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!!
Ruffled Feathers 2019 was a huge success. We sold out both our shows and had to squeeze a few extras in. A few issues with the technology/ lighting but we resolved those in time for the first performance. The venue suited us from a performance perspective though lighting was tricky. This picture of Nina as ‘Homeless’ gives you an idea of the venue which used to be a workshop, with the white-washed brick walls and concrete floor.
The weather didn’t help with puddles forming as people dashed across the garden in the monsoon-like rain!
All the actors were great! We were helped of course by the direction of Valentina. She is a post-graduate student at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her experience, enthusiasm and energy helped bring the production up a level, and we owe her a huge thank you!
As you might guess, Valentina is from Italy and we enjoyed her use of both English and Italian. She is undertaking an MA in Applied Theatre and we wish her well with her studies.
The cast for this performance was a mix of those who had performed Ruffled Feathers before and those new to it. All worked well together to create a harmonious whole which bodes well for our next projects. Feedback from the audiences was overwhelmingly positive, and we all had a good time putting the performance together and delivering it. It was great to see ‘old friends’ in the audience and we hope we have made some new ones too.
A big thank you to those who came to help with Front of House, and we look forward to using your services again 🙂 Thank you also to all our friends and families who support us in our work as the Encore Theatre Company.
We have finished rehearsals for 2018, and what a busy year! We had a very successful run at Theatre Peckham with our own play “Ruffled Feathers”; we have written, produced and starred in our own short film “Last train to Svalbard” which will be available on our website shortly; and we have been heavily involved in the People’s Academy at London South Bank University working with the students in the School of Health & Social Care.
Alongside all of this we have been planning and working on our future projects. From January we will be rehearsing “Ruffled Feathers” with some changes to cast and format for 2 shows at The Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, on the 12th March 2019. We also have other projects just starting for later in 2019.
We continue to look for partners and collaborators, as well as new members. Get in touch if you want to chat about what we do.
Wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
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!
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, 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!
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.
This week Ben led us in an improvisation workshop. We were put through all kinds of exercises which were both instructive and incredibly funny! Everyone enjoyed the improvisations even when they hadn’t quite got the instructions right!
Improvisation is definitely a strength of the company who respond so well to each other’s cues. Towards the end we saw the two-headed fortune teller. In this exercise Donald and Pam had to answer questions but could only speak one word at a time alternating … see for yourself how this turned out in our short video clip.
This week saw us working with masks and exploring how the loss of facial expression has to be compensated for with the rest of the body. Ben led us through a series of exercises and improvisations with some remarkable performances.
This workshop this week, led by Ben Gunn from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, was based around voice and vocalisation. The talented Ben made good use of the piano to lead us through a range of exercises including this clip of the ‘laughing exercise’.
We ended with a devised work vocalising a random piece of text. It was great to hear geology and the Royal Mint delivered in such unique ways.