When I'm not onstage, I co-produce the independent Noodle Palace and Midlandia venues during Western Australia's Fringe World festival, so I'm out seeing a lot of shows come Australia's festival season from February through April. A lot of these end up at Edinburgh come August. Here are ten of my favourites. OK, eleven.
'Northern Flight' has seldom left my mind since it finished. It provides an emotive exploration of the issues that lie at the heart of the city's identity. Patrick's words to me at the end of our interview have filled my thoughts and followed me through the streets of this beautiful city: "Liverpool is a city that tells you that you can do something, rather than that you can't."
Yesterday I headed out to the theatre to see the wonderful Richard Armitage take on the audience at The Old Vic in an atmospheric and ambitious performance of Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' on a balmy Wednesday afternoon to celebrate my anniversary.
The story of a jilted wife, who murders her children as a way of revenge against her soon-to-be ex-husband is always going to be dark but Carrie Cracknell, in this new version of Euripides' work by Ben Power, brings us a genuinely disturbing production.
This is Jonathan Wilkes' first full week on the show and as such it's the first time he's done a tech session with us. I think he's suddenly very grateful to not have to do these normally as they're pretty long and intense. There is much to soundcheck plus two new Little Jakes to rehearse in and the Churchill Theatre proves a slightly odd space sound-wise.
At the heart of this production is an immense performance from Richard Armitage who perfectly captures the profound inner conflict within John Proctor, a man increasingly at odds with both his wife and the society in which he lives.
This week's blog comes from the top of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. Well not the very top, not the stone itself, but one of the little rocky groups literally six feet away from it. The actual top is pretty dinky and currently awash with a group of Spanish tourists - it seemed rude to hog it for long enough to write a blog!
It's understood that he started as an actor, learning his craft as an unknown. What he did next was extremely canny, and something somewhat outside the realms of possibility for writers, producers, or actors in this modern world.
In the dexterous hands of acclaimed playwright Patricia Cumper MBE, Chigger Foot Boys accomplished what a good theatrical production should by being bold, entertaining and enlightening.
In our new play KINGMAKER, also set for Edinburgh this year, our lead character is this time called Max Newman (played by Alan Cox), a bumbling, charismatic former Tory Mayor of London who seizes his opportunity to stand for the leadership of the Conservative party and become prime minister. Sound familiar?
The first 'leg' of our UK Tour of Annie Get Your Gun has drawn to a close at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. Six cities, 51 shows, 255 knife throws, 459 stage kisses, 561 balloons popped and a remarkable 2703 shots later, it's no wonder that the whole company are relishing a week away...
As Brighton Fringe settles into an agreeable misty haze, my attentions turn to the National Arts Festival of South Africa (3-13 July). And the rest of an all-too-often Eurocentric arts world would do well to do the same.
I have just left the Young Vic in London where the Act for Change project took place. It's started after actor Danny Lee Wynter watched a trailer from ITV for their impeding TV releases and saw all white characters and decided along with his partners, a group of actors of all colours genders and ages, that enough is enough and something had to be done.
Conceived and rehearsed in secret, Great Britain, a play about phone hacking at a British tabloid, was suddenly announced last week and then on Monday, just days after the hacking trial verdicts were passed down, the show opened.
The New Theatre in Oxford has been home to our Annie Get Your Gun family this past week. A very hot and tiring week, smitten by some illness and injury that left everyone working harder than ever.
I want this to work, I really do. But I have my doubts. There are no signs that Lindsay Lohan is actually able to withstand the rigours of a West-End run, let alone one that will be scrutinised by the UK's press. I fear that the pressure could just be too much...