Blogging in other places (about Arab actors; preparing a script for publication; and Motherhood and Creativity)

I’ve been doing a fair bit of scribbles in other places talking about my experiences with different elements of my play Scenes from 68* Years and my writing, so I thought I’d collate links to them all here:

What exactly is an Arab actor? (in Whatsonstage.com)

“There’s a fantastic organisation that’s been set up by actors and creatives to raise awareness called Act for Change, but the trouble is that often the thinking is that there needs to be more roles for people of colour or for people with disabilities. But that’s nonsense. What we need is equality of opportunity – so for people not to just presume that the main character in something has to be able-bodied, white and (probably) male.”

A double act: Preparing a script for publication and production (in ActorsandPerformers.com)

“I’m messy in life and worse on my computer I have lots of folders but I never seem to be able to stick to a naming convention and with my usual ‘pre rehearsal draft’, ‘rehearsal draft’, ‘rehearsal draft final’ ‘rehearsal draft final final’ there also had to be another set of ‘final draft Methuen’, ‘final draft Methuen with cuts’ and so on. My poor brain.”

Motherhood and Creativity (in StandardIssue.com)

“Without actual money to prove the value of what you are doing, how can you explain it to people? People who look at you handing over your child in order to go and sit in a room typing in isolation.”

HANNAH KHALIL talks about Ramin Grey, Complicite and live skyping in her current show at The Arcola.… (Offwestend.com)

“What is your opinion of Off West End theatre, in general?
I think it is in rude health against all the odds. Funding at the moment across the arts is in a really difficult place, and the Off West End model is very tough for most producers. The problem is many people running subsidised buildings now may not realise that the old box office split model of the 70s, 80s and early 90s no longer exists, so in some Off West End set ups young companies are required to effectively hire a theatre, and raise all the funds themselves, much of it up front. Meaning getting plays on is really, really hard. And it affects the kind of plays being produced of course – it’s much cheaper to do a one-man show or a two-hander than a large-scale epic. That said I find myself more and more venturing Off West End to see plays – because, like I say against the odds, some really exciting work is happening.”

And a reminder that Scenes from 68* Years  is running at the Arcola until 30 April – we’ve had some nice reviews I’m told, so please do come if you can. We have an amazing cast and crew who deserve all the praise.

March 2016

March has passed in a flurry of pre production and rehearsals for my play Scenes from 68* Years which, if you have been anywhere near me in life or on social media you will know runs from 6-30 April at the Arcola in Dalston.

ScenesEflier

Those rehearsals – though I haven’t been in a great number – have been a massive cultural highlight of my month and my year. The cast and crew are astonishingly talented and dedicated to breathing life into the play I wrote – it’s actually pretty humbling. It’s also massively gratifying to pop into a room where a group of people are saying words you wrote on a page, and basically making real something that has only danced in your imagination. Every single person in the room (and our actress in Palestine Maisa who skypes in o rehearsal and will Skype into performances) believes in this production and I think it’s going to be really special, please do book and come along if you can.

1438630275encounter_01

Another immense theatrical experience makes my top three this month – The Encounter by Complicite. I was terrified it couldn’t live up to the hype but it surely did … A revolutionary reimagining of staging a play that is a sort of radio play hybrid listened through headphones. The audiences watches not only a tour de force performance from McBurney but also how the piece is made, as he creates the ‘foley’ sound effects before our eyes. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. I’m hoping they’ll stream it online again in future as I’d like to experience it that way too to see how/if it affects my reaction.

p01sx8xc

Finally a telly – Line of Duty is back. And already it’s a roller coaster. Season 3 of Jed Mercurio’s drama about a special branch of the police who investigate corruption and crimes inside the force ,immediately has the strengths of the previous series: believable but unpredictable characters and a plot that has you gasping with every twist. I once heard Mercurio discuss how he writes and he said he never plans the ending of the series, so when he starts writing episode 2 or 3 the plot can sometimes go to places even he didn’t expect, and he has to go back and alter previous episode’s scripts to ensure they work in light of what is going to happen. To my mind it’s this writing style that leads to such edge-of-the-seat plotting – and he’s not afraid to kill of a character out of the blue. Essential Thursday night viewing – unless of course you’re coming to my play the Arcola in which case you can watch it later on iPlayer. *smiley face*

Bear with me oh my single reader… from next month it’ll be over and I won’t keep boring you with plugs!