Tag Archives: devised theatre

Interview with the cast of Fen

As I haven’t been involved in the show, I thought readers may like to hear from the cast themselves. Cast includes first year Drama student Sarah, second years Hannah Putnam, Katharina, Amy and Becca Robson as well as Performing Arts student Alex, and third years Becca Cooper, Hannah Abbott, Jonny and Kirsty as well as their stage manager, Gina.

Q How has this experience been for you?

Amy: Really good
Hannah A: Yeah, it’s good to feel part of a company.

Becca C: Eye opening. I know Caryl Churchill was a varied playwright but I had no idea she was this dark. Tim’s made it a whole lot darker. It’s amazing to see how a director can bring out the potential in a play.

Becca R: Amazing. Acting is something I was considering but wasn’t sure about so this has been amazing to work in a professional company. Tim has been good for setting up a professional atmosphere and expects us to work to a high level. It’s good for me to know how it works and that it’s what I want to do.

Hannah P: Amazing, great to work with people of the industry, costume and sound. I’ve not done a production this big before.

Kirsty: This time round everyone is at rehearsal together so the company are really close.
Even when you’re not in the scene, you’re still in it. It’s like there’s more excitement when something awesome happens.

Gina: This experience has been amazing, it’s helped my develop so many skills and i feel especially proud to be the first student to work on the production side of a collaboration project

Alex: This experience has been a great one for me! I have been so privileged to be a part of it and would like to thank everyone involved for making this so perfect for me!

Katharina: It has been (well, still is :)) a very special experience for me. I didn’t really know what to expect, but the time with the cast has been wonderful. It’s such a great chance to perform at a theatre like Curve, which keeps you motivated to do your best. It has been very challenging as well, you get pushed to your boundaries and beyond, but it helps you to improve. And we had a lot of fun as well!

Q What have you gained from this experience?

Becca C: Acting experience. It’s so demanding – so many things I have to do with little lines. Also the friends I’ve made and the sense of community has been really lovely.

Sarah: More experience, it’s been more professional than anything else I’ve been in – I was in one other show which was a lot different.

Hannah P: Confidence. Tim isn’t the kind of director who tells you each position, he just gives you the overall idea and it gives you that confidence as an actor.

Kirsty: I’ve learnt to act bigger, I tend to do quite small acting. It was difficult but good to learn.
Hannah P: Pushes you.

Gina: I have gained so much experience working with curve and have developed some great contacts that I know I’ll be using in the future.

Alex: I have gained so much from this experience. Coming from the Performing Arts course rather than the Drama course, I started out feeling a lot less confident about my abilities than maybe some of the other performers. However after taking part, I have learnt so much in the way of acting and becoming stronger and more natural, and have made some brilliant friends along the way who I hope to be friends with for a long time!

Katharina: I have learned some new approaches and methods concerning character development, textual work and blocking. Tim is always very interested in little details and reminds us to think about each pause, each full stop. It is brilliant to see how much you can get from the play text! I’ve also gained more confidence in performing in English, as this is still a lot more difficult for me. We all became friends throughout the rehearsals and I’m sure we’ll keep in contact after the show.

Jonny: A massive boost in confidence. I have a bigger swagger in me step. I’ve liked learning different styles of acting, I feel extremely lucky to have been given these opportunities.

Q How does this compare to previous years?

Becca C: Greek pushed me physically, as in my physical boundaries but this has pushed me emotionally. Two different experiences with two very different directors. Adele brought out the style of the play whereas Tim works on emotions of characters.

Becca R: I didn’t even know this was a thing. I saw Laramie last year and thought Holy Bananas, was blown away by the standard of the performance and asked the cast how to get involved. Jonny and Kirsty told me to look out for the e mail from Roger at the beginning of the year and here I am!

Alex: I did not take part in last year’s production, although I went to see it and loved it! I have found that this year has been the perfect one for me to start on and I hope to continue this into the next year!

Katharina: I didn’t know that there was the possibility to take part in the show last year – I didn’t get any information about it. I would have been to scared to audition anyway I guess, as I just moved to England last year.

Q Do you feel this would help towards a career in acting?

Amy: Yeah, I’ve wanted it more since doing this.
Hannah: Good for lecturers to see you act

Amy: What you do at uni is …weird so it’s good to do real acting.

Becca C: Working in professional environement is different from uni, being directed is much more satisfying to the devising we do in class. I’m hoping to do an MA in acting.

Gina: This project has shown me that i do want to be a stage manager in the future, i know that i want to be taking a MA in a few years and i believe this will help me gain a place on a prestigious course.

Alex: Absolutely! As a Performing Arts student, I learn more about contemporary styles of performance, so to add one more string to my bow is always helpful!

Katharina: I do hope so – you need as much experience as you can get. It’s good to be able to provide some evidence of what shows you have been involved with.

Jonny: Because of the first experience I had with Greek, it encouraged me to persue acting and get involved with Off the Fence. Infact, a Leicestershire theatre group saw me in Greek and took me to Edinburgh.

Q How does this compare to other shows you have done?

Hannah A: This is more relaxed, some directors can be impatient

Amy: But you still get stuff done

Becca R: It was interesting to work with my local drama club where the cast were quite adult so this is interesting because of the younger cast, it’s a different dynamic. I prefer this because its more professional, the community feel is down to Tim having everyone here, I reckon Fen will always have a special place in my heart.

Gina: I’ve always been interested in stage management and my friends encouraged me to go for this role. To be honest I didn’t expect to be the official stage manager, I thought I’d be an assistant so I was very surprised.

Alex: Without a doubt the best show I’ve done! I have enjoyed every second, and would like to thank everyone involved for this experience, and hope everybody enjoys the show!!

Katharina: It’s really different from everything I have done before, simply because this is probably the biggest live performance I have ever been involved in. It’s the first time I have worked with a professional director, which makes such a big difference. It’s so good to have someone to tell you if you’re doing a good or a bad job and who can instruct you. It’s also very different, as we’re all almost on stage all the time. It’s also great to see that everyone is fully committed, so it truly feels like a collaborative group work!

Jonny: I was in last year’s Curve Community production of Oliver! And I found these DMU Collaborations to be more professional, you’re held to a higher standard. Whilst this is a great opportunity for us we are held to these responsibilities to give you experience of being a professional actor, we are working under Curve’s name so we don’t want to show them up!

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Fen Blog 3

Today is the casts last Wednesday rehearsal before their full week of tech and dress runs next week. As I haven’t visited for a while, the setup is more extensive as they now have a smashing brown carpet to represent their field, amongst many more props I’ve not seen before. Before they begin, the cast are practicing the ‘Harlem Shake’ – not sure this is part of the play!
I feel a bit lonely as the cast leave the room to talk to Demon FM. I’m pleased to see that they are taking an interest this year and that students are helping to promote their fellow students, it really heightens this production as being about the talent of DMU students. Everyone reappears in their costumes; they all look fetching in their light denim jeans, woolly jumpers and flowery housewife aprons. Tim surprises the group with metal buckets which they all seem especially excited about, particularly Becca who has to sit on one – Time does an impression of how she would sit on the plastic one, you can imagine.
Tim is telling everyone about their visitors for this evening – production team and set designers as well as photographers. He tells the cast that Curve’s photographer Pamela Raith will be taking photos of their tech rehearsal and that the cast can have copies for their CV. This is excellent for the cast members thinking about a professional career in acting and is an added bonus to this experience in general.
The first scene they run through is intense, frightening. The costume adds to the atmosphere but the acting has come on even more since my last visit.
I can’t continue much more as the cast then did a full run through and to explain how it went would be giving too much away. All I know is that I left the theatre feeling really emotional and I wasn’t sure why! A sure sign of brilliant acting and directing, of course. Read my interview with the cast to find out exactly how this experience has been for them.

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A LOOK BACK AT GAME FACE (REFLECTIONS PART 2)

Game Face cast by Pamela Raith

A week ago, the Curve Young Company (CYC) were busy showing sold out audiences their Game Face.

By cast member Olivia-Mae Lucia Foong

When Lucy (Pickering, Curve Comms team) asked me to write this blog, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. How to reflect back on nine months of work without boring you all?

One thing that many people have praised since seeing the show is how well the cast worked together. It makes me think back to our first rehearsals in October, meeting the new recruits and being in two groups of the younger ones and 17+. The original plan was to have two different shows for each group!

As I was in the younger group, I can tell you that we toyed with the idea of our show was going to revolve around Leicester and how it’s famous for its shoe factories along with the Olympic values too. One of my most memorable rehearsals is sitting in a circle with my group, director and facilitators with a massive sheet of paper in the middle, shouting and writing down possible names for our show. Can you guess which one we liked the most?

Olivia and Shoufan in Game Face
Photo by Pamela Raith

We began to work with the idea of verbatim theatre so over the Christmas holidays, we were all given an Olympic value to focus on and interview somebody on what it means to them. I was given ‘Respect and Friendship’ which lead me to interview two sisters about the London riots. It was very surreal for me to develop such an interview about one of the most important events of last year into a performance. Looking back, I think this is what made Game Face such a special piece to perform and so relatable to the audience. The fact that it came from real people and these were their real words.

Eventually we were all sat down and told that because both groups work and thoughts about what we wanted our production to be were so similar, our director had decided to join both groups and we had our first rehearsal together as a full company in March where we decided to call the show ‘Game Face’.

And so our rehearsals became longer, more often and several drafts of the script (written by Louise Singleton) later, we had this show in our hands to present to Leicester. It came to a shock to a lot of the audience that such young people were addressing quite difficult subjects in such a mature manner and we kept it so close to home.

As Priya mentioned (in the previous post), it’s very bittersweet that it’s all over. Going to rehearsals and seeing my company practically every day was very second nature to me and now I suddenly have all this free time.

So is this it then for the Curve Young Company? No, not at all. In fact now it’s time for you to get involved. Curve will be looking to recruit actors, musical theatre performers and physical theatre performers in workshop auditions in early September so if you are interested, ring the Ticket Office on 0116 242 2595 or email experiencecurve@curvetheatre.co.uk 

Browse the Game Face production photos >>>

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Reflections on GAME FACE

Finally, after months of title changing, structure changing and script polishing, Curve Young Company’s Young Production group were finally ready to show the world their Game Face.

by Young Marketing Forum member, Priya

Inspired by the Olympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination and equality, and carrying the official Inspire mark of London 2012, Game Face explores the luck element of life, the quest of the underdog and the fate of the fallen star. The story follows a group of reporters trying to get an Olympic scoop but who don’t anticipate exactly how hard it will be to attain. Eventually, they’re drawn into the real life stores that emerge along their quest.

The reporters of GAME FACE
Photo by Pamela Raith

We’ve all read the press release and the information about the show on Curve’s website, all of which have basically said what I’ve just told you above. However, what does it all mean? That’s something that I couldn’t really get my head around when I was working with the Young Marketing Forum to promote the show. Was it going to be funny? Was it going to be serious? Was I going to have to opt to wear my waterproof mascara instead of my regular one? I really had no idea. Obviously I knew enough about the show to promote it, otherwise I’d be a bit of a rubbish marketer, but I was still in the dark about exactly what to expect from the show itself. In short, I wasn’t sure how the Young Productions were going to bring the Olympic values to life.

However, all the worrying was for nothing and they did such a great job with Game Face. It was performed in The Studio, which I think made the stories have more of an impact on the audience. For example, the lady next to me went from roaring with laughter one minute, to dabbing her eyes with a hanky the next. I just don’t think that would have happened if it was staged in The Theatre. I also really liked the fact that the seats were unassigned, so me, my mum and my sister managed to get some seriously enviable seats. “Best seats in the house” my mum said, and she was right. Another little detail that I noticed as soon as I walked in was the projector that was set up to play interviews with the great people of Leicester (I’m assuming) about the Olympics coming to London. Although, there were some strange responses in the mix, but they did make everyone giggle.

The show itself started with the members of the Young Productions running on stage, which was so loud that it kind of startled me. I think that had something to do with the fact that I was talking to the lady sitting next to me – the one with the hanky – about David Beckham and the Olympic football team.

GAME FACE designs by Emma Kesterton
Photo by Pamela Raith

One thing about the show that I really liked was the way that it was staged; it was so versatile and flowed really well if that makes sense. I’m so glad that the Young Productions decided to set the show in Leicester because it was nice to see their take on Leicester locals’ mannerisms and on well-loved places such as Leicester market.

In terms of performances, overall I think the group were so good and that they all worked extremely well together. The performers that stood out for me though were the guy who played the Scottish journalist because, I don’t know if he’s actually Scottish, but he did an amazing accent – and it was consistent! I also really liked the poor guy, who had me and my sister in hysterics all the way home. He was jokes! Oh, and how talented was the girl who was playing the piano (amongst other things). What a voice! To be perfectly honest, I could probably identify something I liked about most of the performers because they were really good and we were super impressed, yapping about the show all the way home.

It was fantastic to see just how much Game Face had developed from its origins as two separate plays with two separate titles. I’m so glad the group decided to work together instead of as the ‘younger’ and ‘older’ group, as I really feel that all the performers in the group complemented each other well.

Browse the Game Face production photos >>>

I can’t believe it’s all done and dusted, it’s bittersweet really. Before I round off this post, I just want to say a massive thank you to Lucy and Krupa for all their advice and guidance for the Young Marketing Forum this year. We hope we did you both (and everyone else involved) proud.

Good luck to all the Curve Young Company members with whatever they go on to do. Next year’s Curve Young Company have a tough act to follow, that’s for sure!

Priya 

Priya Mahida is a DMU Graduate, blogger and member of 2011/12 Young Marketing Forum, who worked to promote the Curve Young Company production, GAME FACE (5 – 7 July 2012).
@priyamahida

Did you see Game Face or were you involved in this year’s production? Let us know what you think below.

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A first look at GAME FACE

A first look at GAME FACE

PHOTOS: An explosive new production GAME FACE written, created and performed by CYC opens tonight! £5 tickets available for tonight & Saturday – show us your Game Face! #CYCGameFace photos by Pamela Raith

Game Face

Production photo by Pamela Raith

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The final stages of rehearsals for GAME FACE

Olivia Mae Foong is a member of Curve Young Productions and currently in rehearsals for the Curve Young Company show GAME FACE (5-7 July).

Missed me?

Incredibly sorry about the lack of updates.  As many of you are aware, exam period has just finished and I could not be any more relieved.

However, all of that couldn’t keep me away from you for long. Despite all the exams that our company have taken these past few weeks, rehearsals have been equally intense. With not long until technical week, we started our run throughs a few weeks ago and things are definitely looking good.

Let me fill you in on a few things that our company has been up to:

Photo by Hollis Photography

Our amazing band of Milly, Rae, George and Prash performed at the National Tourism Awards across the road at The Athena to represent the Curve. It was a 1930’s themed evening and they had to wear clothes from that era (Milly even had rollers in during the rehearsal beforehand). They impressed an audience of over 500 guests with a selected few pieces from Game Face and we couldn’t be more proud of them.We have a teaser for the show on Youtube – Check it out here and share it with your friends and family. It’s also being played everyday up until the show on the big screen in town!

We also have some more photos of us on the Curve Young Company Facebook page, some rehearsal photos this time from the amazing Emma Kesterton. I’ve had a few people ask me what we’re doing in some of them, but it’s gotten to this point where I’m not sure what I’m allowed to tell you or not! You’ll just have to come to see the show yourself.

Remember me telling you about how our company has gone newspaper crazy? Well today our Curve Young Technicians spent the day fireproofing around 600 sheets of newspaper for the show. Standard procedure for the Curve Young Company…

With technical week fast approaching, I’ll try my best to keep you all more updated!

Rehearsal photo by Emma Kesterton

Curve Young Company present
GAME FACE
5 – 7 July
Tickets £5
Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 /
http://www.curveonline.co.uk

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Is determination everything?

This month has been especially busy for the Digital and Online Team of the Young Marketing Forum, as this month we have prepared, cast and produced a trailer for the Curve Young production Game Face, assisting us with this task is aspiring photographer Briony Latter who helps us to bring our vision to life.

Online and Digital Team- Ricky and Victoria with Briony Latter. Photo courtesy of Jamil Teja. 

The concept for the trailer, was conceived from an inspiration image featuring a teenage girl holding a quote from author E.B. White, the initial quote did not fit the direction we were looking to pursue, but the expression, mood and feelings that the picture evoked were striking to members of the Marketing Forum, from this stimuli we wanted to create something that was simple, but allowed viewers to engage and recall relevant thoughts based on the questions we were asking – I guess you could say that the finished product, was designed to allow us all to interpret the questions in our own way, as after all we all see the world in a different way.

Does everyone have the same opportunities? Photo courtesy of Briony Latter. 

From the initial concept, we were able to meet the cast who I have to say were great fun to work with, so after watching short extracts from the rehearsals it was time to make a difficult decision, which members of the Young Company would represent the final 8 Olympic values that we wanted to show? We wanted to show the personalities of the Young Company, whilst still retaining the key values which we were trying to convey. And I have to say the list was changing right up until the final 8 were told that they would be featured in the campaign.

After casting was complete we had to finalise the 8 themes, and also the order we wanted to present them, one key thing to note here is that although some elements were planned, we wanted to keep it relaxed; but not too relaxed that it was chaos ;-).

Is determination everything? Photo courtesy of Briony Latter. 

Throughout our meetings Briony was able to see our thought process and also provide us with a technical prospective, we wanted our actors to convey the Olympic values through their screen time, and give the audience an opportunity to think about how the questions affect them in their everyday lives, and allow many different interpretations.

On the 8th May we agreed the layout, our young actors arrived- and then the transition from paper to reality began. We started by briefing the cast, and giving them an idea of the shots we wanted, as the video was reliant on still images, it was imperative that each shot was consistent with the previous, and blended seamlessly into the next, the shoot lasted just over 1 hour, and in that time over 600 still images were taken.

Between the main title shot, we wanted to add images of inspiration both from rehearsals, so that the audience can see the development of the piece. And also inspirational and metaphorical references, I cannot tell you specifically what each picture means, as that is for you to decide.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCBMRVblHOM%5D

I am glad that as a team, we were able to explore some of the values we were trying to convey, mostly that success starts with opportunity as the Communications Team at Curve, placed a lot of trust in us to create this teaser and gave us an opportunity to shine, but opportunity alone does not equal success, you have to work hard to achieve your goals and above all enjoy the journey.

Ricky

Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 / http://www.curveonline.co.uk

Are you part of the Game Face cast? Keep us updated with how rehearsals are going here and have a go at writing your own blog – get in touch with Lucy Pickering l.pickering@curvetheatre.co.uk to find out more.

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Curve Young Company present GAME FACE

Curve Young Company present GAME FACE

On your marks… Get set… GO!

Curve Young Company presents
GAME FACE

Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 July
Press Performance: Thursday 5 July

Curve Young Productions are a group of talented and adventurous young performers who create new and bold pieces of theatre. Following last year’s sell-out success 3AM, 2012’s group are devising a daring production, GAME FACE.

Inspired by the Olympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination and equality and carrying the official Inspire mark of London 2012, The story follows a group of reporters desperate to get an Olympic scoop, but the task proves harder than they first thought and they become drawn into the real stories that emerge.

This bold and original piece has been devised by a group of 29 young people in Leicester, under the guidance of the professional creative team at Curve. The young productions members (aged 12-26) have explored what the Games mean to the country, to Leicester and to individuals. The company have taken real-life stories framed in their ideas to create a fresh piece of drama for Curve’s Studio.

Follow our intrepid reporters searching for their next scoop as they uncover the true meaning of the Olympics. Game Face explores real-life stories through humour, physical theatre and on stage live music composed for the show by members of the company.

The production will have an original soundtrack is provided by a live band of CYC members:
Music, Lyrics, Piano and Vocals: Milly Bianchini
Bass and Guitar: George Hartop
Percussion and Piano: Rae Laverick
Guitar: Prash Gor

The production brings together all 50+ members of Curve Young Company on one project. The performers are working with an emerging playwright, Louise Singleton to devise the script. The staging of the productions will be realised by a young designer and a team of young technicians. A group of young workshop leaders will lead learning activities and the show will be promoted by Curve’s young marketing forum.

Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 / http://www.curveonline.co.uk

Are you part of the Game Face cast? Keep us updated with how rehearsals are going here and have a go at writing your own blog – get in touch with Lucy Pickering l.pickering@curvetheatre.co.uk to find out more.

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CYC Game Face rehearsals: music, photos and more scenes blocked

Olivia gives an update on this week’s Game Face rehearsals

Remember what I said last week about us having so much more? Well, another scene was blocked tonight! There’s nothing greater than it being 9:15pm and the whole ensemble performing a very emotional scene, with no major mistakes, which we’ve spent two rehearsals working on.

The company has been newspaper crazy for the past few days in rehearsals. I can guarantee that if you handed a cast member of Game Face a sheet of newspaper, they’ll either triumphantly start making some origami or break down in sheer confusion.

We also had a cast photo shoot today. It’s not easy to fit a twenty-odd cast into one photo, let me tell you, but from what I’ve seen, the photos are looking really good! Special thanks to Ricky, Vicky and the Marketing Forum for creating that!

Curve Young Productions, photo by Briony Latter

Perhaps the main highlight of the evening was the preview of the Game Face band’s music. We had a taste of Milly Bianchini’s musical genius last year in 3am and she’s back with some absolutely amazing new work. Such a beautiful piece we’ve listened to and I can say, on behalf of the cast, that we all feel truly honoured to be working with such talented musicians.

Even if you don’t like theatre, which would be odd as to why you’re reading this in the first place, I’d still say that you should get tickets just to hear the great music.

But if you are one of the sane people that have already bought their ticket, you should go and join the Facebook event page and jump in all the talk on Twitter using the hash tag #CYCGameFace

Olivia Mae Foong is a member of Curve Young Productions and currently in rehearsals for the Curve Young Company show GAME FACE (5-7 July).

Tickets and information: 0116 242 3595 / book online

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Game Face – early rehearsals

You know what’s great about falling flat on your face? Nothing really. But after that happens to you, nothing else can really go wrong.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, it’s because someone, namely me, got a bit too adventurous in today’s rehearsal when performing lifts for Game Face ’s opening scene and my first try of the evening went horribly wrong and ended up with me face down in Rehearsal Room 3. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you heard loud banging, shouting, screaming, a bit of ambient music and the occasional shout of pain; it was probably Curve Young Productions.

Today’s rehearsal was great though. With the actors, technicians and marketing team coming tgether, there’s definitely a strong sense of Curve Young Company in the building. It’s amazing to see short scenes and exercises that we’ve been working on since October, where we’d wonder “Why are we doing this? What’s our director up to?!” suddenly turn into a piece of theatre and guess what? We still have so much more to go.

Curve Young Productions rehearsals, photo by Emma

I know this is the first rehearsal blog post for Game Face, but I won’t get into too many details (just yet!) on what it’s about. Check the website yourself. Whilst you’re at it, you can book your tickets for the show too! After the success of ‘3am’ last year, tickets are guaranteed to sell out fast.Olivia Mae Foong is a member of Curve Young Productions and currently in rehearsals for the Curve Young Company show GAME FACE (5-7 July).

Tickets and information: 0116 242 3595 / book online

 

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