Thursday, 26 March 2009

House on the Hill

Sam South makes her P-P debut on Monday, with two episodes from her proposed sitcom, "House on the Hill".

According to Sam's website it's:

"A six x 30 min high concept sitcom series about five very different characters who live in House, itself a very nervous character. Christine is a very gifted medium but has absolutely no tact or diplomacy; Magda is a basement dwelling agoraphobic jam-making alternative therapist who out of jam making seasons earns money as a Dominatrix, who dismisses Christine's real talent for the fights that inevitably break out after Christine's gigs. Saul is a UFOlogist who lives in the attic and can physically only ever look up, and who brings out the rival protective nature of both lead women. Shelley and Dave could actually appear quite normal, but for the fact they are laid back “have a go at anything” structural engineers from New Zealand. Christine also has a belligerent crystal ball called Kevin, and only Christine can hear House and Kevin speak, though they are usually rowing".

But that was before Mark Crumpler got his greasy mentor's hands on it. What's it like now? Find out on Monday.

Swimming Naked

Alice Josephs has never had a play read at P-P, though she is a member. She has however had a play produced at the Barons Court Theatre, by First Draft entitled "For the Public Good". Well, she's back there again on Tuesday 31st March with the enticingly titled "Swimming Naked", which runs as part of a triple bill until 4 April 2009 at 8pm.

It's directed by Catherine Arden, and is described at a "farce for our financial times". It stars Catherine Potter, Maggie Robson and Mark Shaer, and was written, rehearsed and performed in a month. No wonder we haven't seen much of Alice lately.

The Barons Court Theare is to be found at 28a Comeragh Road London W14 9AR.

Read more about it here .

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Roberto Zucco

Just a reminder that Nicola Hollinshead is in ROBERTO ZUCCO, opening on Thursday for four performances only at the City Lit in Covent Garden. The evening start time is now 7.30, and I've updated the original post accordingly.

Be there.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


After last night's sex and drugs orgy we return to the sedate world of death and war next week for Julian Armitstead's reworking of Sophocles' Philoctetes. Julian isn't the first to draw parallels between our current war-torn world and the Greek myths, but he is certainly one of the more esteemed. Julian recently saw off 124 other contenders to win the "Amnesty International UK and iceandfire Protect The Human playwriting competition" for After the Accident. He has also been commissioned by the bigwigs at BBC Radio 4 for their coveted Friday night, nine o'clock slot.

So, it should be good. Julian is also no stranger to the blogosphere, with no fewer than two blogs devoted to his work and thoughts. One of them is positively gnomic in its elucidations, but the other gives us some of the reasons for writing this:

"Sophocles' play has already become better known in the US, where, as a play about war and its terrible cost, it is being performed in front of veterans' groups. This, I find fascinating in the present context of a seemingly endless foreign war in Afghanistan, and where domestically, in the UK, approximately ten percent of homeless people are ex-service personnel. While I find myself wincing at every bit of news concerning British casualties, I am aware that the much longer story may be the injuries, both physical and mental, that soldiers will bring with them on their return. For me, and for our present time, this is most clearly what 'The Philoctetes' is about: and the need for society as a whole to own up to wounds that have been collected on our behalf".

With a stellar cast consisting of Tim Gambrell, Nick Ewans, Clive Greenwood, and a rare appearance for Chris Prior, it should be a bit of a sensation.

In Case You'd Forgotten

The Maids opens tonight, but it's already sold-out. So if you want to go, book early, book often.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Whatever Happened to Rick Marks?

At least, I think there's a question mark at the end. Is there a question mark in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"? Who knows.

Anyway on Monday 16th we have a feast of entertainment winging its way to the Horse and Groom. First up will be a short poem written and performed by Silas Hawkins.

It will then be followed by two playlets that, purely because the cut off is arranged on a first come first serve basis, failed to make the forthcoming competition. They are "Mum & Dad" by Simon Desborough and "Paradise in Portobello" by Alison Wilkie. Both are drug-filled comedy dramas. If this were Channel Four, I'd be issuing a warning that both contain strong language and scenes of an adult nature that some might find offensive from the outset. But this isn't. This is P-P, and if I were to say that you'll be climbing the walls to see them.

Then, as the main entertainment of the evening, comes a one act comedy of manners by biographer and journalist Francis Beckett. Francis writes books about such heavyweights as Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown ( better him than me ), and savage denunciations of Polly Toynbee too. It's a dirty job, eh?

But Francis also writes plays. Hey, he even writes about writing plays. He even, once, wrote about Player-Playwrights for the Guardian. Which one of our actors did he describe as having "a voice that sounds as though he gargles with granite"? Click on this to find out.

The play he mentions in that piece was "Blair's Babes". It's now been retitled as " The Right Honourable Lady", and has since been published by Samuel French.

So it should be a good evening. 7.45, Horse and Groom.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Webmeister Wanted

Or a Webmistress.

Anybody, really. Kim Sheard has done sterling work getting this site up, but the time has come for the baton to be passed on to a member who is ready, willing and able to maintain the site for the future, on a voluntary basis, adding new material and subtracting old, as the occasion may require.

It is a great opportunity to acquire and use Lightroom 1 which will be provided by P-P to enable you to upload all those Gallery candidates who missed the deadline and which could also be useful for arranging photographs on your own website (if you have one).

So, if you fancy it, do get in touch with Peter Thompson. I'll be taking over in the interim, but doing that, the programme, and the blog isn't really humanly possible. And I alway seem to get all these /..." and <> all mixed up all the time.

You wouldn't want me keeling over of a heart attack, would you?

Not yet anyway.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Mayhew on the Menu

Monday 9th March brings us the full length drama, "The Other Side of the Bridge", by Prize-winning author Roger Mayhew, and it's a stellar cast: Lynne O' Sullivan, Simon Desborough, Caroline Langston, Silas Hawkins, Tim Gambrell, Lindsay McGill, and Rexie Barnes.

What's not to like?

Roger won P-P Playwright of the year for 2006 with "A First Time for Everything". Last year his sequence of five short plays "Kitchen Nights" had a lunchtime run at the King's Head, and there's more to come.

"The Mourning After", which was read at P-P in 2007 and made last autumn's showcase, gets a rehearsed reading at the Old Red Lion on Monday May 11 with Terence Harvey & James Brough.

"A First Time for Everything" also gets a rehearsed reading there on Monday June 8, and will be directed by Dimitri Devdariani.

Okay, these are Mondays which means a clash in your diary, but we at P-P have full confidence that you'll be coming to the Horse and Groom that night, as you've already seen them. But it's nice to see Roger bringing his writing to a new audience.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Sheard into My Memory

Remember Kim Sheard? Webmistress, ballroom dancing expert, photographer, and actress ( She was in the Man With No Ties at our showcase in 2007, in case you've forgotten ). She may even have cast you, in that brief halcyon period when she was our Casting Director.

Anyway, she's still with us. Not only has she designed the P-P website, but she's also making a welcome return to the stage, appearing in a new production of Company by Stephen Sondheim.

It runs from the 14th to the 25th of April and has an 8:00pm performance every evening - except Thursday the 16th when there is no show and Sunday the 19th when the show starts at 5:00pm instead. That is a total of 11 different opportunities for you to come see it.

Tickets are £10/£8 concessions and can be purchased by calling 020 8509 3880. The venue is a short walk from Walthamstow Central Station (top of the Victoria Line) in a renovated pub called Ye Olde Rose and Crown - 53 Hoe Street, E17 4SA.

Aside from getting an all singing all acting production (with a little bit of dancing), as an added bonus, you get to see Kim giving the definitive interpration of "Jenny" - which means you will get to see her getting "high" on stage and even swear! Now who could resist that?