THE GLACIAL PACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE – A LAUGHING MATTER?

– I didn’t tell you to have a climate emergency panic!

– You didn’t?

– No! That’s a typo. I want you to have a climate emergency PICNIC.

At Bath’s Rondo Theatre at 7:30 on Monday 2 March, writer Gill Kirk’s giving theatre lovers a chance to peek behind the curtain of her new show – halfway through its development.  With this pre-tour script-in-hand show, she and her team at Glitter Knickers Productions are encouraging us to laugh at the dark side of our attitudes to climate change.  

The show, SKIN IN THE GAME, is about a near-apocalyptic near-future. The once-unimaginable has happened; climate despair is not only met with lots of tasteless “bread & circuses” light entertainment – but also with worrying abuses of power. 

Gill’s developing this satirical dark comedy with a talented team from TV, film and theatre.  Directed by Bristol’s Amanda Horlock, the cast on 2 March include familiar faces: 

  • Ed Browning – known to Poldark fans as Paul Daniel from the BBC 1 ratings-winner
  • Emma Cleasby – the lead in Sean Pertwee horror Dog Soldiers, and from 55 Degrees North alongside Dervla Kirwan and Don Gilet
  • Nik Howden – Stan Laurel in BBC4’s  “Stan” 
  • Zachary Powell – a regular with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Luke in the David Tennant film,  ‘You, Me and Him’ 
  • Rachel Vowles – from Exeter’s Nuts & Volts theatre company, a physical theatre expert and a Director of CredFest.  

Inspired by a holiday walk in the Highlands, Gill’s idea for the show won her an artist’s residency with Pitlochry Festival Theatre. It’s attracting interest from theatres across the country and she’s working with Olivier-winning producer Joe Brown (whose UK and international tours include Footloose, Bring It On The Musical, We Will Rock You, Fame, Avenue Q) and Trowbridge-based production manager David Doust to take it on tour after 2 March’s one-night-only audience event. 

Held at Bath’s new writing theatre, Larkhall’s Rondo, 2 March is a must for the climate-curious and concerned, for theatre-lovers who want to see the creative process in action and would like to contribute to a new work, and anyone who enjoys a skewed look at the possible future to come. “Dark comedy is perhaps how we cope with life’s tough questions,” says Gill. “Whatever your feelings about our climate-future, the question for us is, ‘Are you game enough to be in the audience?!’ ”. 

NOTES TO EDITORS

1.Skin In The Game – script-in-hand: 7:30, Mon 2 March, Rondo Theatre, St Saviours Rd, Bath BA1 6RT

2. Booking’s recommended (limited seats): £5.34 at: www.ticketsignite.com/event/2490/skin-in-the-game

3. Gill is a graduate of Channel 4’s prestigious 4Screenwriting programme and perhaps best known locally for her 2016 play Glitter Knickers. Others include Passion (London Vaults, Aberdeen Dance, Tobacco Factory), Away With The Fairies (Bristol’s Alma), Water’s Not So Thick (Ustinov development; Rondo). 

4. For more information, please email the producers ddoust123@hotmail.co.uk and joecbrown@live.com 

Never quiet; always learning

Gosh – the sediment from Glitter Knickers has just about settled on the bottom of the jar.  The feedback just flowed in – thank you very much indeed, everyone – and in the next couple of weeks, it’s my job to package that up, with a whole load of metrics for The Next Stage. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, paid communications jobs have come in (yippee!) and I’ve just writ my first short film script. It’s an excellent discipline – I’m very much still wearing armbands. If you’ve met me, you’ll appreciate that verbal economy is not always my forte. I’m now a big fan of image boards, drawing out comic strips (as I did for Glitter Knickers) and running away from spoken words.

Y Grace bookI’ve also polished off a couple of TV treatments and had some very handy feedback on them. To make them/ others they best they can be, I’ve also  bought myself a new book (yes, that’s it in the pic). It’s stuff from the brain of Yvonne Grace, a TV guru of great experience who can be found here and if you’re also on facebook, here.

Last, my Jan – April season leading the Rondo Writers’ Group has just ended, with scripts from four of the writers heading into a professionally performed & produced show at Bath’s Rondo Theatre. If you’re local and have the wit to enjoy new writing (and believe me, the scripts, cast & director are great) you can catch this on 4-7 May, here! If you make it, let me know!

 

Glittering Audiences: day 2

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Lucinda Holloway, star of Glitter Knickers at the Rondo Theatre

Glitter Knickers is proving (on the evidence of two nights) to be something people like! We had another smashing audience, with a very large “on the door” queue. I hope you’ll indulge my sharing some feedback – and if it inspires you to come, that would be wonderful – just tonight & Saturday (4/5 March) left! Book here.

“Bloody amazing”

“Hilarious, beautifully observed, artfully written. Go.”

“Go and see Glitter Knickers: it’s brilliant!!”

“Great night out. Very, very funny show.”

“Blown away! Funny real clever moving.”

“A tour de force in writing & performance -catch it.”

“Hugely enjoyed Glitter Knickers:  great script, perfect casting and laugh out loud funny.”

“It really is fantastic and will resonate with women everywhere. Made me laugh continuously.”

“You are a consummate storyteller Gill and this play is a romp through the imagination and Lucinda created such visual imagery. It was a joy! Huge congratulations to all involved. Thank you for a great night at the theatre.”

The Audience’s Glitter Knickers

Wonderful opening night last night (2 March) – thanks hugely to all who came (feel free to come again, of course!). If you haven’t yet booked and want to come, I strongly recommend you click this “Book Now” link. But in the meantime, here’s a few choice quotes from last night’s fantastic audience:
 
“…the fantastic Glitter Knickers – it’s very funny, slightly bonkers and utterly sweary!”
“Loved it! Funny, astute, painful & crammed full of face-achingly good one-liners!”
“What a show! Bravo to everyone!”
“A MAZ ING”
“Fab show – we LOVED it!”
“I loved it. Trippy & brain-bendy.”
 
Thanks again, and I hope we’ll see you at the Rondo Theatre Thu/Fri or Sat!
gk TA DA

GLITTER KNICKERS AHOY!

OK – IT’S SHOW TIME!

The new show can be unveiled!

It’s called Glitter Knickers, it’s on for just 4 nights in March, here in Bath and it’s a comedy about being in your early middle age. Tickets have just gone on sale and the theatre (the gorgeous Rondo, with comfy seats for just over 100 and a dandy bar) have agreed to do a promo deal for me.

So the dates: 2-5 March at the fantastic Rondo Theatre in Bath.
And if you’re buying before midnight on 31 December, you can get 10% off with the promo code GLITTER.

BOOK HERE!

If I can get bums on all the seats, it means our arts council / funding applications to take this out on tour will be much stronger, so please, if you think you fancy it, do book now (those of you who know me know I’ll be relentlessly touting ’til they are all sold, so don’t put it off!)

Hope to see you in March, if not before!
Happy Christmas and have a great 2015.

Gill & the Glitter Knickers team x

A Bit of a Song and Dance

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Ever feel you’ve got the weight of the universe on your shoulders?

You need Dan Dare – or does he need you?

One man’s “Potteresque” escape hatch, live on stage and for one night only…

A script in hand show – come and see theatre get made!

Monday 14 July, 7:30pm, Tobacco Factory Theatres (Brewery) – just £3

0117 902 0344 or click the poster…

How do we get people writing (produced work) for theatre when they can’t build a relationship?

You need to be familiar with a range of our work.

Spend time at the bar, introduce yourself.

If you’ve not seen new writing here in the last few months, I don’t want to hear from you.

These are all real words spoken by theatre building peeps, to writers.

I can’t argue – and am not about to – with the sentiment. If I ran myself ragged running a theatre, or its literary department, I’d have to know that a writer who wanted a relationship with us knew what we did and had seen a decent amount of it. I totally get it. 

As you know, the heart of good drama is conflict – and ideally conflict within one person. So here it comes.

There are barriers to theatre-going. Especially if you want a loving, close relationship. That’s doubly so if you’re in “the regions”: you need to be au fait with work at your locals, the fringe and do the same for London. 

But I don’t want to be airy-fairy about this- let’s look properly at those barriers:

  • Time. Say a show starts at 7:30, average. You’re out 2-3 hours later. More if there’s a drink after.
  • Money. Say £12-15 regional fringe, £25+ bigger house and £35+ for London? Please correct me if I’m way off.  [Then parking / travel, say £5-10; a drink @ £3-4; a programme,maybe £3-4?] So, between £15 and £50+ a pop.
  • Taste. You might not like what’s on. That’s a barrier. But if you’re a writer, you don’t let that stop you. After all, it’s a chance to pat yourself on the back about how you would have done so much better.

OK, so we’ve established, there are barriers to going to the theatre – that’s not news. They apply to all kinds of things in life. What’s different in this case is that you can build work relationships in other spheres during your normal working day. Dentists don’t have to hang round at night, waiting for vampires to appear. Teachers don’t do the 5am wake-up, better to understand their pupils. This is a price we “pay” (quote marks to neutralise any negative connotations). But it’s not one that everyone can.

So who doesn’t have these barriers?

  • Time. If you have nothing else to do, the time is certainly not a conflict. Chiefly, this is people who work by day, don’t have kids, or have whose partners who will babysit. (Or who have a great babysitting set-up of another kind)
  • Money. If you get comps (eg by working in theatre, or you’re an agent / publisher / critic / friend of the cast etc), money is not a barrier.
  • Taste. Is there anyone to whom taste is no barrier? I’ll let you answer that one…

Thanks for bearing with me.

Who is “out”, then? (Assuming, of course, that they want to be “in”). Who might be writing, but have no theatre relationship? Shift workers; carers; parents, esp. single ones; anyone who can’t afford £30 (a pair) more than once a month – a proper luxury by many standards. We know these people are under-represented as writers. ‘Cos if they ever get successful, their life circumstances are top of the story: alas, I can’t find any to quote for you. If you spy a “long-term carer playwright,” “nightshift dramatist” or “cancer nurse single dad playwright” success story, please let me know.

I don’t have an answer. And I am not angry with theatres. I meant what I said at the top: I totally get it. If we all start blaming each other, by the next general election, there will be no arts world to speak of because we’ll have ripped each other apart and flung the remains into the furnace.  But what can we do? Because there is a bias.

Here are some mad ideas. Please add your own:

  • Bursaries to include accredited babysitters
  • Matinees to target shift workers (perhaps promo discounts)
  • Creches at theatres for matinees (corporate partnership-tastic)
  • Loyalty cards – see 5, get 1 free (would benefit everyone, or could be targeted to partic. audience groups or types of show)
  • Workplace competitions – not unlike BBC’s workplace choir – where playwrights mentor a workplace group of staff (personal development, community relations, confidence, writing skills, the benefits list is long!) – Tescos, are you listening?

If anyone is interested in talking about these, by the way, it’s the kind of thing I put together at work, so get in touch here or pop over to http://www.lyric-communications.com and contact me there.

We all know that these days, a writer can gain so much from a relationship with a theatre. It helps them to see work, consider it, build experience and taste, try things out, perhaps win opportunities and introductions…That relationship is at the core of a virtuous cycle. (It’s why people get narked at the “same old faces” getting the chances.) Should we just shrug and accept it, or is there something we can do? I know I’d like a broader pool of writers getting work on. Some more “gogglebox” flavour, and less “Radio 4” would feel a bit more like a theatre of Great Britain, wouldn’t it?