Be/Not Be

I fancied doing a bit of impromptu To Be or Not To Be-ing in my back garden a couple of months ago.

Learnt the speech in the morning then – BAM.

Here are the results:

Now to do it on stage…

No alarms and…

Here are some more details about the one-off performance I’m in next Saturday.  I’ve got a really great part in a play called ‘No Surprises’, written by my friend Mikail Chowdhury.  He wrote it whilst doing the writers course at the Royal Court and is putting it on to raise money for a charity.

Here’s the spiel:

Set in the near future, the first Muslim Prime Minister of Great Britain is facing a terrorist attack and a nuclear crisis which threatens to pull the country into another lengthy and damaging conflict.  As he considers a dangerous course of action that could lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent lives he is faced with a younger version of himself.

As the Prime Minister tries to reconcile his past choices and religion with the consequences of his actions, the time for a decision draws closer and he is faced with the choice of making the ultimate sacrifice.

This dark comedy explores the question of whether the greater good is always the most right course of action, and how far would you go for your beliefs.

I’m playing Tahiya, the no-nonsense advisor to the Prime Minister.  She has a wonderfully dry sense of humour and I have some really great lines – sort of a cross between Margot from The Good Life, Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It and CJ from the The West Wing…

This is the info about the charity:

We are setting up an initiative to provide medical care to women, their young children and immediate families in Dhaka (currently they have no medical treatment whatsoever and suffer badly as a result) and are working in conjunction with and NGO called Tarango (http://www.tarango-bd.org/) who do some excellent work taking destitute women and giving them training, a safe place to work, salary and independence.

We need to raise £3,000 for the first year and will provide a weekly on-site medical consultation service, pay for medication and provide seminars on things such as family planning, sexual and women’s health issues.

The event runs:

2pm – 4pm
on
Saturday 16th October
at
Oxford House
Derbyshire Street
Bethnal Green
LONDON E2 6HG
020 7739 9001

 

with the performance starting at 2:45pm

Tickets are £15 (I think!)

The event is on Facebook here.

Rehearsals started this week and it’s going to be one step up from a rehearsed reading – we’re probably still going to be using scripts, but it will be staged.  (Need to carry on getting my lines in my head today…)  It’s a really great show with a very good cast and I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

Guitar, maaan

I’m currently sat all beatnik-ed up in my room, ready to go and perform at the inaugural night of The Village Preservation Society‘s monthly residency at The Betsey Trotwood this evening.

Slight changes (or rather: additions) are now afoot in my cabaret offerings following my jaunt up to the Edinburgh Fringe last month.  I went up to busk on the mean streets of the Royal Mile and prepared some cover versions and original bits to sing and play guitar to.  I even made the very serious investment of purchasing a kazoo and bastardised harmonica holder to spice up the proceedings.

Considering I would never have dreamt of singing and playing in front of people under normal circumstances, coupled with the fact that I haven’t picked up my guitar regularly for ages, it went really well!  I made a few bob (I do really mean ‘few’), didn’t have rotten food thrown at me and massively upped my confidence levels.  I had NOWHERE NEAR as big a crowd as some of the old hands, but it was muchly useful nonetheless.

I subsequently had a radio interview on Leith FM, where I played a couple of my original songs (I’ll upload the catchily titled ‘A Chinese Food Loving Vegetarian’s Lament’, based on a song you’ll aaaaall know, soon…) and a couple of gigs at the legendary Bongo Club Cabaret where I had a fantastic time and realised that playing and singing in front of people and actually speaking(!) in between that, isn’t actually all that bad.  Lovely friendly place to discover that.  Thank you Bongo and Rhymes with Purple!  Who’d’ve thunk it?  Lois of the Lane made a brief but triumphant appearance at the Bongo too.  She’s definitely here to stay 🙂

So, on the back of this, I’ve decided to start writing some more songs and do them on the comedy/cabaret circuit – as well as Ms of the Lane – and this evening I’m premiering a jaunty new song entitled ‘The Last 2 Zombies in the World‘ which I knocked out on Sunday.  A month or so early I suppose, but it’s good to be prepared.  (You never know when they might strike..)  I’ll get it recorded at some point soon and stick it on my singing page.  Keep your eyes/ears peeled for more…

Since I’ve been back from the beautiful ‘burgh I was a part of Jennifer Farmer‘s première performance of her new immersive theatre/sound play ‘Conversations I Wish I Could Overhear’ which was part of the Spit ‘n’ Scrub open studios at ASC Studios in Bow.  I’ve also just found out that I’ve got a cracking part in a great piece called ‘No Surprises’ by Mikail Chowdhury, that’s going to be part of a one off charity event on the afternoon of Saturday 16th of October.  More details on this one soon.  Really looking forward to getting my teeth into it!

Until then, here’s a couple of picture of me busking on the Southbank, just before heading up to Edinburgh, taken by my friend Sarah:

You’ve gotta love a kazoo…

Ooh, it’s got a bit nippy ain’t it?

Brrr…

Again, lots of stuff since the last post.  The Gawkagogo Freakshow tent went down a storm in the Pleasance Courtyard at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe and subsequently we’ve done a one off, massively extended version of the show, with special guests, at the infamous Barden’s Boudoir

…which also went down mightily well!

There will inevitably be more Freakshow news soon…

November beckons, and with it comes a series of private screenings of ‘Small Talk‘, the multi-award winning short film I starred in last year.  It’s being screened alongside 2 other short films – ‘The Trousseau’ and ‘Crossed Lines’ which feature friends as the lead in each.  Here are the dates, times and places:

Tuesday November 13thRiverside Studios, Hammersmith
1:30pm / 2:30pm / 3:30pm – THE TROUSSEAU
1:45pm / 2:45pm / 3:45pm – SMALL TALK
2:00pm / 3:00pm / 4:00pm – CROSSED LINES

Wednesday November 14thCurzon, Soho
6:00pm – THE TROUSSEAU
6:15pm – SMALL TALK
6:30pm – CROSSED LINES

Thursday November 15thThe Pleasance Theatre, Islington
1:30pm / 2:30pm – THE TROUSSEAU
1:45pm / 2:45pm – SMALL TALK
2:00pm / 3:00pm – CROSSED LINES

and here are the blurbs:

————————————————————
THE TROUSSEAU – 17min – Starring Maria Thomas
When the young British Ama learns of her mother’s death she decides to return to her birthplace in Ghana.  The women of her clan question her suitability in taking her grandmother’s place in the funeral preparations, but Ama breaks with tradition and proves them wrong, finding a means to express her sorrow.

Nominated for ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Short Film’ at the BFM 8th International Film Festival 2006.

Screened as part of Africa in the Picture season at the Amsterdam Film Festival 2007.
————————————————————
SMALL TALK – 13min – Starring me
A short Black Comedy.  Madeline is an introverted telephone operator who amuses herself by making prank calls to unsuspecting Londoners passing by the phone box outside her flat.  One day she’s caught off guard when someone she calls decides to make small talk back…

1st Prize for the ‘Best Digital Film’ at the 13th International Short Film Festival in Drama (Greece) 2007.

‘Best Non-Italian Short Film’ at Kaleidoshorts 2007, organised by the Italian Embassy.

‘Best Student Drama’ at the Southern Royal Television Society Awards 2006/2007.

Digital Video Practice Award for ‘Best Student Short’ at the End of the Pier Film Festival 2007.
————————————————————
CROSSED LINES – 14min – starring Keith Eyles
Do actions really equal consequences or is life just a lottery and can something as random as a number actually change everything?  In just a few hours Jonathan Shepherd’s life is about to change drastically in this dark tale about infidelity, hypocrisy, mixed communication, bad timing and how far someone will go to protect what they have…

Premier screening of this new film, written, directed and produced by Keith Eyles.
————————————————————

You can find my finely crafted e-flyer for the screenings here. If you’re interested in attending one of them, please let me know. Tickets are limited.

Before November we have ourselves Halloween.  This year I’m going to be working with Gawkagogo on their Voodoo Witchdoctor Automaton installation.  We’ll be at Torture Garden‘s Halloween Ball on the 27th and Opal Nera’s Halloween Ball at T Bar on the 31st.  Come get your diagnosis!

Lastly, but certainly not least, I’ve had several Lois of the Lane gigs and have another coming up at ‘You Little Minx’ at Tiger Tiger in Croydon on the 2nd of November.  I’ve had some wonderful promotional pictures taken of her which I’ll be uploading soon, along with lots of other information, so watch this space.

Off now to go and dig out me thermals…

SHOWREEL!! (Amongst other things)

First up – my showreel is finally finished!  Huge thanks to my flatmate Jamie for having all the necessary cables and bits and bobs to set me on the right track.  The many long hours I spent sat alone in front of my computer have paid off and I’m very pleased with the final version.  So, come one, come all – witness the glory!

(I’m a bit over excited. Can you tell?)

Secondly, ‘Small Talk‘ has won some kind of award.  When I find out exactly what it was it’ll be put straight on my CV!  It was screened again on the 15th of February at the NFT as part of Eat Our Shorts.

At the end of this month, on the 23rd, I’m going to be part of Gawkagogo‘s ‘Damnation Alley’ at The Texas Chainsaw Travelling Horror Picture Show‘s 1st Birthday do at Electrowerkz.  I think there may well be some kind of facial hair involved 😀

Last week I was part of the 365 event at The Pleasance.  I found myself part of ‘Constant 2’ and ‘Ask The Experts’.

Before I go, here are some pictures taken at the Candy Box Burlesque Valentine’s Spectacular, courtesy of Cherry Bomb Rock Photography:

More pictures here.

(Did I mention that I’ve finished my showreel…?)

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where that Lois is…?

No news is good news – or something like that…

I’ve been rather slack with the updates on here, but things have been happening nonetheless.

Just finished a shoot for a music video with Jasmin Jodry at the helm.  It’s a dark and moody green screen delight with me as a victim of a Vampire of time in a soulless metropolis.  You can watch here, it in all its eerie glory:

I’ve also been a Post Production office’s Tea Lady love interest in a project for students of West Herts College in Watford, and bagged the main part in a great little short by graduating students of UCCA down in Farnham (formally SIAD) called ‘Small Talk‘, which has an Amelie / Lost In Translation feel about it according to people who’ve seen it so far.  There’s going to be a screening of ‘Small Talk‘ at the Curzon in Soho next month, and I think some more screenings following this one are in the pipeline.

When I have copies of all of these projects I’ll post a link to them/upload to the site.

Showreel here we come…?!

I’ve also had a re-jig of my News page, along with the rest of the website.  As always – let me know if something isn’t working properly as I’m doing all this on my lovely, getting on a bit now, Mac.

Should hopefully have some more exciting news in the next few days fingers crossed…

Back in business

Radio silence – bad…

You can now see me in my half a second, painful, bookish glory in Filament Pictures‘ ‘Figure of Speech’, filmed for the Cobra Vision competition, here (click on ‘September’ on that page if you can’t see it straight away…)  Blink and you may miss me, but the whole thing’s worth a look.

If you think it’s the bees knees, then vote for it as your favourite of the month here (I’m guessing there’s not much time left on that one…)

Aaand – the London run of VEGA$M draws ever closer.  Expect a full on revamp!

Where am I…?

Phew!  I’ve just come round after being hit on the head repeatedly with a red Encyclopedia on Tuesday morning…

It was all in aid of the Cobra Vision short film competition being run by Cobra Beer.  Won’t go into more detail now so’s not to spoil the filmakers’ chances but when I have a copy of the 5 second short I’m in, directed by Richard Merritt and Martin Christien, I’ll upload it for your sniggering pleasure 🙂

I will, however, just say for the record, that it was all done with mirrors.

Hehe…

Bood Hungry and more…

Tonight is re-shoot night for ‘Blood Hungry’, a Horror short written and produced by Funk Vision (new website coming soon.  I’ll post the link when it’s done.)  in which I’m the protagonist.  The main bulk of it was shot last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but due to them inevitable technical hitches there is to be more of me being chased by meat cleaver wielding demons tonight.  Yeah!!  I should have a copy of it fairly soon and if the guys let me upload it then it’ll be somewhere on this site for a bit.

Just got some new photos printed from my current contact sheet, so there’s a couple of new headshots up on my gallery page if you wish to have a gander…

Last, but definitely not least, Vittoria of FoolishPeople has come across a site that enables you to ‘South Park’ yourself:

These are Tor’s spot on interpretations of me, John and her glorious self.  Team FP all South Parked up.  Hehe 🙂

You can find a link to the site in question here at Vittoria’s lair on the web.

The sweet smell of… tobacco

Made a trek out to Farnham today to be a body for some students at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design.  Nice to keep my hand in with the acting in front of the camera side of things.  I also managed to learn how to roll a cigarette, which is something I have never attempted before (ah, my non-smoking innocence…).  I ended up having to do it several times in the scene so I think I may be a pro now.  Well as long as there isn’t too close up a shot of it then I may get away with claiming that!!  Thankfully I didn’t have to smoke my handiwork – they weren’t looking for added comedy moments as far as I could tell…

Hoping to get back onto the Wet Shards case on Wednesday if all things go to plan…