Recruitment Matters.


So, as I have previously said, we have been thinking of expanding our numbers and getting new blood into the group for some time now and Sunday October 6th will hopefully provide opportunity for just that. Details are in the flyer above but it promises to be a relaxed and wholly enjoyable evening where folk can get a taste of the group and the Matchbox Theatre experience whatever their interests, whether light or sound, set building, costumes, refreshments or acting. I hope that some of you are reading this having been drawn here by our advert and, more importantly, hope to see a few of you in a couple of weeks time.

Have a great weekend and will be back with more retrospective stuff next week.



An Inspector Came a’Calling

So, as promised, here is the first of a series of retrospectives over the next few weeks. The order will be a little random and haphazard at the moment but given time I hope to settle into some sort of reverse chronology.

Anyway in honour of ‘All The Great Books (abridged)’, the eighth play that I have had the pleasure of directing with the Matchbox, it’s time to return to one of the great plays and the first I turned my directorial eye to at St Francis; indeed my first for over a decade, since I had directed The Canterbury Tales with a group of 11-14 year olds at school(more of that play anon though). Originally intended to be ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ in collaboration with Mr Gareth Hughes who flitted briefly with us and is pictured above, plans changed and March 2008 instead saw a rendering of J.B Priestly’s classic social commentary and magnificently paced dramatic work exploring issues of class, family, age and responsibility. Herein the Birlings’ blithe, seeming happiness is unravelled with the appearance of the enigmatic Inspector Goole and his investigations into the death of Eva Smith.

I do enjoy comedy but my real passion is the challenging and dramatic, something to get teeth into, that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats and engaged from start to finish and this production certainly offered that. I have memories of many compelling moments and true electricity on stage which is surely one of the reasons why so many of us do this. Although, that said, I equally have memories of a fresh face and a Fatty Arbuckle look when, bereft of anyone to play the younger Eric (cf. previous blog on the trials of casting men) I attempted to affect the look of a youthful twenty something. The results are displayed above, though these are by no means the worst images, a few of those can be found on the official site. The flaw in this plan was probably best summed up by the reaction of a group of students from a local girls school who were studying the play and who were no doubt expecting a hunky chunk to walk through the door…ah, the titters will remain with me forever. But so will many excellent memories of an excellent production of a fine play without which I suppose I wouldn’t be flitting around choreographing swordfights, arranging lifelike models of The Matchbox Sized Shakespeare lot and trying to lay hands on six dozen or so greatest books! Wouldn’t miss it for anything!

There will be more ephemera and memories next week but in the meantime look out for details of our 6th October Recruitment Evening in the next couple of days.

Until then


Little Dickens

So, things are finally underway. As blogged previously, The Matchbox Sized Shakespeare Company ™ are gathering once again, one year on from its triumph with the ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)’ and this year we intend to bring you a whistle stop tour through the world’s greatest books. Not all of them of course, there’s only so much four actors can pack into 99 minutes, but 89 of them- which is two more than was reported previously so look at that as a bargain!  By Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor with additional material by Matthew Croke and Michael Faulkner, members of the world renowned Reduced Shakespeare Company, this production promises to be in a similar vein to last year’s except bigger and better. That means  more of everything, in a sort of reduced type way-  more costumes, more props, more swashbuckling, more special effects,  more dazzling visuals, more sound and more balls (you’ll see what I mean you naughty minded people!) than ever before! It is early days but if we can harness the alchemy from last year’s work then it should be a magnificent mixture of comedy, interactive adventure and, if we’re lucky, educational insights into some of the greatest books ever written since the advent of literature. Details of the syllabus will be revealed as the weeks go on but rest assured there are some firm favourites on there, alongside a few classics that you may never have heard of. Rest assured that our job will be to make sure you never forget them once we have brought them your way in December.

More details will emerge in the next few days as well as photos, a trailer and video footage over the coming months. And talking of that I hope very soon to revisit the nostalgia factory and offer a few more photosets of Matchbox productions, some  recent and a few not so, alongside details of our upcoming Open Evening on Sunday 6th October, though information can be found out on our site at

Thus, I look forward to catching up with you fairly regularly over the next few weeks in these interesting and exciting times and to welcoming a few more of you to these pages and to the Matchbox itself in the very near future. Until then though, all the best


We’re back…

Well the summer is fading into the distance, though if the forecast is anything to go by it is disappearing at a welcome slow pace, and it’s back to work and back in action with The Matchbox. A busy few months lie ahead and I will be providing details very soon about our forthcoming production, ‘All the Great Books (abridged)’, further information about  2014 and news of our October Recruitment Evening. But for now this is but a brief hello to announce that things are up and running. However just to kick-start the Blog into the new season, here are a few interesting morsels for thought which show that it’s not just our group where a boost in numbers can go a long way.

Until next week