5 Years in IHDC : My story

5 Years in IHDC : My story

On the 21st of July 2010 I began my on stage journey. Back then I only had thoughts of seeing myself in lights. But after watching that year’s Iver Heath Drama Club production Bugsy Malone I envisioned myself being able to stand alongside some of those performers .

Back then I was different and so was the world. David Cameron and Nick Clegg had recently gone into Downing Street and everybody had blackberries.

There I stood in a village hall about to join a diverse group whom have now changed dramatically over the last half decade. Mostly for the better but there are still some faces who have gone in which I believe still have a place on stage and they will be missed.

From a largely youthful group (it still is in many ways) I instantly realized these younger people all had their own little groups within. Some even rivaled to each other. There was a somewhat negative vibe surrounding certain groups and a lack of long term cohesion. But this is something which has definitely changed for the better over my time there.

“People either see what you’re doing and follow or walk away.”

Today at Iver Heath Drama Club I firmly believe the group is the closest and most hard working ever seen down there, by me at least. Not to take anything away or tread on any toes of the past but I call it as I see it.

Back to year one, three weeks passed and it was audition time for the next show. That being Snow White. Being someone who always bites more than I chew. I went for a main part. On that day, I turned 21 and had also been given my first ever main role. I was cast as the man in the mirror!

 

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silver tights from my first ever role, take it in ladies

“There have been good successful shows and some bad, that’s the art of performance.”

In my first few years in IHDC a miniature revolution took place. A small influx of adult performers paired with our hardworking attitude shifted the gears in terms of standards. Shows got better, the performances got better, the production value increased and audience members spiked. They still improve today and without any arrogance, one thing I would like to say I contributed to is the hard working attitude that this crowd now have. It’s their core value.

“To make it in IHDC you need to have the right team working attributes and attitude for hard work. Fitting in and talent are two things that aren’t a necessity but they help. Overall if you are seen to be putting in a shift, the top parts will come your way. Trust me, I’ve been there.”  

Yes I have had high points, playing hamlet is one of my personal favorites and requires no introduction. Bringing our first ever Shakespeare production to life was challenging, the dialogue is something that present day people are not used to and gave everyone involved a bigger scope. Plus who doesn’t love wearing a shirt like meatloaf.

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Playing Hamlet alongside Richard Gittens as Horatio was one of my finest moments

But being granted the role of Robin Hood in an IHDC pantomine will always be my favorite achievement to date. The various promotional appearances and newspaper articles I made will always be a great memory for me. But it was hard work, being a name that people know carries an expectation, one that I hope did Robin Hood justice. That production in particular convinced me that things have changed for the better in IHDC, there’s a certain work ethic about the place now.

Even though I am kind of tired from Robin Hood I am still more than ready to take on another challenge.

Thank you to everyone who has had some level of involvement to IHDC over the years. It’s been a ride and one that will continue for me.

Next year my writing will come to life on stage when I bring my one act murder mystery farce Hotel Doom to IHDC. Performing with this diverse wonderful group has brought me confidence to write, to blog and to continue in all of my performance rated endeavors.

“The people I have met are my friends for life and what we have at IHDC is a family of ragtag sometimes dysfunctional queens, but they are my queens and we do well together.”

 

Here’s to many more years and below are some of the fond memories…

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The General Election : Britain can certainly moan

From glancing ever so briefly at social media over my weekend it’s safe to say people are rather unhappy with the outcome of the very recent UK General election. In fact I couldn’t name one person I know that is genuinely satisfied with the result.

Did people actually get what they wanted?

Is that the state of modern politics? People are somewhat becoming used to getting something else as opposed to what or who they voted for. Instead of vent and rant with an opinionated spat on the internet, I would rather look at little deeper as to why there’s some grumpiness right now.

The disgruntled are in simple terms reacting which is an effect. Writing 101 states that every cause has an effect so what is that cause?

all parties 1) The SNP Revolt

I sat next to my good (partially drunk on Asti) friend Matt Streuli as the election results came in at the rather wee hours of Friday morning. The theme at that time was SNP taking seats from Labour. Rather quickly a Scottish revolution became apparent. We even saw history right there, the youngest ever MP aged 20 had been voted in.

Now without voting numbers and proportions aside, the Scottish folk are obviously looking for change, with the referendum theme still fresh they looked for this change through Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. She wanted to get the Tories out and said this more than once during the debates (remember that, it’s important further down). She even offered to collaborate with Labour to do this, but was there any other choice?

2)  No coalition is better than a coalition

Down south most of the voting public were thinking either red or blue. We knew that team yellow proved to be irrelevant to Downing Street this time around. Ed Miliband of labour didn’t spend the last 5 years as prime minister, David Cameron did (elected or not).

 The devil you know?

The exit polls suggested this early on. But voting an all conservative government in is just an effect of the SNP wanting to get the Tories out. How would they do that, by teaming up with the only other party as big as conservative, Labour.

Again we are seeing people use their vote for a different agenda.  Think about it carefully for just a moment. Conservative got in because people didn’t want another coalition of two parties who hadn’t seen Downing street recently. It really is a case of the devil you know but this time there is no conscience of Nick Clegg on Cameron’s shoulder.

The minority of Scotland posed a threat to the majority and led to the election of David Cameron.

Conclusion 

That’s how I see it anyway, and even after looking at the first past the post rules and proportions. UKIP had a good day in terms of votes but were marooned by these rules.

It will be an interesting 5 years, seeing what Scotland will do, of course the deficit and borrowing. Will they put the rubbish of the deficit into just another bin called borrowing? Food banks, an issue that is ever increasing, how many will we see in 5 years?

There are some things that you can’t blame the past 5 years for. Our interest rate is rock bottom, but the world economy is still recovering. For me it will be interesting as in the recent budget they promised more control over the science and research budgets.

I am optimistic for now, but then again nothing ever works out how you expect it to.

 

political map

polls

 

 

The Eclipse 2015: Did you see it or was your view clouded?

I left my house this morning at a somewhat earlier time. Advised by a particular news website (not mentioning names) that when the eclipse happens there will be traffic pandemonium. Half 9 UK time is classed as sill the morning rush hour (yes people get up that late) and that was when this event had been predicted to happen.

Upon walking out into the fresh morning air I couldn’t help but look up to the grey murky low cloud base that covered everything above my chimney line.

Great start  (I did laugh initially like Muttley or even an Hyena)

I expected nothing less than the whole of Britain to be cloudy. In all honesty it’s the only weather we know can cope through without something going wrong. So off I went along my normal drive to work. That being the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory science research facility in Harwell Oxfordshire.

Still the clouds remained and the eclipse time loomed. Looking out of my minuscule 2nd floor workshop window, I could see people starting to gather. Again I looked up at the apparent clouds and that was when a speck of blue shone through.

The damn clouds were clearing. I trudged up the large mound towards the back of site with my boss. Taking out my piece of sh** phone I looked at the clock (my second best app) and then I looked up. There it was the crescent sun. A beaming smile in the sky. Just in time the clouds parted, I did expect the Simpsons theme to kick in at any moment. Ladies and Gentlemen, I saw it. Many others didnt, and the photographic evidence is here.

A decent photo imo! Happy eclipse day! Enjoy my ‘gallery’ below and thanks for actually reading this!

Wait for it...

Wait for it…

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Into the Woods : Wicked : My musical weekend

From the very beginning many of us knew that this year was gonna be all about movies, considering I have pretty much one sentence to report on all things trying to get published I will do that now.

I have sent my manuscript out to agents again and now I’m editing my second book again.

Now that’s done lets get to it but wait, didn’t I say that this week’s offering would resume on a Tuesday? I lied, the world is full of liars including me.

My musical weekend began on Friday…….

Friday : Into the woods

After walking into the foyer of my local empire cinema I could see that we may have trouble finding 7 seats for the group I was with. It was opening night after all and the last time I saw this cinema that packed was when Les Miserables came out. Just like that experience we were forced to sit near the front.

into woods1

So to the film, well here we see a rather stellar cast, I am talking Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, James Corden (Peeps from US will soon know who he is) Johnny Depp ( more of a cameo from him) Emily Blunt, Chris Pine who played the rugged yet charming prince charming and many more. It seemed that nearly every character big or small was a face I had seen before. This gave me much faith in what Disney had to offer.

We were introduced by the way of song to the many central characters and the sort of modified fairy tales in which they belonged. Jack and the beanstalk, Little red riding hood and Cinderella were amongst them.

into woods 2

Meryl Streep and James Corden carried this film which saw him on a scavenger hunt into the woods. I wont give that much away as I feel it is worth watching but to me the final quarter of the film did lack a certain level of story and plot. Which is a shame because the cast all pull together and almost make this an anti Disney film with cliché at every turn. My favourite line of the film came from prince charming “I was raised to be charming not sincere” and he did turn out to be quite the sleaze bag. Seeing him and another prince singing a duet on a waterfall and trying to out prince each other was fun to watch.

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I lol’d at this guy

 

Go see it and tell me your thoughts.

If your still here this is part two of my musical weekend and that was to take my better half into central London to the very art deco Victoria Apollo theatre.

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Saturday : Wicked

As you take your seat there is already a visual spectacle  to take in. The safety curtain is a map of OZ with emerald city glowing in the centre. Around the stage is various ladders, walkways and cogs of the machine that makes Wicked turn. High above a dragon facing the spectators who were ready and restless on this busy Saturday afternoon.   (This dragon did move from time to time)

defying

Here we see the story of Elphalba (the wicked witch of the west) and how she came to meet herfate.  Again I won’t give anything away and just tell you this show was somewhat awesome.  Many people think that musicals are not for me (maybe because I am so manly, tough exterior etc.) but this show was great. The act 1 close of defying gravity did exactly that and really expressed the powerful vocal skills of the performers. Flying monkeys, munchkins and brilliant stage visuals gave the whole show had a magical element. I would strongly recommend you see it. We were sat in the dress circle looking down on the stage, but where ever you sit is a good view in the Apollo.

 

Final thought 

Some of you may know that for five years I have pursued a career in amateur drama. Having been a member of the Iver Heath Drama Club for that time I can happily announce that I will be the lead in their next show. This January I will be putting the tights on to be Robin Hood, the worlds most famous outlaw! Come and see me, tickets are available to purchase online for a reasonable rate, just click here.

Show your support for a good thing in the community!

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The Woman in Black : Angel of Death , 2015 is here!!!

2015 has rolled around quicker than a turkey dinner hiccup and the Hall of information is open again for all of your blogging needs!!!!

So come with me again if you want to continue to live as I will be your guide from all things current affairs, movie reviews and of course book related as I continue my journey to find publication of my first novel Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project!

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Happy new year from the Hall of information

A movie review! The Woman in Black : Angel of Death

Who said that cinema horror is dead? Well it’s certainly alive and kicking and extremely jumpy in some circumstances. But before I delve into reviewing I must make a side note.

 

Side note (notice how this note is to one side)

Before the movie commenced we were

exposed to a few trailers, one of them being

Insidious 3, OMG the trailer on its own made

many of the audience scream out loud! Including

Falcon Garman who was sitting next to me.

Back to the review:

So after our palpitation warm up we were ready for the sequel of 2012’s Daniel Radcliffe screamer! Here we are introduced from the very beginning to a rather sketchy looking house. Sort of ‘don’t go in there’ material. This sets the scene straight away that we will be returning to Eel Marsh house. Then we are taken to London 1941 and a group of young children including two teachers are being evacuated from the city. And guess where the local council are sending them!

woamn hous

Looking Sketchy

Now personally I feel uncomfortable with the whole kids being kind of hypnotized by the woman in black but it does make the story that much creepier. I refuse to give no more away as I feel this film carried on right where the first left off. It is mainly a lower profile cast but everyone involved works tremendously hard to capture the horror and of course the war time era that its depicted in.

Jumpy throughout this one is similar to the first but ultimately lifts the lid a little more on who the woman in black is and she’s still up to her old tricks. It’s a cinema film and works well in the dark. I recommend it. There were some occasions throughout the film when I would whisper ‘oh shit’ knowing that something was about to jump out. Part of the fun I say!

That’s my first film of 2015 but it wont be the last, Star Wars, Jurassic World, Hot tub time machine 2 and the Avengers age of ultron are all yet to come!

 

Next week the Hall of information will resume on it’s normal day of Tuesday

 

OMG Movies Everywhere: And they are good ones! : Terminator, Star Wars, Exodus, Dumb and Dumber to, Annie, the theory of everything….

Ok so Christmas is quickly approaching and it seems that there are literally films being thrown towards it from all directions.

T’is the season for next years movie blockbuster trailers it seems, but come with me if you want to live! By that I mean firstly survive a holiday season jam packed (not marmalade packed oh no) full of films. In fact this blog is so full of movie preview goodness I have no choice but to make it a feature length offering!

the force

The new star wars looks decent

 

The last few weeks has seen a sneak peak of Jurassic World’s offering followed by a full trailer, that was then followed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer which was then followed by Terminator Genisys.

schwarzenegger

He’s back, again. Click on me if you want to live and watch my trailer

 

As I said last week on my Facebook page Oh my f***ing god he’s back!  I imagine next year to be a record breaking box office affair especially after the new James Bond was announced also! Films everywhere!

But that isn’t all, here’s the rundown of what’s coming out this month first (and January)! (Some will only apply to UK but waving to readers from other places)

 Dumb and Dumber To (19th December UK)

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Great to see these legends back together!

“No way, that’s great. WE LANDED ON THE MOON!” The trailer has been around for a while now and so has the rumor of this comedy establishment getting a sequel. One of my all time favourite films as a child, as a teen and as an adult. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are back for gags, laughs and physical comedy. Daniels has been quoted to say something like, ‘you may not like all of the gags or laughs but we will get ya’. Sounds awesome!

 

 Night at the Museum : Secret of the Tomb (19th December)

Yes Ben Stiller returns along with Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke , Ricky Gervais and many more in this star studded magical mild action. Many Robin Williams fans will be going to see this by default simply to tribute the legend that was. Trailer here.

 

frigginnight A Merry Friggin Christmas (not sure on release date or if it comes out in the UK)

I came across the trailer for this last week . There’s shades of the typical Christmas disaster film about a family who spend the holiday with their extended family of misfits. One of them includes Robin Williams. The premise seems to be mother forgets to bring presents and has to go on a road trip back to get them. I was sold by the fact there was a hobo santa character, other cast members include: Oliver Platt, Clark Duke and Lauren Graham.

Swords and sandals blockbuster time!

Exodus: Gods and Kings (26th December)

Christian Bale leads the way as Moses in this epic looking offering from Ridley Scott. The Moses story with an all star cast of a godly persuasion include: Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and John Turturro. Trailer here.

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I’m Moses (In a batman accent)

 

 

 

 

 

Annie (not so much swords and sandals, 26th December)

annie

The holiday blockbuster season wouldn’t be the same without a musical and a remake so luckily enough this ticks both boxes in one sitting. Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx are the headline . Trailer here.

              The theory of everything (2nd January UK)

This looks like a great story of famous physicist Stephen Hawking and the relationship with his wife. It starts before his health deteriorated and shows the legendary journey he has been on. Eddy Redmane and Felicity Jones star. Perfect timing for the award season and it wouldn’t surprise me if it won a gong or two. Here’s the trailer.

theory