Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Boudicca begins

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

So rehearsals for Boudicca at Verulamium – a new play about the iconic queen of the Iceni start next week with a “walk through”. I prefer a walk- through to a read through because it helps the actors get the shape of the play and helps me, as director, see where the work is going to be required. Some scenes play themselves, others need crafting to give them full impact. There’s a few passages of movement work in this play, and we need to get the measure of those right from the start.  Imogen

boudicca magazine image

OVO on film

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Jo Emery as Natasha, by Paride OdiernaLately we have a video artist in attendance at rehearsal. Paride is shooting documentary rehearsal footage which is either incredibly useful or a bit alarming, depending on which passages he’s filming!  Some people can’t help playing up to the camera, but I couldn’t name names. Overall I rather approve of the stress added by having your gaffes recorded on film, but everyone knows directors are cruel at heart.

You can see some of the results here:

Double string sextet

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Three Sisters is a very great play, but the devil to rehearse. It is written like a piece of music, the equivalent of string quartet, but for twelve players, so imagine trying to practise a double string sextet with parts missing.

Happily, the cast are mostly  OVO regulars, so they are used to rehearsal absences (being themselves people with lives full to bursting) , but there are days when the director gets a little frustrated shunting the nobThree Sisters in rehearsalle stand-ins around the stage. “You’re over there now.”  “You sat down a while ago.” “According to my blocking diagram, you’re off stage.”

Mind you, I make those kind of remarks to the regular actors too, whose marginal scribblings frequently disagree with my diagrams, if they have actually made note of their moves, and not left their script in some pub.  But surely such things don’t happen in our disciplined environment?


The play as young colony

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Pudding Lane is alive with youth.

The cast of Our Country’s Good are largely students from Act Now! Performing Arts School – and very good they are too! The audience is also largely under twenty, as the play is a sixth form set text, and teachers all over Hertfordshire are gratefully shepherding their students to PuddWisehammer delivers the Epilogueing Lane. Matt Corcoran, himself an OVO regular, who is studying the play, decided after seeing the performance last night, that he would be much better off spending an evening watching the play again than at home reading it. We do like repeat business.

I can report that the bar is selling a lot more Coke than wine at the moment.

ART gets off to a flying stART

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Auditions for ART by Yasmina Reza, went extremely well, and the play has now been cast.  The auditionees and myself, (director Jo Emery) duly went off to the Boot public house, in order to celebrate.  I think it will be a familiar haunt of ours over the next few months….rehearsals start in December!!

One of the cast for ART also kindly read in for Three Sisters at rehearsal on Sunday 3rd October, as some of the cast were struck down by the flu bug that’s hitting the hood. Thanks Trev!

A Musical Triumph

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Not the OVO Troubardours

A Musical Journey  – the first venture from OVO’s new musical  theatre troupe (name yet to be determined) – was a big success. We were once again sold out, with a substantial unfulfilled demand for tickets, which has led to an immediate second date, this time at Whitwell, where we have a bit of a following, thanks to the clans of Widdowson and Woods.

Further gigs are planned for next year.

At this rate we’ll be touring the county next – hang on, haven’t we just stopped  doing that?

The Amazing Dancing James

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Sunday; rehearsal. James Pitchford, who is generally to be found modestly hiding behind the piano, discovers to his alarm that as Fedotik in Three Sisters, he has to dance onto the stage and exclaim, laughing, “Burnt” Burnt! Everything I have is completely burnt!”

But while sipping the birthday champagn(not) The amamzing dancing Fedotike he had so kindly brought to share with us, we discovered that James had indeed been burnt out of his home as a youth, so was able to engage in something very Stanislavskian. And we are quite sure the champagne helped with the dancing.

Our Country is Very Good

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Our Country’s Good which OVO is putting on in conjunction with Act Now! has entered rehearsal.

Director Sue Russell Curtis write: “…lots of lovely new talent. The first two rehearsals are more than promising – a lovely atmosphere and team spirit already – this one is going to be a good ‘un!”

The Cherry Sisters’ reunion

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Three Sister re-unites some of the oldest friends of OVO – last night Paul de Burton, everybody’s favourite uncle, attended his first rehearsal, along with  h  Uncle Paul's previous outingis dog, Clover. Clover was the star of the show, and we were tempted to cast her, but we all remember the starring role of the dog Jessie in Cherry Orchard, who had to be banished from the backstage at Trestle, howled throughout the performance, and then missed her cue.

A series of firsts…

Monday, September 6th, 2010

It’s all go at the moment – this week Katalyst‘s    Reduced Shakespeare is playing, which is exciting for us, as it’s our first guest production, and we’re having to remember our manners, and not leave stuff lying around as if we owned the place! It amazes me how empty water bottles and Coke cans proliferate in a supposedly empty space – I think we have a breeding pod of them under the rake.

Three Sisters has started with a hiss and a roar with a great kick-off meeting which was more party than work, the general tone personified by Dewi Williams’ energetic rendition of Blue Suede Shoes. Elvis reborn as a venerable Welshman..

Our Country’s Good is  in the final stages of casting, and starts work this weekend, and auditions for the next two productions (Art & Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin no less) are in the diary for September 24th and 26th. Steve Martin has promised to come and see any production of his play, anywhere in the world…

 Last but not least, our resident music-man James Pitchford has his talented band of musicians polishing up their blue suede shoes and top hats for A Musical Journey – a musical evening out in relaxed jazz-cafe style, on October 2nd.