Bring it on, 2018!

Happy New Year!

From my last post to now, I have had quite the ride! I had a brilliant summer working with Bard in the Botanics, appearing as Apemantus and the Senator in Timon of Athens, and as Goneril in Queen Lear. I had the bonus this season of also staging all of the action for the four plays in rep, meaning working on Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure as well. One indoor and one outdoor show on my performance schedule made for an appreciation of the dry days in a Glasgow summer for sure.

Goneril

As soon as rehearsals for the final shows ended with Bard, I was into rehearsal with Calvinball for Ipdip Theatre. I directed this fun and engaging interactive show for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and it went on to sell over 2000 tickets and pick up numerous **** reviews.

 Apemantus in  Timon of Athens   (photo cred Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

Apemantus in Timon of Athens  (photo cred Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

 Goneril in  Queen Lear  (photo cred. Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

Goneril in Queen Lear (photo cred. Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

Zinnie Harris' The Oresteia Trilogy was remounted for the International Festival, and it was bloody brilliant to dive back into the epic mess with the cast. After a run at the Royal Lyceum Theatre it returned to Glasgow for two weeks.

August: Osage County was Andrew Panton's first production as new Artistic Director of Dundee Rep. I had the real privilege of coming in to work on the violence with this fantastic company. (In this video Andrew speaks about the show and there is footage of myself in rehearsal with the cast)

At this point, life kicked off in all sorts of directions. I moved my mailing address to Toronto, which is where I am living these days. I want to be working internationally, and in order to do so need to be making connections in the new scene. It has been positive for sure. I have signed with Butler Ruston Bell, who have been massively positive and supportive, getting me out on auditions all the time. I booked and shot a commercial in October and have a couple things in the pipeline coming up in the next month or two. 

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I flew back to Scotland briefly to work on Cockpit with Wils Wilson at The Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. This politically charged site specific piece had actors climbing the walls, sliding down ropes and shooting guns in the auditorium as well as on stage. A massively talented cast to work with.

It has been a rare opportunity to work with three large cast shows. With budgets decreasing and funding being cut all over, getting to see more that 2 or 3 bodies on stage at a time is rare. At the three largest theatres in Scotland, I had the privilege to work with the top actors in the country.

So bring it on, 2018. I'm ready for you.

It's been a while, and what a while it has been...

When you are too busy to sit down and reflect, it is often a blessing. I have had a very exciting and hugely fortunate time since my last update on this site. 

becoming

by Kathy McKean

I started Shiny Productions with Jennifer Dick and we produced a performed development of the amazing one woman show becoming, written by the immensely talented Kathy McKean. We brought together a stellar team (Giggy Woo designed and created this costume, Sally Simpson provided the most haunting soundscape, Ruth Mills was brilliant as our movement advisor) and with the aid of Platform were able to start this journey rolling.

In August 2016 I went to Toronto for the first ever World Stage Combat Workshop. I spent 3 and a half weeks training, learning, growing, sparring, and laughing with some of the most talented and incredible people from around the world. This experience would not have been possible without support from Creative Scotland.

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The beginning of November had me away in a castle in Fife, playing the role of Horatio, and also choreographing sword fights for Haevn or Hele, an adaptation of Hamlet for Bards Pub Productions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the new year period, I travelled to a second home of mine to attend and intern at The Paddy Crean International Workshop. I first attended in 2008/2009 and can genuinely say it changed my life. It was an honour to intern this year, celebrating some of the greats in the industry with expertise in stage combat, stunts, motion capture, HEMA, and all the newest and most exciting forms that are coming up. 

Hands down the most thrilling part was to be invited onto the panel for the final night discussion: Where are we going from here. To be part of this incredible group of voices, some of my mentors and the people I can't wait to learn from again, was so humbling and overwhelming.

The beginning of 2017 had me becoming a professional zombie killer. I was the fight arranger on Anna and the Apocalypse, a film now in the final stages of post production with Blazing Griffin. A wild 5 weeks of filming with an insanely talented group of people, there will never be anything like this experience ever again. I also had my first stunt double turn, which was surreal to say the least.

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A handful of choreography gigs, and a stint Fight Arranging on Beats (Sixteen Films) bring us up to now. I am delighted to be performing with Bard in the Botanics again, this time as part of their "These Headstrong Women" Season. Timon of Athens has just opened and runs until July 8, while Queen Lear rehearsals are underway. I am also choreographing the action for this exciting adaptation.

That nearly catches me up with all the comings and goings... stay tuned, though... 

This summer is going to be a doozy!

Two shows, one brilliant theatre building...

I'm currently getting to work with some terrific people on some wonderfully rough shows. I've come on as Fight Director for Dance of Death, directed by Candice Edmunds for the Citizen's Theatre, and This Restless House, a trilogy of the Greek Oresteia tragedy adapted by Zinnie Harris and produced by the Citizen's Theatre and The National Theatre of Scotland.

 starring Lucianne McEvoy, Tam Dean Burns and Andy Clark (not pictured)

starring Lucianne McEvoy, Tam Dean Burns and Andy Clark (not pictured)

Dance of Death is a Strindberg adaptation, full of tension between the married Captain and Alice. They are trapped, both by their location and their own doing, and it has been a great experience getting messy and gritty with these very talented actors. I love any chance I get to work with Candice Edmunds, and this is no exception.

This Restless House comes in three parts.  Part 1: Agamemnon's Return; Part 2: The Bough Breaks; and Part 3: Electra and her Shadow. On so many levels, this has been a thrill to work on. This has been my first opportunity to work with Zinnie Harris, acclaimed playwright, and her adaptation is very exciting. For any fight director, Greek tragedy comes with plenty of epic violence. Tongues cut out, throats cut, bellies sliced, all with blood to go with it. But the only way the work can be successful is with a company committed to bringing it to life. TRH has gifted me the chance to work with a handful of actors I've met before: George Anton (Titus Andronicus), Keith Flemming and Lorn Macdonald (Macbeth), and the always exciting Itxaso Moreno. The ensemble is rounded out by the incredibly talented Pauline Knowles and Anita Vettesse, two actresses I am delighted to be in a room with, as well as Adam Best, George Costigan, Cliff Burnett and Olivia Morgan. 

And the added bonus is getting to work with Emily-Jane Boyle, an immensely talented Movement Director whose choreography blows me away. EJ and I first met on Ben Hur Live and I always relish the chance to work with her.

Within these two shows, family relations and marriages are not particularly shown in a great light. But they are epic and engaging pieces of theatre. I'm proud to have been a part of them.

An "Echo" from awhile ago

I found a little blink back in time this week. A note of the very first film auditions I ever had. It led me to working with incredible writer and director Cara Mumford, someone filled with vision and passion. I hope one day to work with her again. 

Cara spoke in poetry. I remember quite a few afternoons curled up on her sofa, being eyed by her cat, and hearing stories about her incredible family. As a Metis filmmaker in Canada, I can only imagine the stories she has added to her collection since then.

I first encountered her in a room in a collection of film buildings, after taking two buses and getting lost on the grounds. There wasn't much light in the room, and there was no camera. But she saw me. And I'm grateful for that.

This is the blog post here wherein she writes her side of our meeting.  And a trailer for a later film that we worked on here, especially good for those of you who like surrealist film noire. 

I then voiced a short film for her which you can watch below.

Amazing how long ago 2009 was...     Check out more from Cara here.

And another thing

I've had a very fortunate and busy beginning to the year. Which is why it has taken me awhile to get to posting about it all. With my Fight Directing projects being included in other posts, I'll update my performance adventures. 

 Citizen in T he Problem With Money  (photo cred Thomas Morgan)

Citizen in The Problem With Money (photo cred Thomas Morgan)

I had the exceptional opportunity to work on a piece of new writing by the incomparable Jannette Foggo. This piece titled The Berwick Tapestry is inspired by the true events of three neglected heroines of Scottish history. I had the pleasure of working alongside some great Scottish talent, and an excerpt was shared at the Tron theatre for Moon Country Nights. I performed with Gaylie Runciman and Hazel Ann Crawford.

In January I was part of Lyre Productions short filmThe Problem With Money. A great experience working with the incredibly talented cast - Elspeth Turner, John P Arnold, Tyler Collins and under director Tim Barrow. A very professional team and I look forward to seeing the footage.

This spring has brought another tour of Little Princess Goldtree. After a successful tour with the Puppet Animation Festival last year, Alison Monaghan of Yugen Puppet Company and I hit the road with the show again. We reached Ardfern on the edge of Craignish, down to Bowhill Theatre near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, and much of in between! It truly is a lovely way to see Scotland, especially when the sun shines.

In April I was invited to be part of a professional rehearsed reading of The Love of the Nightingale with Dundee Rep Theatre. Directed by Philip Howard, I joined the cast of Titus Andronicus in a single performance, script-in-hand, of this stunning modern classic commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Love of the Nightingale is a re-telling of the Ancient Greek myth of Philomele, the same story that Shakespeare used as his model for Titus.

 photo credit  Natalia Poniatowska

photo credit Natalia Poniatowska

As April closed, I was part of an exciting new theatre night called Wee Theaters Glasgow. A monthly event hosted at Sloan's Bar and Restaurant in Glasgow's city centre, each monthly event sees 3 different shows in 3 different timeslots. Functioning a bit like theatre tapas, it was an exciting chance for me to work with three RSAMD MACCT grads. Written and directed by Marcus Roche, Killed With Kindness was an intense performance about the power of fame and the desire to live forever. It was a real pleasure to perform along side Alex Fthenakis and Francois Menard-Noens.

 photo credit  Natalia Poniatowska

photo credit Natalia Poniatowska

As May has arrived, hopefully the sun will as well. Looking ahead, I'm pleased to have the chance to play with Calvinball again. We've got a mini tour coming up in June, taking our game across Scotland, hoping we can find the rules! 

I'm also thrilled to be getting to develop a show for this summer's Fringe Festival with Ipdip Theatre. Watch this space for more notes about Annonymouse; curious and sweet, this play is a love letter to living moment to moment.

 photo credit  Natalia Poniatowskaph

photo credit Natalia Poniatowskaph

And with this summer, I will be getting to tread the boards (more specifically the stones of the Kibble Palace) with Bard in the Botanics and their Unlikely Wonders Season. In their cut of the rarely produced Richard II, I will be playing the role of Bolingbroke. And I just can't wait!

West Side Story

The beginning of my year involved working with the final year Musical Theatre Students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I had the privilege of working along side a fantastic creative team in the building of this show.

Creative Team:

Andrew Panton - Director

EJ Boyle - Choreographer

Simon Beck - Musical Director  

Kenneth MacLeod - Designer      

Robbie Butler - Lighting Designer

EmmaClaire Brightlyn - Fight Director

Back at it!

So a brief recap to get you caught up. Calvinball at the Edinburgh Fringe went really well. We played and danced and laughed, and EVERYBODY won!! We had mum's with children who "never engage" being caught up in all of the play, and dad's laughing just as much as the wee ones they were with. It was a rewarding experience all around and such a treat even on less-than-perfect-weather days to have our audiences leave with big smiles. There were a handful of season programmers from around the UK who took a shine to the show as well, so hopefully we'll get to bring out the toys and the team colours again soon!

At the end of August I took off to Canada for a few weeks. In the middle of the trip I had the great opportunity to go into Gilbert Paterson Middle School in Lethbridge, Alberta and work with some of the students. I was a guest artist for the week, teaching introduction to stage combat and a found weapons class as well. We had an amazing number of supersonic pens and a pair of shoes that would make your opponent dance uncontrollably so you could get away. Kids are awesome!

Upon my return to Glasgow I jumped right into rehearsals for UNSUB's production of Medea. Directed by Jennifer Dick, it is the company's first production and it is quite exciting to be a part of. I am playing the role of Coryphaeus, head of the Chorus in this adaptation. It is a great group of actors to be working with. We have danced with the idea of making it a razzle-dazzle musical, tentatively titled "Oh My Zeus!! It's all Greek to me!", however the story just didn't feel honest in that format. (all of that is meant to be a joke. There will be no tap numbers or feathers.) It runs Nov 4 - 6 at Webster's Theatre. Book your tickets from The Cottiers box office.

http://www.cottiers.com/events/medea-2014-11-04/



I've been keeping my hand in all things action, staging some action for White Stag and their double bill of Tomas and Fantom, and Untitled Projects remount of Slope. All of these productions are coming to the Citizens Theatre over the next 2 weeks.


All busy times, and more to come. I taught a workshop for 15 - 17 year olds at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in October. An excellent group of young people who did really well over the two days of intense learning. I'll be back at the Conservatoire teaching a workshop for adults Nov 15 and 16. Check out the link for more.

http://www.rcs.ac.uk/shortcourses/stage-combat-adults/



Summertime, and the livin' is busy!


Without realizing it, a few months have passed since my last post. During that time I've had a lot of exciting things on the go. I had the excellent opportunity to work with the final year BA Acting students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as Fight Director on their production of Festen. Receiving fantastic reviews, the show sold out at the Tron in Glasgow, before heading to London for a short run at the Cockpit theatre. The students were top notch and I look forward to seeing all that they go on to do.

In June I teamed up with director Alasdair Hunter once again. It's a real thrill to develop creative  relationships that gel so well. This time it was for Hamlet, a co-production between Alasdair's company Wilderness of Tigers and Bard in the Botanics. I must admit that playing with swords in the park might be one of my most favourite things to do. Both Alan MacKenzie and Alfie Wellcoat (who played Hamlet and Laertes respectfully) worked incredibly hard on the choreo I gave them and knocked out some really exciting stuff for the audiences every night.

I also had the chance to work with Stewart Laing once again, doing a bit of Action Design for Ophelia, which was part of The Oran Mor Classic Cuts season. A brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, with cracking performances and a death at the end that left chills for hours after the curtain dropped.

I've been rehearsing with Ipdip Theatre ( http://www.ipdiptheatre.co.uk ) for the past month as we prepare to head to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Calvinball. This is an interactive show for 0 - 4 yearolds and their families. Comprised of games and songs all performed outdoors, this is a highly improvised show. It has been an absolute blast to work on so far and I can't wait to have some audiences to come and play with us.

Tomorrow I head in for a day of filming with Worrying Drake and their first feature film "Where Do We Go From Here." I've had the pleasure and privilege of working with this talented group on 3 of their previous award winning short films. I'm just thrilled to get in there with them again. Check out the shoot on Facebook. Where Do We Go From Here  

I've got a pretty exciting project in the works. At this point I'm waiting for green lights to go off and for all things to move forward. But for now, things are rocking, the sun is shining, and there is summer to be had!! Let's live it up!

EmC x



Let's jump right in...

Today I started my first day of rehearsals for "Little Princess Goldtree." I'm working with puppeteer and performer Alison Monaghan of Yugen Puppet Theatre. (http://yugenpuppets.co.uk/)

We'll be performing as part of the Puppet Animation Festival, touring around Scotland in the beginning of April. 

It was an exciting day full of lots of play, all set in an attic. It reminded me a lot of my Sandbox Theatre days, finding things in boxes and trunks and creating stories filled with imagination. Though my brain was turning a bit mushy by the end of today, I can't wait to get back in tomorrow.

This week will also see a script in hand performance of "Lottery II" which I've been working on since before Christmas. Part of a series of plays by Lowri Potts, it is written for a library and intended to be performed in libraries, as opposed to a formal stage. If you are in the Glasgow area, come check it out.  

Salute!

Over the past week I had the opportunity to work with a couple of different groups of fantastic young people. 

Thursday had me in Perth, working on some action for the Youth Theatre group for their performance of Tomorrow for NT Connections. A very vibrant and tuned in group of young actors with a great script on their hands.

I have also been brought in by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as a Specialist Workshop Leader for their Short Courses program. A morning session on Villains and all the power struggle there in provided for more laughs than expected. The group took to the choreography really well. In the afternoon I had the joy of working with some S1's and some swords. I led them in a salute to which they committed completely. It was very moving to witness this group in some very mature and respectful work. I was definitely recalling some of the great maestros I have worked with, and finding that sense of wonder in an artform that had its beginnings so long ago.  SUCH A PLEASURE!

Starting up with a bang!

So as I finally get my butt in gear with this website, I've got a lot to write about! The beginning of 2014 has been surprising and exciting, culminating in the past few days of awesomeness. 

 

Tuesday night was the Premier of "Doug and Steve's Big Holy Adventure." This was a short comedy filmed in the summer of 2013, produced by Worrying Drake. I've been lucky enough to work with this company a couple of times now. The premier for their latest film was held in the big Cineworld in Glasgow, a 300 seat cinema that was PACKED! Their 3 other award winning films were screened as well, the whole night being a fundraiser for their upcoming feature.  It was a fantastic night and really exciting to see myself up on that big screen. Mostly it was a joy to hear people laugh and enjoy themselves.  Take a look at the fundraising page for Worrying Drake. (you'll get to see me in a couple of clips in their video pitch)

 

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/where-do-we-go-from-here-crowd-funding-campaign

 

On Wednesday morning I had the chance to step into rehearsal for Miss Julie, which opens at Glasgow's Citizens' Theatre next week. I worked with Keith Fleming (who was a freaking fantastic Macbeth for Perth/the Tron) and Louise Brealey (Sherlock's "Molly") on some of the action for Zinnie Harris' update of the play. It's going to be a lusty, powerful piece and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

 

Today I spent the day staging brawls and battles and fisticuffs... in a library! I've been part of a merry band of make-believers working with writer Lowri Potts on her Creative Scotland funded play for a library. This woman has a wild imagination and has really taken flight with the notion that anything can happen in a library. Like a Western style standoff. And the fight on the Cliffs of Insanity from the Princess Bride. And an all out punch up between a middle-aged lady and a big bearded dude in a skirt! It was fantastic!!

Well done, January!! Let's keep being awesome!!

 

Sending big joy to anyone who reads this (and extra joy to anyone who's not my mum!)

 

EmC xx

 

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