A BIT ABOUT US
The Courtyard Players was formed in 2015 by the coming together of working class actors who wanted to bring socially important and relevant productions to a wider audience; one of the main reasons for the establishment of this group was the lack of opportunities and funding for the type of drama we as a group wanted to write, stage and perform in. When writing, our mantra has always been “Make them think, and if you can make them laugh along the way, then even better”
Beginning with the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the group self financed their debut show of “Jumping the Barriers”. This tells the story of a chance meeting on a train between a wealthy young graduate and a homeless northerner, and how this dramatic mirror casts light on the inequality of our society. Whilst being a successful production to critical acclaim, this obviously came at great personal financial cost to all members involved. A testament to how dedicated and passionate we are to our cause. Since then the group has written and performed another show, this time at the Liverpool Fringe Festival last year, called,“Pub Quiz”, once again to great critical acclaim and success.
THIS YEAR'S SHOWS
This year we want to take two shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. With the continuing damage felt by austerity and with a country more divided than ever, we believe the time is right to bring “Jumping The Barriers” back to audiences across the country, with the Liverpool Fringe Festival as an elegant jump-off point. We also have a brand new show called “What Are You Wearing?” which sheds light on the struggles women face on daily basis in a male dominated world. With the “Me Too” movement gaining ever more publicity and women’s rights at the forefront of social conversations, we feel this is the right time to introduce a production based on the female perspective of dating to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and hopefully beyond.
This year's Liverpool Fringe Festival was a great platform to launch these two shows and they were both a great success. With fantastic reviews and packed audiences, The Courtyard Players were also thrilled to be nominated six times at the Liverpool Fringe Awards including those for Best Supporting Performer, Best Male Performer, Best Female Performer, Best Direction, and Best New Writing. Our sixth nomination was for Best Production and we were incredibly thrilled to win for What Are You Wearing? For more about our reviews follow this link;http://northwestend.co.uk/index.php/professional-reviews/liverpool/4357-what-are-you-wearing-jumping-the-barriers-fredricks-bar
Chris Daley always dreamed of writing his own play and performing it with his classmates whilst training. This led to him founding The Courtyard Players and to creating our first play Jumping the Barriers for the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Last year Chris returned to write in star in our second play Pub Quiz at last year's Liverpool Fringe Festival. This was also his directorial debut. Chris has been the driving force behind this year's productions. As well as acting as Producer, Writer and starring in both productions, Chris had taken up the directorial reigns for a second time co-directing What Are You Wearing? with Josephine Sherlock
We are aslo delighted to be welcoming some new members to our ranks.
Josephine Sherlock first worked with the Courtyard Players last year on our second Production of Pub Quiz. Always being a fan of Jo's work, the chance to write something with her was too good an opportunity to miss. This has felt like we're truly creating something special. A genuine collaboration and a true partner, the creative process for bringing What Are You Wearing? to life has been an incredible experience. On top of that Jo agreed to take the reigns and direct the latest incarnation of our first ever show, Jumping the Barriers. She's brought depth and subtlety to our show, whilst also taking up the supporting role of the Trolley Girl. Every day spent with Jo is a creative journey. She is a force of nature, great fun to be around and an inspiration
Amelia Gillen also first worked with The Courtyard Players last year on Pub Quiz. We were so keen to bring her back for both performances this year. Travelling from Scarborough on a weekly basis for rehearsals, she's really shown how much she is dedicated to her craft. Doing two shows in one week is always a challenge and whilst Amelia provided a vital role of The Stranger in Jumping the Barriers, watching her bring the part of Mel Inn What Are You Wearing? to life has been truly brilliant to watch. One of the best compliments an actor can get is when the writers create with them on mind because they embody the character so well. Amelia has done that and then some.
Laurence Rowely has gone above and beyond so far in his approach to these shows. He's travelled from Stockport to rehearse whenever it was necessary. No time was too late or too early. In What Are You Wearing? he has played nine characters and then taken centre stage as James in Jumping The Barriers, virtually not leaving the stage at all in the latter. We were so lucky to find Laurence and his dedication and to helping us bring these shows to life has been amazing
THE EDINBURGH FRINGE
We are now looking to Edinburgh. We want more than anything to continue the story of these two shows and bring them to the Edinburgh Fringe audience. We're taking both shows and doing the last week of August. We already have venues and accommodation and flyers ready to go. But we need your help. We can't do it without your support.
Too often nowadays people end up not fulfilling their potential or following their dreams and that's understandable. Often it's too hard or too expensive. But sometimes it's just because they don't ask for help because they don't think people will give it. We think otherwise. We aren't begging. We aren't demanding. This is quite simply a request for help from a dedicated group of actors who want to have their dream realised.