Recent and Past Productions
Click on the show you’d like to know more about, or scroll down to see them all.
And there’s a gallery of images from past shows here.
Many thanks to Alec Walker who took many of the photos.
Out of Sight, Out of Murder
by Fred Carmichael
When we read a book, we often speak of the author’s ability to bring the characters to life almost as if they are jumping off the pages. But what if they really did come to life and take over all the action? This is the delightful premise of “Out of Sight, Out of Murder’ written by Fred Carmichael the latest play by Attic Theatre. With a sinister, isolated mansion, dramatic thunder and lightening and a cast of nine truly dodgy characters, any one of whom could be the killer, this play has all the ingredients for an entertaining evening! Some characters revel in their villainy invading the authors mind. Others just want to be free! Who has the mean and motive? Whose charming exterior conceals the black heart of a killer? When will the unexpected guest arrive? All these questions create a magical mystery interwoven through twists and turns of humour.
This Attic Players production directed by Clare Littleton together with her team of creative talented cast and crew left the audience guessing and laughing until the very end!
The Sound of Heavy Rain
by Penelope Skinner
At first sight, the hard-drinking private investigator and loner Dabrowski seems to be straight out of a Hollywood film noir. He’s got a hard-core narration habit, an ever-open bottle of whisky, he trails a fug of cigarettes, is still stuck on the girl who has left him, and appears to exist in a world where it’s always raining. So perhaps he has reason to be hopeful that the distressed woman who presses the buzzer on his office door in the middle of the night will look like Faye Dunaway in Chinatown.
Of course Maggie Brown, who employs him to find her friend Foxy O’Hara, a bar room singer who has gone missing, doesn’t look anything like a film noir vamp, because real life is nothing like the movies. It’s much stranger in this surreal 90 minutes by Penelope Skinner.
The Thrill of Love by Amanda Whittington – April 2019
The Attic Players spring 2019 production was ‘The Thrill of Love’ by Amanda Whittington. The play tells the true story of Ruth Ellis and her tragic descent into despair, culminating in the shooting of her lover David Blakely in April 1955. Ruth Ellis was found guilty of murder, and was hanged on July 13th 1955, the last woman to be executed in Britain.
The cast and crew studied a huge amount of information about the case, alongside the script, which is particularly stylised and departs from convention, and the company worked hard to give our audiences an authentic perspective of the period. We were pleased to hear many positive reactions after the performances, and hope we encouraged thoughtful consideration about what was a tragedy at the time, and still causes debate today.
Foolish Fishgirls and the Pearl – November 2018
A tale of mermaids and mochas, lost love and lost treasure, by Barbara Pease Weber. Foolish Fishgirls and the Pearl was directed by Martyn Buck and performed by the Attic Players during November 2018.
Striking a perfect balance between comedy and romance, this fun, nautical play brought fabulous mermaids, seafood chowder and snow to Newcastle Emlyn!
“The play is set in Sea Hags, a seaside B&B and Café run by two sisters, Oceana and Coral. Alas, times are hard and the B&B has seen better days. It is a cold, miserable day in early January when the play takes place and the weather forecast is for a major storm to hit, bringing with it snow and high winds. ‘What a way to start the New Year’ quips Coral, ‘Flat broke and snowbound’.”
To accompany the play, the audience were invited to enjoy an immersive experience, with mince pies and mulled wine served by members of the Sea Hags café.
Power and Petticoats by Melanie Davies – August 2018
Power and Petticoats was a brand new piece of work conceived and created by members of the Attic Players, written and directed by Melanie Davies during summer 2018.
Melanie says, “The piece grew out of my long held interest in women’s struggle for the vote and how lucky I am to have the opportunity to fulfil my ambition with Attic Players. Power and Petticoats is full of energy and fizz. It is a very entertaining show that shines a light on a time when so many people were questioning why half the population of Britain didn’t have a vote. You will hear many voices from that time from kitchen maids to politicians, from the rich to the poor, from those with and those without power. We can’t wait to get on that stage!”
The resulting play was an engaging, witty and inventive period drama woven around true stories of women’s struggle for the vote.
The God of Carnage – May 2018
“What happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behaviour of their children? A calm and rational debate between grown-ups about the need to teach kids how to behave properly? Or a hysterical night of name-calling, tantrums and tears before bedtime? Boys will be boys, but the adults are usually worse – much worse.”
The stage was set during spring 2018 for six breath-taking performances of Yasmina Reza’s multi award winning dark comedy ‘The God of Carnage’, brought to Newcastle Emlyn by The Attic Players. Directed by Justine Dodd, this hilarious (and at times quite shocking!) play was performed by a dedicated cast of four, namely Martyn Buck, Melanie Davies, John Franks and Claire Woolley, supported by an excellent backstage team with a bizarre list of jobs to do throughout the show.
The Iris Film Festival – Changes – 2018
Changes is a short film created by the Attic Players in collaboration with the Iris Outreach team as part of the Iris in the Community project. Members of the Players developed a film concept which was written as a screenplay by Branwen Munn, Suzanne Munn and Melanie Davies. The filming was all done in a single, hectic, 10 hour shoot during February 2018 at Gwesty’r Porth in Llandysul (thank you SO MUCH to Rhodri, Sarah and all the staff at the Porth for their generous support of the project). The footage was edited by Branwen and Beth Woolley during the following months. Branwen added a few special effects, colour grading and some original music in time for the film to be screened at a special LGBT Film Evening hosted by the Players at the Attic Theatre in July 2018. Changes was shown alongside a carefully selected programme of other LGBT films, including Darkness, a film created by students from Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn as part of the Iris Education Outreach.
Thanks to the Iris project, members of the Attic Players enjoyed a wide range of experiences, from writing a film, to shooting a film (both sides of the camera!), and coordinating a mini Film Festival.
Lord Arthur Saviles’ Crime – Autumn 2017
In autumn 2017 Martyn Buck directed Constance Cox’s stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime”. The play was a period comedy providing many challenges for the cast who all mastered the clipped precision and upright demeanour of the upper crust of late Victorian London. Audiences enjoyed several hours of non-stop laughing over Lord Arthur’s bumbling and his butler Baines’ hapless efforts to assist him! Suzanne Munn and Kay Buck’s lavish costumes complimented Martyn’s dedicated attention to detail in his set.
“Lord Arthur’s life is thrown into turmoil with the dire prophecy that he will commit murder. His forthcoming marriage postponed, he sets about finding his victim….”
London Wall – Summer 2017
In summer 2017 the Attic Players presented “London Wall” by John Van Druten, being the first period drama to be produced by the Players for some years. The play is set in a firm of solicitors in 1931, at a time when there were 2.7 million unemployed in the UK and shows the situation many women faced: a life of low-wage drudgery in offices, from which matrimony offered the only escape.”London Wall” was passionately directed by Melanie Davies who lead a cast of experienced and newer members alike through the challenges of staging a play containing such detail and complexity. A beautifully realistic set was created by Melanie and her backstage team which provided an evocative backdrop for the dynamic cast who gave their all for our appreciative audiences.
The Frog Princess – December 2017
In December 2017 the Attic Players told another tale of magic and mayhem, this time expertly written and directed by Suzanne Munn. The story was a twist on the well known story by the Brothers Grimm, of a prince turned into a frog, who can only be saved by a kiss from a Princess. Never being totally content with the status quo, Suzanne came up with a Princess who is turned into a frog instead, who needed the services of a handsome prince to free her with that magical kiss…
A talented cast of adults and young people entertained our audiences across the seven performances, with some instantly recognisable faces on the stage alongside some of our enthusiastic new faces.
Blood on Canvas – 2017
‘Blood on Canvas’ is a gripping drama with a cast of two: Justine Dodd has been seen in several Attic productions, as well as directing the very successful ‘Woman in Mind’ earlier in 2016. Branwen Munn is probably better known for her skill in sound design and video and lighting effects. Although she was seen in 2015 as the Lady of the Lake in ‘King Arthur’, this was a very different role for her!
Our audiences seemed to really enjoy the variety offered by the two plays and we hope to host a similar multi-play production in the future.
White Lies – August 2016
White Lies is a black comedy eavesdropping on a group of ladies of a certain age who meet up at a reunion for the first time since their university days thirty years before. Some surprises for the group ensue before a twist guarantees nothing will ever be the same for at least one of them! This play provided a perfect vehicle for some new members Attic, namely Sue Hampton, Lesley Bettinson and Lorraine Cuthbertson who showed their not inconsiderable talent to the public, as well as Beth Woolley who had just graduated from JAGS to the main group, and finally Jenni Steer who is a well known and very popular Attic Player.
Woman in Mind – 2016
The Attic Players kicked off 2016 with a stunning production of Alan Ayckbourn’s tragi-comedy “Woman in Mind (December Bee)”, with Justine Dodd making her directorial debut.
At the very centre of this moving piece is the character of Susan – one of Ayckbourn’s most challenging and complex roles – who played by relative newcomer to the Attic Players, Melanie Davies. Regular Attic audience members may have recognised Melanie from Wyrd Sisters in 2015, although the part of Susan was VERY different! Melanie’s professional theatre experience shone through in the role. Justine said she relished the challenge of bringing the play to the Attic stage, and from the glowing audience responses after each performance it’s fair to say she met the challenge with spectacular results!
Thanks to a kind donation by the ever-supportive Emlyn Circle CIC, the Players were able to purchase a short-throw projector which was utilised to great effect alongside the existing projector by lighting and sound technician Branwen Munn who, as usual, pushed the technology of our little theatre to it’s limits!
We hope you, our audiences, were as wowed by the exceptional calibre of the cast’s performances and the technical wizardry employed in this production.
Wyrd Sisters – December 2015
As his directorial debut for the Attic Players, Ben Allen guided cast and crew through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld for a fantastic production of the stage adaptation of “Wyrd Sisters”.
“Terry Pratchett takes Shakespeare’s Macbeth and then turns it up ’till the knob comes off. It’s all there – a wicked duke and duchess, the ghost of the murdered king, dim soldiers, strolling players, a land in peril. And who stands between the Kingdom and destruction? Three witches. Granny Weatherwax (intolerant, self-opinionated, powerful), Nanny Ogg (down-to-earth, vulgar) and Magrat Garlick (naïve, fond of occult jewellery and bunnies).”
”Wyrd Sisters” was performed as the Christmas production during December 2015.
Curtain Up – Summer 2015
“The hilarious story of five women who inherit equal shares in a dilapidated theatre and plan to bring it back to life again. They try various fund-raising schemes but their most ambitious is to hold a concert featuring local talent and a world-famous star who agrees to appear for no fee. However, their plans go awry and it’s a race to keep their audience from guessing what is really going on…”
We very much enjoyed our 2015 summer production, Peter Quilter’s comedy “Curtain Up!”. Though she had only been with the company for a short while, Tracey Huggins worked incredibly hard in her directorial debut and created a fantastic show along with the dedicated and energetic cast and crew. “Curtain Up!” played to nearly full houses every night, the theatre filled with the laughter of appreciative audiences.
King Arthur – April 2015
Originally planned for the Christmas production, King Arthur was a great family comedy which saw the Attic Players re-open their theatre in April 2015 after an unplanned temporary closure due to the Cawdor Hall renovation project.
Directed by Suzanne Munn and written by Jilly McNeil, the pantomime was fairly true to the original legend of how King Arthur came to be king. Whether his Knights were really so dysfunctional, or whether Merlin was guided by two bossy women, is open to debate, and perhaps Guinevere may have been a more biddable wife without the influence of her feminist tutor, Miss Snottingham Smythe, but it all made for a hilarious piece of story telling which sent the winter blues well and truly flying.
With a cast made up of established Attic members alongside several new faces, a fantastic contribution from JAGS, and some exciting projection and lighting effects using some of the group’s new equipment, the show was a wonderfully positive experience for all concerned, despite the difficulties of the closure period.
Noises Off – August 2015
Doors! Sardines! Flowers! Tax demand! Words you wouldn’t normally expect to see in the same sentence but typical, everyday words that were heard on the Attic stage during our adventurous production of Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off’.
Onstage in the Attic Theatre end August/early September 2014, Noises Off was a challenging farce-within-a-farce: a fast, frenetic and hilariously funny romp featuring an impressive ensemble cast, directed bravely by Elaine Thomspon. Audiences laughed their way through all three acts of non-stop comedy, as the cast enjoyed a two-and-a-half hour work out, dashing around Winston Munn’s amazing set with seemingly endless props which were skilfully managed by Jenni Steer and Tracey Huggins.
Tunnel Vision – Spring 2014
Spring 2014 brought an unusual and exciting event to the Attic Theatre which made excellent use of the brand new HD projection system and 5.1 surround sound recently installed, thanks in part to a generous contribution by Emlyn Circle CIC.
“Tunnel Vision” is a supernatural thriller feature film written and directed by Attic members Suzanne and Branwen Munn set in present day in the fictional west Wales town of Pont Arwen.The film was produced as a collaboration between GoldHill Productions and The Attic Players with virtually the entire membership of the theatre company involved as cast, technical crew and in some cases both! Principal photography took place during spring and summer 2013 in the Newcastle Emlyn area, with the kind support of local business. Locations included were Tŷ Croeso cafe, Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, Rowan Tree Natural Healing Centre, The Cambrian News, and The Smallholding Centre. The cast and crew volunteered many hours of their time, lots of them learning brand new skills. Members of JAGS also feature as actors in the film, joined for some scenes by students from Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn. Check out the slideshow below for some stills from the film and behind-the-scenes:
To find out more about “Tunnel Vision” click here to visit the GodHill Productions “Tunnel Vision” mini-site, or watch the trailer for the film here.