Friday, 29 January 2010

Don't miss out!

Just a reminder that Matt Pang and PanGottic Theatre Company are in tonight with Full Twist. They are setting up as we speak and it's set to be an excellent show. There are still a few tickets left at the cheap old price of £5 for students and £6 for adults. Get in touch if you'd like one reserved!

Stretching the boundaries between circus and physical theatre Full Twist is a witty tale of lust and love full of pathos and hilarity, poetics and absurdity, where the audience is taken through the life of a colourful couple stumbling into love from the very first date, right through to marriage and babies.

But this tale has more to it, in contrast to the slightly exaggerated, wacky clownish couple, there are two other, more naïve, clumsy, intimate characters (played with large masks), and in this warm-hearted sub-plot, they too are making their own quirky journey through romance, finding love over rubber gloves. These beautifully crafted love stories are told with no words, through strong physical and visual elements.

This is a fast paced, up-beat piece of circus-theatre and physical comedy, reminiscent of a silent comedy film, which combines an unusual, yet complimentary, mix of mask and contemporary clowning with the thrills of circus. It’s a romantic comedy like no other where you can expect to see everything from smashing glass to heart dropping, and controversial baby juggling.

You will find yourself carried away in this playful world of unexpected cynical twists and slick choreographed object manipulation. By using high energy physical routines, visual trickery, surprising audience participation and more than a few surprises, PanGottic present this engaging, innovative and exciting spectacle - Full Twist.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Backstage: Jessica Harper

Meet Jessica Harper, an actor from the West Midlands and our first Backstage candidate for 2010! Jessica is only 19 and has already worked with actors such as Julie Walters, Tim Healey, Warren Clarke, Linda Bellingham and Colyn Buchanan.

What made you want to get into your profession?
When I was younger I attended an awful lot of Theatre and Dance clubs. At first it just started off as a hobby, but … as time went on (and it didn’t take very long) I realised that I had a real passion for it. Even as a little-un I knew that the way I felt when I was on stage wasn’t just a feeling you got from an evening filler. Nope, it felt different, I felt different. Being on stage was like the greatest feeling I had ever felt, I never wanted to be off it. When one show ended I was straight back in doing another. I knew that I didn’t want this feeling to end and I didn’t want to end up getting old, having to work in an office and end up having to wave goodbye to that feeling. So that’s what made me want to get into the profession. I would have grown up unhappy if I hadn’t gone into this profession. I owe a lot to all those companies I attended as a kid. They were the start of it all for me
What did you do after school? Train, study...?
After school I went on to gain a triple distinction award in my Btech National Diploma Of performing Arts. I decided not to go to university, I didn’t feel it necessary for myself. I want to give my career the best crack I can on my own. I am very lucky though because I went through training with the ITV Television Workshop for 9 years this was during my school and college years. So I had already been training to a professional standard many years before Drama College was an option. So I suppose due to my training there, university really wasn’t a must for me.

What age did you start training?
I started my training with The ITV Television Workshop when I was 10 and I trained with them right up until the ripe age of 18 which is the cut off point, but I keep in contact with them and have had some brilliant experiences with them.

Did you specialise in your current area of work or are your skills more broad?
Well when I trained with The ITV Television Workshop we worked and developed mainly our acting ability. So we didn’t really focus on musicals or anything along those lines. We did incorporate music and dance into pieces don’t get me wrong but we didn’t produce any huge Broadway Musical Spectacular. We focused mainly on drama and acting, which is where I believe my strengths lie. But I did study performing arts at college so I do hold skills in other areas of performance such as dance, singing, physical theatre, TIE etc. So yes I would say my skills are pretty broad but I wouldn’t say I am amazing in all of those skills. No, some better than others.

Do you recommend to specialise?
Yes I do. I like to put it this way if I said to people that I am brilliant at the following: Acting and singing and they were what I specialise in. That would be a lie because although I can sing, I’m really no Mariah Carey. So rather than saying you specialise in everything and wasting your own and other time. Why not be honest? And say this is what I do and I do it good! This way you are giving someone a defenate. If you are good at all aspects of performance then go for it! Just be true to yourself and others.

How did you find an agent?
Truth be told, right now I am on the search for a new agent. So I have CV’s flying around the post system and internet everywhere. For me The ITV Television Workshop acted as an agent up until the age of 18. After that it is up to you to find an adult agent. I am running a little late on finding a new agent as I went travelling for a number of months around South East Asia you see. Oh the things we do ;-)
What makes you come across well in an audition?
Most importantly when answering this question, I must stress BE YOURSELF! You can only be you and if they don’t like that then fine, because you can’t always get what you go for. You have to be prepared for people to say no and for people not to like you. Excuse the bullet points but when auditioning:

  • Be prepared: Know your lines, Know the name of who you are meeting, Know the direction,
  • Be on time: Know where your audition is, Know train time (If needed), Know bus times (If needed) Best thing is arrive a little early.
  • Be polite: Shake hands, Introduce yourself, Involve yourself in conversation
  • Go for it!: Don’t be nervous, Don’t give a half hearted performance, Do the best you can, Give everything you have got.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection: It happens to everyone. You cant be picked for everything, that would just be silly. Just because you get a no does not mean you aren’t a great actor, you just might not be right for that particular part. 
Are you ever out of work?Yes I am. I hate to say it but I am out of acting work. But I understna that acting work isn’t going to come to me. I have got to go and get it, and grab it with both hands. So I’m not afraid to the rubbish work in order to get the great. So although I am out of acting work, I do have an office job and I am constantly sending out emails to companies all over the country for work. I do a lot of work in schools, TIE pieces and I run a lot of workshops. You just have to accept that it takes time but you cant just sit around waiting for it to happen. You have to make it happen!

So that’s me in a nutshell. I hope I have helped anyone who is looking to embark on a journey in this industry. It really is a wonderful job and I truly love what I do. I’m glad to be of help to anyone who needs it. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Just hop on over to my blog and I’ll provide you with a helping hand. Good luck everyone!

Thanks Jessica! Make sure you keep us posted with what you're up to :O)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Ashton Keynes Rural Cinema

 If you're local to Ashton Keynes, I've just found out about their delightful village cinema!

Ashton Keynes Rural Cinema runs on the 1st Wednesday of the month - with the exception of August. They have a 4m x 3m screen and full Dolby 7.1 surround sound system (with the only limitation being that they can only pump out the audio that the DVD provides). They can play BluRay DVDs as well as the standard format.

They aim to show a wide variety of films including mainstream ones, often before they get to DVD release, but also cult films that may have been missed at the bigger local cinemas.

The current ticket price is only £3.50. Doors & Bar open at 7pm and the film commences at 7.30pm. It is possible to continue with your drink whilst the film is running, they just ask for people to do it quietly, so no milkshakes then!

Films scheduled at the moment are:  February - Last Chance Harvey; March - Amelia; April - An Education.

Try something new and let me know what you think!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Best of the Fest Documentary

For those who haven't seen this yet, here's our Best of the Fest Documentary, filmed by our students during the Big Top Festival back in July. It was directed and edited by Gurch Singh and the project was supported by RELAYS.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Review: Mary Theresa's Cupboard

 Just in from Purton Today:

The first thing to say is that the sheer quality of the acting by these teenagers on a cast of thirty, carried complete conviction. It is invidious to name names of so large and accomplished a cast, but Annayah Prosser as the bad tempered Polly, daughter of a well-to-do family, Harley Viveash as the estate agent and Kelly Norman as Santa’s Little Helper, did stand out from a very accomplished cast.
The play is simple and uncommonly forceful. It is really a morality play, with a Bank Manager (Anna Meares) in a land of broken dreams keeping customers accounts in terms of credits for good deeds and debits for band ones, and reminding them when overdrawn.
How a cast and production team of well over thirty teenagers can be rehearsed, drilled and encouraged to stage such a remarkably moving production speaks volumes for the inspired dedication of David Calder, the play’s author and director. I came away feeling I had received more instruction on moral issues in a single evening than in years of Sunday sermons.
The presence of yellow, safety helmeted workmen who shifted the props was a deft touch, but the play was full of such deft touches, often hilariously witty. I came away from those school buildings with transience written all over them, feeling warmed, inspired and uplifted. David Calder should feel proud of the gifted enthusiastic support of his young cast.
 - John Papworth

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Sweet Charity Auditions

The main auditions are about to start very soon! There are a few preparation sessions on offer to help you with  both the acting and singing aspects of the audition. You will be expected to know the song, Rhythm of Life and have also practised the dialogue. Students should sign up for a lunch time audition slot with either Miss Clements, Mrs Stimson or Miss Groom.

For full details and to download the audition pieces, check out the musical website.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Ragdoll Rocks

Well, the lovely local magazine that is Ragdoll has easily made it to it's fourth issue, and in my biased opinion, it's best yet. Not only does it feature a full page ad for our next show, Full Twist, but Bozley has written a review on our theatre!

If you haven't seen this delightful cultured magazine yet then make sure you give it at least a flick through. As well as regular local art, theatre and music reviews, they're developing quite a nice fashion feature... which doesn't help with my shopping habit. This month there is also a double page spread on my favourite artist of the moment, Tamsin Baker (who also does the rather swishy design work on Ragdoll.) Make sure you check out her website and if any of you are feeling extra generous, I celebrate a big birthday next Tuesday. This would help ease the pain ;o)

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

School closure: Wednesday 6th January

This was the view outside my window about 20 minutes ago...

We have just been advised by Thamesdown, Stage Coach and Wiltshire Transport that they will not be running any buses tomorrow. Therefore the school will be closed. Please listen to local radio stations and keep an eye on the school website for updated details regarding Thursday.

I hope you all get home safely - keep wrapped up warm!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wondrous Christmas time and that you managed to enjoy the festivities without getting frostbite... brrrr, it's ccccold out there!

The Shudders were amazing at The 12 Bar and the support band weren't bad either! I can't seem to remember their name or find it anywhere though, so I'd appreciate a comment if you know who they were! I managed to pick up their new album for a bargainous £3 so I'll be reviewing it on here shortly, as soon as I manage to dedicate a respectable amount of time to listening to it.

If you spent most of your holiday playing various games consoles, then you may have come across the new tracks on Rock Band. 30 Seconds to Mars, Kings and Queens, PLUS, Journey's Don't Stop Believing. Brilliant! Click the picture to submit your request or they now even have this:
We′re making a set of professional authoring tools available to bands, studios, and record labels everywhere in order to build a diverse and growing library of music that's sure to satisfy the tastes of hardcore gamers and casual fans alike. Every day, new tracks will become available* from top indie artists, newcomers, classic acts, and upstarts from the far reaches of the rock universe.
Awesome. It'd be nice to see some local tracks on there! Drop me a line if you manage it :O)