Thursday, 30 December 2010

Double the Odds

We may not return till the 17th of January, but to whet the communal appetitie there is going to be a table read of the above named screenplay on Tuesday 4th January 2011at the Phoenix, with a 7.15pm arrival/7.30pm start time.

It's written by Louise Anne Munro and Sherril Turner. The latter ought to ring a bell, being a P-P legend who is currently living in L.A.

‘Two lookalikes, one a career driven cop, the other, a romantic single mum, are both struggling to deal with the demands of their criminal families. A chance meeting leads to a weekend life swap, which could be the perfect solution.’

There'll be a table read and an informal feedback session. It will also feature another P-P stalwart trying to make it on the mean streets of California, Napoleon Ryan.

And it's free. What more do you want?

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Happy New Year!

Just to confirm, the fun starts again on January 17th, and not the tenth as originally envisaged. And the new programme is up. Okay, we don't have a speaker yet, but when we do you will be the first to know.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Points Mean Prizes

As the dust settles on another year of productions and prizes, it's time to mull over the Christmas party. As ever, it was a fun-packed party last Monday, with a particularly successful melodrama written by Tim Gambrell, and featured a scene-stealing performance by my good self.

Here is how it worked out:

Best piece of writing went to Katy Darby for Girlfriends, and the Cobb Cup for best comedy went to Peter McKelvey for Tipperary.

Actress of the year was Lynne O'Sullivan. Actor of the year was Chris Prior.

We'll be back on January 17th, a week later than originally scheduled.

And if there is any more news, this is the first place you'll find it. In the mean time, have a good Christmas, have a good new year, and if you can, enjoy the snow.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Another Christmas Carol

I don't know. You wait all year for a production of Christmas Carol, then along come two at once. Hot on the heals of the version that stars Nicola Hollinshead, we have Matthew Dexter giving his own interpretation. It's a one man show for two nights only, on Monday the 20th and Tuesday the 21st of December, at 7.30 in the Rudolf Steiner Theatre,
35 Park Rd, London NW1 6XT, near Baker Street tube. Here's a teaser.

Last Christmas

We had a party. And to save us from tears, we're doing it again this year. It starts at 7 on Monday 13th DECEMBER.

At 7.45 there shall be a Cabaret featuring:

‘Condiments of the Season’ by Carrie Cohen

‘Janice Day’ and her uke

‘Herschey and Patrick’s Unusual Christmas’ by Debbie Maya

‘All I Want For Christmas’ – Katy Darby ( a song rather than the entire show, I imagine ).

Then at 8.30pm there is the Player-Playwrights Awards presentation.

And then at 9pm instead of the pantomime, we have the P-P melodrama, written by Tim Gambrell, entitled ‘The Goodly Dilemma’.

Apparently I am in it, making my stage debut. Better rush, got to go and learn my lines.

There is no charge for admission, food or entertainment, but you'll have to buy your own drink.

It's even possible there shall be some drunken carousing. And singing? Well, one thing can be certain. It's bound to be better than this travesty.

A Woman of No Importance

Not an accusation one would make of Olivia Hill, who is about to go on stage in the latest production of the Oscar Wilde drama. It's showing from 14th December 2010 – 16th January 2011, at the Greenwich Playhouse.
Further details here.

Friday, 3 December 2010

A Christmas Carol

For those with an eye for these things, many of you may have noticed that it's been a bit chilly lately. That's because Christmas is a-coming. And what better way to spend it, than watching Nicola Hollinshead perform in a cast of thousands in a revival of "A Christmas Carol" at the Lion and Unicorn in Kentish Town. It previews on 7th & 8th of December, with the Press Night on Thursday 9th. It's a long run too, into January, ending on Saturday 8th January. Fun starts at 7.30, and there are weekend matiness at 3.

Here's the blurb:

"There is an Ebenezer Scrooge in each of us; it is the lonely part of ourselves that hasn't yet learnt that love is a thing to share not own. We have been living too long in a credit Scrooged world and this current, global melt down is the consequence of our Ebenezer greed.

Using the classic words of Charles Dickens and underscored with traditional and new, original carols, 22 actors tell an unforgettable story in a way that you've never seen before; experience this new CHRISTMAS CAROL and be redeemed…forever".

UPDATE: The reviews are universally positive.

Here's the Ham and High:

"This is bound to be the hit of the Christmas season".

Broadway World:

"It is theatre at its simplest. And it is simply brilliant".

The Islington Gazette:

"Even the most jaded Scrooges will be charmed by the energetic retelling of this old yuletide yarn".

The British Theatre Guide:

"Your critics see an awful lot of Christmas Carols - and some of them are truly awful. This is one of the best taking a fresh and invigorating approach to telling the well-loved story".

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Anyone with a programme sent out in September could be forgiven for thinking that we had a piece by Sam South coming up on December 6th. Unfortunately, that piece has been postponed, but I am happy to say that a worthy replacement has been found, in the shape of Egress by Stephen Dinsdale.

This is quite a coup for us. Stephen experienced a spectacular success when his one and only stage play Anorak of Fire was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe back in the Nineties. It's been touring the world and elsewhere ever since. It's constantly being revived, has always been in print, and there was even a film. No doubt somebody somewhere once made tee-shirts and coffee mugs. Indeed, I think it's fair to say that Anorak was probably the most successful one act play... ever. Since then, though... nothing. Writer's block? Or just one long extended cruise? Either way, it's a long-awaited return.

The last two years the final script of the year went on win the Cobb Cup. Can it happen three years' running? Come along on Monday and find out.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Decline and Fall

Latest news from Johnny Hansler is that he's starring in the first ever stage production of the Evelyn Waugh novel, Decline and Fall at the Old Red Lion. It had its first night last night, and runs into the new year - January 29th being its last performance. With Johnny is a former Dr. Who. But which?

Here's a clue.

All Everyone Wants for Christmas

Katy and Luke's musical goes from strenght to strength. Hot on the heals of John Morrison's rave comes Francis Beckett's:

"All the musicals that make their promoters millions ARE inconsequential rubbish, because the West End is so risk-averse. Why do something good when Cats will still pack them in?

But at the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre near Piccadilly Circus there's a musical, whose tunes are just as catchy, whose dialogue is as much fun, whose girls are as pretty but twice as interesting, whose plot zips along as fast as any blockbuster, and whose dialogue is wittier; and yet which manages to be intelligent, and to say something interesting. And which has a twist at the end which suddenly turns it into something far bleaker and blacker and makes you think, yet still has you leaving the theatre with a song in your heart.

I'm talking about All I Want for Christmas by Katy Darby and Luke Bateman, and I urge you to get along to see it. You haven't got long. Unlike the rubbish, it won't be there forever".

Okay, let's declare an interest. They both know Katy, and they are both journalists who have written for the Guardian. The latter is a particularly damaging fact when it comes to anybody's credibility. However, here are some critiques from people who are perhaps more objective:

,UK Theatre Web, What's On Stage,
The National Student, and Broadway Baby.

Most of us would kill for reviews like them. Many of us have.