Two Gentlemen of Verona – 1 – 5 March 2005




by William Shakespeare

Link to cast & production team

Link to what the critics said

Link to photo gallery

An early Shakespeare

2005’s Bard in the Yard was directed by Trevor Rose and presented first at Muritai School yard, then one performance at Emerald Glen before touring to Stratford, Taranaki.  Here is the media release.

The Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe will bring “Two Gentlemen of Verona“. to Eastbourne as part of this year’s Wellington Fringe Festival.  “Two Gentlemen of Verona” is a very early, and not often performed, Shakespeare romantic comedy and tells the story of Valentine and Proteus, who have been mates since childhood.  Valentine goes off to Milan for his OE while Proteus stays in Verona to be with his girlfriend Julia.  However, when Proteus is also sent to Milan, both he and Valentine fall for the Duke’s daughter, Silvia. (of “Who is Silvia” fame).  It’s a timeless tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.  Add to this an ineffectual suitor, a would-be knight in shining armour, a couple of clowns and a bunch of outlaws in the forest, and this is a show to brighten the summer.

The troupe’s “Bard-in-the-Yard” productions have developed from simple Shakespeare readings put on for family and friends, into a popular annual production “in the round” in the Muritai School grounds.  Audiences have braved the fickle Wellington weather from time to time, sometimes having to move into the hall in really bad weather.  But the weather never dampens the enthusiasm of cast or audiences.

This year the cast and crew will take the play ‘on tour’ to Emerald Glen Lodge, near MacKay’s Crossing and to Stratford, Taranaki later in March.  Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe first took their Bard-in-the-Yard production to Stratford in 2003 with a very successful “All’s Well that Ends Well.”  “We are building up what we hope will be an on-going following in Stratford,” says director, Trevor Rose.  But the troupe’s main focus is bringing the Fringe Festival to Eastbourne, he said.

The sixteen-strong cast includes New York couple Jerry and Julia Duckor, who spend each summer in Eastbourne to see their NZ family and to escape the severe New York winters.  They have become much-loved “troupies”.  The cast also includes some strong Eastbourne family ties – John Marwick and son Tom, and Peter Baldock with daughter Amber.

“Two Gentlemen of Verona” will be performed on Tuesday to Saturday, 1 to 5 March, at 7.30pm, in the Muritai School Yard, Muritai Road, Eastbourne.   If wet, the performance moves inside to the School Hall.

Cast & Production Team



Ashley Bloomfield


Ben Cain


Tom Marwick


Sarah-Rose Mulligan


Elspeth Harris


Laurie Atkinson


Ed Hickey


Amber Baldock


Peter Baldock


Dan Milward

Duke of Milan

John Marwick

Host at the Inn

Jerry Duckor

Outlaw 1

Jerry Duckor

Outlaw 2

Ed Hickey

Outlaw 3

Laurie Atkinson


Laurie Atkinson


Jerry Duckor

Ursula, an attendant

Julie Duckor


Julia Stuart


Trevor Rose

Stage Managers

Bruce Caddy

Set construction

Bruce Caddy, Barry Mawer


Carol Thompson


Julia Stuart

Rehearsal Assistant

Julie Duckor

Production assistant

Sandra Gillespie

Front of House

Janis CaddyYvonne Gray


Barb Langford


Steve Wilson

What the Critics Said



Entertaining gentlemen

WHAT: Two Gentlemen Of Verona, written by William Shakespeare, directed by Trevor Rose

WHERE: Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe, Muritai School Yard, 7:30pm till Saturday

REVIEWED BY: Ewen Coleman

WRITTEN early in his career as a playwright, Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, this year’s Bard In The Yard by Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe, was his first attempt at writing a romantic comedy and the first of his cross-dressing plays. However, it’s the comic figure of Launce and his description of the bath- room antics of his dog Crab that the play is best known for. Launce (Peter Baldock) is the manservant of one of the two gentlemen of the title, Proteus (Ben Cain) who is also the more devious of the two gentlemen.

Valentine (Ashley Bloomfield) the other and more honest of the two, leaves Verona for Milan with his rakish manservant Speed (Tom Marwick) and he meets and falls in love with Silvia (Amber Baldock), Proteus soon follows him to Milan, leaving behind his girlfriend, Julia (Elspeth Harris). When Proteus arrives in Milan he too meets Silvia and also falls in love with her, He then contrives to have his friend, Valentine, banished from Milan so he can have Silvia all to himself, without realising that he is being followed by his ex, Julia. dressed as a boy and calling herself Sebastian. Proteus finally gets his comeuppance, makes amends and all live happily ever after.

With its themes of love, friendship and betrayal. the play has relevance in showing the way people react and the lengths they will go to when they allow their feelings, especially sexual ones, to control their lives, made even more so by director Trevor Rose’s no-frills modern dress production.

In keeping with previous Bard In The Yard productions, this one focuses on Shakespeare’s words which allows the meaning and characterization to develop without too much extraneous business. As the two gentlemen, Ashley Bloomfield’s Valentine and Ben Cain’s Proteus complement each other well though at times there needed to be greater contrast between them, especially from Cain, to show the underlying differences in their personalities.

The two manservants, however, give excellent performances, Peter Baldock as the dithering buffoon Launce with his make-believe dog in stark contrast to Tom Marwick’s quick-witted, upstart Speed who, with the rest of the strong cast, make this a very entertaining production of one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays.

Photo Gallery

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