There and Back Again

I haven’t blogged for ages. 2017 was a funny old year: lots of great things, lots of travelling and lots of getting used to quite a new way of life on many fronts. It definitely deserves recording, though, so here, belatedly, is a photographic review of ELART and other projects that happened. As always, thanks so much to anyone who was involved in any way. Productions/events pictured below include projects with Kendal Community Theatre (one of which involved recording a radio play in a bathroom!); Lancaster Fun Palace; all-female Shakespeare in Stratford; more Shakespeare in a big top circus tent in a park in Rotherham with a cast of well over 100 children and, finally, in December, a sell-out Christmas show in Lancaster Castle.

2018 projects have already begun. I’m looking forward to more Kendal Community Theatre – planning for their July festival celebrating women’s suffrage “The Trouble With Women” – and also to more Shakespeare and other writers/projects out and about. First, on March 3rd, comes a rehearsed reading of some Aristophanes – the opening of “The Assemblywomen” – all about what happens when women try to gain political power. It’s approximately 2.5 thousand years old and still all-too-sharp and relevant… Exciting things ahead, then.

More soon.

elaru xx

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The Dell, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon!

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ELART top left - directly under RSC logo!

ELART top left – directly under RSC logo!

It’s been a very exciting weekend, with yesterday – our day in The Dell –  amazingly exceeding expectations (and my expectations had been high!). The weather was incredibly kind, and the audiences for both shows were large and appreciative.

There were many highlights and simply watching the cast perform with skill and energy, clearly charming and engaging the crowd, was a fantastic experience – one of my very best theatre experiences ever. I could hardly believe where we were – performing Shakespeare in Stratford under the auspices of the RSC. Wow!

Neither show ran without a hitch (when do they ever?!); indeed, a handful of lines were dropped (no prompting, just very quick recoveries); one witch’s speech was inadvertently cut; and the chorus boy actor’s balloon boobs blew away in the second show (don’t ask!). But none of these things affected the way the shows came across and the lovely, helpful and friendly RSC team told us audience feedback was great. Several audience members went out of their way to tell us themselves – a couple as we were sunning ourselves in the beer garden with our post-show pints!  A number of them also asked about our crowdfunding (link – just in case anyone hasn’t seen it: http://www.sponsume.com/project/elart-productions) and clearly would like to support our future work. It felt great to make new friends!

Another highlight, though, was the support of old friends – ELART regulars: my mum and cousin travelled to see the show as did some family members of  some of the actors, and I had a lovely surprise when a school friend of mine suddenly appeared in The Dell before the second show; I had had no idea she intended to be there!

Additionally, I (and I’m sure my cast) learned an enormous amount from the experience. I’m not particularly experienced with outdoor theatre, and certainly getting into a brand new outdoor space less than 2 hours before a show is a challenge to say the least. It was a real privilege to learn  in such a wonderful setting.

Finally for now, thank you so much to any of my cast who read this: I’ve loved working with you and look forward to doing so again. I hope all the other companies performing in Stratford this summer have as good a time as we did, and I will certainly be applying to The Dell again in the future…

Whew!

elaru xx