Saturday, 13 September 2014

Pop-Up theatre pops up again.

The pop-up phenomenon continues. I know that in my area today there are pop-up cafes, pop-up exhibitions of art and yet again pop-up theatre. are preparing for a play called Thick as Thieves. I passed the venue this week - a former pram shop facing the tram station at Mumps Bridge. For their last play the company used a disused retail unit and set designers turned it into a charity shop. 

The pram shop will be demolished after the run of the play and the area will be redeveloped. In the meantime Mark Whiteley, Hard Graft's writer and actor has set designers creating a scene for the action to unfold. 

This idea has many merits. Rents can be cheap and only need to be paid for the duration of the play. The location can add to the content of the play and create a stimulating experience for audiences. In the case of Hard graft Theatre, the coffee bar next door is due an extra rush of business.

It's a project I'd love to try. I've discussed a few venues and ideas with fellow writers in the past but nothing has emerged. (What's stopping me?)

Why don't you sketch a few ideas for a play in a pop-up location.

Imagine a non-traditional theatre space. In Mark's play the audience and actors will be together in the same closed space. The audience will be seated.

Create a story around three people who are in the space and want it for different reasons.

Think of the characters and how their dialogue reflects their motives.

Take some risks - one character might want to use the space as a car park, another might want to fill it with cannabis plants....and so on.  

How does the action start and end. How might the space be used to full advantage.

Tell me how you went on. If I ever get round to trying this idea I'll post my results.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Stones in his Pockets by Marie Jones - various venues

This great play will be on at The Manchester Opera House on October 16th. It's a dark political comedy famous for having a large cast played by two actors in front of a simple backdrop. 

It's a great one to go to with as a writing group. If you haven't already used it in class it could form a good lesson on dialogue.

Just seen another date at Oldham Coliseum -  Fri Oct 31st


It's part of a national tour so there are other venues.

Have a night out!