Angel Theatre Company

Eavesdropping

Angel Theatre Company will present a new and unique piece of theatre titled Eavesdropping at Barons Court Theatre, 5th – 16th July 2016.

Angel Theatre Company is an organisation dedicated to providing recent graduates with the opportunity to perform professionally within their first year of leaving drama school. They aim to produce challenging, character driven plays, selected specifically to showcase actors’ individual talents. Cast members work under the guidance of experienced industry professionals and are given a rewarding first taste of a career in the theatre.

The Company’s first production, Can’t Stand up for Falling Down, played at the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre in July 2015 to great critical acclaim, achieving 4 star reviews. Top industry professionals attended the performances and each cast member found the experience the perfect opportunity to make the transition from training to working!

Their latest production, Eavesdropping, is a new and original piece of theatre. It consists of a variety of scenes, each varying in length. Unlike most plays which are either scripted or devised, Eavesdropping is unique in that it is neither! The piece is created by a company of actors who spend several weeks covertly recording real people engaged in genuine conversations. These recordings are then scripted, explored and reinterpreted through rehearsal to find their dramatic potential. Each vignette is a miniature work of art in itself and offers the audience a great insight into the world around us. A more honest, poignant, funny and genuine reflection of society than most conventionally written plays could hope to be! In working on the pieces (which have no link other than they are all real dialogue) the creative team follow certain rules, including:

  • The people recorded must be complete strangers to the company and unaware they are being recorded.
  • Any names must be changed to ensure the anonymity of those who were recorded.
  • The actual recorded words are not to be altered in any way.
  • In shaping the scenes, the creative team may change the location of action, characters, relationships, add pauses/silences etc to enhance the theatricality of the scene.

The concept for the production comes from experienced actor and director, John Patterson, Artistic Director of Angel Theatre Company. He said, “In piloting the idea over the past few weeks, we have been fascinated at our findings. The pieces we have so far explored range from the deeply moving to the hilarious! These raw, revealing observations of real life are more genuinely reflective of the world around us than much conventionally scripted drama! Each vignette is a miniature work of art in itself, but when presented as part of a sequence, the piece promises to take its audience on a unique, entertaining, emotional and amusing journey.”

Ron Phillips, Artistic Director of Barons Court Theatre added, “This is one of the most original concepts for a theatrical piece we have ever heard of and it promises to be a fascinating production.”

For their latest venture, the company has grown from three actors to ten and includes recent graduates from Arts Ed, Italia Conti, ALRA and Drama Studio. Including Stephanie Manton who has just graduated from Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts., below she gives us a quote.

“Working with Angel Theatre Company has been a fantastic experience! The project is so interesting and has been a real creative challenge to bring the pieces alive without any prior knowledge of who the characters are or what they are talking about. The company ethos is what initially attracted me to working on the piece and I urge everyone to come see the show and support a group of talented young actors!” Stephanie Manton

The Real Cost of School Audition Fees

Annemarie-Lewis

The MTA opened in 2009 by Annemarie Lewis Thomas, running the UK’s first accelerated learning programme in triple threat training. It is also the only UK Musical Theatre college to split its acting focus between stage and screen. In 2012 it was awarded The Stage 100 Award of School of the Year, who named them “a new force in drama training.”

The academy was originally based at the Drill Hall (now the RADA Studios), before moving to 89 Holloway Road in 2011. In July 2015 the academy relocated to The Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham. Students receive a guarantee that their fees are spent on training, not on securing a profit, and consequently the academy was granted charitable status in 2012

How did you MTA come about, what motivated you to start  the academy?

I was working as a MD and also in my crap job as a teacher. I didn’t like the attitude that some new grads had, and I hated the fact that colleges were profiteering from training.

What’s your ethos at MTA and what do you look for in students?

Our ethos is simple; to train people with old style values, and to be transparent in everything that we do.  We look for our students to have a strength in two disciplines, to be able to be taught the third, and also so try to ensure that they’re nice (or at least can be helped to be nice if life hasn’t taught them that lesson yet)

   Big question alert!!!   So the audition process. How does it work at MTA? 

One! We spend an intense day with the applicants, watching them all the time (even in the breaks). I don’t want to invite people back for various rounds (and at such an expense)…so myself and the team instantly know nowadays if they’ll be trainable – #theMTAway

 Lots of schools get outside agents and casting directors to come in at a fee. You use the staff already on the payroll, which seems sensible as they’ll be the ones training the pupils! What is your view on getting schools justifying fees by getting external panel auditions?

I’m already on record as saying that I think that this is nonsense. It’s clearly attempting to ‘blind people’ with ‘wannabe’ ambitions and false hope.  I’m proud of my senior faculty – they are phenomenal.  Each and every one of them will give me their opinion of whether or not WE’LL be able to get them industry ready within 2 years. An outsider has no idea how our teaching method works etc, so why the hell would I pay them to sit on the panel for a day??


 What’s your view point on regional auditions?

Again I’m on the record for not agreeing with them. I can’t justify the expense of losing my senior faculty for the day, and I want to know that someone auditioning for us has seen us/met us, and knows what we’re about, not just drifted into a room and thought that ‘they’d give it a go’.

 So schools vary from £45-£80 – I have been given many explanations for the cost and I can understand that it’s  a process and  it takes time and staffing but surely a cap is a fair way forward to ensure equal opportunity. Can you give us a breakdown of an average cost for an audition day at MTA?

Unusually we tell applicants on the day of the audition whether or not they’ve been successful. We also give every applicant a questionnaire to anonymously fill in at the end of the day. The point of this is for me to be able to monitor whether or not the auditions are working from the point of the view of the auditionee. So we ask the scary questions like ‘did you feel like you had value for money?’ ‘were you treated as an individual?’ then the more general questions about what they like/disliked about the day, and anything that we could do to improve on their experience.  Check out Anne Marie’s insightful blog here for further information on her process –www.thereviewshub.com/blog-annemarie-lewis-thomas-the-true-price-of-auditions  

  Feedback- schools with thousands of applicants often say feedback is unable to be provided- I read MTA provides feedback, how can you manage to do this? could this be implemented throughout schools?

I think that people need to stop auditioning people in such huge numbers. For starters I don’t really see how they can see the people  when they do this (it’s different auditioning for a show which truly is a cattle call). We can give feedback because we truly run our audition days at a loss!

 

 

Exit Theatre

Pot Luck logo PNG.pdfSteve Kim and Rob vers 2

The story Best mates Steve and Rob work for a family run marijuana operation and return to the grow house one evening to discover a rival competitor has stolen all the stock, leaving behind a disturbing calling card. When Steve’s mum and boss Lisa arrives, it soon becomes apparent that things are not what they first appear. However, things take a further unexpected turn when good intentions backfire and Lisa resorts to purchasing hydrophobic acid, hacksaws and an axe. One person is in for the chop. “Brilliantly witty, & clever… You’ll leave on a high …” – Lee Mueller, Founder of http://www.play-dead.com “David Trotter is Croydon’s answer to Joe Orton” – Lynn Picknett, Author of ‘The Templar Revelation’ More Info Pot Luck is the eighth play written and directed by Croydon Playwright and Director David Trotter, who Author and fan Lynn Picknett describes as ‘Croydon’s answer to Joe Orton’. Pot Luck will mark Exit Theatre’s 30th play since the theatre group was formed in 2001. The show is a highly charged, fast paced dark comedy, which will have audiences glued to their seats to the shocking end. Please note: Contains adult themes and strong language

A David Trotter play Performing at The Spread Eagle Theatre June 1st-4th. 8pm nightly, 39-41 Katharine Street, Croydon, Surrey CR0 1NX

Tickets only £10 Booking: http://www.exit-theatre.co.uk

Events

Scratch Night

The LGBT scratch was a great success. A review was written up by @Londontheatre1 here http://www.londontheatre1.com/news/133679/actor-awareness-lgbt-scratch-night/

Big thanks to everyone in the LGBT for making it a success to all the writers, directors, actors, tech team and theatre involved. Time to make it happen again, this time at fab fringe venue in Balham, under the theme of health.

HEALTH NIGHT! Jeremy Hunt, George Osborne and David Cameron are casting a huge shadow on our health system, with ludicrous cuts the NHS, the junior doctors walkout and of course the recent disability cuts in the budget. In light of this, the next Actor Awareness scratch night theme is Health Night. The interpretation of the theme is down to you and an interesting subject to explore, all shows must be no more than 15 mins and the submission deadline is 30th of April.

This will take place at Theatre N16 on the 30th of May. All shows selected for the scratch night will then have the opportunity to develop the show into a full length piece and have a 2 night slot in Theatre N16 in August! So if your an actor, director or writer come get involved and send all submissions to Steph at tanheartssteph@gmail.com please read the rules and regulations before submitting here http://www.actorawareness.co.uk/p/scratch-nights.html

nhs

ACTOR AWARENESS LAUNCH PARTY

LAUNCH

AUDITIONS! So Actor Awareness will be holding the official launch party/ fundraiser and we are looking for a variety of acts to perform in the night. Singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, sketch peices, any sort of act to take part in what promises to be an incredible night. Auditions will be held at The Canal Cafe on May 1st, if you would like to audition and be involved email tomstocks0805@gmail.com

We also have a great competition coming up with CCP so keep your eyes peeled.

Writer’s Nights

These will continue monthly. To be added to the mailing list for notification of time and place please email tanheartssteph@gmail.com. An informal sharing of ideas, plays (stage,film, tv , sketch or radio). Hosted by a guest writer each month. £8 for a session which runs 7-9.30pm. April TBC. Please follow @steffieegg12 for updates or join Actor Awareness group on Facebook.

The Hustle

hustle logo

The Hustle now have launched their online community website!! After maintaining  a strong following on Facebook over the years The Hustle has become an invaluable tool to many performers and artists in the industry.

The community website is there to pool resources, for people to log on and inform others of workshops, events, photographers, anything and everything that artists need and require to get by. It is aimed at being a portal, hub and supportive aid. As individuals we are strong but coming together we are stronger, so join up to Hustle community and continue your journey within a community of supportive creatives.

I attended the launch party last night and heard about the fantastic site for the creators themselves (free wine courtesy of RSVP! can’t go wrong). They are passionate individuals aiming to provide people with a solid online community in our fast paced lives. Hustle thanked LuLulemon their sponsors for making this website possible.

Join at http://www.thehustlecommunity.com

Tom’s the Word

tom

Another busy and exciting month for Actor Awareness. Starting off with the incredible success of Women’s Night where 7 shows written and directed by an array of fantastic female talent. The night was a completely sold out, the audience was filled with agents, producers and directors. 1 show is off to Edinburgh fringe and 2 others received strong interest to be funded, expanded and taken into various venues. All 7 shows went down a treat, because of the talent on display all the shows are being expanded, will be taken on by The Canal Cafe – to be in the Actor Awareness season where they will do a full run of each show. On the same note preparations for the LGBT night are in full swing and the 6 incredible shows will be ready for the 15th of March in The Bread and Roses Theatre. Tickets are now on sale so please come and support http://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/actor-awareness.html

 Also this month I got interviewed by The Observer newspaper about the rise of Actor Awareness which should be published this month, which is very exciting and keeps giving more publicity to the ever growing campaign. We also very excited to have acquired a new member to the team in the form of Adam Morley, who is our new executive producer. He will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the campaign.  The documentary with Inside Film is heading into a string of exciting interviews, we interviewed John Challis earlier in the month and he gave an incredible, in-depth insight to his success with Only Fool and Horses. He also gave a very interesting look into the history of TV and theatre, also how much it his changed from when he started out. In March we are holding a very exciting interview with Sir Peter Bazalgette, Arts Council chairman and now new ITV chairman. All in all a very exciting busy month ahead with the campaign.

Theatre on the cheap

The Royal Court Theatre

i see you

The helm of new writing and one of my favourite theatres in London brings the play ‘I See You’

I SEE YOU by Mongiwekhaya – Genesis Foundation Project

“I don’t need your sorries white boy, yes. You heard right. You know white people think we are the same? We both look black. But only one of us is black”

Post-Apartheid South Africa, after dark.

Ben meets Skinn for a night out. But the party is interrupted by the police. Ben, a young student who doesn’t know his own history, is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. And Officer Buthelezi, a former freedom fighter, can’t let it go.

Based on a real encounter.

“Speak to me in your mother-tongue and I will let you go.”

Noma Dumezweni makes her directorial debut. After its run in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. So don’t miss out and book your ticket pronto.

Southwark Playhouse

Orphans– 10th Feb- 5th March

Start Time 8pm, Matinee Starts 3.30pm, Running Time 135, Price £20 | £16 conc. | £12 previews

The Story

Deserted in childhood by their father and the death of their mother, two orphaned brothers find themselves neglected and forgotten living in a decrepit house in North Philadelphia. Surviving as a pickpocket, the ruthless and violent Treat provides for his naïve and feral younger brother Philip; keeping him sealed off from the world, encased in an eternal childhood filled with Errol Flynn movies and Hellman’s mayonnaise.

Upping his game, one night Treat kidnaps wealthy Chicagoan Harold. With motives of his own, this charming and mysterious man adopts the boys, becoming the father they never had. Harold soon stirs tensions between the two brothers, changing forever the delicate power balance of their relationship.

Book Now: southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/orphans/#booking

Theatre N16

n16

A great venue that supports new writers and their work, run by the lovely Jaime Eastlake. This month they have several good shows taking the stage ‘Can’t Stand up Falling for Down’ ‘The Rules of inflation’.

N16 is a great venue that champions new writing, you can send in your work for scratch nights or full plays to their literacy department. They also put up castings on their websites for inhouse productions. Jaime Eastlake the AD is an accomplished producer, director and forward thinking man, trying to create a creative industry which provides a fair platform for people from all walks of life. Go see any show in their fantastic space and support an up and coming Theatre company with real ethos and passion.

http://www.theatren16.co.uk

Theatre 503

thetre 503

Another of my favourite theatres in London. A place of fab writing and never a dull performance.

Theatre 503 bring ‘FourPlay’ by Jake Brunger, Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle

16 Feb – 12 March, 7.45pm (Sundays 5pm),

£15/£12 (Pay What You Can Sundays)

Rafe and Pete have hit a rut. After seven and a half blissfully happy years, their lack of sexual experience is driving them apart. When they proposition mutual friend Michael to help out with their problems – knowing full well Michael has his own partner Andrew – what seems like a simple solution quickly spirals out of control. Four Play is a new comic play about sex and commitment in the 21st century.

Events

 lgbt

LGBT Scratch Night at The Bread and Roses Theatre

So every month we hold  a scratch night of new material, actors, writers and directors get a chance to showcase their work to an audience. At the last few scratch nights we have had directors, agents and producers come and the interest in the events is gathering momentum. If you follow our Twitter @actorawareness or our Facebook page, you can keep up to date with the next scratch nights, submission opening and deadlines.

LGBT night we have a line up including comedys, musicals and even a victorian piece

Book Tickets now:  http://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/actor-awareness.html

Writers nights: Held every month in various locations. This is a informal forum for people to gather and generate ideas. It is a safe environment so people can bring an idea, a script, we can read material out or discuss ideas. Places are £8, please email tanheartssteph@gmail.com for a spot

Cabaret Night- More detail to follow but we have a very exciting event coming up!!

Film- we have several film ideas n the pipeline that hopefully we can tell you about one day soon, so keep your eyes peeled

Proforca

 proforca

Proforca creative is a brand new non-professional theatre company based in London. It was formed in late 2014 with the idea to create a new and dynamic projects which are more accessible than the average amateur theatre company. They want to create a group of talented creatives united by their love of theatre in a warm, welcoming and encouraging environment.

Proforca want to create great quality theatre to a very high standard, and it is their mission to provide opportunities for writers to have their work performed, actors to showcase their talent and to promote the work of the very hardworking people behind the scenes in the very important technical roles and provide them with a “stage” to develop and gain experience as well as put their talents to great use. By keeping it “small and friendly” is the way to go, which means creating fringe productions which will excite and challenge audiences with something new.

As a non-professional theatre company, performance is their passion, but also a way to channel talent from their “day jobs” in a new and exciting way. Within our Proforca there are artists, performers, designers, writers and other creatives, by combining these skills with  professional abilities (Marketing, Operations, Project Management, Finance, Communication, IT etc,) Proforca are able to create something interesting, dynamic, and perhaps a little bit different to the norm. Theatre allows them to step away from the office, put away the work email, (even if just for a little while) and go on those adventures which you just can’t have as part of the 9 – 5!

Proforca are always interested in meeting new and interesting people who would love to come on this new journey. If you are interested in getting involved with Poforca, please visit their website at http://www.proforca.co.uk or send an email to hello@proforca.co.uk

THE PLAY

    proforca poster

Proforça Creative presents “If I Go”
Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre, Walthamstow E17
Wednesday 4th – Saturday 7th May 2016
(Performances at 7.45pm, Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.45pm)

“This thing that the two of you have, it’s an illusion, and it can’t be this way forever…”

It’s been this way for years. Matt and Becky have lived together forever. In a parallel universe they’re probably married, except Matt’s going out with Danny. Then of course there’s Will, who been in love with Becky for the longest time, if only she’d be nice to him long enough to notice.  Can one phone call be enough for Matt to make the biggest decision of his life, and in turn, change everything for all of them forever?
Proforça Creative presents a brand new comedy drama written by James Lewis and directed by David Brady about moving on, moving out, drifting apart, and the people we can’t bring ourselves to leave behind.  (Please note the production contains strong language and audience discretion is advised)
Tickets are now on sale for all performances, priced £12.00
For more information, exclusive behind the scenes content and for tickets for this new production visit http://www.proforca.co.uk and for special offers follow us on Twitter @weareproforca, Facebook & Instagram @proforcacreative

Actors Awareness Special Offer: Use the code BLACKBERRY at checkout for discounted fees on tickets for any performance (subject to availability, offer expires April 30th )

John Byrne

john

You are a performer, agent, coach and writer, that is a lot of hats, what do you love doing the most?

I think for anybody working in the arts, having to juggle a number of jobs has always been an issue-although, due to both technology the current economy it has now become something people in all walks of life have to do. For me the common factor in all the things I do is using my communication skills to help people to break through the barriers that might be holding their own artistic development back, whether that’s a kid in one of my shows who thinks he can’t draw, or an actor at one of my workshops who thinks they can’t plan their business.

When you were growing up what influenced you towards the arts?
I was always keen on books, comics, stage and screen, but I think the book which really ‘flipped the switch’ for was a book I read when I was about 13 on the making of the original Star Trek TV series. It had interviews with actors, writers, set designers…all very commonplace in books these days but a revelation back then….and I suddenly realised that a) real people made these productions and b) I could be one of those people. I’ve been involved in many and various radio, TV and stage productions since then but I sometimes still feel like that 13 year old who is in wonderment that he is now behind the scenes like the people I used to read about.

What excites you about theatre?
Even with all the advantages of new technology, there are still a lot of practical hoops to jump through to get work on screen, whereas not only is there something very collaborative and ‘instant’ about theatre-even when it has been in rehearsals for weeks!-but it has the magic that it is different every time you do it.

What do you feel is a real and current issue within the industry right now? You have been supporting Actor awareness, firstly thank you and secondly what do you feel about Actor Awareness as a campaign?

For me, inclusivity is the biggest issue in the industry right now… but to be honest I think it has always been an issue, it is just that the internet and new media has given it a voice. As Lucille Ball (who most people remember as a comedian but who was also the first woman to ever head up a major American production company) said ‘Ability without Opportunity doesn’t amount to much.’ I don’t think it is an ‘anti-posh’ or ‘anti-men’ or ‘anti-white’ issue I can think of many ‘posh white male’ actors who are deservedly successful because they are undeniably talented, who work hard and who give back, and fair play to them-the problem is more that the initial opportunities to get going in the industry aren’t as easily available to some as to others, and I think this is the area where we all need to work towards a positive expansion. For me one of the most encouraging developments of the Actors Awareness campaign are initiatives like the scratch nights, so that as well as raising the issue of opportunity, the campaign is actively creating opportunity.

When you coach actors what’s your top tip?
Every actor is different but one of the really important steps for all of us is to work out what in our careers is inside our control and what is outside and making the commitment to work consistently on the stuff we have control over, while forming positive alliances and relationships to help get some leverage on the rest.

What do you feel about drama schools, the inequality (in some peoples opinion) in uni trained and drama school trained students? Drama school fees? Drama school showcases? The fact more and more drama school want to drop out of the accredited system, meaning finance will be available to less?
I always say that while training of any sort never guarantees success in this business, and there have always been successful ‘self taught’ actors, it’s a hard enough business at the best of times that proper training is big advantage-so not having access to training is by implication a disadvantage. Talent is obviously an accident of birth, which actors don’t have control over, as indeed is the social and financial situation they are born into. Hard work is something they do have control over, and in the movies that should be enough in itself to achieve their goals, but in real life , we still need to work towards a more level playing field to enable every actor to have an equal chance of benefitting from their hard work in both the training and career situations.

Thank you John for you time, here John has given us lots of words of wisdom and food for thought.