Tag Archives: York Mystery Plays

Goodbye 2014

17 Jan

Wow, so I haven’t updated this blog in ages, so I thought I would write a short post even just to jog my memory and remind me that I DID do theatre last year! Actually, it’ll be remembering it all and sorting it into vague dates that will be the hard bit!

My year in theatre 2014..

January- Auditioned for The Stepmother with YSCP and got the part of Lois Relph. This took up most of the first third of the year and was a brilliant experience. Also continued work with YTR Youth Theatre 16+.

February- See above!

March- See above!

April- The Stepmother at York Theatre Royal. So much love for this play and the people involved.

May- Entered my first Script Factor heat with my play Butter-side Up and won the round!

Butter side up John Saunders

June- In rehearsals for July…

July- A very busy month! It was the final of Script Factor at York Theatre Royal, and my play Going Up got the runner up place which I was really happy about.

Going Up - John Saunders

Then more acting with The Envelope Project and Richard Kay’s play Good Grief. Then there was The York Mystery Plays, acting as Annas in YSCP’s production Christ before Annas and Caiaphas – just about managing to escape the rain and eating many satsumas disdainfully in the process.

August- Assistant Directed on a YTR Play in a Week – Persephone, which was a really fun summer project. Also took Going Up to the Arts Barge Riverside Festival, although we’ll know to have microphones next time!

September- Took Butter-side Up to Leeds Corn Exchange as part of West Yorkshire Theatre Network’s NEXUS festival. It was a fantastic experience to take a little play of mine to an arts festival and get some good feedback – it was performed under my company Bird on Head. I also started assisting with the 8-11s at Youth Theatre.

October- In rehearsals for November…

November- Treading the boards again with York Shakespeare Project as the pretty sadistic Morgan in All’s Well That Ends Well. Some great people and a play in the round, which was really fun to do.

December- Co-writing and co-directing the school play for the Christmas concert! And also receiving some exciting news regarding 2015…

And some of the things I watched..

– The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (National Theatre in Cinemas)

– The Crucible (Old Vic)

– 1984 (Headlong)

– Bondagers (Lyceum Edinburgh)

– Where the White Stops (ANTLER)

– The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatre Mill)

– Fiddler on the Roof (Hull New)

– Les Miserables (Rowntree)

– Twelfth Night (YSP)

– A Number (YTR)

– Blithe Spirit (YTR)

– The Wind in the Willows (YTR)

– Betrayal (YTR)

– Mother Goose (YTR)

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6 days to go! #mysteryplays

27 Jul

There’s less than a week to go now until the first performance of The York Mystery Plays 2012! After attending the first read through, I only really joined the rehearsal process in late June, but it has taken a long time to get to the stage we’re at now!

Even though I knew it would be a massive project, I am still taken aback by the scale of the whole thing. We have moved on to the purpose built stage now and have had technical rehearsals on it all this week, alternating between the two casts – the ‘Potters’ and the ‘Carpenters’. Despite the inevitable waitingaroundness of the infamous ‘tech’, this week has been great bonding time and I’ve been meeting and talking to new people every day. This really is a community project – there are people here of all ages, professions and theatrical experience.

Not only is the cast made up of community members, but nearly every other role is too – from stage managers to wardrobe assistants- all given that slick of professionalism by the amazing people at York Theatre Royal and Riding Lights headed up by directors Damian Cruden, Paul Burbridge, Katie Posner and Alexander Wright.

I love that we are in 1940s/50s dress. For me, it makes the whole thing more earthy and more real. I may just be in the ‘mob’ but I feel as if I am playing an actual real person, an ancestor maybe. ‘Humanity’ has replaced ‘ensemble’ and that’s what the plays are all about; humanity (Jesus included?) and how it responds to events outside of its control.

We are depicting the story of the Bible. We are the citizens of Nazareth and Jerusalem. But above all, we are the citizens of York.

http://www.yorkmysteryplays-2012.com/

Summer project: The York Mystery Plays

2 Jul

Now that my (first) degree is over and I have more time to be doing theatrical stuff I will hopefully be updating my blog more regularly, especially because I hope to study a Masters in Theatre in the coming academic year!

For now, my plug is the York Mystery Plays 2012 (you can follow them on twitter @yorkmystery2012 ). I’m now in rehearsals as a member of the ensemble and it’s looking spectacular, not least because the stage itself is going to be massive but also because there are so many talented people involved. The production is professional but the cast (apart from two) is made up of members of the community… but if I hadn’t had told you that, you wouldn’t have guessed!

It’s on from 2nd August – 27th August and is taking place out of doors in the Museum Gardens. Tickets can be booked through York Theatre Royal.

So if you’re sick of the Olympics already like I am, or just fancy an awesome production of a brilliant story, come along! And I can promise you that you at least will stay dry…

And if you come along when the Carpenters are performing, I can also promise some fantastic faces such as this (taken during the Waggon Mystery Plays 2010…):

Review: Two Planks and a Passion

11 Jul

York Theatre Royal’s and Riding Lights’ Two Planks and a Passion – the third of the former’s main house ensemble plays – is a credit to York and to regional theatre. A charming and entertaining script by Anthony Minghella, a large and talented community cast and atmospheric music by Christopher Madin give this production (on until 16th July) a big heart.

Set in York and based around King Richard II’s visit to the city and to the mystery plays in the late 14th Century, the play focuses just as much on the royals (played by professionals) as on the ‘normal’ citizens of York and on the competition between two of the guilds putting on two of the plays.  Ambitiously, there are two community casts, totalling over 50, which are alternating the run and the cast I saw (the Taylors) had been impeccably cast; there wasn’t a weak link. Most impressively, voice projection, even discounting the fact that it was a largely amateur cast in the round, was spot on – here we have, quite clearly, professional amateurs. Rory Mulvihill and Rebecca Beattie, in particular, have great vocal presence.

The cast have clearly thought hard about their characters as there were some great nuances and subtleties to certain performances. It almost goes without saying that Jonathan Race (as King Richard), Michael Lambourne (as Oxford) and Emily Pithon (as Queen Anne) were on form but it was to the community cast’s credit that they did not seem to ‘stand out’ so significantly as to be distracting. Gemma Shelton, playing a wife of one of the players, gave a very truthful performance and Paul Stonehouse, as the non-too-holy Father Melton, was pitch perfect.

The promised spectacle of the 2012 Mystery Plays in York will need to build on the success of Two Planks and a Passion but it is without a doubt a great introduction to the project and an entertaining, if slightly over-long, stand alone production.

This review is also posted here: http://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-two-planks-and-a-passion-york-theatre-royal/