Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Winter Programme

is up! Click on the main website, go to the right and click on the right, and the PDF will magically appear. Featuring new plays from such seasoned veterans as Peters McKelvey and Vincent, mixed seamlessly with new works from P-P virgins Lexy Howe, John Anderson and Andrew Bridgmont. Plus a radio script ( it's been an age since we had one of those ) from Michael Mills, and a screenplay from Alison Wilkie. Not to mention a talk given by West End director David Grindley. ( and he really is one, his version of Six Degrees of Separation starring that bloke off Buffy and the coffee ads opens at the Old Vic in January ).

And that's just a taster. This ought to get your taste buds salivating far more than the prospect of turkey and Christmas Pudding. Why waste time circling all those old movies in your double edition Radio Times when you've got this cornucopia of excellence to look forward to?

Merry Christmas! Like it says in the programme, we're back on January 11th at 7.45.p.m.

UPDATE: There's already been a change - the competition has been brought forward a week, and Peter McKelvey's piece delayed by a week. The programme up there now is, right now, the definitive one.

After the Autumn Showcase

I didn't write a review immediately after the showcase, partly because I didn't have as immediate access to the photos, and also, truth be told, I didn't have a vested interest in it: there was nothing by me in it. How selfish. At any rate, here, finally, is my review.

It went very well. Far better than I'd expected, in fact. Indeed, it was probably the funniest showcase I have been to. My recall from the pieces as read originally at the Horse and Groom was that they all had their virtues, but I didn't quite think they'd stand up to a full performance. Well, it just goes to show what rehearsals with an enthusiastic cast and director can do. Or maybe I just got it wrong!

That potential difficulty wasn't of course apparent with the opening piece, seeing as it came in at less than ten minutes in length, being the Competition Play-off winner, Too Many Queens by Bill Gordon. It was a deserved winner, and was an enjoyable aperitif. It was kind of a shame the cast had their scripts in hand, I suppose, but then it was a radio piece.

Next was Role Play. Katy Darby is no stranger to the showcase, and had a very successful performance this time last year with House Call. This time around, we had a play that was half a contemporary satire on business, and half a Pinteresque what-the-hell's-going-on menace piece. For myself I think it could perhaps have been a bit more one or the other, but the stagecraft was undeniable. The cast pulled off a tricky piece with aplomb - even a bottle accidentally smashing all over the floor didn't seem to upset them.

Finally, after an alcohol-fulled interval, we had "Come As U R" by Eddie Coleman. Having undergone a massive cast change because of the December resceduling, the script in turn also required a fair bit of rewriting to accomodate said new cast. In that light, indeed without it, to me eye, it went very well. Peter Picton, in particular, grabbed the role of the rather louche and increasingly desperate wannabe swinger with spectacular relish. The result was a very funny forty minutes. I spoke to a couple of writers afterwards. We all agreed that we wanted to rewrite and develop it afterwards. It really could make a full length play we felt. Not all one act plays have that attribute, but this one really sparked our imaginations.

Well done to everyone. These things are difficult enough to organise even when they go well. When the dates had to be changed, and therefore many of the cast had to drop out, this was only exacerbated. Thanks to Lexie Howe and Amber Homes for persevering with their directing, and thanks again to Tim Gambrell, who is relinquishing his producing hat for the forseeable future. He also acted in one piece, and nobly sacrificed one he had written and that had been originally programmed because of all the confusion. Tim will be a hard act to follow.

Photos were again taken by Kim Sheard. You can see a couple more here at our Gallery, and buy others -and there are hundreds! - from Kim's website. Go here, enter PP Showcase July 09 in the box provided, then press Next.
A gallery of shots will magically appear! Same as last time, there are both the shots taken during the tech time and the shots from the show itself.

All anyone needs to do to purchase prints or digital versions, is simply send Kim an email including the photo reference number (which should look something like "DSC_3110"), the size of print wanted, and the number of copies (if more than one) or simply stating they would like digital copies. They should also include their postal address.

Prices for people wishing to have personal reminders of the evening are only a little bit more than last time and are as follows:

**Standard 6x4 prints cost £6.00, 9x6 are £7.50. Anything larger can be quoted as desired. (postage costs are £1.50)

**Digital copies can also be supplied via internet transfer and cost a base fee of £3.00 with each desired image in both high (print)and medium (email) resolution formats costing £5.00.

If any photo is going to be used as a promotional aid for any person or company, the fee per photo (to be provided digitally in high resolution format and medium web resolution for ease of further use) is £10.

Should someone purchase £15 or more, a complimentary group photo of their choice (6x4 print or file transferred electronically) will be added to their order.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Congratulations are Due

to all the runners and riders in this year's competitions. It was a fun-packed party last night, with turns from Silas Hawkins, poetry from Anthea Courtenay, stand-up comedy from Belinda Blanchard, an excerpt from "Shirley Valentine" with Nicola Hollinshead, an excerpt from "Pepys' and the Playhouse" by Colin Pinney, and as regular as Wizzard and mulled wine, four sketches from The Teak Show, aka Johnnie Hansler and Jackie Stirling.

There was also some excellent food laid on by the staff of the Green Man - as well as some wondrous carrot cake.

Not to mention a panto from Peter Vincent. But you knew that, didn't you?
As for the prizes: Best play was scored by Sam South with Chase's Face, best comedy, by Peter Vincent for Jack in the Box.

Actress of the year was Anthea Courtenay. Actor of the year was Tim Gambrell, for the third year running, tied with Panni Skrivanos.

I got home after eleven. That is a sign of a good party.

We'll be back on January 11th, with a play by comedy of the year writer, Peter Vincent. That should be a good way to start the ball rolling.

And the blog goes on. Just because we've taken a break, doesn't mean you have to. After all, Napoleon is still wowing them in the Gruffalo.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

It's Christmasssssssss!

Okay, after the spectacular success of the showcase there's only one way of following that. And that's a party. There'll be the usual cabaret: comic turns, dancing girls, prizes for best actors, plays and so on. Not to mention the Peter Vincent Pantomime.

I said, don't mention the panto.

Doors open at seven, though the cabaret starts at 7.45. There's no charge for admission, and "as many sausage rolls as you can eat" ( that may be an exaggeration ). If we have half as good a time as these guys, then we'll have half as much fun.

Be there.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Autumn Showcase

Better late than never! Pedants might argue that it's winter now. Well it is, but this was originally planned for 1st November; then it got postponed for reasons entirely out of o our control. There have been cast changes, and one piece replaced with another, but it's still the same format: three short one-act plays, two for the stage and one for radio, with an interval in between. The programme is as follows:

ROLE PLAY by Katy Darby (stage) (“For desperate graduates Steve and Cally it’s all on the line in the most surreal and frightening job interview of their lives”)

which is followed by our competition winner:

TOO MANY QUEENS by William Gordon (radio) (“It is Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and Sherlock Holmes has only 10 minutes in which to solve the trickiest case of his career”)


Then COME AS U R by Eddie Coleman (stage) (“two couples, one night, no chance”)

Two shows in a week for Eddie, eh? Anyway, do come along to the King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street Islington N1 1QN at 7.30 on Monday 7th December 2009. Tickets are "2 a head for members and their guests (except Industry, who get in free ).

Pay at the door!

If you are bringing guests please email Publicity Secretary Peter Thompson with names.

The Long Run

Much-produced P-P writer Eddie Coleman has a contribution to a trilogy THE LONG RUN ( about a small theatre company at 3 stages in its history )being performed at the Landor Theatre ( nearest underground Clapham North ) at 7.30 from today till Saturday ( 1 -5 Dec ) for £12 a go. There is also a matinee on Sat at 2.30 for £8. You can phone the box office on 020 7737 7276 or click on the website and book on line.