24 July 2006


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.....


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...