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...
The Valley of Astonishment at the Young Vic is a play about synaesthesia. Sounds dry but actually it is warm, engaging, smart and funny.
President Putin's confident geopolitical swagger seems at odds with Russia's recent, petty moves to choke the life out of language...
Edinburgh - a city of tremendous culture, stunning architecture, amazing views and incredible whiskies. Also home to one of the largest and most unusual theatres I've had the pleasure of playing - the Edinburgh Playhouse.
This year West End LIVE also returned to Leicester Square at the West End LIVE Spiegeltent, which contained an array of costumes, scripts and sets from shows such as Wicked and Matilda. It is a real rarity to see items like these up-close, and they even offered up the chance to try on some of the costumes yourself.
Much has been made of how the two girls in the Zoffany painting inspired my writing of Belle. As important to me was the invisible third person in the painting, the man who put them there in terms of such equality: Lord Chief Justice Lord Mansfield. From the outset I went in search of the historical Lord Mansfield and I found him between two judgements....
This week has been brought to you by coffee. Also the occasional Berocca and multiple bacon sandwiches from Stoke's Zest Cafe, but mainly coffee.