Must See Theatre

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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

Headshots

Check out this amazing offer below

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So I had my new headshots done with Greg Veit and I can’t tell you how great he was at such a reasonable cost! So I’ll show you my new pics. What is important to remember is to get images that accurately represent you and Greg managed this in a friendly relaxed environment.  Finally think I have some headshots that show me as truthfully as possible.

Book your session now http://www.gregveit.com

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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

Free Rayne Artists

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So firstly there is 4 of you involved in the theatre company, how did it come about?

Well, ever since meeting at High School, Rebecca and I (Matthew) had always joked about starting our own Theatre Company. After going our separate ways, graduating from different Drama Schools and meeting Olivia and Leanne, we felt that now was an appropriate time to form a Company. We believe that there is an undying need in this industry for the platform and showcase of new writers, actors and directors. 

Why are you passionate about new writing?

We are passionate about new writing for various reasons. Firstly, we believe that new writing is the future of our industry. With countless revivals happening at any given time, we feel that there is always a need for new writing from the playwrights of today. We feel that new playwrights SHOULD be given a voice and should be given a platform in which to tell their stories. It is also a great opportunity to Produce new work that no one has preconceptions of… Giving us ‘Free Rayne’ over these pieces. 

What inspires you to make theatre?

First and foremost, we are inspired to make theatre in order to give a voice to playwrights, actors and directors who may not necessarily be given the opportunity otherwise. We are story tellers and wish to communicate with an audience, be that through laughter or tears, we want to take them on a journey. 

Where do you source your writing material?

We source all of our writing material through social media. We created a Website and Twitter Account advertising for material, actors and directors. We were overwhelmed by the quantity AND quality of submissions; which made our jobs extremely difficult. NEVER underestimate the power of social media! 

You have a new writing night coming up at Theatre N16, which is a great Theatre (Actor Awareness love Theatre N16). The theatre is a champion of new writing. Tell us a bit about your first night, any teasers?

It’s a very quirky and intimate Theatre, isn’t it? We are thrilled that the premiere of ‘Spiral’ is taking place here. Without giving too much away, you can expect to be taken on 7 thrilling journeys by some of London’s finest up and coming writers, actors and directors. 

Actor Awareness likes to address different issues that we feel the industry is lacking to address on a wider scale. In regards to working class actors and people from low income backgrounds furthering themselves in the industry, what do you think are stumbling blocks, issues? any thoughts welcome, shoot…..

To start with, getting the funding for Drama School can be a HUGE stumbling block. It’s so expensive. Unless the training and Drama School is part of a University, where student loans are available, it is extremely difficult and unaffordable for many to attend. Therefore, for the unlucky ones who don’t receive bursaries, it can be an impossible situation. Another issue is the extortionate living prices in London, the hub of the performing arts industry. How are Actor’s expected to pay incredibly high rent whilst also trying to invest in their careers by taking regular classes, having head shots taken and seeing as much Theatre, Film and T.V. as possible? There needs to be more financial support for those wanting to train in this industry. 

Tell us whats in store for Free Rayne Artists?

You can expect more short play nights coming very soon. We are entirely committed to new writing and hope to produce our first full length in the not too distant future! Be sure to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/freerayneartists) and Twitter (@freerayneartist) for upcoming projects, announcements and opportunities. Stay tuned! 

Tickets for ‘Spiral’ can be accessed through the link on our website: www.freerayneartists.com and/or directly from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/theatren16

Interview with Jaime Eastlake at Theatre N16

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Jaime is a producer, performer, artistic director and executive director of Theatre N16 in Balham. The theatre has moved from Stoke Newington and is becoming a prominent fringe venue for new writing and quality work. Jaime has worked hard and knows the industry well having produced many plays at Edinburgh, as well as up North, he also understands the struggles actors face as he was one once himself. Theatre N16 is a fringe venue that has just signed with Equity @EquityLPNP and in the last 6 months and has paid all his staff a wage, that’s a really positive step forward for fringe theatre. Here Jaime answers my questions.

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Jamie growing up how did you decide that you wanted to be an actor?

I always knew I was an entertainer, I needed a medium to express myself from a young age and that’s how acting came about. I would however say now I definitely don’t consider myself as an actor and I’ve gave that side up. As a producer and artistic director I see myself as a storyteller now. 

Who inspires you?

So many things and people inspire me. My real love is football and where I’m from, that always inspires me. I’m from the North East where passion comes in abundance. Heart on your sleeve types are the norm. That’s definitely what inspires me most. I just want to tell stories with real fight and against the norm. The individual that inspires me most at the minute would be Michael Harrison who’s one of the producers of Gypsy and The Bodyguard on the West End. We have ties to the same small town theatre where I’m from so to know somebody from home has done so well makes me know I can do the same.

What attracts you to theatre especially ?

I found it the easiest medium to get into so that’s what sort of hooked me. I have a background in filmmaking also, but with filmmaking it always takes meticulous planning and an excessive amount of time micromanaging. With theatre I’ve always had a knack of getting shit done with no money and just real graft so that’s the attraction really. I think i’d be making films if I had loads of cash. Probably because I enjoy watching films more than watching theatre If I’m honest. 

What advise as an actor would you give to other actors 

As a theatre maker I’d advise to mingle lots. Don’t ‘Network’ that words a load of shite, just mingle and see things and do things and meet people and just be nice and not businesey and just nice. Does that make sense? I cast someone on 1/3 talent, 1/3 suiting the part and 1/3 a nice human being who wants to talk about lots of nice things. And is nice. Also work hard, work damn hard. Nobody owes you anything, yes we all complain sometimes about how “difficult it is to break in to the industry” but stay grounded and remember you live in the UK, you’ve most likely got food on your table and your chasing a dream

You have produced many of your own plays at the fringe, how has this developed you as a producer, artist?

I started as a producer on the fringe to basically give myself parts and help people around me so as a producer it helped massively. The best thing is to make a load of mistakes and learn in the worst possible situation. I’ve learned so much from these mistakes and seeing mistakes and how not to do things around me.

What advise do you give companies going to the fringe?

If it’s your first time? I’d say don’t listen to what most people say. Most people will say don’t get pissed and whatnot. I’d say do it, drink every night, go to parties, meet loads of people, see loads of stuff. Chances are you’re not gonna get picked up in your first year, so just really be in the moment and enjoy it. Your part of the biggest arts festival in the world. It’s such a special feeling. Especially the first time you do it, it’s electric. And you just never know who you’re going to speak to a 4 in the morning after your eleventh cinzano and lemonade.

You have a theatre company based at The Bedford in Balham, what made you set up Theatre N16? What is N16 ethos?

I’ve always talked about having a pub theatre for years. I worked for a golf club for years and used to produce theatre in it’s clubhouse so I’ve always known the restrictions and the skillset you need to manage a building that might not necessarily ‘get’ theatre. I worked for another theatre on their management team for a year and decided I’d picked up enough skills and ideas and could do it myself, so that’s where N16 came about. Myself and a few other creatives opened it up for a short time in Stoke Newington (where the N16 comes from) and the idea was to provide a space that kept overheads as low as possible and that’s basically what it’s about. We believe in everyone being paid fairly, all of our staff are paid, we don’t run on volunteers like other places and we signed Equity’s fringe agreement too recently. Again reiterating what I said before, I’ve always had a knack of finding money and making work through hard work. N16 is an accumulation of that.

You promote allot of new writing, what about new writing excites you?

I like text and you just know when you read something that could be brilliant. As a producer on the hunt for the next big thing is an exciting prospect. I want to find the next Luke Barnes or Alistair Mcdowell. (Both Northern lads may I add)

You just signed a agreement with payment for fringe artists , kudos, what other issues do you think are most prevalent in the industry at the moment?

Issues is a tough word isn’t it. I think there’s many problems in the industry at the minute that lots of people are working extremely hard to solve, gender equality being a massive one but that’s obviously not just this industry. If anything I’d say our industry is at the forefront of trying to change things with loud voices speaking out and doing so much to make a difference.

You have been supporting Actor Awareness, firstly thank you and secondly why do you think it is important to offer your support? How do you feel about diversity especially working class actors?

I’m from a real working class area and it’s blindingly obvious that the people currently in power don’t give a flying fuck about any of us plebians. I think pushing working class people and trying to get them on a level playing field is something that has to be done. Diversity across all platforms of storytelling is a must for proper balanced work to breakout. I’m a massive fighter for this idea and will continue to be so. However sometimes if you just step back, see what you are trying to do, realise you’re white, male, live in the UK and look at what’s happening all over the world- it makes you push a little harder and continuously appreciate what you have, over what you don’t have.

Thank you Jaime for your time.

Readers DO go visit Theatre N16, they have fab new writing and plays being produced as well a literacy department for budding writers, where you can get feedback on your play. Jaime is the very essence of Actor Awareness, a northern working class lad pushing for a diverse theatre forefront.

Theatre on The Cheap

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Theatre N16 have Loads of plays that will be worth a trip.

Monday 18th April – Thursday 5th May (No Fir or Sat) £8-£14

Theatre N16 produce the premiere of Martin McNamara’s play.

1974

IRA bomb London Pubs. Paul Hill arrested. Miscarriage of justice. 

His story.

Thanks to London Metropolitan University  ‘Archive of the Irish in Britain’, from the Irish Studies Centre.

Directed by Jamie Eastlake

Don’t Miss THIS!!!!

‘Danny and The Deep Blue Sea’ 3rd April – 14th April @7.15pm, £12/£10

From the writer of the Tony award and Pulitzer Prize winning play Doubt. A fierce dance of the displaced, Theatrum Veritatus brings an explosive, deeply affecting study of alienation and the redemptive power of love.  Two castaways fight their way to each other and cling violently in a sea of hardship for a chance at the happiness afforded to most but denied to them.

Hampstead Theatre

‘Reasons to be Happy’ 17th March – 23rd April, £10-£35

written by Neil Labute, Directed by Michael Attenborough

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Three years after a difficult breakup, Steph and Greg are wondering if they can start over again. The trouble is, she’s now married to someone else and he’s started a relationship with Carly – her best friend. Meanwhile, Carly’s ex-husband, Kent, wants her back, even more so when he hears about her new romance with Greg – his best friend.

With emotions running high, all four soon find themselves entangled in a web of hidden agendas, half-truths and confusion as they desperately search for that most elusive goal in life: happiness.

Grab a £10 ticket and watch Neil Labute’s tribute to ‘Reasons to be Pretty” Collaborating with the reknowned Attenborough again, it’ll be worth the trip.

The Bush

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“Right Now’ 30th March-16th April, £15-£30, Saturday Matinees (2,9,16th) £15

As Alice and Ben settle into their beautiful new flat they realise that the family across the hall hope to be more than just good neighbours. 

Soon, Juliette, Gilles, and their son François are wearing out the welcome mat; suggesting drinks, hors d’oeuvres and dancing. Things begin to heat up as innocent invitations lead to passionate encounters and unsettling revelations.

Written by award-winning Quebecois playwright Catherine-Anne Toupin, Right Now is a play with a dark heart, a disquieting exploration of one woman’s crisis and darkest desires. It walks a delicate line between playful laughter and deep trauma, teasing and thrilling audiences from beginning to end.

Directed by Michael Boyd, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

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‘Nothing’  14-17th April, £10/£6

When teenager Pierre Anthon cheerfully announces that nothing in life has meaning, his friends decide to prove him wrong. Fearful he might in fact be right, their desperate actions spiral out of control and lead to terrifying consequences.

Following the sell-out success of BRINK, the Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company returns in collaboration with director Bryony Shanahan and writer Amanda Dalton. Powerful and unsettling, this brand new adaptation of Janne Teller’s novel is a UK stage premiere.

Written in 2000 and translated in 2010, NOTHING caused widespread controversy in its native Denmark, receiving great critical acclaim, winning numerous awards, and simultaneously being banned in many schools and libraries.

BOOK TICKETS: Box Office 0161 833 9833

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Last but not least, I thought I’d tell you about a play that I have written and will be producing with my partner in crime Emelia Marshall Lovsey. We formed our theatre company at the beginning of the year and our first play will be shown at Theatre N16 in Balham for 2 nights (3,4th August) as Edinburgh previews. We then take the play to Edinburgh 21-27th to be performed at The Space UK, Surgeons hall.

Theatre4thought’s aim is to produce thought provoking provocative theatre, we aim to not shy away from the things that people feel they shouldn’t say and look to examine people and relationships at a raw human level. When you leave we hope you leave thinking.

‘The Monologues of a Tired Nurse’ is a play based around 2 nurses at polar opposites in their careers. It links the nurses stories together around an event that changes their lives forever. A true honest look at the NHS from the inside out showing, how cuts run deep.

Please support our new theatre and come see our play!

Tickets available here :   http://www.theatren16.co.uk/#!Monologues of a Tired Nurse/zoom/cpax/dataItem-imnnjs60

Andrew Sharpe

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Andrew is a playwright and currently his play ‘GoodNight Polly Jones’ is running at Theatre N16, a place which champions new writers. The play runs Feb 1st – Feb 11th. get down there, fun guaranteed! Book at theatren16.co.uk

So Andrew how did you first start writing?
Through music. I met my longstanding creative partner Amy Kakoura when she joined our band, Steamchicken, and we formed a writing partnership. We went on to co-write the musical ‘Songs from a Ledge’. I had been playing with a novel for a couple of years before that (still am) but found when working with Amy that I enjoyed writing for the stage. GPJ is my first solo work, Amy and I continue to work together and hope to bring ‘My Celebrity Friend’ to London later in the year.

What excites you about putting pen to paper?
That’s the last part of the process. An idea comes from somewhere and I play about with it for ages in my head, often whilst out walking and equally often (to my shame) when I should be paying attention to friends and family. It’s normally based on some wrongness, something in the world that’s out of order and needs to be looked at in a different way. Characters form, often drawn from real life, and start arguing about who should get the happy ending. I get a real buzz when I eventually figure out what the plot is and how that story needs to be told to make everything fit better in our world. There is also a great feeling of achievement writing ‘FIN’ at the end of a page.

You have your play Good Night Polly Jones showing for a 2 week run at N16 Theatre in London from1st Feb for 2 weeks, firstly well done, secondly how did you come to work with N16?
Thank you! I’m a real twitter tart and am constantly seeking out new contacts and opportunities, I’ll see anybody interesting for a coffee and a chat. Jamie agreed to meet with me just as he was setting up in Balham. We seemed to hit it off straight away, he’s passionate about what he does but very straightforward and easy to deal with. We’re both newish in the industry and are learning together.

What is Goodnight Polly about? When did you get the idea for this play?
It’s entirely fictional, but as with all of my work, draws on many characters and situations I saw working as a lawyer, the human interest stuff that’s often left out of the court papers and reports. The play is set around an incident of sexual assault in the workplace of the sort that frequently goes unreported and unprosecuted. It deals firstly with the immediate aftermath, and then we see Peter and Polly five years later as he struggles with remorse. I hope it adds positively to the dialogue around an important and ever topical subject.

You have quite a few other written pieces in development, how do you go about finding people to develop your work, can you give advice to new writers with work that are seeking collaboration?
Writers should write, read, watch plays and movies, write and then write more. Then share your writing by drafting reviews, letters to the local paper, going to writing circles, adult education courses and looking for other emerging professionals (actors, directors, theatre makers) at an appropriate level. Twitter is great for this. Your work is not likely to be polished enough to engage the literary department of a major theatre just yet, but there are dozens of scratch nights, new writing nights and workshops. Once you’ve got your first feedback be prepared to re-write everything you’ve ever written. I would highly recommend Sheer Drop and their scriptwriting service, excellent value. So & So Arts club is also worth seeking out. If working direct with a cast, get a director first and be prepared to buy the cakes.

What one piece of advice would you give to writers starting out?
Are you writing for yourself or for other people? Writing for yourself is fine. If you’re writing for other people that feeling of utter panic and crippling self-doubt when they start talking about your work is normal, don’t be put off. Listen to what they say, try not to let your tears blur your notes, go away and do it better.

What do you love about theatre?
I’m presently fascinated by the production and staging of other works, seeking to learn when conceptualising my own work. It has a unique power and grace, an ability to transform quite unlike other media. And proper endings.

Why do you think theatre is important? 
Change and healing flowing from a story. A community has physically come together to share that idea and all, cast and audience alike, need to be engaged and changed by the performance, becoming incrementally more thoughtful. We need to be rigorous with quality, vision and delivery to fulfil that contract.

Do you feel certain restrictions within the industry? What would you like to see more of?
Although there are perceived barriers to entry I’ve found it pretty open to determined new entrants. There is considerable use of networks and word of mouth, which can appear discriminatory. There are issues concerning the financial rewards at entry level, mainly because the public are unable and/or unwilling to afford to pay a commercial price for drama in small-venues, and too often that is reflected in the poor quality of the work (music suffers even more so from this ailment). Many creatives are forced to take a second job outside theatre and forgo a personal life. I think there’s a broad political consensus that average salaries need to rise, so that demand/spending in general and on the arts coincidentally can rise, and we need to match that with better quality and more developed works. I’d be interested in talking to/working with Actor Awareness about difficulties and barriers perceived by many social groups often defined as excluded, the role of secondary education and the lack of social mobility within society generally.