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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Gazumped-ish...

Typical, you wait ages for one production of Everyman and two come along at once.  No sooner than I'm ready with my tour of Everyman than the National Theatre announce they're doing one - AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME.  My immediate reaction was facepalm/whyme! - followed by a lot of swearing.  But then I had a cup of tea and calmed down, because really I'm rather pleased.
Firstly, it raises the profile of the play, or at least the title of the play, for early indications suggest this isn't a production of the play, it is an adaptation of the play, so we're not doing the same play at all.   It is notable that their play is simply called Everyman and not The Summoning of Everyman - and that the blurb suggests a more secular take on the narrative.  Death gets a lot of notice, God not one.  So, quite a different play, if the pre-publicity is to be believed.
Secondly, following on from the above, the National production will give the hashtag #everyman a bit more prominence and probably gain me more audience than it will lose me. It's not impossible that you've been dragged to this blog by said hashtag.  (If you have, earlier blog posts go into detail of my staging of the play and some of it might be quite interesting!)
Thirdly, if they bugger about with the text I can say my version has a certain authority.  Even though my production isn't exactly conventional, it does use most of the text and largely as the unknown author left it.
Of course if the National production is a huge popular success I could be screwed.  It coincides almost exactly with my tour, but we are reasonably far apart geographically.  Their production will be live streamed in July, which IS a sod, as that's when I'd be doing tryouts if I make enough money to go to Edinburgh for the Fringe.  And I don't see that a later tour in Autumn/Winter is as much of a goer now.  But we shall see.  I will weigh up my options as I go along.
So, I'm largely positive. Power to the moral interlude people, power to the morality tale!
For more information about my small tour - for small rooms and little theatres only - do have a look at this blog post.  


Monday, 12 January 2015

We are on the brink of a new era... etc

This is the first blog post I'm doing on the go. Yup, I've entered the 21st Century and got some new portable tech that means I can work in caf├ęs like all the other arty wankers out there. And be spied on by the government and corporations while I'm at it.
As it happens I'm currently using this at home, which is a bit of a waste of time, as I've a perfectly good laptop downstairs, but It's late and I can't be arsed to go downstairs.
I'm currently thinking. Thinking physically, thinking musically, thinking generally. I've been here before, with Everyman, which I start to rehearse in a few weeks. Even though this is the third time I've pulled this show together, I'm still playing with it. Still thinking.
I've a month and a half till the first try outs and then some wiggle room before the tour proper starts (I hope to be announcing dates very soon) and I'll keep playing with it as I go along - but now is the only time to really play about, throw about ideas, dream a little. It's the professional development stage of the year as well - where I read, watch and assimilate ideas.
A bit of professional development...
So, this evening I watched a documentary about a solo dance project, which, though I'm not going to be doing any contemporary dance anytime soon, was a great way to get my brain going. Hence the fact I'm blogging at past 3 in the morning. Oh for the budget, oh for the team, oh for the money. Ideas are so cheap. Making them a reality, that costs.
Well, I've filled my notebook now, I've done my to do list for tomorrow and I've set my alarm. So, I'll say goodnight to all you unsleeping artists out there. Dream well.

Fundraising Clearance Sale

FUNDRAISING CLEARANCE SALE

To help raise funds for this year's tour of The Summoning of Everyman I'm holding a clearance sale of all my previously published scripts.  They'll all be signed and will come with a special thank you - every penny will go to making this tour great.

First up are The Fantasy Terrorist Variations - which features my award-winning Fantasy Terrorist League - and the ghost story collection, Ghost Storyteller.  Either or both are available for £6 each (or £12 both) including P&P.
Help get make this tour happen, while giving yourself a little light reading - what's not to like?

Just use the Paypal button below - and if there are any problems then get in touch with me direct.

Title

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Story Hour: The Complete Alice

Robert Crighton: Storyteller Presents...
Story Hour: The Complete Alice
Saturday afternoons with stories from the Alice books by Lewis Carroll
Adapted and performed by Robert Crighton

Sit back and be enthralled as award winning performer Robert Crighton leads you through the worlds of Lewis Carroll.  Each afternoon Robert tells a different selection of stories from the classic books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass.  A different selection every two weeks – you can catch one or them all.  
Limited seating - only 20 tickets available.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tickets £4 (No Concessions)
Box Office: 01787 374 745
Tickets also available online at www.quaytheatre.org.uk

Down the Rabbit Hole - Saturday 14th February at 1pm
A Mad Tea Party - Saturday 28th February at 1pm
Looking Glass House - Saturday 14th March at 1pm
Humpty Dumpty & Co - Saturday 28th March at 1pm

Listen to our Story Hour Trailer Below!

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Summoning Toureth

I'm not publishing any dates for this tour yet [actually I have now, they're here! - Ed. Future Robert], I'm still talking to people and I'll be adding dates as I go along - this is a general info burst to anyone out there who might be interested in seeing it.  I can and will perform this piece anywhere in the UK from March onwards, mostly in small spaces - village halls, churches, rooms, houses.  All I need to share this event is a small room and seven other people - as such it can even tour to private houses for anyone who wants an alternative evenings entertainment.  If you're interested in seeing this play, either for yourself or your community then don't hesitate to get in touch.  I usually work on a Pay-What-You-Want basis, so don't let budget put you off.  
Contact: Robert Crighton - 07946 652 196 contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
The Summoning of Everyman
An Interactive Theatre Production –
Adapted and Performed by Robert Crighton

Everyman has been summoned by Death to meet his maker - and he doesn't want to go.  This interactive performance brings his struggle directly to the audience, asking them to become part of the story, to stand in the footsteps of Fellowship, Good Deeds and even Death himself.  Will you help Everyman make his peace? 
Previous audiences have and said:  “A one man tour de force... gripped from start to finish... a mix of pathos and humour all done with a light touch... a real privilege and honour being there... having volunteered, with no acting experience whatsoever, was guided expertly throughout by Robert... an hour very well spent...  I’ve come to see it again!  What more do I need to say?  In awe of the intensity!”

Everyman was originally written in the late 15th Century as a morality play – it has been adapted by award-winning playwright and performer Robert Crighton as a piece of interactive theatre.  The audience is invited by Robert to help make the story happen – without them the story cannot be told.  This process turns a dry late medieval play into a piece of living theatre, one that can be shared in terms of the early 21st Century

Touring in 2015 – any dates from March 2015 onwards.

Ideally Robert is looking for a small studio space / village or community hall / or even a small chapel space.  The playing area must be on a level with the front row of the audience so that audience members can be brought into the event.
Audience capacity – Robert can do the intimate version of the show, from around 20 people – up to a maximum of 100, depending on space. 
The show is available for box office splits or for a hire – depending on the venue.
Tech Spec – no special lighting, a general lighting state throughout – though ideally this needs to be warm and muted.  No sound equipment required.
Running time – orbits 1hr, though this will depend on audience size and the pre/post show may vary dependant on venue.

Contact Robert Crighton: 07946 652 196 / contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk

Robert has been developing this production on and off since 2013 and this is the feedback from the audiences so far:

“We were so impressed... Robert Crighton is a one man tour de force he has you gripped from start to finish.” Fiona
“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 mix of pathos and humour all done with a light touch that makes for a compelling one man show.” Nick
“Excellent show - really enjoyed it.”  Rachel
“It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience – it was a really great, amazing performance... it was a real privilege and honour being there... Touching and inspirational.”  Phil
“Robert Crighton is the master of the art of communication by one to many...”  David
“As a volunteer I so pleased to be part of this brilliant thought-provoking show. Having volunteered, with no acting experience whatsoever and being pretty reserved,  was relieved and very pleased to be part of the Show (not only did I not have to say anything was guided expertly throughout by Robert). It was a fantastic experience and I was so pleased to be part of this excellent performance.  I would certainly recommend Robert and this 5 star performance to Everyman and Woman!!   A truly sensational performance by Robert!”  Dan
“This was theatre played direct and simple - and all the more affecting for that.”  Annie
"A veritable tour de force... Thought provoking, challenging and amusing..."  Stephen
“Great acting and what a memory!”  Arthur
"Fantastic - very creepy, strangely chilling..." Matt
"Wonderful performance - thought provoking!" Sheila
"This was the second time I have seen Everyman. Every bit as thought provoking and profound as the first. An excellent evening's (contemplative) entertainment..." Michael
“Moving and very engaging – an hour very well spent.” Denis
I’ve come to see it again! What more do I need to say?” Kevin
“A great performance – brilliantly executed.” Anthea
In awe of the intensity!  The skill remembering the words – amazing.  An experience thoroughly enjoyed.” Belinda
“An amazing story told in an amazing way by an amazing storyteller.  Utterly brilliant, well worth watching.”  Adam
Totally captivating.  Fantastic storytelling from an accomplished performer.” Annie
Tremendous show.  A tour de force.”  John and Jenny
“The audience becomes part of the performance; you see individuals become immersed in their part. Wonderful stuff!”  Liz

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Responding to Attack...

Even though I've been online all day, didn't pick up on what was happening in France until now. It's another blow against everything I believe in - freedom of expression, freedom of thought. It's violence as a weapon to stop people from saying what they think. It seems to have been happening with greater frequency every year - despite the opportunities of the internet and technology to open ideas to the world there are those who are determined to stop this and are willing to kill to do it. They attack satirists, writers, teachers, poets, artists and anyone who happens to be around them at the time. And with every attack we are tempted to say less. We question whether we should risk saying anything. And so they win. 
My natural reaction to events like this is to write, to create, and many people have already done so.  Cartoonists and artists are posting images on twitter at a rate of knots at the moment.  I haven't quite got that far yet.  I'm still a bit numb.  But I've written a number of pieces about this over the years - and I've a new piece coming very soon which is in editing hell - but I think this is the best work I written about self censorship in art. It's called The Project After - and it can be heard here.
http://www.frequencytheatre.co.uk/theprojectafter.htm
When I first presented this piece I also put together a trailer for it and this video sums up the choices we face rather well.  It's only a few seconds long.  Have a watch.

Finally, my thoughts are with those who lost someone today in these attacks, and with everyone who stands up for freedom of expression, of learning, of thought anywhere in the world.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Demob Happy

What an odd feeling.  I've nothing I have to do today.  Or tomorrow.  Or... well, actually I do have to do something Tuesday, but then it's back to not having to do again.  On Wednesday night my Residency at the Quay Theatre ended, more with a whimper than a bang, but it did, resolutely, end.  And now I'm having a month off.  I won't have a month off, I'll be posting lots of new and old material and planning things and generally getting itchy fingers, but I have very few things I have to do.
Being self employed largely involves setting dates and targets for yourself, otherwise you never get things done.  You have to be disciplined.  But it can turn into a never ending litany of stuff to do.  You find you haven't planned in any breaks, any days off, and you burn yourself out.  I'm not burnt out, but I am subtly singed on the edges.  
So, what am I doing?  Well, I've managed for the last few days to do next to nothing.  It is, slightly, maddening, but it's good for me.  I need time to think.  But already I'm thinking of doing things.  I don't think I can help myself.  I went for a long walk today, hoping to let my thoughts waft away (I call this taking my memes for a walk) and instead I wrote in my mind the first fifteen minutes of a lecture on Greek theatre which I'm giving later in the year.  I'm probably hopeless.
It's also quiet scary.  2014 was planned, there had to be ten shows - I said there would be ten shows so there were.  They changed a bit, things moved around, but there it was, a plan.  This year there isn't a plan.  There are some plans, projects I'm involved with, but they don't fill a schedule of works.  Which means I could, still, do ANYTHING I like.  I could, I have time in hand, to create ANYTHING, on top of the somethings I know I am creating.  That's a bit thing.  It's a big scary white area in the year, ready to be filled with whatever comes into my head.  And my head is filled with some scary ideas.
I have various bits and bobs that need to be done.  Next week I start booking venues for Everyman - a task I wanted to get done last year, but the Pantomime got in the way.  I've a whole host of audio stuff I want to put online, to record, to do.  Some of it new, some of it unfinished business from last year.
BUT - I'm not going to timetable any of this.  I'm not going to squeeze myself into a self enforced schedule, because I don't think I actually work better that way.  I suspect that some deadlines kill off my desire to make certain work - that I end up dreading the deadline more than I desire to create and then everything happens in a stress filled rush at the end.
SO - a more holistic January, before a necessary timetable occurs in February.  Let's see if I produce more or less, better or worse work because of it.  Because there's always so much work to create, and never enough time.
But for the rest of this Sunday - I think I might just read a book.

Part of what I'll also be doing this month is put together a package for fundraising in February to support the Everyman tour - but if you want to help support my work and I, then please make a little donation now.  There are no rewards, just my silent thanks - but any donation will make the new art of 2015 possible.  Thank you.


How Much You Want to Give

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Inevitable New Year's Message 2015

2014 was one hell of a year.  For me, it's going to last well into January 2015.  I made a lot of plans and promises for 2014, most of which came true - but there are lots of loose ends, additional thoughts and wrapping up to do, so there'll be a lot on this blog about things that happened, and lots of things that didn't.
But what are my plans for 2015?  Well, to some degree, not be so rigid about my plans.  I'm primarily looking to tour my Everyman show and my house shows and properly get them out and about.  I'm also slotted to do a revival of another medieval play The Pride of Life.  Both feature Death as an important character.  So perhaps I should call 2015 my year with Death.
I will be doing lots of other shows around these project - short ones, long ones, some as big as your head - but a lot of this will be virtual work, existing online, or will appear as pop ups.  I am, frankly, exhausted.  2014 was great, in many ways, but it was a huge drain artistically and emotionally, and I don't see myself writing anything major for a while - or, at least, I don't plan to force myself to.  I may just end up doing it around other stuff.
There are still several projects which I've got on the go which didn't fit into 2014.
Invigilation – the Musical (a one-to-one project); Beware of the Blob & The Brain Eaters (a double bill of projects based around my love of B-Movies - gutted I couldn't fit them into 2014); Shiny Medusa (which will probably be music based); The Single Source of All Filth (which isn't really anything yet) and Metal Harvest (which is slated for some kind of development maybe this year).  These are all shorts, half written or in development.  I've also two full length plays I might write.  But, as I say, I make no promises to do any of the above this year.
I will be doing some more work creating recordings for my Before Shakespeare project, as this will fit in with the opportunities presented by Everyman this year.  It maybe I'll focus on plays by other authors this year, rather than by myself.  It might be a good change.
Whatever happens around Everyman, I can't do it without you - my wonderful readers, followers, friends and supporters.  I must take a moment to add a special thanks to Roz & Denis Brogan, Cecil Qadir, Heather Clayton & Richard Fawcett, Helen & Neil Arbon, Sue Clark and Adam Webster for contributing money upfront for my Artist Residency.
I will probably have a clearer package put together for fundraising in February to support the tour, but if you want to help support my work and I, then please make a little donation now.  There are no rewards, just my silent thanks - but any donation will make the new art of 2015 possible.  Thank you.


How Much You Want to Give