show
In the OPEN AIR, in the lovely grounds of
TOWNHILL PARK HOUSE
15th - 17th & 22th - 24th July

Matinée performances at 1:30pm
Evening performances at 6:30pm.

PLEASE NOTE THE EARLIER START TIMES!

Grounds open from 5pm for picnics (12 noon for matinées)

This production is suitable for 7 year olds and above.

Telephone bookings 0333 666 3366 (booking fee applies to phone bookings)
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The Reviews

Scene1+

15 July 2022

The Three Musketeers is an outdoor performance – what a treat! The Maskers have chosen the lovely and historic Townhill Park House for their open-air production of The Three Musketeers, a retelling of this classic tale. The audience are invited to bring their own chairs and picnics to this relaxed outdoor adventure which added to the ‘special’ feel that the venue provides.

Being open-air does not come without its issues though; sound, lighting and set all need to be considered and adapted for this and the Maskers did this exceptionally!

Particular attention must be brought to the fact that there is no ‘backstage’. The stage (a hill) is under a large tree and there is no option but to have all cast members in view at all times. It was delightful to watch cast watching and reacting to what their peers were performing.

Sound was brilliant, speakers around the audience meant every word was heard. The Maskers also needed to contend with the occasional plane flying overhead. They did this in a very humorous way, the characters acknowledging and making various comedic comments about the fact a plane was flying overhead and interrupting them rather than shouting over the noise – genius! Season was also chosen correctly for this as the summer sun meant lighting was no issue.

The Maskers opened with the acapella song ‘Wellerman’ and we are taken on a fantastically funny journey! Changes of scene are not as easy as in a traditional theatre, therefore the cast relied upon simple props (look out for the glittery butterflies!), furniture and the cast to tell the audience where they were. The cast announcing the location of each scene worked well as without this, audience concentration would have been temporarily lost whilst they deciphered where the scene was set. One moment of note was when cast were depicting paintings which was very funny, without ruining the joke for the future audience, take a look at the ‘ladies’.

The cast play multiple roles in this production (we are told around 30 each), with costume (and accent!) changes to differentiate between them. A particular favourite accent was King Louis (Duncan Randall), fab French and a fantastic wig too!

David Jobson plays the young a cheeky D’Artagnan with great character. A joy to watch, he was the perfect casting with just one role throughout and was in most of the show. Great performances from Rachel di Nucci and Abi Linnartz also – we were treated to clear diction and strong stage presence from both. The rest of the cast work well together playing a number of different roles and compliment the overall storytelling.

A fab moment was the audience participation of ‘duck quaking’, blowing a ‘duck whistle’ and throwing little yellow ducks at the cast. A side step from the story but a delightful one to say the least. Also to note that the whole of the outside space was used with characters throwing lines over the audience to each other and using their stunning prop horses to gallop around the audience, resulting in the feeling of very much being part of the action.

All for one and one for all!

The show runs until 17 July and 22 – 24 July. Grab you picnic and deck chairs for this treat of a show.

- E. Giles

Audience Comments

"Super show, great fun, please do more like this!" - audience member after Saturday performance


"Lovely show. I really enjoyed it ... this one was really good. Thank you" - audience member after Saturday performance


"Yesterday, Sunday 17th, my friend and I went to the matinee performance of The Three Musketeers and I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the show. The acting was amazing as was the script and the staging was perfect for the setting. Congratulations to you all and thank you for a very enjoyable afternoon " - H.B.


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A Comedy Adventure

A modern adaptation of The Three Musketeers

When the young and naive D'Artagnan sets out on his quest to become a King's musketeer, he immediately encounters the dangerous femme fatale, Milady de Winter.
After discovering that the musketeers have been disbanded, he makes it his mission to get them reinstated.

But will his feud with Milady thwart him?
And who the heck is she?

Director & Cast

The Director of this production is William Baggs
William has been a member since the early 2010s. Whilst an experienced director elsewhere, this is his first time directing for Maskers. William has appeared in many productions, including the lead role in Richard II, Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, King James in Anne Boleyn and two productions at the Nuffield Theatre, Ten Times Table and Sitting Pretty. William enjoys acting and directing equally and is very grateful for the opportunity to steer this year’s summer show for Maskers.

Assistant Director of this production is Jillian Desborough
Jill has been a member of Maskers for about seven years and has been involved in many shows, both on and off the stage. In 2020, just before lockdown, she directed her first show, Quartet, at Maskers Studio and last Christmas co-directed the Christmas show, A Box of Delights, with Brian Stansbridge. Jill enjoys the teamwork involved in putting on a show and loves being part of the wonderful team working on The Three Musketeers.

D'Artagnan is played by David Jobson
David dons the tabard once again, having performed in The Three Musketeers twice before - once as Porthos for Winchester University and a year later in the Chesil Theatre’s outdoor production. He has been part of many Maskers’ shows, including Richard II, The Jungle Book, Around the World in Eighty Days and An Italian Straw Hat. He has also performed a number of Shakespearean roles at the Titchfield Festival Players’ Tithe Barn, including Cassius in Julius Caesar, Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing, and Malcolm in Macbeth. David is also a trustee for Flute Theatre, a company that uses the language of Shakespeare to help autistic youngsters to communicate.

Athos is played by Duncan Randall
Duncan has a track record in community theatre spanning more than a decade (on and off) in various places. He started as a character actor at primary school and has played the bumbling detective in many a murder mystery in Kineton Amateur Dramatics. Then, on moving to the south coast, he joined Titchfield Festival Theatre (TFT). His creations for TFT include Going and Lupin (Diary of a Nobody), Enobarbus (Anthony and Cleopatra), Goldberg (The Birthday Party) Ken of The Saga of Ken and Sandra, the Landlord in Jim Cartwright’s Two and Laurence in Abigail’s Party. Duncan recently moved to Southampton and the Maskers. Rehearsing the Three M’s, playing three parts, has certainly cantered away the lockdown blues - and shifted a bit of the lockdown bulge.

Porthos / Milady de Winter is played by Rachel Di Nucci
Rachel joined Maskers in September 2019 but has been in drama productions throughout school, university and Stagecoach. Musketeers is the second show she has been in with Maskers; the first being Four Weddings and An Elvis, playing ex-con Fiona who’s engaged to postman Marvin. Rachel has enjoyed working in rehearsals to find her character, though she is beginning to wonder if she will always be cast as a criminal whose main plotline seems to be centred around the post!

Aramis is played by Abi Linnartz
Abi began acting at school at the age of 16, where her first major role came as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret. Since coming to University in Southampton many, many years ago, Abi has performed with a variety of drama companies throughout the area. Abi has been a performer with Titchfield Festival Theatre since its first production in 2001 at Titchfield Abbey. Since then, she has continued to participate in productions at the Great Barn and at its new home in St Margaret’s Lane. Productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Servant of Two Masters, A Day In the Death of Joe Egg, Antony and Cleopatra, The Bible (Abridged), The Last Secret, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Mapp and Lucia. Abi has also performed at the Brighton Fringe in The Field Street Monologues for Rusty Bucket Productions.

ASM / Queen Anne are played by Emma Kirkpatrick
Emma has been part of Maskers since 2021 and has been part of one production: Out of Focus, playing the part of Linda. She studied Drama at university before training to become a primary school teacher. This is Emma's first outside production and she is very excited to be playing multiple parts in this comedy piece.

Maman / Ensemble are played by Marie McDade
This will be Marie’s sixth outing on the Maskers’ outdoor stage – from Shakespearian Midsummer fairy to Kipling’s Jungle Book panther, assorted characters travelling Around the World in 80 Days, Pygmalion, and most recently Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing in 2021. Indoor shows have included Richard II, Granny Weatherwax in Wyrd Sisters, A Bunch of Amateurs and Out of Focus. Being one of the Masketeers is another opportunity for her to play a wide range of colourful characters.

Papa / Nun / Ensemble are played by Adam Taussik
Depuis qu'il a rejoint Maskers il y a 18 ans, Adam a joué des personnages de nombreux rangs, des paysans aux rois (avec une poignée de pasteur, de soldats et d'ours). Il a joué des gens de toutes les nations, et pour ce spectacle, Adam gardera également le ton européen de Much Ado About Nothing de l'année dernière, jouant le premier citoyen français depuis qu'il était le roi de France dans King Lear.
Now in English please Adam:
(Since joining Maskers 18 years ago, Adam has played characters from many ranks, from peasants to kings (with a handful of pastors, soldiers, and bears). He has played people from all nations, and for this show, Adam will also keep the European tone of last year's Much Ado About Nothing, playing the first French citizen since he was king of France in King Lear.)

Felton / M Bonacieux / Ensemble are played by Paul Baker
Paul has been acting with Maskers since 1996 when he made his debut in The Three Musketeers at Mottisfont Abbey. He has since appeared in every Maskers open air show bar one and is the only member of the cast to have appeared in both versions of The Three Musketeers. In this version, like everyone else, he plays multiple characters; in fact, at each of the early rehearsals the list seemed to increase. In his time with Maskers, he has played a multitude of parts including a demon in Wyrd Sisters, Weasel Norman in The Wind in the Willows and a show business agent in Silly Cow and is looking forward to the challenge of playing at least five characters (at the time of writing) in this production.

Treville / Torquil / Ensemble are played by Simon Mewett
Simon’s passion for the creative arts started young and, after studying drama, he moved into radio, as well as performing in various amateur dramatic societies. After a long break from the stage, Simon found himself impressed with the overall quality of Maskers’ productions and the friendliness of the group and was subsequently drawn back.
Simon has learnt a great deal from the other cast members and is looking forward to bringing to life two contrasting characters, under the expert direction of William Baggs.

Sister Mary / Ensemble are played by Hazel Burrows
Hazel has been a member of the Maskers since the mid-70s, enjoying every aspect of theatre; performance, costume, set design and directing.
Her last performance was mid-April in Ugly Lies the Bone, playing a therapist and mother, in an interesting play dealing with how to cope with pain. Last October Hazel directed a comedy, Out of Focus, in our Studio theatre. In The Three Musketeers we see Hazel play a tavern lady, a nun, a sailor, a framed picture... so the art of quick changes can be included in her theatre experience!

Travers / Ensemble are played by Daniel Chopra
Daniel joined Blue Apple theatre company in Winchester in 2017 and has appeared in 13 plays with them before recently joining Maskers. For Blue Apple, he has appeared in The Wizard of Oz, The Tempest, The Railway Children, Much Ado about Nothing, Frankenstein, A White Christmas, Family on the Frontline, Change, Pinocchio and Macbeth and, in 2019, he took part in a student movie called Visual Storm, playing a kidnapped hostage. Blue Apple supports performers with learning differences to develop and present high-quality productions for the widest possible audience – performing and touring theatre, dance and film within a variety of large and small scale venues around Hampshire and the southern regions. Daniel has cerebellar ataxia.

Creative Team

Production Manager
Christine Baker
Stage Manager
Neil Maddock
Deputy Stage Manager
Kathryn Salmon
Set Design
Brian Stansbridge
Set Painting
Brian Stansbridge
Set Construction
Brian Stansbridge, Ken Hann & Graham Buchanan
Set Dressing
Adam Taussik & Brian Stansbridge
Electrical Infrastructure & Lighting
Clive Weeks
Sound Design & Infrastructure
Jamie McCarthy
Sound Operator
Jamie McCarthy
Wardrobe & Costumes
Hazel Burrows & Susan Wilson
Properties
Adam Taussik
Tech & Stage Team
Numerous Maskers

Ticket Information

Performance Times

Fri 15 Jul 2022, 6:30pm

Sat 16 Jul 2022, 6:30pm

Sun 17 Jul 2022, 1:30pm & 6:30pm

Fri 22 Jul 2022, 6:30pm

Sat 23 Jul 2022, 1:30pm & 6:30pm

Sun 24 Jul 2022, 1:30pm

IMPORTANT!! PLEASE NOTE EARLY START TIMES!!

This play runs for approximately 2 hours.

EARLY BIRD OFFER - buy before 31st May and get £2 off Adult fixed night ticket!

Adult
Fixed night: £14* until May 31st, then £16;
Flexible night in advance: £18;
On the gate: £18

Children
under 16yrs: £13 (all options)
- this production is not suitable for under 10 year olds

Students
(16+ in full time education - ID required)
£14 (all options)

Family (2 Adults & 2 Children)
Fixed night only: £50

Groups
10% off fixed night tickets for groups of 10 or more (not applicable for Early Bird Offer)

THIS IS AN OPEN AIR PRODUCTION

Patrons are welcome to picnic in the beautiful grounds of TownHill Park House (The Gregg School) from 5.00pm (12.00pm for the Matinées).

Note – the Gertrude Jekyll garden also will be open for viewing but no picnics are allowed in that area.

You are advised to bring low-back chairs, rugs, etc., as NO SEATING IS PROVIDED.

We suggest you also bring jumpers or coats, as it can get cold even on the warmest of evenings.  Please also come prepared for our English weather, we have been known to have the occasional shower.  Usually, we continue to perform unless the weather is extremely bad.  Any decision to postpone a show or cancel a performance will not be made sooner than 30 mins prior to the published start time.  Should we have the misfortune to have to cancel a whole show then no refunds will be given but tickets for alternative performances will be offered.

The Gregg School is a private school, and the grounds are not generally open to the public.  There is no public access prior to the performance dates.  Dates of occasional open days to view the gardens at other times can be found on the Gregg School website.

Ample free parking and toilet facilities will be provided with provision for disabled patrons.   There is a short walk of approx. 100 metres to the performance area.

Hot and cold drinks and snacks will be available to buy.  There will be no alcohol for sale, but you are welcome to bring your own.

No unaccompanied children under 16.   No dogs (except assistance dogs).

Poster, Flyer & Programme


Programme
Available after the performance

For the Maskers

Technical Manager:- Jamie McCarthy;   Lighting Consultant:- Clive Weeks;   Sound Consultant:- Jamie McCarthy;   Marketing Team:- Angela Stansbridge, Anna Hussey, Abigail Caveney, Clive Weeks, Robert Osborne, Meri Mackney, Paul Baker;   Front of House & Box Office Manager:- Chris Baker;   Photographer:- Clive Weeks;   Bar Manager:- Meri Mackney
 
 
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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
Shirley
Southampton
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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