It’s winter and at New Model Theatre we’re sort of in an odd, rehearsal-based hibernation. Almost as soon as the lights cooled off after our extremely well-received production of April by Exeter-based playwright Emily Holyoake, we were back in the rehearsal room starting work on our new show Static. Static is a monologue written by myself, Tom Nicholas, and will be performed by my good friend and long-term collaborator Hugh McCann.
The past month or so has seen us spending an increasing amount of time in the rehearsal studios at Exeter Phoenix transferring the play from a piece of text into a piece of performance. But, although it certainly doesn’t feel like winter is over just yet, on March 1 we’ll be coming out of hiding for a Work in Progress performance at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth.
A Work in Progress performance is essentially a chance for a theatre company to invite a test audience to see the show and then feedback their thoughts on what they’ve seen. It’s also fairly daunting. So far only myself, Hugh, and selected others have been privy to the content of the show and so this will be the first time we’ll find out if the funny bits really are funny; the sad bits really are sad; and the bits that make people think, hopefully it’ll take them a while to shut up again.
The piece itself focuses on the coming of age of our protagonist through the early 21st century and how his personal story is effected, or relates to, world events at the time. We start by witnessing an eight year old boy, dumbstruck by watching the horror of the September 11 terrorist attacks relayed live on television. Time and time again, the immediacy of information provided by the internet and rolling news channels push him into a reclusive passivity to the world around him; he’s unable to do anything but spectate.
To put this together we’ve spent a lot of time delving into our own pasts, and how the world has change for the better due to advancement in technology, yet also into its setbacks. We’ve also been chatting to other young people and videoing their responses for projection during the piece.
Perhaps we may see you at a future show. Meanwhile, we’ll keep you updated here with all we get up to and also some news of what the rest of the theatre world is up to.
My Perfect Mind | Drum Theatre, Plymouth | February 14 – March 2
Leading UK company ‘Told By An Idiot’ bring their new show to the Drum. Exploring the resilience of the human spirit through the story of Edward Petherbridge who suffered a stroke, awaking to find he could remember the entire role of Shakespeare’s King Lear word for word.
Freddie Dare and the Ginger Robber | Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter | February 19 – March 7
As part of the Extreme Imagination festival, Cube Theatre will be resident at the Bike Shed Theatre performing ‘Freddie Dare and the Ginger Robber’, a multimedia extravaganza about a young boy who finds an intriguing package at the bottom of his garden which could be the answer to all his problems, or could lead to his downfall.