An Actor's Life

Shakespeare goes global
April 26, 2012, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Just funny | Tags: , , , , ,

We are in the midst of an incredible undertaking: The World Shakespeare Festival. It is an epic festival spanning different venues, aiming to pull together companies and artists from all over the globe and share their visions of Shakespeare’s work.

There are 37 productions from 37 countries, many in different languages (including Maori). Some are straight re-tellings, others are responses to the texts. Its these that irk me slightly.

My company New Old Friends were recently approached by the Theatre Royal Bath to create a tangentially Shakespearean show. We came up with Silly Songs of Shakespeare, a Fascinating Aida style show of songs inspired by various aspects if The Bard. But we would be uncomfortable claiming it as Shakespeare, his influence is all over the show, his name is in the title but it’s definitely not his show.

I guess that is my question, if a play is inspired by the themes of one of old Billy’s pieces should we credit the old Stratfordian? Or is this just us justifying the massive reverence we show him by claiming new artistic endeavour under his name? If a play deals with jealousy and scheming and the playwright has seen/heard/read Othello is she obliged to credit WS?

For all that I can’t help but feel that any artistic response is simply trying to piggy back on the fame of the former, if it produces great new work that drives our medium forward then I am wholeheartedly behind it.

A sneak peek at next season…

Ok for all you eager beavers here is a sneak peak at the Rondo’s Autumn Season 2010. On sale July 19th!

Rondo Autumn Season 2010

Check it out, I particularly recommend December 8-11!

What a week

Phew, what a week last week was! It started with a day at the Rondo and the Baths, fairly standard. Then it went mental; final rehearsals and publicity for Sketchy at Best on Tues, gas work and teching Sketchy at Best on Wednesday day, followed by the show in the evening, then Thursday prepping for Widcome Rising gig with the Naturals and shoe-horning in some prep time for our youth theatre group’s performance on the same day. Friday all out prep for the youth theatre, including making two 4-foot clam shell heads. They looked awesome it has to be said. Then Saturday was final rehearsals for Fountain of Natural Youth, leaving us ready for Sunday.

Sunday started with dress rehearsals for FNY, it went great thanks to excellent help from the rental units (parents) then we had the show with the kids. They were amazing, couldn’t have been prouder of each and every one of them. They really were fantastic, what was also nice was that the impartial people who watched it commented on how Natural Theatre it looked which was the aim. So with that show in the bag we had a quick change into pigeon poo people to entertain the crowds. It went down an absolute storm, confirming the piece as a winner after its inception and debut at Bath’s comedy festival earlier this year. We finished the day with those old favourites the Coneheads, unfortunately Heff got a little bit assaulted whilst doing her conical comedy character. But all in all it couldn’t detract from what was a wonderful, if totally exhausting week of performances.

I treated myself to a little lie in today, then paid penance by filing my tax return. I owe WAY more than I thought I did. The buggers are making me pay half of next year’s this year?! Not cool.

That was that then…

Well last night we stormed the bastille of comedy with rather more than seven prisoners inside. Sketchy at Best previewed at The Rondo last night, and it was brilliant. Doron was an excellent addition to the cast and blended in well with the comic. Heather was just fantastic, she brought the house down with every raised eyebrow and bathetic glance. She really was amazing, the whole audience adored her and working together was an awesome experience.

So next we’ve got to sell the tour and re-apply for the Arts Council grant which they were positive about last time we spoke.

It’s here!

I wrote this yesterday but somehow didn’t post it!

Only one day until the pant-wettingly funny show Sketchy at Best. The rehearsals have been an absolute joy, credit must go to Heather and new boy Doron. The gags have been sharpened, the filler replaced with killer, and we are set. Just re-listened to my radio interview with Somer Valley FM, I’ll figure out a way to get it up here. They gave us this quote though “Genius theatre company!” We’ll take it.

In other news, Rob Rouse has been plugging the show on Twitter for us “If you’re in Bath go and see these funny guys” Arthur Smith invited us to perform once more with him and Venue say we leave audiences hooting. So we can’t be that bad.

If what you all tell me is true there is going to be a tsunami of people buying tickets on the door, which is fine, but get there early so that we can start on time.

Sketchy at Best – The Rondo – TOMORROW 8pm – £10/£8 – 01225 463362


Comedians on the couch

Last night had the pleasure of not only watching Rob Rouse’s fantastic show “My Family and the Dog that scared Jesus” but then had a couple of beers with the top bloke and put him up on our sofa bed!

As his marketing material said he’s a man with genuinely funny bones, and also a bloody lovely one too. Was very grateful and had plenty of advice for myself as an aspiring comic/writier/performer type. He also had a self-confessed middle-aged piece of advice about putting my money into bricks and mortar sooner rather than later!

So all that was lovely, sadly in order to enjoy the evening I had to turn down the opportunity to once again take to the stage with the legendary Arthur Smith. Yes this blog is all name drop today! The original grumpy old man was back in the South West and hunted out New Old Friends to see if we’d reprise our skit from a few months ago. We would’ve loved to, but sadly we a show to watch and new friends to make. But as you can see funny people everywhere are attracted to the band-wagon, you’d better hop on people. (For those physically unable to hop there is access)

Sketchy at Best now plugged by Rob Rouse & Arthur Smith is on the very next Wednesday we have. The 9th June at 8pm, The Rondo, Tickets £10/8 from 01225 463362. Book NOW!

I’ve been neglecting you

Hello my people,

I’m sorry I’ve not been posting, I’ve been so busy. I had the radio interview yesterday; they made me rap to Fresh Prince! I say made me… They’re going to send over a recording, I’ll get it up here when Iget it. Sketchy at Best is going well, really looking forward to the show now. Tickets are selling which is nice, it would be awesome to sell out though, right now we’re only hovering just under 50% so if you fancy it do get a ticket. It’s going to be great – 01225 463362.

What else? Oh yes, the Arts Council recommended Anti-Panto! for funding, and then didn’t fund it. Which is heartbreaking but not a s heartbreaking as it sounds. Effectively what the guy who assessed it saidwas “The show is a project we could, would and should fund, but competition for money is very high so you just missed out.” I was gutted. He then went on to tell me that it was definitely worth re-submitting the bid but changing a few minor details to show that I have worked on it again and they should recommend it once more and then we’re back in the lottery. It’s a little ironic that lottery funding is such a lottery isn’t it?