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BACKSTAGE

Puss in Boots is a 30-minute outdoor show for families, adapted from the classic fairy tale by Jonathan Kaufman and Jane Walker.

Mayow Park, Sydenham, South East London from 15th - 23rd August 16 daytime performances over 8 days.

£5

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Click for map

Peter Saracen has been cast as the Duke of Exeter in Henry V, going out live on Wed evening, 22nd July, for a free show on Zoom. Donations optional.

This is play number 19 in The Show Must Go On, a mad but highly organised dash through all the Shakespeares.

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Here’s an extraordinary all-AWL lockdown project. It’s Les Amuse Bouche, “a Morsel of Molière” from The Social Climber, Paddy Gormley’s adaptation of Le Bourgeois gentilhomme.

Director Anthony Shrubsall and film editor Brian O’Connell worked together to set high technical standards for lock-down video. Brian ensured that the actors, Peter Saracen, Hélène Le Bohec, Simon Brandon & Mary Drake, understood and applied new self-filming techniques that would pave the way for a coherent edit, while using their own equipment such as mobile phones. Anthony directed the scene as if preparing for a full production, taking the actors off book in the process. And Brian pulled it all together, with further input from Anthony’s musician friend Stefan Potiuk.

The Social Climber was first read at AWL in 2011, and subsequently premiered by Logos Theatre Company in a four-week run Upstairs at the Gatehouse. The 2011 reading and production were directed by Kenneth Michaels. Then as now, the role of Jourdain, the eponymous social climber, was played by Peter Saracen.

Les Amuse Bouche includes a monologue specially written for Jourdain in the original production.

Watch the video on scenesaver.co.uk. You have to register to see it, but registration is free.

Click for website

Doreen Friend writes: “Many AWL actors performed in the SWWJ Drama Workshops and other events, most of which were arranged and co-ordinated by Martin Cort. Martin is stepping back from the SWWJ drama work for a while, while the lockdown means no Workshops for some time.

The SWWJ council has started organsing zoom events such as interviews, talks, quizzes and drama. Guess who has been given the job of sorting and arranging the drama zooms! Yes, I am the lucky one.

I would like to invite AWL actors and writers to take part in the drama Zoom events. Unfortunately SWWJ is unable to offer a fee, but featured AWLies will have the opportunity to publicise themselves and their work.

Please email me: doreen.friend@swwj.co.uk.

Looking forward to hearing from you, Doreen.”

Richard Fitchett’s Boxsets and Tom Jensen’s The Last Taboo can be heard on The Scene Podcast, produced by Get Over It Productions.

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Are you lonely or bereft without AWL meetings? Then join Liz Felton’s on-line meetings, hosted by Liz Felton every Monday from 20th July.

Strictly AWL members only. Contact Liz for details: liz@astralactors.com

Julia Haythorn writes:

Rare Fortune Productions are delighted to have been given the opportunity to re-open the theatre space at the OSO.

Brief Encounters is a collection of 5 short plays by AWL writers Tom Jensen, David Hampshire, Carolyn Pertwee , Nicolas Ridley and Sally Sheringham. Maurice Thorogood directs and Julia Haythorn produces. Actors include Robin Miller, Gregory Cox, Susan Casanove & Alexander Jonas.

In this unknown future we are doing our best to encourage the audience back to the theatre. The raked seating will be removed and the audience will sit cabaret style at small tables either in their family groups or bubbles or socially distanced. We will use the whole studio space so there will be lots of room, and also two intervals to allow easy movement around the theatre building.

We felt we wanted to do something to help the OSO get back to being a performance space and it is great that so many AWL members are involved.”

Friday 25th September 8pm; Saturday 26th September 4pm & 8pm

Brian Abbott writes:

I have been “distance working/writing/researching” on a theatre project for Newham, North East London, which had to be changed to an audio project because of the current situation.

It’s now a set of four ten minute monologues/dialogues, covering the history of the people of Newham from the 15th century, but mainly 1916 through to 2021 (post-Covid, hopefully).

Our fellow AWL member Joan Blackham has done a fantastic performance of the opening one.

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A monologue by Dermot Murphy performed by Laura Fitzpatrick, for cornerHOUSE, cH-online.

Life is tough under lockdown. A mother tells her best friend about her concerns for her ten-year old son, and how she feels let down by his school. Is there anything she can do about the situation?

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A monologue by Dermot Murphy performed by Adil Hassan, for cornerHOUSE, cH-online.

Malik wants to earn some pocket money, but it’s not that easy, especially with those two around. Is there any way to keep what he gets?

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Click the link below for a YouTube video of Paddy Gormley’s submission to the OSO’s This House Is Now Open initiative. It’s a performance of Paddy’s Mistaken Identity by Isabella Mansell and Phoebe Mansell, directed by Timothy Coleman.

All AWL members are invited to join the initiative. Visit the OSO website or contact Paddy for further details.

Click for website

With children and extended families across the borough not being able to meet up during lock down, Richmond Council is launching a series of virtual bedtime stories with volunteers from Richmond Talking. Click the link to hear Robin Miller reading Counting Sheep by Pippa Chorley.

Click for website

Click below to hear Maurice Thorogood performing Lord Cut-Glass from Dylan ThomasUnder Milk Wood. Sound design is by Paddy Gormley. Listen through headhones to experience the full effect.

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Reetta Hyreen writes:

“I just wanted to let you know that I’ve got an acting job in Finland, starting in August and the contract is for a year. I’m flying out to Helsinki on this Friday and will be in quarantine for 2 weeks in a little hut in Turku (well in the very countryside end of the city). The theatre I’ll be working in is in Tampere, but we’ll also be touring all over Finland. The corona situation in Finland is actually quite good, and places are opening step by step, so I’m hoping that we actually can start rehearsing with our little ensemble in August. My plan is to come back to London when my work in Finland is finished, so will see you at AWL later.”

Simon Brandon writes:

I am currently creating a short light-hearted comedy film called: Last Fish Finger In The World, which I hope will bring a few smiles and chuckles. The film is being filmed during lockdown and stars AWL members: Carolyn Pertwee, Edmund Dehn, Gregory Cox, Robin Miller, Simon Fisher-Becker, Hilary Field, Susan Casanove, Alexander Jonas and Simon Brandon. More details on a social media release date soon.

An archive recording of Carolyn Pertwee’s play The Beautiful Couple, as broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2002, is now availble as a free download.

The cast is Ronald Pickup, Julia McKenzie, Claudie Blakley & Ajay Chhabra. It was Gillian ReynoldsChoice, and it was Play of the Day in The Independent, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Radio Times.

Click for website

Ten minutes of audio fun: Felicity Jolly and Martin Cort perform annieverysorry, written by Paddy Gormley and subsquently adapted in the light of the first reading at AWL last year. Follow the link below to hear the recording. It’s a play for radio, so shut your eyes.

Click for website

Further Events in the Month Ahead

Peter Saracen will be playing Adam in Short Memory by Richard Roques, a new play about Alzheimer’s, short selling and Handel’s Messiah at the Waterloo East Theatre.

Postponed until further notice

Rare Fortune Productions production of Life Changes by Carolyn Pertwee has been postponed until Spring 2021.

Future Plans

Kate Glover’s play Mayflower is booked to run at the OSO from 17th to 21st November. Kenneth Michaels directs.

Services

Bronwyn Baud is a qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique and has been for almost 20 years.

Sessions are normally £35. Bronwyn is offering a 20% discount to AWL Members for 5 sessions, thereafter 10%.

People use the Technique for a wide range of reasons, including preventing injury in music, drama and sport, enhancing business and presentation skills, developing ease and elegance in movement, and supporting pregnancy and childbirth.

To book a lesson or just to find out more about the Technique, call Bronwyn Baud on 07531 447 887 or email her via her AWL page.

07531 447 887

Viv Lake has done quite a bit of research into theatrical and family history and accumulated a lot of information which might prove useful to other AWL members who have been looking into family or theatrical history.

She has lists of information such as stage names and aliases, biogs, obituaries, where they are buried, census returns which mention performers, old theatrical companies and theatres, actor-managers, and photocopies or pdfs of very old playbills, as well as text from theatrical journals and newspapers, most of which are from the Georgian and Victorian eras, and earlier, in Great Britain and America.

If you’re interested in Viv doing just a basic search for free through her files, please speak to her at an AWL meeting, or email her via her AWL page.

John Melainey has coached audition technique for the last 20 years. It is one of the areas that many actors push to one side and yet it is a vital skill. A good audition technique is the secret to many a successfull acting career. If you feel like you go into an audition and it never seems to go the way you planned or if you leave feeling like you just didn’t do enough, or didn’t have long enough to work on the script, then the chances are that it is your audition process, that is letting you down.

Click for further information.

Stephanie Connell is an award winning web designer who has been creating websites for the past seven years. Each website is handmade and specific to the client’s requirements and is therefore unique. She will guide you through the process and provide design and practical suggestions where necessary. She offers aftercare service which she feels is just as important as the creative process. A discount to AWL Members only.

AWL Members who have had their websites created recently: Carolyn Pertwee, David Hampshire, Julia Haythorn and Hedley England

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