Beer! Progress Report
21st October 2006
After long hiatus between shows and an equally long writing period
it feels good to get “Beer!” into rehearsal. Our new
uber-producer Marcus has done an amazing job on the casting. Attracting
a high quality of actor to the auditions from which we have picked
to my mind our strongest cast to date. A few old faces; Ste Lowe
and Paul “The Muse” Bowles are complimented by KOBAL
virgins Rachel McGuinness, Catherine Murphy, Peter Lord and Wesley
Thomas. Fear not Kilgour fans! The talented, fresh faced and still
young-ish James has also made it into the cast in a cameo harking
back to his ‘Dave and Jeff Versus’ debut.
Following a KOBAL tradition of Sunday rehearsals and pub function
rooms we are again frequenting Oldham’s Walkabout (Cheers
Colin and Co!) under the pretext of productive work. We have also
got some rehearsal time at Contact and The Yard in Hulme. We did
try booking the Methodist hall we used for auditions but apparently
they’re busy on Sundays – who’d have guessed?
Initial rehearsals are going well with the cast settling comfortably
into the KOBAL bosom. Everyone is enthused by the script; actively
pitching in ideas, thoughts and surrealisms along with some killer
early performances. We are currently concentrating on Act One, exploring
the characters and “roughing in” the scenes. The idea
being that this is the time to really play around with things in
an “anything goes” kind of way to see what works. We’ll
be doing a similar thing with Act Two in November before going into
our intensive week of polishing in December. I’m not going
to go into too much detail or pick out any one for a special mention
as I think they’re all bringing so much to the piece, but
I do think we’re on course for another benchmark raising show.
Along side the activity of the rehearsal room, the KOBAL producing
machine is also pounding into action. Marleen is continuing her
incessant tinkering with the site (very nicely too, cheers M). Matt
is whipping his technical team into shape with a list of outrageous
demands on their time, patience, money and personal space. Martha
our costume designer has been in with her tape measure and provided
the entire cast with a full knowledge of their inside leg.
Dave Wimpenny is buying various bits of sound software that he tells
his girlfriend are of absolute necessity to the show and he wouldn’t
be getting them for any other reason honest-no-really-honestly.
Adam Gent and Emma Cook (Stage Management) are approaching the production
with a philosophical look at the exact meaning of beer, with a lot
of lunchtime meetings.
Contact’s marketing machine is busy churning out all sorts
of spurious information on us and providing The Metro with unflattering
images of Ste and myself – press photos of the cast are happening
this Sunday to avoid repeat offences! Marcus is continuing his bid
for the post of ‘indispensable’ by organising cast &
crew and holding meetings with people I’ve never heard of
to do things I’d never thought of. He’s even taking
directing duties for a week whilst I swan off to Portugal (it’s
a hard life).
Meanwhile I’ve been lending my eye as a lighting designer
to fellow young companies Envision and LeKoa. Envision have crossed
paths with KOBAL before in a still-to-be-edited radio version of
“The Man With The Incredibly Strong Lips” (currently
sitting on discs in Ste’s back bedroom). Whilst they wait
for the royalties to flood in they’ve gone ahead and produced
the UK premiere of “Zig and More” at the John Thaw Studio.
Envision hope to restage it in the New Year, have a gander at their
site (www.envisiontheatre.co.uk) for more details.
LeKoa’s director Chris Wright first came to our attention
when we tried to poach one of his actors back in 2004 – it
didn’t work, the actor in question managed to escape the pit
and fool the guard dogs with vegetarian fake bacon before making
a bid for freedom on a stolen tricycle. Anyway Lekoa have recovered
and are currently touring Chris’ new play “Vent”,
check out their website for more details.
KOBAL have also recently joined PANDA (The Performance Arts Network
Development Agency) and are in the process of sucking them dry of
That’s all for now folks, check back soon for more updates
and news on your favourite theatre company.
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