A call out for contributions to ‘Shakespiration’ (previously known as ‘Inspiring Shakespeare’) has now gone out to specific writers groups. These writers and performers have been asked to contribute pieces based on Shakespeare’s monologues.
These pieces will then be assembled into an evening’s entertainment which should hopefully include song and movement as well as monologues and duologues. It’s first outing should be the ‘Made in Roath 2016’ festival.
My original idea of ‘actor walks into a pub’…for the Roath Festival has been revised.
The intention now is to invite writers to submit pieces which use the basic premise underpinning a Shakespeare speech as the inspiration for a modern equivalent. These would be played in tandem with the original speech.
For example, a writer might decide explore the parallel between a suicide bomber considering his/her mission and the king from ‘The Scottish Play’ being confronted by the vision of a knife just before he murders Duncan.
Or a person urging themselves to take action than ‘…peek like John o’ dreams…’
Still working on the detail and the exact shape of the final show. Then there’s funding…
This project has changed shape somewhat into a fuller idea for a show. Full of thoughts and ideas…
The basic idea: speeches or short plays based on a specific location.
For example, one or more speeches or a flash play to be performed on Cardiff Bay in the summer of 2016. These speeches would be based upon an aspect of the bay’s past or even projected future.
Another example. During the May Day celebrations held at Cefn Coed colliery museum every year, a short play based upon the colliery’s past and the central role coal mining played within the local community.
These are just thoughts at the moment but I soon hope to turn them into projects.
I had an idea. During a festival (Made in Roath??) where the appropriate advertising etc has gone out, an actor walks into a pub and puts down a sign which reads ‘ A Pint of Shakespeare’, plays some intro music and launches into one of the great man’s monologues.
Bit lonely. Though there are actors I know out there with the courage etc to do it – indeed maybe it has been done already. However, this initial seed has given birth to a new idea…’Inspiring Shakespeare’. It needs work. It needs actors. It needs writers. Watch this space.
So the first ‘season’ of ‘City Road’ is over and I thought I would share some of the comments we have received:
“First time at City Road and thought it was amazing. To bring drama of this quality to an audience that may not usually see it, is the best. Typical of “Made in Roath” bringing art to the public. Wish I had seen all the other episodes. More please.” G. Edwards.
“Gritty urban drama kept us on the edge of our seats….having missed the previous episodes, when is the omnibus on?!” Stella Pascos & Rob Booth
“Good idea to locate in a city pub giving the storyline a realistic feel and although only attended the last episode, I could understand what was going on and felt part of the drama.” Steve Pedley
“Would love to see more of this production. Storyline strong, good characters.” Ellen Pedley
“Thanks for a great show – really enjoyed it!”
“Diolch!” E Adam.
“Don’t want it to end…want to know what happens next!” our two best customers – names unknown!
“I’m really going to miss this!” Kim, landlady of Roath Park
City Road 1st Episode
18th October Roath Park Tavern City Road Cardiff
Each episode of ’City Road’ is totally unscripted and built upon rehearsed improvisations. Each character is the creation of the actor with the storyline being devised by the director working in tandem with the actors.
THE STORY SO FAR…
Eileen O’Driscoll has owned and run the City Road public house for years after inheriting it from a relative. Her husband Sean walked out when the children were young and has never been heard of since. Although he is rumoured to have run off to America with another woman, no-one really knows what has happened to him.
The pub was once one of the most successful in the area but the struggle of bringing up three girls on her own and running a pub, along with the general economic downturn, means it and Eileen are barely managing to stay afloat. As we meet Eileen, her middle daughter Melisa (with one ’s’), an accountant, is due back from her 6 week honeymoon touring the Far East and Australia with husband Jamie. Sinead, her youngest daughter and the one most like her, remains at home and works in the pub. Siobhan, the eldest daughter, is currently living and teaching out in Australia. Eileen’s brother and his wife have returned to Ireland to live in order to look after his wife’s ageing mother and have left their only child Rhian in the care of Eileen so she can complete her college course.
Meanwhile Daniel, new to the area, waits for his date from an online dating site to turn up.
‘Local Lives’ has become ‘City Road’ and is now part of the Made in Roath festival. Between Saturday, October 18th and Wednesday, October 22nd, ‘City Road’ can be experienced at the Roath Park Tavern on ….City Road, Cardiff (there may be a change of venue on 20th as we shall be teaming up with 3Crate for the evening they are organising).
Each performance will last approximately 15 minutes and should be in the early evening – exact time to be confirmed. The fifty words of ‘blurb’ as they will appear in the ‘Made in Roath’ brochure.
‘City Road’ a new soap opera bubbling with all the drama and entertainment you expect but in a local pub! So grab a drink and get to know the lives and loves of some new locals – all in the intimate atmosphere of the pub bar. Don’t miss it!
The next stage is to build a rehearsal schedule and sketch out some possible story lines and potential characters, if for no other reason, to get all our creative juices flowing.
Potential intro/outro below to sound the start/end ‘bell’.
Great meeting with the Made in Roath organisers. They really want to see the Soap Opera happen. We kicked the name around a bit and eventually decided upon ‘City Road’. Roath Park Tavern has so much potential for what we want to achieve and we can rehearse there – so far so good.
Now I ‘ve got to put out an urgent call to all those who might be interested in acting in it and hopefully, hopefully enough people will be up for it. I reckon I need at least 10-15 ready to climb onboard.
Providing that happens, I can then get down to thinking about the various strategic elements required – blurb, opening song (more like an alarm to signal the beginning and ending) and an image – pub interior?
Hoping that Breath Collective’s first project, working title (until we find a home) – ‘Local Lives – A Pub Soap Opera’ – may actually be about to take it’s first steps towards a full season with a try-out during Cardiff’s Made in Roath festival. Hoping to hear some good news about this soon.
Big thanks to Emma MacNab and Peter A Scott of 3Crate for pointing me towards Made in Roath.