Showing posts from March, 2014

The Cheviot, The Stag, The Oil & The Green Green Golf Course

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…

Devising a new musical

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.

Generating Ideas 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…