Tag Archives: broken & a lot of it about

Broken & A Lot of it About Video Featurettes

Thinking about coming to see our shows in Liverpool tonight? Have you seen the featurettes for Broken & A Lot of it About? Take a look…


A Lot of it About


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

Read reviews of the shows here.

Reviews : Broken & A Lot of it About


We’re well into our North West tour now, having visited Salford’s The Lowry and the Square Chapel, Halifax, moving onto Liverpool’s Lantern Theatre later this week. After a slightly scary start with one of the main actors, Brian Gorman, falling ill just before the shows opened at The Lowry, the tour has gone from strength to strength.


“Writer Ella Carmen Greenhill goes to a lot of trouble to build a credible background to the story of one damaged individual trying to heal another.” – David Cunningham, thepublicreviews

“Central to the play is Hannah Keeley’s commanding performance as May. Endearing and bouncy, her portrayal is at its strongest when the story delves into memories of her trauma and she threatens to drown within these dark memories. A scene between her and Greenwood on a waltzer is particularly effective.” – The Fiction Stroker

A Lot of it About

“With its quick and witty script, A lot of It About is a thoughtful piece of theatre. (4*)” – Joanna Ing, whatsonstage

“The humour that sometimes permeates plays dealing with homosexuality as a topic can feel very forced, but here it flows naturally. Director Alex Shepley juggles this humour and drama and coaxes strong performances to produce an affecting story that builds towards a conclusion that for once is laden with hope. Thoroughly recommended.”The Fiction Stroker

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s come to see the shows so far, and a particular thank you to the reviewers for your feedback. If you haven’t seen BrokenA Lot of it About yet, you’ve still got time to catch us at the Lantern Theatre in Liverpool (10-11 May), Oldham Coliseum (14 May) and the Pavilion Arts Centre in Buxton (8 June).


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

A Lot of it About : Gorm-less


So, I’ve just got in from our final night at The Lowry and oh my goodness what a run it has been here.

For those who haven’t heard our Older Ben (Brian GORMan, hence the very clever title) was struck down with a particularly nasty case of sciatica earlier in the week, which mean twe had to recast THREE DAYS before we opened! Cue our knight in hot beverage-y armour Daniel Thackeray (or Dan Thacker-Lad as he has been affectionately christened).

Without a word of exaggeration here, Dan saved the show. After tears, tantrums and a hell of a lot of coffee and hours of chatting, Dan stepped up to the plate in a big way, and by big I mean humongous and by humongous I mean… Well… Bigger than that. The man learned his lines overnight, and learned his moves in a day, ran it all once (in all fairness it was the entire cast’s first run too) and went on the following night. It would be fair to say that we were flying by the seat of our pants; Pre-show nerves took on a whole new meaning, and after a less than perfect tech we were on.

You can imagine our shock when 4 and 5 star reviews started coming in. It would appear this production is one of those things that holds new twist and turns round every corner, and I’m not even talking about the plot. I can only hope we are as well received everywhere and pray that the Theatre Gods recognise our struggle and bless us with engaged audiences, seamless technical rehearsal and the good health of everyone involved.

It has been wonderful opening at The Lowry and I am proud to call this show ours now. It was looking dodgy this time last week, but it’s fair to say we’ve all pulled it off, director, producers, costume, crew, stage management and the wonderful staff at The Lowry alike.

Also, can I just say how flipping lovely it is to finally be a team all together with the Broken lot. Our show is dominated by the menfolk (sans Tracy and I), so it’s ace to have a few more females about the place.  The sad fact is, I still haven’t managed to see Broken as sitting in the dark for an hour before I go on wouldn’t help my nerves or my ever flaky vocal chords, so I just have to wait until we’re on first to see it. Really looking forward to it though, it sounds ace on the Show Relay.

So, it’s with a heavy heart we wave goodbye to Salford, and say hello to Halifax. I’ll miss warming up looking over the Quays, having lights all round my dressing room mirror and singing a Kyrie Eleison in a bathroom with a beautiful acoustic (It’s part of my warm up, daaaahling).

Till next time, folks.


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

Introducing … Kathryn Allan


Hi everyone, Kat here. I’m the designer for Broken and A lot of it About for Organised Chaos Productions.

I have only just recently graduated from LIPA, summer 2012, so am very excited and lucky to have been chosen to be part of this great theatre company!

I’m really enjoying it so far. I have done some smaller tours previously, one with a puppet show that I designed and made, and another most recently with the brand new Theatre Company The Lion Tamers, on their show “In Pursuit of Oblivion” by Robert Pegg. So I wanted to expand my knowledge of touring productions and how different theatre companies work. I love the problem solving and logical thinking that’s involved.

It has been a great opportunity to design both the shows, and a great challenge to think how we could possibly use the same items. So far, I have been visiting rehearsals, gathering costumes and props for the performances, and this weekend have started building the set, which is very exciting seeing it all come together!

I can’t wait to see them both together at the dress rehearsal on Tuesday evening, and for the opening night at the Lowry on Thursday.

Hope you can all make it, and that you enjoy the shows!



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

Introducing … Alex Shepley


Hello. Today, the writer (Ned Hopkins aka Raymond) came to visit for today’s rehearsal. I had hoped to get him there on a day when all the cast were available, however, due to the ongoing availability saga, (don’t ask) it just wasn’t meant to be.

Up until this point, we had been working on the assumptions that the actors and I had made in the rehearsal room. Obviously, with traditional texts from established playwrights, you never get the luxury of having the writer in the room (unless you are very lucky, or are some form of spirit medium).

Having Raymond in the room gave not only me, but also the cast, the chance to ask him those important questions which we were still debating. There are two ways of looking at this. The first can be a little bit negative. When the writer has given a definitive answer, there’s no room for play left. Obviously, how the actor responds to what has been said will be different, and there’s a level of flexibility there, but mainly, once it’s been answered, that’s it, done.

However, the way I choose to look at it is that any information a writer gives can only give much more of a foundation for a character. Raymond was so generous in his responses and he handled it perfectly. He debated and questioned and gave his own input, but made it clear it was up to the actors to bring it to life in their own way.

For me, as a director, it was liberating to have him there. Before today, I had been emailing Raymond with questions from the cast and myself each evening , so it was great to have that interaction and conversation face to face.

Also, it has to be said, that he is just the loveliest, most supportive man you could ever wish to meet. When he wished us all the best, he genuinely meant it and he is as emotionally invested in this piece as we are, despite him not being here every day.

It was a pleasure to have him up for the day, and I can’t wait for him to see what we have done at the dress rehearsal.




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

Introducing … Emma Cliff in Broken


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!



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

A Lot of it About : Chairs, Cues and Looming deadlines


Today, Alex started by sitting us all in a line of chairs at the back of the stage and trying to make it so we don’t ever have to leave the stage. This really works within the idea we have of making the “memory” sections of the play feel really stylised in comparison to the more realistic elements (the prologue and epilogue).

I’ve worked with Alex many times before, and foolishly, I had a moment of doubt that it wouldn’t work with costume placement and the faff of everybody moving round. However, after putting a rough shape on it, it’s starting to look like a play rather than a series of scenes one after the other. For the first time, I can see Alex’s vision really taking shape, and that is always one of the most exciting bits for me.

In addition, I’ve been doing a lot of work during rehearsals (when I haven’t been needed on stage) to get the plays mentioned on Twitter, radio, Facebook and every other media platform I can think of using the hashtag #OCNW. So far, due to emailing people and tweeting, I’ve managed to get us retweeted by the Buxton Fringe festival, mentioned on BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Manchester, Manchester Radio Online, by some London people- even my lecturer in Staffordshire has some interest in it. It’s kind of like a game I’m playing, with no winners or losers, and the aim is to get it mentioned as much as possible by as many people as I can. Admittedly, it’s not the greatest game in the world, but I figured if everyone approached marketing in the way I did, it would be a lot more fun.

On Tuesday, Alex made a statement. It went like this:

“Oh my God. The show is next week.”

Now, I am ashamed to admit that I laughed when she said this. Mocked her almost. However, I can now admit that I also hadn’t realised how close the show was. This realisation, whilst being absolutely terrifying on so many levels, has really given an edge to this week’s rehearsals. We’re having a very intensive week and so far, the rehearsals are the best they have been yet. I reached a level in a scene with Mike (Young Ben) yesterday that gave the scene an entire new feeling and that is exciting. It shows that even at this late stage in the game we’re still growing this show, and I think that will continue the way through our run.

And I hope we do carry on in this vein.  There’s a show in here somewhere, underneath the availability saga and half-a-building-site rehearsal rooms, and now, for the first time, it’s all very real.


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

Introducing … Una Lova in Broken


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.


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

Introducing … Karl Greenwood in Broken


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 : It’s Tracy Day!


We have been at this for a couple of days now and naturally, there’s a need and want to dig deeper into our characters, which is just ace. One of my favourite things in a rehearsal room are what I deem “The Big Questions”, i.e. the things that everyone wants to ask, but have been a bit too scared or nervous to fully explore yet.

Today’s rehearsal started off with a discussion surrounding the phrase “roll my own” and what that might mean within the context of what Ben and Ann are saying to each other. There was a moment when everyone attempted to be delicate, however, half way through Tracy (who joined us today for the first time in a rehearsal room due to the ongoing availability saga) confidently stated that it could be about “masturbation”. And that in essence is just one of the great things about this group of people. There’s no buffer zone or awkwardness surrounding these often quite difficult topics, instead it’s just said like it is and everyone accepts it.

It’s been a bit of a funny day really. A lot of waiting around for people to be ready, but no one’s at fault really. More of a problem with everyone being busy, but I feel this will be an on going problem. For now, while we’re waiting, it gives me some time to sit at a computer and type out my inner most ramblings.


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