From Prose to Script – Workshop, Edinburgh Writers’ Club

Tangee Lenton, Copyright Theatre Broad

Tangee Lenton, Copyright Theatre Broad

Thought I’d share this atmospheric photo again as it’s of one of my own short plays, Flights of Fancy, in a production by Theatre Broad of Stirling.

Why today? Well, tonight I’m leading a wee workshop in adapting your short story for the stage and Flights of Fancy was picked up by Theatre Broad after it won an EWC drama writing competition.

7.30, Grosvenor Hilton Hotel, £5 guest fee.

Capital Stories by Anne Stenhouse, Kate Blackadder Jennifer Young Jane Riddell

Prelude and Fugue by Clifford Bax – Theatre Broad for Forth Valley Art Beat Venue 45

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Rebecca Fergus

Prelude and Fugue by Clifford Bax is being produced by Theatre Broad of Stirling for the Forth Valley Art Beat.

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Carol Metcalf

Prelude and Fugue

The play, written in 1918 as one of twelve short verse plays, for this production is set in the 1930s. The company have used the musical interlude ‘Prelude and Fugue’ by Johann Sebastian Bach to allow reflection between the verses of conversation and interior monologue. It tells the story of Rosemary, who a week before her wedding, is having her likeness drawn in Charcoal by Joan. As Joan sketches, the two women discover a dark secret shared by both of them.To save Joan, Rosemary must decide whether or not to reveal all. Will she do the right thing and save the younger woman?

Prelude and Fugue is an excellent choice for an Art Festival and in Rebecca Fergus the company have found the perfect choice to play Joan as she is doubly trained in both Art and Acting. Indeed some of Rebecca’s intriguing pieces adorn the stage. Together with Theatre Broad’s founder member, Carol Metcalf, the women tease out the agonising steps of deciding whether to share a dark secret or not.

Often the revelation of bad news depends as much on whether the hearer can face hearing it as on whether the teller can expose themselves by telling. Perhaps the social repercussions would be greater in 1918/1930 than today, but the effect on trust between friends and lovers certainly wouldn’t.

As apposite for today as for the time it was written, this delightful production of Prelude and Fugue, takes one out of the world of petty concerns to reflect more deeply on a fundamental.

Theatre Broad was founded in 2003 and aims to provide regular, affordable, quality theatre in Stirling, the surrounding area and on tour throughout Scotland and Northern England. Directors, Carol Metcalf and Tangee Lenton have a team of regular actors, associate actors and associate playwrights.

Forth Valley Art Beat is an annual event of Performance, installations, exhibitions, open studios and pop-up studios. It’s situated across the Forth valley and if you visit their 2016 facebook page (link highlighted above) you’ll find out a lot more.

Run continues – take a moment out of your busy day for this lovely dramatized poem with its haunting music.

Venue 45 Cowane Centre, Stirling in the Studio Theatre Mon 13/Tues 14 June at 2.30 and Fri 17/Sat18 at 7.30 Ticket from the Albert Hall, Tolbooth £5. From the venue before performances.

Theatre Broad tour Ira Levin’s Deathtrap

Theatre Broad, directors Carol Metcalf and Tangee Lenton, are to tour Ira Levin’s Deathtrap which they produced to great acclaim in 2007.

I’ve been dropping gently teasing hints over the last week or so, but the news is out today. Creative Scotland are funding Theatre Broad for this tour of Deathtrap. Ira Levin’s comedy/thriller is a tour-de force of modern American writing. You will not want to miss this.

Call back for news of casting and progress or check things out over on Theatre Broad’s own website. Wonderful news for the company, the play and the small towns on the list of tour venues.

Growing The Audience: Bums on Seats

Growing the Audience is something we’d all like to do. I was at Edinburgh Grand Opera last night where a stellar cast gave their all to a Queen’s Hall with huge gaps along the rows.

Where were the bums for those seats? Don Giovanni must be one of the most audience friendly works in the history of opera – if you can’t pack them in for that, what’s the prospect of tackling anything more challenging?

I have no idea what EGO does by way of advertising, but a lot of the chorus members were greeted by a small group of family or friends at the interval and the end. So that’s one ploy for growing the audience. You can have children and you can be nice to your friends.

The practitioners among us have all done it and been supported by those sections of the theatre going public. I love them.

Okay, mutual admiration ain’t growing the audience or getting extra bums on seats in sufficient quantity. The folk who come to our productions are often pleasantly surprised by the quality, but they haven’t necessarily risked embarrassment by flogging tickets to their friends. I think this is a profound misunderstanding of the nature of criticism in so far as people often feel they want to know they’ll enjoy the production. By extension, your family and friends don’t want to find themselves defending your sortie into surrealism, or physical theatre, or anything with a risqué content.

Any answers? Well, next time the pal asks how ticket sales are going, challenge them to not only come along, but bring one or two of their pals. Ask them where they distributed the flyers you gave them – sitting on, or under, their hall furniture is not selling any tickets.

Another growing the audience idea is probing people’s extended family links. Are you touring to Pumpherston? Whose Mum, sister, best friend’s Bridesmaid lives there or shops there or works in a shop there. Will the shop take a pile of flyers? Will your extended contact display the flyer on the parcel shelf of their car?

Have you exploited as many friends’ blogs and websites as you can identify? Watch this space in coming weeks for news of Theatre Broad.

My friend was explaining how she’d taken her niece to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, see below; pick any one, because the girl is going to University to study Engish Literature but had never been to the theatre. How can this be? The child is in Glasgow which is not a cultural desert.

My friend has also undertaken the further education of other nieces and is conscientious about buying tickets for her own children. She’s the prompt for this piece, together with my shock at the gaps in EGO’s audience. If it’s okay to introduce the next generation to golf, football, tribute bands and all that, why not introduce them to theatre, opera and all that?

And those out there who only buy tickets for known quantities, whether of scripts at producing theatres or for star-vehicle touring productions, try to remember Shakespeare was a journeyman once. We all need support in the beginning. Grow our audiences and put bums on the seats of our productions – please. Stepping out of your comfort zone could be an energising experience.

Any of my family, friends, neighbours, or other audience out there reading this. I love you all. Thank you for the ongoing support.