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The Black Cat (Online review)

The Black Cat (Online review)

As this production is revived via The Space it has been named as a finalist in no less than three OnComm categories for Off West End’s online theatre awards

2nd from Bottom

During the development of digital theatre over the course of the last twelve months there have been many attempts to innovate within this new art form. What started out as a group of people sitting at home reading a script on screen soon became passe and theatre makers started to look for new angles such as adding costumes, props and background scenery. Immersive and interactive events presented online have become popular and broadcasts from empty theatres have been attempted with varying degrees of success. Above all the worlds of film and theatre have gradually started to merge until in productions such as The Picture Of Dorian Gray the two have become almost indistinguishable. Right at the forefront of the innovation throughout has been Threedumb Theatre, which has been perfecting its own signature style and whose latest piece The Black Cat opened last night.

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This is the fourth in their growing…

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Encore Encore

Encore Encore

Five years ago a big adventure came to an end. Such happy, happy times!

Notes From The Bottom

D16 Call Tuesday 12th July

How can you sum up an experience like this? Although it was my intention to try and do so in this post I really don’t think I can at the moment, especially as I’ve been struggling with it for over 36 hours and have had to publish a stopgap post in between. I think there needs to be a little distance in place first in order to fully appreciate the sheer scale of what we have been involved with and what we have achieved. Best, perhaps, to stick to an account of our last day and come back to an overview later. I say this simply so that you don’t regard what follows as a somewhat workmanlike (Mechanical!) narrative but I think if I take any other tack it will be a long while before this piece gets written. In reality, if this were being…

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Living The Dream: Act 5

Living The Dream: Act 5

And so 5 years ago today we started to awake from our Dream…

Notes From The Bottom

I always knew this would be the hard one to write – the last day of performance week – and so it has turned out. A combination of extremely long days, euphoria, massive physical exertion, poor eating habits, lack of sleep and high levels of concentration have taken their toll, hence this last piece is a bit later than originally promised. Anyway, let’s to it and see if it doesn’t provide some sort of catharsis.

Touch tour 2Lucy and Maria helping out at the touch tour

The day began with yet another new experience as the RSC was offering a “touch tour” for those attending the matinee performance and who would be using the audio description facility. The tour gave audience members the opportunity to meet some of the cast, explore the set and handle some of the key costumes and props. This was a really interesting half hour and it was evident…

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Living The Dream: Act 4

Living The Dream: Act 4

Meanwhile, 5 years ago….

Notes From The Bottom

D16 Call Friday 20th May

I felt like I had jet lag, except I hadn’t actually been anywhere. Barry had warned me the previous day that I might experience a downturn in energy on the Friday of performance week – not because there was so much going on but, perhaps a little strangely, the reverse. Having the matinee the previous day had told my brain that meant the day was Saturday and that, therefore, Friday was Sunday – except it wasn’t. With all other normal patterns disrupted I was feeling generally disoriented and as though things were starting to unravel. Writing this blog proved a boon at this point as it gave a point of focus- especially remembering the ecstatic reception the show had received the previous day.

Ci6Po5BWUAAT_YBBeam Primary take to the stage to rehearse

Our call time was relatively late – not until 4.30 pm in fact when…

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Living The Dream: Act 2

Living The Dream: Act 2

5 years ago today …..

Notes From The Bottom

D16 Call Wednesday 18th May

The emotional effects of a big experience shouldn’t be underestimated especially when you are recalling events through the written word. Thus I finished yesterday’s post in a bit of an emotional state. Fortunately the mood shifted fairly rapidly when David sent me some photos among which was an “interesting” snap of me in a onsie worn as part of the Pyramus outfit. As the pose struck might loosely be termed “provocative” I won’t inflict it on you – you might have recently eaten. My other discovery of the morning was that I had, apparently, broken Pyramus’ sword onstage in full view. I had absolutely zero recall of this and nobody had said anything after the show. It only came to light when I got a friend’s message asking how the breakage had been stage managed.

20160518_153216Looks like I’m not the only tired one – would…

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Living The Dream: Act 1

Living The Dream: Act 1

5 years ago today this was happening …..

Notes From The Bottom

12 hoursD16 Call Tuesday 17th May

20160517_095140The stage is set

An early callmeant setting out in the rush hour and manipulating a bag full of stuff on the Tube. In the normal course of events (though not really sure what “normal” is any more) this would have meant costumes, make up, towels and a whole raft of other bits and pieces. But of course when you’re working with the RSC that’s all laid on. So the aforementioned bag was actually full of first night prezzies – more of which anon.

20160516_135954Our costume rail – mine on the left

First job after signing in this morning was to get into costume. I actually have a degree of choice here with alternative versions of a 1940’s working man’s garb. Thus there’s a coat, for instance, which I can wear or not as the mood takes me. Apparently few of my colleagues have opted…

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Viper Squad (Online review)

Viper Squad (Online review)

Reblogging this on the occasion of AlrCtrlRepeat’s reboot version which opens tonight. Best wishes to the production

2nd from Bottom

Ahh the 1980s – I remember that decade! The big hair, the shoulder pads, the red braces and leg warmers, Loadsamoney and conspicuous consumption, Sloane Rangers and Yuppies, Thatcher and Regan, casual (and not so casual) racism and sexism – what a decade! And through it all ran a certain type of action thriller – Die Hard, Miami Vice, Magnum PI, Lethal Weapon, Police Academy – well, perhaps not the last one. And it is this genre that the latest piece of interactive online theatre from CtrlAlt_Repeat seeks to emulate following their earlier lockdown success with Sherlock Holmes. Rejoicing in the name of Viper Squad, this is an homage to every film that ever had foreign villains, hostage situations and above all a ticking time bomb. And, despite the fact that I’d lay even money that many of the cast weren’t even alive or in their infancy then…

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The Poltergeist (Online review)

The Poltergeist (Online review)

Reposting this blog as this phenomenal play and performance is currently being encore streamed by Southwark Playhouse. One of my 20 For 2020 highlights (https://wp.me/p7LeCU-1Xz)

2nd from Bottom

I am constantly thrilled by the power of theatre to surprise; such a surprise happened yesterday when I watched The Poltergeist by Philip Ridley being livestreamed from Southwark Playhouse by theatre company Tramp. Ridley’s previous play, The Beast Of Blue Yonder, was due to be premiered by the same company at the same venue back in the spring but was clobbered by the first coronavirus lockdown. This new play could have gone the same way as it was conceived and rehearsed as a live event; how cruel that lightning should strike twice when production was so imminent. However, it being a monologue it was deemed safe to perform it without an audience and I, for one, am glad that they did. Now, usually I like to mull over a piece of drama for a while before coming to a conclusion but in this instance I felt so absolutely sure…

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