Category Archives: Production: Boy On A Bed

Boy On A Bed – behind the scenes featurette

Thinking about coming to see our show at The Lowry? Have you seen the behind the schenes featurette for Boy On A Bed. Take a look…

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

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.

Boy On A Bed Trailer

Thinking about coming to see our show at The Lowry? Have you seen the trailer for Boy On A Bed. Take a look…

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 … Jessy Cornips

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The model set design for Boy On A Bed

Jessy is the designer of our upcoming production Boy On A Bed

Not that long to go now, till the opening of  “Boy on a Bed”.

I’m the set designer of the show. I’m currently doing a Foundation Degree in Film & TV Production, so with an interest in Production Design I was having a look online for some work experience. A friend told me about this web page “stage jobs pro”, where you can find a wide range of different work placements. That’s where I saw this role for a set designer and from there got in touch with Gayle (Organised Chaos Productions).

As the set designer I have been collaborating with the Director, in this case Alastair to create “The World of the Play”, by turning the design into a stage reality.

Our aim is to fully immerse the viewer in the production.

I’ve learnt a lot throughout the past six weeks, we have changed the set design quite a few times but with there not being scenes and all the dialogue being continuous and based in four different locations, when sketching plans and creating models for the set design we have had to be aware of all that.

The final set design we have created, is quite simple, (using minimalistic props) but it really works well for the story behind “Boy On A Bed”.

Overall it’s been an enjoyable experience. The actors are all progressing really well, throughout the weeks of rehearsals. It will be a great play to watch, there will be love, laughter, a bit of betrayal, but overall it will be an interesting play to come and see.

 

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

Boy On A Bed – Five Reasons to see…

Boy On A Bed will open at The Lowry 15-16 May before embarking on a North West tour in the autumn. Here are our five reasons to see:

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1- Pick of the best

Last year we ran a script call for scripts never seen before on stage and from the many scripts we received Boy On A Bed was the one chosen:

Adam likes running. He sprints through snow, heat, gales and rain. One day when he gets soaked by a passing bus Stella offers him a towel.  Stella likes beauty. She is training to be an architect. Instantly attracted to each other they make plans to move in together.  Benedict likes sitting around and smoking. He is a painter hoping for a lucky break. As Adam runs by Benedict sketches him.  When he persuades Adam to sit for a painting, the result is a picture that leaves its mark on all of them for the rest of their lives.

2- New and Emerging Talent

Organised Chaos is all about showcasing some of the amazing new and emerging talent in the Northwest – this show does exactly that with some great characters to be portrayed. The cast includes Adam Carroll-Armstrong “Adam”, Matthew Hattersley “Benedict”, Lily Shepherd “Stella” and Michael Loftus “Taylor”. Behind the scenes we have the writer Edwin Preece, the director Alastair Zyggu, stage manager Lauren Halsall and designer Jessy Cornips.

3- Organised Chaos

Following a number of top reviews and sell out shows this production will be Organised Chaos’ thirteenth since we started in 2009 – during this time we have showcased a lot of new talent to Northwest audiences – actors, writers, directors, designers to name a few of the roles involved in making a show a reality. In 2012 our production of AfterWords won Best New Writing at The Buxton Fringe Festival.

4- Award winning writer

The writer, Edwin Preece, won the Joy Gonn award for best play in the Arundel Theatre Trail with his one act play Triptych in 2013.

5- Arts Council

This show is our third to be supported by the Arts Council through National Lottery funding. To be recognised by the Arts Council for our achievements in supporting some of the great new and emerging talent is great news for us. It’s fantastic that we’re able to better financially support the debut of this fantastic new play and the talent involved.

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

Boy On A Bed video featurette

Thinking about coming to see our show at The Lowry? Have you seen the featurette for Boy On A Bed. Take a look…

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 … Alastair Zyggu

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Alastair in rehearsals with Matthew Hattersley, Adam Carroll-Armstrong and Michael Loftus

Alastair is the director of our upcoming show Boy On A Bed

So, with now only one week to go before curtain up, I feel it is about time I should share a few thoughts and experiences with the wider world.  And if any of you ever thought that directing is easy, then let me tell you, you are completely wrong. This play has been a huge challenge in many ways for me, and as the cast are now nearing the stage in rehearsal known as despond… that moment when we all feel that we have given all we can to the play… it’s ready… we can perform it…do we really have to do another run through? another rehearsal?….. this is when the director is at his most vulnerable. He knows the play is not performance-ready yet, there is so much he wants to inject into the play…. but how? with tired and unreceptive actors?…. well, I do have a few tricks left up my sleeve, and we do have a wonderful video of a manatee banging it’s head against a glass wall to amuse us when all else fails!!

But let me dispel your thoughts that it is all doom and gloom… far from it. The rehearsal process so far has been very enjoyable… and to watch the four young actors take on challenging and difficult roles and grow with them has been very rewarding indeed. It has been quite a long process…. but that is quite normal within Fringe Theatre; having to accommodate jobs and other commitments. It is a rather frustrating thing to have disjointed rehearsals and generally I am not an advocate of evening rehearsals either, but needs must, as the saying goes. However we have been extremely fortunate to have had a centrally located rehearsal venue and to have had the same venue throughout the rehearsal period.

At this time I take my hat off to 6 people.  First time should be to the writer of the piece, Edwin Preece, who has pitched his tent way down south in uncharted territory; but made the journey up to Manchester one Sunday to see a rehearsal and travelled back home the same day!  Good on you, mate… as they say locally!

Second, to the four cast members who have to at every rehearsal put up with my indecision and inarticulacy!! Fortunately they know me now, and just ignore me!! And finally to the young lady who has been so far of invaluable help, but has a job which rarely receives any attention let alone praise….. Lauren, who is basically doing three jobs in one right now… ASM, DSM and SM!!  Of course there are others but this is MY blog and so I shall let these unspoken of and unsung tell their own stories, and I shall get on with mine!

Some people have asked me…. what drew me to direct this play? Why this play in particular? …. and the answer is, if I am completely honest, threefold.  One, I wanted to direct a play …  not a farce, not a tragedy, not a Musical, not something that could easily be pigeonholed and therefore allow for pre-expectations on the part of the audience …. something new and something with no “label”……, and so, after reading Boy On A Bed, I knew that I had found such a play.  Two, I wanted to be challenged and stretched as a director. And again, after reading this play, I knew that this would be so. And thirdly, since I am wanting to promote myself too, (that is the nature of the beast), what better vehicle than to be directing for a well-respected and award-winning production company and having the play performed at one of the UK’s premier theatres!!… so, yes, even directors are entitled to be egoists every now and then!!

The play itself is through-written. This means there are no scenes, and all the dialogue is continuous, but takes place in four different locations, sometimes simultaneously.  There is music, laughter, love, sex, partial nudity, anger, hatred, betrayal, and of course quite a bit of running, painting and sketching going on too.  So, really nothing more than your average Saturday afternoon stroll in the park!

The other thing that I have been asked is, “But it’s a gay play; and you’re not gay. How does that work?” And of course to these people, I have to answer quite honestly that of course it matters not one jot what a director’s sexuality is. The play’s the thing!! I happen to like the play, and that’s all that matters, and as for the actors…. well, they are actors! It is their job to pretend to be different characters. That’s what they do; so again does it matter?.. of course not.  And if any are still unsure about this, then I suggest you come along and see for yourselves next week to make your own decision!

 

What is a director?

Well, for a start he is not a director. That is a complete misnomer. In fact, the English language is a little strange that way, since a conductor doesn’t conduct either!!  Anyway, I digress. The main and most important aim of a director is to oversee, facilitate and manage many disparate thoughts, ideas, personalities, designs and aims and to bring them all together in one cohesive and fluid whole; whilst at the same time being true to the author’s original intent and  making the whole understandable and entertaining with characters that truly live and can keep an audience watching them for the duration of the performance.  A rather convoluted explanation, and I am sure there have been better, but that’s basically it!! Naturally he also wants to bring his own ideas to bear, and put his “stamp” on the production; and so do the other members of the creative team… set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, sound technician, Musical Director, Choreographer, Fight Arranger, Dialect Coach, etc etc etc….. not to mention the fact that all these people including the director are all responsible to the Producer.  A usually unseen presence and driving force of the company, there to make sure everything happens when and how it is supposed to happen; and to be the someone who has the final word in times of dispute.

 

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