Friday, 15 August 2014

Earnest Mandrakes, Exs and Fred's Shed

The cast of The Mandrake Root

The Mandrake Root run finished on Sunday 10th of August and the second production in FRED Theatre's brand new venue, Fred's Shed, opened on Wednesday night. I'm playing the two witty butlers Lane and Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest. Yesterday (Thursday) we gave a matinee and evening performance. The matinee crowd was quite small but very pleasant, with one lady asking to have her picture taken with us afterwards. The evening show was much fuller and the audience were lapping up all those lovely Oscar Wilde one liners. 

I've got the weekend off from performing before we start doing Earnest in earnest next week. The serious rehearsal for Tell Me About Your Ex also begins on Tuesday with performances through September in Birmingham, Croydon and Stratford. 

At the end of September I'll be playing some solo gigs in Darlington and Birmingham before visiting London, Norfolk and Bracknell in October. 

A lot of my friends including Foghorn Improv and the guys from the Old Joint Stock have been up at the Edinburgh Fringe this month. I've heard that they are all having a lot of fun and I'm very jealous, as well as impatient to meet up with them all for Foghorn's Games Night at the OJS on the 28th of August. 

There's been some stuff going on recently which I haven't given much blog time to, so I'll do my best to correct that now... 

In July I was once again working with Round Midnight Theatre company on a transitions project for kids just about to start at a secondary school in Solihull. I was responsible for the music aspect of the week long workshop which involved forming some bands, giving some tutoring on guitar, bass, drums and keyboard as well as helping with the writing of a song about moving to a new school. I always really enjoy this project. The other arts workers; Jouvan, Vicky, Faith, Balandino and Josie are very talented and I learn a lot from working with them and observing their sessions. I also like working with this age group as they are old enough to have very interesting creative ideas but young enough not to be bowed down by the inhibitions and fear of embarrassment that suddenly strikes most kids at about 12 or 13, and prevents them from fully engaging with a project like this. 

I visited Lymington Folk Club for the first time recently and played the featured set. This is yet another wonderful little club in a charming countryside village run by enthusiastic music fans. I had a very enjoyable time playing and also listening to all the performers in the open mic session. Big thanks to the organisers for having me and to Steve for putting me up for the night and sharing some interesting local history. 

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