Torbay theatre company to perform virtual shows worldwide

South Devon Players in a virtual rehearsal

South Devon Players in a virtual rehearsal - Credit: South Devon Players

An award-winning Torbay theatre company is bringing Shakespeare's Henry V to a screen near you in conjunction with large-scale theatre festivals.

During the Covid pandemic, Brixham-based South Devon Players have continued creating theatre but in an all-new way - online - and have been able to reach audiences around the world.

Shakespeare's Henry V tells the tale of the events surrounding the Battle of Agincourt, from both the points of the opposing kings of England and France, and among King Henry's soldiers, through the eyes of a wonderful array of very different personalities, and is a lively, and often humorous study as much of individual personalities, as the particulars of the war.

For simplicity for everyone working from home, a lightly post-apocalyptic background has been used as the show design.

Unable to safely meet and rehearse in person due to the pandemic, and with theatres for the most part being closed, South Devon Players decided to utilise new technology.

So with the actors working safely from home using streaming technology and digital backdrops, they came together in cyberspace to continue to create shows and are now streaming to audiences worldwide.

South Devon Players will present Henry V digitally

South Devon Players will present Henry V digitally - Credit: South Devon Players

In addition to the performance, the Players have created a free online education resource aimed at children and students, supporting the project, free to all ticket holders.

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As the pandemic eases, Shakespeare's Henry V is the latest project.

Rehearsed through the spring, Henry V is being streamed in conjunction with this month's Bristol Shakespeare Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month.

The Players return to face-to-face rehearsals and shows from the end of August with their production of Ben Hur - and some staged performances of Henry V.

Creating theatre to stream online has become a whole new artform – requiring creative use of streaming technology, home laptops/tablets, and for actors to not only perform but often become their own technicians as well.

The South Devon Players, founded in 2005/6 on the proceeds of a car boot sale, are a female-led theatre team and winners of the national Epic Award 2017 for England, a national arts award celebrating creativity and innovation in grassroots arts, and now the 2019 Long Island Theatre Awards 'Theatre Partner' award in New York.

Based in Brixham, the Players primarily specialise in researched historical theatre productions and stage adaptations of old 'classics' to create opportunities for local people to become involved in creating theatre, whether on, or behind, the stage.

The show dates are streaming as part of Bristol Shakespeare Festival on July 24 at 7.30pm and July 25 at 11.30pm - view any time.

Streaming as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will be on August 13 and 14 at 7.30pm.

To view the streams, log on to www.southdevonplayers.com and go to the box office tab for booking details.