Another year coming to an end

Well, I have not been very good keeping this up to date have I?

I have been busy with some films (short and feature), doing stage and improvised work. I have worked with some extremely talented people.

I’m currently appearing as Kris Kringle at the Old Joint Stock in Birmingham in the production “Miracle on 34th Street – A Musical Radio Play”. What a talented group. I managed to do a cameo role for a day on the Polar Express Experience out of Moor Street with the old crew. I love working with those guys. Feeling very lucky.

I’m working at the Birmingham Rep on an Upstart Theatre Production called “Beneath the City” which will be on stage in January.

All my very best to everyone for Christmas and the New Year. I get the feeling we are going to need all the luck we can get.


Another week of auditions & Line Learning

Don’t you find it a bit irritating well people tell you that you don’t do anything all day. Whether its for filming or stage, you just turn up and do it. Grrrrrr. There’s no preparation, is there?

Well this week it’s been more about looking at roles and applying. Well, not totally.

Got to see the trailer of the Documentary I am involved with “It takes a village”. It’s about a couple Keith & Hillary Walker who set up a charity and school in Gambia. Really an inspirational couple. More filming for that in February/March.

Got my script for a short film about a man with dementia. I admit, I cry as I’m trying to practice my lines. Have to keep going over the lines so that I can control my emotions when filming. “So hard, you know” (That’s a line).

Prep work for two auditions and off to see Tom Hendryk in Brick Lane ’78. A far cry from working with him in the Polar Express.

So looking forward to another busy week. Love what you do everyone.

2019 A New Year

Well I’m finally getting round to commenting on the New Year. The Polar Express was an absolute pleasure to be part of. Such a talented group of people. To be part of a production that is acclaimed both critically and by the audience is always a pleasure. OK I ended with the flu but that’s another story.

A new term at Birmingham Rep has started with an end of year show in “The Studio” called “Scenes from a Brummie Iliad”. This is going to be fun.

Also had a request from the Sakespeare Birthplace Trust to resurrect my role as Rev Francis Gastrell, but this time it will be set as a trial with the staff and visitors being the jury!!! So Easter will be busy

The Polar Express

Well, we only have 17 shows of the 68 shows and two preview runs left. It has been a ball. What a talented bunch of performers.

The feedback from the show has been incredible. Of course with 300 people per show (that all the train seats we have) we won’t please absolutely everyone. I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to say that, but the comments I have received have been great.

The look on their faces when “The Conductor” punches their tickets have been priceless. They see the like my backstory for The Conductor as well!

It has been a lot of hours and all I want to do is sleep either side of the show. But it will all be over on 23rd December.

I raise my hat and a drink to a fantastic group of performers and to the concept developed by Chris Brookes and Tom Hendryk.

I am so looking forward to working with you guys in the future.

Getting Cold

The weather is changing and it is getting cooler.  It’s like a switch where everything seems to start slowing down. To fight it, I start looking for things to start warming things up. So I have just had a quick trip up to Yorkshire for a workshop. Met some really nice people. Always find it a little intimidating though when lots of people know everyone else and you are the odd one out. Trying to find a conversation you can fit in with, without looking like an idiot. I always enjoy coming up to Yorkshire.

Got a part in a feature film to be made in 2019. Really enjoyed reading the current draft. My first question was, when can I tell people about the film? Not yet, it appears. It’s like being shown a wrapped present being told, you can open it when the time comes, but I’m not saying when that is.

Back to the Midlands today. more networking. More, researching for my day job. Planning my research trip for my play.

Happy Monday everyone.

Screen Combat training – What a blast

Already enjoying my workshops with Pocket Pictures Ltd and strengthening my skills with a fantastic mentor Mark Todd.  Another new skill.

Yesterday I attended StageFight’s Foundation StageFight‘s ECSPC Screen Combat Training. Not that I am likely to get cast as a combatant (age dear people, age). I think learning key skills from Fight Co-ordinator experts will just help me be a better actor.

What a great day. Yes I was the oldest, but it didn’t stop me from keeping up with everyone. So looking forward to seeing the results. I recommend this to anyone who wants to act in drama. Even if it’s only to gain even more respect for the Fight Director (thanks to Raph Aldis for a great day) and his team’s work. They are complete professionals as are we actors. I’ve always admired the work of Fight experts and stunt experts. That admiration has gone up a notch.

I’m looking forward to my Firearms training next month.

Now it’s September

Well it has been a great month. My time at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has come to an end. I must say I have enjoyed it all. Even the rainy day (yes day, as in singular). I really enjoy that immersive, improvised acting.

The play “The King Factor” came and went. I hope to resurrect the role with my cohorts. There’s a lot of talent there.

Filming for “Music Speaks” has come to an end but there was a reshoot day for a couple of scenes. This meant that just as my beard was coming back I had to be clean shaven again. Starting to get back to normal now though.

So now it’s back to “resting” and looking for my next challenge but I do have my training workshops for voice, screen combat and scree firearms training to look forward too over the next two months.

Stay busy everyone.


The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Well it has been a while since my last blog. Really enjoying the improvisation work for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, debating about why I, the Reverend Francis Gastrell is made out to be a villain by the people of Stratford Upon Avon. I do not always succeed in defending my reputation and show that I am a victim of “alternative facts” and “fake news” but I do make a good case. Unfortunately the story is very different during the week when I am not there.

Gastrell on Trial

Been really having fun researching the Rev. Francis Gastrell, the real life character who is not fondly remembered in Stratford upon Avon as he is recorded as the man who knocked down Shakespeare’s house (not true) and the man who cut down Shakespeare’s Mulberry tree. Now that is an interesting story.

The standard of knowledge at The Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust is phenomenal and I am enjoying being a member of the team debating the personage of Rev Francis Gastrell.

I believe his reputation has been maligned in the area over time and I hope to do him justice in giving context to his actions and being.

The Rev. Gastrell is at New Place on Saturdays and Sundays for the Summer and with the hope of persuading people that his Stratfordian reputation does not represent the whole man.

Vestments for Francis Gastrell

Well, to start with the system seems to have lost a blog I did yesterday! Never mind.

Today is a typical day for an actor (as was the weekend) searching for suitable roles ad putting out feelers to my suitability. Waiting to hear back on 3. That is always the hard bit, when you know you are under consideration, you know that the dates shouldn’t clash, you know sods law says you get none OR more than one with the dates moved so they do clash. We’ll wait and see.

Quick trip to Bristol today to check that my priest’s costume fits. It does, so that’s good. But I do need to diet. How many times have you read that!

Back to checking the diary. Living the dream.