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).

 

Working for Blackshaw – Funding & Partnerships Manager, Nick

As Funding & Partnership Manager it is my job to search, apply and cross my fingers in hope for funding. As you can imagine, it’s not easy getting funding for arts based projects. The pots of money are getting smaller and the number of people applying to them is increasing! I also keep on the lookout for potential partnerships for our projects. Not only can this ease the burden in terms of financing a project but also it is good for us to work with new people. This role also means advising on some of our more dreary legal documents but nevertheless important to get right.

My day job is very similar. I work at the University of East London as a Research Funding Officer helping academics search and apply for funding for their research projects. This comes with a healthy dollop of project management once the grants are awarded. These skills are handy when it comes to working for Blackshaw.

Searching for funds mostly comes down to endless Googling until you find the right one, and requires a lot of reading eligibility requirements (not worth reading much else before that).

I work closely with our Strategy and Planning Manager, Vikki, AKA taskmaster general, when we collaborate on a funding application. Each application and project is ultimately overseen by Ellie, our Managing & Artistic Director (AKA arty boss). They are great to work with and even though it can get tough at times, it is ultimately satisfying getting the applications submitted and even more so when they are successful.

Vacancy: Social Media 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.

Responsibilities include:

– Helping to develop content for social media posting with our Publicity, Press and Marketing (PPM) Manager
– 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 PPM Manager 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 weekly radio show, the Blackshaw Arts Hour
– Get to meet lots of lovely theatre people

Vancancy: Press and External Communications Coordinator

Are you totally awesome at talking to people? Are you keen to gain experience in networking and building relationships with press and bloggers? Ever fancied being on the radio? Or perhaps you’ve been on the radio before and you’ve caught the bug. If the answer to at least the first of these questions is ‘yes’, then we’d love to hear from you.

We’re looking for a friendly, outgoing person who can work with us on building relationships with press, and help us engage audiences through our radio show. You don’t need to have any theatre expertise whatsoever;enthusiasm and a desire to get involved with Blackshaw is all that’s required. You can have a listen to our most recent Blackshaw Arts Hour radio shows and you can check out our work on our website. There’s also this blog that explains why working for Blackshaw is just about the best thing ever.

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 saying why you think you’d like to work with us to info@blackshawonline.com and we’ll set up an informal meeting with you.

Responsibilities include:
– Attending press and networking events on behalf of Blackshaw, with other team members
– Building relationships with press, bloggers, and other individuals or organisations that we want to engage with
– Writing press releases in conjunction with the Publicity, PR, & Marketing (PPM) manager
– Contacting press, bloggers, producers, and other industry folk, to encourage them to come to see, review, and write about Blackshaw productions
– Working with the Blackshaw Arts Hour producer, and the PPM Manager to implement a clear promotional strategy for the company, across radio and press
– Contributing content ideas for the radio show
– Optional: Acting as a regular co-presenter for the Blackshaw Arts Hour, our weekly radio show (please note: you won’t be required to co-present every show)

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
– Write content for blogs, the website, or social media
– Meet lots of lovely theatre people

We look forward to hearing from you!

Vacancy: Makeup Artist

We are staging ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (adaptation by Richard Stratton) as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe in May (show dates below). It’s being performed at the Battersea Library (Clapham Junction), and we have a placement available for a makeup artist.

Duties will include designing and applying the makeup for the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit (and any other characters you think would benefit!) – for rehearsals and shows. You will be working alongside our top Design team, Director, and producer, who are all experienced in their fields and can offer mentoring and skill development.  

This is a great opportunity to operate as a full crew member, to gain invaluable experience in hands-on production roles, where you are supported and mentored by industry professionals.

You will need to be available for an initial meeting to discuss the project, and then via email to keep abreast of design developments, but the below dates are the only ones we’d need you on site for rehearsal/production.

– Rehearsal, Sunday 12th April (approx 12-6pm)

– Rehearsal, Sunday 26th April (approx 12-6pm)

– Get in/tech/dress rehearsal day, Thurs 30th April, 2-8pm

– Show dates: Sat 2nd May (6 & 7.30pm); Mon 4th May (3 & 4pm); Fri 8th May (7.30pm); Sat 9th May (6 & 7.30pm); Fri 15th May (7.30pm); Sat 16th May (6 & 7.30pm)

The placement is unpaid but we can offer travel expenses up to £50.

Here are a few blogs about how excellent it is to work with us…

10 reasons to work with Blackshaw

Working for Blackshaw – New Writing Night Manager, Nicole

Working for Blackshaw – Radio Producer, Iasha

 

To apply, send a brief outline of why you’re interested in the project, your availability, and a copy of your CV, to info@blackshawonline.com

 

 

Vacancy: Stage Manager(s)

We are staging ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (adaptation by Richard Stratton) as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe in May (show dates below). It’s being performed at the Battersea Library (Clapham Junction), and we have placements available for a stage manager/assistant stage manager.

Duties will include sourcing, collating and coordinating props, set and tech – for rehearsals and shows. You will be working alongside our top Design team, Director, and producer, who are all experienced in their fields and can offer mentoring and skill development.  

This is a great opportunity to operate as a full crew member, to gain invaluable experience in hands-on production roles, where you are supported and mentored by industry professionals.

You will need to be available for an initial meeting to discuss the project, and then via email to keep abreast of design developments, but the below dates are the only ones we’d need you on site for rehearsal/production.

– Rehearsal, Sunday 12th April (approx 12-6pm)

– Rehearsal, Sunday 26th April (approx 12-6pm)

– Get in/tech/dress rehearsal day, Thurs 30th April, 2-8pm

– Show dates: Sat 2nd May (6 & 7.30pm); Mon 4th May (3 & 4pm); Fri 8th May (7.30pm); Sat 9th May (6 & 7.30pm); Fri 15th May (7.30pm); Sat 16th May (6 & 7.30pm)

The placement is unpaid but we can offer travel expenses up to £50.

Here are a few blogs about how excellent it is to work with us…

10 reasons to work with Blackshaw

Working for Blackshaw – New Writing Night Manager, Nicole

Working for Blackshaw – Radio Producer, Iasha

 

To apply, send a brief outline of why you’re interested in the project, your availability, and a copy of your CV, to info@blackshawonline.com

 

 

Working for Blackshaw – Radio Producer, Iasha

What is your role at Blackshaw?

My role at Blackshaw is to organise the content and produce our weekly radio show, The Blackshaw Arts Hour, on Wandsworth Radio.

 

What day to day tasks does that mean you do?

Generally my busiest day is a Sunday as that’s the day the show goes out live on the radio. I have to be at the studio about an hour before the show to load the clips we are playing and program all our content. The show goes out live on Wandsworth Radio from 6-7 and I am normally helped out by a co-host or two. I panel (press all the buttons), make sure the sound is going out at the right level and present the content while always keeping an eye on the time (and occasionally forgetting to turn the mics off!)

During the week I email a lot of writers, actors and theatre associated people in order to generate content for the show. I try and have a couple of recordings lined up for the week so that my sound man Andy can have them edited and ready to go out on air at the end of that week.

 

How do you think of ideas for the radio show?

Thinking about what is coming up for Blackshaw is always my first point of call when coming up with content. Interviews and promos for upcoming productions are really easy ways to generate quick radio content and are also great in prmoting Blackshaw to our listeners! The pieces performed at new writing nights are also guaranteed audio entertainment.

Ideas I have found also come from talking to people about the show. Some people have things they have written that they would like to record, and I have obtained a lot of contacts from the people we have had on the show in the past. It has been really nice to hear the positivity from people and their willingness to be involved is a huge bonus.

If you have anything you think would sound great on our radio show, get in touch!  You can reach me at iasha@blackshawonline.com

 

Do you work particularly closely with anyone else on the Blackshaw team?

I work closely with Andy Crane, Blackshaw’s resident sound expert. He’s with me when we records radio plays and interviews and is the one that takes the audio we record away, makes it listenable with his editing prowess, and then sends it to me so I can program it into the show.

Matt Boothman has been with me live in the studio every week from the shows inception delighting us with his wonderfully worded film reviews. Director Ellie is my loyal co-presenter most weeks and Vikki has contributed content and co-presented too!

 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the on air presenting side of my job. I had a bit of a break from live presenting but getting back into it this year has been really fun. It’s fantastic working with such a great bunch of motivated and creative people and the support from all members of the Blackshaw team has been fantastic.

It’s also really fun! From hanging out and meeting new people and recording them to being in the studio every week, it has been an absolute pleasure to get this radio show off the ground. It also means I get to see way more theatre than I ever have, which is always nice!

Casting ‘Staying Alive’ & other shows

We’ve got an open casting policy at Blackshaw, which is massively important to our ethos – we love to build networks of new artists, meet new people and ensure everything is fair.

When I was casting ‘Staying Alive’ by Kat Roberts, last weekend, the process we used is tried and tested over the 5 years we’ve been staging shows.

1. We list the job(s) on casting website ‘casting call pro’, and we do our best to let everyone know about the opportunity, by shouting about it all over the internet (our twitter, facebook, website, and newsletter).

2. When the ad closes, I sit with another Blackshaw team member (often casting call pro-pro, Vikki Weston) and shortlist the applications.  This is a pretty long process, but it’s important that we look at every single application, and we do it in stages –

a) The quick once over – this is a cursory glance through each group of applicants to rule out people who look totally wrong for the role (this might be because they’re the wrong age, or have the wrong ‘look’ for any roles which are specific on character’s appearance). We eliminate quite a few applicants in this way.

b) The cover letter check – yes, we read those. If an applicant has tailored their cover letter to the project/role, that really does go in your favour (and yes, we can tell when you’ve copied and pasted a universally-applicable blurb).

c) The CV check – we look at all sorts of things here; previous work, training, showreel, headshot gallery, and role-specific talents (in the past we’ve had roles which need various skills/attributes: a northern accent; circus skills; violin playing, etc).

d) The comparison – once we’ve eliminated people based on role requirements, we compare the shortlisted applicants, and narrow it down to a manageable amount to audition (we usually aim for 5-10 people per role).

3. Organising Auditions – with the experience I’ve gained here, I think I’d make a pretty excellent events planner, PA, Programmer…pretty much any role that involves organising…anything.  This is the stage where we wrangle actors (and their busy lives) into audition slots.  We try to arrange auditionees into groups, as I find you can tell a lot from seeing actors read with other actors – usually more so than seeing them solo.

4. The auditions – Each group has a 15 minutes slot, which is usually 5 mins performance, 5 mins for me to give some direction (I might ask them to switch roles, read the character differently, or something else), and 5 mins for me to gather my thoughts and make notes.  I like to have one or two people on the panel with me – usually an Assistant Director, the writer, or a Blackshaw team member – it’s useful to have a sounding board!

5. The decision – I’ll have a pretty clear idea from the first few minutes of an audition, and will review my notes.  Once you have a shortlist, it’s then a case of working out which combinations of people will work – an actor could be fantastic, but if there’s not another actor which will work as their romantic interest, or teacher, or father (or whatever character relationship we need), it won’t work.  When it comes down to the very final decision making (when you’re looking at a bunch of super talented actors), a lot of it is based on cast chemistry and combination options.

I’m always happy to offer feedback to actors I see audition, and am keen to keep the process as open as possible – we always meet tons of brilliant people at auditions, and I’m so pleased we get people coming back time and time again, whether they’ve been successful previously or not. I like to think it’s because we make the process so darn straightforward.

 

Ellie, Managing & Artistic Director

Working for Blackshaw – New Writing Night Manager, Nicole

Hello all,

this is my first blog for Blackshaw and I thought that I would take this opportunity to tell you all a little bit about myself and discuss my role within the company.  Currently I’m an undergraduate student at Royal Holloway University of London, studying English Literature and Creative Writing – final year so extra exciting and nerve wracking.

It was last September that I took on the role of Administrator for Blackshaw, and what an amazing experience it has been so far!  It is great to be able to work alongside such passionate and enthusiastic people who share a love of the theatre. When they made the offer for me to expand my role within the company I was delighted to become both the Administrator and New Writing Night Manager.

As administrator I get to take minutes at meetings and make sure everyone knows the tasks they have to do, sending them lovely reminders on Trello*.  But I am ever so pleased to be taking over the position of New Writing Night manager from the wonderful Lizzie Cooper.  Now I get to work with directors, actors, writers and many other people to create a wonderful opportunity to showcase new writing in front of a live audience.

I am ever so excited to take on this role, and am looking forward to the next New Writing Night on the 30th September at The Horse and Stables in Lambeth, and hope to see many of you there – it’s gonna be great!

See you there!

Nicole

*Trello is the app we use to manage all the company’s tasks – it’s a giant ‘to do’ list!