My current project in theatre, alongside my degree, is producing the Marlowe Showcase, a performance of monologues and duologues by 12-14 graduating actors (by the time this goes up, on Friday, auditions will have happened, but we may not have finalised the cast or announced it publicly, so you’ll have to wait for my next update for the cast. Past actors have included Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, and more recently Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hollander…). It is directed by Nicholas Barter (ex president of RADA, and ) and two assistant directors, who will be working with the actors on their monologues and duologues in the next four weeks, before the showcase. There will be two performances, one on Wednesday 16th November, in Cambridge (exact time and venue still in negotiation, we have a couple of options but haven’t fully finalised everything), and at Jermain St Theatre, London, at 12pm (noon).
I have several things to do for this, of course, from organising the travel to London, to planning the budget (partly done, and, by the time you read this, much easier, because I’ll know exactly how many actors are involved) to getting all the creative team on board (mostly done!) to finalising the venue arrangements… My biggest task though, is inviting agents and casting directors, so that these wonderfully talented actors, who will be working incredibly hard in the next few weeks, get seen by as many people as possible.
This involves writing personalised emails to several hundred agents, casting directors and agencies. We’ve sent out Save the Dates, and there will then be follow up invitations with the details of the cast and more details about the performances, and after that last minute reminders. I’m hugely grateful to Zac, the President of the Marlowe Society (who fund the Showcase) who has been helping me with this, as it is a mammoth task, but I’m enjoying it a lot. I think it’s hugely important that the emails be addressed to people individually, or at least to the agencies individually, so that both we and they know that we think this is something that would be of genuine interest to them, and we aren’t just adding them to a spam email sent out to every email address we can find… The main body of the email is obviously similar, as it contains the main information anyone considering attending the Showcase would need – dates, times and what is happening. I’m considering writing an advice post on how to write invitation and follow up to invitation e-mails, would this be something you would like to read? Let me know in the comments!
I’m really excited to be working on this project, and I’m excited to see it come together more visibly now that Assistant Director interviews and cast auditions have happened.
That’s all for this week’s update on the Marlowe Showcase, I hope you enjoyed this insight into what I’ve been up to, and do let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about the Showcase or the process of creating it! (Or contact me either in the comments or via the contact me link here or on the left of the screen if you’re an agent or casting director interested in attending the Showcase!).
I just want to briefly mention something I attended on Monday night, which was a huge privilege. Clod Ensemble have been doing research and development of a piece called On The High Road (inspired by Chekhov) and I was incredibly lucky to be invited to the sharing of the work in progress, which was an extract of the piece after the R&D process. It was wonderful: I thought the movement and the music were both hugely impressive and I look forward to seeing how the work evolves! When it becomes more public I hugely recommend it, and in the meantime, if any work from Clod Ensemble comes anywhere near you (I believe they have work coming to The Lowry, Salford and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff quite soon!) go check it out, because I think their work is hugely exciting.
Thank you as always for reading, feel free to like this post if you enjoyed it, let me know your thoughts/questions in the comments (I’m particularly interested to know if you’d be interested in advice on writing invitation emails!) and follow the blog to hear more about the development of the Marlowe Showcase in my next update, which should be in two weeks time, following an advice post next week on how to make the most of an internship.