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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Perspective: Branching Out

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Phew, these last few weeks have felt extraordinarily busy. Even as I speak, I'm writing from the midst of a mad week of travel, theatre*, and seeing old friends.

I recently applied to become a reviewer of Exeter's Ignite Theatre Festival. Some of you may know that I am involved with a playwright and director, and I have been roped into fundraising, marketing, and even teching shows for him in the past.

In another life I was a little drama queen (hard to believe, I know). I had the leading role of Joseph in my primary school's production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (there's a video somewhere). I even played Ariel in my secondary school production of The Tempest (one of my favourite Shakespeare plays). That said, my efforts have always been tempered by severe nerves at auditions (I actually met my partner at an audition for a play he was directing. I wasn't cast...)

These days I just enjoy experiencing theatre in its many forms.

I feel really pleased to be a part of Ignite. As a team, we have been briefed by review guru, writer, and editor Belinda Dillon, who is leading the way to create a community of constructive criticism for performers and companies in the South West.

Knowing little about the six shows (yes, six!) I'm reviewing (in four days), I'm enjoying the experience of showing up and being inspired. There are many weird and wonderful acts as part of this week's festival, some of which I'm lucky enough to be seeing. And the weather provides the perfect environment for sitting outdoors between shows and writing...

Watch out for my reviews, published here next week, as I make my first steps towards reviewing performance.

*I was in Greenwich this weekend, during which time I saw a stage adaptation of Orwell's 1984 at the Greenwich Theatre (sadly, the performers let down what was otherwise a true-to-the-book adaptation), and the fantastic new writing night LineUpThree from Vertical Line Theatre. Adam's play, Suffering in Sirens was performed in extract, and I spent most of the evening in a state of excitement and pride.

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