I directed Cherise Cross’ new play The Door at the Park Theatre. The production ran for three weeks from 12th November – 1st December and was produced by 8fold theatre.
Unusually for me this was not a project that I had been involved with from day 1 and thus presented new and interesting directing challenges.
The play was extremely interesting and tackled the fascinating subject of insomnia and what happens when reality becomes confused. We approached the text in a fairly non-literal way and explored the abstract and surreal in both the staging and the designs.
Production Coordinators: Johnny Englishby and Oliver Holmes
I was very proud of the resulting production, which I think did justice to the text and fulfilled 8fold’s mission to make audiences think for themselves. It was a fairly polarising play because it deliberately remained ambiguous.
In June I was appointed as the Community Director for 2013’s CASA festival. This is an annual ten day festival showcasing and celebrating Latin American theatre and culture. I’d been hoping to get involved for some time, given my more than strong interest in everything Argentine! Having just got back from my two month research trip to Buenos Aires, it seemed like the perfect moment.
I ran weekly evening workshops over three months, which culminated in the creation of a new play that was shown as part of the festival on Sunday 6th October at 5pm. We were exploring Latin American identity in London and what it means to be an “immigrant” in a big, global city. The show went very well and played to a very/overly full house!
Following on from our collaboration on Angel Cake at Camden People’s Theatre, performer Rhyannon Styles and I started working together again on her new show in 2013. An exploration of her transition from male to female, it will incorporate spoken word, choreography and live music.
Picture from UnderConstruction at the RVT, credited to David Walker
Rhyannon had already workshopped some material at the RVT and from 9th-13th September 2013 we reworked this during a development period at Camden People’s Theatre alongside the following creative team:
There was a public sharing of the material created – and actually it ended up feeling more like an almost developed show rather than a “scratch” in that we had almost an hour’s worth of material. Some had been created before the week, some was new. The feedback we got from the audience was very positive.
**Update** Rhyannon is actually taking a break from performing so this project is on hold for the foreseeable future.
This was a fledgling collaboration with The LipSinkers who, in their own words, are “the infamous alt-drag super-troupe who lip-synch to a jukebox of pop-tastic tunes, prance around looking ludicrously fabulous, and drive audiences wild!”
I recently helped them devised their Les Mis parody number, which went down really well at their RVT show on the 1st March 2013. We haven’t had a chance to work together again since then but I hope to.
On the 21st February I directed a short piece for the work in progress night UnderConstruction at the RVT.
The idea was to create a piece of “protest dance” – protesting against disillusionment with politicians and the media (deliberately pretty generalised at this stage!) I worked with performers Steph de Whalley and Charlotte Worthing. The piece was to the song “Getting Away With it All” by James and incorporated newsreading, lipsynching and manic tap dancing.
This may yet have further life so watch this space!
Scene & Heard is an amazing charity that provides playwriting and acting courses for children in Somers Town. A few times a year they hold (free) performances where volunteer professionals – actors, directors, designers – showcase the new writing of the children. If you want to spend a completely joyful night at the theatre I can honestly not recommend it highly enough.
I was one of the directors for the shows “Hitting the Road – The Travelling Plays” – from 21st – 24th March 2013. I directed Chantelle’s brilliant play featuring the characters of a James Bond inspired hamster and a teenage hamburger.
I then directed another play for the shows “Bold Plays – Best Foot Forward” from 28th Nov – 1st Dec 2013. Imad’s inspired and hilarious piece told the story of Greedy George, the Large Poisonous Dart Frog and Deadly Danny, “The Diabetes”.
This was an initial workshop week on the first ever stage adaptation of Tony Harrison’s 1992 TV play Black Daisies for the Bride. It is a beautiful and poignant piece about Alzheimer’s that uses drama, documentary, verse and song to explore the lives of three elderly patients of the High Royds Hospital in Yorkshire.
Following the workshop we decided that we are actually going to create our own new piece about memory as opposed to adapt this exisiting play.
I strongly believe that mental illness needs to be talked about more openly. Following on from plays such as Really Old, Like 45 at the National and Melanie Wilson’s Autobiographer, I am hoping to explore these ideas in my own theatrical way using music, movement, dance and dialogue.