Faking it at the Birmingham Rep

A5 Front of FAKE TIMES inc 2mm bleed Final

Your news is fake. Mine is REAL. Your truth, your reality, your version of the world is wrong. Because mine is RIGHT. Isn’t it…?

BOLDtext return for another season of Open Door at the Birmingham Rep with Fake Times – four short plays that ponder how to get real and counter today’s culture of lies.

The Offer by Liz John – Chris desperately needs a new start, but is this an offer he can accept?

Inspired by Nicola Jones – A fan breaks into a famous novelists house. Or do they? When fiction becomes fact.

Don’t Burst My Bubble by Tim Stimpson – Luke writes fake news. Karen devours it. But can their relationship ever be more than a fantasy?

Back to Reality by Julia Wright – Kate has spent the last year on a desert island taking part in a reality TV show. Now she’s coming back to reality.

Come and join our theatrical deliberations at 8pm on Tuesday 19th September in The DOOR when we will try to sort fact from fiction.

Click here to BOOK FOR FREE or call the Rep’s Box Office on 0121 236 4455

These script-in-hand performances are very popular so please do reserve your seat in advance. Faking it has never been so easy!

 

Doubled Up 3

Doubled Up 3

For our 17th night at the Door –  yes that’s right, 17th – Boldtext Playwrights presented their third Doubled Up evening.

These are occasional evenings where two of our playwrights showcase longer extracts from work in progress to help with the development process of full length plays. This is invaluable for the writers, as it gives a chance to see the staging, the characterisation and the plotting working in front of audience and assess the way all these aspects can be improved/ changed/developed. Having said that, it is always a tense time as you see the audience react to your words for the first time but it often brings real surprises as sections you have struggled with seem to work effortlessly and unexpected moments of humour emerge which bring laughs rather than smiles. Of course, every audience is different but a number of real insights are always there for the writers. It is also a chance to work closely with directors and actors who bring their ideas and interpretations to help in a collaborative process and make work a real joy.

ww3-jalleh-oli

For our May 22nd ‘Doubled Up’, myself (Julia Wright) and Liz John presented the first 40 minutes of our full length plays. Liz’s World War 3 looked at the challenges of the environment facing young people and the lack of power they can feel at being able to decide their own futures. Liz had two days of workshop and rehearsal before the showcase, giving her time to develop and rewrite as the time progressed and see the characters arise as individuals, each with their own stories to tell. All the cast were playing teenagers/early 20’s and seeing the world from their viewpoint which gave Liz  the chance to immerse herself in that world. The digital age has changed life so much for them, while some aspects of their emotional responses remain universal and easily able to be identified with.

ww3-oli-phoebe2

My play ‘Unfollow Me’ (Julia Wright) was about the worrying consequences of stalking and its profound effect on, in this instance, a 25 year old young woman. I had one day of workshop/rehearsal before the evening and, as I directed it myself, I found the insights of the actors  into the characterisations invaluable. The character of the male stalker was, obviously, really difficult in order to strike the right  balance between understanding and condemnation so that he could be believable and not just a product of careful research. Each actor was able to look at the relationships within the play from their character’s viewpoint and make brilliant suggestions to enable me to make subtle changes to the script to produce major shifts of tension and complexity.

As usual, the show was sold out but on the night, there were 8 or 10 empty seats. Please can we ask our very loyal audience to cancel your reservations if you are unable to attend, as we are always having to turn away people who want to come but have no tickets. Our next show, Fake Times, is on September 19th and we look forward to seeing you there.

Julia Wright

DOUBLED UP  3

DOUBLED UP 3

Bold Text Playwrights return to The REP on Monday 22 May 2017 with Doubled Up –  two plays-in-progress from BOLDtext writers Liz John and Julia Wright.

WORLD WAR 3    by Liz John

Zoe is fighting for the planet.  James yearns for a career.  Kat needs her sister to be ok.   Ella just wants it all.   But no-one listens to young people so now it’s time to make a stand.   Can the fiery enthusiasm of youth overcome the cynical politics of today’s Britain?   A challenging, acerbic tale of conflicting ambition in the 21st Century.

Liz’s work ‘shone out as a masterpiece of compression’ – LichfieldLive  (about ‘Perversion of Science’)

UNFOLLOW ME   by Julia Wright

What is the tipping point where obsession becomes truly dangerous?  Ayesha, Natalie and Sam have to make the choices which will determine all of their futures.  Who is really in charge? Who is losing the fight?

Follow Julia on twitter @JuliaWriting  

A5 Front DOUBLED UP 0417 Ultimate

Come along and catch extracts of these two plays-in-progress at 8pm on Monday 22nd May as part of The REP’s Open Door season.  Continue reading

ALL IS WELL

ALLISWELL CROPPED SIGN

After its DOUBLED UP  reading at The REP last year, BOLDtext’s Vanessa Oakes is previewing her new play ALL IS WELL in Coventry and Birmingham this May.

aleks told me that you can smell fear… people sweat it out bit by bit and then other people smell the fear and they start to sweat… and so the fear spreads… person to person…

ALL IS WELL is at times poetic, funny and devastatingly fierce in its appraisal of the true cost of nuclear power.

Thur 4, Fri 5 & Sat 6 May 7.30 pm (6 May also 2.30 pm)
Tickets £8 (£6)
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/all-is-well-tickets-30162393531
Shop Front Theatre, Coventry, CV1 3HW

Fri 12 & Sat 13 May  7.30 pm
Tickets £10 (£8)
https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/all-is-well
Midland Arts Centre Foyle Studio, Birmingham, B12 9QH

Age 12+

Plus post-show talks on Thur 4 & Fri 12 May

A stunning evocation of the long term aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, ALL IS WELL tells the story of Aleks, Stefan and Nina as they struggle to trust one another again while living with the fear of the invisible radiation.

On Radunitsa, the day of remembrance for the dead, the forest is once again filled with people as they return to visit their family graves. But Anna and Blackbird have other ideas to keep the day trippers and tourists away for good.

Written by Vanessa Oakes
Directed by Mark Evans
Designed by Nancy Surman
Puppetry by Joff Chafer

ALL IS WELL is supported by The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry University Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and using public funds from The National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Roller Diner @ Soho Theatre

Roller Diner @ Soho Theatre

Our very own Stephen Jackson’s fabulous musical extravaganza, Roller Diner,  opens at London’s Soho Theatre on Friday 26th May until Sat 24th June.  Steve showcased this play at a BOLDtext event at The Rep back in 2014, and it went on to win the Verity Bargate Award. We can’t wait for Steve’s unique perspective on life to hit the London stage!  He’s such a talent and we’re very proud.

Home of the full English Brexit

Welcome to Eddie Costello’s Roller Diner – a faded Brummie beacon of a deep fried American dream. The staff can’t skate and there’s a whiff of burnt sausages and disappointment.

So when new waitress Marika arrives from somewhere foreign looking for a slice of a better life, hearts are set alight in a fiery recipe of love, jealousy and murder.

A theatrical jukebox sizzling with songs, sexual tension and failed dreams… all served with extra ketchup.

Directed by Soho Theatre Artistic Director Steve Marmion, Roller Diner is the professional debut of Birmingham writer Stephen Jackson and the winner of Soho Theatre’s prestigious Verity Bargate Award for new writing.

A savage sweet musical comedy, it opens up the heart of middle England and the universal search for a place to call home.  Book via Soho Theatre.

Insatiable – January 9th

BoldText member Julia Wright writes:

A new year, a new show. As December was engulfed in a frenzy of preparations for Christmas, four BoldText writers were struggling to write about the politics of consumption while rushing towards the annual over-consumption of food and gift buying. But the next production was on January 9th when Christmas and New Year have become a distant memory, so what to write about? Continue reading

Here’s to 2017

First a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who made theatre with us, discussed with us, supported us and followed BOLDtext in this last momentous (not always in a good way) year.

We roared into 2016 on the back of Steve Jackson’s BOLDtext-developed Roller Diner winning the Verity Bargate award.  And after the February group show Leap solved all your relationship problems… ahem… we followed up with a stonking Doubled Up – our ‘two-plays on one night’ slot.  Tim Stimpson aired his vibrant, imaginative Three Wheels on the Wagon complete with original music.  And after its Doubled Up reading, Vanessa Oakes’ full length play All is Well now has funding for a full touring production in May 2017.  Congratulations Vanessa!

Things got serious with our timely Eurotrashed EU referendum show.  And that’s when we heard the first cries of:

‘It was great but the after-show discussion was too short.’

‘What?! Nobody ever says that?!’  We shouted back, astonished.

‘The subject matter is so timely and we’re living through these events – we have more to say and more to ask, as we try to steer a course as active players in a democracy that often feels like it doesn’t represent us…,’ they hollered. (Okay, maybe not that last bit.)

So the gauntlet was thrown, our audiences were demanding fast, on-its-toes theatre, rooted in the West Midlands, reacting to often confusing times as they happen.  Our Autumn shows had to reflect this.  So we explored the challenges and squeezed resources of NHS mental health services with Disorder in Septemberand the world of prison reform with its radical problems and possible radical solutions in our November show, Behind Bars.  We stopped off on the way for charabanc trips to individual members’ plays, Sayan’s warm, hilarious My Big Fat Cowpat Wedding and Julia and Liz’s frenetically funny Calling for Help.  Of course along with the rest of the nation, we were all gripped by Tim’s award-winning Helen and Rob Titchener story on The Archers.  And there’s more:

Coming up, hot on the heels of 2016, our new show INSATIABLE – bring your unwanted Christmas pressies to The Rep on Monday 9th January 2017 at 8pm for what promises to be a great night compered by the wonderful Janice Connolly.

Book now on 0121 236 4455

We look forward to seeing you all in 2017.
Have a great Christmas and New Year –

From the BOLDtext writers
Liz, Steve, Helen, Nicola, Sayan, Vanessa, Julia + Tim