Tag: theatre

06
Oct

The next big thing

The Generation of Z

The Generation of Z

The down time of Summer 2015 has granted us here at AFOAF HQ with an opportunity to look ourtward and experience theatre without the pressure of looming production deadlines. As supporters and aficionados of new work, we have watched, and indeed taken part in, a wide variety of performances this year, ranging from the small and intimate, to the grand scale epics. We’ve seen everything from Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre and McQueen at Theatre Royal Haymarket, to The Generation of Z, the immersive post apocalyptic zombie experience at a dingy warehouse in East London, to Secret Cinema’s The Empire Strikes Back, short play festivals at Waterloo’s Vaults and the Lost Theatre, and comedy gems like Flick and Julie: Pop Up Penny Pinchers at Leicester Square Theatre. We even ventured into Russian theatre with Pavel Pryazhko’s flirtatious and fruity The Harvest, as translated by Sasha Dugdale for Soho Theatre.

The point is, we’ve had a busy summer. A busy, inspiring and invigorating summer. We’ve cheered on writers and actors from our previous productions and celebrated their successes with every curtain call.

So what have we learnt?

Ushers the Musical

Ushers the Musical

2015 has seen a fascinating climate for the Arts. New Musical theatre continues to struggle and excel in a teetering balance (we’re talking the likes of Made in Dagenham vs. Sunny Afternoon) whilst the success of new plays has raised the new battleground of gender imbalance (the summer has been generously dusted with articles quetioning this theme, find a few of them here) . Theatreland can be a fickle place, and for every boundary that is breached, a new horizon is sought out. Site specific and immersive theatre companies have been creeping to the forefront of the public eye in the last few years, with Punchdrunk’s incredible The Drowned Man and Secret Cinema’s Shawshank Redemption serving to permanently alter how audiences interact with the art form. Expectations have been raised, and the minds have been opened. The possibilities are limitless; in Ushers, the front of house staff sell you programmes, show you to your seats, and then burst into song, seamlessly blending reality and crushing the fourth wall. Last year, The Jetty in Greenwich hosted Shunt’s surreal The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face and returned this summer with Heartbreak Hotel, a show that continued the trend of luring audiences away from the safety of a proscenium setting, begging the question, “If audiences are comfortable with being taken out of their comfort zones, then what’s next?”

When Theatre Delicatessen and diferencEngine invited groups of eight to pull off a Heist, the result was a sell-out run and an outcry for more tickets. When You Me Bum Bum Train confirmed their return to London, the frantic demand for tickets crashed the servers, proving that audiences don’t even feel the need for ‘safety in numbers’ and are keen to literally dive into the unknown and go it alone.

 

As 2015 draws to a close, we continue to wonder what the next big thing will be. In what direction will the boundaries be pushed in 2016?

We might have had a glimpse of this courtesy of The Showstoppers, who are two weeks into their run of The Improvised Musical at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. Now that audiences have acclimatised to becoming a part of the cast, the next frontier seems to be the “Choose Your Own Adventure” of theatre, where we cease to be participants but instead blur the lines between creator and spectator. Delirious with power, the audience is captivated by the undeniably talented cast. And best yet, for two hours straight, not one person feels the need to play on their phone and check their social network feeds (an achievement that should not be taken lightly, as even Cumberbatch will agree).

We’re eager to know what you think, what’s the next big thing in theatre?

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10
Mar

Welcome back John Hamilton May

Playwright John Hamilton May is the

winner of the BBC Verb New Voices Award, and was recently shortlisted for BBC
Opening Lines and the Perfect Pitch Award, marking him as One to Watch in the future of new writing. His honest
and powerful work has been performed internationally, inspiring audiences around the country and the world. His play, Love in the Past Participle marks his fourth collaboration with AFOAF.

You can read our interview with him from last year’s Blackfriars Stories project here: http://www.afriendofafriendproductions.org/blackfriars-johnhamiltonmay/ 

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20
Jan

Calling all SE1 Playwrights

We’re keen to kick off 2015, and are placing an open call for playwrights living in SE1 on and around Blackfriars Road to send in your short plays for our upcoming Summer performance. There is no set theme, although we are particularly keen on reading plays inspired by the neighbourhood and the theme of street life.

Have you written a short play that takes place in or is inspired by your area? Or has an idea worm been nagging at you and insisting that you pen it down? We want to hear from you!

Get involved  / / Find out more

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06
Jan

Miss Another Day?

Has it really been three months? If you missed Another Day, or if you simply miss it like we miss our gorgeous cast and the plush room 101, then you can soak yourself in nostalgia courtesy of Luc Gauthier, creator of the Another Day film.

Watch it, share it, and remember, “you don’t build a community, you ARE a community….”

 

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01
Jan

AFOAF International: Canada Masterclass

That’s right, it’s 2015 and AFOAF is going international! Calling all Canada-dwellers, on 4th January Resident Director Patrick Maubert will be leading a one-off MT masterclass that you won’t want to miss:

Join Patrick Maubert and Anne Marie Murphy as they explore the art of acting through song. Modelled after A Friend of a Friend Productions’ Musical Theatre #FromScratch platform, this master class will further explore truthful reacting through singing as well as exercises looking at scene to song techniques. Emphasis is placed on the student’s ability to connect with a scene partner through text-based exercises and techniques regardless of their experience level. Everyone works at their own pace in a safe and nursing environment.
The final portion of the masterclass will give an opportunity for solo workshop in an audience setting. Please prepare a song of your choice with appropriate sheet music for piano. This is not mandatory but highly encouraged.
Students will learn many fundamentals through peer observation.

Whether you are novice or budding Broadway star, Patrick Maubert and Anne Marie Murphy’s advanced Acting Through Song Master Class is sure to be a beneficial and FUN afternoon.

Only a limited number of slots available.
Pre-booking rate $45.00
Contact patrickmaubert@icloud.com

Sunday January 4th
1:30-4:30
LHHS Music Studio
$50.00 at the door

Masterclass Patrick Canada
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