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THE 7 AGES OF MANKIND

Tickets on sale from Monday 25 March 2024

www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances:

And one man in his time plays many parts,"

William Shakespeare


 

 

 

 

 

         

 

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DIRECTOR:  WENDY TUCKER – SIMPLY SHAKESPEARE

If you are writing a compilation of the most well-known scenes by Shakespeare, it pays to have an inside knowledge of the Bard’s works. That is just what Wendy Tucker has.  Holt resident Wendy, the originator and Director of Holt Players’ upcoming production ‘The 7 Ages of Mankind‘, was originally from Portsmouth, but trained as an English and Drama teacher at Cardiff University (where, incidentally, she met her late husband Paul who was studying to teach History). Moving to Bowerhill outside Melksham, the pair taught for several years at John Bentley School in Calne. We asked Wendy to tell us about her new script, and also a little more about her life and times.

What inspired you to create The 7 Ages of Mankind’ – and why?

The idea came to me last year when I read about the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio. It was a literature milestone and I thought it worth celebrating in some way with the Holt Players. The script we will be performing took me over a month to complete.   I haven’t rewritten Shakespeare – just taken nuggets from some of his best-known, and my favourite, plays and woven them into an easy-to-follow narrative that I hope everyone can enjoy. There is a theme -Shakespeare views on life from the cradle to the grave - and all the text is his own. But each of those little integrated scenes have their own life, seamlessly joined together by two narrators – William Shakespeare himself, and his modern-day counterpart who is based on Doctor Who’s companion Ace.  She certainly has views of her own!

I see this as ‘simple Shakespeare’, not dumbed down but made accessible for all ages, whether they are first-timers or experts. And out of interest, our dress rehearsal on 23rd April takes place on the day that Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated. Quite a coincidence!

Tell us about your teaching career and how did your interest in drama start?

From the time I was ten, my parents took me to see Shakespeare plays in Southsea.  I think that’s where I got my love of words and poetry, movement and rhythm. I auditioned for professional drama school when I was older but decided to teach instead. At John Bentley I started the drama classes to pass on that love of the stage. And I’ve been involved with acting ever since. After my two children Robin and Rowena were born, I went back to supply teaching including a stint at Melksham’s George Ward School in the support unit for children with learning difficulties. I enjoyed it so much that I took a course in understanding dyslexia – and found the fight for recognition of that condition so rewarding. Eventually, to fit around the family, I taught dyslexic support classes at home, involving the parents too. We called it ‘nurture teaching’ for the whole family.

When did you join the then-named Holt Dramatic Society, and what have you appeared in?

We moved to Holt in 1994, and I became a member shortly after that. I loved the fun of the pantomimes and creating dances for the cast children – and even the adults! Other roles included Lettice and Lovage, The Merry Wives of Holt, The Winter’s Tale and Pride and Prejudice. I’ve been involved in various ways over the years, but ‘The 7 Ages of Mankind’ is the first time I have directed for the Players. And written the script. 

Any other interests?

Dance. I’ve been a member of a dance group based in West Ashton, for thirteen years. The Wilde Bunch was started by Dee Dee Wilde, a founding member of Pan’s People . As well as the weekly classes, we perform routines at events such as village fetes and parties. We even auditioned for ITV’s Greatest Dancer show, but sadly we weren’t selected! And I am delighted to say that Dee Dee’s award-winning musician husband Henry Marsh, of ‘70s group Sailor, has composed the special Shakespearean music for ‘7 Ages’.

 

 I hope everyone enjoys the show. We have a great cast of actors whom I know will bring this adaptation to life. My grateful thanks to them all.

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