by joe plumb
Welcome to Department and Horse Box Theatre's production of Ryde Boy.
Over the past few months we have been trialling out different ways of presenting work in this exciting new space. In the short time we have been creating new work here at Department, we have hosted a series of highly successful productions including Frankenstein: The Creation of a Monster, and a sell-out run of One Man, Two Guvnors and a stunning broadway musical The Last Five Years. Later this month, the space will be transformed once again for our Young Company Production of Six: Teen Edition.
The original run of Ryde Boy was part of our Born in the Barn project funded by Arts Council England. If you would like to give us any feedback on tonight's performance as we explore different options where to take this play in the future, we would love to hear what you think. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Department will be an incubator space that sparks new ideas, develops talent and explores bold new ways of working. Shademakers are working with the design team Turner Works and the Isle of Wight Council to transform this iconic building into a cultural space with art at its heart. From September, the builders will be moving in and over the course of a year will be adapting the building into a place for artists and makers to create and for the public to interact with a whole range of cultural experiences. It's a creative building for Ryde and the whole of the Island to be proud of and to enjoy.
We will be announcing some new events, workshops and productions coming to Department in the summer so keep your eyes peeled on @departmentryde on Instagram and Facebook.
We hope you enjoy the show.
RYDE BOY, AUGUST 2023
"We're Ryde Boys, that used to mean something.
This was our land, we were its kings"
Mia is an Actor, Vocalist and Theatre Maker who graduated from East 15 Acting School in 2019. Mia is currently Development Director for Profugo Arts Theatre Company and Associate Artist for Chichester Festival Theatre. Mia has toured the UK in both Plays and Musicals, working with some fantastic companies, such as Warner Bros, and has most recently been seen performing West-End Theatre classics at ‘’Mrs Riots’’ club in Covent Garden. Mia’s recent work includes taking on the role of ‘’Annahita’’ in ‘’Belongings’’ with Article 12 Arts, ‘’’Gwendolyn Cobb’’ in ‘’Miss Sherlock Holmes’’, ‘’Ramona’’ in ‘’Ramona Tells Jim’’at the Tristan Bates Theatre and ‘’Dorothy Lawrence’’ in ‘’Don’t Shoot the Meistersinger’’ at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Mia can also be seen on screen in ‘’Magna Carta Unlocked’’ and ‘’Misbehaviour’’. Mia has worked alongside Profugo Arts as both Development Director and Associate Artist since 2019, first progressing the company with the ‘Write About Now project’ at the New Wimbledon Studio. The aim to develop new writers whilst also giving a platform to young Actors, Directors and stand-up Comedians beginning their creative journey. Mia’s passion for developing artists and their work was recognised with a Beacon Award win for inclusive learning, through her work with SEND company ‘’Theatre Inc’’. Mia is now very excited to be working closely with Horse Box Theatre Company where she will be taking on the role of ’Cait’’ in Ryde Boy at Department. Next, Mia will be working alongside columnist ‘Giles Coren’ with Profugo’s new play ‘’Wren-Ornament for Eternity’’ debuting in London this September supported by the Fleet Street Quarter.
Joe is the Artistic Director of Horse Box Theatre and is the Programming and Operations Manager at Department. Joe’s recent work includes writing and performing in Ryde Boy and Frankenstein: The Creation of a Monster. He also played Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors, and he directed musical The Last Five Years at Department. At Ventnor Fringe, Joe’s solo show The People’s Republic of the Isle of Wight won the Audience Choice Award at Ventnor Fringe in 2021 and he returned with Born to be the Weather Wizard last year before taking on the role of Bob in Bob: The Half A Sausage Musical. He has toured his production of The Lighthouse Keeper to festivals and schools over the past year. In 2022, Joe was one of the movement directors for Shademakers UK’s entry in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant. For the Apollo Theatre, Joe directed the musical Oliver! In 2022. Joe completed his Master’s in Playwriting from the University of Manchester in 2021 and became the first Artistic Director of the Skye Bridge Studios in the Highlands of Scotland. Joe writes a regular column and stage reviews for the Isle of Wight County Press.
Ashley grew up in island theatre, performing with many local companies. After leaving for University, he continued to hone his craft, including directing for Winchester's Scratch Shakespeare Festival and organising street theatre for local charities. Following a brief hiatus from theatre he eventually returned tot he island as a teacher of the arts. He made his triumphant return to the stage with his role as Alan in Horse Box Theatre's recent production of One Man, Two Guvnors.
Ryde Boy is Charlie's first performance with Horse Box Theatre although he has worked with Joe Plumb before in Ventnor Theatre Group's production of Cinderella Live in 2019. Charlie has performed with many local theatre companies including the Island Savoyards, Ventnor Theatre Group and Amy White Theatre. When Charlie is not on stage he can be found dressed as your favourite superhero at a variety of different events.
Mitch studied Drama and Performing Arts and performed in 8 productions with the Isle of Wight Shakespeare Company, an open air production of Merry Wives of Windsor at Carisbrooke Castle, One Man, Two Guvnors with South Bank Theatre Company at Shanklin Theatre, twice, as well as the madcap mashup show, Pantomonium. In 2016, Mitch devised his own one man show about his TV addiction.
He was lucky enough to work on a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015.
Mitch stopped performing for four years, to pursue a life in the mountains before his soft launch back onto the Island stage in August 2021 with a Shakespeare themed summer Pantomime.
He kicked off 2023 with a third run of One Man, Two Guvnors with Horse Box Theatre and now he's giving his 'Hank The Wank', it doesn't get more glamorous than that.
Callum trained at the University of Chichester on their Musical Theatre & Acting for Film course. As a performer, his professional credits include: dancer at the 02 Arena show (Dance Vibez), dancer with Wayne Sleep for Dame Vera Lynn's 100th Birthday (Dance Vibez), backup dancer for BBC1's Children in Need (Teen Aid UK), dancer on CMV Cruises, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family Musical (Theatre Train), Creature in Frankenstein: The Creation of a Monster (Horse Box Theatre), a dancer in Oliver! at the Apollo Theatre, and a performer in The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant with Shademakers UK. Over the last two years, Callum has worked as a Performing Arts teacher at Ryde Academy and as a choreographer on productions including
Grease, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins Jr and many more.
Garry does not have much history on stage so still has a sense of wonderment about the different processes involved in putting on a production and loves learning from different directors and cast members. Since 2019 Garry has appeared in various roles such as Detective Inspector Appleton in Suddenly at Home, Max in Marble Arch; Detective Sergeant Mick Ross in Breaking the Code, the Knife Grinder in Oliver! and Deke Brenton in Brenton Versus Brenton. This is Garry's second production with Horse Box, after playing Harry Dangle in the recent One Man, Two Guvnors, and he has thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the rehearsals, as Holly and the cast bring the traits of the characters in Ryde Boy to life.
RYDE BOY, AUGUST 2023
DIRECTED BY HOLLY DOWNER
WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY JOE PLUMB
SET BUILT BY SHADEMAKERS UK
LIGHTING & SOUND BY JAMES FOTHERGILL, HOLLY DOWNER AND HARRY SPENCER
WITH THANKS TO
Ashleigh Mackness, Amber Hersey, Martin Sheaff, Sharon George, Paul McLaren, Lily George, Jane Gibbs, Namish Verma, Amber Rose, Al Downer, Widget, Gill Bushell, Chloe Moss, Arts Council England, Ryde Arts and all the Luddites who shared their stories.
A note from the director
Joe Plumb's visceral new play Ryde Boy has been a really exciting prospect to explore and bring to the stage for the first time. At once both contemplative and relentless in its truth-seeking, the play pulls no punches in examining the nature of grief and its complexities for young (and not so young) men, facing down their identities, hopes, dreams and aspirations in the face of loss.
From the familiar environment of the local Island boozer, we want audiences to immerse themselves in the messiest of nights out, where one thing is absolute - that the truth will come out, kicking and screaming.
What does it mean to be a 'Ryde Boy? And at what cost?
Holly Downer, Director
Here's a selection of Horse Box and other companies work coming up that we think you'll love!