And so the curtains fall on what has been an arduous but rewarding journey. It has taken an incredible amount of effort by so many to create a show that reflects hard work by those who shared my vision.
The Iver Heath Drama Club has spent over 70 years presenting shows to the local community and is a place where all are welcome – from audience to stage or technical and even the massive efforts of those behind the scenes. Having been a part of this fantastic drama club for over twelve years I’ve always felt valued and accepted by them. My writing journey has always been embraced by IHDC and their encouragement is a major factor in why I’m still writing. Their unique approach to accepting and including everyone is so important and something the club must always fight for. Community based theatre is a staple of providing entertainment and escape for everyone in the local community and IHDC does that very well.
For their latest pantomime effort I proudly took on the prestigious role of director, my first foray into managing a full-length show and a view that I’ll never forget. To see those words I’ve written performed by so many talented people will stay with me for a long time. Having already been the resident panto writer for some years this occasion the whole thing rested upon my shoulders representing a new type of pressure and of course pride for the journey. But like I said, I was not alone and I don’t really consider myself a director but IHDC made me feel like one and they took my vision and converted it into the bright colourful lights of theatre.
Audiences, performers and crew all went home happy which was my number one objective in all of this.
Successful shows are fostered by work and dedication along with the collaboration of so many talented folks who I am proud to call my friends. We did an incredible job together and so for now let us all retire to the green room.
Like always, the writing continues as I have already penned the first half of my next pantomime and IHDC will be going forth into their next production. With a number of scripts now written we will also be looking towards officially opening our very own script store. We have already had one customer in the form of another wonderful drama group who presented my adaptation of Rapunzel to great success!
You can find more information about IHDC via their Facebook Page.
To see my writing performed live on stage is an incredible feeling. This past weekend was a pinnacle moment for my play writing endeavours and I’m still coming down from it all.
Two of my plays were performed by two different groups this past weekend and I had the pleasure to be able to see them both in action. One of which was for charity to raise money for a wonderful school and the other was the premiere of my latest work and a pantomime adaptation which I also directed.
Seeing my words come life is something that will stay with me forever and they may be my words, but the stories told on those stages belong to everyone else. From performers to crew all the way to kind audience members of all ages. To see it all unfold and hear the applause, gasps and so much more truly is special. Many many writers spent their time in obscurity with their works and never get the chance I got this past weekend. To watch how others interpret my stories and to also see them succeed on stage with different groups really does give me a sense that what I have written, does work.
It’s an incredible feeling to have an audience member approach me and say they enjoyed the play I wrote. This past weekend saw my 4th stage adaptation premiere and it was a huge success. Shows and large gatherings of audience have been absent for quite some time in my life and to see it return is very special to me.
There are many writers who live with their work in obscurity and never ever have to opportunity to see their words brought to life or even read so I consider myself lucky to have that. I am very grateful to the drama club that take on my work and bring it to life whilst also giving it a whole new meaning. As a performer way back when and now a writer, this wonderful group has always embraced my creative efforts and my writing is merely a suggestion because the final performed product is even better than I could imagine. To me, nothing beats the roar of a crowd and the bright lights that wash over the stage. Live entertainment, is the best entertainment.
This has been a busy year so far and to have good things like this is incredibly rewarding. To those involved, thank you.
The stories we read, see and hear sometimes leave a lasting effect on our lives. Stories inspire us to be who we are. They shape our own journey and can take the mind anywhere. There are some stories that effect us so much, they even shape our future…
Shakespeare, the original story teller. The true architect of language and narrative. You’ll find his influence near enough everywhere when it comes to the written and spoken word; sometimes you won’t even know you are using a phrase that he originally influenced. His works these days have even extended to cinema and television.
Many of us came across the Bard’s work during our school years. Too many walk away from those lessons thinking his work is boring and almost inaudible to follow. That’s a tragedy in its own right and probably down to a lack of teaching execution. Although I don’t blame teachers not being an effective vessel to explain Shakespeare, like all art it’s an acquired taste and also subjective.
For me Hamlet is the true epitome of story telling. It has almost everything a good story should have. Love, life and death with near enough all the elements that make a good story just that. Betrayal, deception and triumph; enveloped by that word ‘tragedy’. They never taught me about Hamlet at school. I remember ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ but the Prince of Denmark and his laments I didn’t find out until I was cast as him in the play.
When you take on a work for the stage, be that by any writer you take a part of them and perform it as your own. You also sometimes; not all the time, become engrossed into their story and by becoming a character you only truly appreciate the weight of a story and it’s true power.
Death is all around Hamlet, the character and the story. His ever so famous ‘to be or not to be’ monologue is about the contemplation of such and as the story unfolds death slowly reaches over near enough all involved. He urges love interest ‘Ophelia’ to get away which becomes an unintentional shun leading to the shuffling of her mortal coil. ‘Claudius’ plays the typical step father figure that is cliche even to this day – he did have a hand in killing his brother who happens to be Hamlet’s father the King; sound familiar yet Simba?
The only significant survivor by the close of play – spoiler alert; although you’ve had hundreds of years – is ‘Horatio’ who utters those ever so famous words but before then we see a deceptive plot to poison Hamlet which goes ‘badly’ for Shakespeare’s standards along with a memorable duel. As I said it has everything and as our language continually evolves further and further away from that used in this classic tale, it’s so important we remember and honour it.
For those looking to improve their craft on stage nothing will do it better than the words of William Shakespeare. From modulation and dictation all the way to understanding of how a basic story is put together and all the way to being able to learn lines – if you’ve learned and nailed Shakespeare on stage, everything and I say everything you do after will be noticeably easier. Great stories of tragedy or even triumph never fade and well I suppose the rest is silence….
Do you have a favourite Shakespeare work?
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