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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Meet the Cast - The Penultimate Part

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
The Natural History of Trolls
This is the second to last selection of the company, final people next week.  And the week after that you can see them in the flesh, if you buy a ticket.

Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore is an established actress who trained at East 15. She recently performed in Loves Labours Lost as The Princess and Henry V as Mistress Quickly and Alice for the CSF, Top Cat and Alice in 'Dick Whittington meets Top Cat', Polina in 'The Seagull' at Barons Court and  Kim in 'The Waiting Game' at the Unicorn Theatre. Other credits include Emma Darwin in 'When Poets Meet Scientist's' and various Voice over projects including Sony Playstation in various roles and more recently narrator for Revealed on CNN; credits include Sylvio Berlosconi John Malkovitch and Mark Ronson.

Sally Gilfillan

Sally trained at ArtsEd, London. Theatre roles include: Katy in The Revengers, Barons Court Theatre, Maggie in With Feathers, The Pleasance, Islington; Paulina in A Winters Tale, Maria in Twelfth Night, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, Maria in Love’s Labours Lost all for Rooftop Theatre Company, Veralanium Park, St Albans; Beatrice in Much ado about Nothing (UK tour) Pauline in A Kind of Alaska, The Pleasance and Barons Court, Gila, One for the Road Barons Court; Susan in Tiresias part of an evening of monologues at The Crown Pub, New Oxford Street. Films include Dirty Turkey, The Brotherhood, The Kiss. Commercials: Sainsburys Jamie Oliver Campaign.

 Richard Ward

Richard Ward trained at Drama Studio London and has appeared in several one act festival plays at the Lost One Act Festival and elsewhere.  Other theatre includes "We The People" (Shakespeare's Globe) and "Twelfth Night" (Saviour Theatre).  Film and tv includes "Midsomer Murders", "Blue Peter" and "Tortoise In Love".  Richard specialises in audio books and role play and is absolutely delighted to be making his first appearance with Milk Bottle Productions.  Spotlight  9376-9059-3054.

[Blogger Note:  The show is a surprise to most of the cast.  Most of the company only have two thirds of the story - they don't know how it ends.  Except for myself and Richard - who performs as part of the Epilogue.  I didn't feel it was fair for him to not know what most of his text refered to, so I did send him an early draft.  Early mind.  Even Richard doesn't know it all.]

Jamie Addlet

Theatre credits include Quincey Morris in Dracula, Badger in Toad of Toad Hall, George in Don’t Dress for Dinner and Ernest Foster in Suddenly At Home. Screen credits include Larry in Eye Level, Barry in Best Man (a film that was nominated in the 2010 British Horror awards and then banned from being shown at the ceremony for being too graphic) and an Ident for EDF Energy.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Three Day Eventers and the One Day Internationals...

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
The Natural History of Trolls
Okay, this is a fairly boring blog post - but quite an important one I feel.  We're nearly at the end of the Meet the Cast introductions - now it's time to let you know when they're performing.  Some are down for all three days, some for one.  Now you can decide which day you want to come to the show based on the cast.  Or you could come to every night so that you can compare the performances of each.  But that might be pushing things at bit.
However, it is fair to say that I owe these twenty-three people a lot.  Even though I don't know many of them well yet, they have had an enormous effect on my life.
They're making me work harder.
It is easy when it's just you on stage to fall back on your old tricks, to relax and say - hey, it's just me, who would know.  But knowing that there are so many people who are all turning up to be part of this show what I wrote, who all have put in so much of their own time into rehearsal, that makes me sit up and really turn on the juice.  Because getting motivated to rehearsal monologues is difficult.  It is terribly dull work.  It's the pay off on the day that makes it all worth while.
So, thank you cast.  You're really keeping my nose to that grind stone.  Damn you.

(On for all three performances)

Robert Crighton
Georgina Blackledge
Catherine Eccles
Jessica Moore
Pamela Flanagan
Richard Ward

Caroline Davies
Philippa Tatham
Simon Nader
Emma Burn
Sally Gilfillan
Ailsa Ilott

Sophie Carmichael
Denys Gaskill
Jessica Tobert
Josie Bloom
Kate Steel
Matthew Harrison-James

Elizabeth Jee
Jamie Addlet  
Gillian Horgan
Elizabeth Quinn
Elizabeth Nicholson
Colin Emerson

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Meet the Cast - Part Five

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
The Natural History of Trolls
Big cast, isn't it.  Yes, there are (including me) twenty-four people in the company - but they're not there for each show, each night will be a combination of twelve of them.  I'll be posting who on which night later, but for the moment a few more cast details...

Jessica Tobert

Originally from Harrow, North London, Jessica trained at the University of Birmingham in both English Literature and Drama, before committing to the life of an actor. Since graduating she has been cast in a number of shows.

Her recent credits include: 
Jackie in The Snow Show (Troubadour Productions); Dancer/Actor for the 20th Anniversary Viral (Sennheiser); Josef/Maria in Macbeth and Taming of the Shrew (Principal Theatre Company); Chorus Member in La Boheme (Cock Tavern Theatre).  Most recently she has been gigging with her band, The Honky Sausage.

Elizabeth Quinn

Elizabeth’s interest in drama started when she was very young and in 2009 she graduated from East 15 School of Acting during which time she performed in both The Cherry Orchard and Richard III. Since then she has worked in several theatre productions including playing Mrs Whitticker in Chivalry and devising and writing a new and exciting play 300 Friends with Whitespace Theatre Company. 

Her work with this company has given Elizabeth a real passion for new writing as well as devising and most recently she has worked with Crow Theatre on their newest play Crowd. Her film work includes several short films and the lead role in the independent British film The Dead Inside, due to be released later this year. 

Elizabeth is also a keen ‘Ripperologist’ and takes Jack the Ripper tours around the East end of London.

Matthew Harrison-James

Matthew Harrison-James is a British born actor hailing from the West Midlands who currently lives in and around London since graduating from East 15 Acting School.  Matt has trained in Beijing Opera (jingju), African Traditional Performance, Balinese Theatre forms and Butoh as well as training in traditional western theatre.  Matt has worked with esteemed international artists Nakamura Fukusuke IX, Nyoman Sedana and Qin Liang in Kabuki, Balinese Theatre and jingju respectively.  This work culminated in the shows “Kabuki Meets West: Sumire” at Wimbledon Arts college and “The Women Generals of the Yang Family” at E15’s Clifftown Theatre, both in 2009.  Not only has Matt worked with international artists but also British based crossover theatre specialist and former artistic director of the Yellow Earth theatre company David Tse Ka Shing on his cross-cultural version of White Snake in 2010.  Other credits include You Me Bum Bum Train (Barbican bite) and Romeo & Juliet (Clifftown Theatre) Matt is soon to be playing Palamon in ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen in Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Dell Festival.

Gillian Horgan

Gillian Horgan is originally from Cork, and trained at Drama Studio London. 

Theatre credits include: No Dogs (Fragments), Susanna (Theatro Technis), Reeperbahn (Theatre503), Tilt (Cockpit Theatre), Famine (Old Red Lion), Monsieur Venus (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Camp Confidence (Hailsham Pavillion) and Dark Week (Everyman). Film credits include: Camden Calling, Verge, The Boat That Rocked, Black Coffee, and The Hurt in Hope.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Live from the Quay Theatre!

Friday night and it's the last ever Teaching Gods.  Ever.  So, instead of telling a story, how do I start the show?
By doing my vlog.
So, here you have my latest vlog, with a live studio audience.  I'm a little bleached out... but technical facilities were basic and my camera is still playing up.

After that I told three stories - Problem Tree (from Teaching Gods and Other Stories...) and two new pieces, Much Like... and Sleep Inc.  Much Like... was a qualified success - it's a bit self indulgent and probably won't be repeated.  Sleep Inc. however went well and, with a few adjustments, will be added to shows future.  Of course those who were in the audience are free to tell me I am deluded about all the above.
After an interval I closed with Teaching Gods - which is now officially closed for business from me.  It started life as a filler for a show in 2003, was rewritten for 2006 and has been popping up for five years since.  Enough now.  The CD exists - that will have to be it for the time being, unless others wish to stage it themselves.
Right, I'm off into town now for a meet and greet with the cast of Storyteller - so more from me tomorrow on that I'm sure.
From the depths of Lavenham,

Friday, 24 June 2011

Before the Gods Arrived...

Last month we (Catherine Eccles, Simon Nader and myself) did the final (bar tonight's Suffolk special) performance of Teaching Gods: The Ultimate Selection.  I was Teaching Gods, Cat was the Ultimate Selection.  It was a very quick set up as there was the marvellous Magic Cavern magician on before us, so I didn't get to drink quite as much tea as I'd like.  This is our journey - as documented by the marvellous Mr Matthew Vile.
NB:  I haven't fully processed these images - cropping and light balances reflect the rough and ready quality of the technical process.

16.00 hours:
Simon runs his lines.

I drink some tea.

Cat has not yet arrived.

17.10 hours:
Simon focuses some lights.

It is a reasonable assumption that I am drinking tea somewhere out of shot.

Cat arrives.  All work stops for hugs and natteration.

17.30 hours:

Cat is put in her box.  The lighting box, that is.

Simon continues to focus lights.

I boil the kettle for more tea.

17.40 hours:
We start a cue to cue - Simon's up first with some dynamic invisible dart throwing.

I am probably drinking some tea.

Cat works those lights.

17.45:  Cat pretends to be a person.

17.50:  I pretend to be a cat.

 18.05:  With less than an hour till the show starts, we check out the merchandise.

18.40:  There's little time left before curtain up, so the cast behave in a serious and professional manner.

And then there was a show. And the audience smiled - for it was good.

Teaching Gods: The Ultimate Selection was performed by Robert Crighton, Catherine Eccles and Simon Nader as a one-off show at the Barons Court Theatre on Sunday 22nd May 2011.  Pre-show photos taken by Matthew Vile.  Special Thanks to Ron and Chris of the Barons Court Theatre.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Meet the Cast - Part Four

Who else do we have in our marvellous cast... well today we have...

Georgina Blackledge

Having decided to swap a sterile theatre for a dusty one, Georgie has thrown herself head first into the acting world. Her most recent work includes filming Emma Peel in ‘The Avengers Return’, of which a pilot series in is development with Gin and Tonic Productions. Other film work includes ‘Africa in her blood’, Nightpiece Media; ‘An act of loyalty’, Evergreen media; ‘Define Crazy’, Ravensbourne Films; ‘Two Birds One Stone’, JAM films; ‘The Cabinet’, Mad Ninja Films. Theatre includes ‘Noises Off’, The Company and ‘The Rover’, The Company. She will also be appearing in ‘Excess Deductable’ with So it goes...Theatre Company later this year. After stumbling upon the audition, Georgie is extremely excited to be making her Milk Bottle Productions debut.

[Bloggers Note: Georgina did indeed stumble upon the audition by complete accident, thinking we were a completely different theatre company.  After talking cross purposes for a couple of minutes like a modern day restoration comedy we did eventually realise we were discussing very different shows.  Luckily for us, after auditioning with our script, she agreed to do ours.]

Elizabeth Jee

Elizabeth graduated from the London Centre for Theatre Studies in 2007. Theatre credits include AFTER THE DANCE (National Theatre) MY BOY JACK (Baron's Court Theatre) and TREWLAWNY OF THE WELLS (New Players Theatre).

She has recently been working on a short film EMPTY PAGES playing the lead role (Release July 2011) and is looking forward to working with Milk Bottle Productions for the first time and helping to tell their marvelous story.

Denys Gaskill

Acting credits include:
The Handwitch of the Second Stage (Camden Peoples Theatre), Rashmon and Hello Paris (Edinburgh Fringe Festival),  Antigone, A Christmas Carol, Trap for a Lonely Man (all at the Lion and Unicorn), ‘House of Bernarda Alba’ (Pentameters), ‘Macbeth’ (The Scoop), ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Rose Theatre Bankside)

Student films:One Word’’, ‘Paul Thomas’, ‘ Spring Clean’ and ‘Man and Dog’.


Kate Steel

Kate trained at East 15 Acting School.  Since graduating in 2008 she has played a wide variety of roles, most recently in Los Angeles where she trained with Cinda Jackson and John Pleshette. 
Theatre credits include Tzeitel in "Fiddler on the Roof" and Madame Aubert in "Titanic the Musical" at Hull New Theatre. Last year she toured Slovenia with the Alzaytouna dance/theatre company and is currently rehearsing for an Agatha Christie Spoof, ‘Murdered to Death’. If she survives this play, she hopes to reprise her character, Margaret, in the two remaining plays in the trilogy!
Kate was in Los Angeles from January this year until recently and was thrilled to be cast as Liz in "Me as a Penguin" by northern playwright Tom Wells – although it was a slightly surreal experience for her to play a lass from her native Hull.... in Hollywood! She also played Emma in Harold Pinter’s "Betrayal". Playing a Renaissance Fair Maiden in a US commercial was also an experience! 
Kate also loves film and her favourite role to date was when she gallivanted across the North Yorkshire Moors as a 17th century governess in "The Legend of Beggar's Bridge". Her first feature film, ‘Peter’ (based on the life of The Yorkshire Ripper) is due to be released this year. 
As a former primary school teacher, Kate has always loved telling stories and is thrilled to play her most recent part in "The Natural History of Trolls". 


The New Wimbledon Studio

Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th July at 7.45pm
Tickets: £10
Box Office: 0844 871 7646
Groups Line: 0844 871 7696
Access Booking Line: 0844 871 7677
New Wimbledon Studio, the Broadway, London, SW19 1QG


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Meet the Cast - Part Three

We've been a little female heavy the last couple of posts - we can't help that, it's a female heavy company.  However, today we have sneaked in a couple of men with a lady, and we do have a few more in coming posts.

Elizabeth Nicholson

After performing in stage productions whilst growing up in Nottingham and then Dorset, Elizabeth graduated from the University of the West of England in Bristol and went on to train full time as an actor in her Postgraduate studies.

She has recently filmed a commercial in Romania and been busy filming 3 shorts and a feature film, including the ambitious indie feature ‘Red Heart’ (, sci-fi short Proximity ( and the comedy super-hero short ‘Durex-Man’ directed by fellow Storyteller Colin Emerson. 

She is also soon to feature in ‘Like a Fishbone’ by Andrew Weigh at the Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone.

Colin Emerson

Born in London, Colin passed a course in Contemporary Popular Musics and went on to become a singer/songwriter working with Garage producers, Delinquent, DJ Fabion and Mischief Makers, and scored a top 10 hit on 1xtra with the track ''R U Ready''. 

Since then Colin has turned his eye to learning Japanese and the craft of acting. He has trained at The Actors Temple and has also worked closely with producer Milly Ellis and screenwriter, Nick Reed and currently in the process of producing/directing a web series.

Last year Colin performed ''Teaching Gods'', written by Robert Crighton at the Tristan Bates Theatre and will next be seen in The Actors Centre/BBC Talent Boost short film ''The Conference'' directed by Justin Edgar.

Simon Nader

Simon Nader is a core member of Milk Bottle having played Teiresias in BLIND SPOTS, Treplev in THE ALTERNATIVE SEAGULL and several solo pieces including KEYNOTE SPEAKER. He trained at London’s Academy Drama School. Previous stage work includes: Billy, BILLY BLISTER’S CIRCUS (Watford Palace Theatre); George, OF MICE AND MEN (National tour); Colin/Policeman, MAGGIE’S END (Shaw Theatre); All the male roles, THE OTHER SIDE (Gilded Balloon Edinburgh); Otto, CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (Union Theatre); Gary, THE REVENGERS (Barons Court Theatre) and many others. Feature Film work includes forthcoming horror THE DEAD INSIDE as Wayne Andrews; Guildenstern in HAMLET (Fodor’s 2006); Horst in FUR MEINEN VATER and as a voice actor on IRONCLAD. He recently played The Journalist in BBC Radio 4’s THE CHESS GIRLS and is currently playing Claudio in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING for Rooftop Theatre in St Albans (until July 16th). Tickets

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Let me tell you about a Cat called Gus...

We get to Gus in a round about way.

We start by talking about books.

And shows...

I will get to the cat in a bit.

So, books.  The first text I published was a mini pocket edition of Fantasy Terrorist League - but this was just a test.  Bar that test copy we never did a print run and have only sold a few units online.  The reason for this neglect is we went straight into publishing a collected edition of monologues: Teaching Gods and Other Stories...
This was the title of the show that collected all my major monologues and stories together and had a reasonably large print run (well for us anyway).  The initial collection was expanded with the inclusion of favourites such as The Alternative Seagull and now contains seven different pieces.
The show is in the process of being retired.  We did the last London show last month and I'm doing a last stand in the Quay Theatre bar - watched over by one Gus.
I must say, I never met Gus, he was before my time.  However, he watches over everyone who stops off at the lovely Quay Theatre bar for a drink and never makes a nuisance of himself - which is more than could be said when he was alive.  Gus was the theatre cat.  And as Teaching Gods is a story about a cat, one of the names used for the campus cat had to be Gus.  So it was very important for me to do that story in the bar that he watches so carefully over.
The bar event is free to attend and features a new story that I've been working on - "The Adventures of Shermes Hollocks".  So if you''re around this Friday 24th June do come down to the bar of the Quay Theatre, Quay Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk - the stories begin at 8pm.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Meet the Cast - Part Two

With a company of twenty-four souls, that's a lot of people.  So I'm introducing you to them three at a time, every three/four days.  You've met Catherine, Pamela and Sophie - who's next out of the Milk Bottle bag.
NB:  We don't keep them in a bag.

Emma Burn

Originally from the North East of England, Emma moved to London to train at The Academy drama school.
Previous credits include: Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra at The Rose Theatre, Bankside.  Mercutio in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ which toured theatres in England and Ireland and Hermia in 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' which toured to open air venues.  Suzette in 'Don't Dress For Dinner'at The Palace Theatre, Westcliff, Belle in 'A Christmas Carol' at The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft (with the legend that is Paul Daniels!)

Emma also appeared as Ruth Bechlar in 'Suddenly At Home' and Jane Bedford in 'Murder With Love', both for The Thriller Season at Nottingham Theatre Royal. New writing credits include ‘Bacchus In Rehab' at The Etcetera Theatre, Camden and the comedy musical ‘Rasputin Rocks!' at The Kenton Theatre, Henley.  Emma can also be seen in various commercials and i-dents.

Ailsa Ilott

Having graduated from Middlesex University, shall we say a while ago, Ailsa went on to survive travelling the world on her lonesome to carry on studying acting at Drama Studio London.

Ailsa's recent credits include: The Merry Wives of Windsor (What's in a name Productions); Alice's Adventures in the New World (Old Red Lion); Handbag (BAC); The Haman Bride (The Arcola); Licentogue (the Underbelly); The Enemy of the People (The Arcola); Storm in the Willows (The Albany); Richard II (The Bloomsbury).

Last year she made 3 short films: Exploitation; The Date; and The ID Girl. Ailsa is an associate artist with the all female theatre company Fluff Productions with whom she will be doing a tour of Alice's Adventures later this year.

Philippa Tatham

Philippa started her London acting career dressed as an Elizabethan whore on the Southwark streets.

Since then, her credits have included Autolycus (The Winter’s Tale), Mistress Overdone (Measure for Measure), Dormouse/Tweedledum (Curiouser and Curiouser) and Sebastian (Twelfth Night.) In 2010 she directed her own show The Adventures of Sydney and Arabella, The Exiled Urban Foxes at the Camden Fringe, and has also staged plays at The King’s Head, Tabard, New End, Baron’s Court and Rose Theatres as well as with London Irish Theatre. 

 She is appearing as Beatrice in Rooftop Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing in St Albans this July. 

[Editors note: And Philippa is not the only cast member from Storyteller doing Much Ado, so definitely worth catching both show, as we only use class actors...]

More exciting cast members next week... more other stuff from this blog tomorrow...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Natural History of Publishing - Part One

Tomorrow I'll post a few more details about the cast - but today let's talk books.
For three years now I've been publishing my plays whenever there is a signification production.  This has been an interesting exercise, when you work on the scale of theatre that I do.  It has many benefits.  It raises a little extra revenue (not a lot, but a little), it spreads the word a little further and it forces me to stop re-writing the play (to the joyous relief of the cast).  There is a cut off point where the script is locked - where I cannot change it.
I would love to say it works.  It doesn't.  What happens is I scale down the level of changes.  Rather than say, completely changing a scene, I will only change to odd word, turn of phrase or make the odd cut.  (Cuts are not rewrites - they are the directors revenge.)  So The Natural History of Trolls is locked.  My last changes were sent on Monday to the cast.  And it is this book which is on sale. 

You can buy it now - at - where it retails at £9.99 plus p+p, or for much less if you download it to your kindle.  Yes, Milk Bottle is e-friendly. 
The easiest (and cheapest) way to buy the play is to come to the show - where we will sell it to you for only £5.  Nearly half price.  Over half price if you include postage.  But numbers are limited, so if you want a copy you can reserve one by email - just send me your name to and it'll be waiting at the show.  Which you will have to buy a ticket to see.  Which perhaps ruins the cheapness angle.  But it's a great show - so you won't be agrieved.  Buy Tickets Here!

And here is the book.  With authentic painting on the front.  I'd say I'm a great painter - but that would be a lie.  I took a picture of a penguin, traced it out and then essentially did a painting by numbers job.  But it's very relaxing.  I recommend it.

Any day now the books will all arrive and I will be terrified that there's a typo somewhere.  I am more careful about such issues these days - there is a story about Teaching Gods and the omnipresent travelling n, which I'll tell in a future blog.

Ultimately the reason why I do the publishing thing is the play has a life of it's own after the show ends.  Again, this happened with Teaching Gods which was put on by an actor called Colin, who is now in cast of Trolls - so you'll hear all about him next week.  Publishing adds another dimension and introduces me to lots of new and interesting people.
Now, I think I'm going to go away and paint a penguin.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Meet the Cast - Part One

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
Robert Crighton:

The writing is done - the script has gone to the printers and out to be learnt.  Now, it's time to get ready for the show.  Less than four weeks to go - tickets are available - do book now (details below...)
But who are the cast? I hear you say.  Well, I'll release the full company list of twenty-four at the end of the week, as well as these individual cast biogs every few days.

So who do we have first?  Meet the Cast... Part One.

Sophie Carmichael

Born and bred in London, Sophie studied at Exeter University before
deciding that she wanted to explore the world; once she’d done this,
an acting career was just what she was after.

Theatre credits include: The Princess Bride and The Just So Stories
(touring with Theatre Alchemists), Macbeth (MOPA Theatre Company
tour), Brits in Bits (Look Left Look Right/BAC), Last Post (Theatre
Royal, Bath), Ovid Reworked (Brixton Village Market) and Bullpen
(Theatre Delicatessen). Television credits include Search for the
Bront√ęs and Football Focus (both BBC). Sophie is currently developing
a new piece of theatre based on a well-know children’s story, which
will hopefully be on a stage near you by the end of the year….watch
this space!

Her last story telling experience was an autobiographical one, with
Spark at the Blue Elephant Theatre, and, funnily enough, was also all
about negotiating with a penguin.

Pamela Flanagan

Originally from Dublin, Pamela graduated from The University of Glasgow before training on the Post-graduate course at the Academy Drama School.

Pamela has previously played Octavia in Antony and Cleopatra (The Rose, Bankside), Jill in Come On, Jeeves (Devonshire Park Theatre), Nancy in Dance Hall Days (Riverside Studios), Pegeen Mike in The Playboy of the Western World (Catford Broadway), Vi Gibbons in This Happy Breed (Pleasance) and Rose in I Capture The Castle (James Arnott Theatre).

Her film work includes Blood + Roses, Incubator and Eye Level. She has also recently been made into a hologram for a museum installation recreating the birth of the Irish coffee in Foynes.


Catherine Eccles

Originally from Newcastle, Catherine worked and trained with Newcastle’s ‘Northern Stage Ensemble’ and London’s, ‘Rough Cut Theatre’ before graduating from Middlesex University and continuing her training at The Actors Temple. 
Theatre credits include, The Ballroom of Romance (Newcastle Playhouse), A Servant of Two Masters (New End Theatre), Burlesque-esque (New Players Theatre), Crave (Trinity Buoy Wharf), The Sword in the Stone (Cambridge Arts Theatre and East Anglia Tour) and is about to embark on a tour of Germany with The Mystery of Edgar Allen Poe.  Last year she played the role of Witch Guinevere Westmorland in Children's TV series Spooked and this year will see the release of her two feature films, the psychological thriller, Greenwich Village Massacre and the vampire film, AB: Abnocto Bibere.  Catherine also performs regularly with The Kitten Club (Madame JoJos, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Volupte), appearing as her self-devised cabaret character Vixen DeVille.

And they're all appearing in the fabulous new show Storyteller: The Natural History of Trolls.
The New Wimbledon Studio Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th July at 7.45pm
Tickets: £10
Box Office: 0844 871 7646
Groups Line: 0844 871 7696
Access Booking Line: 0844 871 7677
New Wimbledon Studio, the Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Fragments from a busy week

All right - I know.  I've been neglecting the blog.  I've been busy - sorry.  Right, where was I?  Starting writing this next bit about a week ago...

- It's the little things that get you.  Little bits of sentences that just don't hang right.  The Natural History of Trolls is finished.  It is.  It could be performed tomorrow.  But it isn't perfect.  Not yet.  Just got to untangle a few knots.  And it's exhausting.
I have been slogging away at these knots all week - and got the first two thirds right where I wanted them.  But then... I just didn't like the last third.  It wasn't the words (they were nice enough) it was the physicality.  Nothing happened.  Not physically.  And it just wasn't right.  So I joked on twitter about putting in a car chase.  I didn't quite go that far, instead I changed the focus from the central character to another.  And he's having a very stressful day - so getting inside his head helps drive the story along more.  It also means there's more movement and it is less sad.  Just that little bit more upbeat.
I did drop one of my endings.  It's strange.  I seem to collect endings.  It's like Lord of the Rings sometimes - everyone you've ever met turns up to say goodbye.  This story had three.  The ending, the second ending and an epilogue - which is another kind of ending.  So one of them had to go and it was the second ending.  Didn't hurt a bit.

I wrote that over a week ago.  Next we jump to mid-week. 

- We've just finished a lengthy process of auditioning, which has just officially closed and the results are rushing out over the next couple of days.  And I still haven't quite sorted out the last third yet.  Nearly there - know exactly what needs to be changed - hundreds of notes.  Just haven't done it yet.  But I've been rehearsing the first section nicely, so I'm not behind.  Much.

And now to the present...

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the more phones people have the harder it is to contact them.  Auditioning is easy - getting the confirmations out and in again for a cast of twenty three over three days is hard work.  I'll be announcing the cast when all confirmations are in.  It has been lovely meeting new people - and I have to say the online audition process has been fairly successful.  You'd be surprised how much a close up on a dodgy webcam can show up - it's fascinating.  Not all applicants were successful via the web, but I'm pleased to have sent offers to virtual people.  Otherwise it would have been a gimic and that would have been terrible.
The only disappointment with the web based auditions was the absense of chat.  You should have said hello, talked about what you did, offered a bribe... Next time I'll ask for that - I think that'll be nice.
I'm about to send another batch of emails before running the new and improved final third for final edits.  Then this evening I'll start to format the book version. 
Lastly, I will just mention that tickets for the show are now online.  We do expect to sell well, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
Robert Crighton:
Written and Performed by Robert Crighton
With Special Guests: Georgina Blackledge, Catherine Eccles, Pamela Flanagan and Jessica Moore and Many, Many, Many More...

“Whatever you do, don’t think about orange Penguins!”
Multi-Awarding Winning Storyteller Robert Crighton is returning to his roots with a new collection of stories for 2011.  Featuring his trademark wit and dark humour, Storyteller will draw you into unusual worlds and introduce you to people you’d not normally meet.

This first show is the world premiere of the ‘The Natural History of Trolls’, three stories covering a hundred and fifty years of history, two Queens and their subjects in the fairy kingdom.  Midst this epic timeline is the story of an ordinary commute gone wrong, when a troll-like tramp in an Underground carriage turns out to REALLY be a Troll.
Funny, thoughtful and with occasional attempts at wisdom, let Robert Crighton and his team of storytellers lead you through a world like ours – just a little off centre. 

The New Wimbledon Studio Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th July at 7.45pm
Tickets: £10
Box Office: 0844 871 7646
Groups Line: 0844 871 7696
Access Booking Line: 0844 871 7677
New Wimbledon Studio, the Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The June Newsletter - for those not on the list...

I don't normally post the newsletter on here, but thought it would be a useful catch up for anyone confused about Milk Bottle and what we do...

The Milk Bottle Newsletter: June 2011
We’re into the home straight now – the last London showing of Teaching Gods is past (Suffolk people get one last shot in June), the first CD has been launched and we’re gearing up for the first Storyteller show of the year in July.  As always it’s at these times we need your support all the more.
Your help is vital.  Please, spread the love.  If you’re on facebook please join our group Milk Bottle Productions or follow Robert Crighton: Storyteller. If you already do, then share these with your friends.  Or if you’re a twitter person @RobertCrighton.  Help spread the word about the work we do.  It really does help.

CD is here!
The first CD audio book of the stories Bink! and Teaching Gods is on sale now.  You can get it at our next shows, via our website or direct from us.  To order (or reserve) your copy send us an email at with the number you want and your address and we’ll send you a paypal payment link.  It’s only £10 if collected at our next show, or £11.50 if posted. 

The Ultimate Selection in SUFFOLK
We had a lovely time at Barons Court saying goodbye to the London version of the show – now for Suffolk to get its last chance.  The Suffolk show will be at the Quay Theatre Bar on Friday 24th June and, as it’s only a few days after his birthday, Robert will bring cake.
Along with the old favourites from Teaching Gods there'll be a completely new comic tale, "The Adventures of Shermes Hollocks" written especially for the evening.
Friday June 24th at 8pm
Free Entry in The Quay Bar (opening at 7pm)
The Quay Theatre, Quay Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2AN

Storyteller 2011: TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
The Natural History of Trolls cometh.  It’s a very sweet, sad and funny story about a group of people who live underground.  Final adjustments going on – see the storyteller blog [] and vlog []– and rehearsals are underway.  The script goes to the printers in a little over a week and the final castings will be announced soon.  The show has a regular Milk Bottle cast (Robert Crighton, Catherine Eccles, Jessica Moore and Pamela Flanagan) as the core company for the three performances, plus another 20 people cast members who are auditioning as we type.

It’s performing for three nights at the New Wimbledon Studio on the 11th, 12th and 13th July at 7.45pm and tickets are all only £10.  Box office is open – book those tickets now!

New Wimbledon Studio, the Broadway, London, SW19 1QG
Box Office: 0844 871 7646
Groups Line: 0844 871 7696
Access Booking Line: 0844 871 7677

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
Robert Crighton: STORYTELLER
Written and Performed by Robert Crighton – plus Special Guests

“Whatever you do, don’t think about orange penguins!”
Multi-Awarding Winning Storyteller Robert Crighton is returning to his roots with a new collection of stories for 2011.  Featuring his trademark wit and dark humour, Storyteller will draw you into unusual worlds and introduce you to people you’d not normally meet.
This first collection is called The Natural History of Trolls, three stories covering a hundred and fifty years of history, two Queens and their subjects in the fairy kingdom.  Midst this epic timeline is the story of an ordinary commute gone wrong, when a troll-like tramp in an Underground carriage turns out to REALLY be a Troll.
Funny, thoughtful and with occasional attempts at wisdom, let Robert Crighton and his team of storytellers lead you through a world like ours – just a little off centre.