BSC Address

Monday, November 20, 2006


We returned today after a fantastic week in Malta. This was the hat-trick we all hoped for, following COLLISION and THE RETURN - and GEORGE'S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE was to be the first professional show for children ever staged in Malta. It sold out!

More importantly, the reaction was amazing. We've been producing GEORGE since 1995 (the only show we've ever wanted to repeat) and this was possibly the best reaction the show has ever generated. Granted it had a star cast (!) but the response was astonishing.

It also reminded me just how much an audience can contribute to a production. A great audience encourages the actors to perform at their very best and the performances on Saturday were as good they get. It also becomes a genuinely communal experience, where the audience and actors are working together in synergy. We all knew that we had experienced perfect theatre.

The fact that we should experience this in the oldest working theatre in Europe was particularly gratifying. Originally built as an opera house, it has six layers in the auditorium and you could see layer upon layer overflowing with eager and enthusiastic people.

If you add sea, sights, sun and spaghetti, you have a pretty special week!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Round up!

It was confirmed this week that PROOF will be going to The Arts Theatre in the West End in February for four weeks. So anyone interested should put 20 Feburary in their diaries. We are still receiving great feedback from the show's run in Birmingham so we're very excited about the run in London.

Rehearsals start next week for GEORGE'S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE which is going to Malta for a week and we've just started auditions for HORRIBLE HISTORIES which begins in January. Meanwhile preparations are underway for a major production of HORRIBLE SCIENCE, which I didn't think would be my cup of tea, as science was never my favourite subject, but I've got a feeling it could be a very exciting project. As ever, children's theatre gives you a chance to go bonkers, and that has always appealed to me!

KENSUKE'S KINGDOM and DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD are going amazingly well. The feedback is tremendous for both shows and they are selling well for their respective Christmas runs in London and Birmingham. I think KK in London will be a sell-out.

There's a debate at The National late November about censorship in theatre following BEHZTI and JERRY SPRINGER. My view is that people are trying to shut the stable door long after the horse has bolted. The men of violence won in Birmingham; the extremists succeeded in destorying JERRY SPRINGER. Whoever has to face the mob next time round is going to face incredible obstacles because of the failure of the theatre profession to stand up for freedom in the past. They took it for granted and now we are paying the price for their nonchalance. I say 'they' because I was appalled at the posturing of some of the leaders of our profession at the time of BEHZTI. It wasn't inspiring.

However, if we follow the advice of Peter Sellers, there is hope in confronting complicated issues if the right work is done in advance. Let's hope people take a leaf out of his book.