July 19-22, 2017, Brighton Open Air Theatre

Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills

Dennis Potter’s remarkable telling of lost childhood innocence set in wartime Forest of Dean - Children play on an endless summer afternoon - it is 1943; their fathers are fighting overseas, their mothers are doing their best... They free-fall through their day, their wild and unrestrained relationships both mimicking the adult world and highlighting the casual cruelty of children. At times hilarious, at times chilling, Potter’s play is a classic, capturing the joy, horror, anxiety and delight of children at play - it holds a mirror up to our own childhood memories of carefree fun, and shows how the repercussions of action without thought can result in tragedy...

 

Blue Remembered Hills is set in Potter's own childhood landscape. It is probably his most accessible play - which is not to say it is simplistic, it remains a multi-layered and nuanced piece. Potter did insist on one thing - that all the parts be played by adults. "The adult body acts as a kind of magnifying instrument which [...] reminds us more of just how mobile and swift movement is in the childhood world, and yet how long time is," he said in 1978. The themes are timeless and universal.

 

This production was first presented by the Southwick Players in 2016, where it was entered for the Brighton & Hove Arts Council Theatre Awards, winning the  Arthur Churchill Award for Excellence, Best Actor for Tobias Clay, Best Technical Achievement, Best Lighting Design and Best Set as well as nominations for several other categories.

The Blue Remembered Hills Company, 2017

DAVID BALFE
John

Having moved to Brighton in 2016, David got immediately involved with Blue Remembered Hills at The Southwick Players. Previously, he performed for many years with the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin, Herts.

More recently, he appeared as The Father in Lorca's Blood Wedding at New Venture. He has a distant but colourful past as a musician and thereafter as a music-businessman, but is now more interested in writing (words not music). He loves living on the South coast and hopes that all the theatre he get involved in here is as much fun and as high quality as this production!

ANDY BELL
Peter
Andy has been acting since 2003. Initially performing at New Venture Theatre in a range of productions, Antony and Cleopatra; Helen Nelder’s What I Just Shot; Hard Times; Cosi; Blue Remembered Hills (as Willie); The Duchess Of Malfi; Bouncers; The Ugly One; Breaking The Code; Our Country’s Good; The Memory of Water; Richard III plus Someone Who'll Watch Over Me for Southwick Players.
In recent years he has appeared at NVT as Lenny in Of Mice and Men (Best Actor Award Brighton & Hove Arts Council), Mr Boo in Little Voice, Victor in Arthur Miller's The Price, Truscott in Loot,  Larry in Patrick Marber's Closer for Sideway Theatre, One half of Jim Cartwright's Two for Shatterproof Productions, Berkoffs' Greek at BLT, plus Blue Remembered Hills for Southwick Players in 2016

TOBIAS CLAY
Donald
Tobias trained at The London Centre for Theatre Studies.

Roles have included Tom in The Accrington Pals with The Actors Company at Jermyn Street Theatre, London and Emcee in Cabaret at Lakeside Theatre, Colchester; Donald in Blue Remembered Hills (Brighton & Hove Arts Council Best Actor 2016) Narrator in Under Milk Wood, Jimmy Crankit in Pinocchio, Corporal Clive Winton in See How They Run (Southwick Players Best Actor 2016) Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Southwick Players Best Actor 2015) Robert in Pinter's Betrayal, Foster in No Man's Land, Cosme McMoon in Glorious, Cecil Graham in Lady Windermere's Fan, Michael Hansen in Festen, Lord Fancourt Babberley in Charley's Aunt, Carney in Biloxi Blues and Paris in Romeo and Juliet at
The Minack Theatre, Cornwall.
He performed again at the Minack
as Lord Alfred Rufford in A Woman of No Importance with Brighton Little Theatre.

Tobias is thrilled to be performing the role of Donald with Identity at
the wonderful Brighton Open Air Theatre.

GARY COOK
Director/producer/designer/founder
After many years with the band Skinbat Scramble, leaving a trail of 6 remaindered CDs in their wake, designer Gary swapped music for his first love, theatre.

Initially working in publicity and promotion for several Brighton Theatre Groups (notably the Southwick Players, for whom he has won several Arts Council Publicity Awards); he has also worked backstage on sound design, set design, props and generally hanging about various productions trying to be useful - a great apprenticeship for the deep end plunge and dream come true of co-directing Dennis Potter's wonderful play for an Arts Council Festival piece.
In 2016, Gary directed his own short play Pity as a rehearsed reading to great acclaim. He is currently working on a revised and expanded version of Pity for performance as well as a science fiction drama, The Librarian.

In March 2018, Gary will direct The Turn Of The Screw for Southwick Players

BEN PRITCHARD
Willie
Ben is an actor, writer and stand up. Since graduating in ‘Theatre & Visual Art’ from the University of Brighton, he has appeared in a wide and diverse range of theatre productions, one of which recently included playing Dave in The Full Monty (yes, ALL the way and in Worthing!). His favourite role to date is that of the neurotic, obsessive, gradually fragmenting ‘Ned’ in Parlour Song by Jez Butterworth. This was a Brighton Fringe production for which he received high acclaim and also got to get his scene-stealing stomach out every night (is a theme emerging?).

In March 2017 he appeared at the New Venture Theatre in The Deep Blue Sea by Terrence Rattigan, playing ex-RAF pilot Jackie Jackson. He has also appeared in such shows as Noel Coward’s Hay Fever, cult rock musical Hedwig and The Angry Inch, A View From The Bridge, Bouncers, and American Buffalo, amongst others. More recently his attention has been focused on film, appearing in Fragments by Calum Lippett, and the online series, Crownton Dobby by Ruth Torjussen, in association with 21st Century Films.

Ben cannot wait to play Willie in Dennis Potter’s contemporary masterpiece, Blue Remembered Hills with Identity Theatre!

BEA MITCHELL-TURNER
Angela

Bea's acting career launched aged eleven when she was the eponymous hero in Peter Pan. She trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and has Directed Martin Crimps' Attempts on Her Life, Moira Buffini’s Love Play, and Laura Wade's Breathing Corpses.

Since then she has played Amanda in Private Lives for Southwick Players, Hedda in Hedda Gabler at Brighton Little Theatre, as well as Anna in Old Times, Hermione in The Winter's Tale, Beatrice in A Comedy of Errors, Nel in End Games, and Charlotte Corday in Marat/Sade to name but a few.
Bea took time out recently to pursue an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University for which she was awarded a Distinction; she is currently writing her third novel.
She is very pleased to be playing Angela in Identity Theatre’s production of Blue Remembered Hills.

NETTIE SHERIDAN
Director/producer/founder
Nettie returned to the stage after a long break in 2011. Since this time she has performed in many productions and undertaken a variety backstage  roles including Stage Manager, Production Assistant, DSM and Prompt. She was Assistant Director for Private Lives, Director for Lettice and Lovage and Blue Remembered Hills, and was also asked to sit on an audition panel for a professional festival production.

Nettie has played a variety of roles, most recent favourites being The Dodo in Alice In Wonderland, Sarah Sally in Translations, Ma Bailey in Its A Wonderful Life, Muriel in Animal Farm and Soberance in Far From The Madding Crowd.
Nettie has also performed in musicals, pantomimes, variety shows and rehearsed play readings. She is an active member of Brighton Little Theatre and Southwick Players and is also Southwick Players Youth (SPY) group leader running frequent drama sessions for youngsters aged 10-16. In 2018, Nettie will direct "Fantastic Mr. Fox" with the SPY group.

KATE STONER
Audrey
Kate has been involved in the theatre since treading the boards in panto at the age of 5. She continued her training and became a Speech and Drama teacher, and was Head of Drama at Deepdene School for many years.
She has enjoyed a variety of roles, amongst her favourites have been...  Her Ladyship in Strangers in Arms at the Piccadilly Theatre, London; Lady Jacqueline in Me and My Girl for Brighton and Hove Operatic; Felicia in The Witches of Eastwick for Brighton Theatre Group (both at the Theatre Royal Brighton); Flora in Flora the Red Menace at Brighton Little Theatre; Sybil in Daisy Pulls it Off at the Pavilion Theatre Brighton; Audrey in Blue Remembered Hills and Linda in Blood Brothers (both for Unexpected Productions); Isobel in The Pirates of Penzance for Music 2000; Julie in Here Comes The Bride for Beside the Sea Productions.
In the 90's Kate became one of the founder members of The Big Fat Theatre Company and performed as Monica in An Evening With Gary Lineker and Hobby in Teechers.
She directed Bouncers for The Southwick Players and won best Director in the Brighton and Hove Arts Council Awards for this production.
Kate currently teaches at BSSA and also at Theatre Workshop preparing children for LAMDA scholarships, exams and festivals.
Kate is excited to be part of Identity, and looks forward to new productions.

ANDREW WESBY
Raymond
Andrew has performed with the Southwick players in recent years. He made his debut with the Players in darkest Wessex as Jan Coggan, senior rustic in the Brighton and Hove Arts Council award-winning Far from the Madding Crowd. He then went on for a quiet meander round a far from stately home in a selection of schizophrenic roles in Peter Schaffer's gleeful Lettice and Lovage.
In 2016 he joined the cast of Blue Remembered Hills as Raymond, the slightly posher one with proper toys -  the conscience of the group.
He recently he appeared as Timothy Leary, hallucinogenic prophet, in Opera Alumnus’ reimagined version of Handel’s Alcina.

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