Friday, 11 September 2015

Greenwich Theatre - Sunset Five

FRESH from the Edinburgh Festival, a show about an ordinary pub quiz team who try and save their beloved boozer from demolition is heading to Greenwich Theatre.
The Sunset Five was such a hit at the annual Scottish arts festival that Greenwich's artistic director James Haddrell was keen to snap it up.
And happily he was able to persuade DugOut Theatre Company to bring the show to the Crooms Hill Theatre for a short five night run from Tuesday to Saturday next week.
"The show has a cast of six and they are all incredibly talented actors and musicians,” says James.
"Featuring live music and with a raucous script, it is like a classic Hollywood casino heist played by the characters from The Vicar of Dibley.
"It’s so totally English in the way the characters approach their mission, and it’s hilarious."
Faced with losing their beloved watering hole, the pub quiz team embark on this brave robbery. Hailing from the run down seaside town of Chipworth, this band of very ordinary misfits come together in an attempt to pull off something truly extraordinary.
“The Sunset Five was one of the most talked about shows at the Edinburgh Festival and after we saw it we snapped it up like lightning," he says.
"It's such a great show so I’m really pleased and proud we were able to pick it up so quickly.”
The DugOut Theatre Company started at Leeds University in 2009 and they’ve already enjoyed success at the Fringe with Dealer’s Choice and last year with Inheritance Blues, winner of an International Student Drama Festival award.
The inspiration for this year's offering came about after the company began playing around with ideas for a story around a pub quiz team.
"Just thinking about pub quiz teams is amusing so we began exploring it as an idea and the characters within it and it grew from there," says producer Milly Smith.
An Arts Council England grant in December last year allowed them to work with the West Yorkshire Playhouse to devise the piece properly, rehearse it and build it up to an hour-long show.
"As a company the way we work is very collaborative and this was no different," says Milly.
"We got together with current and former members of the company as well as other theatre practitioners to come up with and develop the idea and the story line and then rehearse it.
"It's a really fun but very simple story," she adds. "The team want to save their pub which is being earmarked for demolition by a man called Mickey who is also attempting to destroy most of the town's pubs and theatres.
"They are outraged by this so they decide they must act to stop him and come up with a cunning plan - to stage a heist and it's there that their adventures start. It's a bit Hot Fuzz meets Ocean's Eleven.
"The set is very sparse but we've also added in live music, mime and movement which gives it an immersive feel.
"It's a great show - very funny, innovative and very simple with original characters but ones who people can relate to.
"I think that is why it works and why audiences loved it when they saw it at the Fringe - people said they left with smiles on their faces which is fantastic and just what we wanted."
And she says they are really keen to bring the show south of the border.
“We haven’t done Greenwich Theatre before, but it’s a lovely theatre and it’s great to get a London run," she says.
"We have been lucky to build up and grow a lovely following at the Fringe over the last six years that we have been taking shows there but have wanted to expand our audiences.
"So what better place to do that than at Greenwich which is a fantastic theatre and is so supportive of the work we do.
"It's going to be great fun."

The Sunset Five is on at Greenwich Theatre from September 15 to 19. Tickets cost £16. Visit or call the box office on 020 8858 7755.

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