The River and The Bell. The 2023 Boxford Masque!
July 26th to July 30th 2023: Boxford Recreation Ground under a huge stretch tent
We will stage six outdoor performances of a community musical play, of local tales and stories handed down through generations, based upon the village of Boxford and it's now defunct local pub, The Bell. Once the cornerstone of the village, before it's final departure to the builders yard, there is an opportunity to celebrate the ups and downs of years of village pub life, with often hilarious consequences. Since Boxford is also such a historical place; scene of a civil war battle, the old railway to Lambourn and even once hosting a real Wizard; we have a rich seam of stories and mirth to mine.
We plan to create a pub on a stage in a huge tent on the local recreation ground. This will be the epicentre of our event and we will tell the stories through music, acting and dance. We employ professional direction, choreography, design, costume makers and musicians as well as construct an outdoor venue; giving our participants the chance to be part of a fully integrated and professional performance and exposure to the valuable learning that comes with being part of that process.
Our commitment to reaching out to young people to be involved in the arts will see a large children's and young persons cast, ably supported by adults expressing themselves, some possibly for the first time, having taken the plunge in a friendly and relaxed environment. We encourage our participants to aim high in their quest to perform, providing an artistic outlet rare in our rural village community. We build confidence and enjoyment with support from those who are already working in the professional acting community. Our cast is open to all and we will train and develop talent, through a series of rehearsal workshops, in local people from ages 5 to 85. We will also utilise talent from students or recent graduates of a performance qualification, enticing them to gain valuable experience working in the professional realm. A small army of local volunteers will support the set creation, technical execution, chaperoning, front of house, bar, clear up and many other small areas of contribution to this community event. Rehearsals over eight weeks and a show week of 6 performances will challenge the actors and musicians, test the organising committee and hopefully enthral the audiences.