Where do we go from here?

Thankyou so much to everyone who came to see buckets last week – it was so amazing to have so much support for the production and we hope that you enjoyed it. We are delighted that we will have raised enough for a big donation to Young Minds which we will be sending off very soon – thankyou all very much for your contributions to help us fight the stigma surrounding youth mental illness.

If you missed the performances, worry not! We have a recording of the Friday night performance up on the blog (here) and if you head over to the buckets page, you can see all of the media from the show and process in one place (music, photographs, articles… it’s all there!)

When we set out to create buckets, it was so important to us that Theatre of Minds should grow and progress from Base Layer, and I am now so proud of what we have created. Some simple, practical things have improved, like our use of set and props: we hired furniture to give the space more of a unique style. We also worked with Jack and Joe, our lighting designers, from very early on to make sure the lights were an intrinsic part of the production (rather than just making sure we can see the actor’s faces). Even just performing a published play helped the company to move on and grow as this was a whole new challenge.

For me as a director, one of the most exciting ways that Theatre of Minds has grown is in the work of the actors. Having some of the cast of Base Layer back to perform again, I am so proud of the actors they have become. From the enthusiasm and contributions in the rehearsal room, to the much more natural way in which they portray their characters it was a delight to work with all of them. I am so grateful that we had such a hard-working, passionate group of people to create this with – thankyou all for being such a big part of Theatre of Minds.

So our production of buckets has made me very proud, but everything is a learning curve. Although we have definitely learnt from Base Layer and some aspects were so much smoother, there are also things that we will take forward to our next project. The main thing being that we need a producer! Everyone chipped in this time and took on all kinds of roles, but I am particularly bad at delegating roles so it became a rather big job keeping on top of everything. My favourite part of the process is being in the room with the actors being creative, so next time we’ll bring someone on board to help with all the organisation stuff beyond the rehearsals themselves will make a massive difference.

Theatre of Minds is definitely coming back. We aren’t sure when, or in what form, but we’ll be back. I’m hoping to finish off my Summer of Theatre series in the next couple of weeks, and I’ll post as much as possible in the mean time. But for now, that’s it on buckets. Good Luck to all our cast and crew going off to university for the first time in the next few weeks – you are all going to smash it! Thankyou for an amazing summer, and we’ll see you soon.

 

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Theatre of Minds presents: buckets by Adam Barnard

On Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September 2018, we performed buckets by Adam Barnard in the studio at the Abbey Theatre to 2 jam packed audiences. In case you missed out on seeing a performance live, we recorded the Friday night performance in the hope that we can share the piece with people who couldn’t be there with us. We hope you enjoy buckets:

For the last two months we have been rehearsing our latest production, ‘buckets’ by Adam Barnard which includes 33 inter-connected scenes telling stories of time and how a lack of it affects our emotions and relationships. We follow the stories of seven characters who are all desperately trying to find ways to cope with the fact that time always runs out.

Thankyou to everyone who came to see buckets – you made the event very special for us all. If you weren’t able to make it on the night, we hope that this recording will allow you to get a flavour of what those in the live audiences experienced.

Thankyou to… Tina Swain, the tech team, front of house and everyone at the Abbey Theatre; Elena Dundjerovic and the staff at Beaumont School; The staff at EMMAUS in St Albans; Jill Taylor at the Odyssey in St Albans; Alan Davies and Matt Adam at the Herts Advertiser; Trestle theatre for the lend of their hazer; Anyone who recorded any music for this production; Everyone who donated to our crowdfunding page; Adam Barnard for showing great support in our production;

If you enjoyed the play and would like to make a donation to Young Minds, any contributions to our crowdfunding page will now be donated straight to the charity: www.gofundme.com/theatreofminds-buckets

You can read the full buckets Programme, listen to recordings of the live music or take a look at our production photos on the blog.

buckets Programme

A project like buckets simply cannot happen without the help and support of many people. We were very lucky to have a fantastic, hard-working and enthusiastic cast who took on roles in everything from managing our instagram to writing music and sourcing props; but we are also very grateful to the wide variety of people in our local community who have assisted Theatre of Minds in many aspects of the production. So instead of publishing a big long list of thankyous, we thought we would share our programme in electronic form to make it look a bit nicer!

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We would also like to thank a few people who helped us after the programme was printed:

  • Ben Cammack for running the sound and projections during the performances
  • Hannah Carruthers for recording the guitar accompaniment in Tip Fill Carry Pour
  • The staff at Trestle theatre for lending us their hazer
  • Lucy Wilson for creating all of the projections in the production
  • Liz Alsop for helping us with the get out and transport of the furniture
  • Holly Fortune for taking our production photos

Thankyou so much to everyone who came to see our performances of buckets – it was so exciting to perform to 2 almost sold out audiences. We will be making a donation to Young Minds with the proceeds of the production, so if you would like to make a last minute donation to the charity, because you liked our work, head over to our crowdfunding page where any new contributions will be donated straight to the charity.

buckets Cast Recording

During show week, the cast recorded the music that they sang live on stage in our production of buckets. Music and sound was a big part of the performance; some tracks were specified by the script, but others came with the stage direction Singing as desired so we had the freedom to choose music that benefitted our storytelling. We were very lucky to have an extremely musical cast, so the decision to include live sung music came very early on in the process. We hope you enjoy the Theatre of Minds Cast Recording of buckets.

The Garden – written by Take That – arranged by Hannah Crisp and Mae Lankshear

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Full Cast – The Garden

Tip Fill Carry Pour – written by Tamsin Sandford Smith

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Full Cast – Tip Fill Carry Pour

Where do we go from here? – from Amélie the Musical – accompaniment recorded by Tamsin Sandford Smith

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Full Cast – Where do we go from here?

Have a listen to the whole playlist on Soundcloud

Thankyou so much to everyone who came to see our performances of buckets – it was so exciting to perform to 2 almost sold out audiences. We will be making a donation to Young Minds with the proceeds of the production, so if you would like to make a last minute donation to the charity, because you liked our work, head over to our crowdfunding page where any new contributions will be donated straight to the charity.

buckets Show Photos

Thankyou very much to photographer Holly Fortune (Instagram: @holly_shoots Facebook: @hollyfortune.shoots ) for coming along to our dress rehearsal to take some fantastic photos of the cast of buckets. There are several posts in line for release, having now completed our performances, so keep a look out on our social media for all the up coming announcements.

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Flo and Bethan

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Mae and Bethan

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Flo, Lucy and Tamsin

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Lucy and Flo

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Staise, Hannah and Flo

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Full Cast

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Tamsin

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Staise, Mae, Tamsin and Flo

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Tamsin and Staise

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Tamsin, Hannah and Staise

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Hannah and Tamsin

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Lucy, Bethan and Flo

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Tamsin

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Tamsin, Lucy, Flo and Hannah

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Mae and Lucy

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Lucy

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Mae and Bethan

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Full Cast

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Hannah

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Staise

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Full Cast

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Bethan and Tamsin

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Lucy

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Lucy, Tamsin, Mae, Bethan and Staise

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Flo and Lucy

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Hannah and Staise

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Hannah and Staise

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Staise and Flo

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Full Cast

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Staise, Bethan, Flo, Hannah and Tamsin

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Lucy

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Staise

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Tamsin and Staise

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Full Cast

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Bethan, Hannah and Mae

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Hannah, Mae and Staise

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Lucy and Flo

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Full Cast

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Bethan

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Mae and Bethan

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Full Cast

Thankyou so much to everyone who came to see our performances of buckets – it was so exciting to perform to 2 almost sold out audiences. We will be making a donation to Young Minds with the proceeds of the production, so if you would like to make a last minute donation to the charity, because you liked our work, head over to our crowdfunding page where any new contributions will be donated straight to the charity.

Show Week Information

Show Week is upon us!
We are now just one day away from our first performance of buckets, and down to our very final rehearsals. This week has been all about putting the finishing touches to the piece: bringing in all the set and props, rigging the lighting, programming all the tech and finally our dress rehearsal. Everyone has been working incredibly hard and we can’t wait to show you what we have created.

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Rehearsal Photos taken by Ruth Mestel (@mestelphotography)

If you have already bought your ticket:
We are so excited to welcome you to the Abbey Theatre. Make sure you arrive in enough time to pick up your tickets from the box office and get yourself a drink from the bar (we don’t have in interval in the performance so pre-show is your chance!). The production is all in aid of Young Minds, so there will be a collection bucket available if you would like to donate to the charity. We will also be selling programmes in the theatre foyer before the show, the money from which will also be donated straight to Young Minds, to help support young people struggling with mental illness and give guidance to their family and friends. See you there!

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Rehearsal Photos taken by Ruth Mestel (@mestelphotography)

If you haven’t bought your ticket yet:
Get on that one! Tickets have been flying out the door the last few days and you really don’t want to miss out on this production. Head to the Abbey Theatre website NOW to book yours and support our unique production of buckets featuring original music and limited edition b-sides from playwright Adam Barnard himself.

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Rehearsal Photos taken by Ruth Mestel (@mestelphotography)

In Other News:
There is loads going out at the moment on our social media, with sneak previews of the cast in rehearsals, pictures and images as well as the most up-to-date information about the show. Make sure you are following us on facebook, twitter and instagram so you don’t miss out.
One of our lovely cast members, Anastasia, has begun a poetry blog recently and this week has posted about buckets and her thoughts on the rehearsal process. You can check out her blog post on Simply Staise Poetry – we are delighted that buckets is proving good source material for other art even before we have performed!

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Rehearsal Photos taken by Ruth Mestel (@mestelphotography)

We hope to see you at buckets this Friday or Saturday evening at the Abbey Theatre.

Tickets for ‘buckets’ are SELLING FAST on the Abbey Theatre website. The performances of buckets are on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September at 7:30pm in the Studio at the Abbey Theatre. Get your tickets NOW so you don’t miss out! If you can’t make it to one of the performances, perhaps you would consider contributing to our crowdfunding page to help us make a donation to Young Minds after the production.

Featured in the Herts Ad

Our production of buckets has appeared in the local newspaper (the herts ad) in the edition released on Thursday 30th August (page 23 I believe!). Thankyou so much to Anastasia Raymond for organising the article with Alan Davies and Matt Adams from the newspaper.

Herts Ad Article

Tickets for ‘buckets’ are SELLING FAST on the Abbey Theatre website. The performances of buckets are on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September at 7:30pm in the Studio at the Abbey Theatre. Get your tickets NOW so you don’t miss out! If you can’t make it to one of the performances, perhaps you would consider contributing to our crowdfunding page to help us make a donation to Young Minds after the production.

Rehearsal Pictures

Thankyou to the lovely Ruth Mestel (instagram: mestelphotography) for joining us in rehearsals and taking some gorgeous shots of the cast of buckets last week. We are so excited about the production next week and can’t wait to share with you what we have been creating! Hopefully these will wet your appetite and persuade you now is the time to grab your tickets before they all fly out the door!! www.abbeytheatre.org.uk/whats-on/buckets/

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Staise

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Mae

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Bethan

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Flo

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Lucy

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Beth

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Beth

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Flo, Mae, Lucy, Tamsin

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Tamsin

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Mae, Tamsin, Bethan, Hannah, Lucy

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Hannah, Staise

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Staise, Tamsin

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Lucy, Flo

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Staise, Tamsin, Bethan, Hannah

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Mae, Lucy

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Flo

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Bethan, Mae

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Tickets for ‘buckets’ are SELLING FAST on the Abbey Theatre website. The performances of buckets are on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September at 7:30pm in the Studio at the Abbey Theatre. Get your tickets NOW so you don’t miss out! If you can’t make it to one of the performances, perhaps you would consider contributing to our crowdfunding page to help us make a donation to Young Minds after the production.

Rehearsal Video Diary 3

buckets – Preparing for the Show

Tickets for ‘buckets’ are SELLING FAST on the Abbey Theatre website. The performances of buckets are on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September at 7:30pm in the Studio at the Abbey Theatre. Get your tickets NOW so you don’t miss out! If you can’t make it to one of the performances, perhaps you would consider contributing to our crowdfunding page to help us make a donation to Young Minds after the production.

A Summer of Theatre: Julie

As well as working on ‘buckets‘ this summer, I have another little, personal project for the three months before third year. I am trying to see as much theatre as I possibly can, so the aim is to go and see something at the theatre every week that I am in the UK until I go back to uni. Some things are booked way in advance (Hamilton is the last week of August and I could not be more excited!) But I also want to be spontaneous and book last minute tickets when I have a spare evening (if anyone wants to come with me one week, drop me a message 😉 ) So, I thought I’d document this little journey with a post after each show – hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up once rehearsals get started!!

Julie

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Date: Friday 17th August 2018
Playwright: Polly Stenham adapting August Strindberg
Venue: Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre
First Performed: June 2018

My summer of theatre has enabled me to go to productions at venues across London but not yet to the National. Part of the reason for this is that I never seem to have much luck with Entry Pass tickets. I think I look at the wrong time or fail to log in properly and basically have never used the brilliant scheme. But when four out of five Wilsons wanted to go and see Julie, Lucy (an experienced entry pass user) checked for tickets and found us a couple so that our parents could book for a week later and we’d all get to go.

So at this point in a post I would usually give a brief explanation of the storyline or premise of the play. But straight away I am struggling. It is based on the 1888 play entitled ‘Miss Julie’ which explores class through a one-night relationship between Miss Julie and a valet working in her household, Jean. The modernisation of the text wasn’t too bad – now set in 21st century London, Julie (played by Vanessa Kirby), is having her 33rd birthday party on the night in question and Jean is her father’s driver, engaged to her maid, Christina. But for me the production as a whole didn’t really work.

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After 90 minutes me and Lucy turned to each other with a somewhat questioning look on our faces and an “ummmmmmm?” in a high-pitched tone with a tilted head. There was a large, rather under-utilised, ensemble who appeared at the beginning as guests at the party – the inclusion of this scene in the trailer is actually what attracted me to the show in the first place – but then seemed to serve no other purpose than to make that opening seem a bit busier, which could easily have been achieved with sound and projection. About half way through, six ensemble members clambered through the kitchen (the main setting) with plants ripped from the soil, smeared mud over the bright white surfaces, and then climbed into the six dishwashers and disappeared. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it was just me missing the meaning on that one, but the other issue was that this was the only moment like this. No ensemble was seen after this until they came on to bow and I couldn’t believe that so many people were in the production! In my opinion if you are going to have an ensemble like that, you have to use them throughout or their presence feels added on, an after thought.

Although stronger than her male counterpart (whose character appeared needy and indecisive), Vanessa Kirby seemed to have no character arc at all. Julie was clearly struggling mentally from childhood trauma, and self-sabotaging to avoid dealing with this. But the modern day setting and her constant drinking and drug-taking seemed to over-power all her other intentions. In my opinion, none of the events would have happened if she had been sober and it felt her motivation for everything she did was just that she was drunk and high. There was much more to explore in the character on reflection, and if this had been more of the focus, the production might have made more sense. Finally as shocking as it was – Why did she kill the bird?!?!?!

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I think it is important to see things that I’m not so much of a fan of. It allows me to think about what I would have changed and how it could have been done differently. I don’t think this is one I’m going to be recommending to people but I’m still glad I went to see it (especially now I have learnt how to use entry pass properly!) There were many things the play could have been about: the effect of Julie’s childhood trauma; Jean hiding behind the class system in order to manipulate her into giving him money; even racial prejudices due to the casting of Eric Kofi Abrefa; but it wasn’t about any of these. It was about Julie getting drunk and doing stupid things, which isn’t really worth 90 minutes.

Julie plays at the National Theatre until 8th September 2018. Tickets available.