The Lying Kind Cast and Crew

Directors – Emma Knott & Daniel West
Producer – Lucy Hill
Stage Manager – Juliet Colbert
Lighting Designer – Isabel Eriksson
Lighting Operator – Pip Brewer
Sound Designer & Operator – Matthew Partridge
Make-up – Kathy Robbins & Charlotte Blake
Costume – Zoe Ashdown
Get In Assistants – Ernesta Vainovskaja & Michael Barry

Blunt – James Laing
Gobbel – Ronan Fitzgerald
Gronya – Tracey Pocock
Balthasar – Bernard Doogan
Garson – Dawn Williams
Reverend Shandy – Richard Evans
Carol – Imogen Levy

‘What The Dickens!?’ Ghost Story Adaptation Project

We’re doing our first ever Halloween Show this year, Liz Lochhead’s Dracula, directed by Duncan Moore.

In honour of this witching hour seasonal spectacular, and also to match up to Charles Dickens’ 200th anniversary celebrations, we are issuing a new writing challenge.

I, your humble chair and servant, would like to open up the opportunity to you, our members, to adapt one of Dickens’ short ghost stories into a script, which we will then have readings of in October. The man wrote a whole variety of these, including, most famously, A Christmas Carol.

If you are interested in creating an adaptation – it could be five minutes or fifty – simply drop me a line to chair@kdctheatre.com. The adaptation style will be totally up to you. It could be a straight translation, a modern update, a Greek Choral effort… anything! You don’t have to know Dickens. You don’t need to have written a play before. This is just an exercise in fun, so conjure up some ghosts and ghoulies for Halloween.

There are lots of these stories around if you wanted to do some investigation online, but just get in contact if interested, or if you have a request, and I will assign you a task (to avoid repetition)

For further reading, some examples of these stories (but there are many more!) are: ‘The Queer Chair’ (from The Pickwick Papers), ‘The Baron of Grogzwig’ (from Nicholas Nickleby), ‘The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain’, ‘To be Read at Dusk’, ‘The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber’ from ‘The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices’ and ‘The Signalman’.

‘What The Dickens!?’ Ghost Story Adaptation Project

We’re doing our first ever Halloween Show this year, Liz Lochhead’s Dracula, directed by Duncan Moore.

In honour of this witching hour seasonal spectacular, and also to match up to Charles Dickens’ 200th anniversary celebrations, we are issuing a new writing challenge.

I, your humble chair and servant, would like to open up the opportunity to you, our members, to adapt one of Dickens’ short ghost stories into a script, which we will then have readings of in October. The man wrote a whole variety of these, including, most famously, A Christmas Carol.

If you are interested in creating an adaptation – it could be five minutes or fifty – simply drop me a line to chair@kdctheatre.com. The adaptation style will be totally up to you. It could be a straight translation, a modern update, a Greek Choral effort… anything! You don’t have to know Dickens. You don’t need to have written a play before. This is just an exercise in fun, so conjure up some ghosts and ghoulies for Halloween.

There are lots of these stories around if you wanted to do some investigation online, but just get in contact if interested, or if you have a request, and I will assign you a task (to avoid repetition)

For further reading, some examples of these stories (but there are many more!) are: ‘The Queer Chair’ (from The Pickwick Papers), ‘The Baron of Grogzwig’ (from Nicholas Nickleby), ‘The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain’, ‘To be Read at Dusk’, ‘The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber’ from ‘The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices’ and ‘The Signalman’.

The Lying Kind Audition Notice

Contact the directors at thelyingkind@kdctheatre.com
Tuesday 27th November – Saturday 1st December

1. Auditions

Auditions will take place from 6.30pm for a 7pm start on 17th, 18th and 19th September 2012 at the St Brides Foundation, 14 Bride Lane, City of London, EC4Y 8EQ. You do not need to register for auditions or prepare anything in advance. Please come on whichever day suits you.

Recalls will be on Saturday 22nd September at the Clean Break Studios, 2 Patshull Road, NW5 2LB. If we’d like to see you at the recalls we’ll call you on Thursday 20th September to let you know. Again, there’s nothing you need to prepare of you’re recalled.

Both first round auditions and recalls will be a mixture of improvisation games and script work. You’ll be given time to prepare everything. We’ll be looking for comic timing, physical comedy, good partnerships and most of all, enthusiasm.

Check the KDC theatre website for maps of both venues – www.kdctheatre.com

2. Show Dates

There will be two dress rehearsals and we’ll need you all day for both of those – Sunday 25th November and Monday 26th November. If you’re a working person that will mean taking Monday off.

We’ll be performing from Tuesday 27th November to Saturday 1st December at The Lion & Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town. The shows will start at 7.30pm and you’ll need to be at the theatre at least an hour beforehand.

3. Rehearsals

Rehearsals will be in Farringdon/Blackfriars (locations TBC) on Sundays (midday-4pm or 4pm-8m), Mondays 7pm-9pm and Wednesdays 7pm-9pm. We’ll work around any prior commitments you have as much as possible but please note that in the last fews weeks we’ll need everyone for all rehearsals.

4. Synopsis

Its Christmas Eve and well-meaning but inept coppers Blunt and Gobbel have one last job for the night; tell impossibly old couple Garson and Balthasar that their only daughter has died in a car crash. Understandably they’re not too keen on the idea and when they finally get the words out, the elderly pair gets completely the wrong end of the stick.

Desperate to set the record straight the blundering twosome set in a motion a chain of unexpected events which need covering up, and quickly. Mild-mannered Reverend Shandy has popped round to offer his condolences, potty-mouthed vigilante Gronya is on the hunt for the local paedophile, and her equally unpleasant daughter just so happens to have the same name as the deceased.

First performed at the Royal Court in 2002, The Lying Kind is a deliciously dark farce that we’ll be playing for laughs. We’ve been inspired by comedy new and old from the League of Gentlemen and Black Books, to Monty Python and Morecambe & Wise.

It’s also a really physical piece so we’ll be looking for people who can throw themselves into a fight with an imaginary dog, or take a knock from a truncheon and fall to the floor like a stack of bricks.

Finally we’re on the lookout for people who’ve got ideas to share – we know how certain aspects of the piece will look but we need actors who’ll play around with our ideas and fill in the gaps.

5. Cast

We’ve listed playing ages below and that’s exactly what they are – we’re very happy to cast younger people as Garson and Balthasar if you can master the physicality. Equally the two policeman and Reverend Shandy can be any age. It’s only Gronya and her daughter Carol that need to have the appropriate age gap between them.

Gobbel (m/f, playing age 20-40) – The more excitable and less able of the two policeman. Think Father Dougal from Father Ted, or Alice from The Vicar of Dibley.

Blunt (m, playing age 20-40) – Sees himself as the senior officer of the pair but there’s not much in it. Think Bernard from Black Books or Ernie Wise.

Gronya (m/f, playing age 35-50) – A formidable woman with a filthy mouth and a temper to match. Think a foul-mouthed Mrs Trunchbull from Matilda.

Garson (f, playing age 60-80) – Elderly and easily confused. Garson has a habit of hallucinating and a penchant for showing her undies to anyone who’ll look. We’ll use make up to make her look old but you’ll need to be able to get the physicality right. Think Julie Walters in the Two Soups sketch.

Balthasar (m, playing age 60-80) – Garson’s husband. Exasperated by the interruption to his evening and almost as confused as his wife. We’ll use make up here too but again you need to get the physicality right. Think Victor Meldrew.

Reverend Shandy (m, playing age 20-60) – Every inch the model vicar until provoked when he reveals a surprisingly powerful voice. Gets hit over the head more than most. Think Father Ted.

Carol (f, playing age late teens) – Gronya’s daughter and you can tell – she’s got some choice phrases up her sleeve. Think Vicky Pollard from Little Britain.

The Priory Audition Notice

Contact the director at thepriory@kdctheatre.com
Tuesday 4th December – Saturday 8th December

1. Introduction

Auditions will take place from 6.30pm for a 7pm start on 17th, 18th, 19th September 2012, with recalls on Saturday 22nd September 2012. Auditions will be at the St Brides Foundation, 14 Bride Lane, City of London, EC4Y 8EQ. Check the KDC theatre website for further details.

In order to be considered for this production, you must be available in the evenings for all of the performance dates (4th-8th December 2012), and all day Saturday 1st and Monday 3rd of December. Rehearsals will be in the City of London (locations TBC) on Saturdays (11am until 4pm), Monday 7pm- 9.30pm and Wednesdays 7pm-9.30pm. You will need to attend the majority of rehearsals for which you are called. Unfortunately, if you are unable to attend rehearsals on Saturdays you will not be cast in this show. If dates you cannot attend are not put on your audition form, we may in extreme cases have to reconsider casting.

Synopsis
A group of thirty-something friends and their partners get together for a New Years Eve weekend. Friendships are tested and begin to unravel as the frustrations that have previously prolonged a reunion come to a head. The play won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for best comedy following its 2009 debut at the Royal Court.

Director: Charles Golding – I have acted for KDC, The Tower, SEDOS and Southside Players in numerous roles. I have directed for KDC, SEDOS and my own company So it Goes…Theatre. I enjoy working in an energetic, collaborative manner, aiming to bring imagination and the unexpected to my productions.

Assistant Director: Douglas Baker – Experienced director of both film and theatre and Charles’ partner in So it Goes. This is the fourth time we have worked together.

2. Playing Ages & Description

Cast size: 7 (3 female, 4 male) –

Kate (25-35) – Working as a teacher with aspirations to be a full-time writer. Introspective, intelligent. Former partner of Carl.

Laura (18-25) – Seemingly a materialistic bimbo, she ends up being the most profound character. Fiancée of Ben.

Rebecca (30-40) – Career driven, psychopathically success orientated mother. Funniest character. Wife of Carl.

Adam (18-23) – Young internet date of Daniel. Arrogant, flippant and cool.

Ben (25-35) – Cocky, self absorbed hipster who never really left his gap year and is starting to look a touch tragic.

Carl (28-40) – Out of work actor whose best days appear behind him. Dominated by his wife Rebecca.

Daniel (25-35) – On the surface a successful good-humoured architect but underneath, neurotic and lacking confidence. Casting will be aged up or down depending on the main demographic of people auditioning.

3. First Round Auditions

The first round auditions will be a series of fast-paced, challenging drama games that will look to test stage-craft, comedy timing, awareness of others, concentration and vocal ability (non-singing). Everyone will be involved equally and the aim will be for people to have as much fun and as much chance to show off their skills as possible. Enthusiasm is one of the most essential qualities we are looking for.

4. Recall Audition Pieces

Recalls are by invitation only. Don’t worry, there is no need to learn any of the pieces in advance. We will tell you which piece to look at in more detail if you are asked to attend the recall.

You will note that the pieces below are quite short. We are anticipating a good turn out for our winter auditions and therefore time will be limited. Short audition pieces allow us to give everyone a fair audition time. We will not require any other pieces you may already have learnt. In the audition you will first be asked to perform the text and may then be asked to repeat with some direction.

Kate – ‘I had a nice time. Just did what I wanted to do. It was only when I was watching a film on Christmas Day and there was a little message along the bottom of the screen saying, ‘Are you alone? Depressed? If you are call…’ Well, I wasn’t, but I am now. Had a little cry. Well, quite a big one. Even looking at myself crying in the mirror, getting off on the drama of it all. Then I just drank red wine and ate cheese. So much cheese you wouldn’t believe it. Took a sleeping tablet, went to bed. All good. Christmas over.’

Rebecca – ‘Well, he’ll have an eye-opener once the baby comes along. That’ll test them. He’s having a mid-life crisis. She’s just out of nappies herself, it won’t work. The hardest thing you’ll ever do. Ours are going through a right thing at the moment. Especially Clemmie. She’s turned against her best friend, Scarlett, at nursery. Been so nasty to her. Saying she’s ugly and her games are boring. She’s got a point, her games are dull and she’s not the prettiest, but it is awful.’

Daniel – ‘You never know if it’s going to work out. What they’ll be like. If they’ll like you. And you’ve got this whole idea of them, whole fantasy, but you’ve never actually met. You start second guessing them. Saying stuff you think they’ll want to hear so they’ll like you. Little shit. We should check we haven’t been robbed. I’m serious, that’s probably why he was here. Which rooms did he go in? My jacket, he’s stolen my fuck*n’ jacket. It was on the back of that chair. ‘

Laura – ‘You don’t have to believe in God, as God. You know, a big man in the clouds with a white beard. You just have to believe in something outside of yourself. So this glass of wine, no, not that. My shoe could be God and I’d pray to that. I quite like that, praying to a big Balenciaga shoe. Aren’t they beautiful. I’m not going to tell you how much they cost. It’s like the law of attraction, isn’t it? Everything you bring into your life you ask for. Even when you don’t think you’re praying you are, you’re asking for it…’

Adam – ‘You never know what you’re gonna get when you meet blokes off the internet. They hardly ever look like their photo. But he’s just…We’ve been chatting for a few weeks and he seemed really keen. Always online, even during the day when he’s at work. Replies straight away. I liked that. And it all started getting a bit sexy, dirty, you know. Him saying what we were gonna do. It’s alright. We’d got into that sexy texting and it was good, really good. That’s why I’m here.’

Carl – ‘She says I should run my own garden centre or become a TV Gardner. I can’t just be a bloke who works in a garden centre. You know, since Rebecca has had her success more people acknowledge me now. Directors and actors who I hardly know, or who’d decided I had the whiff of failure about me, can’t get enough of me now. After this book, they’ll be all over you. Success is overrated anyway. Look at Rebecca. She’s miserable most of the time.’

Ben – Refer to pieces for Carl and Adam.

The War of the Waleses Returns!

KDC Theatre have the amazing honour of performing at the RSC’s open stage, The Dell in Stratford-upon-Avon!

http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/list.aspx?start=5-8-2012

The show was really well received in its London Run in Spring of this year, so we’d love to see some KDC Members heading up there to support the show. It’s FREE to watch, and there are two shows on Sunday 5th August, 12pm and 3pm. All YOU have to do is get up there!

It’d be great to hear from any casts that are reuniting to head up there, or having feedback from a gang of you making a pilgrimage, that we might be able to put up on the website to show ourselves off!

So get a gang together! Give yourselves a daytrip to the home of Shakespeare! Escape the madness of the London Olympics for a day! Let us know how your day was!

Fly the flag of the K!

Sister Mary Ignatius Cast List

Cath Ion (Philomena):

Originally from Shropshire West Midlands, Catherine trained at Salford University where she performed at the Comedy Store Manchester. Since moving to London last year she has also appeared as Livia in The Tamer Tamed (a sequel to The Taming of the Shrew), produced by the KDC Theatre. In between acting Catherine is a baker at Ham House and is trying to write her own comedy stuff.

Kevin Morin (Gary):

Kevin is making his first appearance on stage in London here in the role of Gary. He comes from Boston, MA where over the course of the past 10 years he has worked as an actor, director, producer, set builder, and sound designer. Favorite roles are Alex in The Little Dog Laughed and Rudy in Bent. Kevin’s day job in the market research industry is the reason he’s here in London in the first place. Without it he would not have found this wonderful opportunity.”

Fiona O’Sullivan (Sister Mary):

Fiona has wanted to act for as long as she can remember. She appeared in several university productions whilst at medical school, including Gwendolyn in ‘The importance of Being Earnest’ and Beverly in ‘Abigail’s Party’. She was a member of the Irish Universities Theatre Company who, in 1988, toured the east coast of the US on a memorable U-Haul road trip. Fitting theatre around her work as a doctor, she subsequently appeared with Red Kettle Theatre Company in Waterford and with Spotlight Theatre on the Dublin fringe circuit. In 2000 Fiona trained with The Actors Company Hoxton, playing the role of Chorus in Jean Anouilh’s ‘Antigone’ at Jermyn Street Theatre. This is her first performance with KDC Theatre.

Caleb Watson (Thomas):

8-year-old Caleb makes his debut in the fantabulous production of Sister Mary. Cheeky and fun-loving Caleb is a world travelled well-rounded child who has taken to acting like a fish to water.  He is avid car geek, able to tell you all you need to know about classic to concept cars., and has a collection of over 300 diecast cars from around the globe. Caleb is currently learning to play the guitar and violin. He has often being likened to Jim Parsons for his geekness and Matt Lantern for his handsomeness.

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Anna Whitelock (Diane)

Anna has been involved in theatre for over 10 years in Toronto and London both on stage and behind the scenes. She has acted in a number of productions playing roles which include Miss Tilehouse in The Sea by Edward Bond, Margot Frank in the KDC production of The Diary of Anne Frank and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew. She got the part of Diane because she also has no sense of humour.

Oliver Wilson (Aloysius):

You will have heard Oliver as BBC Radio Ones Entertainment presenter and also seen him on screen presenting for the Inside Out current affairs programme on BBC North West. He spent two and a half years at the BBC before joining The Actors Centre Covent Garden and then The Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in Los Angeles. There he studied acting and traded presenting for his true passion of acting. This is Oliver’s first acting role after completing studies at both schools.

Katherine Wootton (Director)

After assistant-directing Tamer Tamed with KDC, Katherine was hungry for more. She is thrilled to be directing one of her favourite plays this season. When not throwing herself into theatre, she is to be found working at the BBC, practising Hapkido, or making short films.

Helen Jackson (AD)

After studying English and Drama at university and mucking about a bit, Helen came to London from oop north many moons ago in search of streets paved with gold. She didn’t find gold but she did discover lots of fantastic theatre. This is the fourth time Helen has been involved in a KDC play but her first time behind the scenes. Helen has previously treaded the boards in A Clockwork Orange, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tamer Tamed and she has really enjoyed her assistant directorial debut. Her guilty pleasures include wine, Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream, more wine, and the odd bit of musical theatre.

Peter Cabrera (Producer)

Sister Mary… is the first show Peter has produced for KDC Theatre. He began acting at school and University, appearing as Orlando in a University of York Drama Society production of As You Like It. Since moving to London he has also appeared as Jacques in The Tamer Tamed (a sequel to The Taming of the Shrew), produced by KDC. He is currently appearing in George Bernard Shaw’s The Man of Destiny at the Bridewell Theatre. In between appearances, Peter works in central London for an executive search firm. He lives in North London with a lizard.

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Conference Call Cast List

Jeremy Small (Martin Mills)

Jeremy has appeared in numerous amateur productions, including Twelfth Night, Blood Wedding and A Child’s Christmas In Wales. The former BBC broadcast journalist works as a medical administrator at Guy’s Hospital. He hopes to become a professional actor. This is the second KDC show in which Jeremy, 30, has performed. He played Petruchio in John Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed in April this year.

Samantha Merrydew (Doctor Walmer)

Samantha’s love for acting started at school, where she studied drama. Her first role was playing an impish version of Lampito in Lysistrata.

After focusing on writing and film making at Brighton College of Technology, and then the University of Sussex, Samantha went back to her acting roots at the age of 23 when she was cast as the Third Witch in a feature adaptation of Macbeth, alongside Anthony Head: http://sleepnomore.net/

Samantha then went on to study Acting at City Lit, with performances in The Mercy Seat (playing Abby Prescott) and The Odd Couple (playing Cecily Pigeon).

Doctor Walmer is a warmly refreshing role that Samantha has enjoyed developing; channelling a gentle and committed woman who is also part of a powerful and enigmatic force when placed with the other two doctors.

Samantha is 31 and lives in North London with her partner, David. She works in TV Post Production and Compliance.

March Fothergill (Doctor Deal)

March is currently a student at King’s College London studying Hispanic Studies with English.  She caught the acting bug from a very young age after following her mother to many a rehearsal for am-dram productions.  This is her last production before departing on her ‘study abroad’ year.

Alex Waddington (Doctor Rye)

Throughout her formative years at a girls’ school, Alex longed for one thing – to be cast in a female role. As a girl of above average height, compliments in the vein of ‘but you make such a good man!’, were of little consolation to her frustrated ambitions. However, since joining KDC this year, Alex is that little bit closer to realising her dream. In Measure for Measure’ earlier this year, Alex was given a small female role (alongside a male one of course), and Conference Call sees her playing a female character throughout, albeit an imaginary one. It may have taken 30 years, but it looks like Alex’s time has finally come…

Andy Rushforth (Priest)

Andy is a wannabe Welshman. After spending an idyllic childhood in Newport his life took an urban turn to the bright lights of London. There he discovered the joys of Greco wrestling and jewellery-making. His love of acting stems from being a show-off and an unhealthy obsession with Mike Yarwood.

Nic Clark (Martin Mills’s Boss)

Nic feels life has somewhat cheated him. Despite living in the South West, Wales, the West Midlands and now London he possesses no accent whatsoever apart from a tendency to rolling his r’s. As his role in this play is silent this can neither be confirmed or denied unless you buy me a drink in the bar afterwards…

Helen Niland (Director)

Amy Jackson (Assistant Director)

This is my first time as an AD with KDC and it’s been a fantastic experience – due to the imagination, fun and general crazyness injected by Helen, the cast and our film crew.  I play Martin Mills’ wife which was a interesting challenge and presents itself in the form of our video montage interspersed during the play.

Outside of KDC, I have been a member of the Ealing Beaufort Players for several years and work in Communications for an alcohol company.

Enjoy the show!

Matthew Partridge (Producer)

Conference Call is Matthew’s eighth KDC production, and his third with Helen Niland. He has done everything from working backstage on Double Falsehood (Summer 2010) to directing The Tamer Tamed (Spring 2012). He is a Senior Writer for MoneyWeek magazine and has a PhD from the London School of Economics.

Nick Franco (Film Director)
Director and producer Nick Franco founded 1185films in 2003 where he has married a talented team of collaborators, both emerging and established, within his creative East London co-operative.

Nick directs, coordinates and produces film projects with high quality production values, from low budget productions to multi-million pound projects. He has worked with a range of artists including Cara Seymour, Stephen Tompkinson, Suggs, Bill Wyman, Gary Whelan, Scott Williams, Lisa Stansfield and UB40.

As a producer he has an innate and in-depth understanding of business and legal affairs, he is meticulous with budgets, he has a great visual flare and he can tell a story with empathy.

Lamberto Mongiorgi (Film Editor)
Lamberto is an Italian director, first assistant director and camera operator based in London.

He first gained experience at the famous Cinecittà Studios in Rome and he has worked on many productions including commercials (McDonalds, UniEuro), documentaries, shorts, animation 3D and corporate videos, both in Italy and in the UK.

Career highlights include 3D stereoscopic work for Marche: Land of Magic, a RAINBOW CGI production. Today he is a cinematographer, camera operator and editor at 1185films, where he has worked for eighteen months.

Stanley Llewellyn Ellis (Film Producer)
Stanley was born in Oxford but raised in Connecticut, USA, where he earned a degree in politics at the University of Connecticut. He returned to the UK aged 26 to pursue a career in film, inspired by the movie Blade Runner.

After gaining a Higher National Certificate in film at South Thames College while managing the Metro cinema in London’s West End, he went on to assistant direct three feature films and numerous television programmes and advertisements.

During his time in London, Stanley has written several feature length and short films scripts. He has also directed a number of short films, including Friends, Fame and Cocaine and Funny Money, plus various pop promos. Currently he is writing his first novel The Book of Us.

Fozia Khaliq (Lighting)

Fozia Khaliq has been working namely as a curator, educator and moving-image facilitator for the last 6 years. Having started her career in the East London art scene as a gallerist, Fozia forged an identity for herself as an arts instigator and producer through the gradual shift into participatory, public and educational arts.

Independently she has curated the exhibition By-Product at Nettie Horn and a series of exhibitions at V42 Gallery in Slovenia where she was for some time the Artistic Director.

Hannah Spearing (Make Up)

David Balfour (Film Operator)

As far back as he can remember, David has always wanted to be a film operator. To him, being a film operator was better than being President of the United States.  When not being a civil servant David enjoys bakery and classic cars.

Zoe Ashdown (Costume)

Zoe started off as a History student at Durham University, but after graduating discovered a passion for costume history. So she got degree greedy and decided to get another one, this time in Costume Design for Stage and Screen at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth.  After two years of hard slog and a few interesting jobs here and there on films and in theatre, Zoe decided not to return as she was offered a job at Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre in the West End, and she’s been there ever since.  Zoe has greatly enjoyed working with KDC once again as it gives her the opportunity to flex her creative bits and pieces, and wishes to thank Helen for all her help and support.

David Crackles (Sound)

Last call for Pub Quiz Champion – Dev Blog 5


A scene from Pub Quiz Champion, the Studio Piece in Summer 2012

Pub Quiz Champion has its last showing this Sunday (July 20th) at 6:30pm at the Etcetera theatre.


So why a pub quiz?

The question I’ve not been asked, but I’m sure some readers of this blog have been wondering is: given all the wild and varied settings we explored in the early stages of the process, why did we take forward something as mundane as a pub quiz?

While our process focuses a lot on settings at the beginning – and that’s important to give the actors context to work in – in truth the ultimate success of the play relies on drawing the audience into the characters and their relationships with each other.

The second studio piece, Last Order, started with a single two-hander scene between a crippled husband returned from war to the wife he left behind. The third studio piece, The Words I Keep Secret, started with a simple family dinner between a mother, son and daughter in a restaurant. It was the relationships, rather than the settings, that provided our way into the story. In several ways, Pub Quiz Champion combines both the relationship hook of these pieces and the exploration of individual character that powered the first studio piece, Ups & Downs.

For the relationship we have the triangle between current pub quiz champion Steve (created by Francis Whittaker), his long-term girlfriend Alice (created by Maeve McClenaghan) and his quiz-mate / old school-friend Lauren (created by Kim Morrison). It was clear from the first improvisation that the veiled tensions between these characters had stage potential.

For the characters we have a diverse array of old quiz-hands and new talent. All drama is rooted in contrast and – after we’d chosen the pub quiz setting – we quickly established that we wanted to highlight the contrast between the characters’ professional or home lives and the people they became in the heated rivalry of the quiz. We have Donovan (created by Ivo Dinkov), a therapist who’s great at giving advice but unable to take it; Collette (created by Vanessa Okello) whose professional veneer conceals a woman of passionate determination; the fun-loving Jodie (created by Fiona Thomas) whose pranks are a release valve from her dark daily life; and the local barfly Clive (created by James Tully) who struggles between his weakness and his faded nobility.