The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 69

Back with some brand new, and super snazzy, jingles!

Matt reviews Thor: Ragnarok (spoiler: it sounds GREAT).

Ellie and Matt chat about potential Oscar nominations (using this handy buzzfeed article).

Ellie has watched the first episode of ‘The Good Doctor’ and lets us know her thoughts (she done a cry).

There’s some netflix recommendations (‘The Good Place’ & ‘Mindhunter’).

Strat & Alex do Art – this time they take on a team challenge, and work together to write a children’s book!

 

 

Jessica Pride Goes to School

by Richard Stratton & Alexander Pankhurst

 

It was a sunny morning at Safari Primary School and all the children were busy learning.

“Good morning class.”

“Good morning, Miss. Russell!”, said the children.

“I would like to introduce your new classmate. Her name is Jessica Pride. Say hello, class.”

 

— Would you like to say hello to Jessica? —

 

“Terry’, said Miss Russell, “How about you show Jessica round?”

Terry was excited about showing Jessica the classroom and all the activities. They started with finger painting.

“Ooo, your hand looks different to mine.”, said Terry.

 

— What does your hand look like? —

 

Next they went to play in the Home corner.

“What should we cook for dinner?” Asked Terry.

“I like antelope.” Said Jessica.

“Oh, that’s different.”, said Terry, “I like chips.”

 

— What’s your favourite food? —

 

Next Terry showed her the wet play area.

Jessica didn’t like getting wet, but Terry really liked splashing in the water.

— Do you like playing in the water? —

 

Finally, the whole class sat on the carpet to sing a song.

Jessica’s voice was very loud. Much louder than Terry’s

 

— How loud can you sing? —

 

Terry realised that something was different with Jessica…She was a lion!

“But lions aren’t meant to come to school are they?” said Terry.

“Of course they can.” said Miss. Russell, “Everyone should get to go to school.”

So Jessica got to stay at school and she and Terry became best friends.

 

The end.

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 68

Ellie and Matt are back with an episode packed with jam*

* Arts

  • Matt reviews Blade Runner 2049
  • Strat and Alex do Art (finger painting – the noblest of arts) – see pics below
  • We tease a new podcast we’re in association with – ‘Merely Roleplayers’ twitter.com/MerelyRoleplay
    facebook.com/MerelyRoleplayers
  • Ellie chats about TV she wants to watch and has watched – ALL OF THE TV THINGS. This chat includes:
    • THE GOOD DOCTOR ABC, Mondays at 10 p.m. (Starts Sept. 25. in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • SEAL TEAM CBS, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (Starts Sept. 27. in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • GHOSTED Fox, Sundays at 8:30 p.m. (Starts Oct. 1. in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • WISDOM OF THE CROWD CBS, Sundays at 8:30 p.m. (Starts Oct. 1.in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • THE GIFTED Fox, Mondays at 9 p.m. (Starts Oct. 2.in USA – hopefully in UK soon!) Watch the first six mins of ep 1 here.
    • SWAT CBS, Thursdays at 10 p.m. (Starts Nov. 2.in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • ALIAS GRACE (Netflix, 3rd Nov)
    • LIAR (ITV hub – available now)
    • RELLIK (BBC iPlayer – available now)

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 67

In exciting time news, the Blackshaw Arts Hour will be moving slots on Wandsworth Radio – we’ll now be airing on Tuesdays at midnight (i.e. the midnight between Tues and Weds!).  We’re hoping to welcome new listeners amongst shift workers and insomniacs.

 

As always though, the show is available as a podcast to listen to, anytime you damn well please!

 

In this episode, Ellie and Matt are in the studio, and the following is jam-packed, and headed to your ear holes:

  • Review of Darren Aronofsky’s film, ‘Mother!’
  • The concluding convo about ‘Angels in America’ at the National (with Sinead!)
  • Excitement builds for this year’s Scare Slam, and we take a look back at last year’s terror extravaganza
  • Discussion of the current environment for female playwrights in London
  • Chat about other ladies in the theatre world (including the RSC’s upcoming all-female Director lineup, and the casting of a lady in the role of ‘Bobby’ in ‘Company’).

 

Come on in, the podcasting water is lovely…

Relevant Links

Victoria Sadler Article

2017 in Review: The Lot for Female Playwrights Worsens

2016 Scare Slam

RSC Directors

Casting a woman as ‘Bobby’ in ‘Company’

London Horror Festival 2017

Scare Slam 2017 Tickets

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 66

Ellie and Matt are joined by Vikki and Sinead – we talk about…

– Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic

– Sinead’s Edinburgh Fringe 2017 experience

– Logan Lucky, The Dark Tower, and Atomic Blonde film reviews

– Sinead’s theatre challenge

– Our upcoming Scare Slam http://bit.ly/ScareSlamLHF

Relevant Links:

https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2017/girl-north-country-3

http://www.foilarmsandhog.ie/

https://www.thepretendmen.com/shows/

Black Shuck: Reviews

great dynamic…definitely worth seeing, a funny & wonderfully unique story”

London Theatre Reviewer

 

“engaging and dynamic…boundless energy and spirit…a little bit silly, a little bit scary and thoroughly worth a watch!

Theatre Bubble

four-star-rating-black-hi

 

“a brilliantly written short piece…Rachel Nott is amazing…Art is played wonderfully by Alexander Pankhurst…A very enjoyable hour with a very entertaining script and very talented actors. Well worth a watch.”

London Theatre 1

four-star-rating-black-hi

 

“The chemistry of Nott and Pankhurst…make this thoroughly entertaining to watch…a taut play that manages to walk the tightrope of genres but playing to the strength of all

Female Arts

four-star-rating-black-hi

 

Black Shuck: Production Photos

Photos by Richard Stratton.

Black Shuck: Making the Set

Our delightful Designer for Black Shuck, Michelle Bristow, gives us a glimpse into the world of set building – you can come and see the set in situ, 11-19 May 2016 – book your tickets now!

Twitter header Black Shuck

We started out by mitre-ing (real word?) some of the timber so that we could make the structure for the bracing. It was hard!

The next part of the support structure, drilling the main upright piece to the bottom support piece.

Bracing pieces completed!

Laying out the pieces ready to have the holes drilled in to mark where the screws go, in order to be flat packed into my car and assembled at the venue.

Marking out the holes and numbering them, so its easy to match up the pieces at the get in.

Jacobean woodstain was the perfect colour, heres the groyne after two coats – 

The fun (and messy) part – painting! All ready for assembly next week. 

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 39

This week in on the show, Matt and Ellie join Iasha in the studio to talk all things Wandsworth Arts Fringe, as it opened officially last Friday.

We heard Helen Johnson interview Matt Hopwood who is putting on an immersive audio-visual storytelling show called A Human Love Story in the arches of Putney Bridge. You can go along and see Matt’s show on the 21st and 22nd of May as a part of WAF.

Matt reviewed Captain America: Civil War, after having seen it as part of a triple bill, which we thought was a very good effort!

We heard Ellie and the cast of Black Shuck (which opens this Wednesday the 11th!) talking to Lesley Strachan about the show and why you should come along and see it. Don’t forget to get your tickets here!

Vikki bought us her Arts Thing of the Week, which was a review of Bug, starring James Norton and Kate Fleetwood, which she and Ellie saw at Found111 on Charing Cross Road.

Please do book your tickets to come along and see Black Shuck, running until the 19th of May. And don’t forget our New Writing Night this month as a part of WAF will be held at The Bedford on the 17th.

 

Black Shuck: Talking Genres, by Duncan Hands

You can see Duncan’s writing, Black Shuck, as part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2016, 11-14th & 18-19th May at the Bedford, Balham – £10-12. Book your tickets now!

Writer of Black Shuck, Duncan Hands, writes about writing a comedy-horror…

One question which keeps arising now that work is starting in earnest on Black Shuck is, “how do you incorporate comedy and horror?” I have three answers, and the easy, trite but honest one is “I like both, why not put them together?”

But that doesn’t really help the poor actors and creatives who have to interpret my script so audiences enjoy watching them, so…

I’ve never said after watching a show, “yeah, it was alright, but I wish there’d been fewer jokes.” Nor have I complained about being moved or scared or shocked after laughing for an hour. That’s entertainment: Charlie Chaplin was the most popular comedian of his age because his films are packed full of melodramatic pathos, Shakespeare’s most brooding tragedy (set in Scotland) contains a hilarious pun-filled routine about brewer’s droop. Taylor Swift sings happy songs, sad songs, and angry songs. And Pinter is considered deadly serious, but while working on productions of his shows I’ve watched the audience roaring with belly-laughter. Yes, it’s wry, dark humour; but it pervades every one of his plays…except, as he pointed out, in the last 10 minutes of each.

Why?

Because making a play is merely a bunch of people collaborating to create a series of moments. If the moments are all witty, or all bleak, or all fey, it’s dull. If you switch between those moods, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts because of the juxtaposition. And if the characters’ world all turns to crap near the end, it’ll hit harder if we care about them, and especially if we’ve laughed with, or at, them.

Chaplin, Shakespeare, Swift and Pinter understand that. I’d be a fool not to learn from them. And it has the happy side-effect of killing snobbery: the Reithian ideal of combining entertainment and education, the ancient Greeks’ belief in art’s ennobling effect, it’s all hollow when you consider that we can all enjoy a good nob gag, and we all enjoy learning something. Both are ennobling, just in different ways. So the slightly longer answer to my original question is, “why be pigeonholed into one genre? Audiences are intelligent enough to take the show on its own terms.”

But…horror depends on suspense. Humour smashes suspense. These two facts mean that combining these two genres is a tightrope walk, and everyone working on it needs to know exactly what we want the audience to feel at any given moment. Don’t put a joke where it doesn’t belong, nor a jump moment. It helps that Blackshaw have put together a team who all enjoy dry, dark humour, but no element of the play should be at the expense of any other.

I’ve had to think why genres exist at all. Basically, I reckon, all works are formulaic. Someone comes up with a recipe, and if you stick to those rules you get a coherent result. Using music as an example, a Country song, a Grime tune or a Bach fugue all work because they stick to their respective rules. But then you break the rules, Johnny Cash puts trumpets in a Country song, Plan B uses an acoustic guitar, Beethoven puts a major 7th where Bach would use the safer minor 3rd, and it creates magic.

Fundamentally, I’m just not very good at following rules. I didn’t sit down to write either a comedy or a horror, I just had a story I wanted to tell, and told it as best I’m able.

You have to be careful mashing up genres, because it’s easier for audiences to know what they’re supposed to be feeling. This show’s not really a pastiche (horror, like film noir, is arguably reaching the point where pastiches are more familiar than the classics of the genre), it’s a medley. There are elements of other genres there too. If you find psychological thriller, sitcom, gangster heist, Theatre of the Absurd…you’d be right. I once heard a Director answer “if you see it, then it’s there,” to a Venue Technician’s question about the symbolism the tech thought he’d perceived in a particular prop book being green. I knew we’d picked a green book because that was the one on the top of the pile at the front of the store…but the director knew that there’s no wrong interpretation.

The genre question is one which has arisen throughout my career. And the best answer is “take it how you will. I’m just putting it out there. Whatever mood you come out feeling is right. So long as you feel something, I’ll be happy I’ve done my job.”

Black Shuck WordPress image

You can see Duncan’s writing, Black Shuck, as part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2016, 11-14th & 18-19th May at the Bedford, Balham – £10-12. Book your tickets now!

 

Black Shuck: An interview with Rachel Nott

UPDATE: See Rachel in the transfer at the London Horror Festival.

You can see Rachel Nott in the role of ‘Martha’ in Black Shuck by Duncan Hands, as part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2016, 11-14th & 18-19th May at the Bedford, Balham – £10-12. Book your tickets now!

Ahead of rehearsals starting, we had a chat with Rachel –

Rachel-Nott-Colour 8.7mb

What are the particular challenges of this play?

Working with Alex, obviously… That aside, there’s a heck of a lot to learn! And the older I get, the worse my memory gets…

Have you done similar projects to this before?

Playing a smuggler? Can’t say I have. I’ve not been in a full-length two-hander before either, so I’m really looking forward to that.

What are you looking forward to at rehearsals?

We are definitely going to be doing a lot of laughing – to the point that we will need to make sure we actually rehearse the play. I also really love playing around with the characters in a rehearsal process – approaching situations differently and seeing what works. Often what you saw was one thing in the initial read-through can become something completely different after rehearsals.

Who are your favourite comic actors?

Hmmm… Steve Coogan, Kathy Burke, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Julia Davis, Mackenzie Crook, Kenneth Williams, Jack Lemmon (old school), Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Catherine O’Hara, Steve Carrell, Will Ferrell, Sandra Bullock… It’s a really long list. I feel bad for leaving people out.

Black Shuck WordPress image

You can see Rachel Nott in the role of ‘Martha’ in Black Shuck by Duncan Hands, as part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2016, 11-14th & 18-19th May at the Bedford, Balham – £10-12. Book your tickets now!