All for one and al fresco for all

Last updated 12:35 22/01/2014
Benjamin Black Goldsmiths
EN GARDE: Actors Daniel Allan, left, Laura Irish, Mike O’Malley and Luke Walton prepare for action.

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This Summer, the Body in Space Theatre Company presents their swashbuckling adaptation of Alexandre Dumas', The Three Musketeers. The play will be performed outdoors, in the Meadow at Fairfield House, with the ballroom on standby in case of bad weather.

Additionally, the company have extended the season to include Richmond, with two shows at Washbourn Gardens.

Body in Space is a Nelson-based theatre troupe made up of a collective of professionals who meet regularly to train and create theatre.

A cast of five comic actors have been rehearsing since December, with improvised silliness a welcome addition to the process.

The cast has expanded to five members this year; Daniel Allan, Laura Irish, Luke Walton, Mike O'Malley and Roger Sanders, each playing multiple roles.

All the male cast members, except Allan, who plays the young d'Artagnan, have gone to the effort of growing facial hair for their roles.

"I'm usually the one who has to grow some fur, but I'm off the hook this time," says Allan, who has previously sported a pencil moustache for The 39 Steps and a curly Victorian number in the recent Found Tales.

The performance includes multiple displays of stage fighting with fencing foils, which requires a lot of physical exertion in the sun.

"We've been charging around the meadow with swords a lot," says Allan, "I think we've alarmed quite a few passing exercisers."

Company directors, Daniel and Lisa Allan have created a script with simplified storyline, based on the internationally famous novel and the stylish 1920s black and white film version that featured Douglas Fairbanks.

Audiences can expect a similarly fun experience to their previous Outdoor Summer Theatre shows, along with a few exciting differences.

"The audience should be . . . en garde," jokes Allan.

Local artist, Kirsty Keen, has stepped into the role of prop-maker. Greta Tapper has the auspicious task of creating reversible tabards for the musketeers - who must become evil Cardinal's men at the drop of a hat. Technical director JR Richardson is again on the buttons with sound and set construction.

The whole family are invited and fake moustaches are most definitely encouraged. Parents, please note that this production involves simulated violence and some sexual innuendo, but no swearing or gore. Suitability for children is at the discretion of the parent.

Cash donations gratefully accepted, cash bar and food vendors are on site at Fairfield only. Picnics welcome, no BYO alcohol.

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  • The Three Musketeers, Outdoor Summer Theatre, Body in Space, Friday 24 to Friday January 31, 6.30pm daily, plus 2pm matinee Sunday 26, Fairfield House Meadow, 48 Van Diemen St, Nelson. Saturday February 1, Sunday February 2, 6.30pm daily, Washbourn Gardens, Oxford St, Richmond. For more information visit

- Nelson

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