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A Severed Hand and Other Tales at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

A SEVERED HAND AND OTHER TALESAn exciting collection of adventures, A Severed Hand and Other Tales come to raucous life in the Mill Studio at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd February in the energetic hands of the Youth Theatre group Scene Change.

Based on the fairy tales by Wilhelm Hauff, former Youth Theatre member Nigel Munson’s brand new play A Severed Hand and Other Tales is full of silliness, tragedy, deception, bravery and a little romance.

As a caravan of merchants, their guards and slaves make their way slowly through the desert, a mysterious stranger escapes the clutches of evil bandits and joins this motley crew of travellers.

As they ride on they agree to take turns in telling a story. There are great tales of adventure. We hear how the Caliph became a stork, how old merchant Zaleukos lost his hand, how a so-called evil bandit helps a hero to rescue his kidnapped sister and we learn the truth about this strange new companion.

A Severed Hand and Other Tales began life as an entry in the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre’s Festival Fringe Shorts competition which seeks a new play that will be developed into a show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Co-director (with Louise Dickinson) of the play and Head of Youth Theatre, Adam Forde said: “The play wasn’t quite right for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as it needed rather more people and resources than we have for Edinburgh. But we felt straight away that it was a set of stories and ideas that we wanted to develop.”

The short extract we worked on for the FFShorts festival was great fun and to work with one of our old boys is a real treat.”

Straight from his time at the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre, Nigel Munson left to go to the Oxford School of Drama and since graduating has been working on a number of his own shows as actor and writer. He has also worked extensively with the Youth Theatre as a workshop leader and actor in a variety of projects including the play about railway level crossing safety, Off the Level. He co-directed last year’s Scene Change production of The War of Jenkins’ Ear.

Scene Change will premiere this brand new adaptation of Willhelm Houff’s well-loved adventures having built a strong reputation for working on new writing. Recent successes have included an adaptation of David Almond’s novel Clay, Out of Nowhere as well as The War of Jenkins’ Ear.

The cast of twenty-six, 13 to 15-year-olds, are ready to take you on a thrilling journey through the desert with the odd diversion to Venice and back. Expect mirth, horror and plenty of sherbet in this half-term Turkish delight for the whole family.

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Box Office on (01483) 44 00 00 or
at www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

Thursday 30th January 2014

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  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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