So You’ve Got To Prop A Community Show

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Aaaah propping.  I’m not the world’s greatest prop-hunter – not gonna lie.  It involves people skills, and negotiation and imaginative use of solid objects and, frankly, these are not things that come as naturally to me as buttons (lovely buttons) and numbers (lovely lovely numbers) and beam angles and colour and stuff.  My greatest triumph was probably blagging six empty Jamesons Irish whiskey bottles from the bars of Soho – turned out it as an unfashionable brand – only for it to then turn out that four of them were cut. “Do you have an empty Jameson’s whiskey bottle?” I …

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In My Copious Free Time

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There’s so much I want to learn.  Just SO MUCH STUFF.  In no particular order… How to sing.  I can play the piano a wee bit, but singing just seems fun.  And singing in a group – incredible fun and a wonderfully social activity at that.  I did once attend a gospel singing thing with a friend, and it was fun, even for an atheist who took the lyrics as being merely secondary to the joyful noise business.  But alas, one thing I discovered from gospel singing is this: that I can clap and I can sway, and I can …

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In Praise of…. Jessica Jones

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CAN’T WATCH DON’T WANT TO WATCH CAN’T LOOK AWAY ARRGGGGHHHH. I haven’t finished it yet, so don’t flippin’ spoil it but I need to find out what happens and I can’t bare to look. Let’s cover why I need to watch: 1.  Jessica Jones is awesome.  A proper actual awesome character of awesome with bills to pay and a life to lead and mistakes made and friends and convictions and flaws and just… … just a proper awesome kick-ass character of the kind TV needs more of, all the time, please.  And yes, this is a shout-out to Marvel’s general …

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In Support of Junior Doctors

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As I write this, the website of the British Medical Association is utterly failing to load.  I’ve sat and poked it, hit refresh, and no, it’s not coming up.  And I wonder whether this is in any way connected with the announced strike for junior doctors on December 1st? Juniors doctors are striking over new contracts that the Tory government and its ever-delightful Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, are attempting to impose.  The intention of these contracts sounds noble: a 7-day NHS, fewer working hours for doctors (who can easily, easily do upwards of 72 hours a week), and a simplified …

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So You’re A Community Deputy Stage Manager

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This is continuing my theme of hopeful-advice for anyone dabbling in community theatre.  For the pre-amble, please see this post. Today, let’s talk about the Deputy Stage Manager, or DSM. In professional theatre, the DSM does the following: Attends rehearsals every day, and takes notes on all that happens.  This includes blocking (where actors stand), and any props, set or general notes that comes from the rehearsal process.  A DSM will produce lists containing all the props, and where they’re set, and when they’re bought on, as well as furniture and anything extraneous like flying or stage management cues.  These …

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So You Want To Do Some Theatre

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This will be the first of a series of posts, giving some thin semblance of technical advice for anyone dabbling in community theatre. I love going to the theatre.  I love brilliant plays beautifully put together.  I love working in professional theatre, putting on great plays to the highest standard we can, and I get a buzz from being part of it.  Sometimes professionals behave badly; sometimes well; sometimes we make terrible shows; sometimes fantastic.  It varies, but to one degree or another we are all trained to do this, and it’s our livelihood. Community theatre- what’s lovingly termed am …

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