Owls by Jayne Woodhouse

 

Monday 23rd July: 7pm ‘Owls’ : 

Written by Jayne Woodhouse / Directed by Calum Robshaw

CAST

STEVE David House

ANNA Kate Austen

PAVEL / DARREN Neil Gardner

SYNOPSIS

One night on the roof of a multi-storey car park, two strangers collide: Anna, who is about to jump, and Steve, the hapless security guard who finds her. As they begin the search for some connection, Steve discovers that if he wants to save Anna’s life, he must first save his own. ‘Owls’ uses humour to create a bold and unflinching view of attempted suicide and mental illness. It builds the hope that, eventually, everyone can fly.

How have you found being part of the Actor Awareness festival has been beneficial to you?

Being part of the festival is first and foremost a quality mark: it means my play has been recognised as being good enough to sit alongside those by other excellent writers. It feels like a great achievement to have started from a scratch night and now be showcasing a 60 minute production. Coming under the Actor Awareness banner also means you’re helped and supported by a wider community. Many of the issues involved in producing your own play are taken care of, thanks to Steffie’s brilliant organisation, where you can be confident that everything has been thoroughly planned and thought through.

What have you done to prep for the festival?

We feel really up and running for the festival, as the show has been in rehearsal for some time and had a 2-night preview in my home town of Salisbury in May. Response from the audience was amazing so this has given us a lot of confidence in the play and the production.

Your biggest challenge?

Every writer’s greatest fear – what to do next. As they say, you’re only ever as good as your last piece of work, so there is the constant challenge of finding the next big idea. Also the more I write for the stage, the more I realise there is to learn, so I’m always trying to push forward and be more ambitious in the goals I set myself.

Your hope for the play in the future ?

My immediate hopes are to get good reviews, especially ones which draw attention to the great performances of the actors, so their hard work is recognised. Then I’d like to see the play taken up by other venues, as we have a fantastic team who really believe in the piece and would like to see it go further.

As there has been a surge in new writing nights how do you think Actor Awareness is different to other new writing nights?

Actor Awareness nights are among the best established, in that they are put on regularly, about a wide range of topics in prestigious venues. Because the company is so experienced the organisation is excellent and the productions highly professional. There are great opportunities to network with other like-minded people and grow your work. Finally Actor Awareness set industry standards by paying everyone involved. This is such an important aspect, as so many new writing nights expect you to work for free.

TICKET LINK ONLINE: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/actor-awareness-new-writing-festival-tickets-46395174215

 

 

Our Big Love Story

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Our BIG Love Story has gone from strength to strength from the May scratch night. After the recurrent Terror attacks, Stephanie Silver wrote a play to look at the effect of Terror attacks on a small group of people, including themes of faith, radicalisation and love at the centre of it all. With interest from publishers and a run at The Hope Theatre we are proud it all started at an Actor Awareness new writing night.

The Play

4 teenagers
1 Teacher
1 Terror Attack
Post July 2005

5 people’s lives intertwine in OUR BIG LOVE STORY; a tale of faith, prejudice, love and healing looking at radicalisation of young people and the struggle to keep your faith after a traumatic event.

Cast and Creatives: Written by Stephanie Silver / Directed by Calum Robshaw. Actors: Holly Ashman as Destiny, Naina Kholi as Anjum, Alex britt as Jack, Emelia Marshall Lovsey as Katie.

 

Tickets on Sale here:

The Hope Theatre 

March 20th to 7th April 2018

http://www.thehopetheatre.com/productions/big-love-story/

Follow @OurBigLoveStory on Twitter

2022 by Colleen Pendergrast

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After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Colleen has worked as an actor, director, voiceover artist and teacher. Her acting credits include The Comedy of Errors (Nuffield Southampton) and The Mortal Ash (Bush Theatre). As a director, her credits include After Penelope (White Bear/Rome International Fringe Festival) and The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World (Hope Mill Theatre). She has narrated over a hundred audiobooks and teaches at some of London’s top drama schools, including LAMDA, E15 and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. 

Has anything changed in the script since the first performance with us?
Well, as Actor Awareness gave us the amazing opportunity to develop it into a full-length piece, we ended up extending it to nearly an hour! It was great to develop the relationships further and bring the world of the play more into focus. Hopefully this allowed the audience to engage and identify more deeply with the characters. It was challenging to extend the running time and a relief to see that the play still held together! So although this is the original short version, I think all of the work we did on the longer piece informs this one, now we’ve come back to it. 

What have you found as your play has developed?
It’s been invaluable to have the input of the actors as its developed. I’ve been really lucky that I’ve had such committed, enthusiastic and generous people to work with. They have a lot of ideas about the characters and that was helpful in writing the extended version. It’s a little scary that so much of what I wrote as a ‘stretch’ has actually been mirrored in world events. It’s becoming more believable by the day! 

Has your play been anywhere else? is it coming up anywhere else?
Yes – in fact it’s been on at five scratch nights around London so far and is being made into a short film by the University of Bedfordshire! It’s also coming up at the Arts Theatre (9th December), the Amersham Arms in New Cross (10th December) and the Bunker Theatre on the 17th December! 

What is your next project?
I’m working on a novel and am formulating an idea for a new play. And we have plans to take the extended version of 2022 to festivals next year – watch this space! @2022play

Cast 

Colquhoun – Deborah Wastell

Gower – Richard Innocent

Selwa – Lauren Santana

2022 deb

Full Circle by Michelle Payne

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FULL CIRCLE / Written by Michelle payne

The Play
Nicole is 21. She can’t decide if she has no mates because she’s crazy or crazy because she has no mates. So she does the only logical thing she can think of and sets up a peer support group in Essex to make friends and start talking. But Amy’s got the hump and Skye’s real name isn’t Skye. How can they go from three to a full circle without advertising to the world that they’re… well, mental

Has anything changed in the script since the first performance with us?
We’ve extended a teeny tiny bit! Added two monologues to develop the other two characters a little!
What have you found as your play has developed?
My cast have dealt with the subject matter so bravely, and have brought more to the characters which has definitely inspired me to write more!
Has your play been anywhere else? is it coming up anywhere else?
Next Full Circle will be at the Tristan Bates as part of the 12 days of Christmas festival.
What is your next project?

Extending Full Circle to a full length play! I’m also currently producing a new writing night at The Queens Theatre Hornchurch called Power which features all female cast and creatives! That will be in April!

CAST and Creatives
Amy: Kate Kelly

Nicole: Elicia Moon Murphy
Skye: Lucy Gape

Writer/Director: Michelle Payne
Movement director: Victoria Louise
With music by Tom Baynton

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Actor Awareness New Writing Night

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We are excited to host out ‘Best of 2017′ Actor Awareness New Writing Night this Monday, December 4th at Spotlight Studios, Leicester Sq at 7.30pm.

We have been striving to create a platform for new writing and over the last 2 years we have come a long way in helping writers from diverse paths to stage work.

The Line Up

‘Come Die With Me’ By Vicky Connerty

‘2022’ Written and Directed by Colleen Pendergrast 

‘Our Big Love Story’ Written by Stephanie Silver and Directed By Calum Robshaw

‘Full Circle’ Written and Directed by Michelle Payne

Our annual Best Of Scratch Night tickets are selling fast and we have our first ever industry panel!

On the panel we have:

Michael Gamarano Singleton from Mixing Networks
An agent from CAM (Creative Arts Management)
Casting Director Harriet Spenser
Anna Jordan an Award Winning Playwright
Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/actor-awareness-best-of-night-tickets-39475474206?aff=eand
As a result of these scratch nights, Actor Awareness has helped support many new pieces of work – extended from the 15 minutes to full length productions – which have gone on to perform in the professional sector. Some of these include:

‘The Staffroom’ by Michelle Payne, Theatre N16/Queens Hornchurch and Edinburgh 2017

‘Speci-Man’ by Jayne Woodhouse. Canal café and The Fatsoma, Guildford 2017

‘The Monologues of a Tired Nurse’ by Stephanie Silver. Edinburgh 2016/Barons Court Theatre 2017/ Wandsworth and Camden Fringe 2017.

‘Our Big Love Story’ by Stephanie Silver. Next March 2018, 3 Week run at The Hope Theatre

‘Birth of a Nation’ by Dave House. SlamX 2016/Theatre N16 2016

‘Worsooz’ by Catherine kay Barons Court theatre 2017, our 1st published play

‘Come Die With Me’ by Vicky Connerty. Fizzy Sherbert/The Vaults/ Barons Court and Hollywood 2017

‘C’est La Vie’ by Stephanie Silver. Barons Court 2017/TheatreN16 2017/ The play won open submissions script Australia March 2017, opening to 4-star reviews.

New Writing Festival

Actor Awareness has also presented two new writing festivals at Theatre N16 in 2016 and Barons Court Theatre in 2017 and we are aiming to present a third next year. The festivals took 15 minute pieces chosen from our scratch nights and then each writer was given a month to prepare a one hour show. This is a great learning curve for actors to become proactive drivers of their own careers and knowledge about how to mount a production. Our festivals run over one week with two one hour shows each evening. We invite industry professionals to be present and all companies receive 100% of box office takings.

 

We are excited to announce our new sponsors and patrons

bacstage

These two companies aim to help bridge the gap for the working, upcoming, struggling actor, so watch this space. If you are a company wanting to become a sponsor of our scratch nights please email tomstocks0805@gmail.com.
You can also join our mailing list by going to our website : http://www.actorawareness.co.uk/ and go to the button ‘Join us’, write you email and click and your be added to our monthly mailing list.

Never Trust a Man Bun- Review by Emelia Marshall Lovsey

                   

Written by Katherine Thomas

Directed by Katie Turner

Lucy is looking forward to a perfect night of watching Googlebox, eating left overs and spending time with her housemate, friend and someone she cares for more than she cares to admit- Gus. Gus is looking forward to seeing his beautiful on-and-off girlfriend Rachel, who he’s just got back with and has invited round for dinner. Rachel is looking forward to seeing Caps again and setting him up with Lucy. Caps- with the sexy man bun has other ideas… One night, one box of wine and a double date- what could go wrong?

Turns out a lot. Never Trust a Man Bun by Katherine Thomas is brought to us by theatre company: OPIA after their previous show ‘Unnatural Selection’ which was co-written by Thomas and received high praise from critics and audiences. Thomas writes dialogue with ease and lines that pack a giggle and a punch just as easily. For example: after a squabble among the characters about who has to (against their desires) be partnered with Lucy for the game of charades, she shouts “does it matter who goes with who, you don’t have to shag the person!” It is this quick wit and funny one liners that Thomas does best and that keep the audience engaged and laughing throughout the play. Despite the play’s wit, it still also asks questions: Is it possible to love more than one person at the same time? Why do we love someone if they don’t love us back? How do we choose our partners a more importantly why? Going forward these big and exciting questions along with the other central questions to this piece could be explored further and not lost sight of in expense for the quick banter, the story arc could be looked over to make sure it keeps driving to the end and ensuring that this questions are fully answered so the audience can feel really the punch at the end.

The performances from this piece are solid from a strong cast made up of four actors which includes the writer of the piece who plays Lucy. It is immediately apparent that they are all well rehearsed and have all made clear, bold character choices. Their energy and comic timing is great and consistent throughout the piece. The stand out performance though is from Calum Robshaw, who’s character has real depth. He plays the awkward and slightly desperate Gus. At the beginning of the play you laugh with and admittedly at him, as he shows off his over priced and some what lame apron, by the end of the play you feel great empathy for him. His impressive comic delivery mixed with his ability to be present and truthful make for a great and moving performance.

The director Turner offers sharp, comedic direction in this fast paced dry comedy. She could afford to explore the subtext of the piece in more depth with the actors as this is where most of the drama stems from. Though I am not certain that this piece of theatre would entirely pass the ‘Bechdel Test’ it does  explore dynamics between couples well enough. My only reservation was ditsy Rachel played by talented actor Natasha Grace Hutt, she keeps telling us she’s not stupid while making a fool of herself. In the play she seems to only be referred to as either an idiot, a ‘slag’ or beautiful and though this female stereotype gets laughs, it might be more exciting to see another more complex, human and compelling side to the character. That said, the rest of the audience didn’t mind as they laughed heartily throughout this dark comedy. If you missed this sell out show, fancy some fringe theatre and a good laugh you might be in luck, the show is transferring to Bread and Roses for The Clapham Fringe.

Cast

Lucy played by Katherine Thomas

Gus played by Calum Robshaw

Caps by Jack Noble

Rachel played by Natasha Grace Hutt

 

Headshots/Showreels

New Year New Me

‘New Year New You’ That’s what everyone says right. Well as an actor we’re always trying to keep abreast, make our agents happy, get our foot in the door and at such a cost it feels like an endless expensive task to keep your Spotlight profile or CCP page fresh!

Check out MAP Platform, they are based in Manchester but they provide a guaranteed professional service at some of the cheapest rates around!

map

They have showreel services from £85 and also Headshots for £75

http://www.maplatform.co.uk/services/4591961256

Please also check out London based photographers

Jennifer Evans (jennifer-evans-photographer.com/@PhotosJevans) & Greg Veit (gregveit.com/@Veit_Photo ) who both provide professional and reasonable headshot services.