Thursday 4th Feb, 2016

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It’s been a busy old while. Lots of plays submitted to Cast Iron 7, and it was a tough time whittling down the selection to the final six. Even then, casting was a bit of a challenge, since there are a terrific amount of projects going on in Brighton at the moment, not least as people begin to batten down the hatches for the Brighton Fringe. I think we’re almost settled on the line up for Cast Iron 7, but I’m going to hold fire on a proper announcement until after the weekend, just in case anything else changes. (IT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE. IT CAN NEVER CHANGE.)

In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of research and redrafting for Year Without Summer, which is a play that I’m writing and directing at the DukeBox Theatre for the Brighton Festival Fringe. As you may know, 200 years ago this May, the poets Byron and Shelley rocked up to Lake Geneva. With Shelley is Mary Godwin – later known as Mary Shelley – and pretty much the only reason that Byron is there is because he wants to meet Mary and Percy, who he admires and respects. The whole meeting has been somewhat engineered by Claire Clairmont, Mary’s stepsister, who has been somewhat besotted with Byron for a while, and is running the risk of losing his interest. History has, with the exception of a few dedicated biographers, pretty much forgotten Claire (Polidori, Byron’s physician, gets more footnotes), but if it hadn’t been for her bringing these poets together, Byron would not have been around to suggest to the group that they all tell each other ghost stories. And if he hadn’t done that, it’s at least possible that Mary Shelley would not have put pen to paper to write Frankenstein.

I’m ploughing through drafts at the moment (as well as tinkering with some Cast Iron 7 stuff), but hope to announce audition notices very soon. Whatever happens, the auditions will be at the end of February, with rehearsals kicking in early/mid March.

Also in mid March are two events – well, two events as well as Cast Iron 7. There’s Not Just The Companion, held as part of a special week celebrating International Womans Day, and Cast Iron Theatre, along with Iron Clad Improv, are holding a series of writing and storytelling workshops during the HoveGrown Festival. More details about all of that very soon.

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