Things are moving very fast from one thing to another with little breathing space in between. Sunday was the open day at Richmond Theatre followed by a promenade performance of The Curse of Olivia Nightingale which Carolina and Jennie have directed, using some of the initial workshop participants from Tender Souls.
The girls got great performances from the young cast, but the main focus of the piece was to experiment with form and create a mini-Punchdrunk interactive adventure in and around the foyer and auditorium. As with nearly all experiments there were problems, particularly with some of the improvised sections but it was clear that the cast had had a rewarding experience and that the work was well received.
Straight into the thick of it today on the post-Pope campus, with all the undergraduates piling back in full of summer stories, and ambitious ideas for the next year. We're hastily arranging a stand up gig for the end of Freshers week on Friday night with Felix Dexter, Hannah George and Alex Maple all bringing their Edinburgh gigs in. I'm hoping Jennie and Emma Boz will do five minutes each of the sets they worked on at The Comedy School earlier in the year.
Matt and I had a very positive session this afternoon with the Applied Theatre level 3 laying out a their programme for the next twelve months with Third year Companies, the new Prison Theatre module and our cumulative trip to Malawi next May, to plan and work towards. I was exhausted by the evening.
The first day back proper is always a little bit of a disorientating shock, particularly in the immediate pick up in pace - but it's good to see returning students and start a new journey. .
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.