Velvet Ensemble - Young Writers Competition - Classical Women:Reworked

Velvet Ensemble is a new theatre company based in both Cardiff and London. Our focus is creating exciting, accessible theatre which tells women's stories. We are currently working with four highly acclaimed playwrights; Stella Duffy, Mellissa Manteghi, Bethan Marlow and Shelley Silas. Each writer has chosen a classical speech and is writing a response speech. Both speeches will be performed by the same actress, side by side on our Classical Women: Reworked evenings in both Cardiff and London.
We want to give one young writer the opportunity to have their work performed by a professional actress alongside the work of established playwrights.
So, if you're under 25 years old and fancy having a go all you have to do is this:
1. Choose a speech from the selection below.
2. Write a response speech; this can take the form of a modern version of the character and situation or the classical speech can just be your inspiration. We're looking for innovation! Speeches must be between 3-5 minutes in length.
3. Email your entry with your Name, Address and phone number to by 8th August 2010.
We look forward to receiving your entry!
Velvet Ensemble

ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare

Act II, sc V


The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;
In half an hour she promised to return.
Perchance she cannot meet him: that's not so.
O, she is lame! love's heralds should be thoughts,
Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,
Driving back shadows over louring hills:
Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw love,
And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
Of this day's journey, and from nine till twelve
Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
She would be as swift in motion as a ball;
My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
And his to me:
But old folks, many feign as they were dead;
Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.
O God, she comes!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare


How happy some o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
He will not know what all but he do know:
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities:
Things base and vile, folding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity:
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy Love is perjured every where:
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.

‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore by John Ford


Pleasures, farewell, and all ye thriftless minutes
Wherein false joys have spun a weary life!
To these my fortunes now I take my leave.
Thou, precious Time, that swiftly rid’st in post
Over the world, to finish up the race
Of my last fate, here stay thy restless course,
And bear to ages that are yet unborn
A wretched, woeful woman’s tragedy !
My conscience now stands up against my lust,
With depositions character’d in guilt,

And tells me I am lost: now I confess;
Beauty that clothes the outside of the face,
Is cursed if it be not cloth’d with grace.
Here like a turtle, (mew’d up in a cage,)
Unmated, I converse with air and walls,
And descant on my vile unhappiness.
O Giovanni, that hast had the spoil
Of thine own virtues, and my modest fame;
Would thou hadst been less subject to those stars
That luckless reign’d at my nativity!
O would the scourge, due to my black offence,
Might pass from thee, that I alone might feel
The torment of an uncontrouled flame!

As You Like It by William Shakespeare

Act III, sc II


Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves
as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do: and
the reason why they are not so punished and cured
is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers
are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.

Yes, one, and in this manner. He was to imagine me
his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to
woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonish
youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing
and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow,
inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every
passion something and for no passion truly any
thing, as boys and women are for the most part
cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe
him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep
for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor
from his mad humour of love to a living humour of
madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of
the world, and to live in a nook merely monastic.
And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon
me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's
heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.

I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind
and come every day to my cote and woo me

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