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Butterfly Psyche Theatre in association with The Rondo Theatre are proud to present the winner of their inaugural Making Trouble playwriting competition: Players and Gentlemen by Frank Hatt.

Making Trouble was inspired by Bernard Shaw’s words:

“Would the world ever have been made if its maker had been afraid of making trouble? Making life means making trouble.”

Without trouble there is no drama, without drama there is no theatre and without theatre… well we don’t even want to go there.

Both Butterfly Psyche and The Rondo are committed to the production of new plays and the encouragement of new writing. And although Frank Hatt is not a new writer (he’s in his eighties with a career that began at the Royal Court in the 1950s) his play was fresh, exciting and full of life.

Players and Gentlemen is a delightful, charming and poignant romantic comedy, set in the aftermath of the First World War.

The play focuses on a small group of actors who travel around rural England to entertain local villagers. But tensions arise when one of their number is revealed to have been a Conscientious Objector during the war.

As the tour progresses, the actors meet a variety of characters who help, hinder and generally cause chaos – including an overly attentive leading man, a grumpy village squire, and a cricket team hiding the secret to a wartime friendship.

Will the band of players be able to overcome prejudice and resentment, so that the show can go on?  Will the shadow of the Great War finally be lifted? And, of course, will love conquer all?

Rondo Artistic Director Ian McGlynn, who is directing the production, says: ‘Frank’s play is wonderful: it’s theatrical, funny, full of lively characters and has a great story. It’s also very well written. It goes to show that new writing isn’t just about young people – it’s for all ages, all backgrounds, all experiences. We’re looking forward to what should be a cracking show!’

Butterfly Psyche Artistic Director Alison Farina said: ‘At Butterfly Psyche, our main focus is new writing, and it’s such a pleasure to be able to offer the opportunity of produced work, not just development , to writers of all ages and at all stages of their careers. We’re thrilled to be working with Frank on this piece, and we think it’s going to be something really special.’

In addition to the winning script’s production the runner-up in the competition, Bristol playwright Heather Lister, has won a day of script development and a Script in Hand performance of her piece, Genesis, the story of one Philadelphia Black-American family teetering on the edge. The Script in Hand production will be staged at The Rondo Theatre in late July and will be developed and directed by Alison Farina who says: ‘It was such a joy to receive a piece tackling such relevant subject matter in such a sensitive and emotional way. I’m really looking forward to working on the piece with Heather and actors.’

Players and Gentlemen is theatre at its most playful: four actors deftly performing manic character changes in a show packed full of wit, charm, laughter and love: a joyful look at the healing power of art.

Players and Gentlemen is playing at:

The Rondo Theatre, Bath
26 – 29 June  2013
Booking on : 01225 463362 or through www.rondotheatre.co.uk 

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and

The Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol
2 – 6 July 2013
Booking at:  www.almatavernandtheatre.co.uk .