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Friday, 2 March 2012

Countdown begins to No Holds Bard!

So we’re a mere 13 days away from the opening of the No Holds Bard festival, which features my one act play ‘Poor Yorick’ – and panic has begun to set in as we’ve yet to run the play all the way through..

Yorick (Will Smith-Haddon) makes himself at
home in Hamlet's (Chris Powell) room
at Elsinore
 Focusing on Hamlet’s story as seen through the eyes of his court jester who has gone on tour pioneering stand-up comedy, the play is at least getting plenty of laughs from the cast during rehearsals.

It’s quite a cast too! Will Smith-Haddon is great as Yorick, the clown who’s ahead of his time with his observational humour – “What is it with the Black Death? That's a bit depressing isn't it?” 

Yorick (Will Smith-Haddon) and Bess
(Clare Drewett) may not have much but at least
they have each other
Clare Drewett plays his bawdy wench girlfriend Bess who specialises in knocking back ale and making rat stew. Chris Powell excels as a whinging Hamlet who is fed up of his moaning mother, Gertrude – played to perfection by Sue Morgan in a glittering gown, tiara and Marigold gloves. Bruce Campbell makes a brief appearance as a surprisingly chirpy ghost of Hamlet’s father, offering words of advice such as "Don't drink the wine".

Yorick and Hamlet discuss vacancies for court jester
while Queen Gertrude (Sue Morgan) attempts to
clean the room
The festival is Newport Playgoers’ contribution to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project which aims to reunite the worlds of amateur and professional theatre. With four plays offering a mixture of slapstick, bloody sword fights and romantic mix-ups it promises to be an evening of lively entertainment that gives a thoroughly modern take on Shakespeare and turns his plots into plays for today. For more information check out http://newportplaygoers.wordpress.com/

We're all really excited that our local newspaper, the South Wales Argus, is sponsoring the festival.  Please come along and support us from 15 – 17 March at the Dolman Theatre, Newport. Tickets, which are just £5 and £7, can be booked by phoning the box office on 01633 263670 or visiting www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

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