Category: 5. Blackfriars Stories (Oct 2014)

16
Sep

Introducing: playwright John Hamilton May

In the run up to ANOTHER DAY, we’ve been introducing the playwrights involved, and we are thrilled to welcome John Hamilton May back to the team.

John, we first met last year at Tiny Dog’s new writing festival, and it was a rather odd introduction as we recall…

I had written a monologue to be performed at Theatre Breaks JHMay Headshot Blackfriars Another Day(alongside fellow Another Day playwright Lucy Beacon’s fantastic piece, Rostov) and met Sooz and Patrick backstage. They approached me and asked if they could speak to the writer of my piece, as a last minute illness meant I had to perform the monologue myself. I told them it was me, and well – we’ve been talking ever since! They’re such a supportive and nurturing team, who care a lot about the work they produce. You could sense that from first meeting them.

You’re making us blush! The moment that you owned up to be the playwright as well as the star, we knew straight away that we wanted to work with you. So what have you been up to since then?
Since… well, it’s all been a bit mental since. I’ve been signed, been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, and had work performed at the Roundhouse, Ovalhouse and any other shaped house you like, Contact Manchester, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Tron Theatre. I’ve also had my play Love in the Past Participle translated into Spanish, and hope to visit for the premiere (and a significant amount of churros) in March 2015.

And those who attended THE INSTALLATION, in November 2013 will have seen the play that you wrote for our site specific production at Hide Gallery; Seventeen Thousand, Five Hundred and Then Some. Now you’re back and writing another commissioned play for ANOTHER DAY!

I have something to admit though – I’m not a Southwark resident. I’ve never worked there or have family there. I’m not even going to pretend my bus goes through there because in fact I am an infiltrator. I live in the North, however, have made numerous rekkies to the area in an attempt to get a feel for its personality. I was immediately drawn to Chirst Church. Half a garage, half a house of God. I knew straight away that’s what I had to write a play about.

We’ve read your drafts, and it’s clear that you’ve taken the time to get to know the concerns of people in the area.

Whilst my knowledge of Blackfriars at the moment is limited to the great recommendations of others (e.g. the bars under the floral canopy of Isabella Street, or the Thai food stall outside The Windmill pub on The Cut), I’m looking forward to spending more time there during the run and speaking to residents and audience members.

So tell us a bit more about you as a playwright.

I’ve been writing, on and off, for seven years now. I haven’t always wanted to be a writer, and honestly, sometimes I question whether I want to be one now. Wouldn’t life be so much easier as an accountant? Or an estate agent perhaps? Something that didn’t include gutting out your soul onto a Macbook (because we’re too pretentious to use pen and paper) and bare it before critics. And by critics I mean my mother. Who “quite liked it just wishes you wouldn’t swear so much”.

Ha! Families are always the worst critics! But assuming that you don’t take up accountancy in the near future…?

I mainly write plays, but have a penchant for mogologues and poetic writing. I like to look at small, tiny heartbreaking situations and characters. The normal life. That’s what’s most interesting to me. I’m doing some work for the radio at the moment and also edging into spoken word too. The BBC commission, The Jumble Male, is my next big project, and is a ‘multidisciplinary piece’ that aims to ‘explore the current crisis in masculinity’. In reality, it’s me talking about being a 23-year old boy. Not a man, a boy.

And what is it that inspires you to open your Macbook and start typing?

I’m a magpie when it comes to writing. I pick bits up everywhere – from people on the street, the newspapers, accidentally from other writers sometimes… and keep them all on sticky notes on the computer. It takes a lot to get me to actually start writing (as Patrick and Sooz know now!) as my ‘proper job’ is pretty hectic too. Stuff normally comes out how I want it, just in need of some cinching and polishing, and this is where having Patrick as dramaturg has been particularly useful. I don’t have any writing rituals, although I can’t deal with mess when I’m working, and it helps to have a cup of tea to hand.

Any other tips?

I’ve trained both as part of my degree and on various playwriting groups (at the Soho most recently) and to be honest, the most prevelant piece of advice is JUST WRITE. Do not worry about quality or quantity or anything it all. “Don’t get it right, get it written” – James Thurber.

 

John Hamilton May has written ‘Beautiful, Beating’ as part of ANOTHER DAY.
Keep up to date with John’s work on Twitter: @jhm91
Or on his website: www.johnhamiltonmay.com

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15
Sep

Introducing: playwright Aysha Scott

As October approaches, and we prepare for the start of ANOTHER DAY, we continue to introduce the playwrights involved. Today it’s the turn of London South Bank University BA (Hons) Creative Writing graduate, Aysha Scott.

Aysha, you have just recently completed your undergraduate degree in Creative Writing – did you always want to be a playwright?

Aysha Scott Another Day Blackfriars headshot playwrightEver since a young age I had the desire to be a writer. In my early writing practice I discovered a love for poetry and later went on to pen two poetry collections Life and Words from a Woman’s Heart. In my early twenties I expanded on my passion for writing and went on to pursue a career in acting; I trained at the Anna Scher Theatre School and was lucky enough to secure varied acting roles in TV/Film and Theatre. Some of the productions included a feature role in Breach webseries, ITV Daybreak Promo, Actimel Danone Campaign, DAARSAT commercial and Oliver Twist theatre production to name a few.

So what was the deciding factor in choosing between writing and performing?

After having my son a few years later and being tired of the typecast and limited roles for black actors I diverted back to my writing career. This time using my knowledge and skills obtained in the industry to become a scriptwriter specialising in hard hitting urban, message-based dramas in TV, Film and Theatre productions.

I met Friend of a Friend during my final year at university. Patrick and Susanna came along to one of our lectures to chat to us about the opportunity to be a part of Another Day and I was delighted when the team welcomed me on board.

ANOTHER DAY is deeply rooted in people’s experiences of SE1 and the area surrounding the Blackfriars Road, tell us about your experiences.

Studying at London South Bank University for three years I regularly commuted to Elephant and Castle. I would often explore the surrounding areas such as South Bank, Blackfriars and Waterloo and visited tourist attractions such as The Shard and London Eye. I found them both to be invigorating experiences and I was able to view the London from a panoramic view. It gave me a new perspective of the vibrant city that we often miss when on our daily travels.

And so what’s next for you?

I have co-wrote and currently producing a short film called RESIDENTIAL, based on the tragic consequences of gangland street life and crime. On completion of Residential I am seeking to produce my feature screenplay ABSENT, based on the psychological effects of absent and single parenting. I am also hoping to secure a working title as a Development Executive to further expand on my professional experience and writing career. Since graduating from university with a 2.1 Honours in Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, I have been awarded the Course Directors’ prize for Creative Writing.

Congratulations, Aysha! That’s a fantastic achievement, and we’re delighted to have you on board.

To keep in touch with Aysha’s work, you can follow her on Twitter: @ayshascott
Or check out her short films on Youtube: www.youtube.con/user/Aysha123

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13
Sep

Promo shoot for Another Day

You may have spotted team AFOAF milling about Blackfriars yesterday. We have teamed up with Roo London to capture the essence of this vibrant area as part of Another Day, and with the help of photographer Rachel Burnham, we reckon we’ve captured Blackfriars at its best.

Keep a look out for a preview of our fantastic poster image in the coming weeks.

image image

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10
Sep

Auditions and Recalls for Another Day

On 24 and 25th September we will continue with the second round of auditions for Another Day. We saw some fantastic actors last month, but due to some difficulties with the Casting Call Pro messaging service, we weren’t able to see everytone that we wanted to. So now there is another opportunity for actors to attend our casting sessions.

 

You can apply and book your audition slot via the CCP listing: http://www.castingcallpro.com/uk/job_view.php?uid=234539

 

 
In the meantime, check out this video of some of the greatest actors’ auditions. We love this reminder that everyone starts somewhere. And for performers, that somewhere is usually in the audition room…

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01
Aug

Open Call: Auditions

We are holding auditions this week for Another Day, our site specific promenade performance.

The character details are on Casting Call Pro, so log in and check them out. It’s a paid job despite the admin error on the listing….. We’re working on getting this corrected!

Check out the ad and show your interest; we’re looking for warm, talented actors to welcome to the A Friend of a Friend fold!

http://m.castingcallpro.com/uk/job_view.php?uid=234539

Another Day will be performed in Blackfriars on 20-22 and 26-29 October 2014.

ANOTHER DAY blob

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