An initial, four event, short season of one hour-ish performances being presented by Bijou Productions, each Monday at The Bridlington Priory, Church Rooms – Church Green, Old Town, YO16 7JX. It is hoped that other Monday Matinées will follow.
Time – 2.30 pm – 3.30pm
No admission charge.
Free will offering at conclusion of performances.
No booking necessary just turn up.
Monday 6th June
“The Bethlehem Street Cleaner”
Just going about his job, as he will be doing on many another day, sweeping the streets of the little town and keeping the place tidy, Benny the Bethlehem street cleaner meets up with a young couple who have a problem – they’ve got nowhere to stay.
They’d come all the way from Nazareth for a census, which has been ordered by Caesar Augustus. But like Benny tells us—”The place was heavin’. You couldn’t get a room for love—nor money!”
Benny offers to try to help them; and that was the start of an incredible experience for him – an experience which he will never forget – and in his own words “Knocked me for a six – I can tell you !”
The story of this meeting and everything surrounding it, is the basis of this one man play. Setting the scene for the conditions at the time and painting the picture in words and music, our actor John D Slater, draws his audience into the story and invites us to see things through the eyes of a street cleaner.
Though, as Benny says “But if anyone should decide the write this whole story down, you can bet your boots that there’ll be no mention of a Bethlehem street cleaner in it!”
Monday 13th June.
“Making His Mark” –
A presentation mirroring some of the dramatic aspects of the “Gospel According To Mark”, an earlier stage production which John has presented in previous years. In excess of two hundred performances have been seen at Cathedrals, Theatres, Village Halls, High Schools and Colleges, throughout the country; in addition, several TV features. “The Gospel According To Mark” was also an event in The Christian Resources Exhibition at G-Mex.
At the time, there were only six known actors in the World staging such a performance. With almost 16,000 words to memorize, it wasn’t surprising.
For our production – “Making His Mark”, we’ll meet the Gospel originator himself, who many consider was a story-teller. As an indication of this, much of his “gospel” seems to be filled with things which might well have enthralled an audience.
Monday 20th June.
“King Lear’s Fool’s Tale”
It was whilst John D Slater was working on the Laurence Olivier/Granada
TV production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, that he began to take particular interest in the character of the Fool and the role of the Fool, not only in the play, but in the history of fools. John subsequently went on the play the fool/jester/clown character in hundreds of productions and presentations, at a variety of locations, including stately homes, castles, theatres and festivals, plus several TV slots, exploring folly at all levels.
However, it was during the recent lock-down period, after viewing, via various internet sites, no fewer that five different productions of Shakespeare’s King Lear, that John had an idea; once again taking particular interest in the Fool and his relationship with the king, John felt that might be a
fascinating challenge to give the Fool a chance to have his own say. And so John set down to write “King Lear’s Fool’s Tale.”
What does the Fool see that the King Lear doesn’t, or won’t see? When he dares to give the king advice, even jokingly, he comes very close to a beating or worse. But the Fool does not desert him and stays with him to almost the very end.
A tale told with humour and tenderness.
Monday 27th June.
“An Actor’s Life For Me”
A reflection on John’s life as an entertainer – from childhood to now. 50 + years of treading the boards. John has worked in all manner of disciplines – from Shakespeare to circus. Much of life as a performer is also contained in his published 2004 autobiography – “A Desire To Entertain” – obtainable as an E-Book on this site.
He has appeared on TV and Radio – made several films, danced through the streets of York, Leeds, Hull and other places and written a hundred or more songs and plays. In “An Actor’s Life For Me” – John’s story is told with music, song, memories and a large helping of fun.
“John’s even played the baddie – several times.”
So there you have it! You may like to know that, in July, John’s performances are going to be given at Buxton Festival – see “Bijou@Buxton” page.
It would be wonderful to see you at one of our performances or two if you like; better still, why not make it all four. If you want to know any more you can contact us at email@example.com or phone 01262 601456