East 15 is going great. On Thursday we showed our scenes from The Cherry Orchard which was great fun. I also got some new headshots done there by the brilliant Ric Bacon. Here’s the black and colour version I’m using for my Spotlight entry.
Another SushiCat Productions film! we filmed this comedy short in July and again, it took us about a month to find time to get together and edit it. It happened to coincide with Youtube’s Geek Week so we thought we’d jump on the bandwagon!
I’m also in rehearsals for Lorca’s “Blood Wedding” at Central School of Speech and Drama at the moment as the finale to my Acting Diploma course. Really enjoying rehearsals – really hard work but loving it! We will be getting professional photos done of the dress rehearsal so I should be able to post pictures of me playing Mother-In-Law.
I recently stumbled across a gameplay youtube video showing some voice work I did for a mod called Deus Ex Nihilum. You can hear me as the as a Receptionist in the Ministry of Public Security (either click through to YouTube or if watching the embedded version, go to about 4m 38s into the video):
I was going to be involved in an amateur theatre production recently. I thought maybe it would be fun and helpful to my studies to take a published script, get together with some non-trained people and put on a production in a fringe theatre. It didn’t work out but in retrospect, I’m really glad!
I’ve often asked myself what the difference between amateur and profesional theatre is, particularly considering that in these hard economic times, many fringe theatre acting jobs are unpaid and amateur actors can go on to become professionals. The lines are very blurred, but I think I made a revelation as to my opinion of what constitutes an amateur play. It’ll probably sound snobby – so sue me!
If you are serious about live performing arts, The Edinburgh Fringe is the place to be in the month August. It’s essentially a massive theatre and comedy trade show. It’s a great place to see what the “next big thing” will be, especially in Theatre & Comedy. As it’s highly experimental so you will see lots of good and bad stuff, but as long as you are adventurous and keep an open mind, you’re likely to see some of the most innovative theatre you will ever see.
As a visitor to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the past seven years, I thought I would share some things I have learned over the last few years.
This is a map of locations discussed in this blog, just to help get your bearings.
I went to see The Low Road at the Royal Court last night.
I saw Bruce Norris’ previous play Clynbourne Park, in the West End.It won a number of awards both in the UK and when it transfered to New York and discussed important and controversial issues surrounding race, particularly relating to how race is perceived in the USA. Despite being a very enjoyable play I didn’t love it and I can’t quite even remember why.
The Low Road is also full of big ideas, and the cast size and production scale mirrors this. It is fundamentally a parable, mostly set in the late 18th Century, about capitalism. It follows Jim Trumpet, an orphan who is abandoned at the steps of an Inn/Whorehouse. He is taken in by the establishments proprietor, who believes him to be the bastard child of George Washington.
The play discusses a range of topics related to capitalism including why do the same market crashes happen over and over again and what does the Occupy Movement really want to say. I did feel that The Low Road was definitely imbibed with the spirit of the Occupy Movement.
I feel that the Occupy Movement is misinterpreted, precisely because it became a large, worldwide, populist political movement. As soon as a movement becomes populist, it’s aims become broader and often get lost in translation. The Occupy Movement even has it’s own role in the play. In one scene we fast-forward to the present day and a business conference in London which is invaded by Occupy protestors.
The play tries to cover a big theme and is consequently is a little too long. It does however make some excellent points about why capitalism isn’t working, best summed up by the often quoted line said by the blind preist Nathaniel Pugh (played by Ian Gelder): “Tis one thing to admit the inescapable cruelty of nature, friend, but quite a different one to encourage it.”
The large cast is excellent particularly Jonny Flyn, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Elizabeth Berrington, Natasha Gordon and Ellie Kendrick and the play makes for a very entertaining and stimulating evening. If you are anything like me, it will leave you with a lot of food for thought.
So I was having a discussion with my Dad today. It’s a discussion I’ve had with a few people about funding performing arts and music.
Yesterday, something pretty cool happened. Bitter Ruin (a band I really like – who are also lovely people) funded their Kickstarter project. In itself, that isn’t a great achievement. Meeting the target in 1 day, raising £20,000 (actually, they’re on £22,823 currently) for a £30,000 project is.
Of course Bitter Ruin aren’t the first (and definitely won’t be the last) band to fund their project this way. Amanda Palmer (who Bitter Ruin supported in 2010) raised $1,192,793 last year after leaving Roadrunner Records in 2008.
The fact of the matter is, the music industry has changed. The internet has empowered a DIY spirit among creative people. I for one love it.
Using the analogy I used with my Dad: The big record labels are like Tesco (and others) in the horse-meat scandal. They are mostly churning out rubbish (eg. Simon Cowell’s X-Factor crap) that they don’t care about. Of course they do make some good music, just like Tesco does make some good food.
Bands like Bitter Ruin on the other hand are like an independent butcher who can tell you where your meat comes from, the name of the farmer and what the meat was fed on.
So Bitter Ruin – congratulations on being a hand-reared beef lasagne. OK – maybe that wasn’t the best analogy. Well, it worked in my head…