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Alice in Wonderland is a story of strange and inexplicable encounters. In making this piece we hope that you have such an experience, and that it is fun too. We’re especially pleased to welcome two apprentices into the team this year, giving Bella and Bea a real experience of theatre performance and touring. They’re being paid for their work (they’re not “Interns”!) and we’re benefitting greatly from their youthfulness. We also ask for your appreciation of the many volunteer promoters who help make our visits a success and gather local support. Without them, we’d not be with you. We hope you enjoy what we’ve made, and tell your friends about it too!
Alice - Beatrice Savill
Beatrice Savill is a performer who trained at Exmouth College and on the Exeter Northcott Kickstart Programme. Bea's professional credits include 'The A Game' and 'How Did I Get Here' with Exeter Northcott's Kickstart Company (2021), 'Feeling Lonely at Parties' with Pursued by a Dragon (2021), assistant directed and performed in 'Footprints' - a collaboration between Exeter Northcott and Exeter University (2022). Most recently she co-devised a spoken word performance 'To The Ones Who Get It' (2022) and trained with Marine Theatre - 'On Screen at the Marine'.
Mad Hatter - Richard Feltham
Richard has previously toured with The Common Players, as The Alchemist and Little John in The Tuck Inn, The Sheriff in Robin Hood & The Sherwood Experience and as Guy de Gisbourne in The Return of Robin Hood. Other outdoor performance work includes The Duke in Burn the Curtains’ award winning Company of Wolves. He also regularly performs with Wandering Tiger, most recently as Bob Cratchitt as The Ghost of Christmas Past in Humbug! He's also producer, director and performer with Playing Dead.
White Rabbit - Bella Finlayson
Bella is an actor based in the South West, having studied Drama at Exeter University and acting and Creative Leadership with the National Youth Theatre. Recently she trained with Moonfool in feminised post-Grotowski acting, performing in their outdoor show of Orlando. Of late, Bella has performed at the Tobacco Factory and Revel Puck as a part of Devilish Theatre.
Cook and Queen of Hearts - Sarah White
This is Sarah’s second outing with Common Players having previously played the dastardly Sheriff in last years summer tour of The Tuck Inn. Sarah is an Exeter based performer and producer and is co-director of site-specific, immersive theatre company, Four of Swords.
Other than playing villains her favourite things include cheese and paddle boarding (not at the same time).
Turtle & Humpty Dumpty - Dan Ball
This year Dan has completed filming on the final series of Doc Martin, which will air Xmas eve 2022. Alice in Wonderland takes Dan back on stage for first time this year, other pantomime shows include, Snow White (Yeovil Octagon) Aladdin (Corn Exchange, Exeter) Dick Whittington (Corn Exchange, Exeter) Beauty and the Beast (The Broadway, Peterborough) Sleeping Beauty (Theatre Royal, Lincoln), Snow White (Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth) Snow White (Melton Mowbray) Beauty and the Beast (Welwyn Garden City). Locally he has performed in many shows at the Northcott Theatre and for Four of Swords theatre company.
Producer and Director
Andrew Whelan with Anthony Richards and the company
Set & Costume Designer and Maker
Valerie Jarrett and Kate Beith
Evered Woodward, with Pete Elliott
Mary, Daisy and Sam Elliott, Sofia Reichert
Touring Stage Manager
Philip Kingslan John
Arts Council England Belacqua Charitable Trust Ebay
Poltimore House and Grounds
The Misses Barrie Charitable Trust
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If you'd like the Common Players to visit your local community space, then drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Common Players is an arts charity formed in 1989. It was set up to create engaging performances for and with people in communities around the Westcountry. Over the years activities have ranged from outdoor family performances, through participative and educational projects, to indoor touring works about issues and subjects that face rural communities. We have created more than 30 original productions, often commissioning local writers and employing other professional theatre artists, and at times performing to audiences of over 15,000 in any one year. We work in response to opportunities that exist, and we also create new initiatives which we believe to be important, partnering with other arts organisations in order to deliver our ambitions. We value giving access to theatre to those who would not normally see themselves as consumers of theatre art, both as audience members and participants. In 2021, we were very excited to be making theatre again, going back to our roots, laid over 30 years ago, touring community locations around Devon. The Tuck Inn was a family event that re-told the legend of Robin Hood. It seemed to be just what people needed after a rubbish couple of years and very soon after we had communities asking ‘what’s next?” Alice in Wonderland seemed a fitting tale to tackle this year but as with all Common Players shows it has its own sprinkling of fun and nonsense but also touches on themes and morals that will resonate across audiences.
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