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Speech Acts

6th - 19th April 2015

Production Manager

Production Dates: 

6th - 19th April 2015

Production Venue:

The Courtyard Theatre, London Based Tour

Production Role:

Production Manager


Hanna Grzekiewicz for Shadwell Opera


Jack Furness



Finnegan Downie Dear

Musical Director:


Hannah Wolfe

Lighting Designer:

Sherry Coenen

Sound Designer:

Speech Acts

Soldier's Tale 

On Leave from the army, a soldier encounters the devil on his way home. The devil convinces him to exchange his old fiddle for a little red book that tells the economic future, and invites him to his home for three days rest. On returning to his village, the soldier realises he has been away for three years, not three days, and nobody there recognises him anymore. He is accosted by the devil once more, and retrieves his violin, only to discover he can no longer play.


The soldier sets off on a journey, seeking a new life and crosses into a different land. He discovers that the princess of this relm is ill, and her hand in marriage is promised to whomsoever can cure her. The Soldier wakes the princess with music, but the devil reappears, trying to steal back the coin. The Soldier plays ("Dance of the Devil") and the devil is ruined once more. The soldier and the princess live happily together for a time, until she asks to know more about his past. They begin a journey to the soldier's home town to find his mother. The devil appears a final time, drawing the Soldier on, who seems to be leaving the princess behind. "The Devil's triumphal March" plays as the soldier steps over the frontier of the town. 

Into the Little Hill

It is the eve of an Election. 

The crowd demand that the Minster destroy the rats, who, they claim, are damaging their property: "Kill and you have our Vote!".

During a sleepless night, the Minister discovers a Stranger in his daughter's bedroom, who claims to have charmed his way in, " with music". The minister promises the stranger a sum of one to destroy the rats in time for the election. The stranger makes him swear by his sleeping child to keep his promise. Looking our of the window, the Minister's child asks her mother "why must the rats die, mummy?" Her mother replies that they steal things and are not human. To the child however, they are just like humans. The Minister's Wife insists that the rats will die with dignity and makes the child come away from the window. 

The Minister is Re-elected. 

He Greets the crowd, and hears their "Grateful shriek", and the humming of his own heart. 

The stranger returns to receive his fee, but the Minister denies him, claiming the rats "left of their own free will". He asserts that all the music is "incidental" and need not be paid for. When the stranger reminds him that he swore bu his own sleeping child, the Minister dismisses him in anger. Throughout the city, mothers wake to find empty beds; their children have gone. Beside herself, the Minister's Wife asks the Minister where their child is, and hear the children reply that they are "inside the Little Hill" the say they have burrowed towards the light "with the angel under the ear", and that this is their home now. "and the deeper we burrow, the brighter his music burns".

Mountain Lake
Beach Huts
Ferris Wheel
Palm Trees
City Cycle
Misty Slopes
Fire Wood

Cast & Creatives


Soliders Tale

Narrator: Kathryn Griffiths 

Solider: Simeon John-Wake

Devil: Temi Wilkey

Princess: Beverley Grant

Into the Little Hill

Soprano: Emily Vine

Contralto: Jess Dandy


Director: Jack Furness

Conductor: Finnegan Downie Dear

Designer: Georgia De Gray 

Lighting Designer: Sherry Coenen

Production Manager: Christopher Silvester

Stage Manager (On Book): Rachel Darwood


Soliders Tale

Violin: Fra Rustumji

Double Bass: David Cousins

Cornet: Chris Hart

Trombone: Rupert Whitehead

Bassoon: Joshua Wilson

Clarinet: Stephen Williams

Percussion: Jude Carlton

Into the Little Hill

Violin: Will Newell | Michelle Liameche

Violin | Mandolin: Fra Rustumji

Viola: Charley Lake

Biola | Banjo: Mikey Cooper

Cello: Phillip Collingham & Thomas Wraith

Double Bass: David Cousins 

Flute: Hannah Black

Basset Horn: Stephen Williams | Chris Hatton

Contrabass Clarinet: Scott Lygate

Cornet: Chris Hart | Nicola Rouse 

Trombone: Rupert Whitehead

Percussion | Cimbalom: Jude Carlton | Elsa Bradley

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