Can you ever lose when you put your own Skin In The Game?

I’m just back after a very exciting ten days with a stupendous creative team.

They’re the folk who put Skin In The Game onstage at the very hospitable and generous New Wimbledon Theatre (12-19 Nov).

This adventure began thanks to the initial insight, work and generous faith of Sellador producer Joe C Brown and Pests producer David Doust early last year. We were working on our script in hand (you can read about Skin’s early adventures in Pitlochry and Bath all over this site, including here). Joe spotted NWT’s call-out for their inaugural autumn 2020 Premieres Season, so we worked up a pitch and won one of three slots – an **amazing** moment! Then the pandemic hit.

Incredibly, NWT’s Nick Parr and Emma Brack were committed to the project no matter what, and offered us a new slot for November ’21. They were massively patient while I hunted for new partners (as Joe, David and March ’20’s director Amanda Horlock were all committed elsewhere).

I genuinely believe the stars aligned when I plucked up the courage in March to ask Kristin Duffy at Slackline Productions if she could think of anyone mad enough to join me in this utter (and thrilling) madness.

She poured in relentless determination and energy, building a team (who shall all be named in a moment!) and securing significant crowdfunding from 111 people – including many of you reading this, I suspect. Thank you. And at every appropriate moment, to give the project her all, she called on the wisdom of experts, like crowdfunder Jo Breeze. That’s impressive professionalism.

So this post – as you will have realised – is a humungous thank you. To Kristin, to those who came before her, and to everyone she and the team have brought on board.

Skin In The Game, New Wimbledon Theatre (c) Jane Hobson

To our insightful, imaginative, hard-working and mischievous director Sarah Gain, who “got it” from the start. To animator Mat Davies, movement director Jennifer Kay, and light(n)ing designer Simon Beyer. To our endlessly talented and cheerful technical stage manager, Rori Endersby. To the maker of our wonderful masks, Rob Whitmarsh, and to our incredible production photographer Jane Hobson.

And of course, to a genuinely astounding ensemble cast. I re-read the script towards the end of the run, thinking ahead, making plans. I was gob-smacked to see that they said every single word I wrote. With no more than a two-week rehearsal period, and a Friday-Friday run, that is remarkable. Here they are:

(For much more detail, pop over to Slackline’s excellent digital programme)

Our last night was a joy to behold.

Thank you to everyone along the way, behind the curtain, on the stage, and everyone cheering us on in person and with messages and money. Here’s to Skin taking flight. If you would like to get involved, let me or Kristin know!

So, until then, here’s a few social media moments to make you smile… You can read more at Slackline Productions, and their socials, my Instagram, and on my theatrical facebook page. Reviews from critics and audiences will follow here when I catch my breath.

And now, I will shut up….

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