Off to the Soho this evening to see the latest offering from our friends in Barbershopera! They're about to go into rehearsal for The Three Musketeers, which they'll open in Edinburgh in August, but for fun, and to hone the ensemble complicity that their work requires, they're spending the evenings performing a greatest hits show, featuring many of the wonderful tunes that they've put together over the past five years.
The format really suits their work. Each member of the team is given a chance to introduce a couple of numbers making for a more intimate way to get to know the company. It also gives an outing to many of the songs that haven't found their way into the shows, but have picked up a cult YouTube following. Including the wonderful I Could Have Married Kateand the oh so trueEdinburgh (Not Gonna Go). Barbershopera's shows are always dynamic and breathtakingly fast paced so it's great to see the company chatting in a relaxed setting freed from the inevitable mania of keeping one step ahead of their lyrics. I guess it's a welcome relief for them as well. A chance to measure how far they've come, take stock and think about what they're going to do next
In the middle of the show a special guest - this evening comedienne Lucy Porter - supports the show with a try out of their new material. It's a good gear change, helps give another texture to the evening and leaves those of us who aren't going to make it to the festival a further feeling that a little bit of the fringe had come to us.
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.