Category Archives: Actors

Introducing … Adam Carroll-Armstrong

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Adam in rehearsals with Lily Shepherd

Adam plays Adam Bryant in our upcoming production Boy On A Bed

I run
Not me personally but Adam runs
No not me!
ADAM RUNS! I can see 13 words in and you’re already confused with my blog entry. To be honest I’m confused too.

So let me take you back to the beginning of time….
 
I’m Adam James Tiberius Kirk Carroll-Armstrong
Father Neil Armstrong
Mother Allison Carroll
Middle name, named after the captain of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek the original series.
Oh and I play Adam Bryant in ‘Boy on a Bed’. Now you see the confusion I’m Adam playing Adam… But at least people will remember my name.
Now enough about me let’s get serious and talk about the ‘Boy on a Bed’ KAPEESH (Italian hand gesture)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. Starbucks where I waited due to being early for my audition (I’m always early) and as I sat patiently waiting I noticed that Starbucks slowly turned into the Star Wars cantina. No stormtroopers didn’t walk through the door fellow actors auditioning did!  Scripts were flying everywhere, people screaming there lines across the table and then opposite me a gentleman doing vocal warm ups in the middle of a busy Starbucks… He later got cast as Taylor in the production of ‘Boy on a Bed’ (Perfect Casting)
The actual audition was mostly a blur for me; I remember doing a Gazelle, lion, worm and pretending to be Gary Barlow. That might be the reason why Organized Chaos picked me because they’d ‘Never Forget’ and want me ‘Back for Good’

Let’s fly back via Tardis to present day….

The rehearsal process is like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re gonna get. Walking through the door into the rehearsal room is like running through platform 9 ¾. It is the most magical, bizarre and hilarious places I’ve ever been. I honestly wouldn’t change that for the world because without the team behind ‘Boy on a Bed’ I’d not be writing this blog right now, I’d be working in Wilkinson’s ‘Where there’s a Wilko there’s a way’ (You got a mention Wilko! Now post the cheque in the mail) honestly I would like to thank Organised Chaos for offering me the role of Adam because you gave me the most challenging acting job to date! Even though I thought I had no chance after sending an email saying ‘The play is like a perfectly baked cake’ now before I go I think it’s time for a list because everyone loves a good list!

Alastair & Gayle – Thank you for giving me the opportunity to run on stage at The Lowry.
Lauren – Oh My God (bangs head) without you I don’t think we would be able to put on the show. You are ‘Boy on a Bed’ glue you hold us all together.
Matthew – (whispers) Benedict…. If you weren’t Benedict I wouldn’t of had half as much fun as I have done with you (Italian hand gesture)
Lily – I never met someone so addicted to cake but so good at a shoulder massage…. Wow!
Michael – The most professionally dedicated actor I’ve ever met! I wish I was as dedicated as you are.
Finally Paula Radcliffe – my one, my idol, my inspiration COME ON PAULA WE CAN DO THIS!

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So people if you’re still reading this blog! What are you waiting for! Run to The Lowry and see ‘Boy on a Bed’ on Thursday 15th & Friday 16th May! You don’t want to miss a beautiful piece of art (no pun intended) 

 

To see the tour dates and book tickets for Boy On A Bed, visit our website.

Introducing … Michael Loftus

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Michael (left) in rehearsals with Matthew Hattersley

Michael plays Taylor in our upcoming production Boy On A Bed

Right so erm, yeah it now just a few days until we open ‘Boy on a Bed’ at the Lowry……..

WHAT!!!!! *runs and hides under the cover with a copy of the script and Stanislavsky to hand*

But no seriously, it’s surprising how quickly the show dates have actually rolled around. It feels like only yesterday we were in the audition room waiting anxiously as Alastair made us play games and improvise with scripts in order to decide who would be in the show. Suffice to say though the whole process has been a right hoot. If laughter is as they say the best medicine then all us cast and creatives must all be as fit as fiddles now.  We’ve all grown incredibly close as team, and like on any other show we all have our little in jokes which send us into fits of laughter (‘Caravaggio’ my fellow team mates will know what I’m on about with that one), but between all the tom foolery we have all been working exceptionally hard and it’s both exciting and nervous knowing we are going to be putting all our hard work in front of an audience to watch in just a matter of days’ time.

With any new acting role there are always new acting challenges to face and playing the part of Taylor has been no different. Part of the challenge with Taylor has been making sure I have the accent down (he’s American for those who don’t know), and although I have been taught how to do an American accent before whilst in training it’s still not how I speak naturally, so I have had to make I get it right. I’ve even worked on it to the point of talking in an American accent for a whole shift in my day to day job (and convincing a few customers along the way of my American heritage, at least they seemed convinced anyway). Along the way with developing character as well our director has played the odd game with us, one with myself involving chasing Adam around the stage for a whole scene, (we won’t be delivering any scenes like that I promise) and its games and experiments like that which are always interesting for us actors as they help us to discover purpose in scenes, which at times on just reading the play we may not have thought of. This experimentation doesn’t just happen at the start of the rehearsal process mind you, it’s something that is organic and keeps happening, even as late as last week for example with Taylor, we tried adding a new element and approach the character which we think works well and have decided to pursue (again avoiding spoilers there), and it’s all part of what makes the whole process so exciting and enriching for an actor. 

So as I leave you to return to my script, my Stanislavsky and my American accent practice I sincerely hope that you’ll be able to come along to the Lowry on Thursday and Friday (The 15th and 16th of May) and see all out hard work come to life. We are just so excited this end to get into the theatre and see every single element come together and form our world and story on stage.

Until opening night

Michael Loftus 🙂

 

To see the tour dates and book tickets for Boy On A Bed, visit our website.

Introducing … Matthew Hattersley

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Matthew in rehearsals

Matthew plays Benedict Weller in our upcoming production Boy On A Bed

As I write this it’s just 9 days to go before opening night of Boy On A Bed. It’s taken 6(ish) weeks, 4 Actors plus a Director, Stage Manager and Designer but we’re pretty much on track I think (I hope). No, we are, (we are!) its going well and to date has been an incredibly enjoyable experience.

I was first aware of the play via Facebook and after applying for the role of Benedict was invited to the audition open day, but due to a few issues I couldn’t attend. I did email to apologise though and enquired if there was any other auditions planned and was invited in the following Monday. I knew I was auditioning for Benedict, the part I felt was best fit for, but when the panel also asked me to read for Taylor I thought why not. Now, I had read the whole script before the audition (true fact) but in hindsight had perhaps only skim-read some sections. However, I felt I was answering honestly when, after my Estuary-English performance of Taylor I was asked whether I’d read the whole script. ‘Yes’ I replied, ‘I enjoyed it’ to which Alastair (Director) responded. ‘OK, well…you do know Taylor is…American?’ (Dramatic pause) ‘Yes’ I continued, uncertainly, clutching desperately for ideas ‘but…I just thought…I’d try it with a different spin?’ I think I got away with it, but regardless, when Gayle, the producer rang me a few days later to offer me the role of Benedict I was very pleased.

Playing a gay man is a challenge I haven’t faced before as a straight actor but I was certain I didn’t want to put any clichéd affectations on Benedict and have been pleased that Alastair by and large has agreed with me on this. Benedict is played without any thoughts to his sexuality from me – the words I feel are enough to carry any message needed and I feel this has worked well in my development of Benedict. He is an artist, pursuing his dream (and a playa) ultimately, regardless of his sexuality and I think this has been the best choice for me in developing the role. (His slightly laconic, slightly sarcastic, playful cockiness wasn’t much of a challenge though to people who know me…) Jokes aside though I have found working on Benedict an interesting challenge, one I am still enjoying working on and one I hope will be fully formed, exciting and multi-layered by opening night.

The rehearsal process up to now has been a generally fun and exciting experience with Alastair introducing little games and ideas to help us negotiate the text and our characters which have been very useful. I think as a cast we all get on really well and this has helped – especially as a lot of the scenes rely on an intimacy and comfortableness between the characters which is becoming more and more natural as we become closer as a unit. It was also good meeting the writer, Edwin a few weeks back, who was very complementary on the performances as we had them and helped to alleviate any issues we may have had with the script and development of roles.

We’ve still a long way to go before we open but with us now all off book (just about!) then the fun really begins as we can now experiment and play about with things, which is always an interesting and valuable element in a play’s creation – and come the 15th I’ve no doubt that we’ll have an extremely exciting piece of theatre on our hands. So come and see it.

To see the tour dates and book tickets for Boy On A Bed, visit our website.

Introducing … Emma Cliff in Broken

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We are now under 2 weeks off the first performance and rehearsals are going well so far and I’m very much enjoying the process! Playing Carla is really fun and, due to her spontaneity and love of life, I am able to test the boundaries and experiment during rehearsals. Every week another layer of the character comes to life by trying new ideas and just having a play!

To feel comfortable enough to experiment in the rehearsal room in this way is amazing and I have the other members of the cast to thank for that and we are a great support for one another.

One of the reasons I applied for Organised Chaos was to have this opportunity to work with a new play and playwright where you are not restricted by what other companies have done in the past with a more well known play.

I am both excited and apprehensive about the first performance but that is to be expected. Hope to see you there!

Emma

 

To see the tour dates and book tickets for Broken and A Lot of it About, visit our website.

Introducing … Una Lova in Broken

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Organised Chaos was a name that cropped up frequently as a producer of very interesting theatre, so when the opportunity came for me to audition I was there!

When I first read the script I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, however I really liked the theme and felt that was something I really related to – very topical and thought-provoking. Now that we’re deep in rehearsals, I’m loving the direction the play has taken, as well as my role of Helen.

I’m playing a psychiatrist who has, well… let’s just say she has her own issues. I don’t want to spoil the plot for our audience.

From an acting point of view it’s a very demanding role with no less than nine monologues. The first challenge was figuring out who I’m talking to, when!

I’m working very hard with Paul Anderton, our director, to make sure there’s lots of emotion and different levels within Helen’s journey throughout the story.

We had our first run through of the whole play with a full cast last Friday and it was very exciting to see what the others have been working on – things make sense on a whole new level now!

Helen’s character is really coming to life and each time I’m rehearsing, new and deeper meanings suddenly present themselves.

As my stage debut, it’s great to be able to invest time in developing the character and plot over the months and weeks leading up to the performance. Very different from what I’m used to when on camera.

I’m really looking forward to our performances live in front of you and others, so if you haven’t done it yet, go book your ticket right now.

Una

To see the tour dates and book tickets for Broken and A Lot of it About, visit our website.

Introducing … Karl Greenwood in Broken

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Hello everyone, Karl here!

This is my second time working for Organised Chaos, after playing the Role of ‘Clerk’ in a tour of Michael Hart’s ‘AfterWords’ in 2012. I had a fantastic time on the show, so much so in fact that I’m back for more in this years’ tour of Ella Greenhill’s Broken!

Playing ‘Clerk’ last year was a real pleasure. We got some great feedback from audiences, (including a lovely 4 star review from ‘What’s On Stage’) a Best New Writing award from the Buxton Fringe and I got the opportunity to work with some fantastic people, including our Director Phil Minns who I worked with again recently on ‘Me, as a Penguin’ at the Houldsworth Rep Theatre.

When I was 1st asked to read Ella’s script for ‘Broken’ I immediately wanted to be involved. I think it’s a really interesting way of exploring the issues surrounding mental illness, (& another great character to sink my teeth into!) The opportunity to perform at the Lowry and The Oldham Coliseum (and revisit some of the great venues from our last tour) was something I couldn’t pass up either!

I have worked as an actor for nearly 10 years now, spending a large part of my career in the West End and National Tours of Blood Brothers. However, when I moved back up to Manchester I almost felt like I was starting from square one again. Working with Organised Chaos has given me a great platform to showcase myself in the North West. I’m already really enjoying working on ‘Broken’ and can’t wait to hear what our audiences think of the show. Hope to see you all on tour!

All the very best,

Karl Greenwood

 

To see the tour dates and book tickets for Broken and A Lot of it About, visit our website.

A Lot of it About : Embrace the Chaos (Read Through)

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Finally, after weeks of waiting, and chatting on Facebook and tweeting about how excited we all were to be working with each other, the assembled cast of A Lot of It About are ready for a read through. Kind of. Unfortunately, Tracey Gabbitas (our Ann) couldn’t make it to the read through, however, that didn’t stop the rest of us getting this thing going, and although she was missed, we had to press on, in order to stay on some form of schedule.

It’s been a long old slog getting us to this point, due to issues with there not being the right people around for roles and availability of actors but finally we’re here

MONDAY
5.45pm
We’d had our instructions to go to the Adelphi building at Salford Uni and meet up with everyone. Alex Shepley (our illustrious leader/director) and I are friends from way back when and live literally just up the road from each other, and so are travelling in together. It’s a good job we’ve given ourselves a bit of extra time as obviously there’s just heaps of rush hour traffic and the Sat Nav is being rubbish and to top it all off it’s snowing (or at least that’s what Facebook and Twitter said).

6.20pm
We make it through the arctic tundra and massive snow drifts (only just mind…) and see the looming Adelphi in front of us. Right on cue, like something out of a well-choreographed film, we bump into Michael Whittaker (Younger Ben). Luckily, he seems to know where he’s going.

6.30pm
After a bit of a talking to from the Security Man about the guy being out of there before 9 and trying to make our way through the labrinyth that is the performance centre, we arrived at the room. We set out tables, but unfortunately a lot of people were running late because public transport had shut down in panic mode… Y’know… Because of all that snow. In some ways, it was kind of cool to have a bit of time to chat with Michael and John Clarke (Kev), who had by now turned up with tales of getting lost on some dodgy estate in Salford.

7.00pm
… Still waiting and chatting, but the wonderful Dan Thackery (producer), like a knight in shining hot beverage-y armour, bought me a hot chocolate. I think it was to shut me up more than anything, but still it was much appreciated

7.15pm
Hannah managed to make it through the blizzards, and was immediately bombarded with stuff without even a moment to defrost.

7.30ish
Brian (Ben) and Sanjay (Marek) fight their way through the panda-snow-nium and we get going. It’s amazing to hear it out loud and get a proper feel for the play. It’s so funny and light hearted where it needs to be, and moving and quite harrowing in other places. I know that’s vague, but often it’s difficult to get the levels right when dealing with such a serious subject matter, but the humour is pitched in such a good place.

9.00pm
The read through ends and we all leave, feeling ready for tomorrow’s first rehearsal. Alex has already made it clear that this rehearsal schedule will be difficult because of everyone’s availability. Already, it’s taken the A Lot of It About crew a little bit longer to get together than our Broken counterparts, but looking at Alex’s little computer it’s easy to see why. I know that actors often have a reputation of not really doing very much, but this group of people seem to be some of the most hardworking people in the industry. Everyone has projects, and other little jobs, and rehearsals and whilst it might be an inconvenience for us, it’s brilliant to hear of people’s successes outside of this play.

9.30pm
Home and bed time.

Overall, really, there’s been a bit of a chaotic feel to this evening, but that is in no way a criticism. I love the laidback and fun attitude there is surrounding this. It’s unregimented and fluid and that is liberating is so many ways. Often I’ve said that I’m not really sure how “The Fringe” as an entity functions, but I feel this is a prime example of how and why it works; it’s just a group of lovely people pulling together to put on a great piece of theatre for audiences and actors to enjoy simultaneously.

Katy

 

To see the tour dates and book tickets for Broken and A Lot of it About, visit our website.

Introducing Ben Jewell – The Clerk – AfterWords

Ben plays The Clerk for AfterWords – he joined us after answering an open call.

He was asked to write something about why he wanted to get involved with us and our production of AfterWords and his experience so far.

Hey folks, Ben here.

So last night was opening night. After months of preparation, it’s a real pleasure putting the show in front of a live audience.

My character, the Clerk, is a joy to play. He’s a bit of a jobsworth, but with a softer side. Think Saint Peter waiting at the pearly gates, only more annoying. Lots of delightful lines from Michael, the writer. I also get to eat on stage, and even wheel out my (rusty) Tom Jones impression.

The audience seemed very receptive, and gave lots of positive feedback. In particular, people really love the concept of the show, the nature of the afterlife and what it suggests about our lives (again, kudos to the writer).

At this point, there’s a wonderful sense of reassurance. As show week approaches, everyone has moments of doubt, but these are fast fading. We’ve put it on stage, we know it works, and we know people like it. Hope you do too, if you make it down!

Introducing Adam Lowe – Andrew – AfterWords

Adam plays Andrew for AfterWords – he joined us after answering an open call.

He was asked to write something about why he wanted to get involved with us and our production of AfterWords and his experience so far.

As an actor in Manchester there is a tick-box list of local groups and companies everyone aims to work with at some point, Organised Chaos being one of them – so it’s great to finally get a chance to join the OC hall of fame.

In After Words I play Andrew, who is (not quite) patiently sitting in the afterlife waiting room, desperate for his number to be called, waiting his turn to… well he hasn’t thought that far ahead, but they better bloody well hurry up anyway!

With Andrew I’m getting the rare opportunity to be the comic relief of the piece, being something of an emotional bookendin the process. At the mercy of the Clerk’s mind games,Andrew contemplates eternity chained to a kindle or sat in front of the TV while he crosses his finger that his Mrs will pops her clogs before her time to end his waiting. Its been a real treat working with our Director Natasha Stott and my good friend Ben Jewell, playing the Clerk, to bring out the comedy to be found in Andrew’s endless monotony and limitless boredom.

The cast and crew have gelled really well and everyone adds something to the mix – that’s the privilege of the job of an Actor I think: working with dedicated, invested individuals who take what they do seriously and having loads of fun in the process. Its also nice to be able to turn up for work and spend most of your time laughing.

As you probably know, it’s show week and everything is coming together nicely. There is an air of confidence in the company that I’m sure will translate into a really great piece of work and maintain the high standard Organised Chaos is known for. So, bring your friends!

Introducing Laura Lindsay – Julie – AfterWords

Laura plays Julie in AfterWords – she joined us after answering an open casting call though joins us again having played Casey in our production of All Because Of Molly last year.

She was asked to write something about why she wanted to get involved with us and our production of AfterWords and her experience so far.

Hello OC Bloggers! Is that what you’re called? – I don’t know, I was just trying to be hip and down with the kids. But I am not cool. I am too old to be young and cool. So I will stop.

However, those kind of shenanigans are quite apt for this production – I play Julie – who is 71, but is reincarnated in the afterlife as a 27 year old. The chronology of the piece has been a bit mind-bending in rehearsals, but we’ve enjoyed exploring how relative age and the passage of time alters relationships.

I love this play, I think it is really clever and thought provoking. Julie is a great part and I feel really privileged to be playing her. I’m loving working with the rest of the cast and the director to bring the story to life. We’ve had some really interesting and philosophical discussions in rehearsals about the issues this play deals with. It deals with the very basis of humanity and existence. No really it does. Come watch it, you’ll see!