It's all been so busy recently that I haven't had a proper chance to post anything on here. I've just finished working on a couple of great projects.
I was back as assistant director with the National Theatre of Scotland's 'In Time O' Strife'. That took me all sorts of interesting places around the country (including a short performance in the parliament at Holyrood, which was just brilliant) and it was fantastic to see the show grow and for it to engage a really wide-spread audience.
I have just finished this year's Shakespeare in Schools project with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This is now the fifth year that I've taken second year BA actors out to schools for workshops and a reduced version of a play, this year it was the turn of 'Midsummer Night's Dream'. I love this project as it takes me and the RCS students to places we would rarely visit, this time around it was Airdrie and Shettleston (in Glasgow). It's a really rew…
Working on a Scottish classic
It is also right to do this play now because the politics that are at it's very core are just as relevant, if not more so, now than they have ever been. It is, of course, independence referendum year where the people of Scotland will get to decide whether our country will stay part of the United Kingdom or not. But this play is not about independence. Interestingly, as this obituary about John McGrath testifies, the theatre company that produced the work were not nationalists but very much socialists. The company were called 7:84 because, at that time, 7 percent of the population owned 84% of the wealth. With current reports like this coming out, showing that the 85 richest people in the world own the same amount as 50% of the world, the disease of wealth inequality is is anything but dead and this play looks at the historical reasons why such inequality exists and continues to grow in our society.
However, though it does not have nationalism at i…
I have spent the last few weeks working on a show called 'Notes to Self' with the 2nd year Musical Theatre students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The brief is simple in principle, create a show where the students generate all the material themselves. In practice this kind of work has a number of significant challenges but l have a lot of experience working on projects with multiple writers and, sometimes, hundreds of participants. I thought it may be helpful for anyone else who is looking to devise with large groups if I documented how we did it, the techniques used to create ideas and how modern technology can really make life easier.
We started in traditional devised theatre territory. I asked everyone to bring in a photo and a object, these were then left together in a little pile. Another actor would look at these objects, some which made sense (e.g. a picture of a snow storm and some gloves) and others where the link wasn't quite so obvious…
I spent the last week working on a play that I first wrote, with Samuel Keefe and Molly Vevers, almost 2 years ago. 'Love 2.0' is a really fun little show that I think is going to really make people chuckle. You can read all about the show on my theatre company's blog here and you can see a little trailer I made up above.
We had photographer Emily Rowan in rehearsal (her website is here) and she caught various great shots of the actors but also, unusually, of my good self at work. I'm not sure what the picture below says about my directing 'technique'...
Hopefully this is a show that we will be able to tour later in the year, but we shall see how our little showing at the Tron comes along first, it's certainly been a really fun show to make.
Weeeell the end of 2013 was extremely busy for me (hence lack of being on here) with various projects happening.
First off I composed the music for 'Bauble Trouble' at the Citizens theatre (directed by Guy Hollands). This was a great wee show for nursery children and we received fantastic reviews for it. It was a real challenge writing so much music - the entire show was pretty much underscored - in such a short time, but I loved it. I had my own little station in the corner (see below) and, using Logic Pro X and Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate amongst others, I created a soundtrack that I was pretty pleased with.
Here is the track that opened the show:
After Bauble Trouble was up and running I moved back to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where I was assistant-director on their production of Merchant of Venice that has just opened this week. It is a production which shall be going to Taiwan, here's a short trailer that one of the students made for it: