Tag Archives: Theatre

Good News, Bad News

14 Jun

Bad News

The Manchester date of The Iconoclasts tour is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.  

Good News

I can stop nagging my friends and family to buy tickets to support them.

Good News

Which is bad news for you if you live in London, Nottingham or Bristol – the other dates are still on:

18th and 19th June @ Camden People’s Theatre LONDON, 20.00 – 21.15
Tickets: https://www.cptheatre.co.uk/production/the-iconoclasts/

21st June @ STUFF NOTTINGHAM
http://newtheatre.org.uk/stuff/

26th June @ Alma Tavern & Theatre BRISTOL, 19:30 – 20:45
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-iconoclasts-the-alma-tav

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Good News

My choir is staging a concert on Friday, with songs from the musicals.

Bad News

I can nag my friends and family to support us.


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Bad News

You visit this blog, expect to be hounded.

Good News

Buy a ticket and watch my colour change from red to less red as my hot flushes [desperately searches for a singing pun] [gives up] [if you can think of a good singing pun, you know where the comment box is] come and go at random.

Or, as Home’s Cool, one of my American readers so memorably put it, watch me as I flash in church.

 

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The Theycanoclasts

18 May

(If They Get Enough Support)

The Blurb

‘The Iconoclasts’ is the debut show by Sheffield based theatre company, Dear Hunter Theatre. After a 5 star, sell-out run in Sheffield and performances at the National Student Drama Festival, this summer we are taking the show on a UK Tour, followed by a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We have been hard at work raising funds for the last few months. However, to ensure the show can go ahead, we need your help to raise a further £3000 to cover the enormous costs that come with a tour!

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All photos copyright Dear Hunter Theatre

The Link:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dear-hunter-theatre-s-the-iconoclasts-uk-tour#/  

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Tour Dates & Venues:

18th and 19th June @ Camden People’s Theatre LONDON
Tickets: https://www.cptheatre.co.uk/production/the-iconoclasts/

21st June @ STUFF NOTTINGHAM
http://newtheatre.org.uk/stuff/

26th June @ Alma Tavern & Theatre BRISTOL
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-iconoclasts-the-alma-tav…

28th June @ 53two MANCHESTER
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-iconoclasts-tickets-3423…

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The Review

From The Sunday Times:

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The (Ironic) Fun

If you are in the area, do try to see one of the shows, either on the tour or at The Fringe.  There’s a packet of Maltesers in it for you…

Don’t judge me; I’m a mother: bribery is my default setting.

 

 

I’m On The Telly (Sort Of)

4 Nov

In an advert.  My voice is, anyway: one of many, fortunately, otherwise Toys R Us shoppers would stay away in droves.

You remember I joined a community choir this year, run by the wonderfully talented Ollie Mills, who composed The Tree of War?  He was commissioned to do the arrangement for this year’s Toys R Us Christmas advert, and they needed a choir for the end.  It just so happened that Ollie had a choir on speed dial…

We recorded our bit in St  Nicholas’s Church, Burnage, where we practise (join us if you live/work in the area).  We had a sound recordist, fluffy mics, screens and everything.  It was great fun for ninety minutes but I wouldn’t want a career as a studio recording artist: the same lines repeated until Herr Diktator Mills was satisfied – he must have made us do each line at least three times.  I don’t know how singers cope with the tedium.

Kidding!  I had a blast; we all did; and Ollie is the most patient musical director I know (and I know at least three).

I’m now going to debunk a myth I have long believed: that the people who appear in adverts use their own voices (except for the obviously foreign adverts, overdubbed with British voices.  Hello?  Febreze?  On a sunny day?  I don’t think so…not in Britain, anyway; we don’t do sunshine).  The choir doesn’t appear in the advert; in fact, all of the singers are actors dubbed by real singers and me.  Go figure.

Talking of real singers…if you’re in the Sheffield area tonight, Alex is appearing in cabaret.  Colla Voce Theatre Company (for whom he appeared as The Last Five Years’ Jamie Wallerstein) is staging a one-night-only

[E]xciting evening of contemporary musical theatre, hosted by our very own emcee, Karam Deo. Accompanied by a live band, hear audience favourites with songs from musicals such as Book of Mormon, Hamilton, and hilarious comedy writers such as Joe Iconis whose work is rarely seen in the UK. Catch some classic Jason Robert Brown, and experience the up and coming talents of Bobby Cronin. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch a “remarkable” theatre company performing inspiring work.

Do make it if you can; there are still a few – a very few – tickets left.  Buy online here.

Oh no!  I went to add the link and the show’s sold out.  Hmm…maybe that should be, Oh yes!

And Finally…

Here’s some audio of Alex singing in concert with Matt Malone’s orchestra earlier this year.  It’s a song from the original stage version of Paint Your Wagon, which didn’t appear in the movie.  It’s a shame, because it’s a great tune with clever lyrics:

 

Meet Me In Tring?

12 Aug

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Photo © Adam Trigg 2016 www.adamtrigg.co.uk

Hello folks.

Apologies for the lengthy absence; I’ve been busy with one thing and another – including the world première of my script,  An Unexpected Hero.  It debuted in grand style at St John’s, the church across the road from my house.  We had an audience of at least twenty children each day!  Academy Award, I’m on your trail…  

In all seriousness, it was just a little something I knocked up for our church holiday club, but I had fun writing it and it kept me busy.

Alex has been busy, too.  He is currently appearing as Caliban in The Tempest at Pendley Shakespeare Festival in Tring.  Last week he appeared as a Fairy and Wedding Singer in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The festival has been going for 67 years.  You can read all about it here.  They stage two plays in three weeks, using a mix of amateurs and professionals for cast and crew.  It’s very popular.

I’m going to see it on Sunday.  The Hub wanted to go with me but he’s not well enough, which leaves us with a spare ticket.  If you live in that general area and can get yourself to Tring for the Sunday Matinée, you’re welcome to use it. Email me at cosgrifflinda1@gmail.com if you’re interested.

I’d say first come, first served but I can’t imagine I’ll have many takers, seeing as how most of you live abroad.  But you never know.

And if you can’t make it on Sunday but you live nearby, the show runs until Sunday, so pop on down to see some fine open air theatre.

 

Don’t Miss This Train!

24 Jun

Given the results of yesterday’s referendum, a post about Departures seems apposite, so here’s my review.

I entered the theatre on Wednesday night expecting to like Departures: A Song Cycle.  I didn’t.  I loved it.

The theatre was intimate; the seating comfortable (always a bonus for the audience).  The station platform set was simple but effective.  The musicians were backstage but visible through an ‘exit’.  The music was by turns fun, energetic, moving; the themes were current.

Each story was revealed in song, with characters only really joining in with the ensemble as their particular tale was told, rather like a matryoshka doll in reverse. The songs varied in style and tone, just like the themes.  We were told of isolation and disappointment, but also hope and positivity; by the end there was a coming together as the characters were united by sharing the very things that left them feeling alone in the first place.

I must declare a bias: Alex Cosgriff is my son.  I’ve seen him in almost everything he has appeared in and I have watched him grow as an actor and performer, so I feel qualified to say that he gave a subtle and nuanced performance as Henry, a teenage schoolboy.   His solo Sad To Me was poignant and moved more than one person to tears.

Tom Williams’ solo I Choose Silence was simply beautiful; but mention must also be made of his ability to sit still and unnoticed for almost ninety minutes: not many actors would be satisfied with that but it definitely added to the show’s quality, for it was a physical manifestation of the underlying theme of those we ignore as a society.  I felt the song would have been more effective if it had occurred earlier on, but that’s a minor quibble.

*

In stark contrast came Billy (Will) Taylor’s vigorous characterisation of Trefor the Station Master.  He was hilarious whether moving or still, and often commanded our attention even when he had no lines.  He built a great rapport with the audience and is definitely one to watch.

The real stars of the show, however, were the fabulous score by Matthew Malone and lyrics by Joe Bunce, both of which showed a maturity beyond their authors’ years.  I pay Bunce & Malone the highest compliment I can: I was still thinking about the characters and singing snatches from the show twenty-four hours later.

I strongly recommend that you try to catch this while you can, tonight or tomorrow at the Pleasance, Islington.  No matter how you voted yesterday, this is one departure that will leave you feeling good.

 

Snippet

12 May

This is a snippet of Alex as Jamie Wellerstein in The Last Five Years.  Jamie is telling the story of Schmuel, the tailor of Klimovich.

The show was Colla Voce Theatre’s début production and it was fantastic, particularly given the venue, which was practically a dungeon (two or three storeys below ground, in an old Woolworths building).  A two-hander, Alex and his partner, Olivia Doust, had roughly ninety minutes of singing between them.  Olivia had never acted before but you wouldn’t have known.  She gave an assured performance and she has a lovely voice.  Alex was in agony: he had a throat infection and said it hurt from start to finish. He spent three days not talking, treating his voice with honey and great care.

You can read a review here: Blunt Cinema.

In other news: this week, Alex is appearing in The Forgotten Songs of Lerner & Loewe.  If you are in the Sheffield area, tonight is your last chance: details here.

There was a clip available but it won’t play, unfortunately.

He’s got two shows coming up in the summer; I’ll share details when I’m allowed.

Apologies to those who feel outraged that this humour blog has been overtaken by the Alex Cosgriff Fanzine.  What can I tell you?  I’m a proud mama. 

Speaking of which, Hairy Boy was home this weekend.  He came to visit on Friday and turned into Invisible Boy on Saturday morning, disappearing to visit his friends and reappearing in time for Sunday dinner and his train home.  At least I got to feed and wash up after him.  There’s always a silver lining.

The Last Five Minutes

14 Apr

We’re going to see Alex in The Last Five Years this week.  If you’ve recently defriended me on Facebook, then you’ve probably already heard that. 

Alex doesn’t get nervous before a show, though he will confess to butterflies. I confess to a whole swarm of caterpillars, and I sweat like they’re shedding their coats in my stomach, especially in the last five minutes before he goes on.

Afterwards, of course, I never doubted for one minute that he’d be fantastic and not forget his lines or hit a bum note or come on stage from the wrong side.  He’s never done any of those things so I don’t know why I worry.  I’m a mother; I just do.

It doesn’t help that my nerves are already jangled from the drive up to Sheffield: Snake Pass in the rain, snow or fog (it’s usually one of those three) is not for the fainthearted; I am the faintest of hearted but I’m a mother; it’s what I put myself through.

This is me before a show:

And after:  

See you on the other side.

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