Reflection Should Not Be The Exception

 

Being ill for a few days with the dastardly sore throat and cold- a singers version ten times more annoying than even the perilous man-flu (fact), I realised the good that I have in my life. No don’t worry I am not going to burst in to a rendition of ‘Wonderful Life’ by Hurts (a modern classic if I say so myself), as I have no energy for that sort of shenanigans. My innate positivity comes from the fact I have a lot to be happy about right now. With an exciting Christmas and 2016 ahead, with performing and writing, I am going to enjoy and live for the moment not just the chicken soup!

Sometimes on that worst day ever when nothing has gone right, you can salvage a little slice of rainbow and realise things are in fact not that bad. Here are some of my top tips for living for the moment and realising all the amazing things YOU have:

1 Stop

2 Think

3 Smile 

4 You are welcome 

The Long Road South Promises To Be A Journey To Freedom

 

THE LONG ROAD SOUTH starring Imogen Stubbs and Michael Brandon

12 January – 30 January 2016

King’s Head Theatre

After a successful first outing as part of the So and So Arts Club’s Hopefull Rep season at the Hope Theatre last August, Paul Minx’s Offie-nominated drama The Long Road South, will be starring Imogen Stubbs (famous for her work with the RSC, as well as a wide-ranging and prolific theatrical career) and Michael Brandon (Episodes, Gallivant).

“a serious, deeply satisfying 90 minutes” The Stage

Set in Indiana 1965 during the long, hot summer of the civil rights movement, the world and that of the Price family is about to change. Their two domestic workers, Grace and Andre, intend to collect their wages and head South to join the voting rights marches. And the Price family — Jake, Carol Ann and their teenage Lolita — are each determined to make them stay.

Laced with wit and bitter irony, The Long Road South tells the story of how a man is forced to confront his demons and go to the lengths of his being to find out who he is and get what’s rightly his.
“an arresting, potent watch with a lot of bold statements to make” The Upcoming

Writer Paul Minx says:

“The play tells the story of an African-American man who helped raised me. He was gentle, religious and angry – all at the same time. He wanted to be part of the American civil rights movement but never found the personal courage to march or get involved. He didn’t think he was good enough. He was brought down by the ‘day-to-day racism’ – the constant reminders African-Americans received that they weren’t as good as whites. This is the hardest prejudice to fight and it ate away at his soul. I wrote the play as a testament to him.”

The cast also includes Krissi Bohn (Coronation Street, The Bogus Woman), Cornelius McCarthy (Out Of Joint’s Our Country’s Good) and Lydea Perkins (She Stoops To Conquer, Theatre Royal Bath). The show will be directed by Sarah Berger, who founded the So and So Arts Club; a collective of 1200 artists from nine countries, cross-generational and cross-discipline, who have come together to generate paid work. The play was cast by Kate Plantin CDG.

Botallack O’Clock Explores The Intricate And Comical Mind Of Roger Hilton CBE

 Botallack O’Clock by Eddie Elks

Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, London EC1V 4NJ Tuesday 12th January – Saturday 6th February 2016

Press Night: Thursday 14th January, 7.30pm

Botallack O’Clock is a funny, moving and thought-provoking journey into the creative mind of Roger Hilton CBE, one of the most unique voices in post-war British art.

In 1965, after representing Britain at the Venice Biennale, Hilton moved to the Cornish coastal village of Botallack, where his working routine began to break down, mainly as a result of his increasing addiction to alcohol (which he had long used to creative effect). For the final two years of his life, Hilton took permanently to his bed, where he continued to work, leaning over the side of his bed to paint on sheets of paper laid on the floor. Hilton would work through the night with only his thoughts, his imaginings and a temperamental radio for company.

Botallack O’Clock depicts a suspended hour of the night where Hilton’s past and present combine with his vivid imagination and tenacious personality, giving a humorous and intriguing insight into the mind of a true artist.

Writer Eddie Elks comments:

 I’m incredibly excited that Botallack O’Clock is returning to London for a proper run. Roger’s thoughts and ideas, much like his paintings, are as relevant and arresting now as they were then. In a letter to his mother, whilst serving in WWII, Roger wondered whether one day his life would be made into a story. I hope he would have approved.

This isn’t the first time that Elks has written a play based about an artist. It was while researching Stalag Happy, based on Sir Terry Frost, that Elks first heard the name Roger Hilton. Hilton’s name kept cropping up in books, interviews and conversations, usually always connected with an entertaining, intriguing and often shocking story. Elks conceived Botallack O’Clock through staying with Hilton’s widow, Rose, and immersing himself in the Cornish countryside, reading Hilton’s letters and interviews. 

On its premiere in 2011, Botallack O’Clock was shortlisted for Time Out Fringe Show of the Year and described as: dazzlingly eloquent…Botallack O’Clock is a stunning miniature; surprising, profound and very very funny. Following its UK successes, the show transferred to New York as part of ‘Brits Off Broadway’.

http://www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/

A Merry Christmas Cabaret In Aid Of Louise Plowright And Cancer Research.

 

The Hippodrome Casino – Matcham Room

1 December 2015

A Merry Christmas Cabaret

Book Now

The West end joins together for a sixth year at A Merry Christmas Cabaret. 

This annual one night show will be at The Hippodrome Casino, Theatre on Tuesday 1st December, 10:30pm in aid of Louise Plowright and Pancreatic Cancer Research, CRUK.

“Following a staggering fundraising effort we have raised over £140,000 for Louises’ life saving treatment. The supporters have been phenomenal and their involvement will make this years’ event incredibly special” – Joel Marvin 

Belting out Festive tunes for charity are generations of performers from Wicked, Mamma Mia, Les Miserables alongside many more shows and special guests!
Including: Louise Dearman, Emma Hatton, Savannah Stevenson, Shona White and George Ure! 

http://www.hippodromecasino.com/events/a-merry-christmas-cabaret/

Actor Awareness Presents A Night Of Plays On The Theme Of Working Class

 
6 shows 1 night! The first Actor Awareness scratch entails a range of different shows under the theme of working class. What is working class? Interpretation of the theme is down to you and an interesting subject to explore, under the current social and economical climate.

Approx. 1hr 45mins (including interval)

Recommended 14+

Canal Cafe Theatre, Delamere Terrace, Little Venice, London, W2 6ND.

http://www.canalcafetheatre.com/EventPage.php?EventId=44307

F*cking Men Are Coming..To King’s Head Theatre

 F*CKING MEN
5 December – 9 January, 9.30pm (various dates, check website)

In December, the King’s Head will be restaging their 5-star “fan-f*cking-tastic” (CultureFly) smash success F*cking Men, which has already extended once since our August production and will now be entering a third month. The production will be undergoing changes, retaining artistic elements while streamlining the show for a sustainable touring future that will continue to provide employment for the artists involved.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“The King’s Head Theatre continue to amaze and surprise with the shows they stage – this is one of the best” Stephen Vowles, Boyz

The play is a moving portrayal of hunger and desire as it follows the erotic encounters of 10 men (now played by 3 actors) in their interconnected search for sexual satisfaction. Each scene in the play is a frank, candid and sometimes brutally honest depiction of the lustful transaction between two men. It is a loose adaptation of the 19th century play La Ronde in which pairings of characters are featured in scenes preceding and succeeding sexual encounters.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 “an awesome slice of gay life (…) an amazing piece of theatre that grabs the audience’s attention and never lets it go until the final bows are taken” Terry Eastham, London Theatre 1

This extension proves the continued popularity of the show, after the original premiere run in 2009 began at the Finborough Theatre, from which it transferred to the King’s Head to play for 9 months (the longest ever Off West End run of a play). It then transferred into the West End to the Arts Theatre.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“The play is a great deal smarter than many other plays about affairs of the heart, and while it focuses exclusively on gay love, it offers tremendous life and relationship wisdom applicable to everyone” Lisa Theresa Downey-Dent, West End Wilma

Artistic director of the King’s Head Adam Spreadbury-Maher says “This new production has been praised for its universality across sexual orientations. We’re proud to be producing gay theatre that speaks to a universal audience!”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 “without a doubt the best play that I’ve seen at the King’s Head Theatre” CultureFly, Stephen Haskins

After a bombastic, exciting and innovative 45th year, the King’s Head continues its new artistic policy of being a crucible of new writing and critical rediscoveries, whilst also welcoming the much-anticipated return of pub opera, with the aim of being the best pub theatre in London. The King’s Head offers an unashamedly broad church of programming including theatre, musical theatre and opera, transfers to and from the biggest arts festivals in the world, and a trail-blazing policy of ethical employment on the fringe – if it’s on here, you won’t see it anywhere else.

http://www.kingsheadtheatre.com

Clickbait: A New Play Exploring Changing Female Attitudes To Porn

 

Clickbait by Milly Thomas

Theatre503, The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW

Tuesday 19th January – Saturday 13th February 2016 Press Night: Friday 22nd January, 7.45pm

Clickbait is a darkly comic new play about society’s attitude to porn and the women who make it for themselves. From the exciting all female writer/director team behind A First World Problem (Milly Thomas and Holly Race Roughan) comes this blistering study of how pornography is changing women’s relationship to sex in the 21st Century.

The play follows Nicola who, threatened with the release of an amateur sex video, makes a snap decision to post it online herself. What began as a drunken night in a dirty club ends with a unique business opportunity for Nicola and her two sisters as they start a network of amateur porn video ‘booths’. But where there is demand there must be supply and, as lines become blurred, public opinion begins to turn against the trio.

Clickbait explores the line between sexual empowerment and sexual exploitation while addressing the muddled logic of what feminism actually means. What is the new normal once you’ve thrown away the rulebook? When does sexual freedom veer out of control?

Thomas’ first full-length play A First World Problem was staged at Theatre503 in July 2014 to sold-out audiences and great acclaim. While A First World Problem explored how young women experience sex for the first time in the modern world, Clickbait looks at what happens when they grow up and want to take control of their sex lives.

Milly Thomas comments:

I was fascinated by the disconnect between the world of porn – a world where women don’t say ‘no’ – and the real world, where women who are enjoying sex or sexual empowerment are often viewed as threatening, or unfeminine. On the flip side, we also wanted to show how women themselves can blur the line between empowerment and exploitation in the sex industry. It feels like a very timely production to be making both as young women and as the next generation of theatre makers!

Clickbait is the first of two plays at Theatre503 which explore the sexual dynamics of twenty- somethings in the 21st century. The second show will be Four Play, the first full-length play by the acclaimed musical theatre writer, Jake Brunger (Adrian Mole the Musical – ★★★★ The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph), which looks at the issues of fidelity surrounding four young gay men. 

Home

Love Theatre, Love Yourself 

 

With it being Love Theatre Day, a realization dawned upon me, that in my case of being both a performer and writer, loving theatre is also about loving yourself. This is in no way a “I’m bloody amazing bow down at my feet” sense, but more having enough self belief to think what you are doing is of a substantial calibre, that an audience want to experience it.

We have doubt about everything- from that plate of spaghetti in a restaraunt, to a relationship that has turned sour, which we can’t bring ourselves to face just yet. Having doubt about yourself is just another, but much larger, extension of this thread. This always overflows in to our work, making us doubt then not only ourselves, but our work, which in the arts, is never a seperate entity. 

This begs the question can we ever love what we are creating, if we as a whole, believe our ideas to be worthless or whimsical? The answer to this is YES. Yes because there is always hope in seeing beyond the crippling self doubt of singing that note perfectly or writing a line in a play that will have the same effect as Harold Pinter would.

At the risk of sounding as schmaltzy as Lassie saving a baby otter from being trapped down a well..Hope and love go to together like nothing else, a winning combination. As long as you hope to love yourself as a creative, it’s a step in the right direction, loving what you do as a creative, will be the flame that guides you on the right path. 

Who knew Love Theatre Day would evoke such a philosophical approach..!

Three Exciting New Works, Championed At Theatre N16

  

Man and Superfan

November 22nd –26th 2015, 7.15pm, Theatre N16

Big Mouth Theatre Company’s Man and Superfan is debuting at Theatre N16 as part of the theatre’s first and exciting season. After sell out runs of their first play The Thin Line, Big Mouth are back with an exhilarating, thought-provoking play that holds up a magnifying glass to a moment we all know well… Five shots into the back of John Lennon’s head, but what about the man behind the gun? What about his life led him to this? Mark Chapman, a stone cold murder or a ‘superfan’ with a dream of getting too close?

Big Mouth Theatre Company questions the unquestioned, discusses the undiscussed and reveals the unrevealed. Formed on shared excitement and passion to tell the stories of the unheard, the work we create alters perspective, sparks debate and provides a chance for change. Whether new writing or old, classical or contemporary, we have one ultimate goal; stories of humans behind the headlines.

Theatre N16 is a trailblazing company founded by young people, for young people. It is London’s newest fringe venue, and is dedicated to creating a creative hub where new and existing works can be explored and pushed into new realms. Theatre N16 is proud of their commitment to the welfare of creatives, operating without a hire fee for external companies. 

This promoting and nurturing of talent means that Theatre N16 is a bastion for development within the context of a society in which the arts are increasingly struggling to stay afloat.

In Search Of England

November 22nd –26th 2015, 8.30pm, Theatre N16

“There’s no such thing as countries….” George is in search of England, or to be more precise, what it means to be English. He was born English, his parents are English, but he’s not sure whether he is any more. So he’s back to find out. At least, that’s what he says. A play about nationality, immigration and love, and the next production by East London-based Fox Theatre Company.

Inspired by the great travel book of the same name, written by legendary writer, H V Morton, the play has been written by Essex journalist and author Neil D’Arcy-Jones. Neil says: “I’ve been thinking of a way of staging what is essentially the archetypal travel book for many years now, but I didn’t really get to grips with it until I went abroad myself. I was in Australia and New Zealand, and people kept asking me where I was from. After a while I thought ‘who cares where I’m from, what does it mean to be English anyway’ and that’s where the seeds of the play started.” Having written plays primarily for children before, this production not only marks Neil’s ‘grown-up’ debut, but also the first time any of his work has been performed in London.

Director Sarah Chapleo set up Fox Theatre last year and, while still studying for her final degree in English and Drama at Queen Mary University in London, put on her first professional production at the Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, her own adaptation of Émile Zola’s Thérése Raquin.

Theatre N16 is a trailblazing company founded by young people, for young people. It is London’s newest fringe venue, and is dedicated to creating a creative hub where new and existing works can be explored and pushed into new realms. Theatre N16 is proud of their commitment to the welfare of creatives, operating without a hire fee for external companies. This promoting and nurturing of talent means that Theatre N16 is a bastion for development within the context of a society in which the arts are increasingly struggling to stay afloat.

Torn Apart (Dissolution)

November 29th – 30th 2015, 3pm and 8pm, Theatre N16

This is a love story. A love story in three different times and three different bedrooms…
West Germany, Bremen, the early 1980s. The universities and cafes are full of young people who escaped from the East, the bars are full of American soldiers. Alina, a Polish literature student, bumps into one of them. London, 1999. The turn of the century. Elliott, a young chef, is dating Casey, an Australian backpacker. Whilst eating Indian food and listening to RHCP, Elliott talks to Casey about his orphanage and his love for her. She listens knowing that, sooner or later, her Visa will run out. London, now. Holly married a perfect man, had a child and achieved her white picket fence fantasy, but this is in the past now. Molly has fallen in love with Erica, an ex-sex worker, and she will do anything to rationalise her feelings.

Torn Apart (Dissolution) is about many things, but it is mostly about love. The play deals with issues such as feminism, male repression, fate, homosexuality, but above all it explores the most painful aspects of human conditioning.
No Offence Theatre is an emerging theatre company, founded by an Australian and a Pole, born from the need of creating contemporary, challenging and political work and bringing theatre back to the people.

Theatre N16 is a trailblazing company founded by young people, for young people. It is London’s newest fringe venue, and is dedicated to creating a creative hub where new and existing works can be explored and pushed into new realms. 

Theatre N16 is proud of their commitment to the welfare of creatives, operating without a hire fee for external companies. This promoting and nurturing of talent means that Theatre N16 is a bastion for development within the context of a society in which the arts are increasingly struggling to stay afloat.

Theatre N16, The Bedford Pub, 

77 Bedford Hill, London SW12 9HD 

http://www.theatren16.co.uk

Land Of Our Fathers Will Be Travelling Around England!

 
Theatre503, Tara Finney Productions and Wales Millennium Centre, present
Land of Our Fathers
By Chris Urch
English Tour: January – March 2016

Press Release
Fresh from the current Welsh tour which started at the Wales Millennium Centre, Chris Urch’s critically-acclaimed debut play Land of Our Fathers, directed by Paul Robinson, will embark on the English leg of its UK tour. This funny and deeply moving Welsh mining drama is packed full of blistering comedy and echoes a generation of lost voices.

It’s May 1979 in South Wales. Thatcher is counting her votes, Sid Vicious is spinning in his grave and six Welsh miners are trapped down a coal mine. As the men await their rescue, secrets emerge and accusations fly. Within two weeks, everything they believe in and everything they know will have changed.

Thanks in large part to a superbly claustrophobic set, director Paul Robinson pushes these opposing figures towards each other with tremendous effect. He conducts proceedings with a deft touch, allowing his exceptional cast to mine laugh-out-loud humour from sequences where it shouldn’t exist… It’s breathtaking. (The Stage)

Paul Robinson, Artistic Director at Theatre503, comments, The response so far has been thrilling and we’re delighted to be bringing the production to some fantastic venues in England in the New Year. 

The story is so universal with characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, and we hope the play will continue to bring laughs and tears as it continues its journey.
Described by the Guardian as ‘undeniably powerful’ and The Times as ‘a high-voltage production’, Land of Our Fathers was a winner of Time Out’s Critic’s Choice and Fringe Show of the Year 2013.

Co-producer, Tara Finney, says, I am delighted to be taking Land of Our Fathers on tour, enabling more people around the country to see this beautiful play. I have no doubt it will continue to enthral people as we move from the Welsh to English venues.

Original cast members Joshua Price (Llwyth/Tribe) and Taylor Jay-Davies (Great Expectations – West End, The Passion) reprise their roles as Mostyn and Chewy. They are joined by John Cording (Pobol Y Cwm, Da Vinci’s Demons), Tomos Eames (Pride, Resistance), Cornelius Booth (Pride & Prejudice) and Robert Jezek (The Bodyguard – West End).

 www.landofourfathers.com