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)

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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

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

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

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“wonderfully human…a really powerful exploration of grief – honest and tender…”
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Read more here.

 

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

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Read more here.

 

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

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Read more here.

 

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

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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

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“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

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Read more here.

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

 

 

 

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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

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“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.

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Read more here.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

 

See you in 2016.

 

Ellie & the Team at Blackshaw

 

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The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 29

This week on the show Iasha is joined in the studio by Ellie and Matt who reviews The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 . Helen reviews ACS Random’s new production of The Knight From Nowhere/The Bells. It’s playing at The Park Theatre until the 19th of December.

We also heard an interview with Marcus Bazely, Rupert Sadler and Andrew Crane, some of the people involved in our upcoming production of Great Expectations. The first episode will be aired on the 3rd of January, so make sure you tune in!
To promote our excellent Scare Slam that happened a few weeks ago we heard a spooky story from our MC Duncan Gates. If you tune in to the next instalment of The Blackshaw Arts Hour you can hear the full live recording of the Slam, playing out live on the 20th of December and available to podcast here! 

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 28

This week on the show Iasha is joined in the studio by Ellie and Vikki, and with Blackshaw’s current production of Staying Alive more than half way through it’s run, we have a lot to talk about.

First up is a retro film review of Spirited Away and Vikki’s Arts Thing of the Week. We’re talking about Love Theatre day and the 5 things we learnt as over 500 theatre bodies participated and answered questions on Twitter last week.
Helen Johnson provided us with some audience feedback from Staying Alive and also asked cast, crew and audience the most important question of the week; Do you ever feel like you have too many arms?
Owen Collins gave us some fresh new poetry form our last New Writing Night and we talked about being scared at the theatre in the lead up to our Scare Slam happening this coming Wednesday at the Horse and Stables in Lambeth.
Don’t forget to pre book your tickets here so you don’t miss out!
 

5 Minutes with Bryony Tebbutt

Bryony Tebbutt, who’s playing Vic in ‘Fetch’ as a part of our Halloween Tales production, spent a few minutes answering some questions for us.

Bryony Tebbutt, actor playing Vic in 'Fetch'
Bryony Tebbutt, actor playing Vic in ‘Fetch’

What’s your favourite past production that you’ve worked on?

Romeo&Juliet with Antic Disposition, we toured the South of France for two weeks. Sun, storms and Shakespeare, beautiful!

What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?

I adored Warhorse at the National.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

Saw

What scares you silly?

Big spiders!!!

You’re going to a Halloween Party, what are you dressing up as?

A decaying fairy, an evil green witch, a headless ghoul. Always something scary!

Have you ever had a spooky experience?

Several, lots of ghost stories in my family. (ed. Bryony also told us that the women in her family can see ghosts and her grandparents used to live in a haunted house!)

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Tea+Digestive biscuits, seriously, packets by the whole!

You can catch Bryony as Vic in ‘Fetch’ by Duncan Gates on 30th, 31st October and 1st November. Get your discounted advance tickets now!

How to make…a smoking jacket!

Michelle Bristow, our talented Set & Costume designer for Halloween Tales has done a wee photo blog of one of the makes – a smoking jacket.  To see it in action 30th Oct-1st Nov, buy a ticket!

5 Minutes with Ellie Pitkin

Ellie Pitkin, Director of Halloween Tales
Ellie Pitkin, Director of Halloween Tales

Managing and Artistic Director of Blackshaw and Director of Fetch, Ellie Pitkin, lets us grill her for 5 minutes.

Why did you pick Fetch for Halloween Tales?

Duncan initially sent us the play to consider for Wandsworth Arts Festival – we totally loved it but couldn’t find space for it in our WAFF program.  I was really drawn to the effective simplicity of the concept – a chilling story with 3 actors and 1 location – a director’s dream! Halloween Tales is a great way to present a cracking short thriller like Fetch.

What’s your favourite past production that you’ve worked on?

Ooh that’s a tough one – I’ll have to cheat and choose two… Audience with the Ghost Finder because it was such a joy to work with two talented actors on a fun, quick paced, and spooky script – fab opportunities to play with space and physicality.  And  Gormenghast: Titus Groan because it was such an achievement – our own adaptation of a classic novel, with an 18-strong cast.

 What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?

I think Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein is up there for me, and I’ve found Matilda pretty inspirational too – what they have in common is a beautiful synthesis of design and performance – and some really innovative staging techniques (I’m always looking to pick and steal little tricks from other productions).

What’s your favourite horror movie?

I’m a bit of a thrill junkie, and will watch any old tat – I’m particularly scared of little girl ghosts, but love anything with a spooky backstory.  My favourite of those I’ve seen recently is ‘Insidious’.

What scares you silly?

Needles.

You’re going to a Halloween Party, what are you dressing up as?

A zombie!  I’ve got some excellent prosthetics which I haven’t had a chance to use yet.  Just not sure what type of zombie to go as…

Have you ever had a spooky experience?

I don’t really believe in ghosts, but I did scare myself silly recently – I was staying in a big manor house over the summer, everyone else went out, and I was all by myself in this vast place. I was just settling down to a DVD when I heard a regular thumping coming from upstairs. It sounded like a door being slammed over and over.  I tiptoed upstairs, with my finger hovering over the emergency call button on my phone.  As I approached the top of the stairs, the noise got louder, and louder.  SLAM, creak, SLAM.  As I got to the landing, I could see that the bathroom door was swinging open (creak), then slamming shut.  I thought it must just be a draught, and ventured into the bathroom.  Sure enough, the window was open a crack. I closed the window, walked out of the bathroom…creak, SLAM.  I turned around, the door had slammed itself shut again.  Well, it’s probably on a slope or something, so it naturally falls shut, and I could see the handle was fully engaged with the door frame, it was shut for good.  I turn again to walk down the stairs…creeeaaaak…I whip around, and the door is slowly inching open again.  I ran back downstairs.

Not a lot of people know that…

By day, I work as a financial administrator *spreadsheet high five*.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Ice Cream.  ALL OF THE ICE CREAM.

What really grinds your gears?

Slow walkers and inefficiency.

You can see the fruits of Ellie’s directorial labours on 30th, 31st October and 1st November. Get your tickets now.