26 Sep 2011

King's Fool Productions, Guidelines for a Long and Happy Life/earth2.0,Culture Night, The Portrait Keeper,

My posts have been much more sporadic recently, and I've been unjustifiably grouping several disparate projects into one long post, rather than the individual post they deserve. This has largely been due to the fact that I've so much going on, I haven't had the time to give each project it's due cyberspace. This post is continuing that long and noble tradition, starting with the main vampire of my time recently,
Hatfield ProductionsKing's Fool Productions.

King's Fool Productions is the name of the production company I am starting, dealing initially with theatre, but with plans to expand into moving image, digital media, and perhaps even fashion!

I have gone on the Go For It programme, and as a result, I have been staring at spreadsheets and talking to marketing people for the last fortnight - exactly the kind of things I got into acting to avoid. Luckily, there was disproportionate amount of creative people there, who I'll probably end up doing business with in the foreseeable future.

The next step will be getting the logo done, so I can start doing the website and printing stationary, with the intent of having a launch night in early November. Watch this space!

I have also got involved with Tinderbox Theatre's next show, Guideline for a Long and Happy Life. It is being put on as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's, and is being performed in an abandoned warehouse the Old Victor Stationery Warehouse.

The post apocalyptic set is huge, but it sounds like it will be incredible, with audience interaction, horror elements, and poisoned ground, only scalable on stilts. Directed by Michael Duke, from Paul Kennedy's script, the play is sure to imprint itself on anyone who sees it.

As part of the project there is earth2.0 following the lives of other inhabitants of the post apocalyptic world. It is a devised piece featuring the chorus from the main show, and it is being performed in the same venue on Sunday Oct 23rd. The ensemble, lead by Patrick Sanders, with help from the cast of Guidelines..., is incredibly creative, and the show is set to be another masterpiece.

On Friday, Belfast's 3rd annual Culture Night took place, and as part of it, I was reviving my role in the latest Wireless Mystery Theatre. This time I played the announcer, and a variety of other roles with a total cast of 23 set in St James Hill furniture store. The rest of the night was a triumph as well, as this event is growing exponentially and it is a great showcase for Belfast's monumental creativity. Next year Hatfield Productions will be there, and if all goes to plan, will be a already recognised name.

Also this month, I was in the latest of Accidental's Biscuit Tin Readings, The Portrait Keeper, by Roy Endean. This expressive work was Roy's first staging, and he travelled up from Cork to see it. I played Chum, the blind milktoast to Matt Faris' tyrannical Barth. Susan Davey and Jason McLaughlin played the seductive mistress and ambitious painter, while Mary Frances Doherty was directing. It's a testament to Accidental's increasing reputation that they can repeatedly attract talent of this quality to all their projects. I'm playing Hitler in the next reading, William Patterson's Stumpergasse 31, and after that Sitting Up for Michael will be read on November 16.

Oh, and I turned 26.

Update (6 November 2011): Hatfield Productions became King's Fool Productions prior to it's launch.

King's Fool Productions brings Sitting Up for Michael to the Northern Ireland stage (archive post)

This is a portion of a post that first appeared on James' personal blog back in 2012.

King's Fool Productions has finally brought Sitting Up for Michael to the stage. I've been writing ...Michael for the guts of two years now, and to see it finally on it's feet in front of a paying audience is a hugely gratifying experience.

Helen Donnelly resumed directorship after skippering the rehearsed reading that Accidental organised in November 2011.

The cast, including Marianne March, Naomi Rocke, Cathy Brennan-Bradley, Benjamin Gould, Brian Patrick Kennedy and Michael O'Sullivan were sourced from across Ireland and worked exceptionally hard to bring my vision to fruition, and I can't thank them enough.

With a backstage crew of Glenn Hamill (stage manager), Kerrie Milford (props/costumes), Shireen Azarmi (sound/tech) and Sharon Curran (production manager) we couldn't fail to put on a top class production.

The play debuted in The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, before travelling down to The Strule Arts Centre, Omagh last week and tonight will conclude its tour in The Alley Theatre, Strabane. So far over 300 people have seen the show, so an extended tour in the near future may be on the cards!