BATS in the Belfry for the Bard’s 450th

BATS Mike Poole demonstrating the 'beaten up' makeup look
BATS Mike Poole demonstrating the 'beaten up' makeup look

A brawl in which a member of the clergy was repeatedly ‘punched’ isn’t something that usually takes place in Bexhill’s St Augustine’s church but it was all ‘staged’ in the name of dramatic art to celebrate the birth of Shakespeare.

The ‘fight’ sequence between Father Robert Coates and Bexhill Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) local actor Nick was part of a special film being shot for BATS’ celebrations of Shakespeare’s 450th. It will form part of their epic production of the Bard’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew, to be performed at De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP), April 3-5.

Director Mike Poole said if anyone had overheard the commentary during the filming they may have had cause for concern. “When Father Robert asked why Nick had hit him so often, he replied that the camera angle hadn’t been quote right.

“Father Robert then suggested that he hit him once more to make sure it was perfect!”

Mike said anyone wanting to find out how punching Father Robert on the nose fits into the famous comedy will need to see the play for themselves, adding: “Our play will be set in the glittering Gatsby era, and concerns some of the biggest society names of the day. So we are making a 1920’s black and white newsreel to bring the audience into that world – a cross between Pathe News and Hello Magazine – and showing why our hero Petruchio (Nick) is so determined to marry for money rather than love!”

This is the first Shakespeare play that BATS has performed at the DLWP, for over 30 years and Mike said they plan to make it memorable.

Tickets £12 for adults and £5 for under-18s from the DLWP box office call 01424 229111.