21st October 2015

Autumn is definitely here…

Well, it’s been a fantastic summer but autumn is most definitely here.  The heating is on and we are beavering away now getting ready for StageWrite 2016, but more about that later!!

So what have we been up to over the summer.  Well, if you remember we took Philadelphia from StageWrite 2014, worked with Jon Boustead the writer over the previous summer and then we did a very small, mini festival tour.  We didn’t take in many venues but we performed at Reading Fringe Festival, Bedfringe, The Etcetera Theatre and at The Place Theatre.  We had a great time and we got some fantastic feedback from our audiences.  It was, for me at least anyway, a first in many ways.  It was the first time I have been involved in a show that really morphed throughout the run.  We had a 4 week gap between some of the performances so our director, John Handscombe, liaised with the writer to form a new opening to the play and some fairly major edits; nothing like some major edits to really keep you on your toes mid run!!  We also received our first reviews – read them here and here.  Whilst they were generally very positive, nothing quite prepares you for a 3 star review.  Like any performer, we all want to get 5 stars and raving reviews and, indeed, the reviewers had much that was positive to say about the performances and the play in general.  But, as a performer in the piece and a director of the company that selected the piece, it’s difficult not to feel a little down about the review.  But… that’s all in the past and we have moved on and we are very excited about next year’s StageWrite.  Whoa – hold on there, I’m not finished with summer yet.

Harri, the other half of LifeBox has been busy rehearsing for a piece with Novus Theatre called, The Reverse is also True.  This little piece we worked on with Sam last year in the Bedford’s pop up theatre.  We had a great time on it and it thrilled me to know that I’m neither old enough, fat enough or bald enough to play the part I did in the rehearsed reading!  If you’re interested in knowing more you can get info and book tickets here.

So, StageWrite 2016.  Well we have been literally inundated with submissions this year.  We closed for submissions at the end of September and we have received 53 submissions all told.  This will be StageWrite’s fourth year and we have seen this festival grow and grow over that time.  Artistically, it’s been amazing with some outstanding work submitted over the years that we have had great fun playing with and performing but this year it has gone to another level.  Financially, it’s been a difficult ride.  Two years running we have been unsuccessful with arts council funding.  We are going for it again this year in collaboration with our venue, The Place Theatre, so we are really hopeful with the growth we’ve seen in the festival and the collaborative nature of the venue it will strengthen our application even further.  The next few weeks will be filled with reading the scripts and trying to get a shortlist down.

Other than that, I am involved in a top secret project tonight – can’t say anymore but it does involve Back to the Future day so hold on to your hats and watch this space.  If you want to know more about StageWrite check out the website for more details!