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Frank Dudley is back!
Frank Dudley, old-school actor and self-proclaimed national treasure, returns to TheatreFest once more in 2023. He was last seen onstage in St Anne’s Arts Centre in 2018, in Plain Quakers Theatre’s Swansong-not fade away. This season he treads the boards at the Baptist Hall in SRM Theatre’s sequel, Swansong (slighty out of tune).
Persuaded by his friend Kathryn, Frank has reluctantly moved into The Happy Haven, a rather shabby establishment for a motley collection of retired actors, variety performers, singers and other artistes past their best.
Frank is reunited with Sarah Smith, who he once worked with in Rep so very long ago, and becomes a leading light of the Golden Oldies, an ad hoc company of old troupers gamely attempting to relive their past theatrical triumphs, real or imagined.
However, the past intrudes rudely upon their rehearsals for the sequel to their first show, Magic Moments with Shakespeare’s Minor Characters: all is not going as smoothly as it might…
About SRM Theatre
SRM Theatre (Slightly Rude Mechanicals) is based in West Yorkshire. It was founded in 2019 to produce a community theatre piece for the people of Skelmanthorpe – The Shat Shakespeare Show. The founder members all have one thing in common: Bretton Hall College, where they had either studied or lectured back in the 1970s and 80s. The company of eight actors aims to create theatre for touring to smaller venues.
Covid forced the company indoors and online and generated a rich variety of original writing for performance culminating in the 10-episode sitcom Game Show parodying the ‘Love Island’ style of reality show but set in a rather less exotic Isle of Wight location and featuring a motley group of pensioners. You can view this and other work at https://www.youtube.com/@srmtheatre4449
Swan Song (slightly out of tune), a wryly comic three-hander set in a retirement home for actors, played in various venues in the Huddersfield area before coming to Barnstaple TheatreFest.
A revue-format piece, working title Phoenix Rising, is planned for the autumn.
For further information contact email@example.com
Rachel Hodgson (Sarah Smith)
Having trained at Bretton Hall College in the late 1970’s, Rachel joined Wide Angle Theatre Company performing in local schools in West Yorkshire. She then worked as an Educational Projects Officer before landing the job of Head of Drama at Kettlethorpe High School where she stayed for the next 32 years! In addition, she was the director of Wakefield Youth Theatre for several years and had a brief stint with Hull Truck Youth Theatre. She also returned to Bretton to study for an MA in Educational Theatre. Having retired (early!) she became a founder member of SRM and found herself in front of an audience again rather than behind the scenes. When she’s not flexing her acting muscles (and shredding her nerves) she enjoys singing in a Soul Choir, walking, swimming, gardening and spoiling her two cats.
Liz Heywood (Kathryn Sutton)
Liz spent most of her working life leading a brilliant team in a large Performing Arts department at a sixth form college, with occasional teaching at Bretton Hall College. She has directed, among many others, Lope da Vega, Edward Bond, Eugene Ionesco, Ariel Dorfman, Peter Wheelan, Howard Barker, loads of musicals, and has also worked with the Huddersfield International Contemporary Music Festival, toured Spain with Barker’s Minna, and performed in several other Barker plays with Leeds and Huddersfield University. Started a PhD on Barker: “Women in the Apocalyptic Landscape”, but the content didn’t live up to the title, so was abandoned after a year or so. She retains an interest in transgressive/awkward/political theatre. Likes singing, reading, writing, whisky, gardening, eating and laughing. And sometimes…acting.
Mike Casey (Frank Dudley)
Before moving to Yorkshire, Mike was a founder member of Citizens Theatre, Stourbridge: roles included Estragon in Waiting for Godot, Davies in The Caretaker and Sam in The Homecoming. He taught drama at Bretton Hall College for thirty happy years, specialising in Shakespeare and Commedia dell’Arte. On retirement he took up acting again, joining SRM Theatre (all the company have a Bretton connection). He was a founder member of Plain Quakers Theatre, frequent visitors to Barnstaple TheatreFest, where he has played Morris in The Chocolate Paradox, and Willy Sykes in For Conscience Sake. He has directed Ionesco, Becket, Howard Barker, John Arden and Tom Stoppard, among others. Favourite Shakespeare roles are Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing. For TheatreFest 2018 he created Frank Dudley in Swansong-not fade away. Audiences can now find out what happened next…