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Thursday, 16 February 2017

It's Coming... One Day

I've been wrestling with the audio recording of Cuckold's Fair for a couple of weeks now.  I've re-jigged the studio, reprinted the script, spent hours recording and a fair amount of time on a first edit - and this evening it hit me.
It doesn't work.
Or, more specifically, it doesn't work for a solo voice.
The show is fairly dark, the tone fairly wry, and when it was first performed by a company of seven with movement and multiple voices, it worked.
But when there is only one voice, it doesn't work.
I have failed.  (Hangs head in shame and mutters...)
So, once again, the audio version of the show will have to be shelved, this time put to one side till I have the resources to hire six or seven other people.
And this is why I shouldn't announce future recordings except when they're done.
But there will be new audio - when the next Live from the Get In! broadcasts in a couple of weeks and then there will be two full length audio things to follow in March.  March will be big.
Promise x

LIVE FROM THE GET IN!  
Written by Robert Crighton
Performed by Abbie Broom, Heidi Bernhard-Bubb, Robert Crighton & Michael Fouldes.  And maybe some special guests.

Live from... is a radio comedy and sketch show – live from in front of the set of whichever show is getting in the following week at the Quay Theatre.  New material, sketches and monologues streamed live online.  And the live stream can be heard on the night here -
Two shows lined up Saturday 4th March and Saturday 6th May at 7.30pm
Tickets £6 - www.quaysudbury.com

And you can catch up with the last two episodes by listening here.


My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.

Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Time Machine - sets and ideas

The Time Machine is coming up in about seven weeks.  Or, if you ascribe to the block theory of the universe, it's happening now, has happened, has always happened.  I'm currently running with the view that if the show goes up in April then I'll start rehearsals in September and write it next year.  This joke has always existed.
At the moment we're still in pre-production, the script changes every day, new sounds and new ideas are being tested.  The other evening the marvellous Harold Spengler, who isn't in the show but was available to lend a hand, pointed out something that could have destroyed the whole evening.
To quote: "How could you not notice this?"
Basically, and I don't want to go into too much detail, Herbert Wells wrote something in the original book that sounds really silly when said out loud.  Once you notice how silly it is, the show would be ruined.  It is the kind of double entendre that I normally leap on.  Hence the italics on you.
Science fiction is heaped with silly words, and there's only so much I or the cast can do to change it, but we are going to massage the problem and hope it goes away.  See, a semi entendre there.
This week I promised my cast the draft script, but the cast has just increased in size, so they're going to have to wait until tomorrow.  This is sort of annoying - far everyone else rather than me - but more people in a cast is the kind of problem I can live with.  It means I can now do some really clever bits of action and make the whole thing move more fluidly.  Huzzah!
More rehearsal shots and maybe some video will be coming soon - but for the moment above there are some of the ideas for the set.  Tomorrow I'm meeting to discuss what it'll actually look like - so more on that soon!

And you'll find out more about the show if you watch it - by booking your tickets now.

Quay Productions Presents...
The Time Machine
By H.G. Wells
Adapted and Directed by Robert Crighton

Far in the future, the human race has become something different – a peaceful species, who live in simple harmony with the planet.  But beneath the surface there is a terrifying secret – one that is uncovered by a traveller from the distant past.  Before there was Doctor Who, there was the Time Machine – this is a brand new adaptation of the first true science fiction story, where the past and the future meet with dramatic results. 
Performing: 6th, 7th & 8th April at 7.30pm at The Quay Theatre
Tickets: 01787 374745 or via their website.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help.

Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Time Machine - from the rehearsal room

I don't know if you've seen The Man Who Fell To Earth, but there's a scene (actually more a recurring image) where the alien is sitting watching multiple television screens, absorbing multiple programmes in a wall of jarring dissonance.  I'm sort of living this scene at the moment as I create a stage version of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
Much of the process of adaptation is fairly straightforward - take the text and cut out what isn't stageable (a lot of description) or interesting (a lot more description), turn text into dialogue and create scenes around the incidents of the book.  This leaves you with a bare bones text to start shaping into a piece of exciting, interesting, living theatre.  And that's where it gets more complicated.
The Time Machine is a story set in the distant future where no one speaks English - or any known modern language.  This creates a problem in writing a drama - a story told via dialogue and plot.  It could be done, but it would involve moving the story away from the original source material in ways that would feel forced.
The beginning of an idea...
I started thinking about how the story could be told, started reading around the story, reading about how time actually works, and current theories about time travel.  I started thinking about how the show will look, how the show will sound, who will be in it, how many people will be in it...
Once you get to that point you stop writing a script, you start drawing it, you start collecting music and sound ideas, you start sketching out movements and set designs - The Time Machine is not being written in a straightforward, text first way.  It can't, the main characters barely talk.
Then I started to see who would be in the production, started writing material around the cast I have (and I have some wonderful people in the cast - more soon) and started to do little tests of material.
On Sunday I went to the theatre and started to lay out tables and chairs, to create a possible layout for the show.  I got together with a member of the cast (Kevin Roychowdhury) and asked him to move around the space, so that I could have images with me at home of how the space works.
I then asked him to stand on a table for ages and test out a short speech that he wasn't going to say.  I didn't know before we started that I was going to do this but, after a quick verbal risk assessment, up he went.  I took a few shots of that as well.  You can see the idea, the basic shape of the image, looks quite cool - though it won't be Kevin on the table and it'll be costumed etc. But it's an idea.  An idea that I've just added to the script.
We then played around with two scenes in the play that have been scripted pretty much from the very beginning - running them with music and working out how long those scenes run.  Kevin, again, stood in for another role, which I filmed so as to watch later and plan changes.  Broadly I've discovered I need to shorten a couple of sequences.  The show is now better.
I was in London the other week, going to the theatre, walking round a few galleries, generally soaking up ideas and images.  Stealing is a necessary part of any artistic endeavour and London is full of ideas to steal.  I spent as much time sitting in a corner somewhere drinking coffee and scribbling in my notebook as I did looking at anything around me.  Mixing ideas, field trips and exploratory rehearsal has given me a pretty good idea of how the set will look.  I know where I'm putting the cast, I know, broadly what they're saying and how they're saying it.
Each week I'm doing more experiments with space, with the text, with images and sound - and each week I'll post some of it online.  For you.  And though I can't be certain precisely how the show will look and sound at this point, I do know one thing.  With two months to go before curtain up, I know The Time Machine is going to be pretty fucking cool.
But I would say that.
Find out for yourself by booking your tickets now.

Quay Productions Presents...
The Time Machine
By H.G. Wells
Adapted and Directed by Robert Crighton

Far in the future, the human race has become something different – a peaceful species, who live in simple harmony with the planet.  But beneath the surface there is a terrifying secret – one that is uncovered by a traveller from the distant past.  Before there was Doctor Who, there was the Time Machine – this is a brand new adaptation of the first true science fiction story, where the past and the future meet with dramatic results. 
Performing: 6th, 7th & 8th April at 7.30pm at The Quay Theatre
Tickets: 01787 374745 or via their website.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help.

Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required