Free kids drama workshops during half term!

Raynes Park High School Workshop

We’re excited to offer drama workshops for young people aged 8-12 in libraries this half term to inspire them in the magic of storytelling.

As part of our current libraries project which has included performances of David Mamet’s Reunion and Dark Pony after hours in six atmospheric South London libraries, we are now offering free drama workshops for young people in three libraries this half term. With fun drama games and exercises to develop their writing, acting and storytelling, we aim to excite young people about bringing stories to life and creating new stories.

  • FREE for 8-12 year olds
  • Max 20 participants

The workshops are led by two DBS checked workshop leaders including Artistic Director Joanna Turner, who is an experienced theatre and opera director having worked at the Young Vic Theatre, Opera North, Shakespeare’s Globe and New York City Opera and colleague Lucy Bishop who has co-founded two theatre companies; award-winning physical theatre company The Outbound Project and comedy/clowning company The Bishop Sisters.

Please register in advance! You’ll receive a confirmation email when your place is reserved. Any questions please email Artistic Director Joanna Turner at: [email protected]

 
 
Thu 26th Oct
10.30am-12noon
 
Register here

Ex-alcoholic fathers and Indian braves

Reunion & Dark Pony Rehearsal

We’ve had an exciting start to rehearsals for our David Mamet libraries production! David Schaal, Siu-see Hung and myself have been detectives searching through the incredible detail of the history of the characters’ lives in Reunion. Bernie and Carol have not seen each other in 20 years since he left her and her mother when she was a child, and this first meeting of trying to work out if they can have a relationship in the future brings up so much detail from their past lives, sometimes painful, sometimes funny, often moving, and always intriguing. There’s so much detail to sift through and we’ve had our lists of facts about the characters’ past lives and the questions where we’ve had to work things out to make sense of their past or make up our own detail to create a fully rounded backstory for the actors. David Mamet has put so much detail into the lives of these two characters – Bernie, ex-alcoholic, ex-tail gunner in the war, and lineman on the Cape outside Boston, Massachusetts and his daughter Carol, whose relationship with her mother, with her new older husband Gerry and his two children from his previous marriage, that it is a joy to work through it all in rehearsals to bring these characters fully alive to you in performance. We also have to work out what the characters want at each moment – what their intentions are – and how these intentions towards each other change at various points in the play. Read more

We have a Winner!

Congratulations to ‘Tessa Newby’ for winning two tickets to Reunion & Dark Pony. We asked people to sign up to our newsletter over the summer and during our last production ‘Cosi Fan Tutte‘ and Tessa was the lucky name out of the hat!

Reunion & Dark Pony is on between 9th – 15th Oct. Reunion tells a story about an ex-alcoholic father, reconciling with his daughter for the first time in 20 years. In Dark Pony a father tells his child a magical fairy tale about the friendship between an Indian Brave and his Dark Pony.

 

Aged 16-25 & based in South London?

Do you want a sneak peek into rehearsals?

Do you want to be involved in a professional theatre production?

Are you interested in learning about acting, directing, theatre design, stage management or box office? Then come join our fun team! We are looking for reliable, enthusiastic volunteers with an interest in theatre and libraries to help us create Reunion and Dark Pony for site-specific performances in six different libraries across South London.

No experience is necessary as all training will be provided. We’d ask you to help us at least one performance during 9th – 15th October when we’d cover your travel expenses. And you’d be invited to come to rehearsals during the week commencing 2nd October to see how our actors, director and designer bring the plays to life and to meet for a chat with our Artistic Director to discuss how we can advise you on your future goals.

Travel expenses will be covered.

To find out further details please contact Artistic Director Joanna Turner:

 

 

Announcing the cast of Reunion & Dark Pony

Find out more…

We are excited to announce our cast for Reunion & Dark Pony by David Mamet. These two short plays of David Mamet’s early work are about father and daughter relationships. Reunion realistically observes a meeting between an estranged father and daughter who have not seen each other in years, while Dark Pony playfully explores a father telling his child a magical story. Performing these plays in beautiful library spaces across South London

David Schaal’s many TV credits include The Inbetweeners and The Office, while theatre credits include Rabbits (Park Theatre) and A Steady Rain (Arcola Theatre). Siu-see Hung rejoins Baseless Fabric following her involvement in their production of A First Class Death for VAULT Festival. Other recent credits include Chinglish (Park Theatre) and I Wish To Die Singing (Finborough).

Book Now

Read more

Designing a production for six libraries across South London

Clapham Library

Clapham Library

So our design process for Reunion and Dark Pony is well underway! Our exciting Set & Costume designer Bex Kemp and I have started the process of thinking about how you design these plays for six different libraries! Read more about Bex’s previous work here.

We’ve been reading and discussing the plays, pulling out things we think are interesting and possibly useful to think about as well as visiting all of the libraries together. Each library is quite different so the plays will be a different experience in each library, each with its own problems to be solved and exciting, beautiful or unique elements to make the most of. We need to work out how the plays can work best in each of the six libraries to make the most of each individual space as well as telling the stories of these two plays as best as we can. Read more

Transforming sleek city bankers to grungey surfers…

Wig used in the show – pre-transformation

-So, this is for you? 

The man in the wig shop was gesturing for me to try on the brunette wig he was holding in his hands.

-Oh no, it’s actually for a man, the director Joanna pitched in.

-For a man? Is he dressing up as a lady? Said the bemused wig vendor.

Joanna smiled and explained that she is putting on a new adaptation of Cosi Fan Tutte and in this version, our two suitors, Ferrando and Guglielmo –are city bankers dressing up as grungey surfers to seduce their unsuspecting girlfriends to win a bet. The wigs are a part of the costume our bankers don to deceive their supposedly faithful girlfriends. Of course, our bankers are betting that they will fail and their girlfriends will remain as faithful as they believe them to be, but who can resist a rough but charming surfer? Especially with that hair! Read more

For the love of libraries….

As Mamet plays in libraries is a bit different to opera on the high street, we thought perhaps you might be interested to hear a bit more about our forthcoming production of Reunion and Dark Pony and why it’s taking place in libraries across South London.

Firstly, we aim to present one opera and one theatre production a year. Last year it was street opera Drifting Dragons and digital promenade theatre piece A Secret Life, which took the audience on a journey round the streets and ended up for a scene in the wonderful Mason’s Arms pub. Both of those projects were new pieces based on local people’s stories and inspired by the many local people across Merton and Wandsworth we spoke to about their memories.

This year we have left new stories to re-discover old ones and present them in unusual public places. You don’t often hear Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in the pub or the supermarket do you? But you do with us! So we wanted this year’s theatre production to also be a classic in an unexpected place.

Read more

5 Star Review & OffWestEnd Award Nomination

We have been overwhelmed and delighted by everyone’s super positive responses to our Cosi Fan Tutte Street Opera!

Firstly, we are so excited to have been nominated for the Offies Best Opera Production award by OffWestEnd.com after one of their assessors saw our Morden performance. The nominations continue over the year with the 2017 winners announced early 2018 – so keep your fingers crossed and watch this space!!

And we couldn’t be more thrilled by our 5 and 4 star reviews from Operissima and LondonTheatre1 respectively. You can read the full reviews at the links below or check out the Cosi Fan Tutte page for some of the quotations we’ve picked out. Read more