Play With Fire productions are so proud and excited to once again be partnering with Wild Things Drama, who are as we speak devising a 15 minute response piece to our upcoming production 'The Effect' at Oldham Coliseum, showing the 25th, 26th and 27th of September (tickets available here - www.coliseum.org.uk/plays/the-effect/) and will show each night before the main production.
Wild Things Drama have schools in Oldham, Manchester and Denshaw. They understand that everyone learns differently. Their sessions are structured so that each individual is allowed to learn at their own pace and in their own way. They offer acting, singing and dance classes for young people from age 3-18 in the Oldham area. Students are involved productions, showcases, LAMDA acting examinations and community events, such as this exciting collaboration with PWF.
For more information on Wild Things Drama as well as how you can join visit their website here - http://www.wildthingsdrama.co.uk/join-us
If parliament approve Max’s Law, all UK adults will be on the organ donor register from 2020, unless they ‘opt-out’. But if this weren’t the case & your child was ill, what price would you pay to cure them? “The Price” investigates a possible future & the cost of a human life.
The piece revolves around a dystopian future where organ donation has become monetised and commodified. It centres around two characters at either ends of the harvesting process, and looks at the implications of creating profit from human organ donation.
Rehearsals are already underway and the group have been exploring the theme over the course of the last 4 weeks. The piece is entirely devised and scripted by the team, and feeds off of their own reactions to 'The Effect'.
Meet the Team
The cast is made up of five young actors and young director Lily Bills, all members of Wild Things Drama.
Lily Bills // Director
Kendra Marshall // Mrs Williams
Tiahna Williams // Nurse 1
Mia Lee // Nurse 2
Rebecca Blundell // Donor Number 6
Olivia Blundell // Kerry, Head of Marketing
'The Price' will be shown each night before 'The Effect' at 7pm. Any ticket bought for the performance includes both shows. Play With Fire Productions and Wild Things Drama look forward to welcoming you to Oldham Coliseum in September!
Photos courtesy of Mark Russell
A note from Artistic Director and Co-Founder of PWF Daniel Bradford on Scene Study and our new discount for returning students:
The idea with scene study is to think of it not as a workshop but as an ongoing training technique. It's a system of training that takes getting used to and understanding the form itself so you can get the most out of it. When I trained in scene study in Canada, I trained for 3 years with about 6-8 months per year in monthly scene study. Like anything, acting (especially good acting) is based on good habits and the only way to cultivate good habits is to put in the hours. If people are doing one course with us and seeing valuable growth and progress but then don't continue with those habits and class that produced that result, the growth will be temporary and will dissipate.
What I want for students is for them to be able to truly embody the things they learn in scene study over time so that eventually they really don't need me there in order to break through barriers and achieve great results and emotional authenticity, but this can't be expected of oneself after only a single month. My best students are always the ones that come back over and over month after month and build up their skills each month while strengthening the foundations from the previous month. I love being able to spend the time over a long period with a student and get to know their unique challenges so I can help them break through barriers they never even knew were there. I think it gets easier over time too. You hit a tipping point wherein all the small changes you've made start to have a huge effect and it starts to snowball in a great way.
In England there seems to be a 'little bit of everything' approach to actor training which I think is misguided. Bruce Lee didn't become the greatest fighter in the world by doing a little bit of everything. He deeply invested in the martial arts systems he practised and came to master many and become highly adept at the rest, then and only then, was he able to combine them into his own system. Where I come from, the best actors in Vancouver (and the ones who were working the most) always said when they weren't working on set or on stage, they were in scene study, getting better and keeping their skills sharp. I think the same philosophy applies here. If you find something works, keep doing it. Don't assume now that you've consciously begun to understand something on the cerebral level, it will, therefore, stay with you. As Patsy Rodenburg notes, understanding how to pole-vault is not enough; one must spend the time to acquire the individual skills that allow one to pole-vault. It has to enter your body and become your new habit. I deeply encourage students to find the training they find useful and to continue with it. Commit to it in a way that encourages mastery over time so that one day you could come to teach it yourself.
In that vein, I would like to offer students who commit at this level a cascading discount. For the second month of scene study one takes in a six month time period, they will receive £10 off that month. For a third month and any subsequent months in a six month period*, they will receive £20 off each month.
*From the original first month's class.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention you are a returning student within the last 6 months to receive this amazing offer, or if you have any questions regarding the course.
Long time no speak?! We have had a seriously BUSY time, which you can tell by the 2 year gap between blog posts! What have we been up to you ask? Let’s give you the run down…
March 2017 May 2017
Which brings us to now! Things We Want had a fantastic 2 week run at Hope Mill Theatre and we’re SO excited to get stuck into our next production at Oldham Coliseum in September, the details of which are coming very soon.
So what else have we been up to?
Our Scene Study classes have been chugging along nicely and now on our 18th (!!) session we’ve had some fantastic actors come through the halls of Hope Studios.
Scene Study is a 4 week intensive taught by Daniel Bradford, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of PWF. It places actors in partnerships, focusing them on one scene from a professional play and in doing so, enables an in-depth exploration of characterisation, technique and text.
‘Scene Study is about passion, growth, safety and being able to make mistakes in a safe and productive environment. It aims to push people through personal barriers and learn the intricacies of working with high-quality text, while being willing to experiment and fail, in a supportive environment.’
Our last ensemble in May has just finished and we saw some great work from our students:
"I completed the May intake of Daniel’s Scene Study and found it nothing short of a masterclass in acting. The breadth of knowledge Daniel knows of acting theories, quotes and practitioners is truly inspiring. From the very first class I came out invigorated and lifted. Daniel covers all queries and qualms that an actor may have and pushes you to the limits when working on a scene. His classes also make you address what things you need to work on as a person as often these can interfere with our acting methods and beliefs, so in essence it is also a self-help class of discovery as a person too. I cannot recommend these classes enough and I have learnt so much from them and will be utilising what I have learnt for all my future work."
Elizabeth Poole, May 2018 Scene Study Participant
Scene Study welcomes students from all backgrounds and levels and is open to any actor in
Manchester looking to improve their craft. It’s a safe and productive environment where you can flex your artistic muscles and really explore new techniques, without the fear of being judged. All that we ask in return from our students is a passionate and professional approach to learning, as well as a commitment to the class and your partner.
Heading into this month, we’re delighted to welcome our July Scene Study ensemble to the PWF family and can’t wait to start classes next week.
Introduction to Practical Aesthetics - Script Technique Masterclass
And finally! We’re so happy to welcome back our Introduction to Practical Aesthetics workshops in August. These workshops offer a more in-depth exploration of the technique that Daniel touches upon in our Scene Study programme. We’re running our next set of workshops on the 25th and 28th of
August. Please note that you must be able to attend both.
For more information you can take a look at our webpage here -
Whether you want to learn acting methods as a complete beginner, or improve your existing
skillset, our range of classes offer a safe, practical and informed place to start. If you’re interested in any of our programmes please email email@example.com.
And that’s it! We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, but there’s so much we’ve missed! Two years is a long time in theatre land, and the Manchester theatre community is absolutely thriving! We seriously couldn’t be happier to be part of it. As such, we’ll be striving to update this blog as much as possible to keep you all up to date with what’s going on.
Keep in touch, we can’t wait to share our work with you.
The PWF Team
Cannot lie - it's been a big few months!
We are in our new central studio, hosting various Manchester-based companies, rehearsals, workshops and more, creating (we hope!) an accessible and thriving creative space.
We are in our third month of Scene Study, an intensive, but safe, collaborative space for actors to work in an ensemble, break down personal barriers and challenge themselves with one scene and character over the course of four evenings. The testimonials and responses to this course have blown us away.
Following the success of Orphans (which was also the last time we posted a blog!) our second production, Sans Merci, is underway, with rehearsals starting in ONE WEEK. We open at Hope Mill Theatre on the 8th of September, playing until the 24th of September, including a preview performance for our community partners. Please book your tickets soon so we don't have heart attacks.
With Sans Merci so close and our free time decreasing by the minute, we wanted to share some updates of what we're cooking up and ways to get involved!
Our weekly Yoga classes with Hannah Beatrice Dalby are on every Wednesday from 8am - 9am and every Friday from 7:45am - 8:45am (for all you worker bees) and are the perfect way to start your morning!
Read more about Hannah's practice and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to come join.
An ace (and affordable!) rehearsal space
Because Daniel is all about embracing the 21st century, you can now see when our studio is available before enquiring. Pretty cool, hey? If you want to snag a cheap, large, beautiful rehearsal space, look at the availability and get in touch :)
If your company is rehearsing in our studio - add your flier to our notice board or upload a rehearsal picture on to Facebook - we love sharing the news of our extended community.
Also - 'check in' on Facebook to help spread the word!
We are gathering plays and donations to have a massive library of plays and acting books as a resource at the studio. Most of us know how hard it is to find great plays - let's build an amazing library together! Come, scan, read, borrow!
Also - at the studio you can 'Pay With a Play' - get an hour off your booking when you donate to the library ;)
Sans Merci is CLOSE
We are so lucky to be heading into rehearsals next week with this incredibly powerful production.
Last week, we shot new posters with Lucy Ridges Photography, have a trailer on the way, and can't wait get started with this fantastic team of creatives....
Our Communities and Mentorships
PWF are proud to announce that we will be mentoring two young people from Wigan Youth Zone throughout the Sans Merci process, in both design and directing.
They will observe the rehearsal process, be mentored by Daniel Bradford and Irene Jade, to learn the ins and outs of staging a professional production, while assisting with get in, being at the theatre, and journaling the process as they go along.
We look forward to sharing their blogs and pictures with you all.
With that being said - thanks for reading. Please book tickets. We love you all.
We are only a few weeks from opening night of our debut production: "Orphans".
With tickets already selling and our season fast approaching, now feels like a perfect time to properly introduce our team and give you a sneak peek into the rehearsal room
Orphans was nothing but a dream for many, many months.
After countless evenings spent in front of our computers, re-writing paragraphs, crunching budgets and getting generous mentors and friends to read over our attempts, we could not believe our luck when Arts Council England said "yes".
The dream had begun.
And, the real work.
Putting together our team and the vision of what our debut would be, was nothing short of a wonderful experience, despite the obvious challenges and setbacks that will always happen. We have learned LOADS, all of it good and met some truly fantastic people.
Shaun, saying something very deep and important at the first read through....
Saving proper introductions for the programs - here are just a few words about the amazing team we are working with.
A note from the Producer....
Putting together a production like this is terrifying. I will freely admit it. Terrifying but, of course, equally rewarding. There is so much to consider, most of which doesn't pop up until the last minute. I thought I was an organised person, but when producing something that is larger than anyone anticipated, you really must plan for the best and expect for the worst (those old cliches are always bloody right).
My "note" really exists here to say - please do come and see this show. I'm not too proud to beg. And I do think we've created something a bit special.
It's always scary putting yourself out there creatively... holding your head high and saying: "this is what I want to show you, world!" It's scary and it's why we don't rely on other peoples thoughts and opinions to shape our own. Theatre and the arts are subjective, which is the most magical thing about them.
Orphans matters to us and is an important story to tell. We hope you think so too and are compelled to share it with your friends, family and help us spread the word. We have a very ambitious season ahead - EIGHT shows, which is almost unthinkable for independent theatre. We are hoping boldness works out in our favour ;)
A major motivation, whether Orphans takes your fancy or not - is the SPACE: Hope Mill Theatre. Working with Will and Joe at Hope Mill has been an utter dream and I cannot thank them enough for their collaboration, professionalism and granting our every (sometimes major) wish. Come along to see this new space - it's everything Manchester needs and is sure to become an iconic part of the North Theatre scene.
Look forward to seeing you at Orphans,
- Hannah x
Orphans plays the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd of January, 2016.
Tickets are already selling, but we have PLENTY more to go!
Please book early by following the link -
We are looking to cast one male role in our debut production 'Orphans' by Lyle Kessler, directed by Alyx Tole.
'Orphans' is supported by Arts Council England.
'Orphans' is powerful play, originally performed in 1983 and recently revived on Broadway, starring Alec Baldwin as Harold.
About the Production
Two grown orphan brothers live in an old dilapidated row house in North Philadelphia, USA —deserted in childhood by an unfaithful father and by the death of their mother. Older brother Treat, brutal and violent, provides for his younger brother Phillip by being a petty thief.
One night, Treat kidnaps and ties up a Chicago gangster named Harold, who ends up escaping and becoming the father figure they never had.
A three-hander, staged at Hope Mill Theatre, January 2016.
Auditions will be held mid - late October, subject to availability.
Full time rehearsals -
8th December until 3rd January (with breaks for Christmas and New Years)
Preview Performances -
8th and 9th January 2016
Performance dates -
13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd of January, 2016.
Salary: 440 per week (Equity minimum)
Male, 35 - 60.
Harold is a darkly comedic, charismatic, charming individual. We are looking for a caucasian actor who can do a strong Chicago American dialect, is emotionally open and willing to work in a committed, collaborative, hard-working environment. We recommend applicants read our company ethos page before applying as we are passionate about working with like-minded people.
We look forward to hearing from you. Please send a CV/Spotlight link and a current head shot to:
Play With Fire is very excited to launch weekly guided warm ups in Central Manchester, open to both actors and non-actors who want to engage in consistent warm up routines, vocal exercises and general discussion.
We particularly welcome those who will participate in an active discussion and be physically and emotionally available. All PWF workshops, events and rehearsals are a safe space; we encourage everyone to feel comfortable, welcomed and validated.
Within the discussion we talk about preferences, individual voice and what works for each of us. This will help develop future sessions and become more focused for each participant.
Most actors understand the importance of regular voice work, but many don't have a solid routine in place. It can be hard to get focused, be disciplined and even know the "right way" to go about warming up our voice and bodies. (If there is such a thing?)
Initially these workshops will be small, as we want intimate sessions to devise a working formula that can then spread further and welcome larger numbers.
The first hour will be a guided warm up, where we can all stretch, make noise and appropriately warm up our voices and bodies.
The second hour will be a discussion of what each individual likes, what works and what we hope to get out of regular voice work.
Our workshops will be based in Central Manchester and led by co-founder Daniel Bradford.
Initial sessions will be completely free to attend. All we ask for is commitment and enthusiasm!
In the future, we will ask for small donations that will all go towards PWF stage productions and community projects.
If you are interested in something like this, please email us at email@example.com letting us know why you want to be involved and your availability for Sundays.
We hope to have the same people consistently attending to create a safe, ensemble atmosphere, so please only get in touch if you feel you can commit to attending most Sundays.
Look forward to hearing from you all.