Summer is here! I think... Sort of... Officially.

This'll be the third summer Tin Shed Theatre Co. has existed!

2009 we did not alot... Think we we're in my garden writing Toilette.

2010 we were consumed with The Lonely Mortician's Guide To Myiasis.

And here's 2011. What does it hold?!

We're still (or is it back) on tour. Mice and Men. Schools and small theatre venues. Very good.

Then we're working straight into Poe!

Summer looks bright!


On Tour...

So upon completion of the 1st week of Touring, I think i can safely say we have survived, unscathed thus far. (As she firmly grips the wooden leg of the coffee table.)

I have to commend the professionalism of our actors and the other two members of Tin Shed as we have formed a very pro active team. It is a strange operation of unpacking, setting up, performing, setting down and re-packing the van all to military precision.

The soundtrack to the tour has so far been Abba, ACDC, Sweet, Bowie, and Queen. Tom has so far racked up 2 points on the Button scale (for those who are un aware, this involves Tom putting his finger in his belly button and wiping said finger under the unsuspecting victims nostrils) with an extra half point awarded for fluff distributed into Justin's mustachio. Disgusting!   

As the only female in the cast there are certain vile aspects of touring with 5 men that you just have to accept. For example the continual flatulence which is a constant source of entertainment to those involved (in particular Antonio who is in constant competition for the longest, loudest and smelliest). Conversations often involving genitalia (male and female), and the epic game of 'Would you rather' which I think this week has reached new heights of vulgarity. I tell you, its a good job im not the kind of woman who particularly minds not having much privacy or is easily offended by certain crass swear words or minds a little sexism every now and again!

Completely off the subject of this blog, my cat decided that it would be a great idea to bring a dead mouse back home yesterday eve. Now i had cats as a child, and my old cat Jerry used to do this all the time. It has never bothered me other than slightly feeling a little saddened for the unsuspecting rodent or bird involved. However, last night when Oscar presented us with, can i add one of the largest mice I have ever seen it was possibly nearly rat size, I couldnt help but to be a little freaked out, so much so that when he decided that we had starred at it enough, he scurried back of got the head between his teeth and dragged it further into my bedroom. Well that was it for me, I did the classic 'Tom and Jerry black woman on the stool' moment, screamed and ran into the bathroom.

So another long week ahead.


Fight Directing Mice and Men

Chris Hall - Fight Choreographer - Curly/Carlson
The violence in Steinbeck's classic novel is not just the hooks thrown from Curly and the neck massage of Curly's wife. The entire atmosphere is underlying with a tension of characters out for themselves along with racist, sexist and greedy motives.
The setting of physically fit labouring men, working themselves into a grave with nothing to do except spend their wage in the first week of receiving it - the frustration and desire to spice up the days events is like John Wayne drunkenly trying to uncock his Colt .45
When Curly finally slams his firsts into Lennie's jaw its not even because of his aggression toward "big guys", he has been in a verbal conflict between Slim only moments before and loses heavily in front of the men employed by his father. He is enraged and therefore must gain back what credibility he can and Lennie's laugh is his motive to unleash his rage.
The fight does not need to be too long. Just enough to demonstrate the boxer stance and precision of the character Curly. Lennie should sustain as much as possible, he is built heavily and strong in stance so would be able to take several hard blows in succession, this would also give the audience a chance to see his true gentle side before George orders him to "sock em!"
The hand crush can be slow, let the audience take that moment in and allow them to see the sudden change of panic to fury in Lennie, followed by the frustration and despair from Curly.


Goodbye Ufton Court, hello Riverfront Theatre!

Goodbye Ufton Court.

So, me (Justin) and Antonio went to the AWESOME Thrift weekender. #mli2 MAKE LEARNING IRRESISTIBLE. What an experience! Experienceology. Irresistible Learning. Philosophy for children (P4C), Mantle of the Expert. We learnt it all. In an irresistible way.





These are the principles. The crux of all we should do to initiate, orchestrate and demonstrate Irresistible Learning. 

My mind was well and truly blown by the Tim Godwin, Fowler Sumner collective. So much so I can't really put it into words. 

But if I've perked your interest enough you can check it out here... http://www.fowlersumner.net/chatter/11

The experience of being at Ufton Court hit a personal chord for me. It allowed me to see the child in all of us. I was comfortable and safe within an environment in which I was encouraged to take risks. I ran from strangers, kicked off my shoes and felt grass between my toes, sang and danced, felt "freedome", experienced the impossible, made stuff, saw stuff, heard stuff, spoke stuff, learnt stuff, all at Ufton Court. MLI.

One experience that will stick with me was sharing a room with seven other people. One of whom, John, was a hilarious guy who really let the kid in him shine out. Whilst waiting in our room for a fire drill, we all knew a stranger, a woman who comes to check we're in our room before the drill, would be coming into the room soon. With a juvenile smile brandished across his face and a child like twinkle in his eye he said "Lets freak her out!". What quickly followed was eight men giggling and concocting a trick. We decided to turn all the lights out and pretend we we're conducting an impromptu seance complete with the blood of a virgin.

I've included a video clip of my new hero John below. Perhaps you can see some of the humour and fun he shared tat weekend.


 All the photos and video clips you see are courtesy of FowlerSumner. Please check out the site.

Goodbye Ufton Court.


Hello Riverfront

It seems strange to be back in the Riverfront as we're not in Uni any more. But they've kindly opened there doors and let us into their studio theatre. Which is mightily awesome!

It makes change from having to rehearse in three t-shirts, two jumpers, a wooly hat, gloves, longjohn's and jeans in freezing empty factories or empty shops spaces. It's nice to be making theatre in a theatre... But is it better?! I've sort of been questioning that in my mind today. Do I prefer to perform in theatres or cattle sheds?!

Don't know. We'll see. First day went really well. Keep you posted.



Mice and Men begins!

It began a long time ago in honesty!

We began rolling stones and calling schools back in November.

Now they are booked and we're putting some meat on the bones!

Today's been a semi eventful one. We've destroyed The Lonely Mortician set to build and Mice and Men one and almost sort of sorted out our sound and lighting equipment... Huray!

We've also argued spectacularly, it wouldn't be a meeting without a bit of mutual hatred. The argument was over what should used to represent the puppy Lennie get's given by Slim (fans of the book will know what I'm on about). Well, George and I are very much under the opinion that it wouldn't hurt to spend a bit of cash on a model new born pup... Taking the realism angle. Antonio disagreed whole heartedly. So convinced that we didn't need one, Antonio's ropey (money saving) argument concluded with him angrily stood in the room of set with George and I frantically stroking a brown sock screaming "SEE! SEE!"

It was the highlight of my Tin Shed life.

It was definitely funnier than Tone's Tic Tac disapointment and was almost certainly on par with his Starsky and Hutch table destruction.

It's all down hill from here.

Lennie's Pup...



In five years time.....

"Well in five years time we could be walking round a zoo, with the sun shinning down over me and you"

I can tell you now the sun is not shinning and we are not walking around a zoo, Noah and your flippin whale, you lied to us! Why didn't you tell us the truth?!

"Well in five years time you'll be feeling quite subdued, and the sun wont be shinning because British weather is shite, and you'll be really stressed, with no money because you all decided that it would be a good idea to start a theatre company....lalalalalaaaa. Your all having a mid-twenties crisis where your thinking, is this going to work? what does the future hold for Tin Shed...lalalalala, Im a mess, I need to stop drinking, smoking, and insulting innocent people, lalalala"

So Noah...you lied!

Ok, now I feel better. Right so, Im coming back from Italy today Horrah!! Been pretty stressed and as I have now come to realise it is quite impossible to maintain the upkeep of a business from the other side of europe, so lesson learnt there. I have however put my faith in my two business partners to hold the fort in my absence. What I will return to this evening, Im not quite sure. In my head Im going to walk through the door to find both of the buried under a mountain of paper and charity shop clothing rustling around like little hamsters. Ha, that made me smile.

Ok, now im listening to '5 years time' on youtube and it still brings back happy memories!

Until next time bloggers. x


Costume Director or charity shop city wanderer?

I'm probably the most recognised face in Newport at the moment as over the last three days i've spent hours upon end walking back and forth from one end of town to the other in search of the right costumes and props needed for our schools tour. I have been seen swetting walking up hills with a full back pack on my shoulders and hands full of carrier bags. I've probably been spotted by the same accident insurance sales person on three seperate occasions, once munching away on a gregs cheese and onion pasty, another while i was necking a strawberry milkshake and again whilst stuffing my face with a kinder bueno. I had to tell the same charity worker three times that i was really busy and then the fourth time that i was having a chaotic day as she asked me why i was walking about all day. I've made friends with all the old biddies working in the charity shops and they all promised me a discount if i go in for costumes again. ;) success. I do need to get a new back pack though as i've pushed it over its average weight limit so much, that it has caused alot of strain on the zip which has now finally broke. On a positive note though the venture has made me wiser to charity shops. for example If i walked into st annes hospice blindfolded i would be able to tell that it was st annes and not oxfam based on the smell. I think i'd also be able to tell if i was stood closer to the mens jumper rack than the womens jeans. see you learn something new every day! i got some pretty good costumes too.