Monthly Archives: March 2017

Broadchurch, Series Three Episode Five ~ Review

Broadchurch is completely baking my noodle now! Who should I be pointing the finger at? Violence seemed to be the order of the day in this instalment though and I’m even more confused than I was before!! Here are just a few highlights (there were many!):

Photo Credits: ITV

Aaron’s arrested ~ Aaron (Jim Howick) whom we were introduced to last week and who managed to creep me out, was arrested, surprise surprise! I think he’s a red herring though… Plus he’s soon been bailed!

Hardy’s daughter ~ Daisy (Hannah Rae) has been a silly girl and her phone has not only been commandeered but the naughty photo she has on it has been located and circulated. Sounds as if someone knew that photo existed though? Anyway, there is clearly more to this story and I’m wondering how it fits in with the main rape storyline. Hardy (David Tennant) is very lenient on her though.

Trish tells ~ Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) tells Jim (Mark Bazeley) in no uncertain terms that she has to tell Cath (Sarah Parish) about their one morning stand. Cath has seemed quite nonchalant about the fact that Jim has had a few extra-marital flings, but the revelation from her best friend is rather too much for her to stomach. Not only does she make a cruel dig about the reason why a rapist would choose her, she makes threats to her doghouse-bound husband. Watch this space, Cath is clearly not a woman to be trifled with.

Taxi Driver torment ~ Clive (Sebastian Armesto)  takes great delight in being called to collect Jim as his recovery vehicle ironically breaks down. However, his amusement soon turns to fear when the mechanic turns on him, all but throttling him to death. I’d say this possibly shows that Jim is still not out of the frame, but then neither is Clive! Especially after the way he was shown to treat his wife. Not a nice piece of work!

Ed’s handy with his fists ~ Cath has a frank conversation with Ed (Lenny Henry) while she’s on her break at work. Asking him if he would fancy her if he didn’t know her. Awkward! However, the fact that he has taken a shine to Trish appears to materialise during the exchange. He plays it down, they move on, but with Ed having discovered that Jim has slept with Trish, there is a backlash. Following Jim’s violent outburst towards Clive, we then see Ed beating Jim to a pulp. Is this laden with red herrings or are we to draw a conclusion from this? Confused is the word!

 

 

 

 

Spotlight On… Olympic Silver Medallist, Lutalo Muhammad

To celebrate the launch of the new Power Rangers movie last Friday, Vue Entertainment has teamed up with British Taekwondo Olympic Silver Medallist Lutalo Muhammad to get some expert insight on the mind-blowing fight sequences on display in the film.

Did you know Power Rangers actually inspired thousands of kids in the UK to take up martial arts? As a lifelong Power Rangers fan, Lutalo “even had the duvet cover!”

On this link is some awesome SLOW MOTION action footage with Lutalo and below is some advice from the man himself: Lutalo Muhammad Slow Motion Action Footage

Here’s an interview with the man himself…

There will be a lot of kids that want to emulate the Power Rangers at their local dojo. What’s the first move you learnt?

The first kick I learned was a “Turning Kick” (Dollyo Chagi) – it is the most popular kick in Taekwondo because it is super fast and powerful

If someone wants to get into Taekwondo where should they start?

If a young Power Rangers fan wants to get into Taekwondo then I would suggest they start by looking for their nearest recognised club at http://www.britishtaekwondo.org.uk/

What do you love about Taekwondo?

I love that it’s so dynamic and varied. We do all the high flying, jumping kicks. No other Martial Art does kicks like Taekwondo!

You came so close to Gold at Rio – do you have any advice on how to motivate yourself to get back up and carry on after a defeat?

Rio was still an amazing experience. I enjoyed every contest and yes that includes the final! Losing in the last second was sad and I think it was important to let that emotion out so I could move forward. But hey, I understand sport is about winning and losing, and that’s life. As a professional athlete, being World Champion 2017 this June is my only focus.

Are you hoping for Gold at the Commonwealth Games or next Olympics?

Absolutely, I am going for Gold in 2020!

What’s been your career highlight so far?

My two Olympic medals have been the highlight of my career thus far, but there’s so much more for me to achieve, I am not done yet.

What’s your 48 hour diet before a fight?

After I weigh in for a fight I need to rehydrate and refuel as quickly and efficiently as possible.Firstly I need to drink about 5 litres of water to get my fluid levels back up which takes a few hours.  Following that I like to eat a high carbohydrate meal – pasta is great with tomato sauce to give me a the energy boost I need for the fight.

What’s the best gym equipment to build your kicking muscles? 

like the seated leg press, which is great for working my legs. This really helps to improve the muscles I use to do explosive kicking.

Are you excited to see the new Power Rangers film?

I am super excited! I am a huge fan. When I was younger I absolutely loved my Power Ranger action figures and I even had the curtains and duvet cover to match!

What’s your favourite Power Ranger move?

It’s got to be Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers

Thanks to Lutalo for a fantastic interview – have you been to see the new Power Rangers Movie yet? Why not leave us a comment about it…

Spotlight On… Katharine Kavanagh & Laura Kressly (Network of Independent Critics)

Network of Independent Critics return to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

•    Providing accommodation for independent critics to cover Edinburgh Festival Fringe without
      breaking the bank.
•    Enabling increased media coverage of niche interest and emerging work, which struggles to
      find representation in the mainstream press.
•    Not a publishing platform, but a support system for established and developing critics who
      work independently for little or no pay.
•    Participants will be selected based on passion, knowledge and a proven track record within

      their chosen area of the performing arts industry.

Applications open today for participants to join the Network of Independent Critics for their second season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from 4th-28th August 2017.

A city centre apartment will become home to up to 24 selected arts commentators over the course of the Fringe, allowing for networking and social opportunities as well as a cost-effective base from which to cover the Festival. Each participant will focus on a specialised selection of the Fringe programme, which could range from puppetry to solo performance, new musicals to street busking.

Last year, over 400 reviews were produced by 19 participating critics, as well as additional Social Media content and reportage. These represented interests including LGBTQ work, children’s theatre and female-led performance. The NIC scheme was launched in 2016 by Laura Kressly and Katharine Kavanagh to support the work of independent critics and facilitate their continued practise, and to generate visibility for arts that regularly slip below the radar of the mainstream press.

‘By ‘independent’, we mean someone who produces arts criticism unsalaried, and maintains their own platform for doing so – although they needn’t be producing content for this outlet exclusively,’ explains Kavanagh, who runs the UK’s only publication dedicated to circus critique at TheCircusDiaries.com, and also writes for The Stage and Exeunt. ‘We’re keen to open up the Festival to those working primarily in online media, which means those who produce video and podcast reports, as well as those who run their own blogs and websites for written reviews.’

Whilst this coverage is an increasingly valuable resource for the arts industry, the work remains largely unpaid and the cost of visiting Edinburgh during Fringe season can be prohibitive. By joining forces to rent an apartment as a group, the costs are considerably lowered, and participants can seek their own funding to cover the remainder if they wish. Following feedback from last year’s scheme, a choice of shared or private rooms is being offered, catering for different budgets and preferences.

Application forms are available from NICritics@mail.com until the deadline of 9th April, and successful applicants will be notified by 17th April after an anonymised selection process. The NIC will also be running free, open networking events as part of the Fringe Central programme, continuing their mission to seek out, disseminate and create opportunities for independent critics.

I think this is a fantastic initiative and so I asked the lovely ladies, Katharine (KK) and Laura (LK) more about it, here’s the exclusive interview…
Thanks for chatting to Break A Leg, ladies. Tell me about Network of Independent Critics and where the idea originated from.
LK: It came out of a simple idea after going to the fringe a couple of years ago: Surely I’m not the only blogger out there who wants to go to Edinburgh, but it’s so expensive to go it alone. Why not get a group of us together in cheaper, shared housing and crowdfund it? I spoke to Katharine, who is someone I’ve worked with before as well as a friend, and she was game to help me give more shape to that question. That initial idea developed into using individuals’ strengths and specialist knowledge as the NIC’s USP from Katharine’s circus expertise and using applications to find committed participants.
We crowdfunded the cost of housing last year but didn’t raise as much as we hoped compared to the amount of time we put into the campaign, and some participants engaged with it more than others. This year, instead of running a campaign, we will help selected participants who want to run their own.
What was feedback from the critics who joined at last year’s Edinburgh Festival?
KK: I have a whole spreadsheet! See the attached report for full details.
(Here are a few quotes that I have taken from the report – Editor):
‘Arts criticism is a sector which is shrinking in print but thriving online, and the NIC scheme enables intelligent arts criticism to develop and be safeguarded in the future.’
‘I commend you guys on a brilliant proactive step to support criticism, especially younger critics covering less established forms.’
‘Reviewing is a job; it’s incredibly hard to get paid but it certainly shouldn’t cost too much. Encouraging people that it’s accessible to everyone is super important’
‘Diversifying the range and style of voices writing about theatre at the Fringe is a very important step forward.’
‘It has been so essential and a catalyst for me to raise my profile’
How did you both get started as critics?
KK: After a fire destroyed everything I had ever owned (dramatic right?!), I realised that I could either retrace the same steps to get back to where I had been in my career plans, or change it up and do something new. I have worked in theatre all my life, but the desire to write has always been there under the surface. This was the kick up the but I needed to shift. Plus I was really fed up of never being able to find anything knowledgable to read about circus, and figured other people might feel the same!
LK: I had to stop freelancing in theatre because of financial reasons and found myself working in the education sector. As time passed, I felt myself becoming increasingly detached from theatre, but couldn’t afford to go as often as I liked – so I looked into reviewing. I found a couple of sites that accepted reviewers (Remote Goat and everything theatre), applied and was accepted. I haven’t looked back since!
What do you enjoy most about the festival?
KK: The chance to cross paths and chat with so many others in the profession. Especially for those of us based outside of London, this can be a big deal! I have also been an assessor with the Total Theatre Awards for the last couple of years, and the rigor with which shows are seen and analysed as part of the process is brilliant. It helps keep me on top of my game.
LK: It’s hard for me to get out of London often so it’s a great opportunity to see work from all over the world and meet other people passionate about theatre. It also has an incomparable energy that whilst exhausting, is totally addictive.
Finally what would you say to encourage people to apply to join Network of Independent Critics in Edinburgh this year?
KK: I just looked at AirBnB rates, and the cheapest room I can spot in the city in August is £63 per night… By clubbing together our rooms beat that by a loooooong way!
LK: It’s a great way to meet other critics from across the UK and is a lot cheaper and more supportive than doing it on your own. We accept people from all ages, backgrounds, styles and levels of experience so even if you’re young/old/new to criticism/been doing it for ages/respond unconventionally, we’d love to hear from you!
Thank you to Katharine and Laura for their time, I might apply to join them next year!

Casualty ‘Five Days’ ~ Episode Review

An emotional episode of Casualty, indeed! We had five daily snippets of Robyn’s (Amanda Henderson) world as her premature baby daughter fights for her life. Here are some key moments from yet another extraordinarily powerful instalment of my favourite medical drama:

Picture Shows: Dr Jonathan Barling (SIMON SHEPHERD) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Six weeks early ~ Robyn’s baby is in a critical condition in neo-natal having arrived in the world six weeks early. To start with Robyn is remarkably chipper and a concerned Duffy (Cath Shipton) is at her heels and offering to take care of both her and the baby. As the week progresses we see Robyn become progressively unglued. The vlogs that she makes become more teary and less positive, it’s a horrific journey to watch. Even Connie (Amanda Mealing) finds it difficult to be entirely positive for the new mum, although he words do help. That was a beautiful scene, rarely do we see these two characters in a two-hander scene. More of that please!

Baby Charlie ~ In a heart-warming move, Robyn names the baby Charlotte – Charlie for short. Named after Charlie (Derek Thompson) of course. Unfortunately, the tender moment doesn’t last for long as Robyn goes off on the rampage demanding to see David (Jason Durr) who is sedated on one of the wards. Pushing Charlie out the way and to the floor. This is going to be your new housemate, Charlie – not looking quite as attractive a proposal now is it? Not that he was 100% behind Duffy’s rather spur of the moment offer, anyway… to begin with anyway!

Picture Shows: Lisa Duffin (CATHY SHIPTON), Charlie Fairhead (DEREK THOMPSON) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Alistair Heap

Little Fighter ~ An operation on the little mite would be such a high risk decision as Dr Barling (Simon Shepherd) makes clear, however that’s what it comes to in the end. With Duffy over-seeing proceedings. It’s a moment of joy when the tiny baby ‘decides for herself’ and wakes up. There’s a long road ahead for Robyn, but she’s got so much support around her and it looks like she is going to move in with the newlyweds after all. Enjoy those sleepless nights, Charlie!

Chuffy ~ I think we have to take a moment to reflect on how sweet Chuffy (Charlie and Duffy) were, it was kinda nice to hear him call her Mrs Fairhead. He then made a gorgeous little speech to her about wanting what she wanted and even I can see he’s right when he says that their love transcends romantic love. I really believe it was the right decision to marry them off.

Jez & Louise ~ It looks like its full steam ahead for Jez (Lloyd Everitt) and Louise (Azuka Oforka)! Are they a long-term prospect? We’ll wait and see, will she be able to deal with him being bisexual – more proof of which we’ve seen over on Holby City?

Neighbours Ramsay Street Round-Up ~ Week Commencing 20th March 2017

Ramsay Street and London have been the settings for last week’s episodes and they were some of the most harrowingly squirm-worthy and dramatic episodes to date. Here are the highlights, it’s been difficult to pick just a few:

Mark’s dream….

Dee Discovered ~ What could be worse than travelling to London to track down your presumed deceased wife, and your newly discovered daughter? Sleeping with your presumed deceased wife, in front of the online call that you failed to disconnect, the call that you had just engaged in with your wife? Oh and after that horror, of which Toadie (Ryan Moloney) is already ashamed of, that’s before he knows about Sonya’s (Eve Morey) viewing experience – you then find out that Dee (Madeleine West) is not Dee, but Andrea. A friend of Sindi Watts (Marisa Warrington) who had met the stand-in Dee and encouraged this whole debacle to start. It’s Susan (Jackie Woodburne) who has started to suspect foul play, the discovery from Sindi’s mobile phone that Dee is also known as Andrea sent the nosey neighbour on a quest to uncover the truth. Cutting to the chase, Toadie has landed himself in hospital having run out in front of a vehicle in panic following his exploits. Then just to add insult quite literally to injury, in strolls Karl (Alan Fletcher) with news of Dee’s true identity. What a pickle! Plus Toadie finds out that Sonya knew about his misdemeanour, because she saw it begin to unfold. Arrrrgggh!

Sonya ~ What more can I say except… Sonya? The poor love has not only witnessed her husband getting it on with an imposter, but in heart-breaking scenes she ends up in hospital and the unthinkable happens. Mark’s (Scott McGregor) baby is lost. I have to applaud Morey for an amazing performance, she has surpassed herself throughout the recent plot-lines.

Mark’s dreams ~ Prior to the tragic loss of his baby, Mark is lying on the bed with Sonya (the fact of which Nel has already reported to her dad over the phone) and while Sonya is dreaming of a happy reunion with Toadie, Mark is dreaming of declaring his love for her. Will Mark confront his feelings?

Elly side-lined ~ Elly (Jodi Anasta) is already on the rampage when it comes to Finn (Rob Mills) and his re-appearance in her life and in the school she works in. However, he is set to tread of her toes again as he charms his way into Xanthe’s (Lilly Van Der Meer) good books and she chooses him as her new tutor to help her with Science. Of course he offers to help with English too which sees off Miss Conway. Beyond angry with the situation, Elly confronts him, but one things for sure, he’s not going anywhere soon.

Break A Leg Awards 2017 ~ I’d just like to take this opportunity to announce that Chloe Buckles, one of our assistants for this year’s Break A Leg Awards has nominated Eve Morey for the long-listed Best Actress on Television nominations. Short-listing takes place in the autumn so there’s a while to go before it is decided if she will be in the running for the award. However, if she is short-listed you can vote for her in the public vote, details of which will be announced nearer the time.

 

EastEnders Round-Up ~ Week Commencing 20th March 2017

EastEnders never has a week without misery does it? Despite the fact that it’s Ben’s (Harry Reid) 21st birthday, there’s still not much to raise a smile about! Here are a few key moments:

A merry Ben is happy at the size of the crowd. Ben Mitchell (HARRY REID), Jay Mitchell (JAMIE BORTHWICK) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Jack Barnes

Denise departs ~ …..only from the Minute Mart though! Denise (Diane Parish) has had more than enough after a chat with Head Office about training courses and all manner of other suggestions that she finds offensive sees her handing in her notice with no job to go to. Gotta love feisty Denise, though – there’s never a dull moment with her around and she has a confession from Kush (Davood Ghadami) to think on. It seems he doesn’t find her unattractive… boom chicka wow wow…

Yolande! ~ Yolande (Angela Wynter) was last seen in 2008 after leaving her philandering husband, Patrick (Rudolph Walker). In a well-kept secret move, she returned to tick off Denise about her customer service! Does this mean that she will be coming back again? I really hope so, I rather liked her and think Patrick could do worse than to have her back in his life.

Dennis the menace ~ Dennis (Bleu Landau) has been making a nuisance of himself to Auntie Michelle (Jenna Russell) quite successfully. He’s not giving up and she’s giving in! Even when it comes to her offer to bring home take away, he decides he doesn’t want pizza and instead requests fried chicken. Michelle foolishly offers to buy both! Then he’s calling her hurrying along, when is the boy going to desist? Not anytime soon I’ll wager…

Ben’s Birthday ~ Ben has the key of the door, never been 21 before – and it’s party time. He’s already feeling rather sorry for himself as Paul is not there to celebrate it with him and Pam and Les have remembered his big day by sending him a card, which stirs up memories. However, Jay (Jamie Borthwick) is soon teasing him about his lack of action in the bedroom and the party provides an opportunity for Ben to remedy this, with Johnny Carter (Ted Reilly). They’re both insistent that it was a one night stand in the cold light of day, but I actually think there’s something there and they’re not a bad match.

Whitney & Lauren sip their drinks as Whitney realises the real reason Lauren has dragged her to the bar. Lauren Branning (JACQUELINE JOSSA), Whitney Carter (SHONA MCGARTY) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Jack Barnes

Lustful Lauren ~ Lauren (Jacqueline Jossa)  has taken a fancy to another man, a fact that Whitney (Shona McGarty) is aware of. However, what Whitney is not prepared for is a night out at a cocktail bar that has been planned specifically so that Lauren can meet her crush. With Steven (Aaron Sidwell) trying to forge a bond with Max (Jake Wood), it appears that settling down is far from Lauren’s mind. Alarm bells are ringing (for me!) when she questions Jane (Laurie Brett) about her affair with Grant (Ross Kemp). It looks as though Lauren is experiencing a midlife crisis at the tender age of almost 23 years old!

 

 

Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Four ~ Review

Broadchurch is building its final storyline up achingly slowly and this week saw Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) revisit the scene of the crime! It doesn’t shy away from tackling the grit of the topic, David Tennant still hasn’t smiled either! I still maintain that Hardy is one of my favourite characters that Tennant has played. Here are my highlights of this exciting instalment:

Reliving it ~ Trish relives the night of the fateful party and we get an insight into the set-up too. A great flashback scene which shows Ian (Charlie Higson) to be in the drunken state that he had already declared to Jim (Mark Bazeley) that he had been in. The party itself isn’t that harrowing, however when Trish is outside and lies down on the grass, listening to the flowing water – as much as she can recall floods back. Smells in particular seem to trigger thoughts of the night she’d rather forget.

What’s on that laptop? ~ We discovered who was behind the rogue text message, Ian’s partner has been thrown into the mix. However, what is on that laptop that he wants cleared? I can’t stop linking him to the rape – and the laptop debacle is adding to my suspicions.

Broken marriage ~ I expect that the Latimers’ marriage is not supposed to be linked in with this plot at all, it’s just a continuation of life in Broadchurch. I find I am extremely interested in what led them to split up, though. Was it only Danny’s death – come on, I’m nosey, tell me more!

Fishing Net ~ Games on the beach bring to light that the net they are using is the same as the fishing net that Miller (Olivia Colman) and Hardy have already taken samples of. Is that opening up more possibilities? I immediately suspected Ed (Lenny Henry) once that little nugget of information cropped up, but I have no particular reason for pointing the finger at him. Brainstorm moment!

Suspect ruled out (or is he) ~ There is finally a lead and it’s Jim who is confronted as a result of some of the tests that have been carried out. This appears to be a dead end when he reveals that he was the man Trish slept with the morning of the party. His and Cath’s (Sarah Parish) marriage is not a marriage in the true sense of the word, so he’s been getting his kicks elsewhere. However, this provides an alibi yet doesn’t rule him out I my mind, easy to say that the results are thus because he was with the victim during the morning of the attack.

 

Spotlight On… Writer & Performer, Francesca Mepham

R(ex)ception is at Theatrefullstop’s Pub Theatre Festival 2017 Saturday 8th April 7.30pm, The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London R(ex)ception Tickets – Book Here
Give the the play a follow on Twitter too: @RexceptionPlay

With regularity, my world collides with wonderfully creative people, some of whom have experienced similar ‘day job’ working environments to me! It’s been a delight to start chatting to writer and performer, Francesca Mepham and I’m thrilled to feature her and hear about her latest play. Here’s an exclusive interview with the lady herself.

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, Francesca. Tell me about the piece and your inspiration for it

R(ex)ception is a comedy play about an ex-couple Hannah and Mark, who work at an NHS Administration building reception desk. The pair are very much still besotted with each other, but just can’t get it together and the awkwardness of working together, makes it delicious viewing. There is also the array of visitors that Hannah and Mark encounter, which are all played by the one actress, who definitely interjects a lot of more blatant comic relief, that contrasts with the dry humour of the ex-lovers. R(ex)ception really fuses so many genres of comedy together, which makes it quite unique.

My initial inspiration for R(ex)ception, is from the fact I worked as a part-time receptionist at an NHS Administration building, on and off for six years. I had this idea of what it would be like to be working alongside an ex in such close proximity on a reception desk. Let’s face it, no one really wants to work with an ex! As an audience member you can hopefully identify, but not help be drawn in to the compelling awkwardness and romantic story unfolding on stage.

Was it easy to put it all down on paper?

I worked on isolated scenes, with the first two scenes written for a night of new writing at Canal Cafe Theatre, that Actor Awareness were holding in December 2015, it was their very first scratch night and my script got selected, with the Theatre’s associate director, Adam Morley directing it, which was incredible. The next three scenes were written for the performance at Clapham Fringe, last October. I have now written the final scene or chapter if you like, ready for it’s full length performance, which I can not wait for an audience to watch.

Is it translating well from page to stage? 

As a writer, I have been very fortunate to have such a gifted team, wanting to be involved with R(ex)ception, which bring it to life wonderfully. Adam Morley, it’s director, has been part of R(ex)ception since the beginning and has been integral to the vision of the play, his direction for comedy is unparalleled​ and the cast we have of Charlotte Hunt, John Dayton and Rachael Hilton, are superb comedic actors. There is a real enthusiasm for the text and you can really see how everyone is genuinely having a whale of a time rehearsing and performing it. For performance at Theatrefullstop’s Pub Theatre Festival, it is only required 30 minutes of each play, so we are selecting a couple of scenes for it.

What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?

We just want the audience to have a great time and to be entertained by this fun show. We aren’t trying to make a political stand about the NHS, the characters of Hannah and Mark are exes that just happen to work at an NHS reception desk and the hilarity that comes from that situation. R(ex)ception is something fresh, but also endearing-you really root for this couple!

Finally, any advice for budding writers?

My advice is to always have nearby, a pen and paper, laptop, tablet or anything you can jot down notes, when inspiration takes hold. I can vouch, that for some reason 2am always seems to be the most productive, so be prepared!

Huge thanks to Francesca for a great interview, Break A Leg wishes her and the cast and crew all the best for 8th April!

Spotlight On… Writers of 2 Become 1, Natasha Granger & Kerrie Thomason

2 Become 1 opens at Kings Head Theatre on 11th April and runs until 29th April 2017, you can book tickets here: Kings Head Theatre Box Office

Here’s an exclusive interview with the writers…

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, tell me about the piece and your inspiration for it.

Jess has just been dumped by her perfect man and so to stop her drowning in her tears her three friends take her out on a wild night of speed-dating, belting out your favourite 90’s classics and with a cheesy dance routine or two along the way.

We had the idea for the show whilst up at the Edinburgh Fringe, we had just seen a 60s duke-box musical, and after thought wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a musical for our generation, and the inspiration for a 90s pop musical came from there. We took inspiration from the strong female friendships that were on our screens in the 90s; Charmed, Sex and the City, All-Saints, and of course the Spice Girls, to help create our characters and their relationships.

Was it easy to put it all down on paper?

As it was both of our first times writing a full show, we struggled a little at first to find our rhythm. Then one day, whilst we were both on tour and in a little cafe in Edinburgh, we realised something very important, that it of course had to be a comedy! Once we had realised this it all flowed very naturally from there. A lot of the time it was the two of us just being silly and then thinking ‘wait, let’s put that in the show’.

Is it translating well from page to stage?

We were actually really happy with how easily the characters and story came alive from the minute we started rehearsing it. One of the real benefits of writing, directing, and performing in the piece is that we could keep changing the script along the way, so that it kept developing throughout the rehearsal process.

How is the space lending itself to the piece?

The space at the Kings Head is just brilliant for 2 Become 1, the site lines and intimate space are perfect for the date, songs, and choreography, also it has a lovely aisle so that we can get in and amongst the audience!

What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?

We want to take the audience back to a simpler time, when dating and meeting people wasn’t confined to the screen of your Iphone, and where women were starting to be able to truly explore their sexuality. We want 2 Become 1 to be a party of a show, we hope they come out dancing, singing, and feeling like they’re part of the gang!

Finally, any advice for budding writers?

Just try not to worry too about finding a finished product straight away, just write down something, anything, and then keep adjusting and developing things as you realise more about the characters and story. We are still changing things and this will be fifth run of the show!

Thanks for the interview, girls! Break a leg!!

 

Spotlight On… Stars of Kicked In The Sh*tter, Helen Budge & James Clay

Kicked In The Sh*tter runs at The Hope Theatre from 21st April – 8th April 2017, book tickets here: The Hope Theatre Box Office

Break A Leg has exclusive interviews with stars, Helen Budge and James Clay…

Spotlight on actress Helen Budge, playing ‘Her’ in Kicked in the Shitter by Leon Fleming.

 Tell me about the piece and your character Her

 The piece is a naturalistic slice of a very meaty pie (haha) – a pretty grim look at modern Britain and how it’s vital that we, as a society, should not only help those who really need it but that it’s also really important to be able to ask for that help. No man is an island. We’re all just doing what we need to in order to be able to survive.

 She (‘Her’) is the one who is fighting every day to be able to keep her head above water and just finds it so difficult to reach out and ask for help but genuinely needs it.

 What was your initial impression of the script?

 I loved it. It struck me as something so simple yet covers the whole spectrum of human emotions. I think that’s what it is – it’s a very human play.

 Was it easy to translate from page to stage?

 Yes I think it was. Scott (Le Crass – our director) had such a clear idea of what he wanted to do with it and from a technical point of view, the set is very simple too. The play doesn’t need any pomp and circumstance so it’s very much a case of less is more, in every respect.

 Did you have any ideas about what you wanted to bring to the role of Her?

 I didn’t have any set-in-stone ideas of exactly how to play Her, just ideas of who she was and what her struggle was – I was excited to explore Her in the rehearsal process and we played around with different approaches. I knew though, that I didn’t want Her to just become a shouty, angry woman – with what she goes through that would be easy to play but she would then have been very two-dimensional and she’s a lot more than that.

 How does the space lend itself to the piece?

 This piece is intimate – you see these people at their absolute lowest and then trying to climb back up out of the abyss. The space reflects this totally – the audience are literally a few feet from us which is perfect for them to see every detail of the characters’ emotional journeys.

 What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

 If you want to watch something real and moving then come see our play. It’s great (if I say so myself).

 

Spotlight on James Clay, currently playing ‘HIM’ in Kicked In the Shitter at The Hope Theatre.

 

Tell me about the piece and your character Him…

The piece is about a brother and sister and their struggles to deal with life because of the troubled upbringing they had.

‘Him’ is someone that we have all met and may know. He is a bright guy but also extremely vulnerable and is in a cycle that he can’t break unless he seeks help.

What was your initial impression of the script?

Initial impressions of the script were that it reminded me of ‘I, Daniel Blake’. The struggles, the reality, the relationships and also the humour at times.

 Did you have any ideas about what you wanted to bring to the role of Him?

I wanted to bring myself to this role and use my own experiences to help bring him to life.

 How does the space lend itself to the piece?

The space is perfect for the piece. Its intimate and really echoes the idea that there is no where to hide for these characters.

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

I would say come on down before it gets transferred to the west end and tickets prices triple!

Thanks to Helen and to James, wishing you well with the run.