Improvisation workshop: a spot of devising

You may have realised by now that I’m a big improvisation fan. Earlier this year, when the sun had not yet fought its way through the clouds and the persistent gloom still hung heavy in the sky, a group of actors traipsed through a dark winter night to get to an improvisation workshop. It was…

Act One and a dog called Theodore

We’re a month into rehearsals for Michael Frayn’s Here, performed by the Southsea Shakespeare Actors, and at the weekend we attempted a run-through of Act One, the first half of the play. I was really pleased with it, especially considering it was the first time off book for certain scenes. My three lovely actors, Ben, Faye and…

The randomness of rehearsals

Rehearsals are underway for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors’ production of Michael Frayn’s Here, and I’m already relishing the wonderful world of the rehearsal room. We’ve had popper paper, a teddy parading as a toy dog, a heart to heart about relationships, and introduced one cast member to the hilarity of Rowley Birkin. We kicked things off…

It’s time to cast the play!

So the expo’s come and gone, the auditions are over and now you’ve got the difficult task of casting the play. I imagine this must be a challenging task for any director, but when the auditionees are your friends it makes it even more difficult. The auditions for Here (by Michael Frayn), which will be…

The expo – and so it begins

Directing a play is always an adventure. You get your ship ready, choose your crew, raise your anchor and set sail. There is also a fair bit of blagging involved, in my case anyhow. I’m sure most directors would agree. They may now be accomplished, successful and highly regarded by their peers, but once upon…

Vincent’s improv workshop

Amid the chaos leading up to Christmas I didn’t get the chance to write about an improvisation workshop that Vincent Adams ran earlier in December. Alongside recently directing for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors (SSA), Vin is a member (actually co-founder!) of SOOP, the resident theatre company at the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant….

As one show ends, another begins

There is a phenomenon commonly known as the post-show blues that possibly all actors experience. It creeps over you as the final applause lingers in your mind and you face the daunting prospect of empty evening after empty evening and not a rehearsal in sight. With the final performance of The Comedy of Errors past…

Be more cat-like…

Comedy of Errors opens (and closes) this week. During rehearsals recently, the director gave me the following note: be more cat-like. Now, I have a healthy respect for cats. I’ve certainly never been a ‘cat person’ and would much rather own a dog any day, but I can observe our feline friends with something bordering…

A comedy read-through

The show was cast and the agonising task of putting together the rehearsal schedule was done, so that could mean only one thing: the dreaded read-through. I say dreaded because, for most actors, the read-through is a necessary evil. For others it is an unnecessary tradition. For our director of the Comedy of Errors, Vin,…