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!

Looking back at…Audience with the Ghost Finder

Audience with the Ghost Finder by M. J. Starling

8-17th May 2013 at The Selkirk Upstairs
22-24th October 2013 at The Etcetera Theatre

1912. To lift a cruel curse, ab-natural investigator Carnacki must tread the border between enlightenment and madness.

Sherlock Holmes meets Ghostbusters in this original tale of William Hope Hodgson’s classic character, Carnacki the ghost finder.

It was first seen at one of our new writing nights, and full show was premiered as part of a Wandsworth Arts Fringe double bill alongside London Pride. A few months later we transferred to the Etcetera Theatre as part of the London Horror Festival. Audience with the Ghostfinder was our first leap into full length, brand new playwriting.  The original staging was in the round, and really showcased just how versatile we can be. I can still smell the garlic and chalk…

a rare chance to see some outstanding new writing…brilliantly written and superbly acted, with ingenious staging

Public Reviews

Ellie Pitkin matches her taut direction with strong casting…you can’t help but come away from the evening feeling that this is a company who really care

A Younger Theatre

Hats off to Ellie Pitkin for the slick direction of this piece…the mystery of the piece is great fun and the pace is pitched perfectly

Stage to Page

CAST
CERIDWEN SMITH Dodgson/Mrs Allenby/Florence Allenby
ALEXANDER PANKHURST Thomas Carnacki

CREATIVES
ELLIE PITKIN Director
TUTKU BARBAROS Assistant Director
LIZZIE COOPER Stage Manager & Lights Operator
DAVID TURNBULL Sound Designer
SHERRY COENEN Lighting Designer
ZAHRA MANSOURI Set & Costume Designer
MICHELLE BRISTOW Costume Assistant
PETRA HJORTSBERG Props Maker
MIRANDA MARVIN Assistant Stage Manager
ANDREW CRANE Sound Operator
BARNEY BARRON Publicity, PR and Marketing
HELEN JOHNSON Publicity, PR and Marketing
COLE CAMPBELL Publicity, PR and Marketing
NICK TATCHELL Assistant Events Manager
VIKKI WESTON Education Manager
RICHARD STRATTON IT and Website Manager
NIVINE KEATING (MORRIGHAN IMAGES) Rehearsal Photography

M. J. Starling has since published an e-book of the original story, and playscript. It includes a foreword from Blackshaw’s Ellie Pitkin. We also recorded an audio drama version.

Looking back at…Gormenghast: Titus Groan

11th-14th April 2012
The Actors’ Church, Covent Garden

Gormenghast: Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
Adapted by Vikki Weston, Prudence Chamberlain, Poppy Corbett, Max Olesker, and Richard Stratton, for Blackshaw Theatre Company

Our first production. They say go big or go home, and with this as our debut show we went really, really big. It was a massive undertaking. Developing the script from Mervyn Peake’s original book, working with a cast of twenty, and creating an elaborate set that worked around the venue’s existing features. It was a great challenge, we had an enormous amount of fun and made some great friends in the process, many of whom we went on to work with again.

“Director Ellie Pitkin has undoubtedly achieved a feat of excellence in her homage to Peake’s novel. This was a brave and wonderful new world” – London Festival Fringe

CAST

Barquentine – John Rayment
Lady Cora – Angela Ferns
Lady Clarice – Clare Harlow
Lady Fuchsia Groan – Ceridwen Smith
Flay – Lee Ravitz
Countess Gertrude Groan – Terry Diab
Dr. Alfred Prunesquallor – Alexander Pankhurst
Irma Prunesquallor – Lucy McCabe
Rottcodd – Peter Picton
Lord Sepulchrave Groan – John Harwood
Nannie Slagg – Sarah Shelton
Sourdust – William Seaward
Steerpike – Francis Woolf
Swelter – Liam Fleming
Titus Groan – Esme Tennant
Pellet/Spurter/Soldier – Luke Manning
Book Bearer/Wrattler – Paul G Raymond
Soldier/Springer – Paddy Freeland
Ritual Servant/Twins’ Maid/Chipper – Miranda Marvin
Ritual Servant/Kitchen Boy – Greg Harradine

“Highly recommended…to be seen by all Mervyn Peake Fans.” – Sebastian Peake

CREATIVES

Writers – Prudence Chamberlain, Poppy Corbett, Max Olesker, Richard Stratton
Script Editor – Vikki Weston
Director/Producer – Ellie Pitkin
Set & Costume Design – Zahra Mansouri
Composer – Greg Harradine
Sound Design – David Turnbull
Lighting Designer – Josh Yard
Stage Manager – Lizzie Cooper
Publicity Manager – George Islay Calderwood
Publicity Asst. – Bruce Asher
Asst. Director – James Barry
Marketing Manager – Matt Boothman
Education Coordinator – Charlie Limm
Filmmaker– James Burt
Costume Assistant – Flettie Bertram
Costume Assistant – Andrea Pierides
Lighting Asst. – Tom Woods
Sound Asst. – Andrew Crane
Make-up & Hair – Laura Jones
Photography – Nivine Keating (Morrighan Images)

Production Assistants:
Nick Tatchell
Sophie Talbot
Laura Nixon
Miranda Blazeby
Cole Campbell
Rosie Fullwood
Chloe Courtney
Tom Walters
Helen Johnson
Chris Starkey

Brilliant and resourceful

Remote Goat

Photos by Morrigan Images (Nivine Keating).

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 92

This episodes includes…

  • The fifth and final episode of ‘Black Shuck’ by Duncan Hands – Art and Martha were reunited, but that pesky fisherman has turned up and could ruin everything! Can Martha see him off before they’re discovered? In this, the final episode of the series, what will happen to Art and Martha out on the Norfolk Marshes? Will they make it back with their loot? Will they make it back at all…?
  • Another couple of clips from 2017’s Scare Slam – Big Eyes by Liam Steward-George (performed by Jessica Brindle), and The Watcher by Joseph Willis
  • PLUS a couple of clips from 2016’s Scare Slam (so retro) -Lucy’s Tea Party by Molly Beth Morossa, and The Dewey Ones by Ben Whitehead

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 91

  • Matt reviews Ant Man & The Wasp/The Spy Who Dumped Me
  • The Scare Slam – it’s a-comin’! Apply to take part. Tickets now on sale.
  • We play a taste of what you can expect from the Scare Slam – a piece from last year’s show, The Fatberg of Whitechapel by Reece Connolly
  • We chat about Blackshaw’s mates, Non Zero One and their brilliant project, Put Her Forward
  • It’s that time again – Victoria Sadler’s round up of female playwrights at off-west end London theatres this year (Spoiler – representation is still a bit rubbish, boo!)
  • The penultimate episode of Black Shuck – Art and Martha heard a seal, and then a pair of glowing, spooky, eyes appeared – but turned out to be the lights of the boat – drop off secured, Martha was left alone…until the dog turned up…so where is Art? And is that dog, just a normal dog?!

Listen to the podcast here:

Relevant Links

Ant Man & The Wasp – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5095030/?ref_=nv_sr_1 

The Spy Who Dumped Me – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6663582/?ref_=nv_sr_1 

The Scare Slam Tickets – http://bit.ly/ScareSlam2018

The Scare Slam, apply to take part – http://blackshawonline.com/whats-on/ 

Non Zero One: Put Her Forward – http://putherforward.com/ and http://www.nonzeroone.com/projects/put-her-forward/ 

Victoria Sadler:  2018 Theatre in Review: Challenges for Female Playwrights Continues –  http://www.victoriasadler.com/2018-theatre-in-review-challenges-for-female-playwrights-continues/