Thursday, 24 March 2016

Flare Path - Terrence Rattigan

There have been some amazing productions at my local theatre (Theatr Clwyd) recently and tonight's play was no exception.




Set in 1942, Terrence Rattigan's play Flare Path tells the story of RAF Bomber Command. I sat down in the theatre looking at a simple stage set of a 1940's hotel lobby, listening to 1940's music and I drifted into a bygone era.

The play centers on the crew of a Lancaster Bomber and their wives. RAF pilot Teddy is married to an actress, Patricia, and their happiness is to be tested by the arrival of the famous actor Peter Kyle, who it transpires is Patricia's ex-lover! Doris, a former Lincolnshire barmaid (Countess Skriczevinsky) is married to a Polish Count who is fighting with the British against Germany. It seems an unlikely match, however, as the story unfolds you can see why the two are together and why their relationship is so strong. The final couple is the Millers, Dusty (a tail-gunner) and his wife Maudie who has popped down on the bus to see him for one night. Their home in London has been bombed and she has to bear living with his family in St Albans, and it is imperative she goes home the next day so that she can go to work.




The Bomber took off over my head

The play takes you back to the time when women worried that they may never see their husbands again, and men had to keep a stiff upper lip, knowing that every time they took to the skies, they might never make it back. It was amazing how atmospheric the production was. As the crew were called to a night bombing raid, we were party to the take off of the aircraft. The sound effects made it feel as though there really was a Lancaster Bomber just taking off over your head, just clearing the fence as it tried to get its heavy load off the ground. It sent shivers running through your body, wondering who was in which plane, and who would make it back. When we were told one of the planes had been bombed whilst trying to take off, you were filled with the horror that this really did happen 70 years ago, and you could feel the emotions running through the wives, colleagues and friends that were left on the ground.

Flare Path (the lights that make up the runway to allow the planes to take off and land safely) was a fantastic play showing the light and shade of war. We are filled with horror at the events people had to live with, but the mirth of British humour that carried people through the war, carried the audience through the play. There were some hilarious moments especially at the beginning of the play when Peter Kyle ( Lyndon Edwards) enters the hotel looking for lodgings for the night. The hotelier, Mrs Oakes, asks if he wants a single or double room. He says single. She says there are none. He then tries for a double to which the reply is the same! Doris (Claire Andreadis) is snoring in a chair, when she wakes up she realises she is looking at a famous actor and is stuck somewhere between starstruck, and talking nonsense at him. For a few minutes I recognised some similarities between conversations I've had with actors!! Her intervention means that the hotelier is suddenly able to find him a bed for the night and this allows the story to build to one of its most poignant moments and story arcs.

In the second Act of Flare Path, Doris remembers a joke about a furious wife, holding a rolling pin, and waiting for her husband to get home at some ungodly hour. It was a joke of the battle of the sexes before the war commenced, but that image was one which women would love to have entertained during the war. Instead of being furious that their husband was home late, during wartime all women could do was pray that their husbands would return safely.

Patricia and Peter have a conversation during the first Act of the play in which Patricia confirms she will tell her husband, Teddy, that she will leave him. She misses her opportunity, and events transpire in Act two that make her think hard about her relationship. She faces a painful predicament at a time when wartime relationships could be rather tricky. At the same time whilst she is battling her emotions, we witness the torment of Doris as she wonders what has happened to her husband during the night time raid. Doris, a down to earth commoner elevated in status through marriage, will tug at your heart strings as well as entertain you with her wartime spirit.

I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation, it was emotional, inspirational and uplifting, a very enjoyable production that the cast and creatives should be proud of.

# Reasons to be Happy! Part 2.5! and The Magus on BBC Radio 4

Funnily enough going to bed squiffy in the early hours, and then getting up a couple of hours later to get the train home meant I was not feeling very lively on the Sunday!  The one thing that kept me going however was that Radio 4 would be starting their serialisation of The Magus in which Tom plays the lead character, Nicholas Urfe.

I lay down on the sofa with cold tea bags on my eyes and listened intently. It is a great dramatisation and I was pleasantly surprised at just how much Tom is in it. He narrates the piece as well as playing the part of Urfe, so that is a lot of Tom to listen to. I do hope Radio 4 see sense and release it on CD.

And so endeth the Burkeathon weekend, roll on the next one!!

# Reasons to be Happy! Part 2 A Natter with Tom!

Morning after the night before! Was sat up until nearly 3 am boozing and gossiping, so why am I up before 8 am and embarking on making cups of tea for the household?!

Well the best laid plans of mice and men have been totally thwarted. I was going to go and see a Punk exhibition at the Barbican, then a Russian Art and Literature exhibition, then a quick trip to F&M to restock my tea supplies. My mouth feels like a dried up sock and at 10 am I decided that I would follow my friends to the V&A for lunch instead! Still we got to look at a theatre exhibition before wending our way back to the flat and ready to visit the theatre again. (I can't believe I am doing this, I got a ticket last minute and now feel slightly foolish going to watch the same play two days on the trot).

In the flat I started to be convinced that seeing the play again in a couple of weeks would be a good idea...I could hear my voice saying no I couldn't...but...........ohhhh how weak can I be????????

Anyway, I watched the play again, and I'm not sure if it was where I was sitting, but I didn't think the audience were as good as the first night. It was great watching for the subtle differences that had been added to the play from the night before. (At the moment the play is being tweaked with before the press night.) Neil LaBute was about, and as it was his birthday I handed him a birthday card as he now knew about Burketeers. We had a quick chat and then I left him with his friends.

I rode into a tree, and fell under a taxi

The group in the bar tonight is a bit smaller than the previous night, we headed off towards the tables near the door again and sat around chatting. I could feel someone's presence behind me but took no notice until this voice said "hello". I turned around and looked up at Tom! It was wonderful, he stood and chatted with us about various things. My friend Cheryl said to him that the audience were laughing at all the wrong places. Tom said "were they? Are there right places?" This opened up a discussion where Tom told a story of a man catapulting over his handlebars, he thought it was hilarious and I was sniggering along because I find that sort of thing funny too. Cheryl said "No that's bad Tom", and he said "yes I know." Then I said to Tom "Cheryl didn't laugh when I told her I rode into a tree!". Tom looked at me incredulously. "You rode into a tree???" I should have put his mind at ease and told him the horse was fine, but Cheryl butted in saying "she's fallen on her head that many times it explains her subsequent behaviour, just remember that". (Cheryl has adopted my finger wagging stance when telling Tom off!) Tom just grinned at me and said he'll remember that! I'm not sure that is the best thing in the world to be remembered for!

I then said that before London Comic Con I had fallen face first in front of taxi. As I was sprawled on the floor screaming at my friend to retrieve my mobile (full of Tom pictures, it's priceless) the taxi driver didn't look very happy with me! On reflection I really shouldn't have agreed to the glasses of Prosecco, I will tell people the most embarrassing stories about myself!

Somehow I remembered that I had promised someone that I would ask Tom about Henry VI, something that he had filmed with his dad for the Shakespeare "Complete Walk". He said it was a scene he had done previously years ago in a prison, and that they filmed it in Yorkshire where the original battle was played out. It is the scene where a father finds he has killed his son, and a son finds out he has killed his father...so plenty of tissues at the ready when I watch it on the 23rd/24th April! I asked Tom if he had gone to Betty's tearooms whilst he was filming in Yorkshire. He looked bemused, he hadn't heard of Betty's...and he calls himself a tea drinker! Even Maimie McCoy has tweeted about Betty's!!!

Tom eventually left the theatre and it wasn't long after that, that we were evicted again, very happy, and perhaps slightly squiffy! Actually when I looked at What's Ap the next day, Cheryl had posted a quote from me at 12.49 am, "I am absolutely plastered!"



# Reasons To Be Happy! Part 1 Seeing Tom Burke on Stage

Well what an amazing week this has been! I have been far too giddy to write anything, but it is now time to pull myself together and share my experiences of another fabulous weekend in London courtesy of the Burketeers!

Friday 18th March, everyone is tweeting and messaging about being at the Hampstead Theatre having lunch and getting all excited for the evening's performance of Neil LaBute's play, Reasons To Be Happy. I am still mopping the kitchen floor and in the North of Wales! Still I was on the "fast train" to London town; thankfully it lived up to it's name and at 4:30 I was sitting in the kitchen of a flat five minutes away from the theatre having a cup of tea! (How I wish I'd stuck to tea for the remainder of the night!) Upon arrival at the theatre a group of Burketeers got together for hugs, chat, and Prosecco. We then took our seats to watch the play.

The play evolves around the lives of four characters whose lives are invariably intertwined. This is the second of a three play series by Neil LaBute. It is helpful to understand the past lives of the characters, but not completely necessary for you to enjoy this second piece. Carly and Kent were married and now they are divorced with a young daughter. Steph and Greg were partners, but Steph left Greg and we find she is now married. The play starts in a grocery store carpark and Steph and Greg are arguing, a delightful mirroring of how the first play started! Greg and Carly have secretly started a relationship, the news has got out and Steph is not happy!

Reasons to be Pretty, the first play showed that couples do break up. Things are said in the heat of the moment that might not ever be resolved, and friendships can end in frustration. But whilst some relationships burn out, others are always there. Whether the opportunity ever comes around for us to reforge those relationships, the past and people are never completely forgotten. You might find yourself wondering what people are up to now, and what you would say to them if you entered their circle again.

The play arcs around these themes, it gives the characters the opportunities to finalise business so to speak, to move on, to put the past behind them. But can they? Whilst Greg is trying to forge a relationship with Carly, we can see that the meeting in the carpark has awoken desires in Greg and Steph's relationship. Should he stay with Carly, or should he go back to Steph?

How do I find happiness?

Greg (Tom Burke) is a likeable character. He doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but this dilemma he finds himself in is further complicated in that Steph and Carly are best friends and tell each other everything...until now. Greg was best friends with Kent, but that relationship fell apart in Reasons to be Pretty. Out of the three characters, Greg is the one who has tried to better himself. He does not want to be tied down to a dead end job. He has studied hard to gain qualifications to become a teacher, something his friends find hard to understand, but even with all of his intelligence he can't answer the eternal question. What is happiness? He just can't make his mind up, even in a few sentences he can argue his way out of his initial thought process. As Steph said, his clarity is "pretty much like the consistency of mud".

Kent (Warren Brown) has elicited some sympathy from me. I didn't like the character in the book, but watching Warren's performance on stage opened up Kent's character. It was interesting to hear the differences in the dialogue between him and Greg. I felt sorry for him, he often didn't understand what Greg was saying to him. He wasn't educated, he would spend his life packing boxes, but he had a light about him. In one dramatic scene with Greg, he makes the most sense of all of the characters. He might not be articulate, but he showed that there was more to life than reading a book and dreaming about a better life. He is practical, he helps the kids play sport, he encourages them to be better people, he does, whilst others think. It was a poignant moment and rather thought provoking.

The characters are multi-faceted, and they all have qualities that attract and repel. The two female characters are remarkably similar on stage, something I didn't notice when I read the play. In some respects you want them to be totally different, but if there weren't similarities, it would make Greg's decisions easier. Both ladies are tough, both speak their minds, neither will be pushed around. The moment Steph (Lauren O'Neil) suddenly realises that she shouldn't have left Greg all those years ago, that all she has done is to move her problems from Greg to her new husband, is a revelation.

If you want to be happy,be. (Leo Tolstoy)

Life is full of the sublime and the ridiculous. This play has both. It has moments where you laugh at how absurd these four people's lives have panned out, that their answer to everything seems to be to stand and scream and swear at each other. But you realise that just because they are unable to articulate their feelings, that they do have hidden depths and qualities. These four characters are normal people, they make mistakes and they try to rectify them, but whether they will ever find the answers they are looking for is anyone's guess. I think that, coupled by commanding performances by all of the actors, makes this a play that the audience can relate to...even if sometimes the american dialogue might not be everyone's cup of tea!

If you are a Tom Burke fan, you will love watching the play, he is on stage practically the whole time, and if you are in row A your knees will be brushing the stage! I am thrilled to see an extra week has already been added to the run, so there is still the opportunity to get tickets to see it (or see it again!) It is a warm hearted romantic comedy. I don't think anyone can ever really say what happiness is. The thing that made you happy one day can make you sad the next. Happiness is an eternal shapeshifter, and as the play shows, all we can do is take one day at a time, and do the best that we can. I'm looking forward to the third play. I doubt Greg will have figured things out, but I do hope he finds happiness...whatever that is!

I just think we're eccentric

Once the play had finished, a large group of us found a table near the door and away from the bar area for a chat and a gossip. This figure suddenly appeared, said "hello" and was sorry that he couldn't stop for long as Vaughan Sivell (writer Third Star) was taking him for dinner. Errrrrr "Hi Tom!"

Once the shock had elapsed we all had a good natter about various things, one of which was about a tree made of sweets we had sent as a first night treat. Apparently it ended up in the Green Room and was a great topic of conversation. Everybody shared it, and it was decimated within one day! One of the group asked Tom if he minded having the gifts and the mad fans, he looked a little quizzical and so I shouted across to him, "I don't think we're mad, maybe eccentric?" He pulled a wry smile and said "eccentric, yes. But then I'm eccentric too."

Once Tom had left the building and I'd waved goodbye at Vaughan, I made my way over to where the author Neil LaBute was. He seemed genuinely surprised that a couple of us were waiting for him to finish speaking so we could have his autograph. He asked who we were, I said collectively we're Burketeers. He said "oh the famous Burketeers!" He then introduced Josh Hamilton to us, who played Greg in the US stage version of the play. He said that he was directing Tom's mum in a play. What a small world the theatre is!

It's a dirty job but someone has to do it!

In my drunken merriness I then headed over to Warren Brown and got his autograph and then I asked Robyn and Lauren for their autographs. They were all so lovely and charming, and I only regret having quoffed so much Prosecco. I can talk for Britain without it, with it, I spout even more nonsense than normal. In my defence, they did asked me to explain about Burketeers, a subject I can talk about for hours! Robyn and Lauren said it was a tough job having to kiss Tom every night *wink wink* I laughed with them and said, "well it's a dirty job but someone has to do it!"

It wouldn't be a Burketeer event if we didn't get kicked out...

Yes I couldn't believe it. A man took our glasses away, and I ended up running around the bar of the Hampstead theatre telling him I needed plastic cups as there was still Prosecco in the bottles on the table! I then noticed the time, and that the only people left were staff, actors and Burketeers!  There was a sense of deja vu, We were kicked out of church hours after an Operation Smile event had finished at Christmas! Is this going to be a new Burketeer tradition, maybe we're going to need a special badge!



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Jumpy!

Just a quick post today to say I watched a fantastic play last night at Theatr Clwyd.

It was called Jumpy, and starred Sara Stewart (Sugar Rush, Ashes to Ashes) as 50 year old Hilary. She is stuck in a rut, she is fearful of losing her job, she is having difficulties with her teenage daughter, her marriage is one of habit, and she feels that life is passing her by.

Whilst the premise of the play sounds rather dreary, it is actually a hilarious play, peppered with poignant moments that most of the audience would be able to relate to at some point or other in their life. Sometimes you are laughing in sympathy with the characters, other times you are holding your sides crying with the absurdity of it all!

The play is mainly set in the London home of Hilary, and the set is a simple one of stepped tiers for the cast to step in and out of shot as their roles require. Scenes changes are carried out by swift moving cast members as they provide costume and prop changes under the cover of dimmed lights and loud music.

Hilary, whilst despondent about how her life has turned, is eager that her daughter Tilly gets the best in life. Tilly (Charlotte Beaumont - Broadchurch, Waterloo Road) has other ideas. She is keen to drive her mother mad, having sex at 15, becoming pregnant, staying out all night at parties, the typical horrendous teenager!

To cut through the teenage angst, we a treated to a dazzling display by Kerry Peers (The Bill, Waterloo Road)  who plays 50 year old Frances, Hilary's friend, a woman desperate to keep up with the likes of Kim Catterell in looks and sexuality, and thinks the answer to everything starts with a glass of wine. The audience is rendered speechless by a hilarious burlesque type routine, complete with balloons and whip! If this isn't funny enough, she then tries to convince Hilary to become a lap dancer too, complete with maids outfit and feather duster!

The play was performed in a lovely intimate setting and the short sharp scenes, mixed the problems we have as we go through life from the eyes of a teenager and the eyes of the older generation. At times poignant, at times hysterical, it truly was a joy to watch.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Jailbird - Kurt Vonnegut (Box Clever Challenge - March)

I must confess, to my great shame, I know very little of American history or literature. Is Jailbird a classic novel? I'm not sure, that is for you to decide. Vonnegut, however, is a highly respected and one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. His most famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five was inspired after he witnessed the Allied bombers destroy Dresden during WW2.

Despite Vonnegut being such an influential writer, I had not heard of him. I read the play Reasons to be Happy, by Neil LaBute because Tom Burke is starring in the stage play and I wanted to know what the story was about. In one of the scenes, Greg, the main character which Tom plays, is reading Jailbird by Vonnegut. I Googled the book and decided that this would make an ideal choice for my March read in the 2016 Classics Challenge!

Jailbird is a mixture of black comedy, satire and a potted history of the USA labour movement. Throughout the novel, the book shows the flaws in both political and corporate America and gives an insight into the differences of a capitalist and communist theory. The plot of Jailbird centres around someone who has been jailed for his minor involvement in the Watergate scandal. In what is essentially his memoir, Walter F Starbuck let's us know where he is in present day America, and then backtracks on his life, and what happened to him during his first two days of freedom when he has been released from jail.

The book interweaves fact and fiction in a subtle manner, and I'm sure that if I was better educated about the events happening in America at the time, I would have gained even more from the book than I did. That said, it gave me a great overview of society and the difficulties encountered between workers and employers. The Cuyahoga massacre is a fictitious event, but this clearly shows the violence between striking workforces and their bosses, and how the law was clearly on the side of the rich factory bosses. Whilst the story is a piece of fiction, it does draw similarities from the Morewood massacre in Pennsylvania in 1891. This sub story towards the start of the novel is an important one, it introduces us to the person who is responsible for influencing Walter's life as he grows up.

"all human beings were evil by nature, whether tormentors or victims, or the idle standers-by."

The novel is certainly a thought provoking one, and Vonnegut's style of writing is easy to follow and does not take itself too seriously. The book opens ones eyes to a corrupt society, the amount that humans are willing to put up with in their search for money and happiness. It is an insight into the the social and political challenges in America, and in fact shows the global issues which face us all. As the story continues, Walter mentions business after business, some of which are real, and how they are all bought up and eventually owned by the fictitious RAMJAC corporation. It shows how the little man cannot survive without some bulldozer coming in and snapping up the business, and ultimately ruining it!

It might be a pessimistic viewpoint to state that all humans are evil, but by degrees they are. Can the person who stands back and watches atrocities be any better than the man who carries them out? For a supposedly intelligent race, we often do not accomplish the things we should, or do the good that we intend to do. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The real life martyrdom of Sacco and Vanetti is a true piece of USA history and shows how immigrants could be treated at the time. They were Italian born USA immigrants, convicted of murders they claimed they did not commit. Well-known writers and authors petitioned for a pardon, but their cries were ignored. Both men were sent to the electric chair, despite a man called Celestino Madeiros confessing to the crime. 50 years after their deaths, a Massachusetts Governor would state that he had evidence that their trial had not been a fair one, but he declined to say if they were guilty or not.

"we are here for no purpose, unless we can invent one"

The book has many little sub-stories peppered throughout it, each one serving as a salutary lesson to the reader. One of the characters writes a book about a planet where the worst crime imaginable was ingratitude. The punishment? Defenestration. Prague lovers will know that this was the act of throwing people from windows and sparked The Thirty Years War! Even Einstein pops up to remark that "Life was fair." We might not think that life is fair, but if we reflect, life gives us countless opportunities, the question is, do we take them? And if we do take them, do we take the right opportunities? Quite frankly we can never know, not unless we are able to live a parallel life and see what would happen if we took those other opportunities...what we can't say with any truthfulness is that life is unfair. Life is just what you make of it.


"My nose, thank God, had conked out by then. Noses are merciful that way."

People like to think that money equates to happiness. It doesn't. Money may make life a little more comfortable, but in the same way it cannot buy style, it cannot buy happiness. Happiness comes from the soul, and the story of Mary Kathleen O'Looney, later to marry into the corporate world of RAMJAC to become Mrs Jack Graham, a woman in fear of her life, is a sad but poignant part of the tale. She transformed herself into an old, smelly bag lady, millions of pounds in the bank, but living in fear of her life in an old underground station and becoming just another non-entity on the street. If she was found she would have her hands cut off. The rest of her would not be required. Whoever had her hands, her fingerprints, had control of RAMJAC one of the largest corporations in the world.

This brings us back to the beginning of the book, a multimillionaire is friendless. He has an inability to interact with society, he has a wife who ignores him, a daughter who is embarrassed by him. All that wealth and he has to befriend the child of his cook so that he can teach him how to play chess, and thus keep the multimillionaire happy. The child would be Walter F Starbuck, a man who would get a job in a high powered company, which will lead to his downfall.

Back in Reality

A school in New York City was asked to write to their favourite authors to persuade them to do a talk at their school. Some students wrote to Vonnegut, who by then was 84 years old. He did not visit the school, but he did take the time to write a letter. The contents should be read and enacted up I think, It would certainly make people think a little before being so unpleasant to their fellow man. I will leave you with some words of wisdom in this regard from Vonnegut himself.



(With thanks to www.lettersofnote.com where the full and original post can be found)



Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut was my March read for 2016ClassicsChallenge, in aid of http://www.boxclevertheatre.com   

To sponsor me in aid of this worthwhile cause, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Susan-rogers3



Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Happy Anniversary Box Clever Theatre!

Since I've made it my goal to raise funds for Box Clever Theatre Company in 2016, I figured I should take the opportunity to find out what this company actually does!

Sunday 6th March 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the company, and as a Very Clever Friend (oh how I like being called that!) I was invited to share in their celebrations! 

The afternoon commenced with a modern interpretation of the classic Romeo and Juliet. It was performed in the round, and the set was simply what looked like an oversized park bench! (Two "seats" at one level, with a higher third tier in the middle.) There were only three actors involved, Corey Stuckey as Romeo, Evie Taylor as Juliet and Maria Simmonds as the narrator. It was an inspired performance interlocking modern speech with inserts of the Bards words, but this mash up of modern and Shakespearean language was seamless, it didn't feel forced or contrived.

fast paced, edge of the seat viewing


I have watched Romeo and Juliet countless times over the years, but it was this performance which suddenly reminded me how ludicrous the story actually was. I had completely forgotten that Romeo and Juliet fell in love, got married and died in the matter of a week. In this version, Romeo and Juliet have met at a club, the music is blaring, they kiss and love blossoms. The narrator moves in to question them as to how they could fall in love so quickly, the narrator is sceptical of this passion that flows through the couple. What I loved is that the narrator does not just fill in the story between Romeo and Juliet's scenes, but she is the face in the crowd, the outsider looking in and passing judgement on the couple. She says what she sees, she thinks it's ridiculous that people can meet at a party and be planning marriage a day or so later! As the tension mounts throughout the play and we head towards the conclusion, the narrator then points out that with all the facts on the table now, she is beginning to question whether or not she was wrong, that perhaps the two lovers really did have a deep set bond.


The production is fast paced, and the actors engage with their audience throughout, which makes it great interactive viewing (you don't know if they will ask you a question or want to shake your hand!) and I can see how engaging these touring productions will be when they visit schools throughout the country. I thought I knew the story well, but in the past I had been so immersed in the language or the sets, I'd forgotten to listen to what the key themes of the tale were. I was impressed how quickly I was drawn into the events surrounding Romeo and Juliet's tale of woe and how I became so emotionally attached to the performance. The sixty minutes flew by and I heartily wished that this sort of theatre had been available to me when I was at school.

Not So Unlucky Thirteen!!

It was time for a break, for people to grab a cuppa and some food before the second performance of the day commenced. The actor, Joseph Mawle, and a patron of Box Clever, started proceedings by saying a few words about how inspiring he had found the company, and a little bit about the work that Box Clever had undertaken over the years. Joseph has starred in Game of Thrones, Birdsong and Ripper Street, plus many other well known productions, so it spoke volumes about how much he believes in the company for him to take the time to come and watch the play. 

Thirteen extracts from plays that Box Clever has performed over the years were then presented. The standard of writing and acting was phenomenal and the messages that the plays were trying to deliver really hit home. The topics were diverse, but ones that their intended audience would really associate with. Box Clever tours schools with these plays, and carries out workshops with the children after the performances. 

In Urban Mischief David Ajao (RSC) lives in a tower block and is rather isolated. His lives his life vicariously through films, as fantasy is easier to deal with than reality. He meets Mia, (Charlyne Francis) someone he has watched from afar. Whilst they try to get to know one another, it shows how difficult it is for Mia to communicate with someone who can not deal with the real world. The extracts are performed with humour, but the underlying message is heartfelt and sincere about how difficult young people find it to mark out a place for themselves in the real world.

Something Beautiful told the story of a difficult relationship between a father and son after a divorce. The day, played by Clive Hayward (EastEnders, Prime Suspect) is not handling bringing up his teenage son very well. Whatever he does seems to push them further apart. The son (Cory Stuckey) is packing his bag to leave and go to his mum, and the play deals with many issues surrounding both the relationship between people, and also the dangers of hitch hiking to get you from a to b!

All thirteen extracts were told and performed with such passion and emotion. The standard that was produced was amazing. I was certainly enlightened after the event just how much Box Clever can bring to a student's learning journey. I took away so much from those performances, and I really look forward to being invited to see some more performances as the year continues.

*All photo's courtesy of Box Clever Theatre @clevertheatre (Twitter)

How can I find out and do more?

If you want any further information about Box Clever, visit their website at http://www.boxclevertheatre.co.uk

If you want to help me raise funds for Box Clever Theatre Company, please support me by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/Susan-rogers3

If you have children at school, I would advise you to speak to the headmaster about the possibility of inviting Box Clever Theatre Company to work with your school. "If you are interested in booking any of the performances, would like more information or would like to come and see the show at one of our schools, please contact tourbooker@boxclevertheatre.com or 0207 793 0040."

Monday, 7 March 2016

New Designs Available at Redbubble

I've been away doing a bit of designing, hence no new posts recently!

Everywhere I look people are wearing scarves or t-shirts with skulls on them. My love of horses and the "darker" themed books I have been reading of late inspired me to do a design entitled Horse Apocalypse. The design features a horse skeleton looking into and away from an abyss. The design is open to interpretation, the word apocalypse comes from the ancient Greek and means a revelation or the discovering of knowledge, so perhaps the design is not as bleak as one first imagines!

Spring is on the way, well meteorologically speaking it is! I have done a bright and jazzy daisy print design which works best on clothing. So if you want a bright jazzy pair of leggings, or a new skirt for the summer, check out the 5 Daisy Chain designs. If you want the design on a different coloured background, please contact me via the comment button and I can amend the design for you!

Check out http://www.redbubble.com/people/siouxrogers