Posh actors

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There’s a bit of an ongoing barny about how many deeply successful (mostly male) actors in Britain right now are posh.  A mull….  It’s an argument not without a grain of truth to it.  A long list of Harrow, Eton, Westminster, Oxford, Cambridge graduates grace our screens and stage.  Even if those institutions weren’t on the list, as someone who went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, I’m here to tell you that fundamentally, if you’re someone who gets to spend time and money watching theatre, let alone making it, that very act is probably going to factor into …

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In Praise of… Moira Buffini

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She writes plays. I start with this statement, because usually I praise books and occasionally films, but remember how I also do a lot of theatre?  I’ve now lit a fair amount of work by Moira Buffini, and I think her plays are wonderful.  I first encountered her work on a production of Silence, which always stuck in my mind as one of the first plays I ever lit where I got to create arty stuff, and atmospheres, instead of just lights up, lights down.  It was also a play full of women – not Women Being Strong or Women …

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LDs and Arnica

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Recently I did 5 days of tech.  They went like this: Day 1.  Sunday.  Arrive 9 a.m. at the venue, meet the crew, trot through any final, obscure details on the lighting plan, then commence rigging.  Rigging involves lifting some heavy lights – the heaviest being about 50kg – onto lighting bars, plugging them in, flashing them out, then flying the bars to their deads.  This process takes to about 2 p.m..  At 3 p.m. focus commences.  Focus is pointing the lights at the correct place, and requires one person – today for ease of speed it’s me – climbing …

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Stage Fighting

We did a couple of techie-orientated lectures on stage fighting, back at Ra-de-da, while the actors did their stage combat training.  In tech the arrival of the fight choreographer was always a Big Deal, as invariably they’d only have a couple of hours to spend on the show and, more importantly, we could only ever afford to pay them for that thin amount of time, before the cost of their expertise began to cost more than… say…  the set. One of the choreographers who talked to the techies explained some of the skills required.  For a start, he had brown …

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Collaboration

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(Subtitle: I do not think this word means what you think it means….) Collaboration!  If you could please imagine proclaiming it with brass fanfare behind… … coll-ab-or-ation!! It is the battle cry of theatre.  What are we going to do on this show?  COLLABORATE to make something wonderful!  What is the purpose of rehearsals?  To COLLABORATE whoop whoop!  How are technical rehearsals made smooth and easy?  By collaborating! Except.  Actually.  More of the time than perhaps we’d admit… … it’s a bit of a lie. I say this without rancor.  There are many reasons as to why we often fail …

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