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Sound and Vision

You join us, dear blog-reader, at a very interesting and exciting moment here at A Play, A Pie and A Pint HQ in Glasgow. We’ve just watched the first run of DIG, which takes to the Òran Mór stage on Monday. Our second play, YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD FROM WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW, is nearing the end of its first week of rehearsals which has been a brilliant period of exploring and playing with the text. And we’re just putting the finishing touches to preparations for ETERNAL SOURCE OF LIGHT, which starts the whole process again, going into rehearsals on Monday. Having taken you through the sounds we heard coming out of the DIG rehearsal room last week, this week we have a whole different kind of sound to deal with.

David Watson’s YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD FROM WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW is a fantastically original and poetic play in which sound is completely essential to the telling of the story. In it, snippets of conversations you might hear variously on talk radio shows, a police radio, across the pub and on your SatNav weave in and out of each other. So who better to talk us through the show than our Sound Designer and Composer, Scott Twynholm:

Scott, can you tell us about YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD FROM WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW from your perspective? I’m excited about being involved as the play is so sound dependant: I get the chance to cut up sound, record actors, re-create everyday sounds in the rehearsal room, we might even get round the piano to write the odd radio jingle.

What particular challenges are there when you’re putting together a show like this? The main challenge will be deciding what will be pre-recorded and what will be performed live. For this play we’re going for the Foley film studio approach of creating as much as possible live. These sounds will be performed by the cast so it’s important they are simple, effective and compliment the dialogue rather than distract. Of course there is the visual aspect which is naturally more theatrical than sound playback.

You’ve worked with us at Paines Plough for two years on Play, Pie and Pint: is this the sound-iest show you’ve had to work on with us? Yes and no. I would say the sound is written into this play to compliment the narrative. It can be just as challenging to compose the music to underscore the drama of a play. Last year I enjoyed writing the music for IN THE PIPELINE, which didn’t have an obvious sound element.

What do you enjoy about designing sound for the theatre? Composing for the theatre gives me great joy in that it differs from writing for film and commercial recordings. There is more variety and human interaction. There is a certain excitement about the live performance. And I enjoy the collaborative process – I enjoy getting out of the studio, working with actors and the creative team to put together a show.

And finally: What’s your favourite play, pie and pint? I don’t really have a favourite anything but I’ve enjoyed these over the past year or so: Medea/Steak/Heineken.

Sounds good to us.

Some of the items currently in the rehearsal room being used for Foley sound effects. Either that or they were having a tense round of Kim's Game.

Where we are this week

Here’s a quick update on where our A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT shows are this week:

FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones is at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre in Dublin. Click here for information and booking.

IN THE PIPELINE by Gary Owen is at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Click here for information and booking.

THE UNCERTAINTY FILES by Linda McLean is at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Click here for information and booking.

CALAIS by April De Angelis is at the Live Theatre in Newcastle. Click here for information and booking.

GOOD WITH PEOPLE by David Harrower is on a break before opening at Live Theatre in Newcastle next week. Click here to read the outstanding ****review in The Guardian.

We’ve been getting fantastic feedback from audiences all over the UK and Ireland for our A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT plays. Here are a few comments for THE UNCERTAINTY FILES by Linda McLean at the Live Theatre in Newcastle:

“A really thought provoking and engaging piece. Actors really inhabited the myriad characters in such a short time – very telling business with minimal props. Liked the “interview” style and very natural responses highly enjoyable.”  Karen, Lanchester

“Really interesting production. Would like to see it again. Liked the non usual.” Hazel, Newcastle

“I always love coming to the Live & I’m pleased you have new work from Paines Plough coming in – good to see excellent new writing venues joining together – will be keeping an eye out for future work (as always)” Jenny, Newcastle

We’ve also been interviewing the writers of all of our PPP plays. Here are some answers from April De Angelis, writer of CALAIS:

Is 45 minutes and max 3 actors easier or harder than 2 acts and a cast of ten? 

A one act play is definitely less slog than a two acter!

Should every play come with a complimentary pie and pint?

If every play in the universe came with a pie and a pint we’d get bored of the novelty and fatter as a constituency.

What is more scary, contemplating a blank sheet of paper, contemplating a deadline or contemplating the audience at the first performance?

The audience at a first night is the scariest. You can always tear up your writing at the end of the day..

In three words how do you feel about about the critics?

Critiscism ain’t art.

Do you agree with Thomas Edison that “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration?”

Yes, mind you it’s an elusive 1%

A lorra-lorra love for the cast of Love, Love, Love and generally all round…

From left to right back row: John Heffernan, James Barrett, Simon Darwen. From left to righ front row: Daniela Denby-Ashe and Rosie Wyatt

We honoured to be able to you to introduce James Barrett, Simon Darwen, Daniela Denby-Ashe, John Heffernan and Rosie Wyatt who make up the wonderful company for Mike Bartlett’s new play LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Whilst on LOVE, LOVE, LOVE if you fancy getting into the incredible mind of Mike Barltett himself he has been chatting to about all things theatre plus a fantasy dinner party.  The Bush Theatre co-produced Mike Bartlett’s ARTEFACTS in 2008 with James Grieve directing.

Elsewhere in the world of Paines Plough, I returned late last night from yet another delightful day in Glasgow:

I took the 0539 train which got me to Glasgow at 1040 in order to be at 5 Sanda Street to meet with Kara Jackson (Stage Manager of FLY ME TO THE MOON) and Kirsten Hogg (Tour Designer for A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT) to discuss how to fit a bed, a pillow, a duvet, a chair, a wheelchair, a phone, two cds, a cd player, a lamp and seven packs of custard creams into a suitcase.  Anyone know Mary Poppins?

At 1200 it was the meet and greet for the company of April De Angelis’ CALAIS, the fourth play in the A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT Season.

At 1255 I dashed over to Oran Mor to catch the second performance of  Gary Owen’s IN THE PIPELINE. What a great way to spend 52 minutes with exquisite narrative and touching performances; I must confess I could not resist temptation and did have a pie and a pint!

At 1405 back over to 5 Sanda Street to sit in on a bit of Linda McLean’s THE UNCERTAINTY FILES.  I am absolutely in awe of J S Duffy, Lesley Hart and Helen Mallon who are all off book and reeling the words of naturally as can be.  Charlotte has created a brilliant world for the piece…but I won’t say anymore as you can see it for yourself next week or indeed four other venues subsequently.

At 1530 I popped back across the hallway at 5 Sanda Street to listen to read through of April De Angelis’s CALAIS.  I would have been pretty impressed if this had been the first performance let alone the first read through. David McLennan and I enjoyed a good chuckle.

Finally at 1840 I caught my train home – and as if I already hadn’t had a very privileged day, I caught sight of a rainbow.  I am in lucky, lucky times.

Anyone for Lucky Charms?

My first two days with Paines Plough

I’m Fiona, the new intern at Paines Plough. It’s only my second day but it has already been both exciting and exhausting. I only say exhausting because when I arrived on Tuesday morning the lift up to our fourth floor offices was being fixed. Mainly it has been very exciting. I spent most of my first day trying to reckon with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Guide so that when our Producer, Tara, goes up next week, she can fit every possible show into the 72 hours she is in the city.  I’ve met all the lovely people in the office but have only met one half of the artistic directing team that are George Perrin and James Grieve (I met George who was very nice to me). I was also lucky enough to sit in on their company meeting yesterday to hear all about the exciting new projects coming up including A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT. The second play from this series, Gary Owen’ s IN THE PIPELINE, directed by David Horan Artistic director of Bewley’s Theatre Cafe, is starting rehearsals on Monday.