I interviewed Liz Hague on July 26th 2012, while she was running the first Bristol Old Vic taster sessions for the yet to be created, Adult Company. Here she gives an insight into what the sold out sessions comprised of and how a non-professional Adult Company might start devising the work from scratch. It sounds like a really inspired decision to make work by the people, for the people, with the people......you get the idea.
I was at Ferment last night and saw the first 20 minutes or so of The Wasp, by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm. The acting was really stunning for a scratch set up, I believe they had only worked on the piece for the day. Katie Lyons playing Carla, was able to stay on great form even though she had clearly only had a short time to learn the piece and needed to call for lines. Charlotte Melia as Heather also struck perfect notes. The play, as it stands, centers around a couple of old school friends/acquaintances who meet up. They are both from radically different backgrounds and one, Carla is now working in Morrisons with 4 kids in tow, while Heather is a middle class professional. The story centers around Heather's partners infidelity and an indecent proposal (which might be a little too far fetched for some, but i liked). It played really well and I'd like really like to see the finished piece. The writing was tight and featured a nasty pigeon moment, which i always like. It had echos for me in plotting, of Tracy Letts, Killer Joe, which is playing in cinemas at the moment. No bad thing.The second piece i saw was "33" by the Wardrobe Ensemble. I didn't see "RIOT" and i obviously should have, because it sounded great and clearly was... judging by the number in attendance for the scratch performance last night. "RIOT" was based around the Ikea riot in Walthamstow last year, while 33 is based around the Chilean mining disaster. The piece opened with a tall black Chilean, dressed in white, playing the Guitar in a spotlight. We then moved into video of a miner on the Letterman show and snippets of research with increasing chaos flying around. I felt it was what a scratch show should be, in that they threw all the ideas they could at us, to see what might work. The piece was incoherent at times because of the sheer amount of ideas they were chucking out. They really used the audience to develop the piece, from dance, to live music, to video close ups on screen, to interviews to web research, to random stories, everything kitchen sink wise went in and i have a feeling that the editing process will come out with something wildly wonderful, but at present its like viewing the inside of a cocaine fueled brain. Next up for me "Another fine mess" and "The Islanders" next week.
Here actor and writer Malcolm Hamilton talks about his next project ideas after his one man show, The Station. Arnold Binns was an endurance roller skater with a checkered past, Malcolm's current biographical research could well lead to him pulling on his skates and taking us on a tour ever bit as quirky and nostalgic as the journey that was The Station.
Here is a film with casting information for a new show called The Chocolate Plant. It's coming to Bristol in Jan 2013 and is being developed by Anna Farthing at Harvest Heritage Arts and Media. I filmed with Anna and Bea Roberts, the playwright, last Sunday 4th March 2012 at Prototype at The Tobacco Factory Theatre. You can find casting information at the end of the four minute film. I was really impressed by the idea which bites into the bitter take-over of Cadbury by Kraft. It looks like it's going to address greed and capitalism head on, which I liked a lot. It felt like Jerry Springer crossed with "Letter to Brezhnev". My feeling is that the show is going to be epic with a big score and a large female cast.