Successful ACE Gfta Bid… Punching The Sky.
I’m really chuffed to announce that The Arts Council, England have given me a second Grants For The Arts award for our final development stage of Punching The Sky – based on this BLOG…. talking about the day my young son came to me having watched some extreme online pornography, and the fallout thereafter.
Having been through an initial ACE funded Research and Development process earlier this year, working with partner venues Live Theatre, The Lowry, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Theatre in The Mill, this next stage will see us working with original partner venues (WYP tbc) plus CAST in Doncaster, Derby Studio andThe Hub, Leeds.
I’m working with new Co-Creative Producer, Mark Hollander, Rebecca Stokes (developing the role of the Mum) and will continue my collaborative relationship with James at Arcus Studios (Animations), Rich Huxley and James Hamilton (music) and Scott Thompson (Designer, Maker – I think we’ll be playing with a puppet this time)….
The first draft had me playing myself, but I can’t tour (being the actual Mother, so needing to be about for my actual family and running other actual projects)… so the ‘final’ draft will be a play based on the story, but written for other people, a play that stands alone, without me, free to fly off and tour sometime from June 2015.
And huge thanks to actors Wesley Thomas, Ben Burmann, Dan McCann and Rob Ward who have all played a vital part in getting the show to where it currently waits, quivering…!
And Little Mighty (original Producers), who helped get us off to a flying start.
Off we go again…
ECHO FUNNEL: Recommissioned.
SO Festival 2014:
The beautiful Echo Funnel, originally commissioned for Enchanted Parks, Gateshead in 2011 and again in 2013, can be seen and chatted to at this years SO Festival. Details here…
Come along and speak your mind to a tree that is not only listening, but happy to offer advice, tell jokes and maybe offer you a nugget of wisdom or two…
Enchanted Parks 2013: DETAILS HERE
Radio 4 Drama: Brief Lives, Series 6 and 7: Commissioned Writer
My radio drama debut – Episode 2 of Brief Lives, created by Sharon Kelly and Tom Fry – was transmitted on Sept 13th 2013, and had a tremendously positive response to what is a complex and thorny issue, the one of historical sex abuse and the age of criminal responsibility being 10 years old in the UK.
My Episode for Series 7 (Ep 4)… will be transmitted in Sept this year. This one tackles sexting… Watch this space.
Brief Lives is a hugely popular series of plays set in a Manchester legal practice. The bulk of the episodes for each series are written by Tom Fry and Sharon Kelly, with occasional guest writers. Like me.
Punching The Sky
In collaboration with *Little Mighty, Leeds; Arcus Studios, Gateshead; Rich Huxley, Leeds; Partner venues include, Live Theatre, Newcastle and The Lowry, Salford, The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, The Hub, Leeds, Derby Studio, Cast, Doncaster,
Some of you may know that I wrote an article for the Culture Vulture website about my young son coming to me having watched some brutal porn and then the media went a ‘bit bananas’. I was in The Independent, the Today Programme, invited to Westminster and onto Newsnight (to name but a few), where I discussed the issues surrounding the accessibility of extreme porn and the way we as ‘grown ups’ deal with this. Punching The Sky was inspired by this experience and examines a personal, national and global reaction to one boy’s admission to his mother.
Following a very successful R&D period and Industry Showcase at the Lowry in April, I am continuing to work in collaboration with Newcastle-based Arcus Studios, 2 performers and a musician to develop and produce Punching The Sky for Spring 2015 Northern Tour. Watch this space. Blogpost on developments so far pending.
THE CITY VARIETIES YOUTH THEATRE COMPANY
After a superb year culminating in a two spectacularly brilliant productions (Little Shop Of Horrors and The Summer Snowball) our numbers here at the CVYT continue to grow and we now have an ever- lengthening waiting list. We’ve given as many people places as possible by creating a brand new group on a Saturday afternoon. This group is is a mixture of brand new starters who successfully auditioned in July, some 8-10’s who grew up into 11 year olds and some of the original 11-15 yr old group. So a lovely mixture of old and new in the 11-15 age range.
CVYT PICK N MIX 2013
All 4 groups will now be working towards the 2013 CVYT Pick & Mix. Mainly because we like sweets and the poster can be lots of sweets like the old Woolworth’s pic n mix and it sounds a bit like variety and … sweets. The show will be a mixture (a pick and mixture…hoho) of scenes, sketches, dance and physical theatre, comedy, circus, songs and music. Some lighthearted, some serious, some inbetween. Some existing, some brand new. The Pick & Mix is intended to give every single member the opportunity to develop and showcase skills that they themselves want to work on. We will be working with a couple of guest artists alongside myself, Dick Bonham and Emma Stead, our new in-house choreographer who, until Spring this year was a member of the Youth Theatre. It’s all looking mighty fine.
You can see the resulting show at the Howard Assembly Rooms on December 9th and 10th 2013. Watch this space.
Little Shop of Horrors and Summer Snowball
by The City Varieties Youth Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds, 26th and 27th July.
Our two Summer shows went off a treat. The performers and audience were delighted with each other and everyone went off for the summer hols exhausted but happy. I spent 2 weeks in Umbria singing Skid Row.
Little Shop Of Horrors snaps.
Summer Snowball snaps
Although we are currently full, you can find out information about the City Varieties Youth Theatre here.
Bubble by the Carriageworks Theatre Academy, Carriageworks Main Theatre, Leeds, 27th July.
Bubble also went off fantastically well. I was proud as punch of the cast and artistic team (lead brilliantly by Rebecca Jenkins once I scarpered) as Bubble was, essentially, a bit of an experiment when it comes to Youth Theatre shows. As Anthony Haddon (AD, Theatre Co Blah Blah Blah) said to me after he’d read the script ‘your mind is a strange place’ or words to that effect, I wasn’t sure how the audience would receive this piece. But I needn’t have worried. People had lots if questions and an after show discussion was chaired beautifully by co-Director Rebecca Jenkins in my absence (I was over a tthe City Varieties breaking down the Little Shop set…)
Yvette Huddleston from the Yorkshire Press wrote a fantastic and informative preview of Bubble here which sums up what it was all about. I hope it has a life after this performance – it deserves it.
A new show for and with the Carriageworks Theatre Academy in association with Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah.
Devised by the Academy, written by Lizi Patch and Directed by Lizi Patch and Rebecca Jenkins.
It is 2103
The world is silent. My world is in my hand And my hand scarcely moves. Just the barely perceptible movement of a thumb moving across a tiny keyboard and eyes scanning for response. Hand held world.
It wasn’t like this in 2013.
People talked to each other, not virtually but really. Out loud. Yes really. There are a few eye witnesses left. Not many. Who said the last word aloud and what was it? Why is that important? Because someone needs to say something now and we can only do that if we know what happened.
“Why live in the real world when virtually everything is in the palm of your hand?”
‘Bubble’ is a new play for 35 young actors which explores how our rapidly growing obsession with documenting and sharing our lives online affects our connection with the real world – and how those in power feed the obsession.