The Ruck is a new play written by award-winning playwright Kevin Fegan, http://www.kevinfegan.co.uk. Based on the real life story of the Batley Bulldogs Rugby League Girls Team and their Tour to the Gold Coast in October 2015; the first British female rugby team to tour in Australia.
From the Golden Mile to The Gold Coast
All the way from Yorkshire UK, the original "County of Origin" of Rugby League Football, comes a new force to be reckoned with in the sport: the mighty Batley Girls U16 team.
Growing up in Batley, these girls are used to a challenge; but are they prepared for what's in store on their historic tour of Queensland?
This is a full length scripted new play designed for a cast of 8, 5 female and 3 male, who double up to play 10 characters and a chorus. The script features songs and raps. It is anticipated that music will be created in the rehearsal room with an MD and/or musician/performer.
It has a very ‘northern’ feel with a flavour of variety performance- The spirit of the Batley Varieties - a fun palace in the 1960’a and 1970’s for the working people of the area and for audiences from far and wide (who came to see performers including Shirley Bassey) - is still very much in evidence in Batley on a Friday night ain the pubs and clubs of the legendary ‘ Golden Mile’.
The Action takes place between the Batley training sessions as the Girls Team prepare to go on Tour with coach Spen, and a series of matches on the pitches of the Gold Coast, where the Batley Girls take on a series of challenges, on and off the pitch.
It's a story of girls breaking gender stereotypes and coming of age; of family relationships and friendships, told against the history and traditions of Rugby League and changes in society . It will have relevance to young adults, though it is targeted at both young and adult audiences.
Origin & Production
The play came out of a residency at the Bulldogs Rugby Club supported by Creative Scene, the Arts Council Creative People and Places project in West Yorkshire. Writer Kevin was inspired by the girls team who set up in 2012 and coached by one of the girl’s fathers, had already won the English championship twice, and were about to become the first female team to tour Australia. Kevin joined them on the trip and these experiences, along with spending time at the club and in Batley have inspired the play.
Creative Scene commissioned the full play from Kev and now will support the production of this to performance at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield ( September 2017 to coincide with the end of the Rugby League season).
Vicky Holliday, for Creative Scene, will act as Executive Producer, with a producer being brought on board to support the production directly and the development of a UK tour (September –October 2017) to mid-scale venues. We are also exploring the potential for the production to tour to Australia in Spring 2018, as part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme.
Creative Scene will devise an audience engagement project around the show, to introduce and explore some of the issues in the play and to encourage non-traditional arts/theatre audiences to attend.
We are looking for a director who is experienced in creating work for mid-scale venues and working from text (preferably new writing). The play demands strong physicality and choreography to represent a rugby league game and so a director with a background in physical theatre would be preferred; although there may be scope to bring in a movement director. The play also features music/rap which will be devised with a musical director, so an interest in and experience of working with songs and music will be required.
As well as a cracking story, the play deals with issues of coming of age, challenging stereotypes and taking your place in the world from the perspective of young women ; so we would like to hear from Directors who are interested in these themes.
Rehearsals to take place in August 2017
Opening show at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield in September 2017, dates to be confirmed
UK tour in late September 2017, to be confirmed
Gold Coast in Spring 2018 as it hosts the Commonwealth Games, to be confirmed
Fees: £3000 - £4000 to include preparation, 3-week rehearsal period and opening week.
Re-rehearsal fee for an Australian tour would be offered on confirmation of this tour.
Expressions of Interest
If you would like to express an interest in Directing the Ruck, and can meet the production/performance timetable for the opening show, as above, please send your C.V and a short (no more than 1 side A4) expression of interest, to:
Vicky Holliday, Vicky@creativescene.org.uk
BY: 10am on Friday 2nd September
We will shortlist potential Directors, provide the script of the play; and invite those selected to an informal meeting on Tuesday 6th September, afternoon, in Dewsbury. Travel expenses will be paid.
For more information or a discussion about the play please contact Vicky Holliday on 07714 249976 or Vicky@creativescene.org.uk.
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