We are delighted to announce we have been awarded an Arts Council England grant for the full production of David Calcutt’s new play ‘The Darlaston Dog Fight’.
‘The Dog Fight’ – short synopsis:
“Tell us about the old times, Moey. Tell us about them mad and bloody old days.”
Set in the Black Country of the early 19th century, and based on the folklore and ballads of the period, The Darlaston Dog Fight presents the story of Rough Moey, collier, innkeeper, hell-raiser and dog-fighter, and reputedly the last man to sell his wife in Wednesbury market. From the mines of the ten-foot coal to the bloody arenas of the dog-pit and the bull-stake where he made his name and his fortune, Moey’s life, like the times he lives in, is lawless, brutal and fiercely independent.
Using their unique blend of narrative, music, song and physical action, Regional Voice Theatre’s new play is an explosive and uncompromising account of violence and vitality in the human spirit, a celebration of the raw passions that have shaped our past, and continue to shape our present.
In January 2016 we were awarded a GftA to support the first stages of the project. Funding meant that we were able to work intensively with a team of actors based at The Arena Theatre, bringing together the first staging and production ideas for the play in the form of a rehearsed reading. This premièred on the Tuesday 7th May, at The Arena Theatre, to a full house. This was followed by a cast and company Q and A, where we received some magnificent feedback. These first-stages of the project were crucial. We were able to approach the play within a real theatre space, and witness first-hand the metamorphosis of the story as it moved from’ page to stage’. Here, we made new discoveries, among other things, how best to handle the violence of The Dog Fight story.
FULL PRODUCTION & WORKSHOPS
In April 2017 we were awarded substantial funding for a full-scale production. The company will now be seeking a team of professional actors to cast in the production, which promises to be physically and emotionally demanding. Funding has also been secured to deliver a series of community-based workshops specifically designed to engage with potential non-theatre audiences.
We would like to thank Neil Reading from the Arena, Arts Council England, Artsfest, Creative Black Country, the actors and the Arena Collaborative Theatremakers for their creative and professional support. We would also like to thank the Dance Workshop studios for their support during earlier workshops, and for granting us free space to bring our ideas together.
We will be casting this production by audition in October 2017. Full details and an official call-out to theatre professionals and actors will be posted soon. Please note that you do not have to be from the Midlands to appear in this production. However you will need to be able to perform an authentic Black Country accent. It is also important to note that Regional Voice practice blind casting.
Our call-out platforms are IdeasTap, The Stage, Midpoint and Spotlight.