Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 81

  • Matt reviews ‘The Quiet Place’
  • Helen interviews the cast and creatives at the first rehearsal for ‘The Final Adventure of Frankie Fightwell’
  • Strat and Alex do Art – this time they tackle Set Design – they’re drawing the set for an imaginary production of Frankie Fightwell (no budget constraints!).

Relevant Links

The Quiet Place – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Quiet_Place_(film) 

The Final Adventure of Frankie Fightwell – https://www.wandsworthfringe.com/whats-on-2018/the-final-adventure-of-frankie-fightwell-by-chris-buxey

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 79

  • Matt reviews ‘Annihilation’ and ‘Tomb Raider’
  • Ellie gives a spoiler-free rundown of ‘Hamilton’ (which she done saw on Monday)
  • We chat about the Writing Workshop we’re running – FREE Writing Workshop for Wandsworth residents aged 16+ on Sat 12 May, 2-4pm, Putney Arts Theatre. The workshop will cover the discipline of writing, creating narrative, writing for radio, and can offer support for starting writing, or works in progress.
  • A reminder you can get discounted tickets for The Final Adventure of Frankie Fightwell, until 1st April!
  • Shows Ellie and Matt are seeing soon: Miss Julie at the National, Good Girl by Naomi Sheldon at the Trafalgar Studios, 42nd Street (featuring Lulu!), and The Great Wave (also at the National)

Relevant links:

Frankie Fightwell tix – http://bit.ly/FrankieFightwell 

Free Writing Workshop – http://blackshawonline.com/blog/announcement-free-writing-workshop/

Annihilation – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2798920/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Tomb Raider – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1365519/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 

Good Girl – http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/good-girl/trafalgar-studios/

42nd Street – https://42ndstreetmusical.co.uk/ 

Miss Julie – https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/julie

The Great Wave – https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/the-great-wave

 

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 78

Matt and Ellie are divided by space and time, but still bringing you a show!

  • Matt reviews ‘Ladybird’
  • Strat and Alex do Art – Spoken Word on the theme of ‘Spring’
  • We got a deal on for ‘Frankie Fightwell’ – Earlybird tickets are at concession rate of £7.50 when booked by 1st April – book now!

 

 

 

 

 

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 77

It’s a three-way in the studio this time, as Ellie, Matt and Andy talk arts, arts, arts…

 

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 76

Ellie and Matt are reunited in the studio!

  • Film Review: The Cloverfield Paradox
  • Strat and Alex do Art: Stop Motion
  • Moth Man – interview with the writer, Nicole Locke
  • We announce the Moth Man cast
  • Theatre Reviews – The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter (The Harold Pinter Theatre til 14th April) & The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth (Gielgud til 19th May)
  • We announce the Final Adventure of Frankie Fightwell cast

Relevant Links –

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-birthday-party/harold-pinter-theatre/ 

http://theferrymanplay.com/ 

Some Treachery – Interview with Cast & Creatives

‘Some Treachery: A Miss McSkimming Mystery’ is coming up soon!

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!

Listen to the interview with cast & creatives –

 

BOOK NOW

 

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. 

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!

 

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 38

This week on the Blackshaw Arts Hour Matt and Vikki are in the studio with Iasha, Matt review Eye in the Sky and then we spoke about how it stood up to London Has Fallen in terms of a drone strike movie. Suffice to say Eye in the Sky won.

The wonderful Lesley Strachan crashed a Black Shuck rehearsal and interviewed Director Ellie and cast members Rachel and Alex.
Vikki did a review/Arts Thing of the Week beginning with The Maids and then talking about the importance of reviving specific plays.
Helen Johnson interviewed Duncan Hands, the writer of Black Shuck, about his writing process and how he developed the idea of the upcoming production.
Make sure you get tickets here, come along and say hi to the Blackshaw team at the Bedford, and subscribe to our podcast here to make sure you can always catch The Blackshaw Arts Hour and have access to all our bonus audio content.