Waiting? Of Course You Are, You Are An Artist


Yes you’ve guessed from the title, this article refers to waiting. Something which I’m currently and not unusually enduring, which has inspired me to write this article. My particular state of waiting-ness is about the result of a casting. As you will probably well know whatever discipline you are in the arts, of course you have to make things happen for yourself, but you do a lot of waiting. There is no point denying this fact, it’s a fact. Chances are you are waiting to hear about a casting or project right now. Everyone has to do it, so that’s something that when you are feeling restless you can take comfort..It’s not just you.

Tips to make the time pass by that little bit quicker:

Keep Busy! Do I need to say more? Perform, write, network..horse ride! I was chatting to an actor/musician yesterday, who said that they had taken up horse riding as a way of relaxation, to take their mind off the stresses of their job. So whatever method works for you, do it.

Don’t Overthink

You haven’t had a Phonecall two minutes after that audition or an email thirty seconds after submitting that script? Don’t panic. Unless there is a race against time zombie apocolypse approaching, there is a high chance you won’t hear the decision straight away. So relax!

Remember You Are Not Alone

Everyone goes through this whether a dancer, actor, director, singer etc it’s just part of life. Your life. So embrace it, see it as exciting and share it with others you know are exactly in the same boat as you. 

Smile, a positive mind creates positive energy

Leaper: A Fish Tale. One Fish On A Quest For Survival Of The Species!


Leaper, A Fish Tale by Tucked In UK 
Tour: March – April 2016

London Press Performance: Tuesday 29th March, 2pm

Family show set to make waves in changing attitudes towards our oceans.

Although it sounds like a children’s tale, the reality is that fish are slowly starting to disappear from our rivers and seas. Research shows that wild fish could be a thing of the past by 2048. Leaper: A Fish Tale follows one fish’s magical quest against the ever-growing natural and man- made monsters in our waters. How can one little girl help to stop this?

Using their signature blend of beautiful puppetry and mesmeric music, Tucked In explore the colourful and breathtaking world beneath the water’s surface. Following their highly-acclaimed productions of Sam Rose in the Shadows, The Golden Cowpat and Tim & Light, Leaper: A Fish Tale promises to be Tucked In’s most ambitious family show yet – challenging, dark, never patronising and, most importantly, truly original.

Hal Chambers, Artistic Director of Tucked In Productions says:

I believe the ultimate key to conservation is education. During our research children found that the idea of destroying one of the most bountiful natural resources was utterly silly! I think we are born with an inherent spirit of conservation and once we grow up we lose a little of that. That is why creating a puppetry production for children about the future of fish is so interesting. It is the next generation who are going to be most affected by our present mistakes. We believe the best way for people to connect with these issues is through story and Leaper will be moving, funny and extremely powerful.

Leaper: A Fish Tale will prompt inter-generational conversations about what we can do to help this situation. If Leaper is able to prompt more debate amongst children on these importantissues, perhaps their young minds can help to discover a way to create a sustainable future for life in our waters.

Leaper was originally inspired by Steve Keay, a Tucked In audience member and Unit Manager of a salmon reconditioning unit for the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board in Perth, Scotland.

Since meeting Steve in 2013 Tucked In have conducted research directly with marine biologists, social ecologists and school children.
Leaper brings together some of the most exciting theatre makers in the UK including design team Claire Harvey (The River People) and Annie Brooks (Colossal Crumbs), composer Jim Harbourne (Tortoise in a Nutshell), lighting designer Tom White (Propeller) and producer Steph Connell (Frantic Assembly). It will be directed by Hal Chambers, the Artistic Director of Tucked In, who recently directed Raymond Briggs’ The Bear for Polka Theatre and Pins & Needles.

Supported by Arts Council England, Lyric Hammersmith, Brighton Dome, National Aquarium Limited and Sea Changers, Leaper will tour to theatres, schools and aquariums around the UK.




Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi: Tragic Love Story Toured by Pop-Up Opera


Pop-Up Opera: Spring Season 2016 Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi

Monday 21st March – Saturday 7th May 2016 

Wednesday 30th March Press Night Carousel-71 Blandford Street, London

Pop-Up Opera are back for 2016. Now well-established on the touring opera circuit, the company skilfully adapt their operas to each individual venue, making every performance unique, while always maintaining the highest standards. This season, they are staging I Capuleti e I Montecchi – their first ever tragedy (sung in Italian with English captions).
Director James Hurley comments: 

‘I Capuleti e i Montecchi’ represents an exciting new direction for Pop-Up Opera and I am thrilled to be directing the company’s first ‘tragic’ opera. This production will bring Pop-Up’s audiences closer to the action than ever before, conjuring an atmospheric and intimate environment that will place spectators at the heart of Bellini’s moving love story.

This is the most tragic love story of all time, where two star-crossed lovers – Romeo and Juliet – find their worlds ripped apart against a new backdrop of Italy’s bloody family feuds and
gang rivalry. Witness how their all-consuming passion tries to survive amidst violence, hatred and vicious grievances. Bellini’s classic bel-canto opera is brought to life in an intense chamber production by the critically-acclaimed Pop-Up Opera.

With their signature ‘Silent Movie’ captions that add another layer to the performance, Pop- Up’s decision to stage a tragedy sees them embracing a new challenge. While continuing to break down barriers, Pop-Up demonstrate what an emotive and absorbing experience opera be. 

This production will be one of their most intimate and compelling pieces of theatre yet, really embracing the unique spaces in which they perform, driven by Bellini’s enchanting score.
Pop-up Opera will be touring to various unusual and intimate venues across the country including Anne of Cleves Barn in Essex, The Minack Theatre in Cornwall and the extra special Thames Tunnel Shaft in London.
The most utterly likeable of the shoestring touring companies…This company has a serious commitment to musical standards…along with a personality all of its own.
(Robert Thickness, Opera Now).

The combination of amazing venues, along with an informal atmosphere and engaging productions, offers a greater connection to the singers and the music, something even seasoned opera-goers often miss. If Pop-up Opera pops up near you, do pop in.


Cast Announced For Four Play At Theatre503


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

Tuesday 16th February – Saturday 12th March 2016

Four Play, the first full-length play by Jake Brunger, the critically-acclaimed writer of Adrian Mole the Musical (★★★★The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph) opens at Theatre503 in February. This comic new play about sex, relationships and fidelity in the 21st century is from the critically-acclaimed director/producer team of Sense of an Ending (★★★★★Time Out, critic’s choice) and is Jonathan O’Boyle’s first play as Associate Director at Theatre503.

Cai Brigden (Another Country, Trafalgar Studios; Doctors, BBC), Michael Gilbert (Treasure, Finborough Theatre; All Day Permanent Red, Royal Court), Peter Hannah (Shakespeare In Love, Sonia Freidman Productions; One Arm, Southwark Playhouse) and Michael James (The Last Days of Troy, Shakespeare’s Globe; Doctors, BBC) will play two young couples whose relationships become intertwined.

Jake Brunger

Jake Brunger grew up in Nottingham and trained on the Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme. Alongside composer Pippa Cleary, his credits as book writer and lyricist include: Prodigy (National Youth Music Theatre / St James Theatre), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3⁄4 (Leicester Curve, ★★★★The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph), Red Riding Hood (Singapore Repertory Theatre; licensed by Rogers and Hammerstein), The Great British Soap Opera (treads the line between subtle parody and emotional integrity… an excellently observed pastiche of the musical theatre form – The Scotsman) and Jet Set Go! (Delightful, inventive and witty new musical… a bitchy, camp, but tender-hearted cocktail – Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph; Theatre 503 & Jermyn Street Theatre).

Jonathan O’Boyle
Jonathan is an Associate Director at Theatre503. He trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama and Birkbeck, University of London. He was Resident Director at Sheffield Crucible and is currently Trainee Associate Director at Chichester Festival Theatre, under the mentorship of Jonathan Church. Directing credits include: Broken Glass (Central School of Speech and Drama), Sense of an Ending (Theatre503, Time Out Critic’s Choice), The Surplus (Young Vic), The Verb, To Love and Made In Britain (Old Red Lion), All The Ways To Say Goodbye (Young Vic, 5 Plays Project), Bash Latterday Plays (Trafalgar Studios/Old Red Lion, Time Out Critics Choice), Water Under the Board (Theatre503), Last Online Today and Guinea Pigs (Crucible New Writers’ Project, Sheffield Crucible Studio), The Good, The Bad and the Broken Hearted (Ronnie Scott’s), Credit and The Monster Bride (Tristan Bates Theatre). Associate Director credits include: The Judas Kiss (Chichester Festival Theatre/Toronto/New York), Mack and Mabel (Chichester Festival Theatre/UK Tour), Bull (Young Vic/Sheffield Crucible/New York), The Scottsboro Boys (Young Vic), Amadeus (Chichester Festival Theatre) and This Is My Family (Sheffield Theatres/UK Tour).
Michael James

Michael has recently graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where he was the recipient of the 2015 Gyearbour Asante Prize for Acting. His credits include Someone Else’s Shoes (Little Fly Theatre); The Last Days of Troy (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Doctors (BBC). His credits at Mountview include Karagula – A New Play by Philip Ridley, Her Naked Skin, As You Like It and Summerfolk

Peter Hannah

Peter trained at RADA. His stage credits include Shakespeare In Love (Sonia Freidman Productions); Lysistrata [rehearsed reading] (Almeida Theatre); The Pooki [workshop] (Park Theatre); One Arm (Southwark Playhouse); Mock Tudor (Pleasance Courtyard); A Clockwork Orange (Nottingham Playhouse); Paradise Lost [workshop] (Birmingham Rep) and The Wallace [Reading] (Finborough Theatre). Film and television credits include Mr Turner (Thin Man Films) and Doctor Who (BBC).

Cai Brigden

Cai trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His stage credits include Another Country (Trafalgar Studios/Chichester Festival Theatre); Super John (Firehouse Creative Productions) and Butley (Nimax Theatres). Television and Film credits include Chewing Gum (Retort Comedy); Doctors (BBC); Casualty (BBC) and The Telemachy (Matchbox Productions).

Michael Gilbert

Michael has just graduated from Oxford School of Acting. His stage credits include Treasure (Finborough Theatre); Lines in the Sand (Soho Theatre) and All Day Permanent Red (Royal Court). His credits at Oxford include All My Sons; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Country Wife and The Idiot.

Eggs: A Dark Comedy Coming To Vault Festival



by Florence Keith-Roach

Vault Festival, The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7NN 
Wednesday 24th February – Sunday 6th March 2016

They say that most crimes are performed by sexually frustrated men on a largely sugar based diet… I eat a lot of MAOMS. 
Eggs, by rising star Florence Keith-Roach, is a dark comedy about female friendship, fertility and freaking out. This intimate two-hander looks at gender disparity and the struggle of growing up as part of Generation Y.

GIRL 1 and GIRL 2 are living very different lives. Since leaving university, the only things that unite them are their struggle against society’s expectations and a dead best friend. Over the course of a year, the tension of this realisation mounts and the wilfully humorous banality of their dialogues begins to grate against an ultimately tragic subtext.

Writer Florence Keith-Roach, comments: 

I wrote Eggs to try to examine the volatility and unique calibre of female friendship. I wanted to shed light on the complexities of these relationships, both nurturing and destructive, inspiring and draining, funny yet tragic. I believe that for women – fighting for recognition in the workplace, equal pay and respect from men in power – it is their female friendships, above all other relationships, which tend to endure.

This is a story about coming to terms with the absurd horror of one’s own fragmentation in the world; a world where IVF, pop-feminism, Scarlett Johansson, MDMA and Cher’s 90s comeback album all chaotically co-exist. In the end, it is friendship, however flawed, which rescues these women from utter abstraction. is about young women trying to figure out who they are. It is about young people trying to figure out how to exist. It is a truly great depiction of the enduring qualities of friendship.
An early version of Eggs premiered to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015.

Eggs will be published by Nick Hern Books in an anthology of the best five plays at Vault Festival.


So You’re A CREATIVE…? 


My elderly neighbour always asks me how my ‘piano is going?’ I always politely and with a smile, tell her I’m more of a singer and writer-she would go running for the hills if she heard my piano skills, to which she always chuckles and says I’m just modest. 

I adore this exchange, as even on her daily run of errands my neighbour asks me how my life is going, which sometimes can prove a tricky subject when people address you. With a mixture of awkwardness and trepidation many a conversation has resulted in me saying ‘lets talk about you’. This is simply to avoid having to try and explain what you’ve been working on, especially when it’s not easy to define, added with the fact people aren’t always as interested and enthusiastic as you are.

What seems to be the general misconception is that when you are a self employed creative, you sit and drink a lot of tea until you feel inspired. OK, I drink a lot of tea, as well as water to keep my throat hydrated, but I also have a lot of ‘making this happen’ time. MTH time consists of existing projects as well as future projects and putting things in to motion, whether through rehearsal or at earlier stages of development, such as writing and pitching. This applies to my singing and writing work, both exactly the same. The same level of seeking out and appreciating every opportunity I am given. 

Life is not pure glamour which is something I believe is the general consensus, I attend press nights for shows I’m reviewing and enjoy socialising, but I’m also ecstatic to be plotting away a project in my comfy clothes, with a slice of pizza.

Three constant states of mind when you are in the arts:


Overthinking some more 

Oh what the heck’ let’s overthink some more…

Yes you will more than likely doubt yourself and everything you are working on. It’s a given you will over analyse your most recent performance. It’s Ok, you arent alone you are the 99.999% who constantly do this and the other minority are zombies ( only joking zombies don’t exist..) 

When you have to define what you do or describe it, you probably like I do, say that I love being a creative, because that’s the truth I really do.

Something Something Lazarus: Darkly Comic New Musical Looking At Second Chances!


Broken Cabaret presents:

March 8th – April 2nd 2016, 9.30pm, King’s Head Theatre

Something Something Lazarus is a new British musical; a dark comedy about resurrections, second chances and the healing power of performance. It’s also a “broken” musical: a fast-dissolving rehearsal ending with a fractured show, where songs are interrupted, directed, repurposed, and undercut.

In the hour before opening at Midnight Sun, a half-dead cabaret bar, Vee and Della are re-blocking the song with the knife. Owner Daniel has a thing with bar boy Jay and the changes he’s bringing to the business. And with the unveiling of a delivery from Daniel’s distant past, matters quickly skid into overdrive.

Alongside the action on stage, Something Something Lazarus will change the way you consume stories with the tools and techniques of transmedia storytelling – characters, spaces and motifs will have a web presence, websites, social media accounts … Email them and get a response. Tweet them and see how they react. Get histories and background that give the events of the show a stronger sense of place.

With strong queer sensibilities and language, song and perspectives pointed towards the world of cabaret, the theatrical and musicals, John Myatt, Simon Arrowsmith and frequent King’s Head collaborator Dan Phillips present a new type of show taking all of the excellent ingredients already on offer and adding a dash of the original.


Matt Fox Returns to Theatre N16 With His Deathly Love Story: The Life We Lived


The Life We Lived

February 7th – 11th 2016, 8.30pm, Theatre N16 

Award-winning playwright Matt Fox returns to Theatre N16 with The Life We Lived, a new dramatic love story set in a funeral parlour, for the London leg of a UK Spring tour.

“I was never sure where the play was going to end up, but I absolutely loved going on the journey” London Theatre 1

The Life We Lived follows the relationship between a funeral director and the woman who will eventually become a corpse in his parlour. An old fashioned love story in many ways; but with a strong helping of gallows humour. Two people find themselves together and live out a life of joy and tragedy, which will speak to the romantic and cynic in all of us.

The Life We Lived examines life & death, love & hate, potential & disappointment, through a gripping story which is both real and imagined. The gift that life brings, as well as the certainty that this gift will be wasted, are the crux of a piece which juggles morbid humour and gut wrenching poignancy.

“Matt Fox’s real-life inspired duologue is filled with truth and sensibility” Remotegoat
Matt Fox started writing for the theatre as a teenager when he joined a writer’s group at Plymouth Theatre Royal. He has written plays, operas and musical adaptations which have been performed in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. His play To Sleep was staged in the West End in September 2013 and toured the UK & Australia in 2014/15. His latest plays Family Play & The Life We Lived are touring the UK simultaneously from January 2016. 

His best known piece of work is Swindon: the Opera, which was written with internationally acclaimed composer Betty Roe MBE, and performed in July 2012.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot On Tour!


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by Rebecca Crookshank Directed by Jessica Beck

UK Tour: February – May 2016

Warning: Contains weapons, strong language and penguins.
Fresh from a highly-acclaimed run at Edinburgh Fringe 2015, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is back with gusto, following an amazing four nominations in the Broadway World Awards.

Based on Rebecca Crookshank’s time in the Royal Air Force serving Queen and country, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot charts her journey from basic training to the Falkland Islands. From feeling low to flying high (literally, in a Tornado F3), this is a deeply moving, hilarious and heart-warming adventure.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot highlights the challenges women face in being defined by their gender and celebrates the wonderful women who forged a path for others. 

Crookshank’s anecdotes about her time in the Air Force mix the serious and the comic to great effect interspersed with her own video footage to really emphasise the reality at the heart of her story.

Crookshank may be less than a footnote in the history of the Royal Air Force, but the verve and gusto she brings to her story marks her out as a considerable talent to watch; as a woman in a male-dominated environment, she unflinchingly describes her battle to make it as a girl, more than playing her part in a boys’ world (The List).
Crookshank grew up in rural Devon, the daughter of a midwife and a Royal Marine. Raised by a giver of life and a trained killer, embracing creativity was on nobody’s radar. 

When she left the RAF she knew it was time to pursue her dream. She says, Exploring our identity is a life-long challenge. Reinventing yourself and finding a voice in such a disciplined environment as the military is unique – it has inspired me to create some art which I think makes for an interesting story.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has been supported by Arts Council England and the RBL Women’s Section throughout the research and development phase.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is published by Oberon Books.


You Feel Discouraged But Restless? Don’t Rest.


Sometimes you feel so despondent about that casting or that gig you didn’t secure, you literally feel like just curling up on the sofa or submerging yourself in cookie dough, until you decide when to appear again to the world. 

Well the good news is so do a large percentage of other creatives feel this sense of melancholy, the bad news is…Ok you’ve done that now, so it’s time to get back on the wheel, keeping the creative and positive wheel turning!

What’s really helpful is making a two colum list, which entails writing of what you’ve achieved in one colum and what you hope to achieve in the future in the other. You decide the timescale to suit, so could be three months or could be three years- it’s entirely tailored to your needs.

This list might instantly improve your mood or it could take a while, but what it will do is ignite a sense of motivation, whether to work on past achievements or create new ones, in the timescale you’ve set yourself. Perhaps you will learn to sing in that language you’ve been meaning to undertake or perhaps you will write more comedic works in the next year.

The possibilities are vast and more importantly they are all yours.