Rehearsing for Summer projetcs

We are now busy rehearsing for our summer projects. In line with our objectives as a Community Interest Company we are going to do some ‘in situ’ performances. This means taking our performances into places and to audiences that might not otherwise have an opportunity to access theatre. We will be performing in care homes to small audiences. This means adapting our scripts and performances depending on the venue and the audience. We also need to think carefully about the staging, so the production will also be a challenge.

We are all busy learning both duologues and solo items which we can then build into a coherent performance piece depending on which actors are available … all very complex!!

Filming nearly finished

So the film project is drawing to a close. We have been filming in cafés and in this picture we were in a small park inside London South Bank University. Now its final touches and lots of editing? So while the technical elves get on with that we are starting to think about future projects. In particular we are going to do two more performances of ‘Ruffled Feathers’ in March 2019. Time to dust off the scripts and get back into rehearsal – with a much modified cast list!

 

 

Hard at work in the pub!

 

This week we have been working on our short film project. One of the scenes in the film required us to ‘borrow’ our local pub The Albert Arms for the morning. Despite not being used to frequenting pubs at that time of the day we manfully rose to the task.

Big thanks to the staff of The Albert Arms for letting us in so early in the morning and for serving us drinks (soft only) before the pub was open for business.

We have quite a bit more filming to do but hope to premiere our short film on the 5th December. Next scene is outside so we are keeping one eye on the weather and our fingers firmly crossed.

Laura behind the cameraLaura, on placement from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, had a go ‘behind the camera’ under the expert tutorship of Nirmala – so we look forward to how her part of the film looks! No pressure!

Start of our new performing schedule

The start of the academic year also heralds the start of our next performance schedule as well as the start of a range of projects within the School of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University. Between now and December we will be writing and performing in two short films based on text written by a nurse while she was a student at LSBU. Filming isn’t something we do much of, so it is interesting to see how the processes work and what is different from work for the stage.

This week we worked on some of the dialogue and also practiced performing to camera. We acted a scene in a hairdressing salon with the actors working as though the camera was the mirror in front of them.

We also welcomed Laura Barritt, a final year undergraduate student at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, who will be on placement with us until December.

In this video clip you can see that Laura jumped straight in and with Richard was one of the pairs trying out dialogue to camera.

Ruffled Feathers taking shape

We are now at a very exciting stage. The script is almost finished (bar the usual tweaking), and we are able to think about staging, lighting, props and costumes! Our two directors, Javier & Ben, are doing a great job. They are both post-graduate students at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and have adapted well to working with us (and that takes some doing!)

So now we are busy finding all the things we need for the show like a bench and a litter bin, and working out how to create the dog walkers pets 🙂 You’ll need to come and see the show to find out how we do that.

Tickets are on sale (http://encoretheatrecompany.eventbrite.com) and our marketing posters and leaflets are in the print room, so its all systems go to fill the audience for our 3 shows. See you there!

 

Workshop with Michal Paker

This week we were lucky to have a guest Director – Michel Paker. Michal completed an MA in Applied Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama during which she worked with children and teenagers to improve confidence using drama. Before her MA, Michal had trained in physical theatre and had spent a year in Japan teaching English to Japanese people of all ages. She visited us to help us with the physicality we need to bring to our current production.

Firstly we had great fun exploring ways to express the four elements with our bodies moving from all consumed by the element to only a small part. She helped us to understand how to approach characters through exploring physically which element they may be closest aligned to. We also performed the 4 seasons in dance as we walked in interweaving patterns using our arms à la ‘Pina Bausch‘! Finally we developed dance moves expressing park activities which will contribute directly to the show.

New year, new project

The start of 2018 has brought the start of a new project. We are going to continue with our theme of devised projects. This time we are looking for inspiration from the swans at Brockwell Park. We are very excited to have two students from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama acting as the Artistic Directors for this project, and we are looking forward to what this collaboration brings. So far we have an outline framework and a series of concepts, including the use of a park bench which you can see in these pictures. Early days yet, but some interesting ideas and dialogue starting to emerge. Keep watching for more updates, and as soon as we have fixed the venue and dates for performances we will get bookings underway.

Working with our student Directors

Conversation on a park bench

Exercising in the park

Christmas Photograph

Following our rehearsals today with gathered together to take a photograph for our Christmas card. A bit early for Christmas hats and tinsel – but worth it! You can see we are also showing off our new pull-up stands and theatre blacks which we will be using for the staging of Objets d’Art in December.

Ok – time to get busy creating our card for Christmas!

Audience Participation

This week we had a run through in front of a small audience to test out our plans for audience participation, which seemed to go very well. As you can see from the pictures we are now ‘off script’ except for those who were reading in for absent colleagues. The set is still in a ‘mock up’ stage but next week we will have the theatre blacks up and the lights sorted out. We still have to perfect the getting on and off stage sequences but we are definitely on track for our performances in December. We are still waiting for the Eventbrite link but will circulate that as soon as we have it so that you can all rush to get a ticket!