The Offies (The Off West End Theatre Awards) are looking for accessors!

November 8, 2012

Do you want to become one of their 40-strong team of Offie Assessors?

The Offies were launched in 2010 to recognise and celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London. The point of these awards – as with everything at OffWestEnd.com – is to help raise the profile and status of independent theatres in London by giving them greater power to promote their work individually and collectively and to reward the new talent that they nurture that is essential to the future of our theatre industry.

If you are chosen to become an Assessor, theywill give you free tickets to attend productions, will expect you to volunteer to see at least 4 shows a month (although you will not always be allocated that many), will give you dates to attend and will expect you to send an assessment through within 24 hours of seeing the show.

If you would like to be part of the smaller team of 10 Assessors (The Offiettes) who assess specifically for Best Production for Young People then the same conditions apply except that in this case YOU choose the date you would prefer to go to a production and you can take a child with you.

If you want to be involved in any way in the alternative “Oliviers”, let them know by midnight Friday 16thNovember by sending in one side of A4 to theoffies@offwestend.com describing the most compelling production you have seen in the last year and why it worked.

Workshop Opportunity

October 19, 2012

Workshop Opportunity

We are offering a week long devised acting workshop that will fuse text, physical theatre, improvisation and dance through exploration on themes of femininity, identity and the continued celebration of glamorous ‘It’ girls throughout the ages.

When: Monday 29 October – Friday 2 November 2012
Where: Theatre Royal Haymarket

The workshop is free for anyone aged 16 – 25 years of age and will be run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in conjunction with our promenade theatre project La Fille a la Mode (The Girl of Fashion). The workshop will appeal to those who are intersted in exploring different ways of creating characters and will include an opportunity to see a performance of La Fille a la Mode  and a visit to the theatre archives at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The workshop will be lead by Dante or Die Artistic Directors, Daphna Attias and Terry O’Donovan and Masterclass Programme Director, Blayne George.

Places are limited. For more information or to book e-mail info@masterclass.org.uk with  a brief description of why you would like this opportunity. Please title the email ‘La Fille Workshop’

Deadline for applications is Wednesday October the 24th 10am.

Dates and Times
Monday 29 October – 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Tuesday 30 October –  10:00am – 12:30pm
Wednesday 31 October – 10:00am – 12:00pm
Thursday 1 November – 10:00am – 12:00pm
Friday 1 November – 10:00am – 12:00pm

La Fille a la Mode is a musical promenade journey through surprising locations in and around the historic Theatre Royal Haymarket and is performed by a cast of seven female dancers, actresses and musicians.

19.10.12 Michael Grandage CBE will open TheatreCraft 2012 The Beyond The Stage Careers Fair

October 19, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE
Friday 19th October 2012

Michael Grandage CBE, will open this year’s TheatreCraft event by giving a welcome speech at 9am on Friday 30th November 2012, at the Royal Opera House.

TheatreCraft, which is now in its 7th year, is the essential free event for anyone aged 17 to 25 looking for a non-performance career in theatre. Participants can explore topics including producing, stage management, wig-making, lighting, marketing, theatre journalism, sound, directing, costume design, playwriting and designing.

The event on Friday 30th November at the Royal Opera House will welcome more than1,000 young people from across the UK and runs from 9am – 3.30pm. Participants will have the chance to take part in a choice of over 60 workshops delivered by skilled theatre professionals from, meet more than 40 exhibitors in the bustling marketplace and visit the ‘Ask the Experts’ zone which offers one-to-one advice sessions with industry experts.

TheatreCraft is the only place to be for a fun and unique glimpse into the ‘behind the scenes’ world of theatre.

 Commenting on this year’s event Michael Grandage said:

 “The wealth of talent behind every theatre production is staggering. There are far more jobs than people ever appreciate in the theatre industry, all working diligently behind the scenes to make it happen. Every department is crucial from directing to wig making, sound design to marketing, stage management to casting, the list goes on. TheatreCraft is the unmissable event that every young person interested in exploring a career in the theatre should attend. It will equip them with the necessary information to make educated career choices and ensures that theatre in this country continues to have a robust future under the next generation of rising talent.”

Organisers are thrilled that the award-winning theatre director and producer is showing his support and taking time out of his busy schedule in the same week which his Michael Grandage Season kicks off, with Privates on Parade previewing at the Noel Coward Theatre from 1st December.

TheatreCraft is organised by Creative and Cultural Skills, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, the Royal Opera House, Society of London Theatre and Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust.

It is sponsored by PLASA, White Light and Autograph and its media partners are A Younger Theatre, Lighting & Sound International and The Stage.

For more information and all the latest news about TheatreCraft visit www.theatrecraft.org or Twitter @TheatreCraft

LISTINGS

Event: TheatreCraft
Date: Friday 30 November 2012
Time: 9.00am – 3.30pm; Michael Grandage will open the event at 9am.
Venue: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD
Delegates can attend for free registering at www.theatrecraft.org

 

-ENDS-

 

Press Contact Anoushka Warden anoushka@masterclass.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors:

  • A selection of images of previous TheatreCraft events available on request.
  • TheatreCraft takes place on Friday 30 November 2012 at the Royal Opera House 9am – 3.30pm.
  • TheatreCraft is free to 17 – 25 year olds and offers a busy Marketplace of exhibiting theatres, training providers, education institutions and careers advisors. Up to 60 accompanying workshops, talks, panel discussions and one-to-one sessions led by industry practitioners are on offer to all attendees.

 

About Michael Grandage

Michael Grandage is Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company in London. He was Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse (2002–2012) and Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres (2000–05). He is the recipient of Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and South Bank Awards. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by both SheffieldUniversity and SheffieldHallamUniversity and is President of Central School of Speech and Drama. He was appointed CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2011. Later this month, his book A Decade At The Donmar, is published by Constable & Robins.

His work for the Donmar Warehouse included Richard II, Luise Miller, King Lear, Red (also New York, Tony and Drama Desk Awards Best Director), Jude Law in Hamlet (also Elsinore and New York), Ivanov (Evening Standard and Critics Circle Award Best Director), Madame de Sade, Twelfth Night, The Chalk Garden (Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards Best Director), Don Juan in Soho, Frost/Nixon (also Gielgud, New York, USA tour, Tony Nomination Award for Best Director), Othello (Evening Standard and Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Director), The Wild Duck (Critic’s Circle Award Best Director), Guys and Dolls (Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production), Grand Hotel (Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production and Evening Standard Award Best Director), The Cut, After Miss Julie, Caligula (Olivier Award Best Director), Merrily We Roll Along (Evening Standard Award Best Director), Passion Play (Evening Standard Award and Critics Circle Award for Best Director). For Sheffield Theatres he directed many productions including Don Carlos (Evening Standard Award Best Director). The Michael Grandage Company’s inaugural season of five plays will open at the Noel Coward Theatre this December.

About the Sponsors

  • PLASA, the lead international membership body for individuals and companies that supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries.
  • White Light, suppliers of lighting to the entertainment industry.
  • Autograph, Europe’s leading theatre sound design and rental,sales and installation company.

 

About the Media Partners

 

 

About the TheatreCraft Partners 2012

 

Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust

Masterclass is a small charity that has a big impact on young people’s lives with a unique offering of free masterclasses with leading theatre professionals, careers advice sessions, apprenticeships and performance experiences. We are committed to using theatre and the beautiful Theatre Royal Haymarket to inspire and empower young people – the talent of the future. To date over 60,000 14 – 30 year olds have benefited from our programme.

TheatreCraft was established by Masterclass in 2003 as a way of highlighting training and career opportunities for young people interested in working behind the scenes in the theatre and performance industries. www.masterclass.org.uk

 

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is the home of three world-class performing companies – The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

The Royal Opera House is passionate about inspiring people to choose careers in the arts sector, particularly in the backstage areas that they may not have previously considered. We promote a variety of routes into working in the arts, through employment opportunities, apprenticeships and work experience placements.

Our Education programme also explores new ways for people to connect with ballet, opera and music through a range of dynamic projects, enabling people to discover and develop their talents, creative skills and passions, whatever their background or level of experience.
www.roh.org.uk

 

Mousetrap Theatre Projects

Mousetrap Theatre Projects is a theatre education charity committed to enabling young people with limited resources, access or support to engage with the best of London theatre.  Since 1997, we’ve enabled close to 1,000,000 young people to see outstanding theatre, mostly in the West End, with best seats at £5 – £10. Most theatre visits are supported by one of our 18 education programmes delivered by a range of professional theatre practitioners – from musical theatre composition to the ‘business of theatre’ to sound and lighting design to critical reviewing. At the heart of our work is the desire to open doors to young people who might otherwise consider London’s rich cultural heritage closed to them. www.mousetrap.org.uk

 

Society of London Theatre

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) is the association which represents the producers, theatre owners and managers of the 52 major commercial and grant-aided theatres in central London. The organisation exists in order to promote theatregoing, develop audiences, and to serve, protect and promote the interests of those engaged in theatre across London, through activities including The Olivier Awards with MasterCard, TKTS ticket booth, the Official London Theatre guide, Theatre Tokens, West End LIVE and the promotions Kids Week and Get Into London Theatre.  The Society is keen to inspire future generations to engage and follow careers within the theatre industry www.solt.co.uk / http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk

 

Creative & Cultural Skills

Creative & Cultural Skills is the sector skills council for the UK’s creative and cultural industries, including craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts. Founded in 2004, we were granted a new licence from Government to operate in January 2010.  Our goal is to enable the creative and cultural industries to reach their economic potential through relevant skills and training.  We deliver through the NationalSkillsAcademy for Creative & Cultural, a network of 20 Founder Colleges and over 200 employers working in partnership. For further information, please visit www.ccskills.org.uk

Work Experience Opportunity

October 4, 2012

Masterclass is offering a hands on learning opportunity on our upcoming project La Fille a la Mode.

This opportunity would involve working under the guidance of Masterclass and the La Fille a la Mode creative team on all behind the scenes aspects of the project and offers the successful candidate an opportunity to learn how a devised piece of theatre is created.

Developed in partnership with Masterclass and Dante or Die Theatre La Fille a la Mode is a unique promenade performance that journeys through surprising locations around the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The opportunity would involved:

  • Liaising with the Directors and Stage Manager
  • Assisting with the organising of props, costumes and sound and lighting during the performance
  • Sourcing props and costumes if necessary
  • Liaising with a company of seven performers
  • Liaising with the Masterclass Events Co-ordinator and Front of House team
  • Liaising with the Lighting and Backstage departments at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

 

We are looking for someone that is:

  • Organised, outgoing and creative
  • Experienced and knowledgeable of theatre
  • passionate about theatre and dance
  • aged between 17 and 30
  • available for the rehearsal and performance dates – The project runs over various days between 18 October – 9 November

Rehearsals: 
Oct 18, 19, 22 10:00am – 5:00pm

Performances:
Oct 23, 25, 29, Nov.1, 2, 5, 8, 9 1:00pm – 6:00pm

Travel and lunch expenses will be covered

Deadline for applications is 5pm Tuesday 9th October. Please put ‘La Fille Work Experience’ in the subject line of the e-mail.

To apply please e-mail your C.V. and a short paragraph to info@masterclass.org.uk

Danny DeVito on…

August 21, 2012

being funny…
I feel like I can make people laugh (blows a raspberry and the people laugh).

his favourite childhood toy…
It was a train set.

travel…
I don’t like to travel.

Danny DeVito at Masterclass

Kevin Spacey…
You guys in the UK have adopted him here, thank god, why don’t you keep him! (joke)

his worst audition ever…
It was for Richard Foreman who was like the David Lynch of theatre. I lay outside the audition room and then when the Casting Director let me in I commando rolled in all the way to his chair, then looked up at him and nothing. Not even a smile, I then spoke my monologue from the floor looking up from his feet. I didn’t get the part.

his first job…
I was 14 years old and worked at the JerseyShore putting children on fire engines rides.

acting…
I didn’t set out to be an actor.

drama school…
It was like kindergarten

going to the theatre…
I was 20 before I saw my first play.

working in film…
It inspired me to direct.

preferring acting or directing
Acting, unless I’m directing.

wanting to Director…
Because the position of god is filled.

being a good director…
In rehearsals you need to be the main vehicle for all knowledge.

the rehearsal process…
Every idea has to be heard.

Tim Burton…
He is an amazing artist.

Batman Returns…
I got bit in my pelvis area by an angry monkey, luckily my penguin suit took the brunt of it – the monkey bite out the size of a ball!

the sunshine boys…
I was blown away that I was offered this part in the West End.

his first words spoken to Thea Sharrock…
I have a bone to pick with you, you never offered me the part of the kid in Equus.

Sonia Friedman…
I scared her something rotten. She was visiting the rehearsals for the Sunshine Boys and I spotted her sneaking around the building checking up on us so I broke from my lines and threw a chair across the room which hit the wall whilst screaming all sorts, so looked so worried! We let her in on the joke eventually!

corpsing…
I do this a lot!

the success of a play…
If the play sucks it’s the directors fault not mine!

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia…
Completely different to the Sunshine Boys as we jam it out through long improvised scenes.

Danny DeVito and Thea Sharrock

advice to young actors…
Keep your eyes open and keep working.

auditions…
Go in with something special.

life advice…
Try and live in the middle, between the Ying and the Yang. If something good happens embrace the good and let it go – If something bad happens embrace it and let it go.

 

Danny DeVito with Thea Sharrock Masterclass
17th July 2012
Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Renowned film, television and stage actor Danny DeVito discussed his long career in the industry with Thea Sharrock, director of his West End debut The Sunshine Boys

 

Edited by Anoushka Warden

How to write a comic song – Tips from Dillie Keane

June 13, 2012

How to write a comic song by Dillie Keane

 

 

Matt Wolf blog on Jez Butterworth’s Master Class

April 17, 2012

Jez Butterworth talking with Matt Wolf

 

It’s one thing to warm to the play but that doesn’t necessarily mean that one responds in kind to the playwright. But the dramatist and filmmaker Jez Butterworth is as approachable, engaged, and engaging as his plays are vital and dynamic, and it was a particular thrill to be able to talk with him at length on the very stage – The Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue – that on two separate occasions had hosted a sell-out run of his Royal Court premiere, Jerusalem.  (The Haymarket was busy that particular afternoon with understudy rehearsals for One Man,Two Guvnors.)

It seemed appropriate, therefore, to begin the conversation asking Butterworth about his ties both to the particular playhouse where we happened to be sitting and to that play, which has by common consent announced itself as a bona fide 21st-century classic, the main character of Johnny Byron as iconic in his own anarchic English way as was, say, Stanley Kowalski when Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire first premiered on Broadway 65 years ago.

Whereas some dramatists don’t like to or won’t articulate the sources and/or the process whereby they work, Butterworth spoke openly of the trajectory of his three-act tragicomedy, which against the odds included a Broadway stint last season that won its leading man, Mark Rylance, his second Tony Award for Best Actor within three years. Included in the information that the dramatist imparted to a rapt house was the extraordinary news that Butterworth had never actually seen Rylance on stage prior to the actor committing to play Johnny Byron, following severalRoyal Courtreadings of an earlier draft with a separate cast that, Butterworth noted deadpan, “I shuddered to call a play.”

Among other nuggets, here presented more or less at random:

  • On negative criticism: “I can’t see why it exists”
  • On his three mentors, Harold Pinter, Sydney Pollack, and Anthony Minghella: “Sadly, they all died before Jerusalem
  • On approaching Pinter to be in the film of Butterworth’s breakthrough play Mojo, which the playwright both wrote and directed: “He served me the best glass of white wine I have ever tasted”
  • On inspiration for various moments or even lines: the defining remark from Jerusalem, “I, Rooster John Byron, hereby place a curse upon the Kennet and Avon Council” came to him in the middle of the night while driving pigs to slaughter. Now there’s a claim few other writers can match, but then rare is the theatrical personage who actually lives on a working farm (with his wife and two daughters).

Looking ahead and not merely back, Butterworth spoke amusingly of being a hired gun for script rewrites on films like the director Sam Mendes’s forthcoming 007 opus (“I get to spend the day ending sentences with 007”) and spoke a bit about his next play, The River, which sounds as if it is as compressed and placeless a text (90 minutes, no interval) as Jerusalem is rangy and site-specific. Requiring a cast of three and due to be directed by his ongoing collaborator, former Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson, The River may well debut commercially under the auspices of Sonia Friedman, thereby marking the first of Butterworth’s plays to forego the subsidised-theatre route.

 

He’s writing a film for the Oscar-nominated Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) and cited erstwhile Inarritu colleague Sean Penn (they worked together on 21 Grams) as a possible Johnny Byron in a putative American production of Jerusalem, even if the lingering aura of Rylance will inevitably be hard to dispel.

And for all that his life now exists in the countryside, Butterworth has just taken on a flat in Soho, a short walk in fact from the Apollo Theatre. Does that mean Masterclass might some day be able to welcome him back? One can only hope and, in the meantime, wish this protean talent every continued success.

 

Matt Wolf, London theatre critic, The International Herald Tribune and theatre editor, www.theartsdesk.com

Edward Stambollouian on The Lion in Winter

November 15, 2011

I am currently the Masterclass Apprentice Director on Trevor Nunn’s production of The Lion in Winter at Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Our rehearsal room is a large space at the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road, tucked away in the shadows of the gigantic golden Freddie Mercury statue. We’ve been working for five weeks now and the room is littered with the remnants of intense rehearsals. Photographs of Stephen Brimson Lewis’s beautiful set design line the walls alongside pages of research, timelines and rehearsal calls. There’s a heavily frequented tea and coffee table with a dangerously never-ending supply of bourbons and custard creams! Occasionally on tea break the sounds of We Will Rock You rehearsals drift through the walls and we tap our feet along to yet another power anthem!

The stage space is marked onto the floor with tape so the actors can learn their entrances and exits and start to imagine the size of the playing area. The second a chair is moved an inch one of the stage management team goes flying across the room to ensure that it is marked down with a piece of carefully colour co-ordinated tape. It is a military operation and at the end of the day precise measurements are taken and scribed into the stage management bible.

Every day we receive more and more detailed rehearsal props in place of the show props which will arrive during tech week. During one week a piece of holly morphs from a mimed prop, to a hashed together string of green paper towels and rope to finally some fake leaves. The Christmas tree arrives early in the process so we can get used to the size of it in the space. It’s currently made of pink ribbons and a hat stand. I don’t think it will make the final design! (see below image with Kelsi our Technical Apprentice)

Alongside the rehearsal space are several tables of onlookers, or as Trevor calls them, the judging panel. There’s a large table for stage management which is slowly being taken over by sound equipment as music cues are introduced to rehearsals. Trevor and I sit at a table which is covered in history books and notes; I am on constant alert to field any contextual questions that might fly my way. The understudy cast have just joined the room and will be observing the last few weeks of work; they sit on their own table scribbling down notes onto their scripts. In the far corner is “the family”; a large square table where the L.I.W. cast sit, eat their lunch and run lines. Both on-stage and off the cast maintain the family dynamic; each child is greeted with a hug in the morning from their stage parents, there are affectionate squabbles over who sits where and food is shared around lovingly. If only the Plantagenets got on so well…

Ralph Fiennes on…

October 27, 2011

His directorial debut:  Acting and directing in Coriolanus was a mad and ambitious risk. I went into it knowing it could go very wrong as he is one of the lesser known Shakespeare characters but it spoke to me.

Work: Every actor should be trying to work and be challenged. Keep the hunger going.

Actors: Peter O’Toole is extraordinary on stage. I love watching Mark Rylance and Fiona Shaw – people who really take risks.

Choosing projects: Good writing is a very important factor.

American screen actors: Kevin Spacey is completely economic and understated. He is thrilling.

The Tempest: It’s a company we steady each other.

his inspiration: My imagination has to be excited.

The secret to great acting?  Learning a line… in detail!

Film: I like the immediacy of film.

The magic of performance: Some nights it clicks and some nights it doesn’t, but no one knows why. Even though we all try as hard.

Parts he would like to play: I’d love to play Macbeth or Iago. I’m a bit nervous about the comedies as I’m a total tragedy junkie!

The original Rose Theatre:  It should be preserved as a site of extreme archaeological importance.

Acting for film. I now know how much of the performance is made in the editing room.

 

by Anoushka Warden

Q&A

October 18, 2011

Name: Tinuke Craig

Apprentice: Apprentice director on The Tempest

What did you eat for breakfast today? Fried egg on an English muffin!

Tell us about being an apprentice: You get the wonderful opportunity to observe the people that could do the job you want to do with their eyes shut working on a project. You also get to watch a large-scale production come together before your very eyes. Best of all, you get to apply everything you’ve learnt in your own showcase.

Proudest moment? Realising I really understood the Tempest script and the curtain call after Waiting for Lefty.

Strangest quirk? Being called upon to learn the ‘reaper’s dance’ for a run of The Tempest.

If you had one super power, what would it be? Controlling time. You could get exam results in advance, fast forward when you’re running late, prevent natural disasters,….

Favourite play? The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill

Would you rather have teeth made from wood or a tongue made from carpet? Wood Teeth.  Because you still taste that way.

What do you want to be doing when your 40? I want to be an associate of a great subsidised theatre. Failing that, I want to be directing plays wherever anyone will let me.

Favourite chocolate bar? Dime bar every time

What past production would you have loved to work on? I’d love to have worked on London Road by Alecky Blythe. I’d love to witness her process first hand. And Adam Cork would be such a great composer to work with. And I love Rufus Norris’s work. And that acting ensemble is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen. Just a dream team.

Which animal would you like to be able to communicate with? Cats. I’d find out why they’re always so off with me even though I’m so nice to them.

What is the best thing since sliced bread? The iphone.

What have you got lined up next? I am a director on The Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays on 23 October at The Old Vic.

Interview by Anoushka Warden


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