Archives For Maskerade

Salzella: They’re musicians, Bucket. The only way a dead body would upset them is if it fell in their beer. And even then they’d play if you offered them dead body money.

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Favourite Lines from Maskerade

Charging on with Maskerade

Barbara —  October 9, 2013 — Leave a comment
Getting some action going

Getting some action going

Actually, we got back to rehearsals a month ago but my blogging went out the window. Blogging block? Who knows… anyway, back to it and rehearsals are good. Really, for a show of this size, magnitude, girth and weight I would want a lot longer than we have. But .. we’re on in December so there’s no time to worry about it.

This is why I’m ‘encouraging’ the cast to GET THEIR BOOKS DOWN asap. It seems too soon, but it isn’t. The important thing is to work backwards from performance, not forwards from the safety of the cosy comfort zone of early rehearsals where performances seem such a long way off that actually learning anything at all seems completely unnecessary, (a long sentence I know – I did it on purpose .. read quicker and then you won’t run out of breath). Continue Reading…

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Geting into character .. funny nose and a pointy hat and you're there! Well, it's a fun way to start..

Geting into character witch style .. funny nose and a pointy hat and you’re there! Well, it’s a fun way to start anyway..

Proper in the sense that we can start working on all the aspects of performance we need to get through. This was a fun start and, as you can see, I brought along a few bits of costume to help the process. I’m not using funny noses in the show (unless the said nose is permanently attached to the actor), but it can be quite liberating to change your appearance a bit. It wasn’t quite so hot this week, I wasn’t quite so grumpy, people arrived at the appointed time and all was well with the world. Continue Reading…

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Almost (but not quite) a full cast and a slightly grumpy director.

Almost (but not quite) a full cast and a slightly grumpy director. Photo by Tom Flathers

I should re-title my Offbeat Directing post – The First Awkward Read-through – The First Awkward Read-through if you’re lucky enough to get your cast there on time or even at all…. I won’t ramble on about the first half hour when only half the cast were able to keep in touch with that flighty and evasive little known (but occasionally useful) aspect of life we call ‘time’. I did the ‘I am not amused’ bit while the rest of the cast made the most of their unexpected socialising opportunities. Why is it so hard! (please read that in an anguished voice whilst pounding your head against the nearest wall). Not quite a full cast, but only two missing. Harrumph! Must be the heat giving me unrealistic expectations, an inability to spell grumpy noises and a dash of bottom lip. Continue Reading…

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Barbara
Walter Plinge and Mr Pounder/Detritus getting upstaged by Granny Weatherwax! Which is how it should be

Walter Plinge and Mr Pounder/Detritus getting upstaged by Granny Weatherwax! Which is how it should be

First read-through tonight and not not expecting it to be too awkward!
In fact, I’m rather looking forward to it after a jolly good audition & casting week last week.

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Our maskerade video presenters

Our ‘making of’ video presenters .. and very sensible they are too. Pic by Tom Flathers

Hooray! We all survived the audition process swiftly followed by casting and, to my delight, we have a company of lovely folk who are all game for whatever part/s they are given! I don’t think I’ve ever been to this strange place before. Even the girl (who I’m sure would have preferred a glamourous role) I cast as the enormous male opera singer was excited by the prospect of a serious acting challenge in a fatsuit. Result! While I was auditioning the actors one or two at a time Tom and the rest of the company were creating videos and havoc in the foyer. So we had this lovely atmosphere of excitement and mayhem in one place and focus and concentration in another. There was a lot of singing going on as well. No idea about that – obviously it was some sort of vocal warm up for the impending audition. Ummm … maybe not. Anyway, is was a very happy place to be.

Casting wasn’t easy, but it never is when your characters are actually supposed to be many years older than your actors (Nanny Ogg is in her 70s in theory) AND you need to cast girls as male characters because you don’t have enough lads (usually the way). Because the group is only 16 strong and the characters outnumber them significantly, only 9 pople get to play just one role. The rest play 2 or 3 different characters. But we have a cast that we’re all happy with and next week we get to the First Awkard Read-Through stage. Can’t wait.

By the way, whilst auditioning my good friend Boz read in all sorts of parts and he really does make an excellent Granny Weatherwax .. and Nanny Ogg … very witchy indeed. So tempting ….

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Here's hoping they won't hold back at audition (although Boz, pictured here, is actually the lighting designer - I like my team to be versatile!)

Here’s hoping they won’t hold back at audition (although Boz, pictured here, is actually the lighting designer on this occasion – I do like my team to be versatile!)

I’ve been planning this for months now (as you would expect from the Offbeat Directing Series of blogs on this site!!) Now up to the dreaded audition bit (see the blog post)! I don’t really like auditions. I find that nearly all the group will audition for the same parts, so in the last few weeks I’ve been trying to encourage a bit of diversity. I hope I’ve succeeded. The group is 16 strong and there are many, many more parts than that … so, multiroling is key. It took me AGES to work out which characters can be played by an actor also playing another part. We’ll see if it works!

At the same time as I’m auditioning on stage Tom (photographer) will be working on his video diaries and, no doubt, taking a few groovy pics! So … I’ll update when everyone has auditioned and been cast. Not expecting anyone to get terribly upset, but they can’t ALL play Agnes Nitt! And why is no one auditioning for the lovely part of the Opera tenor of gargantuan proportions (fatsuit anyone?) Greebo the cat-who-turns-human-sometimes will be a challenge (although he appears to look a bit like a Johnny Depp style pirate – that would work). The casting of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg is also a big challenge and (apart from other important considerations – obviously) I’m really hoping not to have to make new costumes (we did Wyrd sisters some years back). But .. if required costumes are always fun to make!

So … here goes! Fingers crossed for a good, clean audition. No biting, scratching or hysterical outbursts please… Cover me ..I’m going in….

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This is Tom’s Introduction to his cunning plan to make a video diary of the production we’re just starting to go alongsise all his photos. Sam Collins is in the hot seat this time! I can see I have a few things to live up to here!

Somebody should paint that stage …..

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I’m just starting to work on Terry Pratchett’s ‘Maskerade’ and photographer Tom Flathers has decided to make video diaries of the process as well as taking his usual great photos! This one of me answering Tom’s questions on a bare stage with some groovy lighting…. Purple and orange go so well together..

Oddly (but not unusual in films) Part 1 is being filmed tomorrow!

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