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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Make Up Time

The thing about launching any new thing, especially a BIG thing, is the moment you set a date for it time moves both incredibly quickly and incredibly slowly.  I want to launch The BIG Project now.  I've got all this stuff I want to tell people - and I can't.  And then I realise that the stuff I've got to share is not fully laid out yet; the blurb is nearly there, the graphics are nearly there, the website stuff is nearly there - BUGGER it's all got to be done for next Sunday!
Hence the weird time moving too quickly and slowly at the same time.
I've spent the last couple of days filming videos and doing photo shoots - there are still many more to do.  The first shoot went okay - barring a tussle over room booking - and next week it's zebra time.  Yup, time to make myself up as a zebra.  It's that kind of week.  I did look for a zebra costume, and looked online for one.  I found children's costumes (which would be too small) and sexy lady zebra costumes (which might be useful for alternate Thursdays).  I got seriously weirded out by the idea of a sexy zebra; I mean who came up with the idea that dressing AS A ZEBRA is sexy?  Has anyone, ever, EVER, looked at a zebra and gone... hmmnn, yes, I could do with a bit of that?
Actually, don't answer that question.

Anyway, there is a good reason why I will be photographing myself as a zebra.  But I can't tell you yet.  In the same way I can post this picture...
Maybe related to The BIG Project.  Maybe not.
... and not tell you whether it has anything to do with the BIG Project at all.  All will be revealed in a week - the longest/shortest week EVER.

THE BIG PROJECT LAUNCH PARTY
Sunday 8th September at 1pm
From the bar of the Quay Theatre, Sudbury
Live Streamed Online - at the Robert Crighton: Storyteller ustream channel

Friday, 30 August 2013

Casting for The BIG Project

This blog post was first put out before 'The BIG Project' was revealed on 8th September 2013.  I haven't updated it much, deliberately leaving it fixed in the past.  However, full details of what was revealed at the launch can be found here and the casting process below is still in place.  Do get in touch - either by email contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk or Twitter me @RobertCrighton



Actors / Artists / Collaborators Wanted:
PROJECT 10/52
Milk Bottle Productions 2014

Next year will be a big year for Milk Bottle with lots of shows wanting actors, as well as more vaguely defined people, to collaborate with, to help make new and exciting shows... The work is sporadic, so, though fee paying, is not going to get anyone rich, but that means it should fit round other work commitments.

There’s no rush – I’m looking to cast as I go along and there are still many months to go before the first show will even start rehearsal.  I can’t even tell you about the shows themselves until the official launch on Sunday 8th September – so, as I say, no rush.  [Actually, I can, follow this link!]

So, here’s how getting involved in what is currently known as The BIG Project.

Stage 1. Interest.  Now onwards...
Send me a general expression of interest and a CV.  I’m not interested in a photo, your physical appearance is of divine disinterest to me.  If I already know you and your work then just express an interest, we’ll go from there.  Just email me at contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk
Stage 2.  Saying: ‘Hello!’  September onwards...
I need people I can work with – who I click with artistically.  So, rather than start with auditions, I’ll start with a meeting and coffee.  I want people who will respond and create, as well as performers who can do what I ask them to do.
Stage 3.  Auditions – Online and live.  November onwards...
By this stage there will be scripts and words and images and stuff which we can throw around.  Ideally I’d like to see online submissions on video before going to live auditions – though if you can’t make any of the live audition dates I will take your online audition as gospel.  I have cast people this way before.

Obviously, until I announce what I’m doing on Sunday 8th September at 1pm GMT (live andonline), you won’t know if this is something you want to be involved in.  But you can always say ‘Hello’ anyway.  It’s nice saying ‘Hello’.
Regards,
Robert Crighton

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Launch of the Next Big Thing


THE BIG PROJECT LAUNCH PARTY
Sunday 8th September at 1pm
From the bar of the Quay Theatre, Sudbury
Live Streamed Online - at the Robert Crighton: Storyteller ustream channel

In ten days time Robert is launching a major, major, MAJOR project.  It's currently known on Twitter as the BIG thing, but it's bigger than that - it's a project, a BIG project.  That's a little vague, but everything will be revealed on Sunday 8th September at 1pm (GMT), live online as well as physically in the bar of the Quay Theatre.

Robert is going to live stream the announcement, and at the same time will be releasing a full blog and links to all the MANY strands to the project online.  So, even if you can't make the physical launch, through the wonders of modern technology you can still be part of the action.  This is a project without boundaries - wherever you are in the world, you can help, you can be involved.  Did we mention it was BIG?

WHAT WILL BE ANNOUNCED
Details of content
Details of events
Details for casting - for those actors out there, there's some work going! UPDATE HERE!
Details for generally getting involved, non-professionally
Links to new content
New artwork, new plays, new projects...
JUST LOTS OF STUFF - not quite enough to block out the sun, but Robert's working on it.

In other Milk Bottle news...

TEACHING GODS - AUDIO DOWNLOAD NOW AVAILABLE
At last, Teaching Gods & Bink! are available as downloads!  Just click the link below to get your hands on an award-winning piece of storytelling.  http://cdbaby.com/cd/robertcrighton1


Milk Bottle Audio Presents...
Teaching Gods & Bink 
by Robert Crighton

Bink!
Performed by Cat LaCohie
Molly was left alone a lot. Her parents were always out. So she started talking to herself, to the furniture, to the house. And then the house answered back. A children’s story... just not for children.

Teaching Gods
Performed by Robert Crighton
Winner of the ‘Best Writing’ Award at the Lost Theatre One-Act Festival 2007
The Gods have invaded the University. All thoughts of normal academic life disappear as the campus dissolves into chaos. 
The flowers walk and the squirrels clean kitchens. Will the agents of chaos win against the hard nosed grey suited form of the Vice Chancellor? What do you think?



THE SUMMONING COMES TO LONDON - ONE OFF PERFORMANCE - PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT!


Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
The Summoning of Everyman
An Immersive Theatre Production
Adapted and performed by Robert Crighton

The Summoning of Everyman is a powerful morality tale, written by an unknown author in the late medieval period, telling of the struggles for one man, for every man, to let go of his life.  This interactive performance brings this struggle directly to the audience, asking them to become part of the story, asking them to stand in the footsteps of Fellowship, Good Deeds and even Death himself.  It’s a question that each generation has to answer: can you really take anything with you after death?  Moving, beautiful and thought provoking – ultimately the Summoning comes to Everyone.

This is an immersive performance, everyone will be asked to help create the show in various simple ways.  Don’t worry this isn’t Pantomime, there are no songs or catchphrases.  The audience is moved around the space by Robert as characters in the story – the performance is personally addressed to you.  No acting skills required, just to stand, sit and be yourself, guided by Robert through the story.

Tickets are Pay-What-You-Want, so you choose at the end of the show how much you want to give for the show at the end.  For general booking inquiries us at contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk – or call 07704 704 469.

Performing Saturday 26th October at 7.00pm
Doors open 6.30pm, show starts 7.00pm – NO ADMITTANCE FOR LATECOMERS
The London Theatre - New Cross, The Lower Space, 443 New Cross Road, London, SE14 6TA
Tickets Available from wegottickets.com - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/236696

WHAT THE AUDIENCE SAID: Guildhall Lavenham, Easter 2013

“We were so impressed... Robert Crighton is a one man tour de force he has you gripped from start to finish.”  DC Starpop
“A rewarding experience both as an audience member and a participant!  A fascinating interpretation of this medieval morality tale and I recommend it highly... a compelling one man show.”  Nick Elliott
“Touching and inspirational.”  Phil Hope
“With absolute ease he made the text accessible to a contemporary audience...” David Owen-Bell
“I would certainly recommend Robert and this 5 star performance to Everyman and Woman!!   A truly sensational performance by Robert!”  Dan
“... a compelling and engaging piece of storytelling...”  Annie Eddington
"A veritable tour de force..."  Rev. Stephen Earl
“Great acting, and what a memory!”  Arthur

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

At Last, Downloads Available!

At last, Teaching Gods & Bink! are available as downloads!  Just click the link below to get your hands on an award-winning piece of storytelling.  http://cdbaby.com/cd/robertcrighton1

What's all the fuss about?  Have a listen to our trailer below...

Milk Bottle Audio Presents...
Teaching Gods & Bink 
by Robert Crighton

Bink!
Performed by Cat LaCohie
Molly was left alone a lot. Her parents were always out. So she started talking to herself, to the furniture, to the house. And then the house answered back. A children’s story... just not for children.

Teaching Gods
Performed by Robert Crighton
Winner of the ‘Best Writing’ Award at the Lost Theatre One-Act Festival 2007
The Gods have invaded the University. All thoughts of normal academic life disappear as the campus dissolves into chaos. 
The flowers walk and the squirrels clean kitchens. Will the agents of chaos win against the hard nosed grey suited form of the Vice Chancellor? What do you think?






Review of TEACHING GODS & OTHER STORIES... - 2009

Fringe Report: “Verdict: Funny, fast-paced, with depth... There are a lot of good reasons to see the show. It's funny, fast-paced... surreal fantasy, with an edge of revenge... Robert Crighton performs with great energy and no little charm... well viewed after a drink, before a bigger one and some cheese, in celebration perhaps of strange dreams and the campus cat.” 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Writing Before the Big Thing

There's a Big Thing coming.  A big thing that involves lots of small things, working in concert.  When the Big Thing comes then there will be no time for other things.  So I've got a few weeks left to finish the play I've been toying with this year - still without a proper title.  It's working title is still Portrait of a Singer which is dull and really doesn't get to the heart of the show.  I posted earlier in the year that I'd organise a read through for it, to force me to finish it in time for a competition.  But I was ill and no read through or finish of writing happened.  So, with time again against me, I'm determined to finish the play.  It's currently 14,534 words long (which is almost the minimum for a play to be no longer a one act and a full length beast) and I'm still transferring notes into the text - I'm in the middle of doing Act One, Scene Four, so there's still another six, seven scenes to do.  By the time I've done that lot, the play should be to length and ready to enter the first draft / read through stage.  So, I'll be advertising for readers very soon.  Probably a little before the Big Thing starts.
The difficulty I'm facing with the first act is the temptation to do really horrible things.  The reason the temptation exists is that, unusually, there are no consequences to actions from the first half in the second.  I could kill half the cast and it wouldn't matter.  So, my usual dictum, 'make things worse' is in danger of becoming an all consuming monster.  How to balance the needs of the moment, the excitement of dramatic action, with the integrity of the play overall.  Let's hope I sort it out before the Big Thing gets in the way.
But more on the Big Thing later.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Teaching Gods & Bink! Audiobook Trailer

Coming soon to Milk Bottle Audio...
Teaching Gods & Bink! 
by Robert Crighton
Performed by Cat LaCohie and Robert Crighton

BINK!
Performed by Cat LaCohie
Molly was left alone a lot. Her parents were always out. So she started talking to herself, to the furniture, to the house. And then the house answered back. A children’s story... just not for children.

Teaching Gods
Performed by Robert Crighton
Winner of the “Best Writing” Award at the Lost Theatre One-Act Festival 2007
The Gods have invaded the University. All thoughts of normal academic life disappear as the campus dissolves into chaos. The flowers walk and the squirrels clean kitchens. Will the agents of chaos win against the hardnosed grey suited form of the Vice Chancellor? What do you think?

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Recording 'The Project After'

The Project After - discussed below - can be heard here.

"Just got back from recording 'The Project After' with Frequency Theatre. Fucking knackered..." was the less than subtle post I made last night about a little trip to Colchester.  For those new to me, and those who know this blog well but have not been paying attention (quiet at the back there), here's some background.
The Project After was a play I wrote as part of a series of short plays now collectively known as The Fantasy Terrorist Variations which has been quietly growing over the past decade or so.  The Project After is the latest performed addition (technically Variation 3) and was premiered at the Barons Court Theatre last November.  It is a tricksy little play, designed to provoke thought and unease among'st those watching (or very soon, listening).  The run at Barons Court was well received but shorter than planned and seen by few people, so it's still in the category of 'unfinished business' and ripe for revival.
Frequency Theatre is an online audio play producer, based in Colchester.  I've done a few recordings with them over the last year and passed on the script, which they liked very much.  So, I got cheeky and asked if I could be in the play as well.  They said yes.
The studio is based in an arts project called Slack Space, utilising the slack space (hence the name) in an unused retail outlet - I believe the old co-op store.  So, off I toddled and met up with Bethany Sharp-McLeod the director and Tom Edwards my fellow actor.  I was determined to not talk too much, not to impose myself and make it difficult for the director to do her job.  I think I got the balance reasonably right, I wasn't not going to talk about my play and the ideas within it, but then again I could be deluding myself and Beth wanted me to die for not shutting up.  I did have a coffee before hand (which I really shouldn't have), so I might have been a bit high.
Anyway, we chatted about the play, read it twice and chatted some more.  We were all pretty much on the same wavelength, no one was missing the point of the play, I was very happy.
Then we stood up in front of mics and actually did it.  And fuck me, to quote myself, it was exhausting.  It's twenty plus minutes of two people having a bit of a go at each other and my legs were shaking after just a few minutes into the first take - which was a straight run through.  When I directed it for London I don't recall the cast complaining about exhaustion - maybe I wasn't listening?  But then again, if by the end you aren't drained, have you really given it your best?  Discuss.
The problem for me was trying to get the old show out of my head - both in the sense I didn't want to play my character Mark as Keith Hill did (you're not getting royalties if I did) and in the sense that the pauses and flow of the dialogue was different because different actors find different rhythms.  It helped that Beth gave me many slightly different directions for certain lines; I couldn't do it the way Keith did it before, I had been told to do it differently.  Which was useful.
We (well I) crawled out after the recording well after 10 o'clock and made my way home.  I stopped briefly in a pub for a swift one and sat in a comfy armchair and tried to switch off.  Shouldn't have had the coffee.  Shouldn't really have had the beer.  But I'm glad I did.  In the background Elvis was playing.  A gentle refrain, to which I quietly hummed along.  And then it hit me that it was a perfect song to go in a play I'm planning to do next year.  Out came the notebook.
So, regardless of how the recording comes out (and it comes out on Friday, free online) I'm delighted to have done it - because if I hadn't come to Colchester and done the play and felt so knackered I needed a sit down, I wouldn't have been reminded of the music that changed the whole direction of a play that hopefully you'll get to see next year... something something something the House that Jack Built.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

When Is Cinema Not Theatre? When It's Television.

I went to see The Audience the other day.  Popular West End drama, run finished a while back, but thanks to an encore digital screening I got to catch it in my local cinema.  It was rather fun, but I can't quite decide whether I enjoyed it because of the quality of the drama or because of the nature of the overall experience.  It was like watching an old friend coming back to me.  It was television.  Television as it used to be.  Some actors walked into a room and three cameras (I think) were pointed at them.  Someone vision mixed the images together, occasionally (but unobtrusively) the camera panned or zoomed in and out.  Otherwise, it just recorded the passage of action.  Just like television used to do.
Now, I'm not knocking the innovations in television drama afforded by following film techniques.  There are some very good bits of drama created by tight editing, jump cuts, filters, voice-overs and constant background music.  But these are effected created by the technicians.  The old school method, a few cameras and a vision mixer, the theatre as opposed to the film route, meant that actors played scenes - that the pace and timing of a scene were live, dependent on the skill of the players.  And I miss that.  Because not only can actors not play scenes on television, writers don't really write them anymore.  And I miss that too.
But now I don't have to - I can see theatre, by going to the cinema, to watch television.