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Sedos bring Our Country's Good to Bridewell Theatre

Our Country's Good

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THIRTY years after its professional premiere at the Royal Court in London, the Bridewell Theatre is hosting the amateur London premiere of Our Country’s Good.

Staged by Sedos, the City of London’s leading amateur theatre company, it runs from October 23 to October 27, 2018.

Our Country’s Good is a modern classic, exploring themes of crime, punishment and the unifying and civilising power of theatre. Set in 1787, it tells the true story of a group of convicts transported to Australia who, faced with the appalling realities of life in a penal colony, come together to rehearse and perform a play.

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s script has been written with the idea of doubling in mind, needing only ten actors for over twenty roles, and this is a big part of why director Chloë Robertson has been chasing the amateur rights for the play so doggedly, as she explains:

“The opportunity that Our Country’s Good gives not only the cast, but also the director and wider production team, really makes this a play to get your teeth into. Doubling characters challenges us all to let go of how we may normally approach a play and to consider characterisation, scene changes, direction and how everything fits together in a different light.

“But that’s not the only reason I love this play and have been wanting to direct it for Sedos for such a long time. The humanising, therapeutic and life-changing power of theatre is something I believe in wholeheartedly and Our Country’s Good encapsulates that so perfectly with its play within a play.

“Although set in the 18th century I think that audiences recognise the lessons that the characters learn and the relationships they build with the theatre and their fellow ‘thespists’ are very relatable today.”

The cast includes Simon Hill, John Irvine, Josh Yard, Kieron Mieres, Theo Bhatt, Dave McGroarty, Jamila Jennings Grant, Jessica Withey, James Haughey, Sam Pearce, Sophia Popadopoulos, Kat Novkovic and Matt Tylianakis.

Produced by Rebecca Kendall, Our Country’s Good has set design by Brian Tucker, lighting by Adam Coppard, sound by Adam Lockett, costumes by Elinor Turner and Clare Harding, wigs by Karen de la Poer and prosthetics and make-up by Georgia Olive. Associate director is Matt Gould.

Image: Duckling Smith (played by Jamila Jennings Grant) and Midshipman Harry Brewer (played by Matt Tylianakis). Photo credit: Angharad Corona/Rebecca Kendall/Sedos.

Tickets: £14.50 to £21 – to book, visit sedos.co.uk/.

Times: 7.30pm, plus Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Sedos’ 2019 Season.