After many, many hours of website updating – my brain is now more mushy than usual. Some of it may be dripping out of my right ear. Who can say…? Now you can find: production photos from Glitch; a freshly tidied up singing page which now includes my new Zombie song that I recorded this week with my bro + 2 tracks recorded during my interview on Leith FM in August; my latest headshots and some fantastic photos taken during a shoot by Gavin Hill of Mecaniques Photography on the gallery page. See below for an example of the latter:
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
Saturday 16th October
at Oxford House
LONDON E2 6HG
020 7739 9001
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 🙂
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:
I was generally being a helpful sailor and keeping an eye on Paul Garner‘s freakshow artwork:
June saw me freaking out with the Gawkagogo Freakshow again – this time at the Udderbelly on the Southbank as part of the Time Out Live Friday Night Freakshow. There was pigging and a bit of Siamese Twin action:
(Lots of black wig wearing going on over the past few months!)
Also finally put in an application to the Arts Council in June, for funding to re-develop and re-vamp Super Situation. ALL TOES ARE CROSSED. I’ve just been on a fund raising course too, so NOTHING WILL STOP ME…
Moving on to July, last Thursday I was part of Jennifer Farmer’s 10 minute slot during the Brand writers symposium at the Southbank Centre as part of the London Literature Festival. She presented 4 small sections of piece she is developing entitled ‘thefadingcity’ which will ultimately be a large scale immersive theatre piece. I was doing random, absurd, interactive improvised stuff with kitchen implements, imaginary toxic ingredients and song. Love it 🙂
I’m putting on Super Situation and Glitch at the (almost) newly opened Waterloo East Theatre on Brad Street next week. Here be map. Also on the bill is ‘Baby Rice Cakes’ by Michele Hallak; performed by Michele and the Director of Super Situation: Jamie Rocha Allan. (We have the honour of being the first professional shows on there – whoop!) Important details below:
Thurs 22nd and Fri 23rd of July
7:30pm – Super Situation
9pm – Baby Rice Cakes followed by Glitch
It’s part of the Best of Festivals season produced by Theatre6 which is warming up the theatre before it officially opens in September. Looking forward to cracking on with rehearsals next week 🙂
In August I’m going to be disappearing off to the Edinburgh Fringe to do a bit of busking for just over a week. As yet, I still have to dust off my guitar and come up with the songs, but, seemingly, I like a challenge!
Erk – another long update hiatus. As ever, stuff’s been going down despite the radio silence.
First up, I had some marvellous new headshots taken at the end of October by Ceri Ashcroft. They are waiting in the electronic pile of bits to upload to my website when I manage to squeeze a long overdue website updating session in. Soon I hope! Soon… Here is one of ’em for now:
The beady eyed of you will also notice on said CV that I have an agent! I’m now represented by Sharon Foster Management 🙂
Over a couple of Sundays in October I also got round to recording my little song with my bruv. It’s called ‘Really and True’ and it’s been uploaded to the site for a while now so you can listen to it here. ( For those with a more offend-able disposition than my own, there is mild ‘language’ from the start…) It’s me on guitar, kazoo and vocal and my bro on thigh slapping, faux glockenspiel and faux accordion. Very pleased with how it’s turned out. There’ll be a proper link to it added during my next update session and, at some point, there’ll be a video for it too. Raaaah!
Much freakiness abounded and I got enjoy being part of the inaugural outing of the all new, literally all singing, all dancing Siamese Twin act, as well as the premier of the new Beatnik Piggy act and various other freaky gubbins. More Freakshow news at some point in the near future…
As for Lois of the Lane, she performed at the Comedy Cabin at the end of October and has had her a private gig so far this year at the RVT, with another private gig booked for elsewhere in May. On the Super Situation front, plans are still afoot for the next stage of the show. STILL VERY EXCITED!
Coming up, I’m going to be involved in a film production of The Bacchae in April. Amongst other things, it’ll be a great chance to learn a good chunk of lines again. (So much silent performing over the past few years – which I LOVE, but speech based things do also most definitely float the boat.) Until then though, there must be a veritable cracking on with the stuff that needs to be done. Let me at ’em…
Yup, my one woman dystopian black comedy Glitch is back and this time will feature me as my silent comedy alter ego Lois of the Lane.
It’s playing at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden for 5 nights. Get yer bottoms down there!
There might even be some more free badges:
(Not that I’m trying to bribe you or anything.)
A little potted history of Glitch can be found on my Projects page and here’s the blurb:
Welcome to Room 8933 and the new ‘Stay Safe!’ Character Vetting Process!
‘Stay Safe!’ marks the dawn of a new era of security at Passport Control. A few minutes and a short digital questionnaire later: you’re free to continue your onward journey.
Quick, simple efficient and painless: ‘Stay Safe!’ – for you, for us, for everyone.
What could possibly go wrong…?
December was a very Crimbly affair for meself (the usual rushing about the shops, sweating profusely and much merrymaking) but I did manage to appear as the Fairy Godmother in Total Rock‘s Christmas Panto ‘Cinderella Boberella’ for me mate Talita.
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:
Wednesday November 14th – Curzon, Soho
6:00pm – THE TROUSSEAU
6:15pm – SMALL TALK
6:30pm – CROSSED LINES
Thursday November 15th – The 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.
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…
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.
“A new fast-paced, edgily funny modern rockabilly pop-culture twist on a classic freakshow – but compacted in time and space! Using the classic grind show format, Gawkagogo Freakshow consists of a rapid-fire, action-packed 15-minute freakish variety bill. The show features quick-change cartoon-style costumes, weird puppetry, stage illusion and audience interaction, to produce an experience unlike anything the audience has ever seen before. Introduced and run by the trio of Gawkagogo hosts, the Freakshow features a varying bill including some of the acclaimed Gawkagogo roster of characters, like: Elephant Man Elvis (“Comedy Genius” LONDON EVENING STANDARD), Dali Parton, Norma Guntz and her Tom Jones Tumour, Dennis Hopperfield The House Fly Liberarnie, Mentalo: Master Of Mentalism, The Invisible Man Magician.”
Gawkagogo‘s ‘C*nt Bingo’ was nominated for “Most Original Act” in the this year’s Ministry of Burlesque Awards following our appearance at Candy Box in February. I thoroughly enjoyed meself, dancin like a loon, at the awards ceremony at The Pigalle Club on Sunday. (No one was harmed during said dancing. Well, as far as I know.)
With all of this cabaret stuff I seem to have got myself into, it’s about time I sorted out my own act, which is what I’m doing right now. More on this soon…
I also want to get some music stuff on here, so I should be sorting that out and uploading it when it’s ready to go.
Old news that I didn’t get round to posting in time:
I was one of the voices in the afternoon play ‘Delayed Departures’ last week on Radio 4, written by Matthew Solon, Produced/Directed by John Dryden and starring Matthew Solon, Samantha Bond and Robert Gwylim. Bizarre to be doing Airport Announcements after Glitch! Here’s me (whilst we were recording in a hotel room) with some of the equipment, looking like a Russian Spy:
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.
Glitch proved to be a sellout success at the Etcetera on the 11th and 12th. Thanks to all who came! I had some fantastic feedback and I’m planning on putting the show on again in London asap. More on that soon hopefully…
Prior to my Glitch performances, in the midst of the preparations, I found myself prancing around on Gawkagogo‘s stage at Torture Garden‘s New Year’s Eve bash. We started dancing at 9pm and went right through to 6am. (Well, I was more ‘shuffling’ for a number of hours.)
During the evening I inhabited the bodies of a Pig Faced Child:
and Hooters the Clown:
(You can really tell how tired we all were by this point!)
On another Hooters note – me and her (us) are heading up to Brum next month in Gawkagogo‘s extra large suitcase for the Candy Box Burlesque Valentine Spectacular at the Glee Club on the 11th. There’s going to be a live band to accompany shenanigans and everything. Looking forward to it!
After that I’m going to be involved in the 356 plays event at The Pleasance in Norf London. Not entirely sure how yet, but all shall be made clear…
Ooh, and Paul Garner‘s Monster Art Exhibition is still going on at Tusk Tattoo in town. The opening night was great fun! Photos n stuff here.