Theatre online and free stuff – Covid-19

Be a learner

Great short Butoh documentary:

Pina Bausch documentary

Drama Online by Bloomsbury – usual prices for international schools:

Free access to some of their collection until the end of April
U: distance
P: learning

Mask exercises from VAMOS

Be an audience

Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online:

MARQUEE TV are offering 30 days for free


Tomorrow March 23rd 8pm:


Europeans – The Guardian and Headlong theatre company’s joint project

Wooster group – show available until the end of the month


Friday March 27th

Link (18+)


More SHOWS listed here:

Be involved

Join here

Let your sitting room be your stage. Your kitchen be your props store. Unclip your imagination and join our creative club.



Be a maker

Stage Design on Netflix


Anything to add???

If so, leave a comment and I’ll pop it on the page 🙂

Wash hands!!

Know anyone in NYC?

Looking for an audience for this – April 23-27 2019

I am reaching out to you because I am taking 12 girls to perform in New York for a week staring April 22nd, but we encountered a last minute emergency with our visit. Our original host has just cancelled the main event we were due to perform at due to the ill-health of one of the presenters. Our visas, flights and accommodation are already arranged, booked and paid for, so we are now looking for a last minute audience/s.

Can you, or anyone you know or are connected to, help us? We are now urgently seeking alternative performance/sharing opportunities. 
Our students have worked so hard on this project for over a year, the performance of the whole show that they gave in December blew the audience away. These New York 30min performed presentations are a chance for them to share their achievement and the themes of the musical with the international audience it was intended for.

The story contains a strong feminist theme, promotes central messages of leadership, philanthropy and service, has a message of global healing and has been inspired by a Korean female historical figure from Jeju Island.
We are looking for audiences and spaces. In terms of venue, we don’t need much in terms of space or technical bits and pieces.

We’ve got 12 girls performing songs and limited movement to a sound track – any kind of presentation space would work. If we had a stage it would need to be at least 6×4. Half decent acoustics would be a bonus.

Project’s site:

Here’s hoping.

I thought this was just an Artaudian dream

Until now!

One of my students just reviewed this show in her mock Director’s Notebook…

A Dream Like A Dream is an 8-hour Chinese contemporary theatre play written and directed by acclaimed director Stan Lai which has been described by the BBC as “probably the best Chinese language playwright and director in the world.”


...the theatre setup is the “Lotus Pond” seating arrangement, where the audience is able to rotate their seats 360 degrees viewing the play from different angles surrounded by the two-storey high stage.

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Image found on the link to the interview below:

Interview with Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan): Director and Playwright




Actioning is the process of allocating an action or intention to each line or idea in a script.

The action is described with a transitive verb – this is a verb that is “done to” someone else, such as “teases” or “threatens” or “distracts”. It helps actors to decide and convey clearly what their character is trying to “do” with each line to the person or people it is spoken to. Perhaps they are trying to shock; to reassure; to intrigue; to seduce; to amuse.

The technique can be used in regular dialogue or even when the audience is being addressed directly. As well as giving actors a clarity of purpose for every line, it is also a useful tool for keeping a performance consistent over the course of a long run.

Out of Joint’s director Max Stafford-Clark is associated with the technique, having used it and popularised it for 30 years.

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Click link for full list:



FYI: #Metoo

Watch Périclès – Streamed live April 19th

Périclès, Prince de Tyr to be screened on 19 April

17th Jan 2018 3:08pm

Following the successful screenings of The Winter’s Tale, Measure for Measure and Ubu Roi, Cheek by Jowl will screen Périclès, Prince de Tyr live from the Barbican Centre on 19 April 2018 at 7.30pm. The production will open at the Barbican on 9 April, with previews from 6 April, and runs until 21 April ahead of performances at the Oxford Playhouse from 24 – 28 April.

This will be the third Shakespeare live stream from the company and the second in French-language (subtitled in English), and will be available from the Cheek by Jowl website. The production will also be streamed via Facebook Live on the Cheek by Jowl Facebook page.

Theatre and ToK?

It struck me that this cheeky chap was using theatrical aspects to convince his audience to believe in his imagined world.

A clever use of set, sfx, props, trained animals & actors to manipulate sense perception to ‘make real’ something that didn’t actually exist.

Is this immersive theatre?


I also wondered about where his performative awareness came from…turns out he’s a bit of an actor/musician:

The mind-blowing world of designer Bunny Christie – in pictures

From mapping the journey of The Curious Incident’s teen hero to putting Shakespeare in prison and erecting a towering newsroom for Ink, Bunny Christie talks through five of her creations Link to full article

Bunny Christie doesn’t design stage sets. She creates worlds.

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Audaciously theatrical and frequently startling, her creations pull spectators headlong into the universe of a play – whether through the disorienting aperture of The Red Barn or the vintage newsroom pile-up in Ink. Christie often places us inside a protagonist’s head – she designs psychology as well as space, most notably for the singular hero of The Curious Incident, which won her one of her three Olivier awards. She relishes how design unites the entire production.

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“Most of the set was white, with rounded walls. I was thinking about big pills and capsules, and it also looked clinical, like you could hose it down.”

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“Designers are often a conduit from the rehearsal room to the rest of the team,” she says. “We’re with the director from the moment of starting the show, but also go into the wardrobe, prop shop and stage management. You share the thinking. It’s really important.”

Playing dead – Farce

My kind of role…

In Orton’s dark farce, staged uncut for the first time, Anah Ruddin plays the recently deceased Mrs McLeavy whose body is extravagantly manhandled. She describes the stiff challenges of the role.

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From the necrophilia to the suggestion Christ was framed, the playwright’s most dangerous work – performed without the censor’s cuts for the first time – shows Orton wasn’t just out to shock.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Joe Orton’s death, this revival of his most famous play restores the cuts originally insisted upon by the stage censor, the Lord Chamberlain. The result not only sharpens an already subversive text but yields a first-rate production by Michael Fentiman that reminds us of the serious intent behind Orton’s drollery. This, you might say, is dangerous farce.

On 9 August 1967, the playwright Joe Orton was murdered by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, in their Islington flat. The following day, Guardian theatre critic Philip Hope-Wallace wrote, “Joe Orton had an irreverent eye and a splendid ear for comic dialogue. It was ruthless, mordant, epigrammatic, and formal in a way which caused people to make comparisons to Oscar Wilde.”

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Journal Article

Joe Orton and the Redefinition of Farce

Joan F. Dean
Theatre Journal
Vol. 34, No. 4 (Dec., 1982), pp. 481-492


Ray Cooney’s six rules of farce

Britain’s greatest living farceur, Ray Cooney, offers his tips for writing the perfect farce

Being asked to write the rules of farce is akin to being asked to describe the rules of life – where do you start and what do you leave out? However, before laying bare my formula, I would say that “farce” covers a wide area. There would seem to be a point at which comedy becomes farce and having become farce it then flows into several farcical tributaries. Mine is just one of them.



In the beginning there is the plot. I’m not searching for a “comedy” plot or a “funny” storyline. I’m searching for something potentially tragic. Farce is more akin to tragedy than it is to comedy.

In my play Run for Your Wife, the hero is a bigamist. This situation in real life is an absolute tragedy for those finding themselves involved in it. My play doesn’t dwell on the tragedy, but the audience instinctively understands what is at stake.

In Out of Order, a Cabinet minister’s illicit evening in a London hotel is brought to an abrupt halt when he and the young lady discover a dead body in the bedroom. The Government could fall and so he embarks on a cover-up which risks both his marriage and his political future. In real life – as politicians know – this situation brings tragedy. In Out of Order, it also brings laughter – because the audience know what is at stake for the characters in the play.



The characters must be truthful and recognisable. Again this is why the audience laughs. The characters are believable – it is the situations that are slightly out of the ordinary. Ordinary people who are out of their depth in a predicament which is beyond their control and they are unable to contain. Tragedy again.


The willingness to rewrite is essential. My farces are pure concoctions. I never get it exactly right the first time. The original script is comparable to a middle-of-the-range Ford motor car. By the time it appears on the West End stage it must have acquired the precision, the elegance and the comfort of a Rolls-Royce.

I achieve this by having a play reading early on. Then I take the play back to the drawing-board and huge areas are then restructured, rewritten and generally reshaped. Characters may be added or removed in order to serve the requirements of the play. The play will get more and more tryouts, until I know it’s as perfect as it can be.


The right casting is vital. Because of the laughter my kind of play evokes, it is sometimes thought that comedians serve farce well. Invariably disaster! Farce needs actors who can play tragedy – and that is only the first requirement. They must also have the technique, the stamina, the precision and the dexterity that farce demands.

And, almost above all, they must have a generosity of spirit. Farce is teamwork. There is no standing behind beautiful monologues. It’s mundane language. The characters aren’t standing centre-stage, spotlit, intellectualising about their predicament. They’re rushing about dealing with it.


A rule personal to me is “real time”. The two hours spent in the theatre are two hours in the existence of the characters in the play. No passage of time between Acts 1 and 2. When the curtain rises on the second act, the characters are exactly how we left them at the end of act one, and the action continues. This imposes huge demands on the playwright. Only one setting and two hours of continuous drama/laughter.


Finally, never underestimate the intelligence of your audience. I believe that the audience like to work for their laughter.


‘Most of life is farce. Whoever said history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce was right.’

Playwright and novelist, John Mortimer – quoted by Michael Arditti here