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    Interview: Georgie Bailey ties us in knots with Tethered

    Tethered, Or The Adventures of the Adequately Excited People, seems to be another play that is going to play havoc with our word count (see also How to live a jellicle life: life lessons from the 2019 hit movie musical ‘cats). But long name aside, we’re always more than pleased to chat to anyone crazy enough to be planning a show right now. And for that reason, we thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Georgie Bailey, Artistic Director of Chewboy Productions, to find out more about the play and whether our GSCE French is at all relevant to anything.
    First things first then Georgie, tell us what to expect with Tethered.
    Tethered is going to be a madcap, bizarre, run-around hour of surreal theatre. You can expect printers with prophecies to deliver, a lot of strange words inspired by our current language and (most importantly), balloons and party hats for all. As if two characters being tied together wasn’t enough, there’s also this idea of the audience choosing the order of their story, which is both terrifying and exciting for us as actors. Expect a big adventure and treat everything as more than meets the eye. There’s a lot of content covered in an hour, and the piece gets very child-like and silly in a very comedic way at points, but then suddenly diverges into more serious, poignant and poetic points. Oh, and you can definitely expect to see a lot of fun being had with this huge old rope we’ve got. A whole lot of physical comedy is coming your way at the Lion and Unicorn folks…
    How will the audience get to decide the order then? And does the running order of the two halves effect the outcome?
    We’ve actually had a lot of fun with devising how best to let the audience decide which half they see first. Initially, we were going to use a coin flip, then realised COVID was a thing and that it might not be the best option to go with a sweaty coin getting exchanged between sweaty palms. So, we went through a few different variations of what could happen and are still experimenting with it now. It might change every night, but at the moment we’ve got a big game of splat taking place, where both characters represent Half A and Half B (sums up the play, really). The audience decide a category and the two actors are pitted against one another; determining the victor through playing.
    We also tried a thing called a moo-off, a show of hands, a mind-reading exercise and a short, sharp game of twister. Anything could happen… And yes! The order determines how you view the play and how things pan out for the characters. It’s quite a cyclical play in that everything has a place and makes sense between Parts A and B, but your opinion and perspective of the characters and this bizarre situation alters quite dramatically depending on the order you experience.
    Do we detect a hint of lockdown madness in the theme of excitement at the pair possibly being untethered and released? Was this a show inspired by lockdown, or just created during it?
    Your detection is on point! We wanted to create something that physically embodied both lockdown and social distancing, but it’s taken to a much more abstract, absurd and surreal place. There is no mention of lockdown, COVID or our real world – it’s all a lot more distant and strange. Our plans were thrown up in the air a bit; our original show was due to be produced as part of the Lion and Unicorn Theatre’s Associate Artist scheme has had to be postponed until late 2021, so we wanted to keep creative and busy during lockdowns 1&2, so decided to create this. Mainly for us to have fun, but also for the audience to have a bit of fun too.
    Your characters are Sans and Moins, which as obviously spotted straight away (honest we did) means Without and Less in French, is that at all relevant or are we reading too much into things?
    Very beady eyes from you all – yes, it is very relevant, both in character and situation. But we don’t want to give too much away at all! It’s a well-hidden little thing, so you’ll have to whack those beady eyes out again when you see the play.
    The show was initially pencilled in for a December run, but you’ve decided to push it back now due to lockdown 2 (and since the time of interview, lockdown 3), was that a difficult decision to make?
    It was a super difficult decision to make. We’d had the show pencilled in for a good couple of months as well as had the script developed, rehearsal space booked etc. etc. But with lockdown 2, we realised rehearsal would be almost impossible with us being spread across the country. In a way though, we’re grateful for the additional time to work on the show further, have some more fun with it and get it up to scratch to reach its full potential for February.
    Finally, and because we really couldn’t let it pass by without comment, you’ve recently published “Poems While You Poo”; would you recommend that as a Christmas present for our dad’s maybe? And is there any poems in the collection about the toilet roll shortage crisis from the first lockdown?
    We might be biased, but we’d definitely recommend it as a Christmas presents, not just for Dad’s but for the whole family! The collection is illustrated beautifully by my partner-in-crime Hal Darling (co-founder of ChewBoy) and takes you through the seven stages of doing your business, with a variety of poems ranging from comedic, wholesome, educational and emotional – it’s all there for your toilet breaks. And it’s available in hardback and paperback – so there’s a version for every book lover or toilet fiend you know. And we’d love to say there is some poems about the toilet roll shortage of lockdown gone by, but we’d been developing the book for such a long time before lockdown that we missed that boat! Maybe in our sequel that’ll make an appearance…
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    As always, our thanks to Georgie for taking the time during the latest lockdown to chat to us about the show. It is now scheduled to play at Lion & Unicorn Theatre between 9 and 14 February 2021. Further information, tickets and of course, that book, can be found on their website below. More

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    Feature: Strictly Come Dancing does musicals

    What shows can you still go and see?
    Given that Strictly Come Dancing was dedicated to musicals this weekend, we thought what a great time to remind people that some of these shows can still be seen live at a theatre in the not-too-distant future. So why not treat yourself and get some tickets? Or maybe treat someone else to the gift of theatre this Christmas, after all, theatre tickets really are the greatest gift we can give.
    Strictly Come Dancing – Live shows
    All that glitter and sequins give you the need to see more? Well, there are three different ways you can get to see the show live. The Live Tour features a selection of celebrities and professional dancers, whilst The Professionals and The Power of Dance will bring the professionals to the fore. All three are touring in 2021 and 2022, grab tickets below.

    What about the shows featured over the weekend then? Well, we’ve pulled out the ones that you can see for yourself below.
    & Juliet
    Wasn’t the opening set piece to Sunday night’s results show amazing? We already knew that, having given the stage show a full five stars when we saw it last year. You can see our review by clicking below.

    If that has you eager to see the show for yourself, you are in luck, because & Juliet will be back in the West End from next March. Grab your tickets now from as little as £25.

    Jamie Laing & Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
    One show that is certainly making waves is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. You can see our review from last year here.

    Strictly viewers would have seen Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing and partner Karen performing a rather striking tango to the show’s title song. The show itself returns to the West End from 12 December at Apollo Theatre, and is currently booking through until March. You can snap up tickets from as little as £24.

    Bill Bailey & Phantom of the Opera
    Maybe you were mesmerised by Bill Bailey’s portrayal of the Phantom with his dance partner Oti? Well, Phantom of the Opera will be back in 2021 – we’re just waiting for dates to be confirmed. In the meantime, you can still see Bill Bailey’s stand up show, which is on for a handful of performances from 28 December at Lyceum Theatre. And if you live outside London, he already has dates booking for next December. Check the link below for details and locations.

    Ranvir Singh & Waitress
    One of our lovely team could tell you every line from this musical, but we promise, we won’t inflict that upon you unless you ask nicely. Whilst the show has shut up its counter in the West End, it will be touring the country in 2021. Strangely, you can only buy tickets for the Birmingham shows via Ticketmaster (from whom we receive a commission), but you can see all the other dates at the show’s official website.

    Of course, what we really want to see here at ET is a revival of Little Shop of Horrors. Come on, admit it, we all want to see Audrey 2 come alive again in 2021. More

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    Interview: A Theatre Addict Writes

    One practitioner describes how Covid-19 and lockdown have affected his work
    When not reviewing for Everything Theatre, Nick Myles is a writer and all-round theatre addict. As our reviewers all give their time for free, we’re always more than happy to try to give a little back to say thanks. So when he told us about his latest project, it seemed the ideal time to ask Nick to tell us about how creating a show for online has differed from usual.
    My name is Nick, and I am a theatre-holic. I get my fix any way I can: as an audience member, a writer, a director, a script-reader and a reviewer. Sometimes I’m at a show four or five times a week, and often I fill the spare days with stand-up comedy or the cinema. To say that drama and entertainment have taken over my life would be an understatement.
    Of course all that was in the Old Days. Since late February when booked shows started dropping out of my diary like pheasants from the sky at a madman’s shooting party, the arts landscape looks very different. With only television, radio and box sets to feed my habit, the future seemed bleak. As well as all the shows I had expected to see, I had planned three theatre projects of my own for the summer months, all of which have been relegated to the back burner, and may not come to the boil until sometime next year, if ever.
    But the creative urge is not easily thwarted. I’ve continued working on stage plays even if their future is distant and uncertain. I’ve switched one short play set in an office conference room (boring!) to a Zoom meeting, which adds a load of comedy potential as angry people are unable to punch each other in person, and “How’s your lockdown?” replaces the weather as the small-talk of choice.
    But one project which was actually conceived after the national drawbridge was raised against infection marked a genuine change in direction for me as a writer.
    I hadn’t written prose for a long time until I decided to write a Christmas ghost story for We Are Cult – one of the sites I occasionally review for – in 2018. I enjoyed the process, so with no theatres to write for, I thought “I’ll do something in prose about lockdown, and that’ll keep the creative juices flowing…”
    That something became The Man in the Window, the story of Marcus, a single gay man who on the first “Clap Our Carers” night notices a neighbour across the road to whom he takes an immediate shine. Despite an almost complete lack of reciprocal interest, Marcus’s imagination begins to build a relationship between the two men…
    As I plotted Marcus’s journey and explored his character – exactly as I would if writing a stage play – I began to realise that the most fitting medium for this piece would actually be a film. Marcus had developed a distinctly egotistical voice, the sound of which I could imagine him enjoying, and it occurred to me that a video diary/vlog format would work really well.
    I’ve written and directed a dozen or so stage monologues, and my instinct told me that The Man in the Window had the potential to re-create the intensity of that person-to-person relationship between actor and audience. I started to re-write the piece, stripping out the more prosaic passages, and began to think about casting.
    I had worked with actor Raphael von Blumenthal a couple of years ago when I cast him in my play Did He Leave a Note? at Stockwell Playhouse (RIP). I knew that this part was well within Raphael’s range, and crucially that he would be a great collaborator as we mined Marcus’s peculiar personality together.
    And so a strange rehearsal process began. It was so different but also utterly familiar, in that it was me with a pad and pen watching an actor do their stuff and then giving them notes. The fact that we were on Zoom instead of in the same room was unconventional but actually irrelevant in the end. And the experience of watching Raphael bring this compellingly odd character to life was just as fascinating as any theatre project I’ve taken part in. Throughout, Raphael was superbly intuitive but also receptive to direction, which is the perfect collaborative combination.
    Every production hits bumps along the way. We had one run-through during which it became clear that the direction we’d taken in Part 2 jarred against the scenes around it: my efforts to energise this section worked in isolation, but viewed alongside the rest of the film it sounded a discordant note. I panicked a bit, grasping for a solution, while of course concealing the extent of my concerns – directors do not reveal such insecurities to their actors…
    I thought we had a mountain to climb, but after a few hesitant notes from me about dialling down the scorn and raising the curiosity, Raphael in the very next take solved the issue completely.
    Encountering – and hopefully fixing – these issues as they arise in the rehearsal room is par for the course in theatre. But whereas in the Old Times I would probably have paced about a bit and thrown some possible solutions around, that’s not really an option on Zoom. Probably the main difference with video rehearsing is that its restrictions make the process more focussed.

    Whilst addicts like me will inevitably hanker for the return of the intoxicating plethora of theatre we used to have at our greedy disposal, the old status quo seems an impossible dream right now. Some big buildings are re-opening with drastically reduced audiences, which is of course a Good Thing. But what of the Fringe, where dramatists such as myself and thousands of others were used to plying our trade while we hope for that break into the mainstream? It’s difficult to imagine pub theatres and other fringe venues with small, compact seating and intimate stages being able to revive themselves in the near future.
    Until that far-off day, film projects and video-rehearsing are part of the theatre community’s New Normal. And I’m happy to say that the experience of creating The Man in the Window and bringing the production to fruition with Raphael has been one of the most rewarding of my career to date.
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    The Man in the Window (a lockdown love story), written and directed by Nick Myles, performed by Raphael von Blumenthal, is available to watch for free in three easily digestible chunks. More

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    Interview: Mimi Monteith’s Last Call for Closure, a show about saying goodbye and hostage taking

    The play works to match the internal tension between the characters with the external panic and terror going on so nearby

    Mimi Monteith’s Last Call for Closure is heading to The Vaults next month. It’s a tale of saying goodbye to an ex, against the backdrop of a hostage situation just a few doors down. And whilst we’ve never been held hostage, we can probably all relate to saying goodbye. We caught up with Mimi to find out more about the play and how it’s been shaped by lockdown?
    So Mimi, first things first, what’s the play all about then?
    Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve been invited to a friend’s birthday at the pub, and your ex is also there? You don’t talk to them all night but then you find an excuse to be the last ones to leave so that you can have a catch-up? That’s what the play is about, but instead of it ending there, due to a pub down the road being held hostage, they get stuck in their pub for 6 hours, until it is safe to leave. The play works to match the internal tension between the characters with the external panic and terror going on so nearby.
    We love the idea that the pair are locked in due to a hostage situation nearby, we assume the inspiration isn’t from first-hand experience of ever being held hostage. So, what then was the initial spark for this story
    In lockdown I kept coming back to the idea of being trapped somewhere because of an invisible enemy. A lot of my friends’ relationships have broken down because of lockdown and this ‘invisible enemy’ and I wanted to create something similar to that, but give the enemy a face. It has of course developed a long way from there, but in classic pandemic style, the spark was from COVID-19.
    We’ve surely all had that “difficult” conversation when we’ve broken up with a partner, are there elements from your own life present? Any ex’s likely to spot something they might recognise? 
    Haha! I think with all writing there is an element of auto-biography to it, even if it is hidden deep in subtext, I’m sure there are lines that an ex or two out there can relate to. That being said, I think if you were to look for similarities to my love life and this show, you’d come up short. 
    Interestingly, the more that the play has been rehearsed, I am realising that without noticing, I’ve written about what I call ‘the decision to be an adult’. There are certainly elements from my ‘decision’ to grow up that are littered throughout the script; it is almost as if the pair breaking up are my current self with my younger self – Does that makes sense?
    The show’s a two-hander, how involved were you in deciding on Eleanor de Rohan and Daniel Lockett as your breaking-up couple?
    I was absolutely involved! I have worked with both actors on previous shows that I’ve had and when it came to casting they were definitely top choices – I only had to see whether their chemistry worked. I was in floods of tears in their audition together, they’re FANTASTIC.
    The press release reads between both serious drama and comedic, is that a fair take of what to expect in the play’s style?
    Yes, 100%. I’ve always found that ‘pressure cookers’ in theatre are created through finding that moment where something that is so awful it is somehow funny. Remaining on that ledge is something I’ve always loved exploring and it has the opportunity to be solved by simply laughing, or explode; it’s extremely exciting.
    And just before we say goodbye for now, if you did happen to get caught up in a hostage situation whilst the show is on next month, anyone you’d like to be locked in with at the time?
    I’m pretty sure El de Rohan and Dan Lockett have now nailed exactly how to handle the situation, I’d stick my their sides any day. 
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    Thanks to Mimi for her time in chatting to us about her new play. You can catch Last Call for Closure at The Vaults between 9 and 13 November, tickets can be purchased direct from the venue website below. More

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    Interview: Jack McNamara on Stay Safe, a WhatsApp driven play.

    Anything that we become so dependent on also opens up new vulnerabilities.

    photo credit @ Emanuele Costantini

    We are always fascinated to see how theatre makers push the boundaries of what a show can be, so when we saw the premise for Stay Safe, we really wanted to know more. It may be, to the best of our knowledge, the first play told over WhatsApp. The audience become members of a “parents” group chat for the evening, where an innocent question about a class teacher leads to unsettling revelations. At just one pound to take part, it seems an absolute bargin as well. With such a unique concept, we just couldn’t resist approaching the show’s writer, Jack McNamara, to find out more.
    Stay Safe is being “performed” over WhatsApp, can you explain how that is going to work in reality? Will we be sitting watching our phones, waiting for the next ping to signify new message for an hour?
    The audience members join a WhatsApp group and will watch as a group chat unfolds in real time on their phone. They become witness to an exchange that begins with all the usual tropes of Whatsapp (emojis, typos LOLs) but develops into something far more unsettling. The show lasts around 20 -30 mins max, so your neck shouldn’t hurt too much by the end of it.
    And does this mean there are no “actors” involved in the traditional sense?
    Yes there are characters that speak together, share files etc,  but these are not spoken/triggered by actors but by a very clever mysterious man named Joe who manages the whole experience remotely.
    The storyline revolves around an “unsettling revelation” about a school teacher, without giving too much away, is there going to be a Halloween feel to things?
    Yes, it begins with a seemingly innocent question about someone who was spotted in the school and then escalates into something more sinister, with tension mounting amongst the chatting parents. And while there will be a few of the recognisable horror motifs in there (strange houses, anonymous videos) the real horror that is revealed is something a bit closer to home for all us phone addicts.
    What attracted you to using WhatsApp as opposed to any of the other message sharing platforms available?
    I am fascinated by how these various platforms encourage and enable different ways of talking and self-presenting. What is striking about Whatsapp is that it tends to combine both the personal touch of email/text with the more outward statement making of social media. This felt like an interesting tension to explore in dialogue form as it is so different to how we communicate face to face. It’s this private public that fascinates me, and something I explored earlier in our postcard project Love From Cleethorpes.Use of Whatsapp has apparently soared since lockdown, and the fact that we find ourselves more and more used to relying on these platforms makes it ripe for exploration. Anything that we become so dependent on also opens up new vulnerabilities, and so I suppose it was only natural that my first foray into this medium found itself on the horror spectrum.  People have said that Whatsapp is already becoming a platform of the past with newer slicker mechanisms replacing it. That’s good with me, as it means we can work with Whatsapp here in a way that feels almost over familiar. With new platforms that come in I think they need to be given time to really embed themselves in the culture before we start opening them up. I like the idea that our use of Whatsapp is already a little retro!
    Will the audience be getting involved, will they be replying in any way to messages?
    No they will be observers. There is huge potential with this form of course to incorporate the audience. But this didn’t happen to be the story for that.
    Has Covid-19 and lockdown been the reason you’ve tried these alternative formats to put on a show, or has this been something you’ve planned before this year?
    We’ve always been interested in other forms. We had an epic podcast series PlacePrints planned long before Covid-19 came along, but once we released it looked like a response to the pandemic. But this situation, for all the toll it’s taken on us all, has definitely summoned many creative demons. Our postcard project was a direct result of me thinking about rural audiences being cut off from live theatre at this time and what we could do to reach them away from screens. And this project came about from me looking at Whatsapp exchanges over this time and sensing a new loneliness and urgency in the need to commune and connect.
    Are you concerned that the drama and tension that would normally be present in a theatre space is going to be lost with the audience all sitting alone at home?
    We are working with a completely different type of tension. It is in no way trying to replicate a live theatre tension. It works with the solitude of the audience member, the miniature form of the exchange, the strange detachment of receiving information through your phone. With any theatrical environment, you have to work smartly with the elements available to you, and try and turn them to your advantage.
    So you’ve done postcards and WhatsApp; any other such unique ideas you’re currently working on?
    Yes, lots. As mentioned, this time has expanded our horizons vastly. First off the bat is an alternative Christmas project that will be announced very soon. But every platform is ripe for exploring at the moment. In addition to slick digital stuff I find myself increasingly drawn to the clunkier more analogue forms. I’m yearning for a more tactile time, and to work with methods of communication that are almost extinct. Perhaps we should do a telegram play next but sent as an actual telegram.
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    Our thanks to Jack for his time to tell us about Stay Safe. The play is part of the Signal Fires, a nationwide project inspired by one of the original forms of theatre – storytelling around a fire.
    Stay Safe is performing from Thursday 29 October – Saturday 31 October, with start times of 8pm, 9pm, 10pm plus midnight on Saturday. Tickets are just one pound. More

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    Interview: Natalie Beran tells us about getting Now.Here.This to the London stage

    Choreography was worked on in the park and (on rainy days) a well-ventilated basement carpark!

    Now.Here.This., besides being a nightmare title to type correctly, is also the latest show from the creators of the big Broadway hit [title of show]. It’s just hit the UK with its professional premier at Golden Goose, before heading to both Chiswick Playhouse and Ram Jam Records in the next month. So, what better time to catch up with one of the show’s producers, Natalie Beran, to find out how the show came to be and the joys of rehearsing in car parks.
    First things first, what’s the show all about then?
    The show follows the evolution and adventures of a group of friends on a day at the Natural History Museum, as they journey through time – from the present to the past and back again. They share their stories about friendship, hoarding, hiding, laughing, living, dying and middle school in an attempt to step directly into that elusive “present moment”: the Now. Here. This.
    And as a Producer, what’s your role in getting it to the stage then?
    Apart from the usual planning – schedules, budgets, grant applications, liaising with venues etc, this time round we’ve been watching a lot of news! Something changes almost every week with covid, what you could do last week or last month, you can’t do today, and depending on restrictions and government announcements we’ll see what happens next week. A lot of adapting and discussions with venues and figuring out how the rules apply to our work. Socially distanced rehearsals and choreography in the park or well-ventilated basement carparks was where you could find us, as rehearsal spaces were not open.
    This sees the shows UK professional premiere, quite a privilege, how did that come about?
    We loved the creators previous production [Title of Show] and felt the characters and stories of Now.Here.This. resonated with life at the moment. With covid restrictions on social distancing etc, we felt the piece could be staged without the cast getting too close to each other but still show their connection. In line with the restrictions that were in place at the time we were looking at rights and small cast shows, Now. Here. This. was available for us to perform across multiple venues and we were able to discuss with the licencing team all the ‘what-ifs’ if there were further lockdowns, postponements or cancellations. 
    The cast and crew seem to have quite an international feel, with members from New Zealand, Sweden, USA as well as a little closer to home. What brought you all together?
    It just so happened that Griffin Jenkins (co-producer) and myself are both in London at the moment, we’d worked together on another musical a few years back in New Zealand. Through each other’s connections, we easily had a great cast and crew ready to get cracking on a project and itching to be creative after lockdown.  
    We couldn’t get through an interview without mentioning lockdown and social distancing, how has that impacted on getting the show ready for the stage?
    Producing during a pandemic is a new one! When we began there were no rehearsal spaces open, so we started with zoom meetings and socially distanced music rehearsals to begin learning the songs. The cast have been fantastic learning everything with masks on. Imagine singing masked up for a full day!
    When the museums began to open again with new booking systems, we went on a ‘character field trip’ to the Natural History Museum. Choreography was worked on in the park and (on rainy days) a well-ventilated basement carpark!  Someone’s workmate was alerted of possible contact with someone with covid, so we self-isolated and got tested, continuing rehearsals online with music tracks and choreography videos recorded to learn with. Everyone thankfully tested negative.
    For stage set/props we’ve kept this very stripped back to both keep things sanitised and for when we move from venue to venue. For marketing we’ve focussed more on social media and our networks, rather than traditional poster / flyer printing. We did some but have been limited in where and how we distribute them. We’ve also made a digital program attached to a QR code for the audience to scan on entry, to reduce the number of things people touch.
    Being really flexible and having an ‘it’ll be alright’ way of working meant we and the venues could adjust how this was going to work every time something changes with the rules. Reduced capacity means a highly reduced budget, so we’ve also done “Crowd-Not-Allowed-Funding” where people who are not comfortable with travelling to a theatre and sitting with strangers at this time can support the production by buying an empty seat from us. (you can find more info on this at www.nowherethisuk.com)
    The show has already opened at Golden Goose, how has that been? Especially given you’re the first big production to hit their stage (the opening show having been a much more simple one-person performance)
    Opening a show at a new theatre space is always exciting and for the Golden Goose team to persevere during covid to get this new theatre up and running has been great to be part of. There is a real buzz from people who are super keen to get back to see some theatre and also interest from other groups to see how the new space may work for their own shows. To see the venue in action the week before we opened there was great, Mark’s show (Living with the Lights on) allowed us to see how the lighting worked, how the seating layout for social distancing and capacity would be worked out each night and how the room sounded. 
    You’re taking the show to Chiswick Playhouse and Ram Jam Records (Kingston), are you going to have to make adjustments given the stage area of those are a lot smaller than Golden Goose’s incredibly generous space?
    We will have to make adjustments and reblock movement and cues for each venue – Golden Goose has a high, larger stage, with the audience on the floor on positionable chairs. The lighting rig is stocked with LEDs. Chiswick (Playhouse) has a slightly smaller stage area but performers will be on the floor with the audience in theatre seating with every second row blocked off. Lighting will be traditional theatre lighting (eg; parcans, gets etc). Ram Jam is very different, traditionally a music venue, so the stage area is smaller again and the audience will be seated pub style at tables and chairs, lighting will be bare / ambient with what’s available usually for musicians/bands. We will adapt as needed to fit the space but keeping the show as much as possible similar to what we’ve rehearsed in each space. 
    Like any touring production we will adjust and keep being flexible to fit the spaces.
    Given the pedigree of the show writers we assume there must be plans to take it further after this run, anything in the pipeline yet, or if not, what are your hopes for it?
    We do hope to take it further and expand our mini-tour. There has been some interest at other London venues as well as outside of London but nothing locked in as everything is hugely dependent on how each region is coping with the new tier systems and ever-changing local restrictions. Some favourite spots just aren’t in a position to plan very far ahead, for fear of further lockdowns or just can’t afford to run on limited capacity etc, so remain closed at this time. With all the uncertainty that also affects the planning for transport, accommodation, marketing, budgets, etc. To work the show into a venue for a lengthy stint would be great, to offer audiences more opportunities to return to more opportunities.

    Our thanks to Natalie for finding the time in what must be a very busy day to chat to us.
    Now.Here.This is playing at Golden Goose until 24 October, before heading to Chiswick Playhouse between 27 and 31 October. It then goes to Kingston-Upon-Thames’ Ram Jam Records from 3 to 8 November. Hopefully further dates will be added later. Check the show’s website for further information. More

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    Interview: Something spooky is heading to Stanley Halls

    It’s a collection of ghostly stories submitted by local writers and brought to life by local actors.

    Just when we thought we’d all be stuck at home for Halloween, along comes Disentangle to drag us from our homes to the haunted surroundings of Stanley Halls for their Ghosts of Stanley Halls show. Before we go though, we wanted to know more about this creepy event and just how scared we should be. So we thought we’d go right to the heart of it all and ask Disentangled’s Tom Brocklehurst a few questions.
    First things first, is this a show to be avoided for the scaredy-cats amongst us?
    Well I suppose so! It’s going to be pretty spooky – so if you get scared at Nightmare Before Christmas you might want to stay at home.
    We’ll admit that Stanley Halls isn’t a venue we know well, what can you tell us about it?
    Stanley Halls is a beautiful old Victorian public hall in South Norwood – 2 mins from Norwood Junction rail station. It was designed by local inventor William Stanley who was a ‘self-taught’. architect, so it is a very unusual layout with secret passages and hidden rooms.
    What came first, the idea for the show or the decision to host it at Stanley Halls?
    We’ve been working with Stanley Halls on a few things, including their Emerging Writers Programme, and we loved the idea of making a Halloween show in this incredibly atmospheric building.
    How difficult has it been to get this show off the ground in the current climate? Have you had to make any adjustments to ensure social distancing is adhered to?
    Yes of course – all the audience members will need to be socially distanced and wear masks at all times. Rehearsals are currently being conducted over zoom, which is not exactly the easiest way to work!
    Is it a collection of stand-alone chilling stories or will there be a running thread that we should look out for?
    It’s a collection of ghostly stories submitted by local writers and brought to life by local actors.
    Would it be fair to describe the show as an immersive experience then?
    It’s a promenade piece, using different rooms of the halls to showcase different stories.
    And finally, we’ve got a reviewer coming along on the 29th, can you guarantee we will get him back in one piece afterwards?
    Haha, as long as he doesn’t take a wrong turn somewhere….
    Thanks go to Tom for taking time out of his day to chat to us.
    Tickets for the show are available directly from Stanley Halls More

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    Interview: Pepa Duarte cooks up a show with Eating Myself

    A powerful and vulnerable female exploration about food, the kitchen, and the act of nurturing ourselves within the construction of a woman’s identity in Peruvian society.

    Quite the quote for Eating Myself, the new show from writer and performer Pepa Duarte, which is heading to the Golden Goose for five nights from 10 November. So good a quote so we wanted to know more. So ahead of the show’s run, we caught up with Pepa to talk cooking, kickstarter and Peruvian cuisine.
    That’s quite a show description! Whilst it talks of Peruvian society, is the show just as relevant for a London and UK audience?
    The show has Latin American flavours, but it speaks about something every culture has experienced – the relationship between cooking and caring, and the presence or absence of family around the table. 
    Are there obvious similarities in how a woman’s identity is perceived in both the UK and Peru?
    Yes, definitely. Women all over the world grow up under the pressure of beauty standards and gender stereotypes. Gender inequality is a reality here and everywhere and the show explores how it shapes women’s identity all throughout their lives.
    Is food an important part of Peruvian culture?
    Peru is extremely proud of its cuisine. It makes us forget everything else, which can be problematic, but it reflects the diversity of our land and traditions. There’s not much international cuisine in the country but there is a lot of fusion with cultures that came to Peru a long time ago; Japanese, Chinese, African. Peruvians are expected to know how to eat and cook. And that wasn’t my case. 
    What made you decide to write a show around food and the kitchen?
    I have always had a conflictive relationship with food, and I thought my struggle had to do with the sexist society I grew up in. But when I discovered cooking and eating meant so much more than I ever imagined, I realised I needed to write this play. I usually make theatre when I have an idea that I can’t get out of my head. 
    Eating Myself was meant to be part of BAC’s Homegrown season in March, but for obvious reasons was cancelled. How did that effect you and the progress of the show?
    It was my first time sharing a full length play in London so I was of course, sad and discouraged. But fortunately our rehearsal process was almost finished so all the set, costume, music and other things were ready to go. I’m really glad Golden Goose Theatre has programmed us, and having had the time to settle in our decisions for the show has actually beenpretty helpful.  
    Are we right in thinking there will be actual cooking going on during the show?
    You are right! It starts with cooking and finishes when the soup is ready!
    You initially raised funds for the show via Kickstarter; was that a positive experience that you would consider again? One of the Kickstarter rewards was a cooked meal: did that ever happen or was it cancelled due to lockdown?
    I think it was a great way to connect with the people that were interested in the show. Thankfully it happened in January, so we cooked a Peruvian dinner for everyone and got to share our vision for the play with friends and future audience. Me and Sergio Maggiolo (director) ran a workshop about devising for professional actors as part of the campaign too. I don’t think this will be my last fundraising campaign! 
    And finally, what do you hope the audience will take away with them from your show?
    I really hope the audience will reflect on their own upbringing and the importance of the people they call ‘family’ in their lives. Hopefully our time in the theatre, especially in these times, will be a way for them to remember the ones they love and find ways to reconnect with them.

    Thanks to Pepa for taking time out of her preparations to chat to us.
    Eating Myself will be cooking on stage at the newly opened Golden Goose Theatre from 10 to 14 November, tickets are available direct from the venue via the button below. More