Tricycle

Blog Takeover: Toy Kangaroos, Group Birthing & Opening Night Nerves

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by Tricycle
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The Kilburn Passion in rehearsal

Today we have a blog from Tricycle Young Company Member Luke, who is acting in The Kilburn Passion which is opening tonight as part of the Takeover Festival! We’re really rooting for all the Young Company actors gearing up to open to a packed house of Kilburn locals and theatre lovers. As the age old saying goes, break a leg guys!

It seems any blog about my experiences working on The Kilburn Passion would need to start with a bit of background first. Starting anything with “at last week’s rehearsals, after introducing ourselves to a toy kangaroo called Kennedy, we began to plot out the chorus’ baby birthing scene and the cream doughnut fight” definitely needs a bit of context and explanation.
 
My journey with the Tricycle’s Young Company starts back in Summer 2013 when Mark Londesborough, the Creative Learning Director at the Tricycle Theatre, came to do a talk for a youth project I was involved with about the Tricycle’s plans for the Takeover Festival. I left that Q&A with one note: “Tricycle Theatre Young Company – SIGN UP”. A few weeks later, with an audition booked in, I made my way to Kilburn and sat nervously on the tube, wondering what to expect. And so ensued one of the most relaxed and enjoyable auditions I’ve ever had. I was put in a room with 20 other young people with a passion for theatre and we were allowed to simply play, explore, and have fun with our own interpretations of various scenes and situations that we were given. I left that audition even more resolved that this project at this theatre was something that I just had to be involved with in whatever way I could.
 
Luckily, two weeks later I received ‘The Email’. As any actor will know the first step to opening such emails involves desperately scanning with fingers over the eyes for the words ‘unfortunately’, ‘however’ or ‘the standard was particularly high’. Thankfully, it included neither and it was inviting me to join the Young Company for 2013/14. Needless to say I was ecstatic; primarily because, based on my audition, the standard was indeed very high. From my short time spent amongst them, The Tricycle seems to draw in tirelessly passionate, driven and talented people that make it a genuinely enjoyable place to just hang out; whether you are working there or not and that was certainly reflected in the people who came to audition for the Young Company.
 
And of course, that is not more palpable than in the young people who made up the final company and those working with us. Not only are we led by the wonderful Emily Lim, who is one of the most dynamic and endlessly energetic people I have ever had the pleasure to be around, let alone be directed by. We are also enormously blessed to be working alongside playwright Suhayla El-Bushra.  Suhayla’s insights into us as individuals, as a company and into society at large have resulted in a truly original and unique play that not only expresses what we as a young company have to say but that feels uniquely ‘of us’.

The Kilburn Passion in rehearsals

The Kilburn Passion in rehearsals

 
The ‘us’ in question of course being the collection of 18 young people that form the Young Company. One rehearsal spent with this company and it becomes evidently clear why a theatre piece is called a play. And at first glance you could be forgiven for assuming that is all we do. However, if anything I have written previously feels like sentimental cheese then prepare for the overripe, matured stilton of it all because this has to be one of the most united, talented and determined bunches of people I’ve ever worked with. Determined in their passion for theatre making; determined in their demand for a ‘voice’ and determined to have fun. Tuesday evenings have come to be one of my most looked forward to times of the week.
 
And the culmination of all of this hard work, passion and determination? A new play, written beautifully by Suhayla; directed effortedly (or whatever the opposite of effortlessly is, because it has sure as hell involved one hell of a lot of effort) by Emily Lim and staged spectacularly by the technical and design team, Elena Peña, Chris Gylee, Jack Knowles, Shannon Foster and Georgina Brazier. Now, as we inch ever terrifyingly close to opening night, the camaraderie and group dynamics come into full effect as we come to terms with the set (all 9 raised platforms of it) and the furiously relentless transitions, choral scenes and prop-journey madnesses! And amidst all this madness, introducing ourselves to toy kangaroos, group birthing scenes and cream doughnuts have well and truly cemented themselves into the norm… and that is slightly worrying, and beautiful at the same time!
 
The Kilburn Passion opens on the 3rd of April as part of the Tricycle’s young people Takeover Festival and I’d like to finally thank Mark Londesborough, Anna Myers and all the other wonderful people behind the scenes at the Tricycle for whom youth engagement in their theatre work is clearly at the heart of what they do. This is not just a youth project, it is a Youth Takeover and I am immensely proud to be even a small part of it.

Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday performances of The Kilburn Passion- click here to book. And there’s still loads of workshops and events you can take part in until 5 April- click here for more info and to see what’s on.


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Blog Takeover: Cake, Crisps and Kilburn High Road

Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Tricycle

Rob

Kicking us off on day two of the Takeover Festival we have a cracking blog from Young Company member, Rob. Rob is part of the 19 – 25 group performing The Kilburn Passion- opening on Thursday!

Hi everyone, my names Rob and I’m playing the character Gareth in The Kilburn Passion.

A friend asked me recently  – So, did your start rehearsals in March?  It suddenly reminded me this project didn’t start 4 weeks ago, The Kilburn Passion’s been 6 months of weekly sessions culminating with Suhayla El-Bushra’s piece about sacrifice, companionship, and yes, the time-old problem of dried Weetabix. 

Now it’s March 31st, and show time is days away! Rehearsals have been fantastic with director Emily Lim’s mum feeding us homemade cake*, and I’ve had a personal supply of crisps from stage manager Georgina** as my character eats in one of his scenes. I’m always willing to re-rehearse the crisp scene, practice makes perfect (or inevitably in my case, fat!)  

I’m nervous – but not that much. Emily’s reminded us to be absolutely clear on not only our personal entrances and props, but where exactly we are offstage, and to remember the lines in the scene before ours to be certain of our entrance timing. Having all this distracts you from being nervous, which is nice. 

The Kilburn Passion explores the daily lives of young adults on Kilburn High Road – but young adults who’re frustrated with their lives, have an inability to communicate how they’re really feeling, or who desire to do good but are let down. Watch the scenes with characters Ed and Abi: their crumbling relationship, with their son caught in the middle, is heart breaking.

During our penultimate rehearsal on Saturday, the young company took to the Kilburn High Road to find matching destinations for our characters and scenes; such as the clothes shop that characters Dominique, Lindsey and Aiden inhabit, or Gareth’s local pub. This gave the scenes a sense of reality, and it was interesting to exist as Gareth on the street.  

With the music and dance pieces in the play, it’ll blow your socks off! So you have to see it.

Rob.

*Which I hope she will again (Emily can you ask?)

**The supply of which will hopefully continue after the show is over (Doritos, please!)

The Takeover Festival is happening this whole week at the Tricycle with plenty of theatre, film and workshops to keep you busy. For more info and to book, click here. Join the in conversation with #TYCtakeover.


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Blog Takeover: A word from Rachael with 1 week to go!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by Tricycle
No rest for the wicked! The Kilburn Passion Company members note changes on their script during lunch break.

No rest for the wicked! The Kilburn Passion Company members note changes on their script during lunch break.

Today we have a blog from Tricycle Young Company member Rachael, who is part of the group performing The Kilburn Passion in the Takeover Festival opening on Sunday. With less than a week to go till the start of the Takeover, it’s all systems go!

Hey guys and gals, Rachael here!

I play Eva in The Kilburn Passion and thought I’d give you all an update on how rehearsals are going. Well it has been a very exciting few weeks here at the Tricycle…

Last weekend we ran through the play with the sound cues. Elena, our Sound Designer, has located and remixed some brilliant tracks which really capture the heart of Suhayla’s play. Then on Saturday afternoon we did our first run through in full costume with the creative team in the theatre. There are some bright clothing choices on display, be warned! 

On Tuesday we were all interviewed for a small documentary on the Takeover Festival before Suhayla dropped in to watch a full costume run. It was lovely to catch up with Suhayla and show her the progress we’ve been making, as well as hearing about all the exciting things she is doing too.

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Then, finally, this Saturday we got to see the set for the first time. Dun, dun, dunnnnnn!!! Chris, our Set Designer, and his assistant Charlie have managed to make us a set that is so bold and beautiful I can’t wait for you all to see it. It really is amazing. The past two days have consisted of us sitting, walking, jumping, dancing and generally taking over the structure. The play is a logistically complicated piece and with so many cast members it’s crucial we all feel comfortable and know exactly where we are going in scene changes. We also have a few dance numbers so the last thing we want is someone pirouetting off the balcony (don’t worry Stage Managers, I’m only joking…)

In all it’s really starting to come together now. I can’t wait for the play to open in just over a week but I’m equally sad that also means it’s nearly over. I feel very privileged to be part of such a wonderful, funny and, it’s got to be said, slightly eccentric company.

Last of all we would like to give a big shout out to our Director’s mam who baked us two cakes and brought in general goodies over the weekend to keep us going. Thanks Dianne, you’re a star!

Well that’s enough of me and my over enthusiastic exclamation marks.

Over and out

Rach x

Visit the Takeover Festival web page for more information on the theatre, film and workshops taking place from 31 March – 5 April. Join in the conversation with #TYCtakeover.


Tricycle

Blog Takeover: Video Blog from TYC member Yolanda

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by Tricycle

 

Today we have a video blog from Tricycle Young Company member, Yolanda. Yolanda is part of the Takeover Festival group performing in The Kilburn Passion, a new commission written especially for the Young Company by playwright and former Kilburn resident, Suhayla El-Bushra.

Click here to find out more about The Kilburn Passion and to book. Click here for more information on the Takeover Festival.


Tricycle

Blog Takeover: The Kilburn Passion

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Tricycle
Suhayla El-Bushra

Suhayla El-Bushra

Today we have a guest blog from playwright and former Kilburn resident, Suhayla El-Bushra. Suhayla is the writer of The Kilburn Passion, a newly commissioned play written especially for the Tricycle Young Company to perform during the Takeover Festival. Suhayla grew up in Kilburn and used to be a member of the Young Company herself!

When the Tricycle asked me if I would write a play for the 18-24 year olds in their Young Company I pretty much bit their hand off. Partly because it’s nice to be asked to write a play at all, whoever it’s for, but mainly because it’s the Tricycle. I used to be part of the youth theatre there when I was 16* and it was hugely important to me. I was also excited about writing a play for 20 people. Before that I’d written for casts of about 3.

I had no idea what I was going to write about when I started. It would all depend on the Young Company themselves, their abilities and the things they cared about. I remember meeting them for the first time in the James Baldwin room, where I used to rehearse back in the olden days. It hasn’t changed. It smells the same. It even has the same vinyl benches. I’m not sure we were ever as loud as these guys though, who were playing “Wah!” so enthusiastically they could hear them in the theatre downstairs.

I spent a few sessions watching the group, led by their amazingly talented and big-hearted director Emily Lim. I was impressed by just how gifted, smart and passionate they all were. It was a wake up call in some ways. When you’ve been writing for as long as I have you can get a bit grumpy. You sometimes forget that working in the theatre is the best job in the world, that just being part of it is a thrill. Being in that room made me excited to be a writer again.

The work the young company did in those sessions inspired me – to write something that was heartfelt and un-cynical, that involved a range of styles to suit this eclectic bunch, and that incorporated some big old dance routines because I’m telling you now, these people can dance. It was pretty much the most fun project ever and I’ve really enjoyed being part of it. I hope you enjoy it too.

(*A very long time ago, so long ago it makes me gasp when I think about it!)

 

Click here to find out more about The Kilburn Passion. The Takeover Festival runs from 31 March – 5 April – you can see the full programme of Takeover Festival events online here.


Tricycle

Blog Takeover: Update from the Director

Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Tricycle
Tricycle Young Company

Tricycle Young Company

Today we have a blog from Emily Lim, Young Company Director. Emily is working with the Tricycle’s Young Company to get their shows on the stage ready for the Takeover Festival in two weeks! 

Hello! My name’s Emily, I’m the Tricycle’s Young Company Director. We’re in the final stages of preparation for our Takeover shows and thought it’d be nice to fill everyone in on what’s been happening in our rehearsal rooms…
 
Our two 11 – 14 year old groups have been working really hard on a brand new devised piece about all the extraordinary things in life. It’s a lot of fun and a little bit bonkerseccentric- there’s a David Beckham dance, a made-up quiz show, a scene where we all nearly cut off our hair, and a character called Zeus who’s obsessed with Hollister (why not?!).
 
Meanwhile, our 15 – 18 year old ensemble has been working on The Wardrobe, as part of the National Theatre’s Connections project. The play takes us on a journey through time, from the Wars of the Roses up to the present day. It’s a great script, full of mystery, action and gore – working out how to convincingly suffocate someone with a dress was a particular challenge…! We initially focused on character exploration work and then spent time working on the text and staging in detail.
 
Finally, the 19 – 25s have been busy rehearsing The Kilburn Passion, a new play that’s been written especially for them by Suhayla El-Bushra, an amazing playwright who used to attend the Tricycle Young Company herself when she was younger. We’re working hard (and FAST!) to get our heads round the text, the big group dance numbers, and the enormous, beautiful, 2-metre-high staircase which forms the centerpiece of our set…
 
All of our company members are working full pelt to get things ready in time, with the incredible help of our student stage managers and our creative team. We can’t wait to show our audiences what we’ve made, it’s such a special opportunity to be taking over the building and performing on the mainstage – come and see it for yourselves!

The Takeover Festival runs from 30 March – 5 April. Click here to find out more about the Takeover, see what’s on and book. Join in the conversation on social media with #TYCTakeover.