Looking back at…Black Shuck

by Duncan Hands

11-19th May 2016, The Bedford
11-15th October, The Old Red Lion Theatre

“Sea-eagle to coot, come in please, can you hear me? Over.”

“Yes, yes, bloody yes!”

Rucksacks… Check. Walkie-Talkies… Check. Hip flask… Check. Gun… gun?!

Ruminating on the local myth of ghostly dog ‘Black Shuck’, two (inept) would-be smugglers await a shipment on the Norfolk Coast. Join us, where comedy meets horror in this hour-long new play by Duncan Hands.

Another bit of new writing being championed by Blackshaw you say? It’s almost like we have an MO…Duncan Hands blended the mystical, farcical and mundane in this black comedy. Rachel Nott and Alexander Pankhurst’s onstage chemistry really brought the whole thing to life. Special mention goes to Andrew Crane for once again delivering the quality aural goods to create the spookiest of atmospheres.

engaging and dynamic…boundless energy and spirit…a little bit silly, a little bit scary and thoroughly worth a watch!

Theatre Bubble

a brilliantly written short piece…Rachel Nott is amazing…Art is played wonderfully by Alexander Pankhurst

London Theatre 1

a taut play that manages to walk the tightrope of genres but playing to the strength of all

Female Arts

CAST

Martha – Rachel Nott
Art – Alexander Pankhurst
Mr Big (voice only) – Tom Slatter
Fisherman (voice only) – Duncan Hands

CREATIVES

Director/Producer – Ellie Pitkin
Sound Design – Andrew Crane
Sound and Lightening Tech – Andrew Crane
Set and Costume Designer – Michelle Bristow
Set Builder – Tom Hurling
Design Assistant – Sophia Debus
Promotional Images – Robin Savage Photography
Production Photography – Richard Stratton

Looking back at…Alice in Wonderland

adapted by Richard Stratton

3-18th May 2014, The Selkirk Upstairs
2-16th May 2015, Battersea Library
4-5th June 2015, The British Home

There have been many iterations of Alice in Wonderland, but I bet no others have involved a knitted tea pot. Brilliantly reimagined by Blackshaw stalwart Richard Stratton, it was performed three different times, on three different stages, with three different casts – all racing around, causing havoc and delight in equal measure. Every single show was sold out, every single time. What a rush. You didn’t have to be mad to be involved, but it certainly helped.

this ingeniously directed production by Ellie Pitkin showcases all the theatrical tricks one can imagine…this resourceful and clever production

Public Reviews

an imaginative production…highly entertaining and engaging…a fun afternoon adventure

Everything Theatre

tightly directed and precisely performed – and gloriously silly

Cumbria PR

2014 CAST

EMILY RAE – ALICE
NATALIE WINTER – MARCH HARE/DOOR 2
ANGELA FERNS – THE QUEEN OF HEARTS/SHOPKEEPER
DEAN BRAMMALL – MAD HATTER/DOOR 3 /FLOWERS
LIAM FLEMING – TWEEDLE DUM/SOLDIER 2/DOOR 4
ALEXANDER PANKHURST – TWEEDLE DEE/SOLDIER 1/DOOR 1
NATASHA GREEN – CHESHIRE CAT
CLARE HARLOW – WHITE RABBIT/CATERPILLAR

2014 CREATIVES

ELLIE PITKIN – DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
OLIVER GORDON – ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
ZAHRA MANSOURI – COSTUME & SET DESIGNER
ANDREW CRANE – SOUND DESIGNER & TECH OPERATOR
CHLOE WALTON – ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
MATTHEW CONNELLY – ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
JONELL ROWE – ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
BRUCE ASHER – PUBLICITY DESIGN
VIKKI WESTON – PROJECT MANAGER/PUBLICITY
STANLEY WALTON – PUBLICITY & MARKETING
ROBERT HUGILL – PUBLICITY & MARKETING
BARNEY BARRON – PUBLICITY & MARKETING
NICK TATCHELL – PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHY
ZAK THOMAS – PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHY
MICHELLE BRISTOW – COSTUME & SET DESIGN ASSISTANT
SHINO MINAGAWA – COSTUME ASSISTANT
KIRSTY YOUNG – COSTUME ASSISTANT
NARA JEONG – COSTUME ASSISTANT

2015 CAST

EMILY RAE / RACHAEL STRATTON – Alice
ALEXANDER PANKHURST – Tweedle Dee/Caterpillar/Soldier 1/Door 1
NATASHA GREEN – Cheshire Cat
ROSIE MARSH – March Hare/Door 2
RICHARD STRATTON – Tweedle Dum/Soldier 2/Door 4
STEVE WICKENDEN – Librarian/Queen of Hearts
ALEX KHANYAGHMA – White Rabbit/Door 3/Flowers

2015 CREATIVES

ELLIE PITKIN – Director and Producer
MARCUS BAZLEY – Assistant Director
TEGAN CUTTS – Stage Manager
ANDREW CRANE – Sound & Lighting Designer & Operator
ZAHRA MANSOURI – Set & Costume Designer
MICHELLE BRISTOW – Associate Set & Costume Designer
VIKKI WESTON – Front of House Manager
SIMON ANNAND – Production Photography
ELLA OKEORE – Costume & Set Assistant
INEZ COONEN – Costume & Set Assistant
MARIA NOONE – Costume & Set Assistant
DODONA WHITE – Costume & Set Assistant
KATHERINE BURKE – Costume & Set Assistant/ASM

Looking back at…Character

Character by Florence Vincent

1-17th May 2014 at the Selkirk Upstairs
9-14th March 2015 at the Tristan Bates Theatre

Michelle is about to turn thirty and is not coping well. Desperate to do one good thing and finish her first novel before the big 3-0 arrives, she retreats to a countryside cottage with a typewriter, a lot of wine and her oldest friend Freya – who is harbouring problems of her own.

Character is the searingly funny and achingly dark story of two women trying to navigate their way through the modern world, and – in the process – keep their friendship afloat.

an odd-couple comedy…plenty of laughs

What’s Peen Seen

played with great energy and conviction…a fantastic chemistry on stage…laugh-out-loud funny…a stark reminder of what is so fun and exciting about fringe theatre

Remote Goat

a funny and moving story

Loose Lips

CAST
ANGELA FERNS – MICHELLE
CLARE HARLOW – FREYA

CREATIVES
ELLIE PITKIN – DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
OLIVER GORDON – ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
ZAHRA MANSOURI – COSTUME & SET DESIGNER
ANDREW CRANE – SOUND DESIGNER & TECH OPERATOR
CHLOE WALTON – ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
MATTHEW CONNELLY – ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
JONELL ROWE – ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
BRUCE ASHER – PUBLICITY DESIGN
VIKKI WESTON – PROJECT MANAGER/PUBLICITY
STANLEY WALTON – PUBLICITY & MARKETING
ROBERT HUGILL – PUBLICITY & MARKETING
BARNEY BARRON – PUBLICITY & MARKETING
NICK TATCHELL, ZAK THOMAS, RICHARD STRATTON – PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHY

There are a bundle of Character blog posts from the archive – dive in!

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 69

Back with some brand new, and super snazzy, jingles!

Matt reviews Thor: Ragnarok (spoiler: it sounds GREAT).

Ellie and Matt chat about potential Oscar nominations (using this handy buzzfeed article).

Ellie has watched the first episode of ‘The Good Doctor’ and lets us know her thoughts (she done a cry).

There’s some netflix recommendations (‘The Good Place’ & ‘Mindhunter’).

Strat & Alex do Art – this time they take on a team challenge, and work together to write a children’s book!

 

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Jessica Pride Goes to School

by Richard Stratton & Alexander Pankhurst

 

It was a sunny morning at Safari Primary School and all the children were busy learning.

“Good morning class.”

“Good morning, Miss. Russell!”, said the children.

“I would like to introduce your new classmate. Her name is Jessica Pride. Say hello, class.”

 

— Would you like to say hello to Jessica? —

 

“Terry’, said Miss Russell, “How about you show Jessica round?”

Terry was excited about showing Jessica the classroom and all the activities. They started with finger painting.

“Ooo, your hand looks different to mine.”, said Terry.

 

— What does your hand look like? —

 

Next they went to play in the Home corner.

“What should we cook for dinner?” Asked Terry.

“I like antelope.” Said Jessica.

“Oh, that’s different.”, said Terry, “I like chips.”

 

— What’s your favourite food? —

 

Next Terry showed her the wet play area.

Jessica didn’t like getting wet, but Terry really liked splashing in the water.

— Do you like playing in the water? —

 

Finally, the whole class sat on the carpet to sing a song.

Jessica’s voice was very loud. Much louder than Terry’s

 

— How loud can you sing? —

 

Terry realised that something was different with Jessica…She was a lion!

“But lions aren’t meant to come to school are they?” said Terry.

“Of course they can.” said Miss. Russell, “Everyone should get to go to school.”

So Jessica got to stay at school and she and Terry became best friends.

 

The end.

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 68

Ellie and Matt are back with an episode packed with jam*

* Arts

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  • Matt reviews Blade Runner 2049
  • Strat and Alex do Art (finger painting – the noblest of arts) – see pics below
  • We tease a new podcast we’re in association with – ‘Merely Roleplayers’ twitter.com/MerelyRoleplay
    facebook.com/MerelyRoleplayers
  • Ellie chats about TV she wants to watch and has watched – ALL OF THE TV THINGS. This chat includes:
    • THE GOOD DOCTOR ABC, Mondays at 10 p.m. (Starts Sept. 25. in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • SEAL TEAM CBS, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (Starts Sept. 27. in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • GHOSTED Fox, Sundays at 8:30 p.m. (Starts Oct. 1. in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • WISDOM OF THE CROWD CBS, Sundays at 8:30 p.m. (Starts Oct. 1.in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • THE GIFTED Fox, Mondays at 9 p.m. (Starts Oct. 2.in USA – hopefully in UK soon!) Watch the first six mins of ep 1 here.
    • SWAT CBS, Thursdays at 10 p.m. (Starts Nov. 2.in USA – hopefully in UK soon!)
    • ALIAS GRACE (Netflix, 3rd Nov)
    • LIAR (ITV hub – available now)
    • RELLIK (BBC iPlayer – available now)

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 67

In exciting time news, the Blackshaw Arts Hour will be moving slots on Wandsworth Radio – we’ll now be airing on Tuesdays at midnight (i.e. the midnight between Tues and Weds!).  We’re hoping to welcome new listeners amongst shift workers and insomniacs.

 

As always though, the show is available as a podcast to listen to, anytime you damn well please!

 

In this episode, Ellie and Matt are in the studio, and the following is jam-packed, and headed to your ear holes:

  • Review of Darren Aronofsky’s film, ‘Mother!’
  • The concluding convo about ‘Angels in America’ at the National (with Sinead!)
  • Excitement builds for this year’s Scare Slam, and we take a look back at last year’s terror extravaganza
  • Discussion of the current environment for female playwrights in London
  • Chat about other ladies in the theatre world (including the RSC’s upcoming all-female Director lineup, and the casting of a lady in the role of ‘Bobby’ in ‘Company’).

 

Come on in, the podcasting water is lovely…

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Relevant Links

Victoria Sadler Article

http://www.victoriasadler.com/2017-in-review-the-lot-for-female-playwrights-worsens/

2016 Scare Slam

RSC Directors

Casting a woman as ‘Bobby’ in ‘Company’

London Horror Festival 2017

Scare Slam 2017 Tickets

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 66

Ellie and Matt are joined by Vikki and Sinead – we talk about…

– Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic

– Sinead’s Edinburgh Fringe 2017 experience

– Logan Lucky, The Dark Tower, and Atomic Blonde film reviews

– Sinead’s theatre challenge

– Our upcoming Scare Slam http://bit.ly/ScareSlamLHF

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Relevant Links:

https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2017/girl-north-country-3

http://www.foilarmsandhog.ie/

https://www.thepretendmen.com/shows/

Black Shuck: Reviews

great dynamic…definitely worth seeing, a funny & wonderfully unique story”

London Theatre Reviewer

 

“engaging and dynamic…boundless energy and spirit…a little bit silly, a little bit scary and thoroughly worth a watch!

Theatre Bubble

four-star-rating-black-hi

 

“a brilliantly written short piece…Rachel Nott is amazing…Art is played wonderfully by Alexander Pankhurst…A very enjoyable hour with a very entertaining script and very talented actors. Well worth a watch.”

London Theatre 1

four-star-rating-black-hi

 

“The chemistry of Nott and Pankhurst…make this thoroughly entertaining to watch…a taut play that manages to walk the tightrope of genres but playing to the strength of all

Female Arts

four-star-rating-black-hi

 

Black Shuck: Making the Set

Our delightful Designer for Black Shuck, Michelle Bristow, gives us a glimpse into the world of set building – you can come and see the set in situ, 11-19 May 2016 – book your tickets now!

Twitter header Black Shuck

We started out by mitre-ing (real word?) some of the timber so that we could make the structure for the bracing. It was hard!

The next part of the support structure, drilling the main upright piece to the bottom support piece.

Bracing pieces completed!

Laying out the pieces ready to have the holes drilled in to mark where the screws go, in order to be flat packed into my car and assembled at the venue.

Marking out the holes and numbering them, so its easy to match up the pieces at the get in.

Jacobean woodstain was the perfect colour, heres the groyne after two coats – 

The fun (and messy) part – painting! All ready for assembly next week.