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02 Dec Director Jan Kirk picks her Settlement Players cast for Southern Irish play The Mai in York (York Press)

Director Jan Kirk picks her Settlement Players cast for Southern Irish play The Mai in York (York Press)

DIRECTOR Jan Kirk has settled on her York Settlement Community Players cast for Marina Carr’s Southern Irish play The Mai.

“I had 28 people to audition, so plenty of difficult choices, but I do have a very strong cast as a result,” says Jan, whose production will be staged at Upstage Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York, from March 16 to 19 next year. Rehearsals will start on January 5, taking place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

“In essence, Marina’s play explores the hopes and disappointments of four generations of women within one Irish family,” says Jan. “It presents the memories of Millie, The Mai’s daughter, with the adult Millie narrating the drama being performed on stage, but participating in the action as a teenager.

The storyline reconstructs the summer of 1979, when The Mai’s estranged husband returns after a five-year absence, and the summer of 1980, when the marriage has disintegrated again. The Mai is the story of the quest for love and depicts the loss of love, romantic and familial.”

Jan’s cast will feature Beryl Nairn as The Mai; Beth Sharrock as Millie, aged 16 and 30; Elizabeth Elsworth as the 100-year-old Grandma Fraochlan and Damian Fynes as Robert, The Mai’s husband. Jessica Murray will play The Mai’s sister, Beck, aged 37; Helen Sant, her sister Connie, 38; Sophie Buckley, her aunt, 75; and Vivienne Clare, another aunt, 61.

Director and cast will be doing research and development work between now and January. Among those in the production team will be designers Mike Rogers and Jan Kirk, in her second role; stage manager Dave Moores; the lighting and sound team Graham Sanderson and Edward Dick; costume duo Helen Taylor and Maggie Smales; composer Ollie Mills; photographer Michael J.Oakes and Irish accent coach Brendan Tannam.

Tickets will go on sale in January (2016)

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17 Nov The Mai – Cast Announced

The Mai Swan

York Settlement Community Players present:
The Mai by Marina Carr
Directed by Jan Kirk
Wednesday 16 March – Saturday 19 March, 2016
Upstage Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB

CAST:

The Mai – Beryl Nairn
Millie – Beth Sharrock
Grandma Fraochlán – Elizabeth Elsworth
Robert – Damian Fynes
Beck – Jessica Murray
Connie – Helen Sant
Julie – Sophie Buckley
Agnes – Vivienne Clare

Photo credit: Michael J Oakes

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03 Nov OPEN AUDITIONS – 8 & 10 NOVEMBER – THE MAI by MARINA CARR

The Mai Swan

THE MAI by MARINA CARR
YSCP: OPEN AUDITIONS
Director, Jan Kirk, is receiving a lot of interest in her choice of YSCP’s March production.
If you’d like to be considered for a part in THE MAI, please RSVP to jankirk.cop@gmail.com so she has an idea of numbers attending auditions.
Thank you.
This is a play for 7 female actors and 1 male actor.
The character ages appear as listed in the play script. Acting ages will reflect these character ages, but will not be restricted by them.
The Mai, age 40
Millie, her daughter, age 16 and 30
Grandma Fraochlán, age 100
Robert, The Mai’s husband, age 42
Beck, her sister, age 37
Connie, her sister, age 38
Julie, her aunt, age 75
Agnes, her aunt, age 61
———————————————————————————————-
We are delighted to announce that York Settlement Community Players have been granted special permission by Marina Carr’s agents, to produce her award-winning play THE MAI.
Audition Dates:
Sunday 8 Nov: 2-5pm
Tues 10 Nov: 7-10pm
Audition Venue:
Clementhorpe Community Centre (photo attached) Lower Ebor Street, York, YO23 1AY. Travel and directions: http://www.itravelyork.info/planner/
Acclaim for THE MAI:
Persuasive and provocative…discloses a rich poetic landscape, fused with gentle humour, lyrical romanticism and harboured rage (VARIETY)
A triumph…deeply affecting…profoundly rewarding (THE SUNDAY TRIBUNE)
The Mai’s eldest daughter…fuses past and present, history and lore  into a story as intimate, unique, disturbing, affectionate and recognisable as all family stories (JOCELYN CLARKE)
Performance Dates:
Weds 16 March – Sat 19 March, 2016
Venue: Upstage Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB
Director: Jan Kirk
The Playwright
 
Marina Carr grew up in County Offaly in the Irish Midlands in a literary household – father a novelist and playwright, mother a poet. As a child she read children’s versions of Greek Myths and these became major influences in many of her later works.
She is prominent at the moment having written a version of Hecuba, Euripides’ Greek tragedy, for the RSC. It is presently in performance in The Swan Theatre, Stratford.
The Play
Set in the Irish Midlands, The Mai was first performed in Dublin in 1994 and won the Dublin Theatre Festival Best New Irish Play Award.
In essence, the play explores the hopes and disappointments of four generations of of women within one Irish family. It stages the memories of Millie, The Mai’s daughter. The adult Millie narrates the drama performed on stage but participates in the action as a teenager and reconstructs the summer of 1979, when The Mai’s estranged husband returns after a 5 year absence and the summer of 1980, when the marriage has disintegrated again. The Mai is the story of the quest for love and depicts the loss of love, romantic and familial.
The Characters
 
This is a play for 7 female actors and 1 male actor.
The character ages appear as listed in the play script. Acting ages will reflect these character ages, but will not be restricted by them.
The Mai, age 40
Millie, her daughter, age 16 and 30
Grandma Fraochlán, age 100
Robert, The Mai’s husband, age 42
Beck, her sister, age 37
Connie, her sister, age 38
Julie, her aunt, age 75
Agnes, her aunt, age 61
The Audition
The audition will consist of a read through of extracts from the play (provided), followed by group work. Sections of the play will be given time for rehearsal and then shared with the rest of the group.
Please come prepared to ‘have a go’ at a Southern Irish Accent.
Rehearsals
Rehearsals will start on Tues 5 January 2016 and will take place on Tues and Thurs evenings and Sun afternoons.
The Director
Jan Kirk has extensive experience as an actor and director. For YSCP, Jan has directed: Travels With My Aunt (2011), Humble Boy (2013), Rohilla (2014).
RSVP
Please RSVP to Jan Kirk jankirk.cop@gmail.com  and let her know which date is best for you. If you can manage both dates please indicate, as this will be useful for audition numbers.
Thank you.
Swan on ‘Owl Lake’ Photo Credit: Michael J Oakes
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09 Oct YSCP – OPEN AUDITIONS – THE MAI by MARINA CARR

'Owl Lake'

THE MAI by MARINA CARR
YSCP: OPEN AUDITIONS
We are delighted to announce that York Settlement Community Players have been granted special permission by Marina Carr’s agents, to produce her award-winning play THE MAI.
Audition Dates:
Sunday 8 Nov: 2-5pm
Tues 10 Nov: 7-10pm
Audition Venue:
Clementhorpe Community Centre (photo attached) Lower Ebor Street, York, YO23 1AY. Travel and directions: http://www.itravelyork.info/planner/
Acclaim for THE MAI:
Persuasive and provocative…discloses a rich poetic landscape, fused with gentle humour, lyrical romanticism and harboured rage (VARIETY)
A triumph…deeply affecting…profoundly rewarding (THE SUNDAY TRIBUNE)
The Mai’s eldest daughter…fuses past and present, history and lore  into a story as intimate, unique, disturbing, affectionate and recognisable as all family stories (JOCELYN CLARKE)
Performance Dates:
Weds 16 March – Sat 19 March, 2016
Venue: Upstage Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB
Director: Jan Kirk
The Playwright
 
Marina Carr grew up in County Offaly in the Irish Midlands in a literary household – father a novelist and playwright, mother a poet. As a child she read children’s versions of Greek Myths and these became major influences in many of her later works.
She is prominent at the moment having written a version of Hecuba, Euripides’ Greek tragedy, for the RSC. It is presently in performance in The Swan Theatre, Stratford.
The Play
Set in the Irish Midlands, The Mai was first performed in Dublin in 1994 and won the Dublin Theatre Festival Best New Irish Play Award.
In essence, the play explores the hopes and disappointments of four generations of of women within one Irish family. It stages the memories of Millie, The Mai’s daughter. The adult Millie narrates the drama performed on stage but participates in the action as a teenager and reconstructs the summer of 1979, when The Mai’s estranged husband returns after a 5 year absence and the summer of 1980, when the marriage has disintegrated again. The Mai is the story of the quest for love and depicts the loss of love, romantic and familial.
The Characters
 
This is a play for 7 female actors and 1 male actor.
The character ages appear as listed in the play script. Acting ages will reflect these character ages, but will not be restricted by them.
The Mai, age 40
Millie, her daughter, age 16 and 30
Grandma Fraochlán, age 100
Robert, The Mai’s husband, age 42
Beck, her sister, age 37
Connie, her sister, age 38
Julie, her aunt, age 75
Agnes, her aunt, age 61
The Audition
The audition will consist of a read through of extracts from the play (provided), followed by group work. Sections of the play will be given time for rehearsal and then shared with the rest of the group.
Please come prepared to ‘have a go’ at a Southern Irish Accent.
Rehearsals
Rehearsals will start on Tues 5 January 2016 and will take place on Tues and Thurs evenings and Sun afternoons.
The Director
Jan Kirk has extensive experience as an actor and director. For YSCP, Jan has directed: Travels With My Aunt (2011), Humble Boy (2013), Rohilla (2014).
RSVP
Please RSVP to Jan Kirk jankirk.cop@gmail.com  and let her know which date is best for you. If you can manage both dates please indicate, as this will be useful for audition numbers.
Thank you.
Photo Credit: Michael J Oakes
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26 Sep Fabulous review from Charles Hutchinson in The Press in York

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THE CHERRY ORCHARD
Fabulous review from Charles Hutchinson in The Press in York

”This Cherry Orchard is in full bloom. Do see it.”

”THE debate goes on: is Anton Chekhov’s last play, 1904’s The Cherry Orchard, a tragedy, a tragi-comedy or a “comedy in four acts”, as the Russian himself called it?

Helen Wilson’s splendidly robust production for York Settlement Community Players delivers on her promise to bring out the humour in Chekhov’s host of colourful characters as they grapple with change, both social and financial.

The consequences of their actions may well be tragic, but they are such wonderfully recognisable warts-and-all people, with their foibles, their unrequited love, intransigence and eccentricities, that we laugh in recognition of their behaviour.

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/leisure/theatre/13785426.Review__The_Cherry_Orchard

Hurry to get your tickets for the last remaining shows!
Sat 26 September at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 27 September at 2.30pm

Tickets £10

Venue: Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9SL.

Friargate Box Office: (01904 613000)
http://ridinglights.org/the-cherry-orchard/

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23 Sep THE CHERRY ORCHARD – DRESS REHEARSAL PHOTOS

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THE CHERRY ORCHARD OPENS 24 SEPTEMBER!
To whet your appetite, here are 10 fabulous Dress Rehearsal photos of the show, taken by John Saunders.
You can enjoy the full set here:
Tickets are just £10!
York Settlement Community Players present:
Anton Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD
Translated by Michael Frayn
Directed by Helen Wilson

24, 25, 26 September at 7.30pm
26, 27 September 2.30pm matinees
Tickets £10

Venue: Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9SL.

Friargate Box Office: (01904 613000)
http://ridinglights.org/the-cherry-orchard/

Thanks to Charles Hutchinson for this preview in York Press:

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/leisure/theatre/13721101.York_Settlement_Community_Players

ANTON Chekhov’s tragi-comic The Cherry Orchard is to be staged in York for the first time in more than 15 years by the York Settlement Community Players this month.

Last presented in the city with Miriam Margolyes as Madame Ranyevskaya in the late Sir John Mortimer’s new adaptation at the Theatre Royal in October 1999, the play was picked only weeks ago by theatre critic Michael Billington in his personal list of the 101 most important plays.

Directed by Settlement stalwart Helen Wilson at the Friargate Theatre from September 24 to 27, the new production promises to bring out the humour in Chekhov’s 1904 Russian work with its host of colourful characters grappling with change, both social and financial.

CAST:
Dunyasha – Naomi Lombard
Lophakin – Ben Sawyer
Yepikhodov – Daniel Wilmot
Firs – Roger Farrington
Anya – Jess Murray
Ranyevskaya – Cat Hall
Charlotta – Sonia Di Lorenzo
Varya – Cindy George
Gayev – Maurice Crichton
Pischik – Matt Simpson
Yasha – Andrew Isherwood
Trofimov – Dan Hardy
A passerby – Stephen Smith
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1651380195104896/

Twitter: @YSCP_Theatre #cherry15
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15 Sep Ranyevskaya – Catherine Hall – writes about THE CHERRY ORCHARD

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Ranyevskaya – Catherine Hall – writes:

”Last night’s run was thrilling because we’re now at that point where it’s details that need work. The shape is there. The whole journey is there. The comedy and the tragedy are both there. The characters are solid, living beings. Let’s pick up cues and rock this play! My 2 friends Gail and Dan who were our ‘audience’ because they’re away for the run and love this play so much said: (Dan) ‘ I was captivated. It was very funny and I think this is was how Chekhov meant it to be’. Gail still had tears pouring down and said ‘oh I loved it. I just can’t stop crying!’. Ain’t Anton C the best? Best book your seats lovely people. This is going to be good!”

York Settlement Community Players present:
Anton Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD
Translated by Michael Frayn
Directed by Helen Wilson

24, 25, 26 September at 7.30pm
26, 27 September 2.30pm matinees
Tickets £10

Venue: Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9SL.

Friargate Box Office: (01904 613000)
http://ridinglights.org/the-cherry-orchard/

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14 Sep THE CHERRY ORCHARD OPENS SEPTEMBER 24!

 

York Press Pic

Our production features familiar as well as new faces, dance and live music in addition to the superb text. “The Cherry Orchard ” (one of Michael Billington’s 101 best plays) has not been seen in the City of York for 16 years. Don’t miss it this time. 01904 613000. Opens September 24!

24, 25, 26 September at 7.30pm
26, 27 September 2.30pm matinees
Tickets £10

Venue: Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9SL.
http://ridinglights.org/the-cherry-orchard/

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04 Sep THE CHERRY ORCHARD – REHEARSAL NEWS

Cherry-orchard-A6-double-sided

Now we’re into September, we head ever closer to the opening night of THE CHERRY ORCHARD!

Graham Sanderson, YSCP Chair and production lighting designer, gives his thoughts on the latest rehearsals:

”I watched two full rehearsals of The Cherry Orchard on Monday and Tuesday evening this week – Acts 1 and 2 on Monday and Acts 3 and 4 on Tuesday.  The rehearsals were remarkably smooth and confident for first runs ‘off the book’ with three weeks to go until first night, and it’s clear that this is going to be a super production.  The action is paced just right even at this stage: the swings from humour to sadness to flashes of joy and scenes of painful intensity are managed really well by a very strong cast.  It was moving and very funny by turns… And the music is a delight.  I’m looking forward to seeing the production in the theatre even though I shall be cooped up in the lighting box…  Those who have a chance to see it from the audience, don’t miss it!”

Graham

York Settlement Community Players present:
Anton Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD
Translated by Michael Frayn
Directed by Helen Wilson

24, 25, 26 September at 7.30pm
26, 27 September 2.30pm matinees
Tickets £10

Venue: Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9SL.

Friargate Box Office: (01904 613000)
http://ridinglights.org/the-cherry-orchard/

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