I'm in the bath. Yes, you read that right. I am currently typing in the bath, listening to The Hunter by Slaves on BBC Radio 6 - my bath radio station of choice. The Hunter is a great song. Perfect to headbang to during a moment of writers block - which is what I am currently going through. So many ideas, so many characters, all needing space on the page to go crazy.
After seen Hope by Jack Thorne yesterday I realised how much I crave and adore the feeling of sitting in a dark theatre space - and having begun rehearsals for Duck Flu next week, I feel in a very begining rehearsals today for Duck Flu I feel in a very 'theatery' mood.
Thus, here are my top theatre recommendations for January and February 2015:
BLACK BOX FESTIVAL at the Etcetera Theatre (whole month of January)
If you are looking for new writing, new performers and interesting directorial debuts then I recommend BLACK BOX FESTIVAL at the Etcetera Theatre. It's on for the whole month of January at the little venue in Camden. The Etcetera is my favourite 'above-pub' theatre venue in London and is run by a very passionate team who know what they are doing and who do their upmost to ensure lovely experiences for all visiting companies. I am a very big fan. The programme for Black Box Festival is diverse and incredibly interesting - no two performances seem in any way similiar except for their unique subject matter or freshness of the company producing them. If you are looking for something to do tomorrow I'd recommend going to see James Hamilton's show 'JERKS IN PROGRESS' at 9.30pm. He is another young comic who writes incredibly dark fantasies on stage. Another show I'm interested in seeing is 'CAMP' too on the 15th - 17th at 7.30pm. It's on right before DUCK FLU so why not come to both?
DUCK FLU at the Etcetera Theatre - 15th-17th January
This is very exciting for me. Harriet Kemsley and I had a great first rehearsal today and I feel very positive that the show is going to be great. (well, you can't be anything BUT positive about your own work can you?). It is so nervous putting your own work out - especially when you have built characters you love and you have other people reading their words. Luckilly the cast is f*cking brilliant. The play is based on my sister and I's conversations on 'How we would survive in an apocolypse'. If you are interested by the words VEGANS, DUCKS, APOCOLYPSES, ZOMBIES and TEA - you should come.
LIBERIAN GIRL at The Royal Court - 7th - 31st January
I am so happy for the writer, Diana Nneka Atuona. We used to Usher at the Old Vic together and in 2013 we would often rant in when we were on 'ice cream selling' duty about our futures, the difficulties of the arts, politics and comedy. Diana is a fiercely intelligent woman with so much knowledge about the world. It is amazing to see her hard work pay off and know that her work is going to be seen by many at such an acclaimed theatre space. I am ADAMANT that you go.
'Between 1989 and 2003 the Civil War in Liberia saw over 200,000 people killed, a million others displaced into refugee camps, and over 15,000 children recruited into ‘Small Boys Units’.
First-time writer Diana Nneka Atuona‘s Alfred Fagon award-winning play tells one teenage girl’s story of survival in this intimate and immersive production.
This is an immersive , standing production. The performance includes replica fire-arms, loud gun shots and strong scenes of sexual violence.'
SKINT at VAULT Festival, 4th-8th February
SKINT is on at the same time as Being Barbarella at VAULT Festival this year. I've met the team who are creating the show and I am amazed by their vivacity, determination, level headedness and talent. They are trying to do something different and create work that has a meaning. Rosie, the writer, is an inspiring young woman. We are working collectively to help market eachothers show.
'Four friends living together in East London. Helen’s got a degree but couldn’t get a job so is working in a call centre with Paul an aspiring musician who has been picked up and dropped by too many record labels to remember. Meanwhile Anna is working three jobs, none of which she remotely enjoys, that combined only just earns her enough to survive. Ryan, once a semi professional football player, is considering a cleaning job at Ibis to avoid taking more money off his dad. They’re learning whether you’re old, young, rich or skint, one night can change your life, just depends what you do with it.'
NAKED at VAULT Festival - 25th Feb - 1st March
I fell in love with Jessica Burgess, the actress and writer of this project, when I met her at the Vault introduction day. Open and charismatic, after chatting to her I am really intrigued by the work she will create.
NAKED is an off-beat, fast-paced and explosive new play about power, regret and the ever-terrifying world of the internet. How can we ever move on from the past, when the past remains forever online?
'Ten years after he posts a naked picture of her online, Jodi and Matt meet again for the first time. Jodi is angry and she’s out for revenge, but can Matt really be held responsible for the mistakes he made as an impulsive teenager?'
And there you have it!
I'm off to see BULL tomorrow by Mike Bartlett at the Young Vic. I'll report back on what I think. Until then, I have compering at the Camden Comedy Club to do.