There is something rather special being around the table (literally and metaphorically) as new work is being made and developed. And this week has been a real reminder of that – with new work and new ideas seemingly leaking out of every crevice in Eastern Angles base, Sir John Mills Theatre.
[We did indeed spring a leak this week in the Suffolk deluge – although I was away in London so wasn’t around to see colleagues change into Palm Wine and Stout costumes and reach for bin bags to stay dry!]
In the dry and calmer auditorium of the SJM itself director Dan Herd (@herdd) has been leading a workshop on the third draft of Molly Davies dark comedy about difference and cruelty. I’ve written more about that show here. An extract was shared at @pulseipswich on Saturday 31 May at 3.30pm before the team move to London for a further two days of workshoping with our colleagues at Hightide next week.
Once Upon a Lifetime
Meanwhile just down the corridor Eastern Angles Theatre and Outreach Officer Jon Tavener has been beavering away editing and arranging the transcripts of 60 hours of reminiscences into a 35-40 minute drama. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and supported by Orwell Housing Association, Once Upon a Lifetime goes into rehearsal in a couple of weeks before opening as part of the Ip-Art festival.
I am Running Stag
And just as I started drafting this blog an e mail pops into my in box – the first full workshop draft of a new play by poet Murray Lachlan Young. I am Running Stag (formally known as glamping) will spend next week being workshoped, pulled apart and put back together again by director Paul Jepson in the comforting surroundings of South Hill Park. Not an Eastern Angles project (one of my freelance hats) you can catch up with the process via a live stream on Thursday afternoon circa 4.30pm.
On Top of the World
Last week also saw exciting and inspiring conversations about two future projects which are at very embryonic stages. Over at Lakeside Theatre a lively discussion about a new play by Nicola Werenowska tentatively called On Top of the World or The Town that Hope Forgot. It’s a play about 3 generations of women (a grandmother, mother and daughter) living in Clacton on Sea and explores the impact of the decline of the seaside town on the women’s live. Together with Nicola and the Lakeside we hope to take the piece – which Eastern Angles commissioned an early treatment of – into early development. Watch this space.
A very Shanty Christmas
Even more embryonic was the discussion the following day about our Christmas show not for 2014/15 but 2015/16. We are exploring a new partnership with long term Eastern Angles friends Shanty Theatre and our catch up with Tim Bell, Harry Long and Stu McLoughlin was to toss early ideas into the frying pan …and to see what came out the other side. Far too early to say very much more now – other than the fact that the discussion was definitely not short on ideas!
In between all that we were also busy preparing for Ragnarok – Eastern Angles next show in the inspiring surroundings of the Hush House at Bentwaters. Charlie Way has written us a wonderful script – and thrown down a real creative challenge to our creative team – led by director Hal Chambers with designer Sam Wyer, movement director Polly Bennett and composer Ben Hudson (who is one half of Baconhead). Casting is under way, seating plans are being put in place and creative juices are flowing to bring this epic story of Gods, Giants and family quarrels to life. Tickets go on sale mid June!!
I will be Everything
If all that wasn’t enough – over in Peterborough – our co production with the wonderful New International Encounters – I will be everything opened on Friday. You can catch a public performance at the Key Theatre on Friday 20 June.
And this was meant to be a quiet time!