Cast Profile Chris Jarvis Chris is part way through a busy season. Having starred in our Agatha Christie style spoof, as the village bobby, Chris then was drafted in to write the play that linked our Sherlock Holmes radio plays, performed in September. Chris has taken rather dramatic steps to portray tonight’s character, Sloane. Lets hope the ‘bleached blonde’ look is soon on the barbers cuttings floor!
Terry Doyle Terry is back after a short break between performances. He last shared the lead in our touching tale about old age in a Month of Sundays. Tonight he is taking on an older role again, and one that is more physically demanding than previous roles. We are sure Terry will relish the challenge.
Cast Profile Pearl Chick Pearl also starred in our Agatha Christie spoof, as the crazy welsh medium, and had us all laughing as she pretended to summon spirits from beyond. Pearls character has very different power struggles with each of the other characters, and this makes for quite a complex part, for Pearl. Weâ€™ll be seeing Pearl again after Christmas, as she stars in our pantomimeâ€Ślook for details in this programme!
Dai Rees We welcome Dai to the Wheatsheaf in his first performance with us. Dai met Chris Jarvis in the Coventry Mysteries plays in 2006, staged in the Coventry Cathedral ruins. Dai has a real challenge on his hands in his first role with us. He is taking on a significant part as all four characters have equal share in dialogue and performance.
About the authorâ€Ś Joe Orton (named John) was born in Leicester, England, on January 1st, 1933, but his life was cut short at just 34 years of age. He was the oldest of five children and grew up in a working-class neighbourhood. As a student, he was mediocre at best and there were no hints of the witty, sophisticated, controversial, and successful man of the theatre, that Orton would become. He joined the amateur circuit, mostly playing insignificant roles. He even took elocution lessons to get rid of his Leicester accent! His move to London was a pivotal moment in his life, serving as the beginning of his real career as a performer and writer and as his introduction to fellow RADA student Kenneth Halliwell, who would become his partner. Halliwell encouraged Orton to read and study literature and had a great impact on the development of Orton's creative abilities. Unfortunately, Halliwell was also a rather bad influence on Orton, and after what seem like minor offences now, he and Halliwell were arrested and charged with defacing books borrowed from public libraries and they were sent to prison for six months in 1962. After their release from jail, Orton began to write in earnest, working on his own novel and writing plays. As Orton became a famous, though controversial, figure in London theatrical circles, Halliwell grew increasingly jealous. In probably the best known event of Orton's life, on August 9th, 1967, he was bludgeoned to death in his sleep by Halliwell, who subsequently took a lethal overdose. At the time of his death, Orton was on the verge of worldwide fame. Loot had been named the Evening Standard's best play of 1966. He had been commissioned to write a script for a movie to star The Beatles - Up Against It (unproduced, though posthumously published, 1979). He was in the final stages of revising What the Butler Saw (1967), often regarded as his best play. Cut down in his prime, by his own mentor and source of inspiration.
Directors Cut When choosing a play to direct at the Wheatsheaf, I wanted a script that would challenge me as the director, as well as the cast. I decided on Joe Orton because of his reputation for writing immensely funny pieces that are at the same time shocking and often disturbing. In directing a piece of this complexity it is often difficult to strike the balance between humour and vulgarity. There were times during rehearsal that I had to remind the cast (and myself!) that this was black comedy, and not a Carry On film! However, I am lucky to have been blessed with a cast that were able to quickly tune into the subtlety and complexity of their characters and to apply this on stage. Relationships twist and turn at every point in this plot, and the importance of the delicate interaction was not lost on the cast. May I take this opportunity to thank them in making my directorial debut more than easy, but in fact a pleasure. I am immensely happy with the finished item. I was taught by my drama teacher that a good production is one that provokes conversation, whether good or bad. The tone of ‘Entertaining Mr Sloane’ is not one that has been seen often at the Wheatsheaf and the introduction of a different genre to the stage at the Wheatsheaf maybe seen as too ambitious for a first time director, but I am not looking to alarm or unsettle. I merely hope that you will be entertained by tonight’s performance, and will leave with a few more questions than when you arrived.
Entertaining Mr Sloane By Joe Orton Directed by Joanne Crawley
Act 1 A Room in Kath’s House, 1960s
Act 2 Scene 1: A Room in Kath’s House, Some months later Scene 2: A Room in Kath’s House, a few moments later
Cast Kath Sloane Kemp
Pearl Chick Chris Jarvis Terry Doyle
Lighting & sound
Heather Evans Adrian Laing Adrian Laing Joanne Crawley Adrian Laing Joanne Crawley Christine Rye Steve Hocking Derek Jones Neville Russell Terry Doyle Brian Nelson Colin Swann
Set Design Set Construction
Remember John Denver Ten Years On! Graham, Elizabeth and Kirsten Shelton would like to thank the audience at the recent concert here at the Co-operative Theatre for their enthusiastic support, helping us to raise and donate ÂŁ750 to Baby Lifeline. Many of that audience were regular local patrons of the Wheatsheaf Players, although some people had come from as far afield as Scotland, Suffolk, Cambridge and Hereford to enjoy the evening! The show featured musicians Neil and Gill Sharman from Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The pair, who sang a selection of John Denver songs to a capacity audience were accompanied by Timothy Shelton on flute. The concert was a tribute to singer/songwriter John Denver who died in a flying accident ten years ago on the 12th October when his experimental aircraft plunged into Monterey Bay, California. Neil and Gill Sharman have been singing John Denver songs together for nine years and their concerts are performed all over the UK for a wide range of charities. In those nine years almost ÂŁ17,000 has been raised for good causes - with Graham and Elizabeth donating ÂŁ1850 to local charities through Neil and Gill's three concerts here. Jacqueline Smith of the Nuneaton Co-op came to our concert and commented effusively on how marvellous it was that the Wheatsheaf had put on such a wonderful showing for charity. She was emphatic that it would not go by unnoticed and that the praise would be passed back to the Co-op! Many thanks, Jacqueline!
Godiva Awards 2007 Firstly, can we say a huge thank you to all of our friends, family and Wheatsheaf regulars, who voted for us in the 2007 Godiva Awards. Having won the Award as Coventry and Warwickshire’s Best Theatre in 2006, we already feel that our hard work and contribution to the area’s theatre scene had been more than recognised. The 2007 event was always going to be a challenge, and in the end, we came a very strong second place, being pipped at the post by the Criterion Theatre. We were very proud once again to be in the ‘top flight’ of theatre companies for our area, and can only put our success down to our audience support. We will of course try again for 2008 and look forward to bringing you an exciting season of comedy, thrills and good old fashioned tales, that will kick off in 2008 with our pantomime. The Awards were not a total loss, for we enjoyed the after show party and danced the night away, topped off by one of our members winning return flights to Europe as part of the competition. We look forward to your support in 2008.
Wanted! Bar and Theatre Staff Your theatre needs you – If you can spare just one evening during a week when one of our shows is on, perhaps you could help us. We’re looking for a spare pair of hands to help behind the bar or serving wine in the theatre itself. The Christmas concert is our next event, and runs between 13th and 15th December. Can you help? If interested, please call Jo on 024 7667 2642 for details.
Have you heard of the Wheatsheaf Crew? Well you should have. It’s fabulous! It’s an acting club which has loads of activities and at the cheap price of £12 for 10 weeks! We also do a play one or two times a year which takes a lot of preparation. It is on a Wednesday and incredibly fun. Talk to Pat, Heather or Christine. Pfion 12
Chris Jarvis Terry is back after a short break between performances. He last shared the lead in our touching tale about old age in a Month o...