By using this site you agree to the use of cookies for analytics, personalised content and social media

Welcome to Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre

Welcome to Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre
We offer a wide range of FREE services for individuals, groups and societies that are interested in amateur theatre, amateur dramatics and amateur drama

If you're offering professional services then you may want to consider our "Sponsor Subscription" which is only 99p per year

Blogs

Our community blogs

  1. Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre has undergone significant change over the Christmas period and whilst the functionality the site offers remains largely unchanged we have undertaken a major upgrade to the software that underpins the site.

    What can you expect from Amdram.net - The Social Network in Amateur Theatre in 2016

    Groups - We've upgraded the group functionality on the site to allow "Group Owners@ to manage their groups and their own forums much in the way that Facebook allows Page administrators to manage pages - We have plans to enhance the group functionality further but are keen to get feedback on what groups and users would like to see

    Calendar - We still offer the same great event functionality that you've enjoyed before but we've enhanced the integration with Google Maps so that you easily add a location for your event and we've also made it easier for you to link to publicity material that you can store in the gallery and reuse throughout Amdram.net

    Scripts - We're still growing our scripts database and we are keen to get feedback on what groups and users would like to see.

    Forums, Galleries & Blogs - We still offer the same great forums and blogs functionality, it has been enhanced and made easier to use

    Please feel free to comment or create a topic in the Feedback forum with any ideas or suggestions that you have

     

  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe directed by Anthony Kemp

    Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 December, evenings at 7.30, matinee at 2.30 on Saturday

    Tickets: adults £16, children/students, adults £12 on 13th

    Four children travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia where it is always winter but never Christmas.

    The post The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from the novel by C S Lewis, adapted by Glyn Robbins appeared first on Nomad Theatre.


  3. YAT will next meet at Collis School, Teddington from 7.30pm on Monday 25 April 2016 where we will be holding a discussion and reading for our next production. This will be followed by Auditions for our first Summer production, The Trial of Hansel and Gretel.


  4. Please watch and share - there are amazing perks from just £1, and EVERYTHING helps!  In four days, we have already raised almost £430 for this film on Indiegogo.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mordred-arthurian-film-in-devon-cornwall--2#/

    This production aims to not only showcase very heavily researched Dark Ages (6th century) history of Devon and Cornwall, linked to some of the very earliest and less known Arthurian legends, but also equally to showcase the amazing skills by local actors, filmmakers, and other production creatives - a lot of film work happens in the southwest but very often local people are passed over for imported talent due to stereotypes of "local people being no-good". This production aims to prove exactly the opposite, with a large, attention-grabbing project that has already been featured in the press not just localy, but in New York and Hollywood itself, and with interest, subject to the finished product (we are unknowns of course) from global film distribution companies. Directed by an experienced female theatre/film director.

    The group running it has a proven track record over 10 years of producing historical theatre and film, working from the early days of raising £80 from a carboot sale and using the backroom of a pub for rehearsals. The group (working age adults, historical subject matter) falls straight through the cracks for grants etc, and so everything we do is fundraised for. Alongside a dizzying run of burlesque shows, sponsored swims, a scifi/ fantasy convention, ebay sales, carboot sales, shop counter collection tins, etc, we are also running this crowdfund.

     

    indiegogo4days.jpg

    Every penny raised goes into costumes/ props, donations to locations for use, food and camping equipment for cast on location, travel to locations, and some extra equipment. Equipment, following this film, will then be used to make more projects by this group, and to train local people in making high-grade film and video - to help them find work!

    This indiegogo campaign is alongside all the other fundraisers - sponsored swims, burlesque, carboot sales, ebay sales, museum & school talks, second jobs, etc, taking place to fundraise for this project.

    Links to more information

    Film page on our website- http://www.southdevonplayers.com/mordredthemovie

    Meet the team - http://www.southdevonplayers.com/mordred-film--stage-show-team.html

    Soundtrack sampler - https://youtu.be/KwKd6SyIqFI

    Mordred Press Office & press article links- http://www.southdevonplayers.com/mordredpressoffice

    Other fundraising projects - http://www.southdevonplayers.com/fundraising1.html

    Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/MordredTheMovie

    IMDB page - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5159008/

    Join our mailing list - http://www.southdevonplayers.com/join-mailing-list.html

    Production Blog- http://www.southdevonplayers.com/mordredblog.html

  5. I’m guilty of going to see ‘Butterflies are Free’ on opening night. I’ll be honest, I went because I wanted to support director, Maggie Campbell, with whom I had many a laugh in her production of ‘As You Like It’ … Continue reading


    • 2
      entries
    • 0
      comments
    • 1936
      views

    Recent Entries

    SouthendODS
    Latest Entry

    13th - 16th April 2016

    Palace Theatre, Westcliff

     

    HELLO, DOLLY! is the story of Mrs. Dolly Levi’s efforts to marry Horace Vandergelder, the well-known half-a-millionaire, and send his money circulating among the people like rainwater the way her late husband, Ephraim Levi, taught her. Along the way she also succeeds in matching up the young and beautiful Widow Molloy with Vandergelder’s head clerk, Cornelius Hackl; Cornelius’ assistant, Barnaby Tucker, with Mrs. Molloy’s assistant, Minnie Fay; and the struggling artist, Ambrose Kemper, with Mr. Vandergelder’s weeping niece, Ermengarde.

    Mrs. Levi tracks Vandergelder to his hay and feed store in Yonkers, then by train back to Mrs. Molloy’s hat shop in New York, out into the streets of the city where they are all caught up in the great Fourteenth Street Association Parade, and finally to the most elegant and expensive restaurant in town, the Harmonia Gardens. There, Dolly is greeted by the waiters, cooks, doormen and wine stewards in one of the most famous songs in the history of American musical comedy, Hello, Dolly!

    What happens in the end? Dolly gets her man, of course. Even makes him glad she caught him. Dolly leaves the stage at the end of Act II with a wink to the audience as she takes a peep into Vandergelder’s bulging cash register, and promises that his fortune will soon be put to good use. She quotes her late husband as she says, “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.”

     

    An Amateur Production

    Wed-Sat 7:30pm

    Thurs & Sat Mats 2:30pm

     

    TICKETS: Evenings £17.00

    Matinees £14.00

     

    Group Discounts are available on evening performances only- 10% for groups of 10 or more and 15% for groups of 20 or more.

    Fee-free for Cash Bookings.

     

    SODS Advance Box Office Until 31st January 2016: sodstickets@hotmail.co.uk

    Palace Theatre Box Office: 01702 351135

    https://southendtheatres.org.uk

     

    Book by Michael Stewart. Music & lyrics by Jerry Harman. Based on the play “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder. Original Production Directed and Choreographed by Gower Champion. Produced for the Broadway Stage by David Merrick and Champion Five Inc. By arrangement with MUSIC SCOPE and STAGE MUSICALS LIMITED of New York

    DollyAvatar last one from sam.jpg

  6. Auditions:

    Who: Purple theatre company

    What: noel cowards "hayfever"

    When:Sunday, 16 February 2014 10:00 until 16:00

    Where:2nd Uxbridge Scout Hut, Gatting Way, off Park Road in Uxbridge

    (Nearest tube station, uxbridge - Piccadilly line. Nearest bus stops - U1,U2)

    About the show:

    The eccentric Bliss family were never inclined to consider social conventions. Perhaps it is not surprising that Judith, a 'retired' actress, David, a novelist, and their two equally bohemian children have each invited a guest for the weekend but neglected to tell anyone else! When the unfortunate guests arrive, they find themselves alternately amused, embarrassed, humiliated and ignored as their hosts continue to behave just as they please. How will their visitors cope with being thrown into the melodramatic scenes which form a natural part of their hosts' daily life?

    What we're after:

    We are seeking a cast of nine - five women, four men, with a fairly broad age range available.

    We will also be seeking willing volunteers to assist with staging this fine production - come along to the auditions and you will find the crew team lurking with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

    About the audition:

    Auditions start at 10.30am prompt, and will run until approx 4pm with a one hour lunchbreak. Further details can be found on our website, but attached is a handy FAQ list

    FAQ list:

    What happens at a Purple audition?

    The general way things go at an audition for Purple is that we try to make everyone feel welcome by conducting games/group exercises in the morning to start off. This helps our auditionees to relax a little, along with giving people the chance to get to know each other. This is then followed by an introduction to the play before we break for lunch. Then we get into the serious stuff of the auditions during the afternoon. The process can vary depending on the production/director in question. Once the auditions are over, most of us then congregate at a nearby pub.

    So what happens after that?

    The director and assistant director would then discuss the auditions and make their casting choices based on what they saw before sending out the full list to people. This would normally take a couple of days.

    Do I need to prepare anything for the audition?

    No. We will provide character audition pieces for everyone to read through, giving people the chance to decide what part(s) they would like to audition for. All you would need to bring with you is yourself and a bucketload of enthusiasm!

    Do I need to have acting experience in order to audition?

    Again, no. We welcome people of all experiences, whether you have spent your entire life on stage or this is your first ever audition. If you have the desire to get involved, Purple will provide the opportunity for you.

    Should I bring lunch, or will Purple Theatre provide for me?

    We will take a break in between auditions so people can go out and get some lunch, but some people do bring their own so it is up to you. Purple Theatre doesn’t provide lunch for auditionees. However, we do offer as much tea and coffee as you can drink and some of our members have been inclined to bring in cake to share with everyone! It is also worth noting that the bringing in of cake is welcomed entirely by Purple, but it won’t get you the role you want!

    What if I can’t make the date in question at all but still want to audition?

    Again, you need to contact us in advance by email. The director(s) will then get in touch with you to discuss an alternative date before the audition in which you can attend. Contact details are provided below.

    Do I have to come for the whole day of auditions or can I just be there for the afternoon?

    It is strongly recommended that people who wish to audition turn up for the whole day as the group exercises are beneficial to help you prepare, as well as giving you the chance to talk to people and find out more about the play in question. If you can’t make the whole day, you need to contact us in advance, as it might be easier to arrange an alternative date.

    Is there a fee to audition?

    No. We only charge people if they get a part in the show in question, as they would then have to become members of Purple Theatre.

    So what are the membership fees if I do join Purple Theatre?

    Membership fees are £25 for one full year from July-June. If you join halfway through the year the fee is reduced to only £15. In addition, there is a show fee of £20 per person.

    Will I get paid for my involvement in the show?

    No. Purple Theatre is a voluntary group and we rely on our membership to help with the costs of running the company, as well as grants from Hillingdon Council.

    What about those of us who wish to get involved with Purple Theatre but don’t want to be on stage?

    Fear not, there are opportunities for people to get involved with our productions behind the scenes. These involve roles such as backstage crew, lighting, sound, costume, props, set design and construction, the list goes on! If that sounds more like your cup of tea then you can still come down to the auditions as there will be a separate crew call for those who wish to get involved this way. Contact details will be provided at the bottom of this page.

    Is there an age limit for Purple?

    Yes, there is. We only allow people 18 years or over to be involved with Purple Theatre, as we don’t have a licence for children. However, this is the only requirement that we ask of our members.

    Well, this all sounds great. So when are the auditions and what time?

    Auditions for Hay Fever are on Sunday 16th February. Turn up from 10am for a 10.30am start and we will run through until approx 4pm.

    So where can I find you guys?

    The auditions will be held at the 2nd Uxbridge Scout Hut on Gatting Way in Uxbridge. It can be found just up the road from Uxbridge College, and is served by the U1 and U2 bus routes.

    Is there parking available?

    There is some parking available at the Scout Hut but it is rather limited. Alternatively, you can park on one of the side streets nearby.

    You haven’t really answered my question here. How can I get in touch with you in order to find out my answer?

    You can get in touch with us via our website – www.purpletheatre.org.uk. Alternatively you can email us at the following addresses:

    General Purple enquiries: company.manager@purpletheatre.org.uk

    Membership enquiries: treasurer@purpletheare.org.uk

    Hayfever production/audition enquiries:

    You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter, just search “Purple Theatre ''

  7. blogentry-3953-0-66546300-1366806889_thu

    What is a woman to do? Seek love and self-fulfilment by abandoning a rotten husband, or obey society’s rules and devote herself to her family?

    That’s the dilemma facing Mrs Alving in Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’, which comes to north Leeds this week in a new production by theatre group Adel Players.

    Having followed the call of duty throughout her married life, Mrs Alving is now choosing to build an orphanage near her home to honour her dead husband. But the return of her son Oswald, combined with the priggish advice of Pastor Manders, results in a series of revelations that threaten to shatter the veneers of respectability they have all created for themselves.

    Poignant, laughable and very moving, ‘Ghosts’ touches nerves that are as sensitive today as they were a century ago – and audiences old and new are sure to be startled by the power of this particular version.

    Adel Players are reaping the benefits of recent staging and lighting upgrades at the Memorial Hall, and the ingenious set design – a conservatory overlooking a Norwegian fjord, illuminated by sunlight – brings a noticeable sense of place on this occasion, while the sharp attention to detail extends to the costumes too.

    Mrs Alving’s stoic attitude – having kept up appearances in spite of the misery of her marriage – is conveyed in a performance of considerable fortitude from Dianne Newby. Her dignity and resolve are tested by the self-satisfied Manders, here played with amusing moral rectitude by Rob Colbeck until the clergyman is faced with wavering uncertainty over decisions past, present and future. Oswald is able to chip away at Manders’ righteousness in an early scene and, as the play progresses, Chris Andrews as the son is thoroughly convincing as he confronts his personal demons.

    There is strong support from Helen Duce as Mrs Alving’s maid Regina and also David Pritchard as her father Engstrand, both characters offering light relief amid the encroaching darkness before the dramatic conclusion prompts decisions for them too.

    ‘Ghosts’ was branded sensational and scurrilous after its debut in the 1880s, and while society is much harder to shock these days, director Beth Duce has successfully captured what makes the play relevant to modern audiences. The moral maze faced by a wronged wife, the pomposity of the pastor, the fear and confusion of a young man – such human qualities will always be familiar. The path chosen by Mrs Alving and its cruel cost results in a theatrical experience that is haunting and gripping.

    ‘Ghosts’ is playing at Adel Memorial Hall, Church Lane, Adel, Leeds, LS16 8DE from Wednesday 24 to Saturday 27 April (starts 7.30pm). Tickets can be booked by phoning 0113 275 5585 or via the Adel Players’ website at http://www.adel-players.org.uk


  8. Gifts for Me and My Girl can include all kinds of variations on a theme of spoons, pearl buttons, coats of arms, aristocracy, cockneys, love and marriage.

    Tie+Clip+Vintage+Car+.JPG
    Classic Car Tie Slide



    And for Sir Jasper!




    Visit the website at thedramaqueensdrawers.co. for more suggestions and ideas.


    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 2031
      views

    Recent Entries

    New comedy now available as one act or full length version, See taster for details, or contact martin@vega.karoo.co.uk

  9. PCP_1268.jpg

    The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘rehearsal’ as; ‘a trial performance or practice of a play’.

    Of course, whilst the definition is undoubtedly correct, a rehearsal is (or should be) so much more than that. It’s an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the play and the characters that inhabit it, to ensure the basics of presentation are in place and to finesse the performances of your actors. The whole rehearsal period should be considered as a journey with the opening night as the destination. Each rehearsal should have a feeling of momentum and progression; of consolidating what was done last time, but always moving forward to build on those foundations. The cast should be encouraged to give thought to their characters in their daily life, not just at rehearsals. Ask them to find the time to sit down for just ten minutes before each rehearsal and consider where they left off last time. This will be the starting point for their next rehearsal. Any time spent retreading old ground is time wasted. To this end, encourage your cast to write notes in their script (in pencil, as things will always change!), and to read them through once they get home.

    A director’s job is often construed to be about directing the actors. I would suggest that it is also just as much about directing the audience or, at least, directing their attention. The actors are in your hands, and it is your job to use them as the vehicle by which the play can make itself understood. As the rehearsals progress, ask yourself; Is that important piece of business with the coffee cup happening in plain view of the audience? Does is matter that a particular character is ‘masked’ by (i.e. standing behind) another at this particular point? Is the meaning of Character A’s line clear? What is Character B’s reaction to it? Always question, at a every moment, what is happening before you. Something may be clear to you and your cast after ten weeks’ rehearsal, but will it be clear to your audience after just one viewing?

    For all this, it is clear to me what a rehearsal is not. It is not simply an exercise in repetition. Running the same scene or act again and again without any feeling of moving forward and improving is likely to be a dispiriting experience for all concerned. Make a plan of what exactly you wish to achieve each evening. Be prepared to be flexible, but try not to get sidetracked. Explain to your cast what you expect to tackle that night. It may also be useful to let them in on your ‘overview’ of the rehearsal period. Are you planning to ‘block’ the play (i.e. set the characters’ movements) right though, then come back for more detailed work? Or are you ‘going to take a more ‘organic’ approach and block as you rehearse, thus keeping yourself open to every idea and eventuality? If the former, make sure you have blocked the play yourself as the actors will be looking to you for direction. Literally work through your script with a pencil before rehearsals start, indicating who will move where and at what point. Mark your script into sections which can easily be rehearsed and aim, as closely as possible, to stick to them.

    Ideally, I suspect you should aim for a mix of both. Time spent marking down your blocking beforehand will be useful, but be prepared to change your direction as the actors settle into their roles and discover for themselves when a particular movement is best made, or how a particular bit of business is best played. The confident director is happy to be flexible when needed but also has a strong vision of the play he wishes to stage.

    ______

    'Professional Tips for the Amateur Stage'; handy tips for actors and directors to help you prepare for your big night!

  10. <span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Writing a novel, performing a play, penning a song or creating a piece of art – these are all great achievements that you probably want to shout about from the rooftops. Friends, family, work colleagues: they will want to know, and it’s easy enough to tell them. But how do you tell the wider world about your work? The answer is – you use the media. And news (or press) releases are a simple, but very effective, way of doing this.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">So, what do I mean by a news release? Well, the best way to describe it is a news story about you, or your group, that you want to share with a particular audience. You draft it, edit it, finalise it and then send copies to journalists (who, for example, cover your local area, your particular genre, or arts in general). The journalist reads it, hopefully takes an interest, and, if all goes well, you’ll end up with some free coverage of your masterpiece. That means more people buying your book, watching your play, listening to your song or coming to gaze upon your art.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">I’ve been writing news releases for nearly 20 years, and it’s definitely a skill that improves with practice. But it is not that difficult to become a good news release writer in a relatively short space of time. To help you do that, I’ve listed some top tips for writing great news releases:</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">News</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – this might sound obvious, but the key ingredient for a news release is <em>news</em> – something new that someone, somewhere, is going to be interested in, or needs to know about. Issuing a release about the recent/imminent publication of your next novel <em>is</em>news. Wait six months, and it almost certainly <em>isn’t</em> news. Selling the 5,527<sup>th</sup>copy of your book isn’t news, but your 10,000<sup>th</sup>sale is definitely potential news release material (the media love round numbers for some reason!). And, to use a rather tongue-in-cheek example, announcing the title of the <em>second</em> book in your trilogy is <em>only</em>going to be newsy if you’ve actually published the <em>first</em> one! It’s not an exact science, for example, the more high-profile you are, the less newsy your news needs to be. But give everything you want to announce this “news check”. Issuing a non-newsy release is a sure-fire way to get your future news releases filed in the bin, so don’t be tempted to send one out. Oh, and don’t forget to put the date on your release – so people know it’s a current news story.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">The Headline</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – you need a good, relevant headline to grab a journalist’s attention. ‘My book’s on sale now’ isn’t going to send anyone’s pulse racing. However, ‘Watford playwright’s debut novel hits the shelves this weekend’ sounds a lot more exciting, even though it’s really just saying the same thing! Keep it short and snappy, and make sure it is understandable to everyone. Humour is good, as long as it’s appropriate and not too facile. When you’re thinking of your headline, try thinking of it as the advertising slogan for your release – it’s probably competing with lots of other releases in the journalist’s inbox, so your headline needs to shout louder than the rest! If it’s a really good headline, it might even be used by the journalist (though journalists like to use their own headlines to differentiate their article from others, so it’s not very common).</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">The Opening Paragraph</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – now your headline has got the journalist’s interest, you’ve got to tell them your news. And this should be clearly explained in an opening paragraph of no more than around 25-30 words. Use snappy, active language where possible, but tell the story. It should be a paragraph that could stand alone from the rest of your release, and be completely understandable. For example, “Watford playwright Paul Mathews has swapped the stage for the page, with the publication this week of his first e-novel ‘We’ve Lost the President’ on amazon.co.uk.” (N.B. In case you’re wondering, I haven’t written the book yet, but it is my working title!) Background should be in “Notes for editors” (see below) at the end of the release, so don’t make the mistake of starting your release with a biog or a list of your previous glories.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">The Main Release</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – this is your opportunity to give more details about your news. Keep the information in a logical order and avoid overly long paragraphs or sentences (just as good writers always do). You should make sure the release includes a good description of your artistic endeavours, relevant websites/hyperlinks where people can get further information, contact numbers (for booking tickets for plays, exhibitions etc), a good quote from yourself or other relevant person, and numbered “Notes for editors” where you include useful background information, such as a detailed biog, your social media IDs, past artistic triumphs and your contact details (for the journalist).</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Golden Rules</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – there are a few golden rules to abide by, when drafting a news release. Firstly, always avoid jargon or slang – it will confuse journalists and, potentially, your audience (though a jargon-filled news release is unlikely to generate any coverage). Secondly, if you’re using acronyms, make sure you always spell the full name out first, with the acronym in brackets immediately after; you can then subsequently refer to the acronym. Thirdly, always get someone else to proof-read your release, as a second pair of eyes is essential to spot little mistakes and errors that can give it an unprofessional look. Finally, try to keep your language “active”, rather than “passive”. It’s easiest to explain this with an example:</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">ACTIVE</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – Local author Paul Mathews has published a novel.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">PASSIVE</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – A novel has been published by local author Paul Mathews.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">The active is more dynamic and interesting. The passive is generally to be avoided at all costs, as it is clunky and sleep-inducing.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">An Example</span></b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> – here is a very simple example of a news release that takes on board all that I’ve said above. It is a news release to publicise a book that I am planning to write, but haven't written yet! (This shows that you can actually start your publicity preparations well in advance of actually finishing your work of art.)</span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">29 March 2013</span></b><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Watford playwright’s debut novel hits the shelves this weekend</span></b><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Watford playwright Paul Mathews has swapped the stage for the page, with the publication this weekend of his first e-novel, ‘We’ve Lost the President’, on amazon.co.uk.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Paul, 40, has set his debut novel 50 years in the future, where Great Britain is now a Republic, ruled by a fun-loving, globally-adored French President who has disappeared without trace overnight.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">With the President’s annual Independence Day address just 48 hours away, and underground Monarchist groups threatening mass riots, public relations (PR) guru George Greener reluctantly takes on the task of finding his boss, armed only with a copy of the President’s diary and a good supply of boiled sweets. Can George unravel the Presidential mystery, using his skill, guile and a bit of PR know-how, before chaos hits the streets of late 21st-century London?</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Speaking at the launch of his book, Paul said:</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">“The London I’ve created in 2066 is a very different place from the vibrant city we know today, but still recognisable to anyone who has lived, worked or travelled there.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">“And, while set 50 years in the future, it contains characters who have many of the issues, problems and hang-ups that we do in 2013. These include the main character, George, who, like me, is a PR professional. However, the similarities end there, as he is very much his own man, as you’ll find out when you read the book.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">“Everyone loves a good mystery story, and what better mystery than a missing President – and a French one in charge of the British, just to make it more interesting!”</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">‘We’ve Lost the President’ can be purchased online at amazon.co.uk.</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><b><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Notes for editors</span></b><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">1) You can follow Paul Mathews on Twitter @Watford_Writer and read his blog at watfordwriter.blogspot.co.uk</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">2) Paul works as a Senior Press Officer in London, and has worked in PR for almost 20 years. He studied Philosophy at Cambridge University and holds a Diploma in International Public Relations (DIPR).</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">3) Contact Details (for media only): Paul Mathews +44 (0)XXX XXX XXX</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 18pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">So, I hope that’s given you a steer in the “write” direction, when it comes to writing news releases. Good luck!</span><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><em>If you enjoyed this blog, follow me on Twitter @Watford_Writer<o:p></o:p></em></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal; margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: small;"> </span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"> </span></span><br />

    Source

  11. blog-0176350001344924821.jpgI’ve been doing some research into the Messina of Much Ado, trying to understand the context of the play, especially with regard to the director’s suggestion that Leonato might be played as a sort of Godfather figure.

    I already knew Messina was situated at the north east tip of Sicily, and I also knew that, at the time the play is set, Messina (and Sicily as a whole) was ruled by Spain. According to Wikipedia:

    “With the union of the crowns of
    and Aragon in 1479, Sicily was ruled directly by the kings of
    via governors and viceroys. In the ensuing centuries, authority on the island was to become concentrated amongst a small number of local barons... Local spheres of royal influence never were clearly defined, and various local political entities within the viceregal system competed for power, rendering Sicily often ungovernable.”

    Is this how the mafia originated, I wonder? With these baronial families competing for power? Not according to an article in a magazine called The Best of Sicily, which is dismissive of the idea. It says that, as an organisation, the Mafia did not come into being until sometime after 1700. Tales of its establishment as a "revolutionary" reaction against "foreign" domination are fanciful at best, it says, lacking in any historical foundation. On the other hand, again from Wikipedia: “The genesis of Cosa Nostra is hard to trace because mafiosi are very secretive and do not keep historical records of their own.” It seems likely that the mafia, as we think of it today, developed over many centuries. There is certainly evidence that Sicilians banded together in groups to protect themselves and carry out their own justice. The term “mafioso,” or Mafia member, initially had no criminal connotations and was originally used to refer to a person who was suspicious of central authority.

    But there was clearly no Sicilian “mafia” as we know it in existence at the time of Much Ado. Nevertheless, I have a picture of a pretty lawless feudal colony divided into small pockets of baronial power, constantly at loggerheads with each other. This would explain, perhaps, the presence of Don Pedro, prince of Aragon, on the island; sent by the King to put down the upstart barons. Or perhaps Don Pedro is there at the request of Leonato, the once-powerful governor who can no longer control the “various local political entities”. The prince’s army certainly set out from Messina – Claudio refers to that fact when he tells Don Pedro how his feelings for Leonato’s daughter have changed:

    O, my lord,

    When you went onward on this ended action,

    I look’d upon her with a soldier’s eye,

    That liked, but had a rougher task in hand

    Than to drive liking to the name of love:

    But now I am return’d and that war-thoughts

    Have left their places vacant, in their rooms

    Come thronging soft and delicate desires,

    All prompting me how fair young Hero is,

    Saying, I liked her ere I went to wars.

    Perhaps Don Pedro’s villainous half-bother, Don John the Bastard, was the instigator of an uprising? It’s possible.

    I find all this very useful in helping me to develop a “back story” for my character, Leonato. He is past his prime, unable to fight his own battles any more, and without a male heir. He is, at the start of the play at least, a sort of semi-retired Godfather, like Vito Corleone after he is gunned down.

    All of that changes, of course, at the wedding scene...

  12. Hello there, the internet, how are you?

    We are Gravesend & District Theatre Guild, an amateur theatre company from Kent. Recently, like most companies, we've been looking for ways to boost our profile in the local area, to encourage new members and new audiences. Therefore, we have embraced the wonderful world of social networking.

    We joined the Facebook "webolution" yonks ago and it's always been a really useful way of contacting our members en masse. I'm pretty sure there has been a little group created for every amateur production performed since FB was invented and it has made organising rehearsals and thing so much easier. However, it's a very insular site, designed for people to keep in touch with the people they already know, and if our little company is going to grow and develop then we need to start talking to new people as well, putting ourselves out on the ether, as it were.

    So, we've just got to grips with, and have rather fallen in love with, Twitter. For those of you that don't use it, Twitter is a little bit like a compacted Facebook. Users post little status updates in 140 characters or less and share them with their followers. 140 characters might not seem like a lot, but it's more than enough to write a little haiku, an advert for your production or auditions, or to say "Hey, check out this cat wearing glasses, lol". Meanwhile, you follow the people you want to and their "tweets". Pretty straight forward, huh?

    Our resident tweeter (we like to call her the Twitter Bunny) has been frantically adding local arts companies, other amdram-mers, useful people and old members and it's been such a lovely, immediate way of reaching out to people. It's intimate, yet public. We can shamelessly plug our shows and auditions, while at the same time, getting to know our followers and followees (or "tweeps", as TB tells us they are called).

    Our favourite twitter discoveries so far have been: @indywood, a guy from Kent who is crowd funding a zombie film and has raised over £65000 so far: @MarkBowsherFilm, a former member of our youth group who has just been to L.A. to pick up an award for his first short film: @artof_movement, a Gravesend based arts project working with school children and residents of a local Old Folks Home: and about a million and one other exciting people doing exciting things. Oh, and amdram.net… we found them on Twitter too ;)

    So, if you are yet to join the wonderful world of Twitter, we suggest you get to it. It takes a little while to get used to, but it has really opened our eyes to the enormous wealth of fabulous people doing fabulous, inspiring things in our local area. If you decide to take the leap, find us at @theatre_guild. Twitter Bunny is always looking for new tweeps and loves a good chat.

    We promise, it's not all pictures of cats wearing glasses…. Well, not all the time.

  13. Just like every other person in the entire world, I receive my own fair share of SPAM

    However, I decided to undertake an experiment where I would “generate” an email address for each organisation or company that I shared information with
    e.g. f7s8d7sdhsjdhs88@myhiddendomain.com = The ABC Company

    It is possible that someone guessed one of these email addresses but I’d like to think that is relatively unlikely!

    I’ve been extremely careful when sharing my “generated” email addresses with companies, always opting out of all of the marketing options, I figured this way I should not receive a single email on any of these email addresses that I was not already expecting.

    Interestingly, on the whole the experiment has been very successful, I’ve shared my email addresses with lots of different companies and generally not had any problems!

    BUT… There has been a few notable exceptions to the rule:-

    A large UK holiday company which has a German parent company, often refers to itself as Number 1
    Yes, this company has shared my email address with just about every other organisation on the planet, I’ve had emails from Bingo Online through to Solar Panels

    I can’t help but think you’ve either sold my information… or you’ve had your information compromised

    A large website that estate agents use to sell your house on
    OK, there a few sites that do this but I think this is the main one, I’m ever so glad that you’ve shared my address with every estate agent on the planet and also found it necessary to share my information with every partner on the planet. It’s always interesting getting an email from a random estate agent, especially annoying when they provide unsubscribe links that don’t work!

    I don’t think you’ve sold my information but you’ve clearly shared it with just about everyone

    I’m still pondering whether to file a complaint with the Information Commissioner…



    Source
    • 1
      entry
    • 2
      comments
    • 3244
      views

    Recent Entries

    blog-0373453001336990992.jpgWe're pulling up to the last week of rehearsals proper on our contemporary G&S musical and will be running the 'tech' next Sunday, so it's all go. However, we're finding, unusually, that ticket sales are considerably down on our average and it begs the age-old question - can we amateur groups afford to stage new, untested plays and musicals?

    Our traditional musical slots have always been filled with the popular staples - Calamity Jane, Kiss Me Kate, Forum etc. but we were impressed by Andrew G. Marshall's brilliant new musical play 'Modern Major General' and felt that we could bring it to our loyal audience. The favourite tunes are given new life and the narrative is a fun tale of two operatic groups competing for love and a silver rose bowl.

    We could, of course, have simply (!) staged a G&S operetta but we felt confident enough to attract the G&S fans and also those who had perhaps no interest in G&S - but have we fallen between the two posts?

    It would be shame for good, new material not to have a life amongst the old favourites, especially as amateur groups should be given good material to work with rather than re-staging those musicals that everyone knows. Do we take the risk in this economic climate with untried material?

    Having said all that, we're very pleased with the excellent production - a cast of 24 and many talented behind the scenes volunteers all wrangled by our musical director Lesley Nicholls have really pulled off a great, fun show. It would be such a shame that much of our usual audience won't get a chance to see a very rewarding production and a guaranteed fun evening.

    We'd love your thoughts and experience. Do we try it again, or do we play safe and break no new ground?

    Pop along to hartleyartsgroup.com to take a peek.

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 2712
      views

    Recent Entries

    As of last night the latest offering from Stage-Door theatre company is over and done with. The last production of the tense thriller Cat's Cradle came to a close, and the cast have finally gone our separate ways.

    The show itself was an interesting one. For the first night in the entire weeks run the audience seemed to pick up on every single humorous aside and at times it felt more like we were putting on a comedy thriller instead.

    Needless to say the audience seemed to enjoy every minute of the show, as did the cast and at the after show party there were many people who were very sad to see the back of the play.

    Of course, we're not going to have time to rest back on our heels as rehearsals for our next show, the exciting stage adaption of Jimmy Perry and David Croft's popular TV series "Hi de Hi" will begin on Wednesday. No rest for the wicked.

    Hi de Hi director Micki Darbyshire has already cast the show and they're all ready to leap in all guns blazing to put on, what will be our 39th show at Littlehampton's Windmill theatre.

    Yesterday we received the NODA report from their Sussex rep Jose Harrison, and it's now available on the Stage-Door wiki site located here as well as the announcement of who won the coveted Stage-Door Best Performance award for the show.

    Hopefully this is just the first of many blogs to this site about who we are and what we're doing, so we can get more information flying out to the theatre going public, but until next time, to quote the play, "Mind how you go."

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 4303
      views

    Recent Entries

    Questions recently put to me by www.hotcourses.com.

    Q: What do you think it is about panto that has charmed audiences for such a long time?

    A: Simple good versus evil stories, bright scenery, outrageous costumes, visual comedy, singing and dancing, audience participation, I could go on. Panto is pretty unique in terms of theatre entertainment, because of the way that it involves the whole audience. It draws them into the action and gives children in particular the impression that they can actually influence the outcome, by booing the baddies and warning the goodies of danger by shouting ‘it’s behind you’ amongst other well-known set responses. It is also one of the few forms of theatre that truly spans the audience age gap. Most stage shows will typically appeal to a certain audience age range. Generally speaking, we can assume that not many 5 year-olds will sit through a Shakespeare play, and that not many 85 year-olds will sit through a Take That concert. But a panto audience continues to encompass the whole age range, from 5 to 95. The culture gap between young and old is probably wider than ever and situations where all age ranges mix together in public is getting ever more rare, but panto still stands out as one of the few occasions when all ages can share and enjoy an experience together. But I believe that the main thing that gives panto it’s longevity, is the fact that it has the ability to take onboard and include current fashions and culture to appeal to its ever-changing audience.

     

    Q: What do you think are the ingredients for a perfect panto?

    A: Answering ‘what makes the perfect panto’ is a bit like answering ‘how long is a piece of string. One person’s perfect panto might be a production in a large professional theatre, with a star-studded line-up and big production values. Whereas for some people – myself included – the perfect panto might be one performed on a shoestring budget in a small village hall, starring enthusiastic local people and possibly even friends or family members. Seeing people you know making fools of themselves onstage in order to entertain their local community, is one of life’s little pleasures. But in terms of the essential ingredients for a good traditional panto, then I believe the following is a must. Firstly, it must have a simple plot with a beginning a middle and an end. Too many professional productions employing ‘star’ names, bend this rule in order to get in as many references to the ‘stars’ real jobs, be it in TV, film or the world of sport. This almost certainly amuses the adults in the audience more so than the children, and underestimates a child’s potential to follow a storyline. Make no mistake, the children will be following the storyline from start to finish and shoehorning in irrelevant scenes just to promote a star performer’s real job, will only serve to distract them from the story and adds little to their enjoyment of the show. There should almost always be a love interest, corny as it might seem. But this should be brought up to date so that the female character doesn’t come across as a submissive and feeble princess type, but should be confident feisty and modern. A loveable rogue like Aladdin that the audience can take to their hearts, is another staple. As for slapstick, any show omits this particular tradition at their peril. When writing my own panto’s, I try and stick to the rule ‘if it’s not funny or doesn’t help with the plot…cut it’ And last but not least, any panto worth it’s salt it should include plenty of uptempo musical numbers and an audience participation song, sometimes called the ‘community’ song.

     

     

     

     

     

    Q: Are there any pantos you think are a ‘must-see’ this year?

    A: Any local panto is a ‘must-see’ as far as I am concerned. But I would say that Alice In Wonderland is definitely the must-see panto at the moment. It has some truly memorable characters that virtually everyone will know and is absolutely perfect for the crazy world of panto. And following hard on the heels of the recent Johnny Depp film it really is in vogue at the moment.

     

    Q: Which are the most popular panto stories?

    A: Pantomime stories are like any other form of entertainment, in that they wax and wane in popularity. For instance, go back a few decades and the most popular panto’s were titles such as The Babes In The Wood, Mother Goose, Goody Two Shoes, Sleeping Beauty, Ali Baba and Robinson Crusoe. Nowadays the top titles in no particular order are, Cinderella, Aladdin, Snow White, Dick Whittington, Jack And The Beanstalk and Peter Pan and these are the titles that most professional productions tend to stick to at present. Amateur companies on the other hand are happy to look for something that little bit different, such as The Wizard Of Oz, King Arthur, The Little Mermaid, Treasure Island and Alice In Wonderland. But as I have said previously, they wax and wane in popularity and we now see titles like The Babes In The Wood and Robinson Crusoe – albeit with more than a little nod to ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ – making a bit of a comeback.

     

    Q: What advice would you give to performing arts students that might be interested in working in panto in the future?

    A: Brush up on your ad-libbing skills and be prepared to set your dignity aside. Panto is no respecter of age, gender or stature and you should always expect the unexpected. If you are lucky enough to have made a name for yourself in some other field before getting involved in panto, don’t fall into the trap of playing that other persona to the exclusion of the pantomime character you are supposed to be playing. Acting in panto is probably the most fun you will ever have with your clothes on and the warm feeling you will get through seeing lots of bright-eyed children laughing and cheering in unbridled joy, is something that will stay with you forever.

     

  14. Monday 7th – Saturday 12th November 2011Show starts at 7:15pmMatineeSaturday 12th November 2011Show starts at 2:15pm Tickets on sale at John’s Newsagents, Railway Road, AdlingtonTicket Hotline 07507 012080

    Source

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 7272
      views

    Recent Entries

    Rehearsals are going well for our next production, La Cage aux Folles, but we were not prepared for the amount of wigs there would be. If anyone in the Northern area has a wig stand they can loan us, please respond to this comment. We also need teletone taps either with the shoes or taken off, to be returned after production week.

    • 1
      entry
    • 1
      comment
    • 7657
      views

    Recent Entries

    Woodley Light Operatic Society in Berkshire is performing High Society in June 2011 and still needs to cast 2 men for Uncle Willie and Seth. Please see WLOS website for more details and who to contact. Hope to see you soon!

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 7694
      views

    Recent Entries

    protostaa
    Latest Entry

    Hi can anyone help?

    we are in North London, we have a show coming up in February and have just found out our prop/backdrop hire company has gone bust !

    we are lookinf for cheap backdrop hire in and around Palmers Green N13, or anywhere North London. We need to hire for one week, a ballroom, a french ish town square, a garden or forest scene and maybe a dungeon.

    can any one help ?

    • 0
      entries
    • 0
      comments
    • 142
      views

    No blog entries yet

    • 0
      entries
    • 0
      comments
    • 5790
      views

    No blog entries yet

    • 0
      entries
    • 0
      comments
    • 144
      views

    No blog entries yet

Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre

84 Fairview Drive, Adlington, Chorley, Lancashire PR6 9ST

If you need help: