#Rehearsal photos for 'A Merchant of Venice' which opens at The Playground Theatre W10 on November 10th

Photographer - © Guy Bell,

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Some rehearsal photos of Shakespeare in Italy's first production, a brand new 6 character version called 'A Merchant of Venice' adapted and directed by our #AssociateArtist Bill Alexander

Portia - Lena Robin
Shylock - Peter Tate
Antonio, the Merchant - John McAndrew
Bassanio - Alexander Knox
Gratiano - Alex Wilson
Solania - Mary Chater

Design and costumes - Sara Perks
Lighting - Ryan Day
Sound and music - Sarah Sayeed

The show opens on November 10th and runs until December 4th at The Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, W10 6RQ

To book tickets see link below -

#Portia #Shylock #Antonio #Bassanio #Gratiano #newcharacter #Shakespeare #theatre #brandnew #adaptation

5 films by #filmmaker Matthew Kowalczuk from Apples and Eyes project for 14 - 18 year olds in #Brighton

watch 5 contrasting short videos shot and edited by Matt Kowalczuk with sound by Sarah Sayeed at #ACE funded summer school in local #orchard

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Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye – Oberon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 3 scene 2

The five films are - first, a longer one that reflects the sense of summer heat in the orchard with images and sounds from the event. Then June's film Champignons with her thoughts on being in the natural world, Shaliya's film Innerscape featuring her poem, Talk with Luca about the cultural differences he notices between England and Italy ( his mum is Italian and they visit Italy regularly) and finally Billy May's short film with her poem Magic.

The four day Arts Council funded summer school for young people was held in Racehill Community Orchard in #Whitehawk area of #Brighton from August 31 - September 3rd this year.
There were 4 facilitators, 7 participants and two youth leaders from Trust for Developing Communities. #BrightonPermaculture enabled the course to happen by allowing us to use the orchard on Racehill.

Please read the extremely upbeat feedback from Caroline Vitta, youth leader at TDC -
The project was brilliant – we saw lots of positive growth in the group’s confidence and they all reported back that they had enjoyed the sessions with several requests to do a similar project again. The facilitators did an amazing job at supporting the group and bringing them all out of their comfort zones. The message throughout the 4 days seemed clearly that being yourself is ok and this seemed to hit home with the group.
Apples and Eyes was quite a break away from our usual youth work at TDC but upon meeting Mary Chater and Tonya Easter I had a gut feeling that we should just try to run it and it was absolutely the right decision. It worked better than I ever could have imagined.
The team seemed flexible and were able to adapt the workshops to meet the needs and interests of the group
Beautiful setting of the Racehill Community Orchard was great for the young people - they fed back that they had enjoyed being outside.
The young people were supportive of each other and worked well together sharing ideas and encouraging each other
It was a lovely touch at the end to give everyone presents based on what the facilitators had observed are their interests over the project -made the young people feel heard and seen.

We didn’t hit the target of 16 young people - 11 were signed up and 7 managed to stay the full course.
Reasons for non attendance were:
2 said it clashed with induction sessions at college
1 was going to come from Moulsecoomb and decided it was too far to travel for a 10 am start
1 dropped out due to a family bereavement but had really enjoyed the first day

It’s hard to think of what I would change – maybe having the workshops in the middle of the summer holidays might have worked as some young people were probably getting ready for school/college – although this might have also clashed with other summer holiday activities on offer – not much tends to be offered after the bank holiday.

I might possibly lower the ages to 13 but it was nice to have a project aimed at older young people - often young people start dropping out of youth services around 16 years so great to have a project that more mature young people feel is for them.

#Creatives working with #BillAlexander on brand new 6 character version 'A Merchant of Venice' November 10 - December 4 2021

Highly experienced Sara Perks will design the set and costumes, Ryan Day will design the lighting and Sarah Sayeed the sound and music

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Sara has designed in the region of 250 productions, for a wide variety of theatres, venues, sites and genres. She has a BA Hons in Drama and Theatre Studies; and trained in Theatre Design at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

She has been nominated for both Broadway World Awards ( Set Design , and Costume Design) and a Whats On Stage Award ( Set Design) for American Idiot; an Offie - for Oranges and Elephants; and holds an Edinburgh Fringe First; The John Elvery Theatre Design Award and a Vision Design (Costume) Award from the BBC.

Projects in the past 3 years include Around The World In 80 Days ( York Theatre Royal - tour); The Mold Riots ( Theatre Clwyd); Beauty Queen of Leenane ( Hull Truck and Hornchurch) Artistic & Season Designer (2019) for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre York - Hamlet , The Tempest, Henry V; Twelfth Night - and Blenheim Palace, Oxford - Macbeth( 2018 York also), Midsummer Night’s Dream(2018 York also), Romeo & Juliet , Richard III; ( Lunchbox Int); American Idiot ( Selladoor) International tour; Babe - The Sheep Pig ( Mercury); and a site specific Mother Courage (with Pauline McLynn) for Red Ladder in Leeds. Tours last year have included a UK tour of Brighton Rock for Pilot & York Theatre Royal, in a new stage version by Bryony Lavery; a UK tour of a new version of Turn of the Screw by Tim Luscombe( 2019 & 2018) ; national and Asian tour of a brand new production of Spamalot ( Mercury and Selladoor) and Finding Nana by Jane Upton for New Perspectives.

Please see for more information about her work.

I am a London based lighting designer, working in theatre, dance and opera. I enjoy working in close collaboration with the rest of the creative team, introducing and containing great working relationships. I also work as an assistant and associate lighting designer.

​I am a member of the Association for Lighting Production and Design and trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, studying theatre lighting design.

Please see to read more about Ryan's work

Sarah Sayeed is a musician, composer, sound designer and writer with over 15 years of experience working collaboratively with a range of artists and organisations.

​As a musical artist, her practice focuses around contemporary works that are influenced by a plethora of styles and musical traditions. Sarah has created compositions and sound designs across Western classical choral works, Indian and Bengali classical vocals, instrumental pieces and her first love: contemporary jazz, soul and hip hop. Sarah plays instruments tanpura and shruti, and is the lead vocalist in international duet Myth of Her with violin and electronic artist Anne Eltard (Copenhagen, Denmark). Sarah is currently training in classical vocals with leading Classical Indian Music maestro Swati Natekar and was the successful recipient of the Portfolio Composers Scheme in partnership with Sound and Music and Kuljit Bhamra.

Sarahs credits include Composer and Sound Designer for Santi and Naz (The Thelmas), Composer and Sound Designer for We Are Shadows (Tamasha), Principle Musician in Richard 2nd at Shakespeare's Globe (2019, Composer & Musical Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company adaption of Moliere's Tartuffe (2019/2018) and Sound Designer for Contact Theatre's production on Suffragette Movement, She Bangs The Drums (2018). She is currently working on Intention, directed by Kash Arshad (co-production with Graeae and Tamasha) and will be working on A Merchant of Venice with Shakespeare in Italy, directed by Bill Alexander this autumn.

Sarah's website for more info is

#Fullcast announced for #brandnew 6 character version 'A Merchant of Venice'

#BillAlexander's adaptation that will run @ThePlayground Theatre W10 6RQ from November 10th - December 4th 2021

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Full casting was announced on September 21st -