Friday 30th March 2018

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Some time ago, I co-founded a theatre company (that still feels weird to say out loud. Give me a minute). Its main aim was to give a platform to new and emerging playwrights (as well as actors and directors), as well as to provide another ‘pub theatre’ type experience, which I, perhaps unreasonably, thought there should be at least half as many examples in Brighton as there are in London. Actually, I still think that. And just as unreasonably.

 

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DICK JOKE, part of ‘A Pro Of Nothing’, featuring Marc Pinto, Matt Swan and Yvette May.   Performed 24th March 2018 at Sweet Venues’ DukeBox Theatre during HoveGrown Festival. 

 

There was at least one other reason why I sought to set up the theatre company, and it says perhaps more about my ego than it does about any high-minded intentions I had regarding Brighton’s theatre scene. Fact of the matter is, I’d recently entered a script of mine into a local short play night, and it didn’t get past the gate. Which is not particularly important or even relevant: I’m not arrogant to assume that any one of my scripts should absolutely be produced on stage, particularly when it’s in competition with at least five others, all of which may be more interesting or more exciting to an audience (or, let’s be blunt: simply better). I went along to see the show that showcased the more successful plays, and while there’s possibly no way to separate my own bruised ego from my critical appraisal of that night (or, at very least, successfully convince you that I was able to do just that), I do remember being intrigued by what scripts had made it through when mine had not. Not, you understand, because I automatically thought that my effort was superior – indeed, since opinion is subjective, such griping on my part is largely irrelevant – but because it appeared that I had fundamentally misunderstood what was being asked for, in terms of a short play.

 

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JOY, part of ‘A Pro Of Nothing’,  featuring Judey Bignell and Daniel Lovett (directed by Chelsea Newton-Mountney). Performed 24th March 2018 at Sweet Venues’ DukeBox Theatre during HoveGrown Festival.

 

To be fair, it seems lots of people misunderstand this. And you might have to trawl through a lot of opinions before you find the definitive one. Simply put, a lot of the plays that went on that night were what I might term as ‘sketches’, as opposed to short plays. There are a lot of critics online who (rather sniffily, in a lot of cases) state that short plays are exactly that – mere shallow sketches that don’t have enough elbow room to get under the hood of anything meaningful. As you might imagine, I don’t have a lot of time for that argument, but it does remain true that a significant amount of people – both those who generally dislike the short play format, and those who actually write a hell of a lot of them – think of the form as an extended sketch, and nothing else.

 

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WATCH US WRECK THE MIC, part of ‘A Pro Of Nothing’, featuring Atasha Goodenough, Judith Greenfield and Emma Howarth. Performed 24th March 2018 at Sweet Venues’ DukeBox Theatre during HoveGrown Festival.

 

It’s perhaps worth pointing out here what I personally think the difference between a sketch and a short play is, especially as that’s yet another point on which you’re likely to uncover a different opinion with each person you ask. It’s a deceptively complex question, to be sure, but I think that generally – with a few smudges round the edges – a sketch can be defined as being driven by plot or idea, and short play (again, generally), is driven by character. This, for me, is when the ‘sketch’ version of a play doesn’t work, and earns the bad reputation: the narrative essentially spins its wheels for eight minutes until the ‘gag’ conclusion (everyone’s dead!), or alternatively, the world-building weirdness set out at the beginning (everyone’s an egg!) gets repeated ad nauseum for eight minutes until a punchline that was trundling over the horizon from the opening line. So, it’s easy to see why – for some critics – short plays come across like sketches that are at least three times the length they should be.

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So, in some ways, setting up a short play night was a fit of pique: of throwing down the gauntlet and stating, quite firmly, that short plays were not sketches, that they could be richer, more involved, explore relationships and personalities, and did not have to depend on an artificially delayed punchline. We invited local talents – some of whom had never written before – and produced a night of some gorgeous short plays, which sold out, got great feedback, and firmly set out our intentions for the foreseeable future.
In all the excitement, I quite forgot to put my own play on.

 

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LAST SUPPER, part of ‘A Pro Of Nothing’, featuring Philippa Hammond, Barbara Halsey and Alice Hiller. Performed 24th March 2018 at Sweet Venues’ DukeBox Theatre during HoveGrown Festival.

 

This was of course, a basic failure on my part. I mean, if you’re going to put a short play night on in order to salve your ego because another theatre company didn’t recognise your genius, the very least you should do is make sure you yourself accept your own script. After all, that’s lesson 1, surely? After a few times round, someone (I actually forget who), gently suggested to me that I should try putting on my own scripts alongside everyone else’s, otherwise what was the point? (well, actually, the point is to give a platform to upcoming new voices, etc, etc, but I get the point). To be fair, I had put my own script in one of the early shows, but subsequently, for about a year or more afterward, I didn’t. Which made me look all very magnanimous and generous and so on, but I was clearly missing a trick or two here.

Anyway, Cast Iron Theatre is now in its fifth year (as is often the case with such things, there’s a bit of blurring round the edges as to when exactly the fifth year kicks in), and we have produced over fifteen short play nights. Officially, it’s about eleven if you look only at our ‘numbered’ nights, but we’ve also done themed nights for Christmas and Halloween and so on, as well as any number of satellite shows – story nights, and so on. In addition, about once a year, we give a night over not to six different playwrights, but an evening of plays by one writer. For instance, a while back we showcased the work of Richard Hearn, who had been successful each time he’d submitted a play. I figured enough time had finally elapsed that I could get to put on an evening of my own plays without too many people accusing me (to my face, at least) of indulging my own ego.

Talking of which, I was suitably nervous about the night. I mean, I’m pretty good at championing the work of others, but less brassy about my own: I sort of assumed that very few people would actually come along to see my words (that was OK, though – we’d still have an audience full of people supporting the actors and directors). This, for any avoidance of doubt, is one of the main thrusts and reasons behind this blog entry: me trying to blow my own trumpet a little bit.

The six plays we selected, Joy, Last Supper, Babble, Watch Us Wreck The Mic, Dick Joke, and Will Of The People, are all suitably different from one another to let at least me believe that I have some range as a writer (I’ll leave it to the audience to tell me otherwise), but there are still connecting themes. Most are fairly light, but a couple hint at a mild anger – or, at the very least, upset bewilderment – at the world. I haven’t done the maths yet, but it’s fairly likely that there’s an imbalance of around 75% / 25% in the dialogue between genders in favour of female characters (certainly, out of sixteen characters on the night, ten are women, and two of the plays are entirely female), and it’s probable that for most – if not all – of the plays, I as writer am trying to unlock or decode a particular linguistic or narrative challenge. Which, as long as it’s not so self-indulgent as to ignore the audience, is not something I particularly have a problem with.

We got some nice audience feedback and reviews, including this one, and it seems somewhat odd that those six plays have had their own evening. It’s reasonably unlikely that they’ll get performed again in Brighton anytime soon, at least by Cast Iron – it’s not that they have a shelf life, but it is true that we have more things on the way, and increasingly little time to do them. But I am, despite my natural instincts towards self-deprecation, very pleased with these six little scripts, and very proud of the actors and directors who made so much of them.

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Sunday 28th January 2018

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Right, where was I? Over Christmas, I think I had flu. I say ‘I think’ because I’m wary of claiming to have any kind of illness I didn’t actually have (‘Oh shut up, you didn’t have flu, you just forgot to boil the kettle for your coffee’), but this was pretty much the first time I’ve been knocked out by feeling unwell. Working as I do in various school environments, I’m obviously prone to the so-called ‘teacher’s flu’, in which one works their way all through term, and then collapses into a heap on the first day of the holidays, only to recover in time for the first day back. In truth, I’ve normally been pretty good at ignoring such sniffles, convincing myself that I’m okay really until roughly the point that I actually am.

No such luck this time. I was basically reduced to four hour days over Christmas, and no voice. For someone who normally keeps pretty active, this was genuinely weird – particularly as I’d intended to do a full rewrite on my upcoming fringe show Year Without Summer in that time. I’m now roughly a month behind – which, since rehearsals don’t start for another month or so, I’m not as concerned as I might otherwise be, but it’s still somewhat annoying. Year Without Summer, if you happen to have merely stumbled across this blog online, don’t know me, and haven’t had to put up with me relentlessly banging on about it, is about the meeting between Lord Byron and Mary Shelley (then Mary Godwin), and the former’s challenge to write ghost stories. Mary’s effort resulted in Frankenstein, which was published two hundred years ago, this year.

In truth, this story has been told a few times before, most (in)famously in Ken Russell’s marvellously bonkers film Gothic. There is, however, someone who I’d argue gets somewhat forgotten by history (because, after all, it’s Mary that writes Frankenstein, and it’s Byron that issued the challenge). Claire Clairmont was Mary’s half-sister, and it’s arguably down to her that Byron and Mary were in the same room at the same time. Claire does appear in a few of the films about that dark summer on Lake Geneva, but for the most part she’s sidelined in favour of the other, more famous guests. That’s understandable , but I wanted to give her more of a voice.

There has been an earlier version of Year Without Summer, produced at the Brighton Festival Fringe in 2016 (the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley beginning to write Frankenstein), but this new version of the play is more streamlined: the parts of Polidori and Percy Shelley are (regretfully) cut to give us more space to concentrate on Mary Shelley and Claire Clairmont. There will be auditions coming up at the end of February, so check in on the website, and sign up to the mailing list for more details.

We’re actually doing two shows in the Brighton Fringe this year, and the second one looks to be silly, sharp and fun – One Woman Alien has Heather Rose Andrews (Cacophony) playing all the parts and providing all the special effects for a one hour parody version of Alien. We had a preview version at Halloween last year, which got a great response from our audience. We’re really looking forward to the finished version in May.

Right. Back to the rewrites ..

Cast Iron X is done. What’s next?

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Me, performing a new monologue – Pick Up – for Cast Iron X. This was a late replacement for another play, and in no way indicative of my desire to play all the parts, all evening.

It was a lovely weekend, what with latest instalment of Cast Iron Theatre and a series of new plays. One of them was Killer Ladybugs, of which you can read more about here, by one of the authors. There were a couple of ‘rapid response’ plays, and a piece from me – Dick Joke – discussing what is and isn’t acceptable in comedy. Sam Chittenden wrote The Two Of Us, exploring understandings and misunderstandings, and One Touch by Steven Lancefield was a creepy little tale that may – or may not – have had a disturbing twist. As ever, it was a pleasure to work with a brilliant bunch of people, some of whom were acting or writing for the very first time. Amongst other things, this is what Cast Iron Theatre is all about.

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Yes, the play is called Dick Joke, but get your mind out of the gutter. He’s checking his nails.

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One of the great things about the ‘rapid response’ plays is that the actors don’t even have to hide it when they don’t know what their next line is.

 

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This might look like a political cartoon about how we’re treating the NHS, but it’s actually a shot from One Touch.

 

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Killer Ladybugs sees Esme Bird make her debut at Cast Iron Theatre.

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As many times as we tell the actors that they can’t drink before the bows, some just won’t listen.

 

NB: all the photos of Cast Iron X were taken by Peter Williams

Also at Cast Iron X, we were pleased to take collections (of tins, packets, and toiletries, as well as biscuits and nice things) for Brighton Food Bank. Thanks to all those audience members who brought something in, and we’re glad to continue the collections for the rest of our shows in 2017.

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Let’s take a moment to tell you what’s coming up next month. Cacophony, our award nominated Edinburgh fringe show, returns to the DukeBox for one night only. A few of you have told us how much you’re keen to catch this show since you missed it the first time around, or you simply want to see it again. This, then, is your chance!

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Yes, we’ve pushed this photo at you quite a few times this year. We’re not sorry.

Additionally, we have our third annual Cast Iron Selection Box, in which a gang of brave performers picks up a Christmas themed play, unwraps it in front of the audience – and performs it, with no prep, no rehearsal, no safety net! If you want to write one of the plays that get performed, you still have a week or so to send them to us. They should be around five to eight minutes long (no longer), have a seasonal flavour, and be for two actors. Make them age and gender blind, so it doesn’t matter who gets to play what part. Send your submissions to cast_iron@outlook.com – and we’ll see you on the night of the 18th to see how our actors cope!

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‘”Bernie,” I said, “Bernie, you can’t make it a ‘Christmas’ picture just by sticking some tinsel and fairy lights on it”, but did he listen?’

And finally (but actually first in the month) there’s the Christmas edition of the Cast Iron Theatre Podcast: Live! on December 5th. There will be mince pies (probably), Christmas jumpers (almost certainly), and board games (absolutely). This month, our guests are Jenny Rowe of the Maydays, and Paul Stapleton, creator of Brighton based board games BN1 and ZOMBN1. We’ve been getting great audience feedback for our previous live shows, and we look forward to having you join the party!

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Yes, this will be our Christmas card from now on. Why do you ask?

Monday 20th November 2017

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So, we have a busy week here at Cast Iron Theatre. Well, more so than usual. First up on the 21st (Tuesday), we have our next live edition of the Cast Iron Theatre Podcast. We have studio recordings of this quite regularly, where we talk to creatives working, living, or just gigging for one night only in Brighton, but each month, we also have a live show recorded in front of a happy audience (I can’t make any guarantee that the entire audience will be totally happy; I just don’t have the data on that). This month, our guests are stand up Aidan Goatley, and theatre maker Paul Macauley.

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None of these people are Aidan Goatley or Paul Macauley. We just don’t have the budget to take photographs from the future.

It’s a sharp, happy hour for just £5, at the DukeBox Theatre – situated at the back of the Southern Belle pub at the bottom of Waterloo Street. Tickets are available here.

At the end of the week (Friday and Saturday), we present Cast Iron X, which is the next in our series of short plays. These have been sell out shows from our first production just about four years ago, and we continue to be very proud of the new work that we’ve been able to give a platform to. As well as the plays that have been rehearsed over the last few weeks, there’s also a chance for you to get a piece of work performed on the DukeBox stage this weekend: if you write a ‘rapid response’ play – perhaps inspired by current news events – of about 4/5 minutes, a two-hander (age blind and gender blind), and email it to cast_iron@outlook.com, then it might (might) be performed on stage that night! (deadline is 5pm on the afternoon of each performance: you won’t receive notification if you are not successful, but we will email you back if your piece has been selected). There’s space for two rapid response plays on each night. Tickets for Cast Iron X itself can be booked here.

Oh, while I’ve got you here, I’d like to give  a shout out to our friends at PopHeart Productions, who are having a busy week themselves – also at the DukeBox. On Wednesday and Thursday, they present their latest piece – Shop Play, asking the question: is retail where dreams go to die? Exploring the highs and lows of the high street, booking for Shop Play can be done via this link.

Obviously, don’t feel compelled to come along to EVERY SINGLE THING, but just remember that so many small theatre companies are making so little money. I mean, obviously that’s not your problem, we’ve chosen this way of life for ourselves, there’s probably no way that we can persuade you to support the arts more than you already are

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In closing, let’s draw your attention to the regular podcast, which you can download and subscribe to via iTunes, or SoundCloud, if apples ain’t your thing. There’s now 33 different interviews there, and we’re looking forward to the next 33 …

Friday 27 October 2017

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No, I haven’t binge-watched season 2 of Stranger Things yet. I likely won’t have a chance to see any of it until after Halloween, which somewhat defeats the whole point of having the release date when it is. My diary is pretty stacked up until then, despite the fact that my actual, physical diary has been lost.

I get through about two diaries a year, because invariably I leave the first one behind when I’m distracted by something else. On one occasion, I left a diary behind when moving a theatre set for a touring company. That was an unique situation, because in that case I knew immediately my mistake, and texted the director to explain that I’d left my diary – complete with appointments, rehearsal schedules, etc  – in his car. ‘NO YOU DIDN’T’, came the (rather swift) reply. I try not to be too combative in my everyday life (well, I try), so I responded – after a reasonable amount of time had elapsed – to ask him if he could check. After a while, he said he would. Then after a longer while, he said he had: no luck.

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Remember if you ever find a diary: you can’t trust anything if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.

I was perplexed, because it didn’t seem possible that there was anywhere else that I could have left my diary. I didn’t want to be all arrogant and prissy about it, but I think I attempted one more ‘could you have another check?’ plea before giving up. I was told – quite firmly – that I was mistaken, and there was no diary to be found.

I think you’ve probably already worked out where this story is going. The director bumped into me a while later in the coffee shop that we both seem to use as our office occasionally, and told me – ha ha – an amusing story: he had found my diary – it was under a coat, or something. Did I still want it back?

I declined: this chapter of the story was a little over two years later. I suspected that most of the deadlines in the diary had passed.

Anyway, I can’t blame a refusing-to-listen director on the loss of my 2017 diary: I have no memory of what I did with it. More worryingly, there’s literally not a single second (seriously, not even a second) where I could have left it somewhere. I wrote in it, got up, walked five feet, and –

and that’s it. I must have blacked out, thrown my diary into the sea, and come to again. It’s genuinely bizarre.

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It never occurred to me before that Reginald Perrin could be written by Mark E Smith.

Luckily, I kind of know what I’m doing over the next few days. This being Halloween, the Brighton Ghostwalk Of The Lanes has extra events on this Saturday and Halloween (Tuesday) itself – a walk at 6pm and the regular walk at 7.30pm. On Saturday, I’m doing the 7.30 one, but on Halloween – and on Monday night – I’m doing two Ghost Walks on the i360, which will be called ‘Fright Flights’, which will certainly be a unique way to see the city and tell some spooky tales.

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I spend a lot of my evenings having the walk the streets for money. Not only are my parents disappointed, but I have to pay Sting copyright.

But I’m nowhere near the lanes on Sunday evening. As part of the Brighton Horrorfest, Cast Iron Theatre are performing their first ‘scratch night’ of a work in progress – 1 Woman Alien: a parody solo version of the 1979 Sigourney Weaver film. Playing Ripley is Heather Rose Andrews, who was a guest on the latest episode of the Cast Iron Theatre Podcast along with Laura Mugridge and Judey Bignell.

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Heather considering the intelligence of doing AvP as a one woman show.

So, it’s pretty busy here. And I haven’t even finished the edits on a thing I’m not allowed to tell you about yet.

Thursday 27 July 2017

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You may think we’ve been sharing this poster a lot. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

On Saturday, we had our preview of our one woman show, CacophonyIt’s the first time that Cast Iron Theatre has brought a show up to the Edinburgh Fringe, so – perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s also the first time we’ve done an Edinburgh preview. It went really very well, so we’re somewhat giddy with excitement and anticipation. We also asked for feedback – which we received – and we’ll have another rehearsal before the week is out to see how well (and how appropriately) it fits in with what we already have – if at all.

I’m in the middle of edits on a short story that I’ve written, which will be published in a book later on in the year. It’s the first time that I’ve been published in a book, and so also the first time that I’ve had an editor (this blog entry seems to be about firsts, apparently). I found the list of edits and rewrite suggestions .. well, maybe not ‘exciting’, exactly, but it felt quite invigorating, permission to really get stuck in with the story and have another swing at it. Yeah, yeah: as I said, it’s my first story with an editor – I’m confident the ‘excitement’ will wear off pretty quickly.

Last night, I told another story. I had been invited along to a spoken word event at the Artista Studio in Hove, and I had said ‘yes’ slightly before I realised that I didn’t really have a story to tell. I mean, I have plenty of stories – some of them are even finished, believe it or not – but most of them are written to be read. That statement, I realise, may require a small amount of unpacking. I write for a few different mediums: stage, page (as in prose – short stories or novellas), stand-up, and on rare occasions screen and radio. And I guess I should include blog entries in there too – that counts, and certainly it counts for the point I’m trying to make. Even within the confines of stage, there are many differences: a musical is different from a biographical piece – and not just because of the inclusion of songs, there’s something about the pacing, and the size of the performances, that make the actions on stage (and therefore the words on the page) a completely different proposition. Even a sketch and a short funny play are two different beasts (and if you disagree, then we have fundamentally different ideas about what constitutes either of those things – although I’d concede that a lot of my favourite sketch writers are more interested in character than gag, which confuses the argument somewhat).

My point being that although I have a fair amount of short stories in my toolbox, they’ve really been written to be read in silence, just the reader and the page, and no interferences or interruptions. Sure, they can be read aloud, but it’s different. So I realised with only a day or so to go that I didn’t really have a story that I wanted to take along: which for a storytelling night, isn’t exactly great. I began to think about something that had been mildly annoying me of late (if you ever think you never have an idea for a story, just think about what’s pissing you off at the moment – stories, when you strip them back, are often simply about opinion plus response), and I began to staple various bits together in my head as a narrative.

Couldn’t think of an ending, however. My mind is quite busy at the moment with about ten and twenty things to do with Edinburgh, and plus there are a few things to get sorted before we leave to get on the megabus (oh yes, no expense spared). So I couldn’t really focus on the ending. The ending had to be good. The ending had to earned.

(The line ‘The Ending Had To Be Earned’ deserves an entire blog entry in itself. It’s come up a lot in the improv classes recently, where endings have come out of nowhere, just because the actors have felt the need to get the hell of stage as soon as possible. At least in improv the performers – sort of – have an excuse [not really] in that the story hasn’t been planed. It’s much more difficult to ‘seed’ in plot points that will become important later. But that (not entirely convincing) excuse becomes positively porous when you attempt to use it defend the close of a story that you’ve actually written and therefore – presumably – have done at least a couple of drafts over. So: Earn Your Endings. A blog for another time.) 

So, no – I couldn’t focus. And when it came down to it: I still didn’t have an ending. It’s been some long time since I’ve appeared on stage by myself performing (I’m not including presenting or compering, which is again different). And I was – well, I was nervous. Quite a bit nervous, actually. It’s good to remind yourself that you can be vulnerable on stage, and that you don’t have all the answers. Doesn’t mean that it’s always gonna be fun when it’s happening, though.

Finally, I had a flash of inspiration. And when I was on stage, I told the audience that they had a choice: either they could go for the incomplete story, which meant that I would have to come up with an ending right in front of them, making it up on the spot (which would either be absolutely fine, or we’d witness a Hindenburg style moment), or they could choose the story that I’d actually had published in January, and so we knew that at least two editors and their peers would agree was basically coherent.

I gave them that choice.

Guess which one they went for. Go on, guess.

 

Sunday 2nd July 2017

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So, we’re all caught up on the final episode of the current series of Doctor Who – which is what’s important, right? And while I probably do have some things to say about the most recent season, and by extension, all of the Moffat era (most specifically about the characters of Bill Potts and Missy) – either here or over on a Cultbox article, we have a lot of other stuff to get through first.

Most importantly, I’m co-creating and directing a show for the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s called Cacophony – and you can book tickets here (and you’d better believe I’ll be sharing that link at least a couple of times in the next few weeks). The sharp-eyed amongst you might spot that our first date – Thursday 3rd August – is actually the day before the ‘first’ day proper of the Edinburgh Fringe, so if you’re up in town around that time, that may be a real good date to pop by and say hi.

Cacophony is a solo show, and the solo performer is the wonderful Heather Rose Andrews, who has, as well as performing in a number of Cast Iron Theatre short plays over the past year or so, has been a marvellous member of the Brighton based ensemble, The Fannytasticals. We’re very excited and proud to be working with her on this show (AND SOMETHING ELSE LATER YES THAT’S YOUR FIRST HINT ABOUT OCTOBER), and we’re deep into rehearsals creating something truly special and memorable.

Right. We’re four paragraphs in. That’s enough isn’t it? (looks around. Looks up. Looks left. Looks right). OK. Look, you can jump ahead to the next paragraph if you wish. This paragraph is mainly going to be asking for money. Because, you see, it’s not easy getting a show to Edinburgh. In fact, it’s reasonably often a loss-maker (THEN WHY DO IT, is an obvious question, and one that does deserve an answer – and we’ll give you that in another blog entry). But we believe in the show, we believe in Heather, we believe in Sweet Venues (our hosts for Edinburgh), and just as important, we believe in ourselves. We’ve got a pretty nifty show here that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. So in that modern way, we’re looking to crowdfund our production. This covers such unavoidable costs as accommodation, travel and set, even as we seek to keep all those costs down to as low as possible. I know that this blog gets read by people who know me, but also by people who have never met me (and are unlikely to do so). I’m speaking to you both. (Both groups, I mean. Not both people. I’m not suggesting that there are only two people who read this blog. Although, now you mention it ..) We’ve set up an indiegogo account to try and raise funds for the show. We launched it on Friday, and it’s already raised £77. Now, that may not seem much to you (indeed, it’s merely a tantalising 3% of our desired total), but it means the world to us. And if we can raise 3% of what we need in essentially three days .. that means this is ridiculously, hilariously, within our reach. So, what we’re asking, (c’mon, you’ve stuck with all of the rest of this paragraph, you knew this is where we were heading) is if you are able to spare us £5, or $5, then please consider doing so. Even if you can’t, if you can share the link on the social media platforms of your choice, then that’s going to help us out a hell of a lot. Anyway, here’s the link, so you can decide for yourself what the show is.

Last bit of news, and again it’s Doctor Who related. Back in 1968, there was a Patrick Troughton adventure called The Web Of Fear. It featured robotic monsters called The Yeti, and introduced Lethbridge-Stewart, later to appear with almost every Doctor of the classic series as The Brigadier. It also featured Anne Travers (who gets one of my favourite rejoinders in the series when she gives her response to the ‘what’s a nice girl like you ..’ style chat up line).

Anyway, CandyJar Books recently had a open window for submissions for an upcoming short story collection, to which I offered up an idea about a very slow alien invasion (in fact, actually titled The Slow Invasion). Well, I’m pleased and overwhelmed to be able to tell you that mine is one of the stories that has been accepted, and will be published later in the year. There’ll be more details as we go along, but in the meantime, here’s what we know so far ..

Speak soon,

A