Great Expectations – Getting to know Victoria Hamblen

Victoria Hamblen Headshot

Victoria began performing at the age of 3. As she grew up, Victoria tried a diverse range of dance styles from ballet to hip hop. She expanded on this, performing in many professional and semi-professional theatrical productions as a teenager. At university, Victoria participated in various productions at the Greenwood Theatre, such as Fame, and Hot Mikado ‘Pitti Sing’, then concluded her amateur run with touring productions of The Taming of the Shrew (2013), where she played the role of ‘Bianca’, and ‘Jacqueline’ in Moliere’s The Reluctant Doctor. Since then Victoria set up, and has been running Cyphers theatre company with Marcus J. Bazley, also performing in many Cyphers productions to date.

 

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?

When Pip leaves Estella forever. It’s so poignant, and makes me cry every time!

2. What’s the last project you worked on?

The Cyphers Chekhov Double Bill (‘The Proposal’ and ‘The Boor’)

3. What’s the last book you read?

‘Villette’ by Charlotte Bronte

4. Not a lot of people know that I…

speak Mandarin.

5. What really grinds your gears?

When people talk when watching a film.

 
You can hear Victoria Hamblen playing Estella / Mrs Joe in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hourfrom Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know Alexander Pankhurst

Alex

Training: Royal Holloway University of London

Recent Credits include: ‘Jack’ in Staying Alive (Pleasance Theatre with Blackshaw), ‘Demetrius’ and ‘Bottom’ in A Midsummer Nights Dream, ‘Boy’ in Panther, ‘Gerry’ in Dearly Departed, ‘Mal’ in Captcha, ‘Arnold’ in I’ll take a Dozen Accountants…with Sprinkles, ‘Christopher Marlowe’ in Death of Marlowe, ‘Major Steve’ in Love in Freefall, ‘Ash’ in A Million Things, ‘Borachio’ in Much Ado About Nothing, ‘Mercutio’ in Romeo and Juliet, ‘Valentine’ in Two Gentlemen of Verona, ‘Thomas Carnacki’ in Audience with the Ghostfinder, ‘Tom’ in Rabbit, ‘Richard III’ in The Shakespeare Conspiracy, ‘Jamie’ in Airport and ‘Dr Alfred Prunesquallor’ in Gormenghast: Titus Groan.

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?

It would have to be Will’s Miss Havisham. Delightfully deranged!

2. What’s the last project you worked on?

Blackshaw’s ‘Staying Alive’ at the Pleasance in November.

3. What’s the last book you read?

Malazan Book of the Fallen 05 – Midnight Tides – Steven Erikson, if you like fantasy you will love this series. I cannot recommend it enough.

4. Not a lot of people know that I…

once ate two foot long subs in one sitting.

5. What really grinds your gears?

Slow walkers and people who are rude. (But not those who are rude to slow walkers)

 

You can hear Alexander Pankhurst playing Sergeant / Jaggers in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Cast & Creatives

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Adaptation by Marcus Bazley

CAST
Narrator – Jeremy Drakes

Magwitch / Pumblechook – Dylan Lincoln

Compeyson / Porter / Galley – Marcus J. Bazley

 

Estella / Mrs Joe - Victoria Hamblen
Estella / Mrs Joe – Victoria Hamblen
rupert sadler headshots
Pip – Rupert Sadler
Christopher Anderton
Joe / Wemmick / Drummle – Christopher Anderton
Alex
Sergeant / Jaggers – Alexander Pankhurst
© Michael Wharley Photography 2014
Miss Havisham – Jessica Brien
Will Holyhead Headshot
Herbert Pocket – William Holyhead
Rosie
Biddy – Rosie Marsh

 

 

CREATIVES

Staying Alive Read Through
Sound Recordist / Designer / Engineer – Andrew Crane
Helen Johnson Producer
Producer – Helen Johnson
Iasha Chapman Associate Producer
Associate Producer – Iasha Chapman

 

Listen to our radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

Great Expectations – Marcus Bazley’s Adaptation

Unlike a lot of people, I never studied Great Expectations at school. From talking to friends who have, it seems to have spoilt their enjoyment of the novel no end! My only engagement with the novel before reading it, in late 2014, was the BBC TV adaptation from the previous Christmas.

There were two things that struck me immediately on reading the novel myself:

First, it was a first person narrative. This completely changed by understanding of the novel. This was not simply a story – this was a memory. A memory has the ability to deceive and distort events, making the narrative much more nuanced and complex. It also meant that our narrator was inherently fallible.

Second, it was surprisingly funny! Dickens is such an instinctively witty writer – he loves to poke fun at his characters and at his audience – and Great Expectations is no exception. (Although one would be forgiven for thinking it was a story exclusively about nasty rich people and cobwebs from the numerous adaptations.) I was, therefore, determined to reintroduce this lightness to the story and, in doing so, balance its darker moments with moments of genuine comedy.

These were the two main motivations for creating the original stage adaptation that Cyphers performed in February 2015. That and the way in which the casting perfectly suited our company of actors at the time.

The idea for a radio version first occurred to me while I was at Blackshaw’s fifth birthday party. During the afternoon of celebrations, extracts from Blackshaw’s previous radio drama ‘Audience with the Ghost Finder’ were played and a desire for more radio drama for the Arts Hour was expressed. Since finishing Great Expectations on stage, I had been desperate to do more with the script and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Going back to the script with a new medium in mind was an absolute joy and it gave me the chance to hone and tighten the adaptation after a bit of breathing space. Plus we would be able to explore the central Cyphers ethos of inspiring the audience’s imagination in a new way. The result, I hope, is a version of Great Expectations that is true to the original tone of the novel, bringing out both its light and its shade, as a man tells his listeners the very personal story of his life.

– Marcus Bazley

CK1ZY_YWoAAey7z

 

You can listen to Marcus’ adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know Christopher Anderton

Christopher Anderton

Christopher trained at The Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre. He has appeared in a variety of productions including: The Three Sisters and Women Beware Women. He has worked in numerous productions at the the Royal Opera House, with David McVicar in Salome and Adriana Lecouvreur, and also with Paul Curran on The Tsar’s Bride. He toured Uruguay and Argentina with a new production entitled The Feather Pillow. For Sell A Door Theatre Company, he played Sherlock Holmes in The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Amos in The Man Who Had All The Luck and, last year, he toured the UK for 6 months with Kidnapped.
Chris has also recently played the title role in Cyphers’ first production, Henry V.  Following that he played the roles of Joe, Wemmick and Bentley Drummle in Cyphers’ second production, Great Expectations, and also appeared in Cyphers’ Checkhov Double Bill.

 

You can hear Christopher Anderton playing Joe / Wemmick / Drummle in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know Rupert Sadler

rupert sadler headshots

Rupert Sadler is studying English Literature at King’s College London. Enthusiastic about drama, Rupert has been involved in student productions including Cabaret, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Guilty Parties and is also a member of the Running A-Mock Improv Troupe during his time at Kings. Rupert has also acted outside of university, such as working with NYT and performing Feather Boy at the Lyric, Hammersmith. Rupert has performed in two productions and one tour with Cyphers so far: Henry V (2014-2015)and Great Expectations (2015).

 

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?

When Pip confronts Estella and Havisham after meeting his mysterious benefactor. It’s a powerful, moving scene; and I feel it has a lot of Dickens in there, a lot of personal turmoil from the author that underpins the curious relationship between Pip and Estella.

 

2. What’s the last project you worked on?

The last project I worked on was the revival of Henry V with Cyphers! A big tonal change from the radio play,but a rewarding opportunity that I got a lot out of. Plus, it’s a blast working with actors and crew, both old and new!

 

3. What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read was One Hundred Apocalypses by Lucy Corin, some chilling stuff…

 

4. Not a lot of people know that I…

Used to have an irrational fear of hoovers! Well… it seemed rational at the time!

 

5. What really grinds your gears?

It takes a lot to grind my gears, to be honest. Cold callers are the closest I guess, but I don’t blame ’em – they’re just doing their job.

 

You can hear Rupert Sadler playing Pip Pirrip in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know Jessica Brien

© Michael Wharley Photography 2014

Jessica trained at The Bridge Theatre Training Company.
Theatre includes: ‘Cinderella’ in Cinderella, ‘Belle’ in Beauty and the Beast (Evermore Productions, UK Tour 2015), The Princess and the Pea, Jack and Molly and the Beanstalk (C theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015), Flight (Opera Holland Park, 2015), Peter Pan, Jack and the Beanstalk (Say Two Productions, UK Tour 2014), ‘Helena’ in Shakespeare in the Garden: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Snow Queen (C theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014) and ‘Paulina’ in The Winter’s Tale.

Follow her on twitter @jessbrien

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?
It has to be Miss Havisham!

2. What’s the last project you worked on?
Touring Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast

3. What’s the last book you read?
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

4. Not a lot of people know that I…
Was the headteacher’s daughter at secondary school

5. What really grinds your gears?
Radio phone-in debates!

You can hear Jessican Brien playing Miss Havisham in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know William Holyhead

Will Holyhead Headshot

Will is a graduate of King’s College London, where he studied English. He was most recently seen in Cyphers’ revival of Henry V – the original production of which he made his professional debut in. Other work for Cyphers includes Great Expectations, as ‘Herbert’ and ‘Miss Havisham’. Before graduating, he appeared in a number of productions including: Flare Path at RADA Studios; Broken Glass at The Bloomsbury Theatre; The Seagull at The Etcetera Theatre; Measure For Measure at The Bristol Shakespeare Festival; King Lear; Twelfth Night; Spring Awakening and The Importance of Being Earnest. You can follow Will on twitter @WJHolyhead.

 

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?

Bentley Drummle

 

2. What’s the last project you worked on?

Henry V with Cyphers

 

3. What’s the last book you read?

Operation Mincemeat, by Ben MacIntyre

 

4. Not a lot of people know that I…

Once aided and abetted my French teacher smuggling a large quantity of champagne into the UK on a ferry and was almost placed under Captain’s arrest on the same ferry for ‘borrowing’ a large quantity of salt an pepper from the ship’s restaurant to use as poker chips…

 

5. What really grinds your gears?

The jumping of red lights and zebra crossings!!!! (especially by Taxis and cyclists)

 

You can hear William Holyhead playing Herbert Pocket in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Looking back at 2015

We’ve had a corker of a year, and as we settle down in front of the fire with a mulled wine in hand and snazzy christmas jumper firmly on, we thought we’d take you through the highlights…

 

The Blackshaw Arts Hour on Wandsworth Radio (fortnightly from Jan 2015)

FullSizeRender (10)

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

Read more about it and listen to past episodes.

 

10-29th November 2015 – Staying Alive by Kat Roberts, at the Pleasance Islington

Published by Nick Hern Books.  Buy your copy here.
“explosive emotion…a strong cast…lively and full of wit…” West End Wilma

Stayling_Alive--50_Page_22

“Proof that given enough time, talent and perseverance, theatre that really says something about the human condition can be made.”
5-starsFemale Arts

Stayling_Alive--50_Page_05

“highly original, nuanced and enlightening…deeply observed social comedy…compelling from start to finish”
5-starsRemote Goat

SA_rehearsal_20151025-318

“wonderfully human…a really powerful exploration of grief – honest and tender…”
four-star-rating-black-hiLondon Theatre 1

Read more here.

 

25th November 2015 – Blackshaw’s Scare Slam, at the Horse & Stables, Lambeth

scare_slam--1

Read more here.

 

4-5th July 2015 – Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton, at the British Home as part of the Streatham Festival

SONY DSC

Read more here.

 

Sunday 7th June 2015 – Blackshaw’s 5th Birthday Party!

blackshaws_fifth_birthday_20150607-23

Read more here.

 

2-16th May 2015 – Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton, at the Battersea Library
A sell-out run, as part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe.
“…creative, imaginative and seemingly effortless style…The whole performance buzzed with energy, fun and joy.”
5-starsLondon Theatre 1

SONY DSC

“The fun-filled show brims with chaos, madness and high jinks…the wild but classic tale of Alice in her fantastically retold Wonderland.” – A Younger Theatre

SONY DSC

Read more here.

25th March, 17th May, 29th July, 30th September 2015 – New Writing Nights at the Horse & Stables, Lambeth

 

 

 

nwn_250415 2015-03-25 (14)

Read more here.

 

9-14th March 2015 – Character by Florence Vincent, at the Tristan Bates Theatre
“a delightful theatre production on in Covent Garden. Funny, nostalgic, well acted 2 hander” – London Culture Blog

SONY DSC

“a witty play…reminiscent of Ab Fab’s Edina and Saffy” – In & Around Covent Garden magazineSONY DSC

Read more here.

 

15th Jan 2015 – Staying Alive by Kat Roberts, at the Pleasance Islington 
One night only industry showcase – Winner of Blackshaw’s Showcase Award 2014.

IMG_3249

Read more here.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

 

See you in 2016.

 

Ellie & the Team at Blackshaw

 

Xmas Blackshaw Logo