CROUCH END FESTIVAL 2014 – THREE COMEDY PLAYS IN ONE NIGHT!
As part of the Crouch End Festival 2014, The Crouch End Players are proud to present three nights of short comedy plays for adults. Whether you prefer the fun of that awkward moment when you meet that special someone for the first time, or if you like your humour a bit naughty (and French), or even the slightly less traditional battle of the sexes, you’ll enjoy yourself thoroughly.
All shows are free as they are part of the 2014 Crouch End Festival, a festival that has run in Crouch end for the past three years and is growing from strength to strength.
Shows are free but advanced booking is advised as spaces are limited and on the night, people will be admitted on a first come first served basis. To book, please email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Venue: Downstairs at The King’s Head
7th and 8th June 2014 at 3 p.m.
2 Crouch End Hill, London, N8 8AA
The Great Northern Railway Tavern
10th June 2014 8 p.m.
67 High Street Hornsey, N8 7QB
Have a look at some of the other events in the Crouch End Festival put on by the Crouch End Players:
ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Come see this musical adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic children’s fairytale. On at the Greig City academy February 19-22 with a matinee performance on the Saturday afternoon. Tickets on we got tickets.com Tickets 5-10 pounds each.
A lovely romantic comedy-drama about a couple who both suffer from a phobia of things falling on them and so they never leave their homes, living entirely online. They meet online and develop a relationship. Want to know what happens? Come and see this charming play!
Venue: Moravian Church, Priory Road, Crouch End, London
Dates: November 20,21,22,23
Ticket prices: 6-8 pounds.
The Pleasance is proud to announce a new artistic partnership with Zoofest,
Canada’s best emerging talent festival
Edinburgh/Montreal, Tuesday September 17th 2013 – As the Fringe’s biggest presenter with an itch to introduce North American’s to our signature fringe picks, Pleasance is teaming up with Zoofest to help performers cross the ocean to showcase their talent in Montreal, Canada alongside the famous Just for Laughs festival.
Home to North America’s best up and coming talents, Zoofest is a young and vibrant festival showcasing tomorrow’s stars in comedy, theatre, cabaret, music, circus, dance and other genres.
“We really have the same artistic vision and I think many Fringe artists will be delighted to go to Montreal to explore the opportunities the North American market is offering” says Ryan Taylor, Head of Comedy at Pleasance.
“The plan is to select artists who are willing to take their act to north America’s biggest festival city. With this partnership we are creating a solid bridge between our two events and we hope artists will hop on the chance to explore a new market full of possibilities” says Zoofest General Manager and Artistic Director, Martin Durocher.
The 2014 edition of Zoofest will present The Pleasance @ Zoofest and will be showcasing talent from the UK, Europe, Australia and the US.
The project will also help local talent get selected by the Pleasance programmers for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe while creating a buzz for the entertainment Industry to come and try to find the next big thing!
All in all, a win-win partnership!
As a registered charity, The Pleasance Theatre Trust aims to create a compelling platform to discover, nurture and support fresh artistic talent from across the globe.
Since starting life on an unassuming Edinburgh side street, The Pleasance which celebrates it’s 30th Birthday on 2014, has become renowned for delivering an inspiring programme year on year that uniquely embodies the spirit of the Fringe. The Pleasance has hosted over 5,000 productions and some 150,000 performances involving over 40,000 people.
A year-round operation and 2 theatre spaces in London enable us to continually support the work we produce at the festival, with all box office revenue from the Fringe being reinvested into our development programme.
With 25 performance spaces between Edinburgh and London ranging from 40 to 750 seats, the Pleasance is a hub of creativity where artists at the pinnacle of their careers share the stage with those just starting out.
Zoofest is a bilingual festival founded in 2009 that puts forward a programming dedicated to the discovery of emerging talents in the worlds of comedy, music, theater, cabaret, magic and other forms of art and entertainment.
Experimental, multi-genres and international, Zoofest offers an eclectic and crazy programming to a particularly adventurous public. It is somewhat the frosted side of the Just For Laughs Festival. Our scouting team combs artistic productions around the world, retaining in our nets only the more extravagant, even disturbing, which then will be seen by tens of thousands of spectators.
Zoofest is also a window on the world and its culture. In addition to proudly represent the talents of Quebec and Canada, Zoofest brings together artists of the United States, UK, Australia, France and Belgium, to name a few.
All at affordable prices, during the month of July, the craziest summer month of Montreal!
Zoofest presented its 5th edition from July 4 to 28, 2013.
Pleasance Contact :
Head of Comedy, Pleasance
Zoofest Contact :
General & Artistic DIrector, Zoofest
Our first event this month was a Circle Reading of ‘Juno and the Paycock’ by Sean O’Casey. Member Milli Innila had this to say about the event. ‘I had only read one of Seán O’Casey’s plays, ‘The Plough and the Stars’, before but do remember having taken an instant liking to how O’Casey seemed to view the world, the society and the people in it yet find such humour even in the midst of misery – ‘Juno and the Paycock’ was no different experience. I often easily loose focus, but would have had no such problem with this play even if I’d just sat home reading it. The characters were believable and well layered, authentic human beings – the same can be said about the story.
The reading was also well lead: everyone got to participate and the parts were shifted in intervals that felt suitable. We had a good group of people attending – and they were not few but not too many either. I find these evenings a good way to keep sharpening my cold reading skills and often get to read plays I would otherwise not have even known of. A good Irish-flavoured evening it was with ‘Juno and the Paycock’!’
This month’s semi-staged rehearsed reading was a production of ‘The Bear in the Forest’ held on Wednesday 26th June. It was a piece of new writing written by member Monty Holender (http://www.actorsandwriters.org/monty.holender/index.php), who had this to say ‘I wrote The Bear in the Forest a few years ago, and it received warm words from Thea Sharrock, but this was the first time it had been performed. So for me it was almost like seeing a new play. The 4 hour (yes that’s right, just 4 hours) rehearsal had gone well but on the morning of the show, Mary Drake playing one of the main roles had to pull out because of lariingytis. After a panicky morning we secured the services of Helen Cashin to step in. Mary had been great in rehearsal and Helen was astonishing in performance, especially in showing the skill that underlies our rehearsed readings, namely that of sight reading. Which incidentally is exactly the skill required in auditions. And here was a perfect example of it.
As for the performance, I was thrilled that I had left enough space in my writing for the actors and director to bring their input to the play which they absolutely did. There were some lovely performances. I had been interested having heard of a massacre that happened at a battle in the civil war and the idea of archaeologists uncovering the secrets of the past. For some reason, and I’m not sure writers ever know exactly what happens in the creative process, I started to think of massacres that happened during the second world war in Eastern Europe. Throw in the idea of a loving grandfather who turns out to have a dark side and the link between the present and the past in the lives and relationships of the archaeologist started to form.
I enjoyed writing it and it was a real pleasure to see it come to life under the skilled direction of Michael Murray and the talented cast. comprising Mike Duran, Joel Dyer, Emma Manley, Edmund Dehn and Marian Elizabeth. I even enjoyed the Q&A afterwards.’
The best way to see what we do is come along to one of our events. July’s events are: a Circle Reading of ‘The Stepmother’ by Githa Sowerby on Monday 8th July at 7.30pm and a performance of A Series of Chekhov shorts on Wednesday 24th July at 7.30pm. All events are held at The Oak and Pastor, 86 Junction Road, N19 5QZ (Nearest tube Archway. 10 minutes from Upper Holloway Overground. Bus 134 or 390, Pemberton Gardens bus stop. Parking in the area free after 6.30 pm.)
May’s Circle reading was ‘Billy Liar’ by Keith Waterhouse. ‘Billy Liar’ is a 1959 novel by Keith Waterhouse, which was later adapted into a play, a film, a musical and a TV series. The semi-comical story is about William Fisher, a working-class 19-year-old living with his parents in the fictional town of Stradhoughton in Yorkshire. Bored by his job as a lowly clerk for an undertaker, Billy spends his time indulging in fantasies and dreams of life in the big city as a comedy writer. In 1960, the novel’s author, Keith Waterhouse, co-wrote a three-act stage version with Willis Hall. The action took place on a single set combining the living room, hallway and porch of the Fisher household. The first production opened in the West End of London with Albert Finney in the title role. It has since been produced all over the world, and has become a favourite with amateur groups.
It was led by Gareth Pilkington, who said ‘The Billy Liar reading was fun. With a total of eight readers it could have been read one to a part but the parts were so unequal that I changed them around every four or five pages. I believe everyone got a fair crack of the whip (so to speak). The reactions to the piece were mixed. Although everyone thought the characters were very entertaining some thought it dated, others felt the resolution was unsatisfactory, but accepted much more could be done in a properly directed and staged performance. The purpose of readings is of course mainly to help people with their sight-reading skills in plays of all periods. It is also designed to expand awareness so that if going for auditions one is able to speak of different pieces and make comparisons without making a fool of oneself. It served these purposes very well.’
May’s performance was of ‘The New Woman’ by Sydney Grundy on Wednesday 29th May. Sydney Grundy (23 March 1848 – 4 July 1914) was an English dramatist. Most of his works were adaptations of European plays, and many became successful enough to tour throughout the English-speaking world. He is, however, perhaps best remembered today as the librettist of several comic operas, notably Haddon Hall.
The New Woman (1894) is a largely forgotten so-called ’emancipated woman’ play. There was a trend towards the end of the 19th century for this subject to be the plot driver of many a piece, many of which were written by women. Of the ones we’ve been able to get hold of, this one is probably the most entertaining, whilst avoiding the usual pitfalls of becoming too much like a diatribe or serving only as a vehicle for the ‘message’. At the time, women were still regarded as home-keepers. They were ‘unfeminine’ if they tried to step out of this role and were regularly satirised. A couple of lines from one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas sums up the male view: “A woman’s college? Maddest folly going. What can girls learn within those walls worth knowing?/I’ll lay a crown, the Princess shall decide it, I’ll teach them twice as much in half an hour outside it.” The position has changed somewhat here but there are other countries and creeds that still hold these the same beliefs, even in western society.
The performance was directed by Kenn Michaels. Regular acting member Edmund Dehn (http://www.edmunddehn.com) had this to say “This month’s staged reading was “The New Woman” by Sydney Grundy – a late nineteenth century play about Suffragettes written by a man: I can hear the snorts from here! To an extent they’d be justified: all of these ladies are portrayed as ‘secretly needing a man’ and there is an element of caricature. But there is also an attempt to understand the Suffragette case and a valuable insight into the turmoil of the time and the sense of dislocation felt by conservatives (of both genders) confronted by this campaign. Some reactions reminded me a little of myself as a young man trying to work out how to react to Women’s Lib in the ‘70s!
Sydney Grundy is a name I’d never heard of. But in his day, “no West End season was complete without one of his plays”, according to director Kenn Michaels. This was a well-made play with well drawn characters. The plot held it’s audience’s attention and the comedy still worked – not bad after more than a century! We were also treated to a tour-de-force by Dorothea Philips as Lady Wargrave, or Lady Bracknell redivivus! Indeed, this play was first staged the year before “The Importance of Being Earnest” and the rumour is that Oscar Wilde drew inspiration for Lady Bracknell from this character.
The house wasn’t full, which is a shame because both play & author were well worth another look. This is the sort of thing NLA was formed to do, this and to give young actors a chance to learn on the job, which they did, very ably, and I think I can say that the audience enjoyed their evening.
In closing, I have to mention that one actor was late for curtain-up. If it weren’t for the fact that he was playing the Butler, I wouldn’t dream of referring to it. This actor was detained, through no fault of his own, due to being “kettled” by the police at Wembley tube station, having got caught up in the friendly International between England & Ireland that evening. A Victorian Butler “kettled” at Wembley? You couldn’t make it up!”
The best way to see what we do is come along to one of our events. June’s events are: a Circle Reading of ‘Juno and the Paycock’ by Sean O’Casey on Monday 10th June at 7.30pm and a performance of ‘The Bear in the Forest’ by Monty Holender on Wednesday 26th June at 7.30pm. All events are held at The Oak and Pastor, 86 Junction Road, N19 5QZ (Nearest tube Archway. 10 minutes from Upper Holloway Overground. Bus 134 or 390, Pemberton Gardens bus stop. Parking in the area free after 6.30 pm.)