patsy Looking after her father who has shell shock
Harry Patsy’s father, an ex-soldier with shell shock
David Royce A highly successful Land Agent
Countess Noel Wife of the Earl of Gainsborough
Rosalind A widow from before the war, whose son has been killed in France
Peter Rosalind’s brother
There are also lots of smaller parts and opportunities for singers, musicians and even an opera singer.
The rehearsals are on Sundays from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm at the Scout Hut, Grampian Way
and on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30 pm to 10.00 pm at the Congregational Church Hall High Street, Oakham.
Please encourage everyone to come along to be part of this really exciting project.
The script is well on its way and we have rehearsal dates and times.
Sunday 2nd September 11.30 am to 3.30 pm at the Scout Hut Grampian Way Oakham. Then every Sunday until performances
We will also rehearse on Mondays and Wednesdays venue to be confirmed at 7.30pm to 10.00pm.
Please let everyone know and come along even if you can’t make all rehearsal dates.
Andy is now writing the script from all the story lines and themes the research team has discovered. In August we will have an update day and workshop.
The Rutlanders Return is a specially commissioned new play by Andy Barrett that looks at what happened to Rutland when World War One finally came to an end and the troops returned home. This is a time full of hope and also of disappointment; of people working together to try and create a new world whilst the strains of what they had just put behind them continued to take its toll.
Focussing on the stories of four different families the play is a lively and emotional journey based on research into the changing face of the County in the Nineteen Twenties. Whilst the landed gentry found their influence waning and the estates started to be sold off, so the new money flooding in allowed the Roaring Twenties to shimmer as farmers struggled and many found the invitation to emigrate to Canada too much to ignore.
With live and original music this is a show that will offer parts for people of all ages and will explore a highly important but often overlooked period in Rutland’s history. It is directed by Martin Berry whose shows have been seen at the Bristol Old Vic and the Nottingham Playhouse.
DATES OF PERFORMANCES WILL BE
Thursday 25th October 2018 – 7.30 pm, Rutland County Museum, Oakham.
Friday 26th October 2018 – 7.30 pm, Kendrew Barracks, Cottesmore.
Saturday 27th October 2018 – 11.30 am South Luffenham Village Hall
Saturday 27th October 2018 – 7.30 pm, Uppingham Town Hall.
Sunday 28th October 2018 – 2.00 pm, Rutland County Museum.
Thanks to everyone who attended meeting on May 9th.
Over 30 people came to the Museum to hear about the community play The Rutlanders Return. Andy Barrett writer, Martin Berry director, Matt Marks musical director and Graham Elstone stage manager. Andy gave an overview of the process so far and then the team introduced themselves and gave a short resume of their careers and project. There were some acting and musical workshops and everyone gave us some idea of their interests and what they wanted to do in the play.
Andy is now writing the play and we will contact everyone as soon as we have a script, more information and rehearsal times. If you are still interested, but didn’t get to the meeting don’t worry just email email@example.com and we can add you to our interest group.
May 9th 2018
We are now looking for actors, directors, writers, stage hands, props people, costume designers, musicians and anyone who would be interested in joining in.
Please come along to a welcome and get involved meeting at Rutland County Museum on Wednesday May 9th at 6.30pm. Andy Barratt, Graham Elstone, Matt Marks and Martin Berry will be there to talk about this exciting project. This will be a chance to meet everyone and express an interest in being involved. Andy has been working closely with the research group and the themes and stories that will be part of the play are being bought together.
Joy Everitt chairman of Arts for Rutland said “It is now time for everyone in Rutland who has an interest in music and theatre to join us in this exciting venture. We will be performing the play in Uppingham, Cottesmore and Oakham at the end of October. Rehearsals will be taking place from late summer. Everyone is welcome whatever sphere of interest they have. It will also be great fun and a chance to meet new people and learn from the professional team”
The research team has been hard at work and many stories and information have been recorded by the team. On Wednesday night April 11th at the library the team met with Andy Barrett, our writer to exchange ideas and histories of families so that the play can start to be written. We are meeting again on May 2nd to finalise the themes and stories for the script.
We will be holding an open meeting in May for everyone interested in being part of the play so any budding actors, directors, writers, stage managers, props people, sound and lighting technicians please come along. The play will be directed, musically directed, stage managed and written by our proffesional team of Andy Barrett, Martin Berry, Graham Elstone and Matt
Arts for Rutland is delighted to announce that it has secured a £9,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out research, the creation of a touring play, and an education resource about the return of military personnel to Rutland after World War 1 and the effect on their families and the community.
The idea and application is supported by Rutland County Council, Oakham Town Council, Uppingham Town Council and the World War 1 committee. The bid was compiled by Robert Clayton from Rutland County Museum, Joy Everitt from Arts for Rutland and Andy Barrett artistic director of Excavate who worked with Joy in 2004 on the community play The Take Over. Andy has twenty years of experience of producing community plays and this will be the third First World War story that the company will have investigated, following on from their project in Beeston in Nottinghamshire about the explosion at the Chilwell Munitions Depot which killed 147 people; and the zeppelin raid on Loughborough (you can read about both projects on their website www.excavate.org.uk). Andy also wrote ‘The Second Minute’, a play based on the work of the Post Office during WW1 and based on letters sent to and from men of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment, which was produced by the Nottingham Playhouse and toured across the country to wide acclaim.
For Andy the work of the research team is absolutely key to the success of the project and the quality of the play that is created. ‘Those plays which have been the most powerful have also been those that have the richest detail. I’m really looking forward to working with groups and individuals across Rutland to unearth stories and information that help to paint a picture of how the War impacted on the day to day life of the people of Rutland after the armistice was signed and the troops came home. Much of the work that has been done nationally has, understandably, focussed on the experiences of the soldiers and the sacrifices that families endured. With 2018 marking the centenary of the end of the war it will be the perfect time to investigate what happened next and the changes that began to occur within the County as a result of the global tragedy that had just taken place’.
The research starts right away and Andy and Robert are contacting local historical groups and societies, but would love to hear from individuals and families who have stories about their relatives relating to the topic. The research will happen for the next 3 months so please get involved. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact us.
These stories and will be collated by Andy into a performance which will be performed in Oakham and Uppingham and some of the villages. There will be a large education element so children can learn about the experiences of local families and individuals. The play will involve local people performing, supporting and helping behind the scenes. This will happen during the late summer and Autumn, so please look out for the call for cast and crew.
We are so thrilled to be bringing this exciting project about real people from Rutland’s History to the county, made possible by National Lottery players. We do hope people will get involved both with the research and the performances in the Autumn. There will be opportunities for many people to be part of The Rutlanders Return so do join in said an enthusiastic Joy Everitt from Arts for Rutland.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.