The biennial FAMILY THEATRE FESTIVAL is in full swing at the Theatre Royal Bath running until Saturday 23rd February. Following an opening week showcasing theatre productions from Spain, France, the UK and the Netherlands, the fun continues with a packed programme during the second week of the Festival. Theater Mummpitz visits the egg theatre from Germany for the first time to present The Terrific Adventures Of Brave Joan Woodsword; the egg hosts a Mystery Movie Night; the UK premiere production of The Queen’s Knickers continues its opening run at the Ustinov Studio; and brand new, original work will be staged at the egg by the Theatre Royal Bath’s Young People’s Theatre in Out Of Their Minds.
On Friday 15th February, Mystery Movie Night sees the egg theatre screen a classic film for teenagers with a classification of 12A. The identity of the movie is a mystery, audience members are invited to turn up on the night in time for a 7pm screening.
On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February, Theater Mummpitz from Germany presents The Terrific Adventures Of Brave Joan Woodsword at the egg theatre. This funny and poignant tale about bullying and escapism explores how to summon the courage to confront one’s enemies by finding personal strength within. The story focuses on Joan, who doesn´t like school because three girls always pick on her; she prefers to read books about the Middle Ages, witches and Joan of Ark. But when Joan vents her anger by throwing a stone through one of the school´s windows, a letter is sent to her parents, which has to be brought back signed the next day. Joan escapes to the nearby zoo where some comical meerkats predict that she will be elected to save France and help the king get his crown. Believing that her own problems will be solved if she can do this; Joan borrows her brother’s toy sword and shield and sets out for France. Recommended for children aged 9 years and over, The Terrific Adventures of Brave Joan Woodsword is directed by Alex Byrne, who recently directed Hansel and Gretel at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory.
For those who would like to turn their hand to something new, the Theatre Royal Bath’s Engage programme for adults, hosts Make It Up, a two-day workshop for ages 18 and over on Saturday 16th February and Sunday 17th February. Working as an ensemble with Hammerpuzzle Theatre Company participants will explore the art of making theatre from scratch taking ‘families and parenthood’ as a starting point.
From Thursday 21st February to Saturday 23rd February, young people will be performing as part of the Family Theatre Festival when the Theatre Royal Bath’s Young People’s Theatre (YPT) presents Out Of Their Minds. This theatrical showcase will feature a series of brand new, self-penned, short plays, incorporating almost every theatrical genre and style, from comedy to fantasy, poignant drama to science fiction. Over the last six months, 140 members of the Theatre Royal’s YPT, aged between 9 and 18 years, have collaborated with professional writers Paul Dodgson and Adam Peck, and director Emma Earle to create an anthology of 23 original ‘pop-up’ plays for presentation throughout the Family Theatre Festival.
During Out Of Their Minds, 13 of these new short plays will be presented by more than 90 local teenagers from the YPT, with company members acting, directing and working behind-the scenes. On Thursday 21st February at 7.30pm and Saturday 23rd February at 2.30pm, the Out Of Their Minds programme will feature 7 short plays by local teenagers, including: 100 Lessons Of The Sky by Julia Irvine; Donkey, devised by Julia Bond, Ruadhan Parnell, Natasha Young, Carmina Davies, Tilly Dickinson and Felix Vaughan; The Girl In The Bath by Rosa de Korte; We Are The Victims by Eloise Tilbury; And He Closes His Eyes by Minna Davies; The Imaginaries by Gemma Dunnell; and a ‘Wild Card’ play choice, which will be the winner of the most audience votes during the Family Theatre Festival.
On Friday 22nd February at 7.30pm and Saturday 23rd February at 7.30pm, the Out Of Their Minds programme will feature 6 more short plays written by local young people, including Prince Of Darkness by Milo Morris; Viewing Time by Martha Bennett; Queen Of The Hive by Eva Hudson; Bath Time devised by Paris Lee, Joe Baldwin, Hatti Rees and Gabrielle Kear; Whodunit devised by Billie Beswick, Martha Dooley, Mae Hawkins and Alex Stanley; and Edith And John by Daniel Hayman.
FAMILY THEATRE FESTIVAL 2013 takes place at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday 23rd February. For further details or to book tickets, contact the Theatre Royal Box Office on 01225 448844, the egg theatre on 01225 823 409 or visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk