Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 highlights



1. ANTIGONE | JAC youtheatre | February



2. THE JADC 75th ANNIE | February-May | working with: 
    GABRIELLE ROBBE | Choreographer
    TIM CUMPER | Musical Director
    GRAEME HUMPHRIES | Set Designer
    NICK CARVER | Costume Designer
    LIZ BREEN-JONES et al | the JADC



3. NICK STEUR | FREEZE! | June



4. THE HAROLD PINTER REVUE SKETCHES | JAC youtheatre | June



5. FESTIVAL OF LIGHT | Joss, Martha, Raoul, David | 4 August



6. THE EDINBURGH FESTIVALS | August



7. SANCTUARY | Draft 3: THE GREAT WARRIOR | September
    Ventura Rooms | Kefalonia



8. Rehearsing THE GREAT WARRIOR | October



9. DISCOVERING NEW (FINE) ACTORS | Robert, Tanya, Mac | October



10. ACTING / PERFORMING | November



11. THE CHRISTMAS SHOWS IN LONDON | December
      BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS | National Theatre



12. PUPPET THEATRE BARGE | A Christmas Carol | December

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Monday, 29 December 2014

19 - and one month...


    Photo: Robin Savage

THE GREAT WARRIOR

Extract from Episode 3 - CHILD SOLDIERS: white feathers

INDIAN KING Everyone was very excited about the prospect of fighting. Times were different. Most children left school at the age of 14 and some had part-time jobs from the age of 11. And people who may have been poor had a greater purpose: to defend their empire. Laurie: you be the Recruiting Officer! Joseph: you try to convince Laurie you are 19. Go! Enlist for war!

MOTHER I am not sure that I like this playing.

THE INDIAN KING MAKES PREPARATION FOR THIS ENLISTMENT

BOY [In a deeper voice than usual] Morning! I want to join up.

SOLDIER You’re too young.

BOY No, I’m not.

SOLDIER How old are you?

BOY [He stands on the Indian platform] 19 [He thinks] and one month.

SOLDIER That is fine for enlisting but it is not old enough for fighting overseas with the Imperial Service. Go over there and have a read, lad! And then perhaps when you return you might be old enough.

THE BOY GOES AND READS / TIME PASSES / HE RETURNS

GIRL That’s ridiculous!

BOY [In a deeper voice than usual] Morning! I want to join up.

SOLDIER You’re too young.

BOY No, I’m not.

SOLDIER How old are you?

BOY 20 – and one month.

SOLDIER I don’t believe you.

BOY Well, if you don’t believe me, Mr, I can go home and get my birth certificate if you like.

SOLDIER Oh, that’s alright. I’ll take your word for it. You’re in!

BOY Thanks.

MOTHER [Interrupting] That is not good! Leave my Boy alone! Joseph: you will not fight!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

josh keogh's rehearsal shots












THE GREAT WARRIOR
Jersey Arts Centre
theatre-in-education project (#5)
Rehearsal: 6 - 30 October 2014

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Friday, 26 December 2014

emergency actor: one day in november ...


    Photo: Nicole Twinam

EPISODE 5: A WOMAN’S WAR: A PROTEST

THE NURSE  GOES TO THE TREE / SHE TAKES AN ENVELOPE /
SHE PROTESTS

6 February 1918.

The 6th letter: a woman’s war.

“I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved”! “Patriotism is not enough”! My life would be easier if there was no war. But I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone: to the leaders of these empires, the soldiers, the governments, the conscientious objectors, the protestors, the pacifists, the peace-makers. We all have a part to play and I have seen death so often it is not strange or fearful to me. Perhaps every man has a point at which he will bear arms to defend his land and his people.

“I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved”! 30,000 women marched in London demanding the right to serve. To serve what? 200,000 women volunteered in the first week of September just after war was declared. Volunteered for what? “I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved”!

The women in the munitions factories are making weapons and handling explosives. They are being poisoned by the toxic fumes of the sulphur! It is dangerous, noisy, and having worked twelve-hour shifts, six/seven days a week, they return home to fulfil their duties as mothers. And in so-doing they are also poisoning their children. Poisoning their children! The women are covered in chemicals and this is turning their skin and their hair yellow. They are jaundiced! No wonder everyone is calling them the canary girls: they are canary-bird yellow! Sometimes the shells actually explode in the factories and the women are injured. “I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved”!

Women will become liberated by this Great War. There are football matches at the munitions factories: yellow women playing yellow footballs! Women will openly smoke cigarettes and drink in public houses; openly use cosmetics; wear short skirts and cut their hair short! Women will even go to the cinema without a man. And the Land Girls, working on the farms, in the jobs that the men used to do before  the war, will wear their trousers to town even when off duty. We will have Police women for the first time. Women. Will. Vote.

“All that a pacifist can undertake - but it is a very great deal - is to refuse to kill, injure or otherwise cause suffering to another human creature, and untiringly to order [his] their life by the rule of love though others may be captured by hate.” “I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved.” No more war!

THE BAGPIPES PLAY: ‘DRUMMERBOY’


End Note:

Can't really believe this actually happened but one written response from one kid was: "I BELIEVED THE MAN WAS A WOMAN!"
Thus, one theatre emergency resolved...

Though there were flashes of internal crisis throughout as I didn't know whether I was impersonating: Hattie Jacques, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Bresslaw (in drag), Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey...

THEATRE: THE LIFE!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

100 years on: merry merry . . .


    Photo: Robin Savage

THE GREAT WARRIOR

Episode 6 – SILENT NIGHT:  good will to all men

THE BAGPIPES PLAY: ‘DRUMMERBOY’

THE MOTHER PLUCKS AN ENVELOPE FROM THE LONE TREE / SHE GIVES IT TO THE NURSE / SHE OPENS THE ENVELOPE

THROUGHOUT THIS EPISODE ALL BECOME THE SOLDIERS IN THE LETTER / IN THE STORY / THE BOY AND THE GIRL WILL PLAY FOOTBALL


25 December 1914. Christmas Day (The Truce).

The 7th letter: silent night.

Dear Mum

It is now evening and today has been extraordinary.

At around mid-morning we were about to fire on a small group of Germans walking towards us across no man’s land when we noticed they carried no rifles – and there were no white flags!

One of our men stood up, went ‘over the top’, and greeted them. Within minutes there were more than a hundred of us all shaking hands and wishing everyone a merry Christmas.

It makes you wonder what all the fighting is about if this can happen. Perhaps there need to be more Christmas days if it brings about this sort of peace.

It only lasted about 30 - 45 minutes but we swapped cigarettes and took photographs and some exchanged autographs. Soldiers shook hands and one or two even hugged. From what we could understand, the German soldiers just want it all to end and to get back home and be with their families, too – like us.

Some of the men were even talking about another truce, on New Year’s Day, so that everyone can see how the photographs came out.

There was even a football match: we played football! I am sure you will not believe me when you read this: I can barely believe it myself.

And then everyone was ordered back to the trenches.

There wasn’t one shot fired all day and the peace and the quiet were exquisite.

The Germans even put up a notice saying “Merry Christmas”. And so we did the same. They then put up another one which said: “Gott mit uns” which means “God is with us”. And so we put up another one: “We got mittens too”. [PAUSE] I don’t know whether they got the joke.

We cooked bacon and porridge for breakfast and we’ve just had a Christmas stew. The food is not like this every day, though!

I even managed to go for a Christmas walk along the lines. Like we do back home. Can you imagine? There were quite a few of us walking atop of the parapet: strolling, thinking, and wishing one another a Merry Christmas – or just smiling as we passed.

I hope we can still smile when it is all over and done with…

What was even more extraordinary was that later in the afternoon we buried some of our dead together and had a joint burial service with some of the Germans. It was not like they were even our enemy. There were many bodies, and parts of bodies, scattered across this No Man’s Land but we gathered what we could.

What a name for a place that is so full of men – dead and alive: no man’s land…

Afterwards, we gave them some of our English tobacco and they gave us some of theirs. And then we shook hands and wished each other good luck.

One chap gave me some letters and asked me if I would send them to his girlfriend in Glasgow. So I took the letters, franked them, and sent them off to his girlfriend when I got back.

It certainly makes you think about the pointlessness of this war if we can be burying our dead together on Christmas day.

And it was all supposed to be over by Christmas…


THE WARRIORS SING ‘SILENT NIGHT’

THE NURSE BEGINS TO SING FIRST / THEN THE MOTHER / THE SOLDIER / THE CHILDREN / AND THE FINALLY THE ANCIENT INDIAN KING

THE ENVELOPES AND LETTERS USED THROUGHOUT THE GREAT WARRIOR SO FAR ARE TIED BACK ONTO THE LONE TREE / THE LETTERS MIGHT ALMOST BE DECORATIONS / THE TREE MIGHT EVEN LIGHT UP AT SOME POINT / IN FACT IT MUST LIGHT UP


There has been singing tonight and I saw a couple of the young lads crying. I think I cried, too. But I should not be telling you this. They should not be here. They are boys and too young to be here. It makes me angry if I think about it too much so I must not think about it.

I am writing this from my dugout in our trench; it is bitterly cold now but we have managed to get a wood fire going and have plenty of straw to keep it going until we fall asleep.

I want soap. I want a bar of soap. And I want to wash. I want a bath. A long, hot soapy bath. For a week. And for the water to be changed every hour.

You wouldn’t recognise me I am so filthy. Anyhow. I love you.

I wish it could be Christmas every day! Merry Merry!

With love and good will to all men. Laurie.

P.S. Save me some Christmas dinner!

It makes you wonder what all the fighting is about if this can happen.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

good will to all


    Photo: Robin Savage

THE GREAT WARRIOR

Theatre-in-Education tour
Jersey Arts Centre: 30 October - 5 December 2014
Bad Wurzach, Germany: 11 - 17 January 2015


JOSEPH

[The following might almost be a political speech]

"But… what happens if we re-think it? And imagine that the white flag just means ‘stop’. I want to stop - and I know you want to stop.

[PAUSE] So let’s stop.

I don’t like this - and I know you don’t like it.

I don’t want to die - and I know that you don’t want to die.

Let’s talk about this. This disagreement – this bloody war – and decide how we can solve our disagreements, and move forward.

Let’s talk about what I did wrong and what you did wrong and let us agree that we both did wrong. And then let us decide how to do something right.

Let’s sit down – with tea and cake – and decide what we now need to do, to do right: to do right for the land and right for the people.

‘It is senseless to fight when you cannot hope to win.’ [Apache]

Dying is not winning! Being killed is not winning!"

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

drawn by circumstance



THE GREAT WARRIOR

[Those words within an inverted comma are verbatim from Grandad Grover: GG]

A landowner is a dead man. Dead and buried! That’s what they used to call the dead in the Great War: landowners!

Funny that. You can’t ever really be a landowner until you are dead.

‘My war started when I was 13.’ That’s what my Great Grandfather used to say, apparently. ‘We don’t want another war, the first one was hell; it was all kill, kill, kill. One-on-one. You saw a guy and shot him. Now, it’s all technology, gimmicks and politics.’ [GG]

Do you think they’re heroes?

I do not think that I am a hero. It is my job. [He corrects himself] It was my job. I volunteered. And did what I had to do.

‘None of us are.’ [GG]

‘Unless we do something over and above the call of duty.’ [GG]

‘And that line is drawn by circumstance.’ [GG]

‘I do not believe that if a man loses his life in war he has no one but himself to blame… Because he might have been conscripted. Or he might not have had a good Commander.’ [GG]

‘It’s not so simple and easy.’ [GG]

‘But if you join: you do know that you will some day have to fight - go to war - and that you may die doing that.’ [GG]

‘For all the heroes that deserve to be called heroes there are at least another five we do not know about.’ [GG]

Some of those ancient warriors joined, not out of choice, but out of necessity: to put food on the table, to have somewhere to live, escape the law, better career prospects: to get paid for something. Many were very hard up.

‘The best thing about it all was the companionship.’ [GG]

We ask only to be remembered.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Thursday, 18 December 2014

hope @ the royal court





































Photos: Alastair Muir, Manuel Harlan, Tristram Kenton

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

the possible impossible house



    Photos: Tristram Kenton

Some Forced Entertainment @ the Barbican reminders:
  • friendship + loneliness
  • theatre + stories
  • in the hole + out of the hole
  • richard + cathy
  • sound fx + narrator
  • the cardboard + the projections
  • the cellar + the attic
  • the girl
  • the spider
  • the mouse
  • the donkey
  • the princess
  • the diver
  • the ballroom
  • the dancing soldiers
  • the birds
  • the rhino
  • the key
  • the ladder 
  • the maths book
  • the corridors

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

1927: GOLEM





  • leisure + pleasure
  • higher definition human race
  • binary heroes
  • throw-a-way world

Monday, 15 December 2014

O levels - '82 vs almeida merchant


PORTIA

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath.
It is twice blessed.
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
It is mightiest in the mightiest,
It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
An attribute to awe and majesty.
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power dost then become likest God's,
Where mercy seasons justice.
Therefore Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice we all must see salvation,
We all do pray for mercy
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy.
I have spoke thus much to mittgate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou dost follow,
This strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentance gainst the merchant there.



NOTE TO SELF: Concept > Design > Style > Execution


Tuesday, 2 December 2014