Seven completely different plays have just premiered at the Y Theatre!
Boom! Staff room Vengeance. Hell have no Fury… Unjustly. Do we not Bleed? Not all superheroes are made this way. The Ark.
Tears, laughter, dancing and ghosts! Completely entertaining and quite bonkers.
A wonderful, inspiring festival from beginning to end!
The standard of the plays is truly impressive considering this morning was the first time the directors and performers had read the scripts.
Tonight for the audience’s entertainment we have smoke machines, guns (no live ammunition), superheroes, ballroom dancing and a beautifully made cardboard tree!
The band have changed from the apt name of Porn Funk to Split Fingers and the Aching Feet, tonight. Perfectly descriptive!
The poor props team are running around like headless chickens, panic is setting in as we head towards the first curtain call. “No one’s dead yet! I’m giving it half an hour…”, whispered Daisy. Half an hour later she was shouting, “my brain is full of people I want to kill!”
The show must go on!
2nd Day of the 14/48 festival, and sadly its the last day, but it shall not disappoint!
Today has been eventful, actors running around in costume getting ready for their 20 minutes on stage and dreaded that 5 minute beep that tells them there time is almost over and I was almost knocked out by a giant wet tree…These are the kind of exciting things that only this festival has to offer.
But so far we seen a lot of love in the air, crazy hair styles and ballroom dancing. “Feel the rhythm” Doug yelled out, some helpful advice to the performance as the practice their dance de l’amour. But going back to crazy, have you ever wondered what happens when you put WonderWoman, SuperWoman, Catwoman, Spartacus and Superman together? Well tonight that question will be answered!!
The range of plays we saw being practiced today will have are audience in awe.
As dinner time approached the halls where engrossed with the smell of warm fat chips!!
We all knew it was chip and beer time! What we had all be working towards, besides putting on good shows.
And then we heard the magical words…”Dinner time, go get your chips and salad before it gets cold’
A huge crowd gathered round the table, grabbing their box of chips and salad destroying it with mayo and ketchup.
Corridors are a buzz at the Y theatre! I’ve had to step through actors grabbing lunch and learning lines, and have been pushed aside by runners carrying wedding dresses and shields!
Director Richard Jacques noted that he was working with three amazing American actors. It’s funny, but I was sure they were from Leicester when I spoke with them this morning!
I was lucky enough to sit in on a rehearsal, but didn’t quite understand director Paul Rogers reference to “nice work on the queer”. And was equally confused by “a good poke of the yolks”! A direction to one of the actors, “your sweet and lovely, then you see a guy get gunned down over lentils”, made me think I definitely need to see this performance tonight. As I walked out of the door I heard Paul state “truth is funny!” It certainly is…
Seven more plays have been busily scripted by our writers overnight with the theme of ‘vengeance’ picked out from a hat by our audience. The scripts have again been randomly picked by directors, and they now stand firmly in control! Actors have been assigned their roles and are currently asking themselves, “why did I agree to do this? Twice!”
Rehearsals are starting and the whole creative process begins again. The band has been tasked with many musical melodies and the design team are already running around Leicester, begging, borrowing, but hopefully not stealing!
It’s exciting, nerve wracking and completely consuming. Everybody involved with this festival is amazing, their energy and enthusiasm never falters and together produce spectacular theatre. I can’t wait to see what today holds! But first, I think the writers are going home to sleep…
The stage was set, the curtains opened, the actors were ready and the audience were eagerly waiting for the first acts to take the stage.
The first play came on and it was magic all night. Following the theme of 7 deadly sins, the writers all took different angles on how to show this. Plays about the porn industry and the desperation for money for a loved one, the complication of lazy Britain trying to blame others but how could they keep this generation from complaining any more. To 2 girls out on a night, which turn deadly as the seven deadly sins, come out to party to. To a quiet family dinner, which turns deadly once the underlining problems surface. To crazy brides and fat bridesmaids, who all have a waterfall of problems. To 5 men, who get a mysterious letter to come to a clinic, what do they all have in common Lucy? Then ending with a horrible boyfriend, some voodoo and a Lesbian where revenge takes center stage in this play.
7 writers wrote 7 amazing plays in less than 12 hours, then 23 actors picked up the script and devoured those words and feed it back to us with such conviction, the deliver was amazing which was clearly due to their skill and the clear directions given to them by amazing directors who made the plays flow into mini master pieces. Which was only enhanced by the music, which was created by our Virgin Veteran band and the costume and set, which was created by our creative set designers.
If you missed the performances tonight then you missed 7 never seen world star plays.
The last play ended and the crew ran to the station, welcomed by a roaring applauding, and out comes the hat of destiny and a new play idea is picked.
Where tomorrow night Vengeance will rule the stage!!
The festival is well and truly in full swing, for the writers, actors, set designers,band members and crew.
They have spent the day learning lines, forgetting lines, drinking beer, making music and having fun for tonight. And in last than an hour the curtains will open and the stage shall be set! Thanks to our set designers.
With a little over 30 minutes to go, I hear the floor manager yell “30 minutes to go”, all the last minute preparation are happening, the stage is being dressed up and actors are using these few moments to practice before they perform in front of a real audience.
“If your tired, Raise the Motherfucking Roof!!”
The technical rehearsal is in full swing! It’s no easy task getting seven plays cued with lighting and sound. However, Stage Manager Liz is cracking the whip and making sure it is running to time. Well, almost!
I walked into the darkened theatre to find three actors on stage wearing bathrobes and the director shouting, “this is the condom bit”! After hearing artist liaison Joanna Smith laughing dirtily in the corner, I was then confronted by “do you want to start doing the sex bit?” Ooh-er-misses!
Two minutes later I realise that I haven’t walked onto a porno set and this is actually the first play. Forty minutes later I’ve heard Gregorian chanting, the lighting technician talking about “shitty white blondes”, I think he meant the lights, and plates getting smashed!
It’s astonishing how one theme can produce seven completely different styles of plays. They differ from simple lighting and lots of props to more minimalist theatre using lighting and sound to enhance the imagery. I can’t wait to see the full performances!
Well!! So far today, I’ve seen leather seats on heads, have been accosted by two drunken hen partyers, listened to the musicians bonding over porno music and we’ve not even reached the tech rehearsals yet!
The amount of creativity is amazing. The directors and actors are throwing themselves into the rehearsal process, embracing the ethos of 14/48. We even have a little gender swapping, which may be a first!
Currently, seven tremendously different plays are being produced and rehearsed in seven completely different locations. Utilising every space we have to hand, the actors and directors are using areas as diverse as the sports hall, a meeting room, a dressing room and what we affectionately call the Gold Fish Bowl. The latter being a fantastic rehearsal space in the pedestrian gallery situated in the LCB Depot on Rutland Street. Completely open to the public, passers by can sneakily view the rehearsals and get a taste of what will be performed later this evening.
The designers are busily running around Leicester fulfilling the prep and costume requests of the directors. I caught them running out of the wardrobe department at the Curve, hands full! They’ll never notice…