”Mordred” New Arthurian drama feature film and stage show announced, being made, and performed, in Devon & Cornwall, England during 2016.
“I am what you made me become!” snarls Mordred, as he confronts his father, King Arthur.
“Mordred” is a drama, newly written and researched by members of the South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, a team specializing in historical and mythological drama, based in Brixham, South Devon.
Set in the 6th Century, across Devon and Cornwall, this two & a half hour drama stars all-local unknown Southwest talent, bringing to life Arthurian legend, in a production researched and adapted from some of the earliest Arthurian legends, exploring some of the earliest tales of Mordred, who appears varyingly in Arthurian legends, as Arthur’s nephew or illegitimate son, and how two equally honorable men came to hate one another, and that hate to lead to a disastrous war.
Set against the backdrop of the post-Roman Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia, present day Devon and Cornwall, struggling to survive against the Saxon invaders, this is a dark, gritty drama, supported with an impressive team of performers, historical reenactors, historians, and a film crew ranging from students at Exeter College, through writing, research and direction, by Arthurian-afficiando, actress/director and Masters graduate from the University of Exeter; Laura Jury, and the ambitious Simon Knight, Director of Photography. The team is supported by the soundtrack composer, Michael Klubertanz, from Germany, the only team member from outside the Southwest of England, who is composing the film sound-track using only instruments which would have been in use in 6th Century Britain – and a few war-horns.
The film stars two local up-and-coming actors from the southwest, in the two lead roles, Rich Sandford, from Torquay, in his first ever starring role, as Mordred, and Guillaume Rivaud from North Cornwall, as King Arthur, with the production directed by a Laura Jay, a talented female theater/ film director, for whom “Mordred” is the first feature film that she has directed.
Filming will take place in May and June 2016 around Devon and Cornwall, with the theater performances taking place in September 2016.
It was considered very important to make sure that we were not making “just another King Arthur film”, and to find a unique adaptation. While novels have been written from Mordred’s point of view, to our knowledge, this has never been transferred to film. That, coupled with spanning Devon and Cornwall, and delving into earlier and less-known legends, has created an all new version of the legend, from a unique perspective, said Laura Jay, director of “Mordred”.
Not that creating a production of this scale is easy. While grants are being applied for, and traditional crowdfunding sources are being applied to, you cannot put all your eggs in one basket. Cast and crew members are involved in a wide range of fundraising activities, ranging from small amounts from tombolas and face painting at fetes, and selling on ebay, through to a film/ scifi/ fantasy convention, grant applications, talent nights, school & museum lectures, cabaret shows, ebook publications and more. For costumes and props, it is also a case of keeping one eye on the history book and the other on what reclaimed fabrics and items can be remade, and adapted. We have to thank so many people who keep an eye out for second hand things that we can do this with.
This is an ambitious project, taking not just every ounce of creativity on screen, but also in the planning and logistics behind-the-scenes.
The South Devon Players is a team of dedicated, career-orientated performers, of all ages, who are working on creating careers in theater and film. We always welcome new members, who share our ethos, and who, regardless of previous experience, want to join a lively, friendly, hardworking team of performers, hone old skills & develop new ones, and create high quality new stage and film productions.
We perform theatre shows in Brixham, around Torbay, and South Devon, based on historical events, classical stories and mythology. We also make period drama films and web-series productions, around Devon and Cornwall, which has become a large percentage of our annual projects.
The South Devon Players was founded in late 2005 by two Brixham-based performers who were seeking performance opportunities in the Southwest, and performed our first production in the summer of 2006. Since then we have gone from strength to strength, and are now growing rapidly, with awards won and a rapidly increasing member and audience base. (Laura Jury, Co-Founder of The South Devon Players)