It was the year 2003, our work was mostly involved in directing youth and community theatre, writing scripts and giving workshops.
It was time to face new challenges – to launch into making video films of our work. The decision was then made, following the exciting Shakespeare productions of Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew, to make the Shrew – soon known to us as TOTS – into a film.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
We had chosen the finest playwright – we could not fail. For two years we worked with our youth actors, some as young as 8 and 9, and with only the sketchiest ideas of how to direct a film – we embarked on a huge learning curve.
Many scenes were filmed in the gorgeous Aberglasny Gardens. Everyone welcomed us, and in rain or shine, we would film, using all and every beautiful corners in this most amazing garden.
But the final scene, where Kate tells how to be a good wife (we had her sing it, to music by Richard Whitehead) this scene was filmed at the theatre, with a blue screen background.
What we hoped was going to save us having to build a set for this scene, and indeed some others, has since become something of a nightmare, because the editing of bluescreen is outside our present skills, and despite long searches we have not yet found a blue screen editor willing to do this work, for we are, of course, rather small fry in the film making business.
Tangled up wIth the fighting to finish our film, was that Simon Barnes, our co-director, was fighting with cancer, And we had another dream – we had embarked on writing the screen-play for another film – Swallow the Devil.
SWALLOW THE DEVIL
Swallow the Devil was performed on stage, by the Theatre Company and Simon as DR DORN, based his character on the Elizabethan, Dr Dee. It was a superb performance, and as cancer accelerated, we tried to bring him home and begin filming his scenes. Alas, too late.
Swallow the Devil is the story of a girl who has powers, and can communicate with aliens, and despite the powers of the state ‘prosecutor’ Dorn, to discredit her and bring her to ‘heel’ she… well, you will have to read the play!
So, we have one – nearly completed – film THE TAMING OF THE SCHREW – and we have a nearly completed screen play of ‘Swallow the Devil’ . What is the future?
Maybe, someone who loves theatre and making films, will read this page, and decide to come and help us. Maybe?
We welcome interest, support and friendship.
Contact the Llandovery Theatre Facebook page.