The RoughCast Theatre Company was born in 2000 and many of those associated with it then remain part of it today. We are an amateur group in the original sense of doing it “for the love of it” but we hope the negative connotation of the word does not apply to us.
As a company, we tend to stage classic plays, although that is not a hard and fast rule. One reason for keeping to the tried and tested, and especially the well-known, is to guarantee audience numbers. Staging a play is an expensive business these days, and we aim for productions to break even at least. It ensures that we have a future!
We are a touring company and necessarily travel light. So you will not usually find very much in the way of a set, or indeed a stage in the normal sense. We currently average three productions over two years with at least one being an outdoor production.
Things are run by a small, but dedicated, committee, who tend also to act, direct, or form part of the backstage team. We have no chairman and decide everything collectively. When it comes to choosing plays and casting, we have a very simple approach. Someone says they want to direct a play and we pretty much let them do so and select their cast. The only exception is if the play is likely to cost considerably more to stage than it is likely to return in income. Unlike many professional companies, we have no public money or sponsorship to support loss-making ventures!
We do sometimes play venues by request. To find out more, visit our Venues page.
Committee members change from time to time, often as a result of someone moving away. New members are invited as the need arises, usually from the pool of people active in the group.
Committee meetings are held from time to time on an as-needs basis. They are generally separate from Production Meetings.
Founding FatherActing, Directing
Paul has acted and directed for numerous local groups over the years, before founding RoughCast in 1999 following an MA course at Essex in Shakespearean Theatre. He loves touring with minimal set, giving the actors centre stage. He is lucky to have played numerous lead roles including Lear and Macbeth, although he usually ends up dead.
Artistic DirectorActing, Directing
Our venerated Artistic Director can only be known by his “handle” 003.14157, or Pi-face to his friends. This is because he works for the Secret Services. His father, Alan Burridge, often helps with building such sets as we have. His wife Steph often says that Mark is an excellent cook. No one knows what an Artistic Director is or does, but perhaps that is as it should be when your work is clandestine.
I was recruited (volunteered) into the Roughcast ranks about a year ago as my daughter Emma departed for pastures wider afield and I retired to a life of leisure. I took on the role of treasurer from Ian Hart as he went north and will also look to help out wherever I can backstage/ bars etc …
Patrushka Parrisnovna joined RoughCast in 2002 to play a member of the Greek chorus in Medea, wearing a mask made from breadcrumbs. Despite this unusual initiation she stayed and has performed in 14 productions to date playing a variety of roles from whores to queens and most recently as the real Charley’s Aunt.
After graduating with a B.A (Hons) in Drama from Middlesex University Erica worked professionally as a Company Stage Manager in the West End (including Donmar, Almeida and Whitehall Theatres), on No1 tours and in local Rep, also stage managing and producing at Eye Theatre for many years. She is delighted to be “ keeping her hand in ” with Roughcast in bringing high quality, classic productions to a local audiences. Erica can be seen hard at work in the photo in traditional back stage black during blackout. Cute, ain’t she?
Peter has acted for several local groups since 1989, and his first RoughCast appearance was as the Duke of Kent in “King Lear”. He has enjoyed a variety of roles including Sir Andrew Aguecheek in “Twelfth Night”, the Duke of Gloucester/Richard III in “Richard III”, Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Brutus (Julius Caesar), Touchstone (As You Like It), and Brassett (Charley’s Aunt).
Website Directing, Acting
Simon began his acting “career” soon after he moved to Suffolk in the early 1980s. Cutting his teeth with the Hoxne Players, he moved on to STRADA and then to RoughCast. He has also acted with Harleston Players and Open Space Theatre amongst others, and has directed for STRADA, RoughCast, and Harleston Players. Best known for his comic roles and, like Paul, often dies on stage.