April 2017 Newsletter

 

Some Treachery: A Miss McSkimming Mystery

A live radio play (hilarious sound effects included).

 

What at first seems like a trivial case soon reveals a plot that could shake the very foundations of the British Empire. With her faithful valet by her side, Miss McSkimming must deal with butlers, the police, mysterious men in the shadows and a hippo, to get to the bottom of what could be her biggest case yet.

 

Have a peek at the skillz of our sound man, Andrew Crane – a taste of what you’ve got to look forward to…

 

Date: Saturday 13th May 2017

Venue: Putney Arts Theatre, Ravenna Road, Putney, SW15 6AW

Time: 6pm (running time 1hr)

Tickets: £8-10 bit.ly/SomeTreachery

 

Book Tickets Now! 

 

Ch-ch-changes…

We’re making a change to our 2017 plans – we won’t be hosting any more New Writing Nights in 2017, BUT we will keep running the Showcase Award, so will have an annual New Writing Night for the shortlisted pieces.

 

PLUS our doors are open to scripts/script extracts, so we can pick up on anything that catches our eye, for full live or radio production. If you’ve got something you’d like us to see, send it to submissions@blackshawonline.com

 

Now, why on earth would someone want me to break a leg onstage…?

 

When is a ‘broken leg’ a good thing? Well actually there are a couple of theories as to why we wish this blight on one another before a show. The first, is that old stage curtains used to have little legs at the base of them. If a show was well received they would bounce the curtain repeatedly for extra curtain calls, which would sometimes break the little legs. The other is that theatres used to book lots of individual acts for shows, but not all would get to perform. The leg is also the name for the line between offstage and on. Therefore, if you were needed to perform that night you would cross the line, breaking the leg, and get paid that night. Phew. That’s a weight off my mind…

March 2017 newsletter – extended cut

The Plot Thickens…

Ever wondered where old Willy Shakespeare got his line, “All the world is a stage” from…? Read on for the answer!

With Valentine’s Day AND Pancake Day now feeling like a distant memory, you would be forgiven for thinking that things were looking pretty bleak. Well think again. With a swathe of exciting news, Blackshaw is here to dispel your March misery (it’s a thing!). And as the days grow lighter, the stories are growing darker…

Some Treachery: A Miss McSkimming Mystery by Richard Stratton

Saturday 13th May, 6pm
Putney Arts Theatre
£8-10 tickets on sale now! Clicky clicky, booky booky.
A radio play recorded in front of a live audience (hilarious sound effects included).

What at first seems like a trivial case soon reveals a plot that could shake the very foundations of the British Empire. With her faithful valet by her side, Miss McSkimming must deal with butlers, the police, mysterious men in the shadows and a hippo, to get to the bottom of what could be her biggest case yet.

A rollicking comedy with a chic lady investigator and mysteries abounding, this piece promises to delight audiences, young and old!

“Why would I venture out of my cosy armchair by the fire, when I can listen to it on the radio?” I hear you cry! Simple really. Because technical wizard, Andrew Crane is going to be running around making every sound effect necessary, right in front of your very eyes (can’t see that on the radio). Need a cat screech? He’ll do it. Need the gentle trill of a swallow announcing the new day? He’ll do it. Need a bomb explosion? You get the jist. Plus he’s bound to cock it up at least once…

You can see what other fabulous shows and events are happening as part of the Wandsworth Fringe, here.

May New Writing Night

Submissions are now open for Blackshaw’s May New Writing Night, and after the success of the showcase event, with over 100 submissions, you’re going to want to get in quick!

We are not just looking for new plays (though of course we want them too!). We are keen to receive all manner of submissions, from sketches to sitcoms, stories to sonnets, beat poetry to beaut songs. If it has come out of your head and landed on a sheet of paper, we would love to receive it!

More information about the night, along with the submission form, can be found here.

Naughty Willy in fact nabbed it from the very theatre he called home. The motto of The Globe was ‘Totus mundus agit histrionem” meaning ‘The whole world is a playhouse.” Shakey took it for As You Like It and changed it to ‘All the world is a stage.’ Proof positive that Shakespeare was nothing but a thief and a plagiariser! Well, ish…

 

4 things to do on Valentine’s Day

Joe Haupt – https://www.flickr.com/photos/51764518@N02/

I am reliably informed that love is, once again, all around us. The signs are all there. Personal, handwritten love letters…crudely printed onto cards with a picture of a teddy bear or a heart (which doesn’t even look like an actual heart; anatomically not even close). Love is stupid, apparently.

 

We are presented with modern tokens of love: chocolate to release endorphins in your partner that you can’t summon up yourself; flowers, an ominous metaphor for your fleeting happiness; a puppy…well that one is quite good actually. Now that those other 364 days are over and you need to prove to your other half that you have a modicum of care and respect for them, here are some cracking suggestions for things to do today, or sometime this week (it’s on a Tuesday this year. The. Worst. Day.):

 

1. Cirque du Soleil’s, Amaluna

If in doubt, throw some money at it. Cirque’s latest offering is based on The Tempest, that perfect Valentine’s tale. After all, what says love better than living alone on an island with your creepy dad for years, before ending up with Shakespeare’s second most boring lover (the first is Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice. Obvs.)? So remortgage your home and fork out for a spectacular reminder of all the bodies you will never look like and all the positions your other half will never contort themselves into. And they’re French. That’s romantic.

Royal Albert Hall, until 26th February, £20-£92, https://tickets.cirquedusoleil.com/shop/#/96095cbb-fb4f-49c4-9dd2-239bb3226dee/shop/search?skin=amaluna

2. Blood and Bone

No this isn’t the title of Donald Trump’s guide to seducing your own daughter. Cicada Studios’ latest offering is a satirical puppetry show, as rude and irreverent as they come. Life isn’t Pixar and this ain’t a kids’ show. At fifty minutes long, that is all the foreplay you will need. Puppet sex is reportedly the latest aphrodisiac. I was going to make a puppet fisting joke here but decided against it; I figured I would be elbow deep in complaints.

The Vault Festival, 15th-19th February, £12, http://www.vaultfestival.com/event/blood-bone/2017-02-15/

3. A Clockwork Orange

Joseph Senior – https://www.flickr.com/photos/josephsenior/

Don’t think this needs a blurb really. A dystopian romance, sans the romance. To be fair, the word ‘romance’ is derived from ‘romant’ meaning ‘in the Roman manner.’ So in many ways this show does have romantic themes in it: violence, forward-thinking, sexual aggression, hard to understand language, and back-stabbing individuals. Action to the Word’s version is an all-male sweatfest of energy and pulsating choreography; a visceral and explosive production. Thankfully none of the guys in it are muscly and handsome. Well apart from Jonno Davies. Oh and Seb Charles. Tom Whitelock has a filthy glint in his eye. On second thoughts, for the sake of your relationship, maybe this show isn’t for you…

 

The Park Theatre, 14th February-18th March, £10-£29.50, https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/a-clockwork-orange

 

 

 

 

4. The Magical Lantern Festival

Now this is a risk for sure. It will require actual social interaction with your partner. I know. Scary. Hopefully you can distract them with the pretty lights and pictures, in this visual spectacular at Chiswick House and Gardens. The ice bar and ice rink will lower the temperature perfectly to the level of your ice-cold heart and frigid relations. Apparently there is also a burning rooster. Something to do with the Zodiac, but more fittingly a metaphor for the burning desolation of your love. But if they can’t appreciate you paying out £18.11 (bizarre pricing system…) to avoid doing any work towards the date yourself, then are they really worth bothering with anyway?

Chiswick House & Gardens, until 26th February, £5-£18.11, https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/magical-lantern-festival-london-11371885852

 

So there you have it, you lazy blighters. A selection of generic events that everyone else will be doing. The spark is alive! So go out there, book into one, and convince yourself you aren’t a terrible human being. Hurrah! My girlfriend is going to kill me for writing this.

 

Liam, External Communications Coordinator

Lisa L Wiedmeier – https://www.flickr.com/photos/crazymandi/

Casting Open: CAILLEACH ÓG

We’re looking for a stellar cast for this exciting new play, to be performed as a one night only, industry showcase on 2nd March at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington (London).

Click here to apply!

Deadline for applications: Thurs 9th Feb

If you wish to take part please include your EMAIL ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER in your application. Without this information we cannot consider your application.

Character Breakdown
DÁITHÍ
DÁITHÍ – Male. 30s/early 40s. Good Irish accent (Donegal).

DÁITHÍ owns and runs the pub in which the majority of the play is set, along with his wife, MÁIRE. Despite noticeable tensions in their marriage, he does love his wife. He is a realist and sceptic with a dry, mocking sense of humour. Presents a hard front to the world to cover up his vulnerability.

SNIBBER
Snibber – Male. 50s/60s. Good Irish accent (Donegal).

Snibber is the ever-present fixture in the local pub, never seen without a glass of whisky in his hand. He is somewhere between a best friend and adopted father to DÁITHÍ, the pub owner. Cheery and always on the look out for something to make him chuckle.

Winner of Blackshaw’s Showcase Award 2016, CAILLEACH ÓG by Gerry Moynihan, has been in development for a year.

Myth and reality clash when a strange woman arrives in a quiet pub in the west of Ireland on a stormy November night.

Husband and wife DÁITHÍ and MÁIRE UÍ DHOMHNAILL own a pub in Bally Briocht – frequented by local barfly SNIBBER BANNON. A strange woman calling herself CAILLEACH ÓG arrives, and is soon making wild claims about being “The Mother of Mountains” as well as being “all wise and all knowing” much to the amusement of DÁITHÍ, MÁIRE and SNIBBER.

DÁITHÍ subsequently finds his fate increasingly intertwined with that of CAILLEACH ÓG. And as his life very quickly unravels beyond his control, he desperately tries to hold on to his marriage as well as his sanity.

But who exactly is this strange woman called CAILLEACH ÓG? And what really brings her to Bally Briocth?

“CAILLEACH ÓG…? She arrived on the back of a pig. What else do ye need tae know?”

Auditions & Rehearsals will be in London locations on the following dates:

Sat 11th Feb 3-6pm (Auditions)

Sat 18th Feb, 11am-4pm

Sat 25th Feb, 11am-4pm

Sun 26th Feb, 11am-4pm

Mon 27th Feb, 6-9pm

Wed 1st March, 6-9pm

You will be needed all day/evening at the Pleasance Theatre on 2nd March for rehearsal and performance.

Whilst unpaid (expenses cannot be offered), this is a great showcase opportunity (we will be inviting lots of industry folk, and welcome your suggestions for industry comps (including casting agents). The aim of the show is for the piece to be picked up for further development/production – past winners have taken the cast with them when this happens! You will also be able to get production photos for your portfolio.

 

Vacancy: External Communications Coordinator

Can you make Twitter sing? Are you organised, enthusiastic, and looking to take ownership of a company Facebook account? We’re looking for someone to look after our social media here at Blackshaw, and make their mark online. Take a look at our work on our website and see if we might be the company for you. There’s also this handy blog post that tells you why you should join us.

Please note: This role is voluntary, part-time and UNPAID. We’re very flexible and work around company members’ availability.

Let us know if you’re interested by sending a copy of your CV and a covering note to say why you think you’d like to work with us, and we’ll set up an informal meeting with you (email ellie@blackshawonline.com).

Responsibilities include:

– Helping to develop content for social media posting (alongside our existing team)
– Writing copy for, and programming, tweets and facebook posts
– Writing occasional blog posts for the Blackshaw blog
– Responding as Blackshaw, to tweets and comments/posts on Facebook
– Supporting the rest of the team with the development of Blackshaw’s voice and presence online

What you can get from working with us:

– Attend super fun events and theatrical productions
– Receive mentoring from professionals in the team to expand your expertise in your field of interest
– Shadow other Blackshaw team members to gain new skills, experience, and expertise in other areas of work
– Optional: Contribute as a co-host or content producer for the company’s fortnightly podcast, the Blackshaw Arts Hour

– Optional: Contribute to the wider press and marketing campaigns for Blackshaw’s productions

–  Get to meet lots of lovely theatre people

Emma, who’s leaving this post for a full time job in Cardiff, reflects on her time in the role:

Blackshaw Theatre are an inspiring theatre company and I had a great time working with them over the last year and a half. They are a very welcoming and talented group of people who really made me feel part of the company from day one.

I was employed as the Press and External Communications Officer. This was my first ever job in the Arts, it really gave me an insight into the Theatre Industry. The role involves programming the social media – being ‘the voice’ of Blackshaw and contacting Press during show times.

What I loved most about this job was how involved I was. Although I ran this role from home (often in my PJs with a cuppa), the communication within Blackshaw is amazing and I was able to keep up-to-date with everything going on, and program the social media accordingly.

I wish Blackshaw all the best and I can’t wait to see what great things they do next!

 

Please note: This role is voluntary, part-time and UNPAID. We’re very flexible and work around company members’ availability.

Let us know if you’re interested by sending a copy of your CV and a covering note to say why you think you’d like to work with us, and we’ll set up an informal meeting with you (email ellie@blackshawonline.com).

 

NEWS – lineup announced for Scare Slam at London Horror Festival, 17th Oct, 9.30pm

scare-slam-banner

**ANNOUNCEMENT KLAXON**

 

The following acts are going to be strutting their scary stuff at the Scare Slam on 17th October.

 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

 

Tickets only £7/5

 

Lucy’s Tea Party by Molly Beth Morossa

Chug Life by Dave Bibby

The Dewey Ones by Ben Whitehead

The Flat Upstairs by Paul Joseph

Skag n’ Bone Man by Stack 10 Theatre

At The Edge by Ed Bailey

The Haunt by Stack 10 Theatre

 

 

NEWS – winner of 2016 Showcase Award

We’re thrilled to announce the winner of this year’s Showcase Award is Cailleach Óg by Gerald Moynihan.  We’ll be working with Gerald over the coming months, and producing a full-length performance of the show as an industry showcase in January 2017.

Cailleach Óg is a Gaelic mythological figure  – a change in direction from Gerald’s usual pre-occupation with social issues and more worldly concerns…

“I am the Cailleach, Goddess of Winter, Mother of Mountains, Ageless Lady of Dark Places, Ancient Crone of Wisdom. The Winter brings the Spring, and in death, I am endlessly renewed.”

NEWS: Shortlist for the Showcase Award 2016

*Announcement Klaxon*

 

Shortlisted pieces for our 2016 Showcase Award are…

 

Maybe God is Michael by Karen Bartholomew

The Unexpected Guest by Rosie Marsh

Cailleach Og by Gerald Moynihan

Bruised by Hannah Puddefoot

Parents by Dan Weatherer

 

You can see all 5 pieces being performed at the New Writing Night on Weds 30th March, The Horse & Stables (Waterloo), 7.30pm.  Tickets £4 advance, £5 cash on the door.

Book your ticket now.

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Showcase 2015: Call It Even

Call it Even by Naila Vázquez Tantinyà

WORLD PREMIER: Industry Showcase
Blackshaw’s Showcase Award Winner 2015

“Dad, you couldn’t even get dying right…”

Jamie’s father has died. In Gran Canaria. And now he’s got to deal with it – all of it.

Call it Even follows the struggle of a young transgender man to reconcile with his Dad, after he’s gone.  Feeling like a stranger in a land where he doesn’t even speak the language, Jamie has a lot of tidying up to do. Uncle Dave isn’t much help, but will he find an unexpected ally in Macarena, the new woman in his Dad’s life (death)?

SONY DSC

Naila Vázquez Tantinyà graduated in Journalism and Filmmaking in Barcelona. After working as a freelance writer for several publications as well as a script analyst for Arcadia Motion Pictures — where she co-wrote a TV movie — moved to London in 2011. There, she studied a MA in Script Writing at Goldsmiths University thanks to the prestigious La Caixa Scholarship for further education. She has also been a script reader at Cascade Media and Big Rich Films, as well as a sales assistant at Celsius Entertainment. Call it Even, developed with Blackshaw Theatre Company is her first theatre production.

CAST

Rachel-Nott-Colour 8.7mb
RACHEL NOTT         Macarena

Training: The Poor School

Credits include: Staying Alive (Pleasance Theatre), Save Me (Horse & Stables), Billy Liar (Coopers Arms), Pirates! (Polka Theatre), Saturday, Sunday, Monday (Workhouse Theatre), The Memory of Water (Rose and Crowne), FourPlay (Hen & Chickens), The Bill (Talkback Television).

 

BEN LAWSON           Jamie

Ben directed and performed as Lawrence in Abigail’s Party at The Edinburgh Fringe (Sell Out Show Award 2007). Since then his credits include: Six Characters in Search of an Author (Winterflood Theatre, London), Antigone (Studio Theatre, Ealing), Doctor’s Dilemma (Bridewell Theatre, London) and Tartuffe (Theatro Technis Theatre, London). Voice over credits include: Alice in Wonderland (Take 2 Studios), Peter Pan, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol , Robin Hood, The Lost World and The Secret Garden (ARM Productions).

 

MARK KEEGAN Uncle Dave
MARK KEEGAN Uncle Dave

Recent theatre includes: ‘The Janitor’ in Dry Land (for Damsel Productions) which has just finished a successful run at Jermyn Street Theatre, ‘Dr Ray’ in Protocols (with Kernel Theatre Company) RADA’s entry in this year’s Camden Fringe, ‘Ed/ Priest’ in a rehearsed reading for a new play Good Girl (at RADA as part of their 2015 Festival), and Smorgasbard (a Shakespeare revue for Another Way Theatre Company).

 

CINTIA LILEN Public Servant/Mourner/Voice
CINTIA LILEN Public Servant/Mourner/Voice

Cinthia Lilen is a London based, Latin American born actress and a recent graduate from Drama Studio London. A Spanish speaking actress, dancer, deviser and improviser with an additional degree in theatre design. Her multiplicity of talents include stage combat training, physical theatre experience as well as various forms of dance such as Jazz, Belly-Dance and African dance. Cinthia has last performed in After Columbus directed by Helena Bell at the New Diorama Theatre.

GEORGE COLLIE      Richard/Cleaner/Voice
GEORGE COLLIE      Richard/Cleaner/Voice

Since graduating drama school in 2011 George has found his niche in comedic roles in London fringe theatre and film, with a prolific run of work in classical and contemporary shows. Most recently he joined Gimcrack Productions in their acclaimed theatrical cabaret Moribund, and has started the first of many forays into the world of cabaret compering…

 

ROSIE EDWARDS Bank Woman/Mourner/Voice
ROSIE EDWARDS Bank Woman/Mourner/Voice

Rosie graduated from Drama Studio London in August 2014.

Credits since training include ‘Maggie’ in Feydeau’s Le Dindon at the Theatre des Alouettes in Paris, ‘Lucy’ in Once Upon a Rhyme at the Etcetera Theatre, ‘Sat Nav Girl’ in Be my Eyes at the Edinburgh Festival, ‘Prince Charming’ in Cinderella (tour) and ‘Charley’ in Backseat Drivers with The London Theatre.

 

CREATIVES

LIAM FLEMING Director

Liam is an Actor, Director and Writer for multiple disciplines. He is the Artistic Director of in(ep)trepidan immersive theatre company who just completed a run at The Vaults in Waterloo. He is also the Creative Producer for Encompass Productions who run Bare Essentials, a critically acclaimed New Writing Night in New Cross, along with other full scale productions.

He is happy to have been asked to come on board for this project as he knows and loves the Blackshaw team, having performed in several of their previous shows including ‘Tweedle Dum’ in Alice in Wonderland and ‘Swelter’ in Gormenghast.

Twitter: @imaginationpipe / @ineptrepid

Website: www.ineptrepid.com

 

MICHELLE BRISTOW Set & Costume Designer

Michelle has assisted on set and costume for previous Blackshaw productions: Staying Alive by Kat Roberts (The Pleasance, Nov 2015); Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton (2014 & 2015), Character by Florence Vincent (2014 & 2015); Audience with the Ghost Finder by M. J. Starling (2013). She also designed set and costume for Blackshaw’s Halloween Tales (2014), featuring a candlelit reading and Fetch by Duncan Gates.

Since graduating from Wimbledon College of Arts (2014) with a degree in Costume Design, Michelle designed Blackshaw’s Showcase of Staying Alive in January (2015), and more recently has been working with Fourth Monkey Theatre Company. Michelle is also experienced in the production of dance pieces, and has spent time working in the Costume Department at the London Contemporary Dance School.

 

ANDREW CRANE Sound & Lighting Designer

Andrew is a graduate in Drama and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway University (2012), and has worked as a sound designer and technician for Blackshaw Theatre since 2012. Sound Design credits include Staying Alive by Kat Roberts (The Pleasance, Nov 2015); Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton (2014 & 2015), Character by Florence Vincent (2014), and Fetch by Duncan Gates (2014).

For Blackshaw Theatre’s Arts Hour on Wandsworth Radio, Andrew has edited several radio plays including the radio adaptation of Audience with the Ghost Finder by M. J. Starling (2015), and a serialised adaptation of Great Expectations by Marcus Bazley.

 

NICOLE LOCKE Producer

A recent graduate from Royal Holloway University of London. Nicole has been a part of Blackshaw for three years, with varying roles from Administrator, to New Writing Night Manager, and is now acting as a Producer for the first time.

 

VIKKI WESTON Co-Producer

 

ELLIE PITKIN Co-Producer

 

THANKS FROM THE WRITER

For their patience, numerous revision and feedback: Laura Maestu, Claire Basarich and Alice Moore. To Pau Crego Walters for his enlightening insights.

 

Special thanks to Vikki Weston and Kat Roberts for all their help and Ellie Pitkin for her londonisation.

 

Dedicated to Manuel Vázquez Pardo.

 

Coming up in 2016

So, ‘What’s next for Blackshaw?’ I hear you cry!

It’s a box-fresh new year, and we’ve got lots to look forward to in 2016…

 

Great Expectations: a radio drama adaptation of Dickens’ classic

A fantastic collaboration with Cyphers theatre, the first episode of this epic adaptation will be aired tomorrow evening (Sunday 3rd Jan), 6-7pm on Wandsworth Radio for The Blackshaw Arts Hour.  Tune in live or listen again by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes (or stream online via podbean).

Read more about the project, its cast and creatives, here.

 

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Industry performance of Blackshaw’s Showcase Award Winner 2014: Call it Even by Naila Vázquez Tantinyà

11th January 2016 – StageSpace, Pleasance, London, 7.30pm

“Dad, you couldn’t even get dying right…”

Jamie’s father has died. In Gran Canaria. And now he’s got to deal with it – all of it.

Call it Even follows the struggle of a young transgender man to reconcile with his Dad, after he’s gone. Feeling like a stranger in a land where he doesn’t even speak the language, Jamie has a lot of tidying up to do. Uncle Dave isn’t much help, but will he find an unexpected ally in Macarena, the new woman in his Dad’s life (death)?

Booking open for industry only.

 

New Writing Nights at The Horse & Stables, Lambeth

Weds 30th March – Shortlist for the Showcase Award 2016 (submission deadline: Fri 11th March)

May TBC (submission deadline: Fri 29th April)

Weds 27th July (submission deadline: Fri 8th July)

Weds 28th September (submission deadline: Fri 9th September)

Weds 30th November (submission deadline: Fri 11th November)

You can submit your writing, or get involved as an actor or director – see our website for details.

Hell and Heaven

(Seeing) Black Shuck by D. J. Hands at WAFF 2016: Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe

A fantastic piece of new writing from emerging playwright, D. J. Hands, who is working with us to develop the piece. A tragi-comedy about two would-be smugglers, this play explores the treacherous relationship between Martha and Andy as they await a shipment from Holland on a beach in Norfolk. The possibility of a ghostly visit from ‘Black Shuck’ and the tense situation put additional stress on their already strained relationship.

6-22nd May 2015 (exact dates TBC), The Bedford, Balham

Gormenghast: Titus Groan at Battersea Library

3rd November – 4th December, Battersea Library, Clapham Junction

We’re thrilled to be staging a full run of our adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s cult classic.

With some cast from our original (2012) production, we will be opening auditions for some new faces (around June/July) and recruiting a top creative team so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming opportunities.

This production is contingent on funding – we’re beavering away already and will keep you updated on our progress.

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