The Very Best of Theatre NOW in the BVI

The Duchess of Malfi

Shakespeare’s King Lear

The BVI Theatre Series Returns!

Photography courtesy of National Theatre Live  

There is always great anticipation for the events inspired by a fresh high season in the BVI; this year isn’t any different. For 2014 – 2015, a new and diverse array of BVI Theatre Series (TS) performances will be exhibited to dazzle and entertain all who attend.

If unaware, the TS is the innovative brainchild of collaboration between Appleby Global and H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), presenting screenings of award-winning theatre productions. This pioneering BVI activity first commenced on October 31 2013 with National Theatre Live’s adaptation of the gothic classic Frankenstein. The audience attendance exceeded the expectations of the TS team as did the response to their following  performances.

nutcracker

Mariinsky Theatre Nutcracker

This year has bared sponsorship from Appleby Global, the prime organisers, HLSCC’s Dr Karl Dawson and his team, who have assisted in the education of the series to BVI students, aLookingGlass with Senior Graphic Designer Scott Taylor and his creation of the posters, tickets, and programmes, and Digicel’s assistance with the technical aspects, downloading the content for the performances.

Speaking to Nadia Menezes, counsel at Appleby Global and coordinator for the TS, she described the organisation of the 2014/2015 run with an assorted line-up ahead, designed to surpass the satisfaction of last year and target a wider audience.

“We were fortunate to have the support of the community for the last season and attendance overall was good,” said Nadia. “For the best performances, we had over 200 people, and the feedback was very positive…so we have responded to that by having more diversity in the content this season.”

Below – the BVI Theatre Series opened this season with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Nadia explained that the TS offers a unique experience for the Territory’s residents and visitors.

“As we found with the Theatre Series last year, the performance nights have given people the opportunity to do something different,” she said. “Often they have been coupled with drinks or dinner at nearby restaurants and that makes for a great night out in addition to the education and entertainment aspects involved…”

Nadia’s objective is to facilitate accessibility to the performances via memorable and convenient scheduled dates and value rates.

Below – King Lear will be this season’s Shakespearean piece

The Duchess of Malfi

King Lear

The Duchess of Malfi

10. Gloucester (Stephen Boxer) and Old Man (Colin Haigh). Photo by Mark Douet.

“…the tickets are so reasonably priced,” she said, optimistic that this will encourage others to participate. “…we’re hoping that the audience will get into the spirit of the show by dressing up in pirate themed fancy dress for the performance of Treasure Island – who doesn’t love the chance to dress up,” she continued.

To improve the structure and attendance, there is a wider selection of plays, generally falling on the last Saturday of every month at 7pm so that people can easily remember the date and time of the shows. Nadia highlighted that, “the only exception [is] the February performance – we are excited to be showing Skylight with Bill Nighy which has been a great hit and will make for an extra special Valentine’s outing on 14 February for all those looking for something to do.

Skylight 2

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight

“Education and exposure to the arts for all has been an important driver of the BVI Theatre Series,” Nadia added. “As such, we will be using funds generated from ticket sales…to have Appleby Arts Awards for students who win essay competitions that are set by the teachers in relation to the plays studied…we are also working on a project to create  bursaries/Appleby Awards for outstanding HLSCC students…Appleby regularly donates tickets…to various local drama groups or students – last year we donated tickets for the National Theatre’s War Horse to the Seventh Day Adventist youth group and they thoroughly enjoyed the performance.”

Below – The second half of the season begins with A Small Family Business

A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS

A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS

A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS

A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS

Additionally, the TS coordinator is optimistic that they have discovered a solution to the HLSCC auditorium’s over-zealous gift of air-conditioning, so that the audience receives a warmer reception.

House, The Watering Hole, Sunny Caribbee, aLookingGlass, and Digicel are serving as TS ticket outlets, providing options for avid theatre goers and newcomers to experience one of the latest activities available in the BVI.


PERFORMANCE DATES – 2014 – 2015

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September 27 – the BVI Theatre Series opened with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which is based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Haddon. It tells the story of fifteen year-old Christopher, who is exceptional at maths, yet mentally ill-equipped to deal with daily life. When he falls under suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog Wellington, he attempts to solve the mystery of the murder.

King Lear

October 25 – King Lear will be this season’s Shakespearean piece which is directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes and features Simon Russell Beale as King Lear. The story is that of an aged king who decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. This wields chaotic results.

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November 29 – a pre-Christmas special of the Mariinsky Ballet’s Nutcracker will be shown and with a matinee at 3pm for children as well as an evening performance at 7pm.

A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS

January 31 – the second half of the season begins with A Small Family Business which has been described as “a riotous exposure of entrepreneurial greed” and shows the interaction between Jack McCracken, a man of principle in a corrupt world. He takes over his father-in-law’s business and finds his principles corrupted by the politics and goings-on in the family business.

2. Bill Nighy (Tom Sergeant) and Carey Mulligan (Kyra Hollis), photo by John Haynes

February 14 – Skylight which reveals the story of  schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) who receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship.

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March 28 – Treasure Island – there is no need for introduction of this renowned classic and its close relationship with the British Virgin Islands.  The audience will be encouraged to come dressed in pirate-themed costumes and there’ll be a prize for the best.

April 25 – Surprise Performance which will be announced nearer the time

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Erin Paviour-Smith

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