Gandini Juggling – Smashed – Royal Opera House Linbury Studio – Review

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9 clever jugglers - no idea how many apples were used, I lost count!

9 clever jugglers – no idea how many apples were used, I lost count!

What a great start to my theatrical year, in this sublime, witty, skillful and above all fun show Smashed.

The show sees the 9 jugglers perform highly choreographed routines to various pieces of music. Some are strikingly beautiful, others emotive, and some just riotous fun.  One of the routines, saw one of the group with a rolled up newspaper hellbent on disrupting the rest of the group who were juggling 5/6 apples each. His techniques and ruses became more and more elaborate  – he succeeded in his objective to stop everyone, juggling, but I was amazed how long they kept going – not sure I could juggle three apples, let alone 5 or 6 whilst being “thwacked” over the head repeatedly!

Smashed pic2

This was part of the London International Mime Festival, and was the only show of it I could get to this year unfortunately, but I’ll be back next year, as the performers they get, always expand my theatrical experience and expectations, one word for me sums up this show – joyous.

STARS : * * * *


Snow And Wardrobes, But No Narnia In Sight

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It’s all systems go for An Evening at Muldoon Manor or should that be all systems snow?

The UK weather has meant rehearsals have been postponed but we’re hoping for an intense weekend of rehearsals ahead, so we’re on schedule.

We went and got our costumes sorted last weekend, it’s always fun rummaging around, trying costumes on and finding what you feel your character should wear, we’ve gone for a 1970’s look for my character Moon and the other critic Birdboot. So I’ve some gorgeous checked flares to wear and shoes that will I feel go down into the theatrical annals as “legendary”.

The second cabaret act is coming along too, Dominick Zwolinski has been busy working on new tricks and finally managed to source an outfit for his assistant this week, you’d never believe how hard a magician’s assistant costume that was appropriate and suitable was to locate.

All this has meant I’ve not been to the theatre to see anything yet this year, (apart from The Exorcism but I was Production Assistant for that, so that doesn’t count!), that’ll all change this Friday when I’m off to the London International Mime Festival to see Gandini Juggling. Review will follow at the weekend.


Hey Mr Producer!

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2013 has got off to a busy start. I’m enjoying the challenges and demands being a producer brings.

Yesterday I was surrounded by scripts as the production committee and I for my local theatre, The Miller Centre Theatre, pull together our 2013/14 season. Selecting a varied season of 9 shows is not as easy you may think. Technical and casting issues need to be weighed up, as does making sure the season is varied, pleases our regulars and also has something to attract a new audiences.

The other production I’m involved in as producer, is a show we’re calling An Evening at Muldoon Manor which features Tom Stoppard’s play The Real Inspector Hound in Act 1 and then Act 2 features a couple of music acts, finishing off with Dominick Zwolinksi performing some magic and illusions. The publicity machine is about to launch later this week. I’m also taking part acting in this production. So it’s all go at the moment.

The role of producer is often one that is not really understood or appreciated by many. I love the challenge of pulling all the people necessary to make a production happen together. Checking we keep to budget is obviously a part of the role, but it’s only a small part of the overall responsibility the producer has.

My Theatre Studies degree gave a cursory mention to producers in my Theatres at Work module but that was it. I was fortunate to have Cameron Mackintosh Ltd as my placement for that module, maybe that’s why I have an affinity with producers?

I have to say, having done many of the roles in theatre, producing is my favourite. It certainly has its challenges and moments of head scratching and hair pulling, but I love it.