Next Up

Next up: I will be launching None of That: A Black Books Podcast

26 Nov 2010

Hectic Week: Film Nation Shorts, QU Players' Freshers' Festival and Cinemagic Workshops

This has been a hectic (read: brilliant) week for me. It started last Saturday with my involvement in the Film Nation Shorts workshop in Derry as part of the Foyle Film Festival. I was not one of the participants in the workshop, but it was to help new directors get to grips with working with actors for the first time. It also assisted myself and Christine McGowan (who was also acting in the class) get experience in front of camera.
The project was organised by Jacqui Wells, of 104 Films and it is part of a National Lottery Olympic Games 2012 outreach program, and involved Paul Christie on camera, and John Carlin directing.
The main exercise involved taking a scene from Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece Magnolia, and dissecting it for pace, camera work, and essentially bringing out the best in the actors.

Then throughout the week I helped Queen's University Players put on a couple of short plays for their Freshers Festival on Thursday. I was aware that I would not be able to attend the festival itself, so I took the opportunity to take the seat on the other side of the production. As assistant director, I helped Seamus O'Hara and Daisy Brindley put on plays that they wanted to showcase with intentions of bringing them to the stage in a greater capacity in the future.
Seamus' piece was a series of sketches, written by Seamus Collins, very firmly based on the mould of Chris Morris' oeuvre, a genre I love. It featured young actors David Heatley and Sarah McErlain
Anton Thompson- McCormick and Antonia Eastwood were the actors in Daisy's piece, a tender study of love set on a pub settee.
All the guys were great to work with, to be able to turn around performances so quick is a real and useful skill, and I look forward to working with them all again.

Finally yesterday (Thursday) and today, I god involved in the Cinemagic Festival workshops, that were run by Hubbard Casting and Patrick Bergin and Silé Bermingham. Cinemagic is an organisation that I have been wanting to get involved with for a long time, and I wish I had taken up their opportunities earlier because the workshops have been brilliant, and I have made countless contacts in the past two days.
Tonight the festival is rounded off by an awards ceremony in Belfast City Hall, which I will be attending, which will no doubt be attended by some of the many patrons of the festival, of whom there are numerous.

Like I mentioned, this week has been amazing, so I am getting ready to work with a whole raft of new people, who'll bring fresh ideas and impetus to my career. I can't wait.

14 Nov 2010

Modelling for Drink and Draw with Coffee House Art Club

Next Monday, I will be modeling for the Coffee House Art Club in their second Drink and Draw event. I have already modeling for them once, and it was a great experience, making various dramatic poses with fellow model and organiser, Jude McVittie.

The full gallery can be seen over at the CHAC website, but below are some with me in them. The poses were inspired by my performance in Lunch.

If you would like to get involved, it takes place in Castro's Coffee House at the end of Royal Avenue at 7pm on Monday, and cost £3. If you purchase food, you can also BYOB. It is a relaxed atmosphere, and a good chance to meet the talented members of CHAC.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="150" caption="Me at the knees of Jude McVitty"][/caption]

10 Nov 2010

Filming in Belfast with Queen's University students

Today I was filming for Queen's University students in Belfast city centre. It's a project I got into late, having only received the script on Monday, but we got through the first of two days filming today.

Produced by Shauna Coyles, the film, as yet untitled, was written and directed by Declan Murray, with DP duties being handled by James Ward, sound by Conall McMeekin and editing by Kerri Kelly.

We were shooting in Queen Street Studios, in the offices of Triplevision Productions, with the owner, Eamonn Devlin, doubling as actor in the project.

There is another day of shooting tomorrow, and the completion date is set for December 15th, so I should be able put some footage on the site then.

9 Nov 2010

Incident at Vichy plays to packed houses

Incident at Vichy completed it's run on Saturday, and played to packed audiences every night. The production was a triumph for Fringe Benefits, and if demand was fully met, I think we could have sold out another two nights. In response to this, it is highly likely that the show will be revived in the forthcoming months, just as the company's first production, Pack Up Your Troubles, is due to be taken on tour in March.

The cast of 21 (17 male, plus four non-speaking female roles) was impeccable, but couldn't have been anywhere near as successful without the continued input of the back stage staff. Frieda Slevin, and her assistant, Alex Moore ensured all our costumes were impeccable for every performance - despite the abuse the characters put them through. Jenny McDonald was working tirelessly throughout rehearsals locating some obscure props, and the set was desgined and costructed by Andy Gray and Colin Dunlop with an army of volunteers from the Vent Collective. Bryan Marshall published the programmes, which I managed to get signed by almost the eniter cast and crew (I intend to rectify the almost part of this within the next weeks).

All in all, the show went down a storm, and it means that I am bereft of a major project at present, but there are some small projects I have lined up, and a few potential auditions so the future is bright.

4 Nov 2010

Incident at Vichy ticket update: Tonight SOLD OUT

Tickets for tonight's performance of Incident at Vichy have sold out. There are still some tickets left for tomorrow (less than 10)± and Saturday (less than 20)±. To purchase your tickets, go to the Crescent's online box office.

±ticket numbers correct as of 10am Thursday.

3 Nov 2010

Performance of Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy tomorrow

Tonight is the final rehearsal of Incident at Vichy before we go into performance tomorrow. It's the last opportunity to iron out the final kinks in the show, and as such is a nervously exciting part of the process.

This is the biggest production I have been in up to this point in my career, and the publicity for it is going into overdrive, with a feature on BBC Arts Extra on Monday adding to the various press coverage. I have been featured in today's Tyrone Constitution, and likely tomorrow's Ulster Herald, if all goes to plan.

The cast has been tremendous up to this point, and will no doubt continue as we go to performance. They are, in order of appearance;

Lebeau - Myself
Bayard - Tom Dart
Marchand - Jack Geary
Police Guard - Robert Render
Monceau - Glenn Hamill
Gypsy - Christian Jackson
Waiter - Vincent Tsang
Boy - Michael Burkes
Major - Brian Kennedy
First Detective - Rory McCadden
Old Jew - Denis McAlinden
Second Detective - Tucker Larkham
Leduc - Matt Faris
Police Captain - Ciaran Moore
Von Berg - Gerald McCann
Professor Hoffman - Mickey Mason
Ferrand
- Samuel Mahadea
Prisoners
- Janine Kennedy, Caroline Brennan, Peggy O'Neill, Sharon Curran

The show runs from tomorrow (Thursday 4th November) until Saturday in the Crescent Arts Centre. Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.