16 October 2006

It's all over

Yes, it's true. It's been some time since I posted on this blog, though I have been updating the other one fairly prolifically (in an attempt to avoid reading about neuroscience!). In fact, the last time I blogged was on the Thursday (5th October) of the performance, so I have rather a lot to catch up on!

I got on top of my nerves and managed to stay relatively calm, though probably not by normal people's standards. I did find myself pacing (normal for me), and muttering to myself (also normal), and occasionally laughing, a little hysterically when people tried to calm me down. The kids arrived, almost on time, and went through their lines, they put on their costumes (which all of them remembered to bring the constituent parts to, thank god), and they were ready to go.

I have never felt quite so nervous as when those opening bars of "School's Out" played in the Rhoda. Well, maybe I felt more nervous last year when I was sat waiting for the tabs to open for Auras, but this was another type of nervousness - there was nothing I could do now, but wait, and hope that the kids could carry it off after our 4 months of hard work.

They did really well. There were a few hiccups with the lines, when Ollie skipped about a page, twice, but showing what true professionals they are, the rest of the cast picked up on his cue, and the play went on as scripted. Not even the adjudicator noticed (I don't think...). The audience (mainly, it seemed made up of people I knew) laughed at all the right places, and even in some places I wasn't expecting. They really responded well to the action on the stage, and seemed quite uplifted afterwards. When Suzi did her "Oggy Moxon" speech, I was so proud I was almost tearful, and equally when I heard the audience clapping at the end it made me go all shivery. Forgetting the mishaps with the script, they did brilliantly and I was very proud of them all.

Then to the adjudication... Now, one of my biggest downfalls is that I don't take criticism very well...I don't like letting people down, and I especially hate the feeling that I have let myself (and my expectations of myself) down. Egotistical it may be, but there we have it. Looking back on it, maybe I entered the festival for the wrong reasons. I wanted to direct something, I wanted to do a youth production, and I wanted to have fun doing it. I sort of forgot that people enter festivals to win things. A lot of the criticism was based on things that the adjudicator would want to see done differently if it was going to win prizes. I took it (at first - it always takes my 24 hours to sort things through in my head, and I'm happier with it now) personally, and felt that she had missed the point of what we'd tried to do. In hindsight, I'd missed the point of being in a festival. Anyway, her main criticism was that the characters were a little clich├ęd and we needed to find depth in them in order to gain a better understanding of them. Fair point, but the audience laughed, so I achieved my goal.

I set out to do this, many moons ago (god, almost a year ago I started thinking about directing...) to enjoy my first directing experience, to let the kids have fun doing a play, and experience a festival, and make the audience laugh. I achieved all this, (I hope) and that's what I have to remember!! The Committee are considering my proposal of doing both acts of Teechers in Brook Hall, some time next spring, and I am hoping, following the positive feedback that this will go ahead. We shall see anyway...

Following the Thursday, I then went to three other nights of the Festival. Saturday saw The Dissidents (headed up by Wilf and Sue) and "Poke Your Cup", which was a funny take on the whole festival thing. I wondered (having read the script) what the adjudicator would make of it, but she took it well, and ended up awarding them with the Adjudicator's Award for the sheer brazeness of Lianne and Mitzie's "gratutious characters". Also on the Saturday was Pyrford Little Theatre and "Playhouse Creatures", by April de Angelis. I really enjoyed this, though the lighting let it down badly. Helen Imison (Nell) was fantastic, and went on to win Best Junior Player. The following Thursday was the turn of the adult OP contingent, with "The Man in the Middle of the Road", a new play by Paul Foster. I enjoyed this, though I agree with the adjudicator that the script would work better on television (being my father's daughter, I can imagine a lot of cutting between the outside and inside shots, with moody lighting and a dark sound track) sorry Paul. There were a lot of strong performances, namely Alison Byers as Claire, and Nicky Breslin as Gregson.

On to the all important awards night... Three plays were recalled, Woking College with "Home Free!", Thorpe Players with "A Night Out", and Lighted Fools with "A Number". I had seen Lighted Fools on the Thursday, and it was fantastic. A twohander, with incredible performances by both men. I really enjoyed it, though it was a little heavy to watch twice in three days! Thorpe Players were good too, a very classic comedy, and nice and light! Woking College, however, were in a different class. "Home Free" is a very complicated (well probably not actually) play with some really challenging themes. I suggest you click on the link rather than have me try to explain it. Again, two people, this time a young girl and boy, around 20 at most, who were just amazing. Charlotte Newton John (yes, apparently a relation to Olivia!) won Best Actress for her role as Joanna, Claire Nevers won Best Director, and the play went on to also win Best Youth Play, and Best Overall Play. It was unbelievable: there was an awful lot of talent on that stage.

And as for Teechers? Well, we didn't win anything... But, Jack got a nomination for Best Junior Player for Salty, which he definitely deserved. Ok, so we didn't sweep the board, but we pulled off a good performance, and had fun doing it... And wasn't that the point after all?

05 October 2006

This is it

D-day. Or rather, WDF-day.
There are a few words which spring to mind to describe my current state of mind:
Paranoia
Terrified
Nervous
Sick (with nerves)
Stage-fraught (surely a conjunction of stage fright?)
Panicking

I am planning to start my pacing around 4pm this afternoon...If anyone should be in the Woking Area and see a girl walking round in circles (with a fantastic (I hope) t-shirt that says "Teechers, Woking Drama Festival 2006" on it), muttering to herself, smile at her, reassure her that it'll all be ok, and then come to the Rhoda McGaw theatre tonight at 7.30, and see what all the fuss is about...

And it's called? Teechers....

04 October 2006

Teechers


Teechers
Originally uploaded by clareybella.
Ms Whitham gets the bad news....She's on remedial English...

03 October 2006

It's been a while...


Well, such a lot has happened. Hmm, a slight overexaggeration... I have started uni and until today had no internet in the house, so consequently have not been blogging. I'm sure you're all devastated!

Anyway, the dress rehearsal... It went really well, far better than I expected. There are a few creases to iron out, and I need to make sure that the lights are what I think they're going to be, but the kids did well. The lines weren't 100%, but no prompts were taken, and the audience said they enjoyed it. They even laughed!

Teechers - Dress Rehearsal

Then this weekend we had our Stage Time at the Rhoda. It was very useful to have some time on the stage, and set it all up how we need it. I was, obviously, over-stressed about the whole idea, especially as we only have 35 mins of stage time, which doesn't seem very long when you have 15 lighting cues and 16 sound cues to try out. It went well, in that Phil got all his sound levels sorted out, so he was happy. We didn't get to run the lighting as Rob was programming them all in, but I am hoping that we can iron out any queries tonight, our last rehearsal.

I really feel I should be saying something philosophical about coming to the end of the rehearsal period. I don't know what to say though. It's been an interesting (and fun!) experience and definitely hasn't put me off the idea of directing something in the future. I would love to do a prodcution of both Acts of the play, but whether I'll be able to is up to the Committee. Oh, and how many essays I have to write this coming year!
Next post will presumably be after performance...Wish us luck!

20 September 2006

Set Dressing

Final rehearsal before the Green Room last night. For those that don't know a Green Room is a performance where a non-paying audience of nice people (members of Ottershaw Players in this instance) come and watch the show before it is put before a paying (and therefore more scary) audience.

It's getting there. We had an impromptu audience of Danny and Matt, who happened not only to laugh (hoorah!), but also profess to enjoying the performance. It was nice to get another opinion on the play, and also get some feedback. Maybe I should have got an audience in before now... It'll be interesting to see what the feedback is on Sunday. Fingers crossed.

In my current state of unemployment, as I'm supposed to be moving house this week I am busy sorting out stuff for the play and also for my imminent move (house is still not official, so I'm taking no chances!). I've spent the morning so far printing out old Ottershaw Players posters from the website, courtsey of Pete's cleverness at poster designing. I know that putting Ottershaw Players posters up is a completely self indulgent in-joke, but it amuses me. I've also managed to find a sepia picture of "Ophelia" (pictured), which will be perfect.

I'm off to paint a noticeboard white now; the joys of having nothing to do...

14 September 2006

Oversight

When I started this play, I was worried about a few things. I was mainly worried that the committee of Ottershaw Players, and other "grownups" (of which I am definitely not one) would think (or worse, find out) that I am incompetent, ditzy, easily distracted and forgetful. Oh and I worried that they'd think I was useless at directing, and that the play would be a complete embarrassment and disaster for Ottershaw Players.

I've stopped worrying quite so much now. If they do think I'm useless, they've not told me yet, and I thought I had got on top of my forgetful and ditziness... Until now.

Last night we had the producers meeting at Lyn Mison's house (Lyn is the festival stage director). Not only was I late (I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag, even if I had directions), but so were Pete and Phil, so from the start we weren't looking like the most professional of outfits. Pete asked me if I had a copy of the stage plan, *blank look* from me, so we fudged it together there and then (thankfully it's not complicated). Then Robert got underway with his magical lighting plan that I don't understand, but I'm sure will look amazing, so that was ok. Thankfully sound wasn't complicated ("do you have a CD or minidisk?", "CD", "ok"), and we explained about the odd obscenity on stage...It was all going quite smoothly, until Lyn mentioned she'd not seen my licence...

My licence??

Licence??

What licence?????

Yes, that's right people. Your "I'm so pleased I've become more organised in my old age" director, has omitted to apply for a licence to perform the play. The word you're looking for is idiot. So much for my impressing people with my organisational skills and (obviously) wonderful play. If we don't get the licence by 5th October, we won't be performing. IDIOT. I'll never be allowed to direct again!

Lovely Lyn thankfully didn't seem to think I was too much of an idiot (well she is probably a good actress), and Pete is going to phone Samuel French today and sort it out, so fingers crossed it'll all be ok...On second thoughts, cross your toes too...

I'll see you later. I'm just going to the bottom of the garden to eat worms...

12 September 2006

tick tick tick

that's the sound of time, trickling away from us...!

Sunday's rehearsal was really useful, as now, thanks to Dancing Dave, we have a full CD of sound cues. I had to shout at the kids a little to get them to either shut up or stop dancing around the stage, but eventually we got it sorted, and topped and tailed the script.

Line learning is still a real problem though. Ollie and Jack are coming early tonight to go through their pages of script, which hopefully will iron it out a bit. The other problem we have is people not being 100% sure of where they're supposed to be at any given time. Quite often Jack gives me a scared look from the "stage" and I have to point and gesture so he knows where he's supposed to be - this, I imagine, is quite distracting for the others! So the plan for this week is to make sure everyone knows exactly where they're supposed to be, and when... (Oh and to get Ollie to learn his lines!!)

I was nominated for the Player's Cup this year :) Not that important really, as most people who read this have either won it, or don't know what it means, but anyway, it made me smile. I just want to know who nominated me...

06 September 2006

Prompt? Who needs a prompt?

Well, actually, half of my cast...
Which actually isn't as bad as it sounds. The girls are nigh on word perfect, but Jack admitted as soon as the rehearsal started that he didn't know all his words, and Ollie has obviously tried hard to learn his, but he does have significantly more to learn...
Maybe I do them an injustice. Jack knows about 90% of his, and Ollie about 95%, it's just the last couple of pages where it all falls apart. So, on Sunday we're going to have a special "boys half hour" before the rehearsal starts. Hopefully this'll help them concentrate on the lines a bit better.
Last night we kept going over and over parts, practicing costume changes and changing the blocking so that it all works properly (not majorly changed though Pete, don't worry!), and everyone can get to where they need to be. It's looking good, and we're just adding in a few comedy moments to really pull it together.
We even had some music last night, which again helped us get a feel for it. Of course, in doing this I realised the true beauty of having a sound man (the long suffering Phil)... I found it almost impossible to concentrate on directing and pressing play at the right time! And they say women can multi-task...

04 September 2006

Shopping list, mark 2

Hello...
After a successful shopping trip on the weekend (thanks goes to Phil who not only followed me round all the charity shops in Godalming, but also incurred a parking ticket in the process...) I now only need a few things...

  • Flowery cardigan (an addition to the list)
  • Old theatre posters, preferably Ottershaw Players ones!
  • A pair of men's glasses
  • School bell (hand bell)
  • PE Skirt

With 9 more rehearsals before the performance, the tension is mounting.... A book amnesty on Tuesday will really show how well the lines have been learnt!!

30 August 2006

Shopping list...

As time ticks away I find myself with an ever growing "list of things to do"... I am going to have a big (charity shop) shopping trip this weekend, to try to get as much of it as possible, so that the cast have a chance to practice with the props. Normally this isn't such an issue, but with all the (minor) costume changes that are needed throughout, I think it's a good idea to get it all sorted ASAP.

If any of you happy readers have any of the following items please let me know!
  • Pink/yellow or otherwise brightly coloured cardigan
  • Brown or grey cardigan
  • Flowery skirt
  • Pair of men's glasses (preferably old man shaped)
  • Tweed jacket (or similar)
  • Flat cap
  • PE Skirt
  • Skipping rope
  • School bell (hand bell)
  • Pinstripe jacket any colour
  • Exercise books
  • Newspapers (obviously I can source these!)
  • Briefcase
  • A copy (preferably in MP3 or similar format) of "Little Green Bag", from Reservoir Dogs

Any help gratefully accepted!

23 August 2006

Where has the time gone??

Well, here we are. Five weeks from the festival... FIVE WEEKS!! That's ten rehearsals!

However, we have had a couple of promising rehearsals recently, albeit without various members of the cast (note to members of casts through out the world: if you're rehearsing on Tuesdays, remember that you're rehearsing on Tuesdays and don't be on the wrong side of Surrey at the time you're supposed to start). I'm really impressed with the amount of lines that the girls especially have managed to learn. Hopefully they will continue to get the lines in, so we can do things properly without the books.

Pete (lovely SM) and I had a good chat at the pub, supposedly about the play, but we did digress a little (but hey, the world is now set to rights again!). I think I have solved our rehearsal space problems, if the Scouts and Guides let us use the hall, which is a big issue in my mind! Its just a few lighting ideas, and finally sorting out the sound cues... Oh and more directorial ideas to have.

Now begin the "lets break up the script and go over and over and over it" rehearsals, which are always fun. But it needs to be done and it will be! The kids are still really enthusiastic though, which helps! Let's hope I can bottle their enthusiasm for the weeks to come...!

24 July 2006

Rehearsals


Hurrah, now I have a cast, I can get on with the joys of rehearsing!

I won't bore you with the details and the ins and outs of my directorial ideas (well, not now, anyway), but we had our first read through yesterday evening and it went really well.

The kids got the whole "swapping characters" thing really quickly, and with a bit of work on accents and posture and things we should be fine. They're also on the look out for things that will make them look like their characters (hats, glasses, etc) so hopefully this will be a very low budget production!

We have our first "moving" rehearsal tomorrow, which should be interesting. I guess I've really got to get my directorial head on now!

17 July 2006

Cast at last

Hoorah! I have a cast list for Teechers.

Gail: Suzi Braggins
Hobby: Thomasina Breslin
Salty: Jack Breslin
Nixon: Oliver Moore

So that's one thing off my mind.... Now back to the list of things to do! (along with organising rehearsals....)

09 July 2006

Love's Labour's Lost

ny one who has read this who has been to Durham, or knows the university will appreciate the brilliance of the Wood Players' recent production of Love's Labour's Lost. One of Shakespeare's lesser known plays, Angie Audretsch (formally of the fabulous Twelfth Night, last summer) took Elizabethan England and set it in modern day Durham, and it worked perfectly. I am, of course, slightly biased, in that the Wood Players were founded by yours truly, and I initiated the Summer Shakespeare last year. However, this was inspired brilliance, and well worth the journey to the North East.


Durham is filled with stereotypes (I will get on to the review soon, I promise): rahs (those pashmina wearing Pimms lovers), gappers (beadey, hairy and often with interesting trousers), academic pedants and awkward foreign students. Almost everyone fits a "Durham type", and within this there is the usual college rivalry (in this case between "Navarre College" and "France College") thus life goes on in its usual style. Angie took these images of Durham and applied them to Love's Labour's, and this was the result.

The "King" of Navarre (played by Tom Mudd), and his trusty friends, Berowne, Dumaine and Longaville, fitted the rah image perfectly. When their "college" is invaded by the "Princess" of France (Alice Vink) and her ladies in waiting, they all fall in love with one of them. The only problem is that they have all sworn off women for the next three years. Much Shakespearian hilarity ensues, with mistaken identities, masked balls and other great comedic plot lines of the Bard. Sadly, no "bit with a dog", but you can't have everything...
The performances were spot on, notably Jon West as Duke Armando, and Alex Owen as Berowne. Alex, particularly caught my eye, as this performance was his third (possibly fourth) this year, after never setting foot on stage before Twelfth Night (as Sailor No 2...) He is a natural performer, and it is a great shame that he didn't realise this before this year!

The set and costumes were modern day, and fitted the script and story perfectly. The costumes were simple, by dressing the characters in clothes you see on the streets of Durham: pashminas, short skirts, collars up and huge sunglasses, followed naturally by "formal dress" of black tie.

The play was fantastic, and thoroughly enjoyable. It is a very funny play, and easily understood even by Shakespeare virgins. Anyone who has been to university will recognise the agonies of waking up with a hangover and swearing off food and booze forever, only to find yourself out the next night, bladdered again and eating cheesy chips...Add in a few unrecommended love connections and you have Love's Labour's, Durham Style.....

Auditions

I have been rather lax in my blogging of late, many apologies. I really need to write a review of Love's Labour's Lost, to go with the photos, but first I will update this with news from the Teecher's camp...

I held two lots of auditions this week, on Thursday and Saturday. Now, I've run auditions before, and there has always been a panel of us, so I've never really been that nervous (in fact, for Twelfth Night we all got rather giggly and hyper on Haribo, I seem to recall). However, for these auditions I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. More scared than I've ever been auditioning for something myself!

As predicted by everyone, they were fine. I had three people on the Thursday, a boy and two girls, and on the Saturday another boy and a girl. Now comes the hard part...

Ideally I want two boys, aged between 15-17 and two girls of around the same age. I have seen 2 boys, 12 and 13 years old respectively, and three girls. Neither of the boys is the right age, but one would be better than the other at playing an older boy - he has an older face and a more mature demeanour. The girls are all the right age and all very promising young actresses... I have the number of one more interested party, a 17 year old unknown, who I am hoping will be the answer to all my prayers, but, we shall see. If he doesn't work out, there is the possibilty of an all female cast, which is do-able, but not entirely ideal...

Ack, why is nothing ever simple! No matter how I look at it, I'm going to have to let down at least 2 people, which makes me feel very mean. But, that's showbiz, I s'pose...

13 June 2006

So much to do!!

I got a lovely email this morning from Chris about Teechers. I now have quite a comprehensive list of things to do before I go away on 26th June and then before 18th July...

  • Work out the approximate running time
  • Edit the script into it's final form and then pop it round to Chris's house
  • Cast the play (not before I go on holiday...)
  • Take and print out 2 b&w photos of the cast
  • Tell Chris who is under 21 (all the cast, but not the crew)
  • A scene setting blurb type thing
  • Stage Manager (any volunteers? thought not...)
  • Any other credits...
  • Work out if we're available for recall night, and if we want to go to the All Winners festival
  • Work out (ASAP) if we want to do Spelthorne Festival...

Argh! Any volunteers for set desgining, lighting, sound and particularly Stage Manager are gratefully recieved!

12 June 2006

Wanted....

Some 14 - 17 year old boys for acting purposes. Must be ABLE TO ACT, malleable and full of energy. (Good looking too...)

Someone to do sound...All sorts, particularly "modern music", and music that would fit the description, "a choir sings"...

A stage manager, who knows what they're doing.

Someone who likes painting random bits of set.

Someone who can design the random bits of set....

The list is endless...!

08 June 2006

Habeas Corpus

I figure that since this is just called "adventures in amateur dramatics", it matters not if I review other ammy drammy things I see??

Last night was the first night of Habeas Corpus, Ottershaw Players' summer offering at the Rhoda McGaw. It's directed by Peter Moore , and stars many of the old favourites, and a few newbies. "Habeas..." is by Alan Bennett (him of Talking Heads fame, or as I remember him, reading Winnie the Pooh when I was younger!) and is billed as being a "hilarious farce", on the Ottershaw posters.

The set was predictably amazing. Alan Wakefield and his team had done it again, and had somehow brought Brighton (or Hove, perhaps) pier to life on the stage. Every set I see at Ottershaw amazes me, and this one was just as good as the others. Lights and sounds were good to, tho I have to admit I don't really pay much attention to them (which I suppose is how its supposed to be: a friend once said you're not supposed to be aware of the lights or sound, if they're done well).

I've read the script a couple of times, in preparation for my disastrous audition, and just to understand what was going on. Needless to say, I laughed where I was supposed to, and then in some other places too! The facial expressions and movements of the characters were spot on, especially Sir Percy Shorter's twitch, and Mrs Wicksteeds general stature - Alison (Byers) had the movements down completely.

It would take me too long to list everything I enjoyed about this show. I loved the little touches (the delphiniums being thrown on!) and the costumes were fantastic too (where did Paul get that purple suit?!). Absolutely fab, and it deserves to do really well at the box office and in review! If you're in the area, go and see it before it finishes on Saturday!!! :-)

15 May 2006

Read through: tick, next job?

Well, the readthrough was a week ago, so I've been a bit lapse in my updating. I was in Paris with Phil from Tuesday til Friday and then hid at his house this weekend as per normal. Anyway, see normal blog for that!!
It went ok. I probably didn't pick the right people to read the right parts, but I didn't know that when I picked them. I also didn't know if people like Brenda, Lisel and Chris would want to read, so didn't give them anything to read and consequently ended up reading in lots of silly little lines. And, as I suspected, it didn't flow as well being read as I think it will when you move about. It seemed very long as well, but I'm planning on editting it, so that should be ok. It didn't come across as well as I wanted it to, but some people laughed in the right places, and hopefully it'll be funnier when I've sorted it out and there's stuff like movement and facial expressions to help it along.
Anyway, I'm allowed to continue with it. I think that the committee all think I've taken on far too much, but hopefully it'll all come together. I'm not 100% convinced I'm going to be able to direct this one and act in another, but we'll see. Going to a read through for the other on Wednesday, so I'll see what I think then.
So, auditions in July sometime, post GCSEs and pre "everyone leaving the country" (including me, possibly, again see blog). Got to get my head round the script and exactly how I want to cast it this week, then set about editing the script into a manageable form and actually writing down the ideas I have in my head!!

08 May 2006

Read throughs are more scary than auditions: Discuss.

Tonight is the make or break read through at The Castle in Ottershaw. (Of course, I still have to get my proposal accepted by the committee and there might not be room for us in the entries anyway, so this could all be a waste of time…)

I am inexplicably nervous. I HATE talking in front of people I don’t know, (ironic considering how much I enjoy prancing about on stage in front of people I don’t know), and am scared that they’re going to think that I am too inexperienced to direct a show for the drama festival and stupid to even consider it.

I am also worried that there will be no “youths” there, and the committee will therefore presume that there is no interest in it. I am fully aware of the fact that the age I am targeting are the age who are doing their GCSEs at the moment and so probably won’t be able to come tonight. But the auditions and rehearsals will be well after the GCSE period so shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s just hope that the committee remember this!!

Maybe I’ll write a blurb about the play, and what I want to do with it. Maybe that’ll make people think I know what I’m doing, and will involve less lengthy explanations from me. Here’s hoping!

04 May 2006

Scuppered at the first hurdle?

Hmm, well it maybe that this blog won't be charting the rise and fall of a youth production, as recent news from the Woking Drama Association suggests that there may be a glut of youth entries this year! Noooo!
Oh well, we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed, and possibly rely on our contacts on the WDA committee!! (This all still depends on the Ottershaw Players accepting my proposal!)Otherwise, I'll have 8 copies of a defunct script on my hands, a couple of disappointed teenagers and a very disappointed director!

26 April 2006

A proposal, a play and a readthrough

I thought I'd start this in the spirit of keeping people entertained as I tear my hair out because I'm doing too much... I've volunteered to direct a youth entry for the Woking Drama Festival this October. Last year, the adjudicator commented that there were very few youth entries in the festival, so I decided to make my directorial debut, directing a play with "youths" in it. However, it also looks like I may be involved in another entry, with a different group, whilst also starting uni in London... Hmm.

After some umming and ahhing I picked the first act of Teechers by John Godber. Teechers is an exuberant look at life in a comprehensive school, from the view of its pupils. The students (Gail, Hobby and Salty) take on the personas of the various teachers, caretakers etc in their school, as part of the end of term entertainment. It is written so that the three actors play some twenty characters; however there is scope for the play to include more people, playing the minor roles. It is a challenge, to direct and to perform, as (if done as written), the actors are constantly changing roles.

Ideally I would like to direct it with four children in it, aged between 14 and 17, preferably two boys and two girls. The part of Salty is fairly weighty (although I have plans to edit it slightly) and if we had two boys it could be split, with one playing Salty (and other male, minor characters) and one playing Nixon (the school drama teacher).

I've sent off my proposal to the Ottershaw Player's committee now, so it's in their hands. I'm hoping they won't turn it down due to my lack of experience, but I am willing to get help from where ever possible! On Monday 8th we have a readthrough at the Castle Pub in Ottershaw. I'm really nervous about this, as I don't know how well the play will work with about 20 people reading it round a table, and it has been said that my proposal will be supported by how much interest there is at the reading. The biggest problem with this is that I want youths, and most of them have GCSEs this year, so won't be attending... Argh, is this all too much hassle?!

I've been making notes and have loads of ideas and lots of enthusiasm...I can only hope that this translates into a good peice of directing and acting at the Drama Festival!!