A Brixham-based non-profit theatre company specialising in historical drama, breaks into film, with a internet film series, based on Victor Hugo’s unabridged novel, starring an amazing local cast from around Devon.
Following a ten-year history of researching, writing and performing historical and period dramas, the South Devon Players theatre company from Brixham, in Torbay, South Devon, are moving into film, with the announcement that filming will commence during the spring of 2015, for an ambitious internet film series.
In 2013, Laura Jury, one of the founders of the South Devon Players, wrote a (non-musical) stage production of Les Miserables. It was the Players’ greatest success to date, with two runs, after the first show run attracted the offer of sponsorship, out of the blue, from London, from a producer who had seen the first run.
Following this success, several members of the cast decided to work on a new project, having fallen in love with the unabridged novel of Les Miserables – when in stage shows, or feature-length films, many parts of the story and subplots have to be omitted.
It was also considered important to have a unique twist on the production, that made it different from all others to date. The project was formed to create an internet-based film series focused as tightly as possible, on Victor Hugo’s unabridged novel as a long-term project, expected to take two to three years to complete.
The autumn of 2014 was spent casting principal roles, and scouting locations, the majority of which have been located in Devon and Cornwall. And now, at the beginning of 2015, the Players are moving into production, with filming for a concept trailer, and Episode 1, due to commence during the first half of 2015.
The Players, who will be seeking to crowdfund the majority of the series, consider it important to prove, before asking for sponsorship, that such a project is indeed feasible, and that the skills are in place to make it happen.
Calls for supporting performers and crew will also be released in line with filming date announcements.
The series is directed by Ric Vince, who played Jean Valjean in the stage production, and Edward Stewart, who played Enjolras on stage. Both of whom will also be reprising their roles as performers, with Laura Jury, who also has university degrees in film and TV production, as the series producer.
This exciting new project also demonstrated that “amateur” theatre / drama groups do not need to be “amateur” in their approach to projects, and that ordinary people can achieve impressive projects.
The South Devon Players Theatre Company are members of both the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) and of the Brixham Chamber of Commerce.