Cuttin’ It Fine At Ed Fringe 

I arrived back in London yesterday, to the sounds of angry people in the street and polluted air. The dream was over, the Theatre eutopia I had spent the last week emersing myself in, was a distant memory…OK, that was rather dramatic, but hey, that’s what I do for a living! 

I spent the last week performing in the play Shakespeare Tonight at Paradise In Augustines. What I feel the week really highlighted to me was a commaradery between shows, the fact you felt comfortable as a fellow artist, to just literally approach cast and creatives of other shows and express how much you enjoyed their production. A support network like no other, that seemed to symbolise everything that is right in theatre.

Being constructive not destructive may be my motto, but it’s something that seems easy to push to the back of ones mind unfortunately, when in a production. This in respect to creatives being so one track minded in succeeding in their own work, they forget to take time to appreciate the work of their fellow creatives, in other shows.

We need to adopt this attitude no matter where we are, let other creatives know if you enjoy their work. Tweet, Facebook etc to make your voice heard in a positive light. Obviously this is separate to writing a review, but if you enjoy something let those people who have dedicated months of their life to a project know. A few kind comments can mean the world.

Thanks Edinburgh Fringe, for symbolising all that can be wonderful in Theatre, if we work together positively.

New Play Celebrating The Unique Artistry of David Bowie: From Ibiza To The Norfolk Broads


Waterloo East Theatre, 3 Wootton Street, London SE1 8TG 

Tuesday 18th October – Sunday 6th November 2016
Press Night: Thursday 20th October 2016, 7.45pm

Just a few months since David Bowie’s passing, Adrian Berry’s new production From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads is a homage and celebration of one of the greatest musical figures of all time. 

A young man with an illness no-one can understand receives an unexpected gift on his 18th birthday, propelling him on a surreal and thrilling journey to London. He performs on the stage where Ziggy Stardust was born, finds himself in Bowie’s bedroom and is led on a treasure trail to discover the truth about himself and his family. What follows will change his life forever… 

From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads is a theatrical road movie, thrillingly evoking Bowie’s London. With a blistering soundtrack, and nods to Bowie’s heroes and influences, From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads is a fitting companion piece to Bowie’s own Lazarus at King’s Cross Theatre, which runs alongside it in October. 

The production features Alex Walton (the lead actor in Suede’s Bowie homage ‘Night Thoughts’ film) and the voice of comedian Rob Newman as Bowie. 

Director and writer Adrian Berry comments,

 I wanted to celebrate Bowie’s art and to take the audience on a journey to where it all began. In bringing Bowie’s history into the 21st century, we can see how his fans today relate to him and why he remains such an enduringly important figure in popular culture. This show will also be a celebration of the London that formed Bowie,
creating his many unique characters and astonishing musical direction.

Charlotte Josephine Receives Stage Edinburgh Award For BLUSH

Charlotte Josephine has received a Stage Edinburgh Award for her performance in BLUSH.

BLUSH is also written by Charlotte and is presented by Snuff Box Theatre. This fast-paced two-handed tells five candid stories about revenge porn and all its many victims. This angry, honest and heartfelt piece seeks to encourage and broaden examination of how the scarcity culture in modern society is fuelling our shame, encouraging the destructive belief systems that we are not enough. 

BLUSH is on until 28th August (not 16th) at Underbelly Cowgate at 6pm. 

Charlotte comments, 

Thank you very much for the Stage Edinburgh Award. It’s hugely flattering and really is testimony to the brilliant creative team who made BLUSH with me. There’s a lot of unsung heroes busting a gut behind the scenes. Huge thanks to everyone involved for their blood, sweat and tears and thanks to all the lovely audiences for all the support.

This exciting news follows Charlotte winning the inaugural ‘BBC Screenplay First Award’ in June, an award which was launched last year in line with BBC Films’ 25th Anniversary celebrations and is bestowed by BBC Films and BBC Writersroom. Now in their 21st year, the awards have developed a reputation for spotting acting excellence at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and for being the bellwether for the year’s hottest shows. 

 Founded in 1995 by The Stage to celebrate the best performances each year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – and formerly known as The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the awards celebrate the richness and diversity of acting on the fringe, from solo shows to ensemble pieces.

 

Beauty is only skin deep…

What happens when as part of the arts industry, you are faced (no pun intended), with the possibility of facial surgery due to skin cancer? Well in my case, you write about it a year later. The Cancer Research UK #OwnYourTone campaign, has inspired me to write about this topic, that as a performer and a human being, I’ve realised I needed to share, to explore the idea of ‘beauty’.

Just over a year ago, I was awaiting the result of a biopsy on the side of my right cheek, where I had a small raised red area that which been there for a number of years. My dermatological consultant decided, as I had noticed it was looking a more pronounced colour in recent times, the best course of action was to do a biopsy, as it could be a basal cell carcinoma. This is a usually non-invasive type of skin cancer, but would need surgery if it was the case.

Will I be scarred? 

Will my face change?

Will it have an effect on my performing career?

Will I ever be thought of as attractive again?

To my great relief, a year ago this month, I was told that what I have is a pigmented nevi, so it was benign. This did not stop me in the intervening time, between biopsy and results, panicking about the impact on my life, especially as a performer, as the questions above highlight. But why are we so obsessed, even without realising it, with our appearance? 

The outer shell is undoubtedly what people see first, when meeting us. It’s what attracts us to our partners, as much as we try to protest we fell solely for personality, be honest, it’s not. When we are cast in a show or play, unfortunately there is a percentage that depends on our ‘look’. As someone who believes in equality and diversity in the arts industry, part of me is pained to admit it, but I’m stating the truth. 

To worry my career would be over more than concerned about my health is shallow, yes, but reflects our society. Even as a writer, where my plays and articles should be paramount, I’m under no illusion that looks are still judged unfortunately, by those we meet and I can not change that. I wanted, by writing this article to show just what it’s like as a performer, when faced with this life changing scenario. 

Love the skin you’re in is my message. We can change the arts industry and its attitude towards looks, by changing our personal attitude towards it. Ok, you may be thinking it’s ok for her she hasn’t had to face any sort of major surgery on her face. This is true, but I believe if we, as human beings, learn to love the skin we are in, we can primarily change the pressures we put upon ourselves. If I had to have had surgery, it would not have changed me as a person or performer, no matter how big or small the scar, I would have still been just me.

Joannah Tincey’s Pride And Prejudice Comes to Greenwich Theatre, this Autumn

Richard Darbourne Ltd, in association with Preston Guildhall, presents The Two Bit Classics production of
Pride and Prejudice
UK Tour: 
6th October – 25th November 2016
21 characters, 2 actors and 1 of the most romantic stories of all time…

Following sold out successes in 2014, this highly praised and enchanting retelling of the nation’s favourite novel now embarks on its second UK tour.Pride and Prejudice is a must for all Austen fans and those looking for a fresh and surprising new piece of theatre. 

Over 200 years after it was first published, Joannah Tincey’s adaptation brings Pride and Prejudice to life with just two actors. Using nothing but Austen’s text and their own ingenuity the actors illuminate Austen’s words in a fresh and relevant way for the modern viewer. 

Joannah Tincey comments:

I wanted to create an adaptation where the characters talk to the audience in the same way that Austen talks to her readers. By addressing the audience directly and allowing the characters to speak for themselves, we are bringing Jane Austen’s unique and witty writing style to life in a truly theatrical context. 

The full gamut of Austen’s 21 characters and locations, from the Meryton Assembly to the grounds of Pemberley, from Mrs Bennet’s nerves to Mr Wickham’s misdeeds all come to life in this highly inventive production. And, of course, there are Darcy and Lizzy, who move from instant dislike to something altogether more affectionate. 

Fun, fast and, most importantly, romantic, this production sparkles with wit and style, offering a brand new interpretation of one of literature’s greatest love stories. 

Pride and Prejudice is a delightful little gem of theatre that pulses with comedy and energy… It’s witty, engaging and not to be missed (A Younger Theatre).

Herstory Festival: It’s Real Significance

I had the pleasure to be invited to the Herstory Festival, at Theatre N16 on Sunday, a two day feminist theatre festival that due to my own performance commitments, I could only attend the Sunday segment. Of course I could write a review of the evening I watched, but what I really want to emphasize, is the enormity of the festival and what it signifies.

Nastazja Somers, the literary manager of Theatre N16, is the creative visionary behind the Herstory Festival. The Sunday evening part of the festival included 7 pieces by female writers ( a mixture of fiction and faction), which were female stories, hence ‘Herstory’. My preceding statement isn’t entirely true, as the short plays were fundamentally stories that included females at their core- the protagonist. This is what I want to convey, that this is theatre, good theatre, not to be stereotyped or put in a box, so to speak.

‘Her story’ doesn’t mean that only predominantly females can relate to these stories, it means these stories have to be told, they have to reach audiences who realise the strength, the compassion and the hardships that women have experienced for hundreds of years. The play Women of Unsound Mind by Grace Carroll highlighted the degrading conditions and attitudes that should not be erased from history, as much as some would like that to happen. Women being seen as sex objects and of fragile mental states, is an archaic attitude, that should not be forgotten, asylum’s all over the world still operate and this play is as relevant as ever.

With subjects such as rape, violence and ageism, all the pieces at this festival held no punches. Herstory is gritty, mesmerising and just plain real. This festival really makes you ask where has this theatre been all my life? The play She Has Seen The Wolf by Allie Costa even included contemporary dance, in the most chilling of forms!

The post show discussion, headed by Dannie-Lu Carr, displayed the views of theatre makers and critics, who were in agreement at the Herstory Festival’s importance to not only British feminist theatre, but British theatre in general. With another Herstory Festival in the pipeline, unlike perhaps other one off ‘female themed’ theatrical events, this is proof of the festival’s impact to both genders consciousness.

http://www.theatren16.co.uk/

 

 

 

Cast Announced For Much Ado About Nothing, At The reFASHIONed Theatre 


This Summer Selfridges have joined forces with one of the most exciting emerging young British theatre companies in the UK, The Faction, to celebrate Shakespeare400 with a new staging of Much Ado About Nothing at The reFASHIONed Theatre.

Leading the cast of this ambitious production is Evening Standard Award nominee Daniel Boyd (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Oppenheimer; Headlong’s Romeo and Juliet; BBC’s The Hollow Crown) and star of the BBC hit Shetland Alison O’Donnell (Headlong’s Boys; Dolls at The National Theatre Scotland) as Beatrice and Benedick.

They will be joined by Caroline Langrishe (BBC’s Judge John Deed, Outnumbered and Lovejoy), Jude Owusu (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar; The Comedy of Errors at National Theatre; BBC’s Father Brown), Harry Lister Smith (Trevor Nunn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Posh, West End; BBC’s War and Peace), Tala Gouveia (Husbands and Sons at National Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe), Christopher Hughes (an Off West End Best Actor nominee for title role in The Faction’s The Talented Mr Ripley), and Jamie Maclachlan who is best known for his lead role in the Emmy Award nominated film Four Minutes. Lowri Izzard makes her professional stage debut as Hero.

The production also sees a fantastic line-up of ‘digital cameos’ including Four Weddings and a Funeral star Simon Callow CBE, Rufus Hound (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Don Quixote), and Goodness Gracious Me actress Meera Syal CBE.