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Little Revolution: The Word on Verbatim

August 22, 2014

A verbatim play is one that uses words that real people have spoken as the script for a performance: nothing in the play is written, but is repeated as it was originally said to the playwright. Little Revolution, Alecky Blythe’s new verbatim play based on one North London community’s experience during the 2011 riots, has its first preview performance on Tuesday. We asked the cast if they’ve had any previous experience with the genre:

Lucian Msamati, Ronni Ancona and Bayo Gbadamosi in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Lucian Msamati, Ronni Ancona and Bayo Gbadamosi in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

“I have seen a few pieces and used the technique in R+D workshops. It’s always interesting
and ‘anti-acting’! You have to listen and engage as opposed to reflect and invent.”
Lucian Msamati

“This is my first experience of verbatim theatre but I find it a fascinating genre.”
Ronni Ancona

“This was my first time being in a verbatim play, so it’s a whole new experience for me as an actor.
Before this I had been to see Alecky’s play The Girlfriend Experience at the Young Vic on a
sixth form school trip. I thought it was a very interesting yet challenging way to tell stories.”
Bayo Gbadamosi

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Little Revolution: A New Space

August 21, 2014
Melanie Ash and Rez Kempton in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Melanie Ash and Rez Kempton in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

In her fourth update from the Little Revolution rehearsal room, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill gives us the view on technical rehearsals from a new perspective in our reconfigured theatre space.

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Little Revolution: Order Changes and Rehearsed Frisking

August 12, 2014
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Order of scenes for Little Revolution rehearsals. Photo: Rebecca Hill

In her third installment of weekly updates from the Little Revolution rehearsal room, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill lets us in on why some scenes are changing order and how they discovered that one cast member is especially ticklish.
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Little Revolution: Meet the Community Chorus

August 5, 2014
A set of headphones from the Little Revolution rehearsal room.

A set of headphones from the Little Revolution rehearsal room. Photo: Rebecca Hill

In her second installment of weekly updates from the Little Revolution rehearsal room, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill introduces us to the Community Chorus.
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Little Revolution: Memories of the Riots

August 1, 2014

Although the Little Revolution cast are well into rehearsals for Alecky Blythe’s new play, inspired by the 2011 London riots, they took a few moments to share their memories of the events:

Michael Schaeffer: I was performing in London Road when the news started to filter through. A friend had to drive in to pick me up to get me home and we saw some of the rioting as we drove down the Old Kent Road.

Imogen Stubbs: I was in Chiswick and could hear police cars rushing down our quiet road to get to Ealing where all hell was breaking out.

Ronni Ancona: I can’t specifically remember where I was when the riots happened but I remember very vividly the explosive, shocking atmosphere.
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Little Revolution: Of Radio Waves and Morning Raves

July 28, 2014
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Joe Hill-Gibbins, Alecky Blythe and other members of the Little Revolution cast take a first-week-of-rehearsals field trip to the community where the play was born. Photo: Rebecca Hill

“Apologies for the face paint–we’ve been early-morning raving.”
- Alecky Blythe

In her first installment of weekly updates from the Little Revolution rehearsal room, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill takes us inside the world of verbatim theatre.

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Mr Burns: Talkback

July 25, 2014

 

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Mr Burns Cast | Photo Manuel Harlan

On Tuesday, 8 July 2014, we invited our audience to stay behind for a Q&A with Assistant Director Whitney Mosery, Music Director and performer Mike Henry and actress Justine Mitchell. Here’s what they had to say…

Audience Member 1: Can you tell me about where the play was before?

Whitney Mosery (Assistant Director): There was an original production at Playwright’s Horizons in New York City and then it was in a theatre in Washington DC, I believe Signature but don’t quote me on that.

Audience Member 2: I was wondering if you felt that you had to “de-Americanize” it at all.

Whitney Mosery: Actually not at all. I think there were certain levels of detail that we as a cast (because they were predominantly British) investigated more than perhaps an American might because they might be second nature to an American. The dialect differences between North and South and the locations where all of the various members of the group say that they originate from at the beginning of act one. Some say they come from New York, some say Baltimore, Sam says he’s from the South but kind of doesn’t give any more detail. But actually I can’t think of anything that we changed to make it more British-friendly. I think The Simpsons as an idea and as a story and as a construct is universal. The re-laying from memory; I think that’s quite universal, quite human – none of that was changed at all.  And all the details actually, even though some of those have been so specific that they would’ve only been picked up on by an American, they were left in because that’s in the fabric of the piece. That’s what gives it a sense of reality to this deeply, deeply textured fictional world which feels utterly high stakes and significant because of those things.
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Mr Burns: The Look of Apocalypse

July 24, 2014

An integral part of Tom Scutt’s design for Mr Burns are the makeup looks, especially in Act III. Each night, Hair and Make-up Supervisor Jessica Plews works with the cast to execute the looks backstage. We sat down with Jess to get the history on what’s happening in some of Manuel Harlan’s brilliant behind-the-scenes photos:

 

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“Act I, we’re basically getting them all grubby, especially Demetri (Gibson) because he’s been traveling across the country. He’s kind of the worst in Act I, which is hard to see but we still do it because it adds to character.”

 

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Little Revolution: Cast Announced

July 18, 2014

We’re delighted to announce the cast for Little Revolution, Alecky Blythe’s new verbatim play directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. Joining the playwright as performers are Ronni Ancona, Imogen Stubbs and Clare Perkins, together with Melanie Ash, Bayo Gbadamosi, Lloyd Hutchinson, Rez Kempton, Barry McCarthy, Lucian Msamati, Michael Shaeffer and Rufus Wright.

The cast of Little Revolution (from top left):

The cast of Little Revolution (from top left): Clare Perkins, Imogen Stubbs, Alecky Blythe, Barry McCarthy, Bayo Gbadamosi, Rez Kempton, Lloyd Hutchinson, Michael Shaeffer, Lucian Msamati, Melanie Ash, Ronni Ancona, Rufus Wright.

Inspired by the 2011 London riots, Alecky’s first London play since her award-winning London Road at the National Theatre captures the voices and stories of one community in North London and excavates the tensions beneath the surface of modern city life.

Staged in a transformed Almeida space that puts the audience at the heart of the action, Little Revolution plays from 26 August – 4 October. For more information, or to book tickets, click here.

 

 

Young Friends of the Almeida: Last Words You’ll Hear

July 15, 2014
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The Young Friends of the Almeida will perform Last Words You’ll Hear, directed by Whitney Mosery, at this year’s Latitude Festival.

Do you have a dream that you can’t interpret? Do you stay up at night haunted by nightmares you don’t understand? Then you’re in luck, because the Young Friends of the Almeida want to invite you to witness something magical.

The world premiere of Last Words You’ll Hear, devised and performed by The Young Friends of the Almeida and directed by Almeida Associate Director Whitney Mosery, is coming to Latitude Festival from 18 – 20 July. Taking inspiration from Strindberg, Jung, Prometheus and PostSecret, the show challenges the assumption that self-defining has replaced self-reflection. Here, Young Friends Sarah King and Jack Haynes share the inside scoop:
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