CAMILLA, CAT and JULES 2017 – The Weinstein scandal breaks, MeToo and Time’s Up movements born. Fallon resigns from government for “touching someones knee”. A new wave of feminism begins (is this one the fourth or the fifth? I’m losing count now) – It’s SO effective that the USA elects a pussy grabber for president. 2019 – The dust has settled, dried in the intense heat of 2018, been pissed on and turned into sludge. 3 very different women are wading through it. 3 monologues, born out of an actress responding in character whilst all the furore was ‘kicking off’. Stupid and poignant. It’s quite funny actually. I always knew I had a one woman show burning up inside me and was working on poetry and comedy scripts… until October of 2017 when the Weinstein scandal broke. Shortly after, Fallon resigned from Government and we realised that parliament had it’s problems too. The surrounding media furore, voices and opinions, and my shouted response to all of that – most of the time assuming characters!, was the catalyst I needed to kick my arse into gear. So, I wrote my characters; Camilla, Cat and Jules, their own monologues. As I […]
Had a great time performing an excerpt from ‘One Lady Driver’, a one act comedic play by Helen Solomon, at the Derby Theatre Spring Scratch night, hosted by In Good Company. The play had been written some time before and read aloud at one of the ‘play Shuffle’ nights – leading to being accepted for the scratch evening. Some great audience laughs and very useful feedback. Here’s what O.L.D is all about: As Trish approaches the menopause she puts her life under the microscope. lt looks like she’s got everything – a nice house, doting husband, two big kids – but keeping up the facade is hard work and Trish is about to crack. When her best friend encourages her to follow a menopause self-help plan, Hatching the Hag, Trish finds herself on an unstoppable journey along a path she never expected. An existential comedy about one woman’s mid-life crisis, One Lady Driver takes its hat off to mid-lifers, and bows to a woman who, despite all the odds, never gives up.
Finished filming for the Sainsbury’s Easter campaign – I play a “Nigella-esq” ?!? type of woman getting the Lamb roast from the oven … great fun and well looked after by Somesuch
Just had a fantastic three weeks working in Derby and Leicester, on research and development of a script by writer Marilyn Ricci. A period piece, based on a true story of a Jewish man who adopted a false identity during the second world war, working closely with the Nazis while plotting behind their backs with the Belgian resistance. Synopsis here: Alfred’s War: Brief Synopsis Ten days before the Allied liberation of Brussels in 1944, Alfred Adler, a German Jew, is passing as an Afrikaans businessman trading with the Nazis. He hasn’t managed, however, to get ‘soi– disant’ (so-called) removed from his papers. Despite this, he’s hiding another Jew and anti-semitic Belgian Nationalists on the third floor of his house, renting the second floor to disillusioned Gestapo people whilst running guns and information to the Belgian Resistance. Denounced as a collaborator when the Brits arrive he’s jailed but still can’t reveal his true identity – all Germans, including Jews, are being rounded up because Jewish collaboration was not unknown. He narrowly escapes the death penalty. Based on a true story, this play is entirely relevant today as it confronts the deadly and complex consequences of economic meltdown, war, forced migration and so-called ‘outsider’ […]
Back at Newstead Abbey today – this time to film for their in-house films, posing as Katherine Mary Webb Palmer/ Lady Lambert…
Screened on Oct 21st and was available on BBCiPlayer for a short time (no longer available but DVDs will probably be out soon…)
What fun! Ashrow Theatre have been performing their ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ street theatre for the Cathedral Quarter in Derby for some time now and I was delighted to be asked to enjoy some impromptu ‘Earnest’ scenes as Gwendoline, along with the wonderful actors Jenny Earl who played the formidable Lady Bracknell, and Matthew Biddulph who played the incorrigible Earnest (Jack)!
Keep your ears peeled! Today I voiced the TrentBarton Skylink ads which will be running on Capital and Spotify, as well as on the buses themselves!
Thrilled to have recently worked on the short film ‘Spaceman’ by On The Ball Films . I play the part of the mother of a girl who’s father (my husband) has recently died. Both characters are struggling with their grief and finding it hard to connect again. It was a joy to work with Maisie, who played the part of Jessica and to film at the Cholera monument in Sheffield, with a fantastic view over the town. Here’s what On The Ball say about the film: “At the heart of it, “Spaceman” is a very simple story. It follows the central character, Jessica, over a few days of her life and what she is going through. Her father, who used to take her stargazing, is no longer in her life and she has convinced herself that aliens must have noticed them and taken her father away. But of course, life is rarely ever that simple. (Or complicated, depending upon your perspective!). So, here is the story of Jessica, her mother and her father. It is about finding ourselves, and about how we react to one another, and how our minds react throughout difficult periods in our lives.”
Absolutely thrilled to have been cast in the small role of Anne Hudson, in the forthcoming BBC action period drama about the Gunpowder Plot, due to be on our screens in November… Had a fantastic day filming my scene up in Batley last Thursday, the day of storm Doris! (my trailer was rocking a bit! ha ha). My scene includes characters played by Kit Harington from Game of Thrones and one of my favourite comics, Kevin Eldon. I also enjoyed working with other fellow actors Ed Holcroft, Vivienne Soan, Richard Hand and Beatrice Comins. I can’t post any pics of me in my costume or details about the plot as yet, but here’s what the BBC has published about it so far: Gunpowder
Had possibly the coldest day on set, filming a promo film for company Hyphen in Leicester, for one of their close partners, Affixxius films. I played the part of a lonely florist, lamenting her lack of customers. Besides the fact that it was possibly the coldest and windiest day of the year, the people of Leicester just weren’t impressed with my branding! until… Hyphen get involved and change everything and lo and behold… a shop with new signage, web presence and possibly fresh tulips! Filming in an actual bone fide florist shop meant that it was COLD – inside as well as out. Thick coats at the ready – and lots of whipping it off on the word “action”. Good to work with the Affixxius team.
What a laugh! had a load of immersive fun during the run-up to Christmas this year, turing into an Elf and working for a few days for Bakehouse Factory at the Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham. They had turned a unit into a ‘Testing Laboratory’, where children could come and test toys to make sure they were fun to play with … donations went towards the Intu nominated local charity Pasic here’s a little film Elfs Toy Testing
Well, here it is… Gangsta Wraps was finally released on October 9th 2016. I’m the ‘lady’ in WacDonalds, scared whitless with my little-un (played by my very own Eddie Draper) – blink and you might miss us 😉 so stay eagle eyed! but had a fab night with Joe Dempsey, Aaron Smith & of course, the man himself – the wonderful Scorzayzee
Filmed a scene for the band Whisky Stain today – for their forthcoming single called “Human Touch” – Featuring the fabulous actors Nic Harvey, Johnny Kinch and Lewis Fernandez. I play the part of Johnny Kinch’s characters’ wife, who has lost her hair through chemotherapy treatment. Got to work with the wonderful Russ Noon of Mornray Films. really looking forward to the finished vid – here are some Unit stills and behind the scenes pics…
Delighted to have been cast in ‘The Devil Outside’ – a feature film shooting in Nottinghamshire, described as “a coming of age film about religion, madness and adolescence”. The film centres around a young character – Robert – and his life within a religious family who live in an ex-mining town. I will be playing the part of Robert’s English teacher. The £1.5m project is being produced by Christine Alderson at Ipso Facto and financed by the BFI in partnership with French backers The Jokers and Back Up Media. It’s the second film from writer/director Andrew Hulme, whose first film ‘Snow in Paradise’ featured in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2014. The Jokers release all of Ben Wheatley’s, Peter Stickland’s and Nicolas Winding Refn’s films in France and Back Up Media are one of France’s biggest independent film financiers.
Filmed my scenes for ‘Junction 6′ today – a film produced by Outward Film Network. The film centres around Darren (played by Laurence Saunders) – a guy who finds himself caught up in debt and owing money to one of the ever-growing pool of ‘everyday loan’ companies (or ‘loan sharks’, to use the correct term…). We follow Darren as he is faced with a very difficult decision, culminating in probably the worst day of his life. I play the part of Darren’s wife, Jane – a health worker who is doing her best but stressed out with the impending money worries and Darren’s unemployment, and who is unfortunately unaware of the exact extent of Darren’s debt… The filming in Walsall took place in a house kindly donated by a family on a Sunday (as this was the only day all cast and crew could make for these scenes) and the only obstacles on set were to do with sound. These included the next-door neighbours D-I-Y (intermittant drilling), the family dogs who were distractingly cute! and the family oven which was busily (and loudly) roasting a chicken at the reverse-scene point… a job for our sound lady in post. The kitchen also began […]
Some more lovely filming today for Linney, who were producing an internal film for a company called Vow. Vow are part of the Evo group and supply all manner of stationery and office supplies. The idea behind the film was to show off the company, from order to end user – and I played the part of the telephone operator taking the call. The film ends with a ‘reveal’ moment where the walls of my ‘office’ glide away to reveal the companies’ vast bustling warehouse. So, the filming took place in the vast warehouse in Lutterworth – a good health & safety briefing was had before us ‘arty’ types (with our film equipment and office walls on casters!) were allowed anywhere near the huge warehouse & forklifts zooming around… lots of fun and the director was very pleased with the result so a good job all round.
Well, what can I say? what a profoundly amazing 3 weeks it’s been ! currated by the most brilliant director Susannah Tresilian. So proud and honoured to have been a part of it and to have worked with a whole range of european artists (we can also still class UK artists as european, right?!…) Here are the pieces myself and my fellow ‘NEAT Ensemble’ actors (Rebecca D’Souza, Hazel Ellerby, Karl Haynes and Rob Goll) worked on; Mihaela, The Tiger of Our Town by Gianina Carbunariu (Romania) – Our first complete play rehearsed reading. Surreal and funny but makes you think about ‘the other’ for a long time afterwards… The Syrian Monologues – The UK premier of the responses by April de Angelis, Sara Pascoe, Hassan abdulrazzak, Hannah Khalil, Barney Norris and Malu Halasa. I was moved beyond words by this event. We spent most of the rehearsals just trying to get through the readings without crying at certain points! very pleased to say we all managed to be strong and perform them without breaking down, but still giving them the dignity, humour and performance they deserved. I urge anyone to try to seek out & listen to individual testimonies of […]
Filmed a very atmospheric commercial today for AW Lymn, at a very cold Wollaton Park… some ‘contemplative walking whilst brushing hands through long grass’ acting. Great to work with Spool again.
Incredibly excited to be performing in the NEAT (Nottingham European Arts and Theatre) festival this year, for the Nottingham Playhouse, as part of the ‘Playhouse Ensemble’. We will be performing rehearsed readings during the weeks commencing 23rd and 30th May, in the Neville Studio – (renamed ‘NEAT studio!’ ) and the event will be curated and directed by the wonderful Susannah Tresilian. Do come and watch! Here’s what the write-up says in the brochure: “Sunday 22 May – Saturday 4 June 2016 As part of the festival, the NEAT Studio takes us on a whirlwind tour of Europe via the best theatrical offerings from across the continent. Under the curation of director Susannah Tresilian, the Neville Studio comes alive with a kaleidoscopic series of events including staged readings of never-before-seen-in-the-UK plays performed by our in-house NEAT ensemble. The Studio will also be a hive of artistic and political activity designed to celebrate diversity, welcome dialogue and challenge ideologies. You can get involved with debates, workshops and Q&A sessions with members of the international theatrical community and have your say as we come together to discuss important world issues such as the EU referendum and our responsibility to help refugees.” NEAT16 You can […]
Filmed a commercial for Help-Link in Manchester today. It only takes about 2 hours for me to drive to Manchester, so set off just before 6am for the cross-country journey in wind, sleet and, over the hilltops, driving snow! (most odd to see the April daffodils and blossom covered in a carpet of snow) Enjoyed meeting the crew at unit base – which was a social club building (in a residential area near to the gorgeous house we were filming in) that had seemingly not been touched since the 1980’s. It’d be a great venue for film or tv. In the ad, I play the part of ‘Debs’ (wife to ‘Dave’) and is non-plussed by the fact that ‘The Boiler’s Gone” !… keep your eyes peeled, should be out in a couple of weeks and will be running on tv for a year.
And here it is!… OXFAM DBTKD
Very honoured to have been asked to perform the comedy monologue ‘Zumba’ on March 20th, as part of the ‘Conquer Stroke New Writing Night’ at the Y Theatre in Leicester, organised by Leicester writer Keith Large. The night will consist of various pieces of new writing; short plays, monologues, some short sketches, a short story and a poem, featuring mainly Leicester-based writers, plus Brighton writer Steven Lancefield. Keith and I met with one of the directors, Clare Devine, at the Y Theatre yesterday to record a short interview about the event with Graham Wright for Radio Leicester, so hopefully the turn out will be good and we will raise lots of money for The Stroke Association. I’m really looking forward to it – love an excuse to get a good wig on 😉
Filmed the Oxfam Commercial for their ‘Dressed By The Kids Day’ today – hugely enjoyable. A lovely comedic theme, with a bit of a ‘reveal’ moment. As the title suggests, on 29th April participants will be going about their business in whatever attire their kids have decided they should wear! – all for charity, of course. The ad will be aired from March 21st so keep your eyes peeled. I play the part of ‘mum’ – looking like a bit of a fairy – complete with wings, a tutu and deely-boppers (brought back excellent memories of the ’80s). We also did a stills shoot so there should be posters & adverts in papers etc – and my mug may even appear on the packaging!
Great start to the new year, with another film for Iceni Productions – at the Healthcare at Home head offices in Burton. They were producing an in-house film and I played the part of ‘sad employee’ (approached and counselled by ‘supportive employee’). Didn’t need a box to stand on this time as we were sat down! – in the canteen – with lots of coffee!
Another great job with Linney Group – this time for East Midlands company Severn Trent Water, highlighting the great things happening within the company’s customer service. I played the part of a customer who’d had a problem solved by Severn Trent via Twitter…
So, here we are at the end of the road – the final part of the Troublesome People run and it ends where it all began back in April. It’s been ’emosh’ as the young-uns say 😉 Had a great few days at Derby Guildhall Theatre, good audiences and lovely review from the Derby Evening Telegraph. Goodbye Doreen, on to the next adventure…
Well, Troublesome People did it’s full run at the Edinburgh Fringe – from 10th-29th August – 3 weeks – Phew! loved every minute. Great audiences & feedback, lovely reviews and lots of fun taking in loads of other shows…worked hard, played hard!… Here are some highlights of my festival diary: Sat Aug 8th – “Here we are at last! exciting stuff – got to Edinburgh in the early hours yesterday 1.45ish I think and finally got to bed at 3am! managed a few hours sleep, then ‘up and at ’em’ for a full cast meet up at Rowan & Franks apartment at 11am. Everyone was in good spirits and excited, and the kids were as good as gold, so we managed to have a good look at all the line cuts in the script. We also did some ‘impro-practice-flyering’ on each other – hilarious! good to see each others techniques and maybe use some good ‘lines’ or tactics ourselves. Quick run-through of the updated script in the kitchen, then back to our beautiful flat and a good rest and huge sleep.” Tue Aug 11th – “Last night was first night – and was fabulous! almost a full house, and a […]
Had a great time at Linney Design in Mansfield, filming a set of internal films for their staff, about their new communications system. Fellow actor Alan Turton and I filmed seven funny sketches (great to do some comedy!). These were then interlaced with me being a bit more ‘serious’ (although still highly enthusiastic!) when explaining the finer details of the system. I’ve worked for Linney before but this was being filmed actually on site at the Linney head office – I didn’t realise just how massive the Linney Group is – and how forward-thinking and modern. And they now have a communications system (phone, computers, apps etc) to match!
Took the boys to Newstead Abbey today, as I’d been asked to help out with some promo films for Nottingham – Newstead Abbey, Wollaton and The Castle. Beautiful venue – we shot sections at a waterfall and some stepping stones; luckily nobody fell in!