Monday 21st March

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And …. breathe.

For a moment, anyway.

So, March was (is still, really) a perfect storm of lots of shows happening all at once. (For some people I know, involved in the inaugural Hove Grown Festival, it still is). It’s been a very tiring month for Cast Iron. First of all, in honour of International Woman’s Day, we had Not Just The Companion, an evening of gender-flipped speeches and scenes originally (and iconically) written for male actors, delivered by women. It was a blast, and really instructive to see (or be reminded) that there is often very little avenue for the stage to be taken by women in roles other than wife, girlfriend – or indeed, the companion. Which of course, was the entire point of the evening. It was very well received, and there’s talk about it being an recurring event. I’m very proud to have been involved with Year One.

After we got that done, it was onto Cast Iron VII, which was – well, just between you and me, it was exhausting. Six plays are always going to be a challenge, even if those plays are just ten minutes long. There were lots of challenges, mainly to do with how busy everyone is. This, I have learned, is the real problem with working with such brilliantly talented people – everyone wants a piece of them. Although I can’t always blame other people. Sample conversation: ‘Sorry, I can’t make rehearsal on Thursday’ / ‘Oh, really? Why’s that?’ / ‘I’m rehearsing for the *other* thing you’re producing’ / ‘Oh, that’s OK, then’

Cast Iron VII (it wasn’t really the seventh one we’ve done – there’s actually been about ten or eleven once you include the Christmas and Halloween specials) went very well. We had plays about grieving, drugs, dating, murder, siblings, and reality TV. Not bad for a single evening. Considering that this was the middle project of about fifty for many of our company (I know I’m going on about this a lot, but it’s worth remembering), the performances were magnificent – something that was reflected in the audience feedback.

Next up, Cast Iron Theatre and IronClad Improv are still involved with HoveGrown this week, as we’re delivering a trio of workshops on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night. On the first two nights, we’ve got a pair of writing workshops (you can come to one or both), and on Thursday, there’s a special one-off ‘Improvising The Story’ workshop from IronClad. We’re very proud to be involved in this festival, and you can book your place (for these workshops and many other classes and shows) via this link, here: http://www.hovegrown.org.uk/events/workshop/

Next time, I’ll tell you how the Mary Shelley play Year Without Summer is going. Oh, did I not tell you? I’m writing a Mary Shelley play.

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