Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Just a tad Fawlty.

My second play for the Newport Playgoers was a stage version of the much loved sitcom from the 1970's, " Fawlty Towers". We, as a company put on stage three of the twelve televised episodes. "Hotel Inspectors" , "Communication Problems" and "The Germans" I was originally asked to be one of the Hotel Inspectors, as well as one of The Germans. So I had the task of actually speaking in German, and making it as convincing as possible. Without a voice coach I think I did very well, and after watching and listening to "The Germans" episode many times over, I eventually got it all pretty accurate.

 I was then asked to play Terry the Chef in "Communication Problems". Wearing the most attractive Chefs attire immaginable.
However with three very different parts in the bag for three different staged episodes. Two other parts were thrown in there two. A Taxi Driver, and that of a Hotel Guest. So in all, five very different roles.

To have five very differant roles, was quite a task to undertake, regardless of how big the characters are, or how long they are on stage for. So in order to have a contrast between each of them, I, as an actor would have to look at differant characteristics, mannerisms and of course accents. All this goes without saying. However to help me with this I resorted to a technique that helped me with other elements of the characters I was portraying. I forget now what the name of the technique was,as my studies were years ago and my notes from that time are safely boxed up. However, I digress, this technique I studied, help an actor build the characters foundations, and how the character looked externally. Whether the character was direct in his movement, or not, whether he was hunched / arched  or straight in structure / form and also whether he was heavy or light on his feet. These are the strong elements of a character that make the actor stand out to an audience, they also highlight the emotions of the character and the characters persona.. And if you take time to people watch (ahem, not stalking, as some people would call it, That would be just wrong. ), you can actually see all this in every passer by. It really is an amzing actors tool to use, and very effective.

The set for "Fawlty Towers" was quite possibly one of the best sets I have ever worked on, on stage. The set designers and director worked with great attention to detail.So much in fact that it was almost a replica of the set used on Television. The lead actors were a pleasure to work with and with the help of a debut director, made carbon copies of the characters that we are familiar with on TV.
"Fawlty Towers" I believed to be a production that helped me re-develop as an actor. Made me focus on other elements of characters. How a character is formed, and how they can contrast from each other.

All in all a remarkable journey.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Titfield Experience.

Well as some may or may not be aware, back in June 2011, I returned to the stage after a two your break from the boards and my love of acting, and after many a distraction, I knew that once I auditioned at The Dolman Theatre in Newport, Wales, It would only be a matter of time, before I would be walking the boards again, but at this great theatre, here in Newport.

In retrospect though, it is funny how things work out. I was actually at the Dolman, one saturday morning in April to audition for a play that was going to be part of the Dolmans new season of plays. Anyway, while i was at the audition, this was when I was asked to be in Titfield Thunderbolt, which had just started its rehearsal process a few weeks earlier. I was told that I would be part of the film extras which would be on stage throughout in the background. I had no idea of what the play was about, and I had no idea, what I would be doing really. But looking back, I'm pleased that I took part. What a play to break my start at such a great theatre, a play with such a great cast, director, and crew. I believe  that its with thanks to them, that has made me get to where I am creatively now. And for that I am truly grateful!

Titfield Thunderbolt was performed in a very different way to how I had imagined. Originally The Titfield Thunderbolt was a film, an Ealing Comedy from the 1950's. The way that the play was directed, was in the style of the audience actually watching the film being filmed. With lots of hurried, but in my opinion,  proffessionally done scene changes and costume changes, to which I had a few.

My character which changed from scene to scene, was that of a villager mostly and of a drunkard in one particular scene. The scenes were either set in pubs or that of the train station and though I was part of  the ensamble and that my part was non-speaking, I still made the most of the part that was given to me, and to have the chance to work with such a great cast was truly amazing.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Time Passes... In the blink of an eye.

An old friend once said to me whilst in a moment of talking about my past circumstances, that "Life is what you make it",and it is only when I look back to the last year, I see that there is a lot of truth in my friends statement. I think it would be wise to say that life in the last twelve months has been very good to me and I'm proud to even say that all of this wouldn't have been possible without the support of close family and friends.

I haven't really given the time to this blogging malarky, since I started "All the worlds a stage...", and to the subject of my own creativity, that is totally inexcusable. However as I am acting as my own jury, (ahem, for creative purposes only, if I may add? ) it would be safe to say that its been a hell of a year creatively. However, this still doesn't excuse me, as to why I haven't pulled out all the stops in order to put pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to key board.

So now, as I sit, under a creative light, (or what some people simply call a 40 watt bulb) I have managed to muster together the last two paragraphs, which I hope will, in time, contribute to giving reason to the lack of  actors blogging!!!

Well its been six months since my last written effort, and well in short and since then, I have been busy being part of at least three plays at the Dolman Theatre, here in Newport, as well as currently rehearsing the fifth play I will be appearing in, in April. All will be discussed in due course, I promise. :)

As well as the above, I also changed my job back in October of last year. Something that will hopefully, allow me to be a little more creative and be that just bit more healthy! To top off the last few moths or so, I have also found myself a lovely lady, my own "Princess".

So to much influence by my brother and promise to my lovely lass, I have now done a blog, as promised and for those that have supported me in all I have been doing over the last lot of months, I thank you all.

Which brings me back to where I started.

"Life is what you make it".

No matter if people ask you to do something, or advise you. At the end of the day, you will only do what you want to do, and looking back over the last year, I am over joyed at myself for what I have done and what I have achieved personally. The only thing now is to share it with the ones I love and have close at heart. So, yes indeed, "Life is what you make it". Just make sure you don't let time pass you by, afterall it's up to you to make things happen.

Until next time...

P x