The Most Lamentable Comedy, and the Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisby
*Audition signup now closed*
What would Shakespeare be doing today if he was still alive? Well, obviously he’d be telling people what it was like to be over 450 years old, plus, like many other people in the theatre industry, he’d be working out how best to perform plays via Zoom.
And that is what KDC will be doing as we perform via Zoom on 31 March – 2 April, the Mechanicals’ scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Whilst in lockdown, Quince, Bottom, Snug, Flute, Snout and Starveling must rehearse a play over Zoom to perform it for the Duke and Duchess on their wedding night (via Zoom). Think the Handforth Parish Council meeting, with even more inflated egos.
KDC are holding online auditions to perform in this comedy of putting on a play where we’ll be mining the script for every drop of comedy along with mining the fact we are having to rehearse a play on Zoom for a performance on Zoom for every other drop of comedy.
Quince, Bottom, Snug, Flute, Snout and Starveling are often referred to as Mechanicals. They are a group of amateur and incompetent actors and that incompetence shines through as they rehearse and perform their play.
Gender is not important. Age is not important. Shakespearian experience is not important. What is important is the drive to make scenes that are funny on the page even funnier on the Zoom stage.
The first round of auditions will Thursday 25 February from 7pm revolve around group work, some improvisation and you may be asked to read both Bottom and Quince – see script below.
Get ready for our first radio play! Seeds releases 5th February. Sign up to receive a download link. Also, on Sunday 7th we have a special Q&A session with the writer, director and cast for you. You lucky lucky people you!
Our recording days early this month went off without (much-of) a hitch and our wonderful casts got to meet for the first time, lay down their “sick vocals”, and retreat back into the depths of lockdown. Completely by chance our recording days fell on the 2-week thread-the-needle period between lockdowns, but we’re very grateful to have gathered however briefly to make something tangible. Our production teams for Seeds and The Mistress of the Inn are now busy editing, we’ll have something shiny to present to you real soon. Here are a few photos to whet your appetite!
In the coming season we would like to explore radio plays, and the magic that can be made once you close your eyes. Join us in creating aural wonderlands from talented voice actors and inventive sound effects.
We are looking for…
We want to hear from writers who have a script that they would like produced, you don’t have to have a production team organised, bring us an appropriate script and we can find you a director.
We also are looking for directors who want to direct an audio-only play, bring us your ideas and/or a script that you would want to produce. (for example, the BBC have a list of available scripts). We would also like to involve live foley sound to support the atmosphere you create, so, be ambitious! This is your chance to travel to impossible locations or present un-theatre-friendly genres.
We’re looking for something around about an hour in length, that requires no more than 5 actors. (though shorter could also work and be doubled with something else). We see the play being rehearsed through October, mostly remotely, eventually getting together in November (in an appropriately virus-careful way) in a theatre space to record/stream the performance. We will provide the equipment & technical support to do the recording.
The turnaround is going to be tight! Get in touch with your ideas by 27 August, we wanna get started as soon as we can!
As we say goodbye to a thoroughly successful but also pretty unusual summer season, it’s time to look forward to Autumn. We’re now opening our pitch process for new shows for Autumn and beyond, apply here. More about that later, but first a quick update on the current status of KDC.
What happened to Spring??
The current health situation has of course affected us. Rehearsals were almost complete for our Spring shows Pomona and Rules For Living before we had to postpone their performances. These were lining up to be amazing shows and our intention very much is still to perform them as soon as we can! While we desperately want to show-off these ‘on-hold’ performances, it is not yet possible, so we’re going to keep those until we can perform them as they were intended.
What we did instead
Our new writing / devising project Snatch & Merkin moved to rehearsing online and released as a web series, and summer season’s Writing on the Wall transferred entirely to the world of Zoom, last week performing a live streamed show to great success earlier this month.
As a theatre group banned from theatres… we got new licence to try different things. Restriction breeds creativity! We’d like to keep this going so we’re now opening pitches for autumn season. Given the current climate this will be an unusually open pitch process, we’d like to hear your ideas. We have a large and enthusiastic actor community, as well as directors and technical people on hand to support your vision.
It is likely that physical distancing restrictions will remain in-place for the remainder of the year to some extent, however we are also expecting them to be partially lifted so it is possible that we will be able to so some physical rehearsing and performance late in the year. Here are some examples of the sort of thing you might want to propose:
1. Radio play
Either a long full-length single audio production, or multiple shorter pieces to be released as a series. Think the Big Finish Doctor Who serials, or Radio 4 play like Neverwhere. We would imagine this would be initially rehearsed remotely, hopefully being able to gather in a venue to record the audio in late autumn. We can help with equipment, sound expertise, foley & mixing the show, what we really need is a enthused piece of writing or adaptation that we can record.
Holding an audience’s attention, narrating directly to them is one of the oldest forms of performance, and one we see less often now. What will you bring? A tale of fairies and castles with a strong moral core? A dark campfire horror of shock and gore? Paint your world with words. When we return to theatres it will probably require distancing of the audience and between the cast, so a set of stories told by lone actors would fit well.
3. Monologues / Small casts
A series of monologues or a play that has a very small cast that can be kept distant would also likely be possible. New writing is always appreciated, and existing pieces are also welcome, subject to us being able to acquire rights.
Over to you
We’re really looking forward to hearing your ideas, and we can also help develop your concept if it is not yet fully-formed. Get your pitch in here
Congratulations to the winning writers and our cast!
The writing is no longer just on the wall – it’s been put to virtual paper and we have chosen the best ones for our Full Stack show. Many thanks to all writers for their submissions; we had a fantastic time reading all of your plays, and a difficult time picking the ones to win. Book your tickets for the performance now!
But we did have to pick and it is our pleasure to announce the winning writers and their plays for this year’s Full Stack. Drumroll please!
100 Ways The Fire Starts — Max Wilkinson Best Before — Jonathan Skinner Box of Joy — Ken Preuss Don’t Cross The Line Of The Army — Stephen Reimer Filling Time — Danielle Florence Hunting — Timothy King In Full Bloom — Paige Zubel It Just Is — LH Grant Like Frogs — Hope Shooter Lost Judgement — Rex McGregor Paper Girl — Jim Moss That Place — Alison Cowieson The Poe-Ster — Judy Klass You Haven’t Changed a Bit — Donna Hoke
And of course we need actors for these scripts, so it is double the pleasure to announce our wonderful cast:
Anie Hu Anjali Dwesar Caroline Beckett Doug Dunn Jamila Jennings-Grant Kate O’Rourke Katie Mainwood Maddie Dunn Matt Tylianakis Matthew Ali Rahul Singh Tom Cunningham
Our Full Stack show, Writing On The Wall will be performed live online on 09, 10, and 11 July from 7pm.