Must See Theatre

                ornage jess-and-joe-forever-image-3-orange-tee-theatre-photo-by-the-other-richard

Jess and Joe Forever

BY ZOE COOPER
08 September 2016 — 8 October 2016

Meet Jess and Joe. They want to tell you their story. Joe is Norfolk born and bred and wears wellies. Jess holidays there with her au pair and is slightly too tubby for her summer dresses. They are miles apart even when they stand next to each other. This is a story of growing up, fitting in (or not), boys, girls, secrets, scotch eggs and maybe even love, but most of all, it’s about friendship.

Spanning several summer holidays, Jess and Joe Forever is an unusual coming of age tale that explores rural life and what it means to belong somewhere, if you can really belong anywhere. A layered and thoughtful play about finding your place in the world when you only know a small corner of it. Written by Zoe Cooper (Nativities at Live Theatre Newcastle and Man on the Moon for New Writing North/Sage) and directed by Derek Bond (Little Shop of Horrors at the Royal Exchange Theatre and Alice Birch’s Many Moons at Theatre503).

Running time 1 hour 5 minutes, no interval. Relaxed performance  Thu 29 Sep 2.30pm

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TORN APART

until 30th September, 7.30pm

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No Offence Theatre is a 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. They present Torn Apart, with the 4 & 5 star reviews coming in thick and fast don’t miss out.

What a Nice Production (@WhataNicetheatre) presents IN LOVE and WARCRAFT  

6-10 & 13-17 November 2016 at 7:30pm

The award-winning romantic comedy by Madhuri Shekar tells a story of love and friendship in the 21st Century and shows how, sometimes, you have to lose yourself online to find yourself offline. Evie has it all figured out. She’s a college senior who wants a sex free life and plenty of time to retreat into the comfort of her laptop. Not only does she command a top-ranked guild in Warcraft with her online boyfriend, she also makes cash on the side writing love letters for people who’ve screwed up their relationships. After all, love is like Warcraft; it’s all about strategies, game plans, and not taking stupid risks. Right?

Well that’s what she thinks… until a guy comes along. In Real Life. Suddenly no amount of gaming expertise or advice from best friend Kitty will help her out when she finds herself with a non-virtual, totally real boyfriend, who wants more from her than she’s willing to give. As Evie prepares for the battle of a lifetime her two worlds finally collide. With hilarious and unexpected consequences, this is a play for anyone who understands (or wants to) what it’s really like to grow up online. In Love And Warcraft contains adult themes and so parental discretion is encouraged for under 16s.

Tickets: £15.  LINK:   https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/141422
Concessions: £13 (Students, NHS, Over 60s and Equity)

Shakespeare Trilogy 

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One of our followers Sarah J Dent has nabbed a part in the Donmar Trilogy! So go see it now!

Aged under 25, claim your FREE Ticket!

http://www.donmarwarehouse.com/mailing-list#F70T09yfbaBVhqLV.97

Big well done to Sarah J Dent

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Sarah J Dent is also the lead actress in Theatre4Thought’s play in development ‘Our Father’

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LABYRINTH

BY BETH STEEL DIRECTED BY ANNA LEDWICH

Running time: 2 hours 25 minutes including interval. £10 – £35

Three years ago the doomsayers were predicting the end. Financial apocalypse. But the system survived. Because the system works. Time to take advantage of the goodies on offer…

1978, New York. John Anderson is barely out of college and has landed himself a job on Wall Street. His dreams of unimaginable wealth, travel and power are made a reality as he jets around the globe selling loans to developing countries eager to borrow. And there are plenty – Mexico, Brazil, Argentina…

But cracks in the banks’ excessive lending strategy soon start to show. Despite the warning signs – and their consciences – John and his colleagues continue to pursue their targets, threatening to leave them all financially, and morally, bankrupt.

On until October 8th- Catch it Now!

ELSEWHERE Contexture Theatre present Mother Courage and Her Children at Harlow Playhouse. It opens on Monday 26th September and runs until Saturday 1stOctober.mother

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PART OF THE CAMDEN FRINGE FESTIVAL 2016

Presented by Now You Know Productions

Life is more than the days you have left. Jeff & Jasmine are two very different people, at very different stages, sharing one life threatening disease. But through each other they learn why life is worth being threatened.

Written & Directed by Anthony Orme, the play tells the uplifting story of how life is measured in friendship and the experiences had, not hours.

★★★★★ ‘Sometimes theatre doesn’t just entertain, it matters.’
(ALBIE MEDIA)
★★★★ (GINGER WIG & STROLLING MAN)
BOOK NOW https://upstairsatthegatehouse.cloudvenue.co.uk/home

David J. Keogh

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How did you get involved with the play?
Anthony Orme (The writer and Director) contacted me and asked me to audition.  He had seen a lot of applicants for the role of Jeff but because he had cancer I think they were tending to play him as a victim – when I did my audition I wanted to make him a little more normal – cancer shouldn’t define who he is.  Anthony must of liked what I did! But also, it was beautifully written and it’s the kind of role actors beg for. Really demanding and utterly uplifting – perfect! In fact, I laughed and cried a number of times when I read the script and if it moves you that much then it’s worth doing. Anthony is a very talented writer.


It is a very important and moving subject matter, how do you feel the play tackles the subject?
By not making it a play about cancer! It’s actually a play about hope and seeing the positivity in things. Cancer isn’t really mentioned in the play, it just sits, brooding in the background, feeding the character emotions. When we did the play in Brighton, we had people wait for us afterwards – hug us and say thank you for dealing with it so well.  It has moved a lot of people and we haven’t had a single negative reaction to the topic at all.  The play isn’t making light of cancer – it’s simply showing how people react to it and have to deal with it.  It’s not an easy subject for sure – but it’s sensitively dealt with and well researched.


How do you prepare for such a role?
Well I was going through cancer testing at the time as part of a study at the Royal Marsden – my father died of it at a young age so I was supporting a study into the genetic links that cause it.  So some of the preparation was done for me – I also know a number of people who have had cancer – Some have survived and some sadly haven’t – it gives me instant perspective on Jeff as a character and I understand what he is going through as I know people who have dealt with it (and are dealing with it) first hand. But I must me honest, nothing prepared me for the emotional weight I carried around with me when we performed the play in Brighton. The genuinely beautiful response from the audience however, made every minute worth it.
What challenges have you faced?
We have very high expectations of our performances – and during the week I did the play I was suffering from flu which made it hard – but I got through it – and we Had excellent reviews which helped. But also, knowing you are doing something that is deeply affecting the audience makes us all feel incredibly responsible for the audience.  And there are Some very emotional moments in the play – the emotions you see on stage are real too. We all know of people who are affected by this disease so it makes it difficult.
As an actor what keeps you motivated?
This job is such a privilege – working with amazing actors and other creatives every day is motivation in its self – but also, when an audience – be it on film or on stage, appreciates what you do. Then it makes it all worth it.
Did you know of Actor Awareness before I approached you?
I had followed you on Twitter for a while so yes – but I know a lot More now about what you stand for now and quite frankly – it’s wonderful.  I’m a working class actor – I didn’t get the opportunities when I was younger because of my background and that’s why I came into acting so late.  So hurrah to you all and keep up the good fight because we are seriously under-represented out there. I’m so proud to be in any way involved in what you are doing.
Do you feel campaigns like Actor Awareness are a good step in making a more inclusive industry?
Yes – they have to be.  Working class people simply don’t get to make the choice to go into acting in the first place and the ones who manage to, have to work extremely hard without support and often against the wishes of their families.  Acting isn’t considered a job if you aren’t earning -and families often think you’re a bit odd if you go into the arts!  There’s a whole culture issue – but purely in actor terms, we have less contacts and favours to lean on, which in an industry that very heavily on contacts and who you know, makes things harder.  Any help is welcomed.   We need actors from every background.   The reality of course is that regardless of background, you have to have talent of you’ll eventually get found out – whatever class you stem from! And working class people shouldn’t use their background as an excuse – but let’s be clear, it is harder for us.  But that’s shouldn’t stop us trying to break through.
What would you tell your younger self if you knew what you knew now?
Believe in yourself.  You have so much to offer. Stop thinking you are worthless!  I had a tough childhood so carried a lot of baggage into my adult life.  I wasted so much time doubting myself.  But I’ve proven I can do this – and I like to think I’m quite good too!   I believe in myself now. Damn… So much wasted time…
What attracts you to theatre ?
There’s really nothing like audience interaction and the sense that people are reacting to what you are doing. The buzz of knowing that at any moment, anything can (and often does) happen that’s off script -Each performance is different each night depending on the other actors and what they do and reacting to that in the moment is wonderful – It’s that mixture of fear and adrenaline and being in the moment that is so different from acting on screen.
Suffering from prostate cancer  how has that been in regards to preparing for the play? it must be very challenging.
Well I was diagnosed 4 weeks ago – and I still have to go on stage knowing that I am playing someone with the disease.  It’s a rather unfortunate opportunity to method act! In some ways it is cathartic because I get to play a character who is very angry at his diagnosis and has little support at home – I have the opposite, I have so much support and I am actually using my diagnosis to help raise awareness – I feel I carry a responsibility to help other people get down to the doctors if they are  worried about something. Having cancer doesn’t stop me from being an actor – I’m planning on being around for a long time yet and don’t see why this should stop me.  This is my dream – if anything being diagnosed only makes me more determined. My preparation for the play stays the same.  But I also have to remember the effect My diagnosis may have on the other actors – it’s not easy for them because last time we performed I was cancer free.  Next time will be a lot more real for all of us.  I’ve only had four weeks to deal with this myself – But at the end of the day it’s a play – I’m playing a character and we all have a job to do.  It’s not about me, it’s about the audience and ensuring they enjoy the play – which I am very confident they will.

Theatre4thought

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It is time, Ed preview’s for my very own show ‘The Monologues of a Tired Nurse’ is here.

Please come and support @theatre4thought and watch some cool theatre, if I do say so myself.

THE PLAY

“One day you’re expected to know nothing cause you’re a student and then as soon as you’re qualified you’re expected to be this person, this somebody, this perfect person who never makes mistakes…” 

Emily, an optimistic newly qualified nurse and Sally an exhausted nurse in charge, both at polar opposites in their careers. The story follows Sally and Emily’s memories of nursing up until one fateful day that changes both their lives forever. Set in the present day, at a time when the NHS is short staffed, forced to make cuts and constantly under scrutiny. Where nurses are penalised, criticised and told by the government that they’re not doing enough after another long day. When you’re getting paid £11 an hour to do someone’s last offices, when you’re telling a mum their baby’s passed away or when you’re the newly qualified nurse on her first day, with little support and no time for error- how is anybody supposed to cope?

“We are all just stuff, bits of stuff and one day we won’t exist anymore. We are all just molecules and bits of dust.”

The Monologues of a Tired Nurse depicts the internal conflicts of two nurses in the modern day and gives you a peak through the curtains of how it really feels to be a nurse. The play deals with themes of nursing, mental illness, relationships & grief. It is an emotional, harrowing, raw, brave and naturalistic piece of writing which is attimes funny but more often than not painfully truthful.

“She just wanted to save everyone but you finish with one wound and there’s always another.” 

Directed by Simon Nader and brought to you by Theatre4Thought. Theatre4Thought are a new company making work with a conscience, getting people to examine today’s world in new ways.

BOOK

http://www.theatren16.co.uk/#!monologues-of-a-tired-nurse/wfmtp

Mine

MINE

August 1st-3rd with a showtime of 2:30pm

mine

“Ben, I don’t want a child right now. Actually screw that, I can’t have a child right now…”

Does anyone really belong to us? Do our friends, our lovers, our children? “Mine” by Georgia Taylforth, explores three couples route into pregnancy, and questions whether they have a right to claim ownership of that child and indeed each other.

Following it’s successful run at The Courtyard Theatre in April 2016 Who Said Theatre’s “Mine”, written by Georgia Taylforth, is transferring to The Etcetera Theatre, Camden as part of the Camden Fringe.

If you missed it the first time round (or you just want to see it again!) then you can book tickets online at: https://cam.tickets.red61.com/performances.php?eventId=3113%3A1249

“Fresh, vibrant and energetic, moving along at a brisk pace, yet delivering the more poignant and shocking moments with emotional sensitivity and awareness.” – Peter Brown, ActDrop, *****

“Exciting, thought provoking material.” – Scatter Of Opinion        “Excellent.” – Brenda Blethyn

 patch

So Patch how did you get into acting, did you always want to be an actor?

Like many I’m sure, I first got into it at school. There was a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which I auditioned for so as not to be outdone by my older brother (he had played Robin Hood the year before). To my surprise and secret glee I was cast as Willy Wonka, and so dedicated myself to learning the part. In hindsight I probably gave an utterly garbled rendition, but it was enough of an experience to chase as much theatre as I could thereafter. Aged 14 I don’t think I seriously considered the possibility of being ‘an actor’, but I suppose the ambition came about as a natural result of never wanting to stop.

You did a course at the Guildford School of Acting. Why did you decide to train? How do you feel it set you up?

To the first part of that question, the short answer is that I wanted to be a better actor and start growing a network within the industry. The short answer to the second part is that it did both those things. In more depth, I knew there was nothing else on this earth I wanted to do and it seemed like the best way to get a foot in the industry’s door and give myself some credibility. I feel it set me up pretty well; attending a school does of course qualify you for Equity and Spotlight memberships and I was lucky enough to leave with an agent as well. Furthermore, I’ve had work that I’ve got directly through contacts I made at GSA. Drama school worked for me; it was a great way to start my career but it’s certainly not the only way to start.

Many people can’t afford drama school and the rising fees cause people to choose different paths, how important do you think it is to maintain an inclusive industry?

Goodness me how do I approach such a significant subject? I feel very underqualified to share my opinions on this. I’ll start by saying what’s important at the moment is not to maintain but to pursue an inclusive industry. We don’t have an industry that is all-inclusive and that’s the problem. As you say, the cost of training is huge; the ratio of the cost of going to drama school versus what you are likely to earn when you leave has to be one of the most unfavourable of any vocational course I can think of. Understandably this puts people off as at face value it looks like a terrible investment. Then, once in the profession, there is a relatively small amount of paid work available compared to a vast number of actors, none of whom have any greater or lesser right to work than any other. This too squeezes out people who simply can’t earn enough by juggling day jobs and taking acting work when it comes along. These are people who are just as likely to be talented, skilled and have stories to share as people whose circumstances mean they can wait it out, and it leaves sections of society without a voice. So, it’s extremely important. In the long-term what can be done? As well as the easy answer of MORE SCHOLARSHIPS, networks of like-minded people such as Actor Awareness are wonderful because they provide a platform for people to showcase their stories and skills and meet professionals at the same stages of the careers, as well as actively seeking deals to help members find ways of keeping their business expenses down. I’m full of admiration for the work you guys do. I also found out about a group called BOSSY (I have limited understanding of as it is a women’s only group) it is a forum for female industry professionals to come together and support each other, groups like these are amazing places for people to help each other through the same challenges.

Tell us about the new play ‘Mine’.

Mine is a play about 3 pairs of people and how pregnancy changes their lives. In order of appearance, the first ‘couple’, Ben and Sophie, meet on tinder and engage in a no strings attached relationship (can I call that a relationship?), then my character Chris is in a couple with Emma, played by the playwright Georgia Taylforth. They appear to be the perfect couple; completely in love, supportive of each other and still having plenty of ‘fun’. The third pair is Toby, a gay man unsuccessfully trying to adopt, and his best friend Lauren who offers a solution to his problems. The play asks what ownership the characters have over their future children, and indeed each other (I may be slightly plagiarizing from the official description…). I’m also proud to say we’ve made it onto Stagedoor’s list of most anticipated shows of Camden Fringe!

What have you got from your experience working on ‘Mine’?

Today I have a headache and bruised pride because I was an idiot and misjudged where the arm of a sofa was and smashed my head against the wooden bit of it in rehearsal earlier. I’m also exhausted and I think I might smell a bit. However I’ve got the satisfaction of working with hugely talented friends, playing some seriously challenging scenes and, well, working. Just working. I cannot tell you how much I always love just having the opportunity to work.

We all know it’s a tough industry, so what advice would you give other actors and what do you tell yourself to keep going?

I’m only at the beginning of my career so I would feel like a complete fraud giving any advice! What I will say instead is the way I try to approach what I do and if anyone is able to make sense of it then all the better. My outlook is based on the old cliché ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get’. I try to treat acting like a full time job. I make sure I do something to help my career every day, even when doing the day job, and treat days off from that as a gift. What I can do in a day obviously depends on how much time I have available, but believe me, now I’m in the habit of keeping busy it’s a hard one to break! I tell myself that that elusive breakthrough might not come along today, tomorrow, or even the day after that, but it’s out there somewhere so it’s up to me to be available and to be ready. I’m lucky enough to have found an extremely flexible day job (they are out there), so much so that I’ve never had to miss an audition because of it, and affordable enough rent (they’re also out there!) that it’s not a big deal if I have to cancel a couple of shifts here and there. That’s availability covered, and as far as being ready is concerned, I just try to make sure I’m always working on or towards something. It keeps me on the ball.

‘Mine’, by Georgia Taylforth, is performed by Who Said Theatre directed by Blake Barbiche, at the Etcetera Theatre on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd August at 2:30pm.

For more information (as well as booking links) you can visit our website at:http://www.whosaidtheatre.com/#!mine/tiwj8

@WhoSaidTheatre

Actor Awareness Week

                        n16 actor

After the success of our Scratch nights we have teamed up with the fantastic Theatre N16 to help our writers, actors, directors develop their work. Each Play had approximately 2 months to get their 15 minute play in a form of a 40 minute piece. Quite a mean feet but they rose to the challenge and we have for you some fab shows!

This is a great example of what we here at Actor Awareness are trying to do and if you read the monthly newsletter, follow us on Twitter and Facebook we often call out for castings. So get involved and it could be you next time!

 

Actor Awareness & Theatre N16 present…

The Staffroom by Michelle Payne

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Monday 22nd August 2016, 9pm. Tickets £10.

Performed at our health scratch ardent @actorawanreness supporter Michelle Payne brings her fabulous writing to full life.

They’re teaching our children but are they teaching the right things? Three young teachers navigate their way through adulthood and educating.

Follow us @STAFFROOMplay

Directed by: Alula White
Cast:
Alison – Hilary Murnane
Hugo – Craig Webb
Ria – Faye Derham

Tralier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrlN4JQum78#action=share

Birth of a Nation by David House

birth of a naion poster

Friday 26th august 2016, 9pm, Tickets £10

The initial piece was performed at our Sold out health scratch night, it was laugh out loud funny ! So the longer version is bound to be worth a visit.

Dave House’s satirical look at the failings of a Tory government riddled with NHS pains, Boris Johnson and Brexit.

 love and all that crap

Oliver performed at our LGBT scratch and his show has gone strength to strenght getting 5 stars for his recent run at Lost Theatre.

“And they all lived Happily Ever After”… Bullsh*t!

Love And All That Cr@p is a light-hearted ‘coming of age’ story about finding love in our modern day society. Follow a young man as he makes his discovery in awkward, amusing and arousing ways such as discovering your sexuality through porn; the naivety of your ‘first time’, a blind date gone terribly wrong and the all too true horrors of a one night stand as well as other stories and experience a cabaret of song, poetry and hilarity in this embarrassingly true story about love and all its unsaid difficulties.

OCD Theatre (Original, Contemporary, Dynamic) emerged from East 15 Acting School’s Contemporary Theatre course and has continued to produce intriguing new work which were praised for their daring and eye-opening subjects

Written & performed by Oliver Retter. With special thanks to Adam Weeks and Lottie Finklaire for their dramaturgical support.

Love And All That Cr@p contains strong language and a ridiculous amount of glitter.

★★★★ “Excellent piece of writing and performing”
Terry Eastham, London Theatre 1

★★★★ “Portrays love in a fun and relatable way”
Korien Brown, Cockpit Theatre

Book Now

http://www.theatren16.co.uk/#!actors-awareness-shows/j0ce2

Spotlight & Actor Awareness present ‘Intergenerational Night’

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Monday, 15 August 2016 from 19:30 to 21:30

Spotlight UK – 7 Leicester Pl, London, WC2H 7RJ

Our first Spotlight sponsored event is coming 15th August. Spotlight are even giving away free tickets to those registered with them. So go to the eventbrite link and book your ticket now for a awesome night of new writing!

scratch healht

Spotlight are supporting us with this exciting new project . This is an integration of younger and older actors learning off of each other and tackling the issue under-represntaton of older actors in the industry. So please come and support these incredible new short plays.

Plays

Our Father by Stephanie Silver
37 by Nick Mwaluko 
Safe Word by Ribs Norman
Joan and Oliver by Nicola Amory

Spotlight members can attend for free, so you will need to show proof of membership (Spotlight profile or card) on the door, non members pay £8.

BOOK

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/actor-awareness-intergenerational-night-tickets-26419573656

Love and All That Crap

oliver

Love and All That Cr@p

written & performed by OLIVER RETTER
10 & 11 July 2016
7.45pm
£15/£12
Sun/Mon only

Oliver Retter presents his originally funny and moving story of coming out. He has performed his piece at our LGBT Scratch Night and Actor awareness Launch to massive praise for his cute, quirky, funny and original story including flowers, glitter and allot of tongue in cheek.

“And they all lived Happily Ever After”… Bullsh*t!

Love And All That Cr@p is a light-hearted ‘coming of age’ story about finding love in our modern day society. Follow a young man as he makes his discovery in awkward, amusing and arousing ways such as discovering your sexuality through porn; the naivety of your ‘first time’, a blind date gone terribly wrong and the all too true horrors of a one night stand as well as other stories and experience a cabaret of song, poetry and hilarity in this embarrassingly true story about love and all its unsaid difficulties.

OCD Theatre (Original, Contemporary, Dynamic) emerged from East 15 Acting School’s Contemporary Theatre course and has continued to produce intriguing new work which were praised for their daring and eye-opening subjects

With special thanks to Adam Weeks and Lottie Finklaire for their dramaturgical support.

Love And All That Cr@p contains strong language and a ridiculous amount of glitter.

★★★★ “Excellent piece of writing and performing
Terry Eastham, London Theatre 1

★★★★ Portrays love in a fun and relatable way”
Korien Brown, Cockpit Theatre

Box Office opens at 7.00pm for cash sales and collection of pre-booked tickets. The performance lasts 1 hour without interval. Over 18s only.

love and all that cr@p

Theatre4Thought

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Theatre4thought are a new collaboration from actors Stephanie Silver (me, I write this letter, cheeky plug) & Emelia Marshall Lovsey.

The Play

It tells the story of two nurses working for the NHS: Emily, an optimistic newly qualified nurse and Sally an exhausted nurse in charge, both at polar opposites in their careers. The story follows Sally and Emily’s memories of nursing up until one fateful day that changes both their lives forever. Set in the present day, at a time when the NHS is short staffed, forced to make cuts and constantly under scrutiny. Where nurses are penalised, criticised and told by the government that they’re not doing enough after another long day. When you’re getting paid £11 an hour to do someone’s last offices, when you’re telling a mum their baby’s passed away or when you’re the newly qualified nurse on her first day, with little support and no time for error- how is anybody supposed to cope?

The Show’s EDFRINGE2016 Poster is below with all the details

Book your tickets here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/monologues-of-a-tired-nurse

poster proper

If you are not going to Edinburgh catch it August 3-4th, 7pm, at TheatreN16, Balham, London.
BOOK VIA WWW.THEATREN16.CO.UK

SEE YOU THERE!

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

Today, Life, the Universe & the Little Blue Bowl

Today, Life, the Universe & the Little Blue Bowl

elaine

So Elaine you graduated from Guildhall, that is an amazing school to go to, how did you feel when you graduated?
I felt very proud! There were points I thought I would never make it to the end! It was also overwhelmingly odd and sad to leave the place I had spent so much time in for the past 3 years. I’d learnt things about myself there I never knew existed, I was challenged and encouraged every day and I’d made friends I believe I’ll still love when I’m 100 years old and totally mad. I thought I would be scared to leave but actually I felt excited and ready to see what was next.

Did you always want to be an actor? 
Pretty much yes! When my mum first took me to stage coach I was most looking forward to the singing and dancing (I wanted to be a back up dancer for spice girls) and I thought the drama would be boring but right from the start I loved it. I also wanted to be an author when I was younger so I guess being an actor that writes is quite apt!
 What do you love about theatre?
It’s the one of the few times that a group of people come together, put away their phones and focus on something outside themselves. A good piece of theatre can make you forget all the crap you’ve been carrying around with you all day. Equally it can open up something inside you you’ve been avoiding and help you understand it better. I just love that something as traditional as telling a story is still so powerful. We have more technology than ever, more knowledge then we know what to do with and yet still someone just standing and speaking truthfully on stage is listened to and wondered at.
 How do you find juggling earning your rent and auditioning/working in London?
It was really tough at first and I still find myself in my overdraft more often than I’d like but you find a way to balance, you have to! I’m lucky I’ve found two other jobs I really enjoy that offer extremely flexible hours and good pay so if some weeks I think “I really need a couple of days to do something creative or prepare for an audition” I can take it. Dog walking and pet sitting has been a saviour because I can earn money whilst writing emails/learning lines/drafting a script. Some months it’s tough because the flexibility means you aren’t guaranteed a set amount of work or pay a week, but if you can take a step back and not panic and try to budget yourself if becomes very possible.
 You have a show at the Camden fringe? Tell us loads about this please?
When I was in my third year at Guildhall I wrote a solo piece. I had no idea why I wanted to do it, I just knew I was excited by writing a part for myself and being able to share a story I wanted to tell. The piece was called “Decibels” and was about 20 minutes in length. I had 4 performances at Guildhall and, to my surprise, received a positive and warm reception to the piece. I was then fortunate enough to be asked to perform it at The Royal Theatre in The Hague with a company called STET. Four of us went to The Netherlands to perform our pieces in September 2015 for a week and it was amazing to share work with an audience of people who didn’t know us and that had paid to come. These 2 experiences taught me a lot about writing and performing a solo piece, 20 minutes alone on stage is a long time if you don’t get their attention from the start and they can immediately tell if you’re not being truthful and won’t respond to you. When I came back I knew I wanted to have another go so I began writing a new piece. What I’ve ended up with is a new solo show derived from that first piece. It has elements and, in some places, bits of text taken from the first piece but is, in my mind at least, a totally new story with a different message. It’s called “Today, Life, the Universe and the Little Blue Bowl” and is about 40 minutes long. My mum actually gave me the title totally by accident! It’s about a young girl in her 20s who’s reached crisis point. We meet her at a “well, what now?!” moment. We’ve all had those moments where we have no idea where we are going which is why I think it’s so interesting to explore as an idea. It’s a universal feeling of “oh fuck.” It’s a comic piece (hopefully) because it fascinates me how close laughter is to crying and pain is to pleasure.
 How do you feel about audition fees at drama school, Guildhall is £63 now and they only just really brought in fee waivers for low income students?
When I auditioned for Guildhall it was £50 so I didn’t actually realise it had gone up that much! I’m torn because I know what it’s like auditioning for schools. When I was trying in 2012 I went pretty much everywhere and it was always £50/55 a time plus the train down and back home as I lived in the north of England at the time. If you get to the last round of somewhere then you feel like you at least “got your money’s worth” but if you get chucked out first round then that’s an expensive 3 minutes! I had to save for a year beforehand to be able to do it and luckily my parents also helped as well. It’s super expensive and means some people who would love to audition simply can’t and that’s so sad. However, having been to a school now, I also know how much they have to spend to fund their audition days. Guildhall is 3 rounds to get in. They hold weeks and weeks of first round auditions, a few more weeks second round and then a week of third round. They also hire alumni to steward the auditions to give actors who aren’t working at the moment a hand with income. That’s a lot of people to pay for a lot of days. I really have no experience with organising this kind of thing or budgeting large scale event, so I have no idea if it needs to be as expensive as it is now but I know the money isn’t wasted. I would love it to be able to be free so that everyone had a chance but it’s a difficult balancing act I think.
 In drama school , how were people supported who struggled financially? 
Guildhall were extremely generous. In my second year I was given a scholarship from the school to help me financially as I was far away from family and there’s no time to work while training. I was given this money every term until I left and without it I would really have struggled. I know many of my year that needed help were given as much as possible and if anyone was really stuck there was always someone to talk to and emergency funds. We were very lucky that scholarships and grants were made accessible to us and we were helped with applying for them.
 People often comment how actors shouldn’t complain about the cost of drama school, but most degrees people can maintain part time jobs as lectures are a few times a week, drama school is a full on 45 hour week with work on top. What do you think about the current situation of maintenance grants being cut, do you think it’ll be harder for more and more low income applicants to get through 3 years training? 
Yes it’s almost impossible to have a part time job while training, I know a couple of people who did it but they were exhausted and barely earned enough to to make a difference. It’s a big obstacle for a lot of people about the maintenance grants and sadly I do think it will deter some talented low income applicants even attempting to train. But what’s important to know is there is support out there! Trawl through the books of supporters of theatre, there are people out there willing and able to help and if you don’t ask you don’t get. If a school wants you they will try to help as much as they can so if you’re struggling you should talk to them as they might have a solution. I would love for there to be more financial support for drama school students from the government, especially those living in London where the rent and transport costs are high, but for now it looks like we have to find our own paths and solutions as best we can!
What do you think is the most important asset for an actor to have in todays industry?
Belief! In yourself. In your craft. In your skill set. In your career. In your path. In the text. In the play. Just believe you can and you will. Sounds so cliche but the moment you doubt yourself people will use that as an excuse to write you off. You can never guarantee anyone is going to be on your side so be your biggest fan and your biggest support and you’ll never feel alone. Yes, everyone has down days and times you think you can’t act and maybe you don’t work for a year and start to think “I should be a zoo keeper instead” but those are moments you experience and then you let go. Also be able to make a good cup of tea, just because a cup of tea always helps.
 What advise would you give to your younger self, all the way back when the idea of being an actor popped into your head? 
Remember this moment when you’re older! Younger me was confident and sure of herself, she knew what she wanted and how she was going to get it. To quote little Elaine “I’m going to go to acting school in London when I grow up, they do drama all day there!” As children we have the perfect amount of assurance without being too cocky. Its passion and determination and drive and we aren’t afraid to tell people! I wish I could go back and tell myself to hold on to that and never forget how it felt to be certain.
 Can you give us a few words on why you support Actor Awareness? 
It’s just such a good family for actors! As we have already discussed it can be a lonely place acting. Financially and emotionally it’s draining. It’s great to have a platform where actors can speak out, find support, have help with new work, get advice and not feel alone. It’s being part of a community who all want the same thing and that’s something special.
Tickets are available now at http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=678 Moors Bar Theatre in Crouch End 17th-20th August 2016 at 8pm.