Some information about the productions we have done over the years
This was the first production by Three Course Theatre ~ Guisborough Theatre Club on the Move.
The play was performed at two venues: The Thistle Hotel in Middlesbrough and Rushpool Hall, Saltburn-by-the-Sea.
At both venues the play was performed during breaks in a three course meal provided by the venue. The proceeds from the Thistle Hotel performance went to the mental health charity Middlesbrough Mind and the proceeds from the Rushpool Hall performance went to the Friends of Murambinda Hospital.
Given any opportunity and a flagon of wine, philosophers will philosophise and assess will listen.
With two fey young ladies on display, the 'ass' (to his dismay) is lead astray by two philosophers, another ass and a bale of hay.
In our second year, as an independent group, Three Course Theatre having cut its ties with the Guisborough Theatre Club, opted to tour to more venues and only have the meal at one of them. The other performances were straight (if you can call doing all of Shakespeare's plays in one night 'straight') performances.
The set from the first production was re-configured and re-painted, with lighting being again borrowed from Middlesbrough College. Many of the costumes and props were borrowed from the Nunthorpe Players.
Proceeds from the production went to FMH. Venues included Stokesley Town Hall and the Village Hall at Great Broughton. All the proceeds from this production went to FMH.
Charlie, Aaron and Charley - our brilliant cast of many characters.
And the indispensable Yorick, of course.
Poster design by George Brichieri
This year's production, Romanov and Juliet by Peter Ustinov, again took the the road, but with its main venue in one of the function rooms at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. here the play was performed in between courses of a three course meal.
Our set was once more transformed on Bill's driveway, this time with the addition of a clocktower, with an illuminated clock, of course. Lighting, this time, was borrowed from the Nunthorpe Players.
The story centres around, as the title seems to suggest, unrequited love, between the daughter of the American Ambassador and the son of the Soviet Ambassador, in an unspecified Middle-European country. Fortunately Peter Unstinov provided a very much happier ending than Shakespeare did in his similarly named play.
Proceeds from this production were shared with the Holistic Cancer Care Centre at James Cook University Hospital and the Friends of Murambinda Hospital.
2012 - 13
The 'never again' years. Our set was suitably disposed of, but for some reason the bank account, although virtually empty, was never actually closed...
Developed as a one act play, the Incomplete Works, draws heavily on the concept developed by Adam, Daniel and Jess in their Complete Works. Instead, however, of starting with thumbnail sketch of Will and his life, this play starts with a rigorous debate as to whether Will did, in fact write the plays or not. Alternative authors are postulated, evidence scrutinised in depth and the inevitable conclusion drawn, that yes, Will did, in fact, write the plays. A major argument for plays such as the Merchant of Venice not being by Shakespeare runs that because he never travelled overseas, he couldn't possibly have the necessary deep knowledge of Venice needed to write it. This fallacious argument is neatly demolished by pointing out that, in a five act play set in Venice, there is not a single reference to its most salient feature - all the canals there - so much for deep knowledge. Huh!
The rest of The Incomplete Works is made up of several other of the Bard's works, inevitably including Hamlet and its final multiple deaths scene.
This play was performed at the "The Stokesley Engineers' Dinner" in Stokesley Town Hall, which resulted in a donation to FMH and a free meal for our actors.
Poster design by George Brichieri
Unfortunately, the play was not be as popular as hoped, and it was only down to the generosity of most of the venues who didn't charge us, and also Michael Hollinger, who waved his royalties, that we were able to donate a reasonable amount to FMH.
Thanks also to Joe Harrison for stage managing, moving stuff and helping with the set build and painting - on my drive.
Those who did turn out to see the play thoroughly enjoyed it.
This production was performed at several venues around Teesside, adventuring as far north as Castle Eden, in County Durham. The concept of having a meal with one of the performances was abandoned, and Three Course Theatre became one of those rarities, an amateur touring company.
Having disposed of the old set, a new one was built on Bill's drive. This time it had to incorporate a pair of two way swing doors, which thankfully worked a treat in spite of all the heaving about in transit between venues. The simulated Crème Brûlée, (the only food actually served and eaten during the performance) also worked well.
More to keep the name of Three Course Theatre alive, Bill managed to persuade the Nunthorpe Players to include a performance as part of their Later Summer Show on the 3rd September. However, FMH would not profit from the performance. At least Bill got to play Ophelia and Gertrude once more.
In the early hours of the following morning our author/director/actor of many parts (Bill) suffered a brain haemorrhage - probably made more likely by having to die on stage so many times during the performance. Thanks to prompt action by his wife, the ambulance service, A & E and the Neurological Team at The James Cook University Hospital (JCUH), he beat the odds, with his faculties intact (a fact still disputed in some quarters). In appreciation of this lifesaving care at JCUH a donation was made to the hospital - the Murambinda Mission Hospital, that is - via FMH, so they did profit from the performance after all. A small token of appreciation was given to the ICU team at JCUH, as well, of course.