Brush Up Your Shakespeare


And here we are with the first of these updates. This email went out earlier today to those on my immediate mailing list but if you weren’t a recipient and are interested in what it refers to then by all means drop me a line at

“Dear all

Following a meeting with the Board a couple of weeks ago it was
agreed that the logistics of putting on a Shakespeare as is traditional would be
nigh on impossible to accomplish in the current time frame alongside the issues
of performance space. Nonetheless with it being the 450th year since the Bard’s
birth it would be churlish to let 2014 pass without some sort of remembrance of
his works.

It has therefore been proposed that we have a’ Night of the
Bard’ (well three of them) or, as its working title has currently been
mooted, ‘Brush up Your Shakespeare’, to be staged in early July(3rd – 5th i
think). The rough outline of this would be a series of scenes from Shakespeare,
or if preferred Shakespeare related songs or moments, which would be loosely
held together by a compere- Mister Bill Shakespeare himself. At this embryonic
stage the format would be something akin to the 30 Years of Dazzling Drama, a
cabaret style evening with various aspects, be they soliloquies, scenes or songs
from his works, or related material- for example the song ‘Brush up Your
Shakespeare’-introduced by the birthday boy!

I am happy to work on the linking dialogue and the format of the evening but obviously to progress with something like this we need an indication early on as to who is available and
who would like to get involved. The advantages of this kind of evening are many:
(a)it provides an opportunity for anyone interested in directing to cut their
teeth on something a little more low key if they haven’t done anything before
,(b) it provides opportunity to visit some plays that we would not normally do
for Normanhurst festival, I am gearing up my cyberpunk ‘Macbeth’, ‘Romeo &
Juliet’ without breaking out the zimmers and my own Richard III monologue in the
car park(!) ­čÖé (c) it provides opportunity for people to get involved in more
than one interesting part and theoretically would not require a cast of
thousands – although that would be no bad thing, (d) more than one rehearsal can
be going on at a time and (e) people who have pressing matters, or exams, at
that time of the year will still have opportunity to get involved.

This could be a popular event and a real money spinner, based on how well the 30
years of DD sold out, BUT it requires people to be involved. There is no way one
person could direct 7 or 8 different skits but if we had three or four people
doing them that would be fantastic. A running time of two hours would be grand
and pieces could range from 3-4 minutes to a lengthier 20 minutes or

Of course an event like this requires some degree of preparation and
to this end I am proposing a meeting of would be directors or anyone who would
be interested in developing a format for the evening, to place on Sunday
March 9th at 6:00
in the hall before the ‘Government Inspector’
rehearsal begins, or in a nearby hostelry if the hall is unavailable.
I would also be grateful if you would let me know whether you can get
involved in any capacity by replying to this email, just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would
do though you are weclome to expand if you want to provide more
detail. Even if you think I know that you are keen
to get involved then please just confirm by reply and if you are not up for it
then please just email accordingly
silence can make it difficult
to ascertain numbers. As said, it is not the intention for it all to be iambic
pentameter, though there will be some of that, but for there to be chance for
all sorts of assorted Shakesperery.

Any questions please drop a line but
hopefully there will be a fair few ‘ayes’ and we can progress on to the next
stage. If not, it’ll be Plan B.

Best wishes



Only me…

And so ‘the whirligig of time’ goes on, but I have vowed to take some time out to keep you up to date with all the latest developments in matters Matchbox. So, this week expect details of our forthcoming production of ‘The Government Inspector’ which opens in just over three weeks,reflections on my recent visits to the Battlefields of Belgium and France and how it has stiffened my resolve to stage ‘The Accrington Pals’ and another dip in the archive as well as news of this summer’s plans.

Hoping you are wll and to catch up with you at greater length mighty soon.


Who’s a Pretty Boy Then


Can’t stop to chat much, very busy day; in fact it’s been a very busy fortnight which is why I haven’t been on here as much as I’d like. Even now I am typing this in a snatched moment during a class test but, shhh, don’t let Mr Gove know.

Suffice to say that things are going well with ‘The Government Inspector’, we’ve had some marvellous rehearsals and all are looking forward to ratcheting the tempo up as the March 20th opening draws closer. I really hope that I will get some time to get back online and bring you a more detailed on set report of things Gogol as well as to take a deep dig into the archive but in the meantime I’ll leave you with the link above ( I couldn’t get the image to appear on the post unfortunately). If you have clicked it you will know what I mean: if not then I’ll end on that moment of cherubic boyishness from 1998’s, ‘Taming of the Shrew’, my debut with The Matchbox. I am sure there is a caption competition there somewhere for Joanie but that is for another day. Oh and I really must tell you about the ‘Hortensio Curve’ tm some time.

All the best, keep well and I’ll catch you again soon

M x