Happy New Year!

The beginning of 2018 feels like such a long time ago – so much has happened! I began the year assistant directing ‘Port’ by Simon Stephens at uni. This was an amazing experience working with a whole new group of people and learning so much about collaborating with designers and describing the atmosphere that I want to create on stage.

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Then, of course, in the summer Theatre of Minds produced ‘buckets’ by Adam Barnard and raised money for Young Minds. It was amazing to see the company growing and developing through this project; in practical things like the set and use of projection, as well as more subtle things like maturing of the actors. Corresponding with writer, director Adam Barnard really added to the excitement around the piece and playing to the strengths of the actors and using live music in the performance helped us to create something fresh and lively. You can watch the performance, listen to the live music or take a look at production images on the buckets page of the blog.

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Full Cast

Without taking a breath I headed into my third year of uni in Leeds after buckets and directed ‘Proof’ by Adam Barnard in November. Through the rehearsals this term I have brought together everything I have learnt in the last few years and thoroughly enjoyed the entire process. Proof was much less physical than the pieces I have created with Theatre of Minds, although we created musical transitions based around non-verbal depictions of the relationships, so it gave me the chance to focus on creating natural characters on stage. The beautifully written piece combined three things that I am most passionate about in the world: maths, theatre and encouraging conversation about mental illness, and I has the best time directing it.

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And those are just the productions I’ve directed on! I’ve seen so much theatre this year (a new years resolution ticked off) and managed to spend some time working on my degree as well! I have definitely had the happiest year I have had in awhile and I’m ending the year looking forward to what comes next. I’m excited to work on new things with new people and to develop more as a person and as a theatre-maker. 2018 has had many things to make me proud of everyone around me. No matter what your 2018 has been like – look forward to your 2019, take each day as it comes and be someone you would admire.

Happy New Year! xxx

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buckets cast

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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.

 

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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Full Cast

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Tamsin

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Full Cast

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Full Cast

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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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Full Cast

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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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buckets cast

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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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buckets cast

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buckets cast

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.