Emma Jane - Directing... photo by Alicia Clarke
Emma Jane reporting! As director / producer of the shows I have my foot in 2 camps – one is getting bums on seats! In fact maybe both jobs are about getting bums on seats! But as producer it’s, well – financial, and as director it’s bringing people in with the creative draw – a solid cast, set etc – putting on a good show. So – in the interests of this blog being somewhere interesting for people to land (producer hat?) when they look up our web address, I’m going to try to keep a Director’s Diary!
Since we decided to go ahead and put on the shows in hmm, maybe January (Sarah – can you remember?), it’s been full steam ahead. There’s not really enough time to take a breather, it’s all going to be done and dusted by the end of April, and in the world of theatre, a couple of months is a very short time! Since January we’ve posted notices for volunteers and actors, recruited, held auditions, cast, littered the social networks with news of our bold aims, set up this website, had the lovely Mar Rubio create beautiful flyers, which we’ve printed and are in the process of distributing and taken on a plethora of dedicated crew members. It’s just all go.
So – ‘Dear Diary’ – today has been a lovely day. First thing I saw when I woke up this morning was a text from our DSM (Deputy Stage Manager) Gemma asking if there was anything she could do – what more could a director want?! with a team like this I feel like we could achieve anything! So she’s wrangling with our rehearsal schedule right now – oh yes – I always have something for her to do! We’ve got this cast made up of amazing people all giving their time for nothing – so it’s been really tough trying to find a schedule that works for everyone and doesn’t get in the way of other commitments, or you know – earning a living!
Actors at work in The Bussey Building photo by Alicia Clarke
In the afternoon I went on a little flyering tour of Peckham – the lovely people at the Peckham Space have our flyers up now, they’re also on display at the home of our staunch supporters (and occasional office!) The Victoria Inn, and in the coming few days one lovely v-angel is heading off to distribute about 300 flyers all up and down the local neighbourhood – so if you’re local keep an eye out – you can’t really miss our flyers – they’re so pretty!
Also today I had a meeting with a lovely actor chap – dear Nick Boulton – who journeyed to us from Brighton, braving the wilds of SE15 for the first time to go through the part I’m keen to cast him in. It’s always rather fun inviting people to Peckham for the first time, they’re never sure what to expect! I’m sure he had a champion afternoon, helped by a swift pint in the Vic of course!
And then this evening v-teamster Ciara and I went along to the Peckham Vision meeting. We got to hear all about the plan for Peckham’s glorious future, with all manner of exciting things about to happen with the refurbishment of the Peckham Rye station and surrounds. It was also, of course, a fantastic opportunity to let local people know that we’re puttin’ on a show. We received such a lovely warm response from everyone there and handed out lots of flyers.
And finally, my most exciting meeting of the day was with our new designer Stewart. We wandered around the empty room on the 3rd floor of The Bussey Building and began to dream up all manner of thrilling ideas for the set. That empty room is quite something, it’s huge! Stand in different parts of it and you get all sorts of different imaginings of what can be done. Primarily I realised that I really am happy to have brought V Day London home to Peckham, to my yard, and I think the show is going to be a real celebration of that, of my big love for Peckham! Firstly because I’ve cast so may local people and so many of our crew are South Londoners, but also because I think our set design may go down the route of a big nod to the surrounding area, which is so rich in inspiration. The monologues in both shows are characters that one might easily stumble upon on the Rye Lane – we may just venture down that very lane as inspiration for the design too.
Well – I’m just super excited to feel it all coming together right now so don’t mind me! I’d best get off to dream on it…
this pic is one of my ‘fours’ instagram series of just the kind of thing going on in Peckham’s unique and colourful ‘design’