We’ve been a bit quiet these past few months but we’ve not been idle. Here’s all the stuff we’ve done over summer:
Knocked down and rebuilt the rear section of the bar, including adding new stairs, a sink, cupboards and loads more space for storing drink and food. This was essential work after part of the ceiling fell in.
The ceiling fell in because of water still getting into the roof, especially in the rear section of the building. So we’ve plugged the leaks and relaid the roof, which means we can now finally...
...sort out the wardrobe. Our costume room has been damp and home to pigeons for years and become pretty unusable. So we’ve built a brand-new room and have been transferring costumes into it. We’ve got about 200 bags of clothes to clean and sort out, so if you can help with the washing let us know!
Also upstairs we’ve finally finished the rehearsal room, which means we can get more shows in at the same time. The room can be used for acting and dance rehearsals, plus makes a great meeting place and will be an extra dressing room.
There have also been various jobs, from touching up the paint, deep cleaning the auditorium seats, and rewiring the electrics.
All this isn’t obvious to the public but has used up all our money. Now a lot of the structure in place, we’d dearly love to improve our toilets and brighten up the Foyer and then, eventually, move on to the auditorium. Our only income is from ticket sales so come along to our shows to support us.
(If you’d like to sponsor a show, please also get in touch)
In addition to all this, we’ve rehearsed Funny Money 3 or 4 times a week (and built the set!), auditioned and started rehearsals for Memory of Water, readied the script and starting choreographing the Panto, picked the next 8 films, designed & printed the new brochures, and have been beavering away on a new website.
The new season starts next Thursday with Dave Spikey’s show and we hope you can find something you fancy and continue to support us.
Dave's here with his new show next week. There are a couple of single seats left if you want to catch it. Profits will benefit local charity Laughing Dog. Call 01257 264362
The name of your touring show is ‘words don’t come easy’ could you please explain briefly why you chose to call it that?
I love the structure and rhythm of the English Language and hate its misuse and abuse and so after the massive response to my deconstruction of song lyrics and newspaper stories on my last tour I decided to make this the theme of the show. I soon realised that actually it’s a pretty broad canvas and a rich source of comedy. A few quick examples:-
I hate text speak and facebook speak – its lazy, it’s a refuge for illiterates. “L8R” takes how many milliseconds less to type in than “Later”, bearing in mind you have to hold the “8” twice as long to get the number on ? What is so important in your life that saving a couple of seconds in your texts helps you to do? I’m guessing F All. They say it’s easier and quicker – Not to me it’s not, It takes me ages to decipher the nonsense.
And the words that have started appearing on pretentious menus – even in pubs round here! Can’t move these days for Coulis or Compote or Melange or something that’s “drizzled with jus” - gravy to you and me. Which part of a lamb is noisette and what’s a galette? I recently saw, “Encased in a filo basket” – That’ll be a pie then. “Breast of duck kissed by the Chefs signature sauce” – Uergggh! That sounds very worrying.
Little things like the overuse of the word “Absolutely”. “Are we still going out on Thursday night?”, “Absolutely”, “You mean “Yes” don’t you?”.
The use of “literally” – I literally cried my eyes out. No you didn’t although I would love to see that --- cry cry ... plop plop, “Who turned the lights off?” On the television horse racing last week the commentator said “All the horses are ready and raring to go. Once the starter presses his button the horses will literally explode out of the stalls” – That my friend is going to be spectacular. What’s at the end of the starter’s button? Semtex?
What about when people say, “It’s the least I can do” – Is it? Well thanks for that. Make a bloody effort will you because to me, “the least you can do” is Sod All. Add Police “Speak”, Hospital “Speak”, Parents useless attempts as sex education Etc etc.
What is it you think that you like about doing stand up comedy?
Intimacy and Immediacy. I can see the audience, connect with them, see them and engage them with my conversation, draw them into my world and make them laugh (usually). I can think of something new in the days building up to a gig , even driving there or maybe improvise or extemporise on stage and I’m getting laughs immediately . Whereas I can slog over a script or treatment for months for TV or Radio and if it gets commissioned and made we’re talking about 6 – 12 months down the line and then it’s transmitted and when one of your best lines hits home somebody watching TV in Euxton chuckles and says “That’s funny”. Don’t get me wrong, it is immensely satisfying but it’s not like 200 or 2000 people suddenly laughing at a live gig. That will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, it can knock you back on your heels and there’s no other feeling on earth like it.
Who makes you laugh or inspires you at the moment?
Ordinary people .Life is a comedy drama. Everyone has a story and I love eavesdropping on that because it is there that you will find comedy gold that inspires new routines and enhances new ones. We all live very similar lives I think and I also think that if I see or hear or read something in the news or see it in town shopping or view it on the TV then all of us must do. It’s my job to exaggerate, embellish and put a comedy spin on it, extract comedy from the situation, where most people don’t see or expect it.
Sometimes however you only have to report what you’ve heard, improbable as it may sound. I heard two girls talking the other day and one said , “Has your Doreen had the baby yet?” and her friend says “Yeah last week , a little boy , eight pounds twelve ounces” , so the first girl says , “What are they calling him?” and her friend says “Mark , but get this ! Snooty cow is spelling it with a “c”, so then the first girl thought for a minute puzzled and said “So ...... Carc?” How thick do you have to be to put the “c” on the front?
What was the last show/gig you went to see?
Les Miserables for the fifth time. I absolutely love this show more than anything I’ve ever seen in the theatre. Fantastic music , a great , great story and powerful , soaring performances . It’s an intensely moving experience.
If you were a theatrical character who would you be?
Sydney Carton in “A Tale of Two Cities”. He is shrewd junior barrister who is underestimated by the opposition because of his wasteful and drunkard ways. Indeed he is self-indulgent and self-pitying because of his wasted life. Then he develops a strong unrequited love for Lucie Manette. One drunken night he vows that he would do anything for her if it would ensure her happiness or that of anyone she loves, and indeed dies in the place of her husband. His marvelous act of self sacrifice provides a moving and tragic ending to the book as he comforts a young seamstress on the way to the guillotine. It is a "far, far better thing" he does than he has ever done before.
What do you personally think about Chorley Little Theatre becoming a comedy venue for touring comedians?
I think it’s a brilliant initiative. Whoever pushed the venue to the comedy community is to be congratulated. You can judge how successful it has been by looking at some of the great names it has attracted. Great for the town, great for the growing audience for live comedy and great for the comedians. We’re all winners
What’s next in the pipeline?
I’ve got a script commission from BBC1 for a sitcom I’m writing with Neil Fitzmaurice. Provisionally it’s called “Glitterball” and it’s about the world of ballroom dancing at grass roots level. We’ve set it at a dance school in Blackpool and its more about the characters than the dancing and how things change within the group when a local competition is announced.
I’m also just finishing a comedy based on those “Police Camera Action” and “Emergency” shows because it’s never really been done before and I have so much NHS experience and stories stored away. I’ve always wanted to write a medically based comedy but every time you turn the TV on there seems to be another one so I’ve been waiting for the inspiration for a different angle on the genre and this is it. So I have two policemen, one a by-the-book pedantic bloke, the other a bit a thick – a bit lazy and they investigate incidents where they have to call for the paramedics, one star-struck playing it up for the cameras and one new and keen and they take victims to A&E where our two nurses dealing with a load of pissheads and timewasters have to concentrate on the “emergency”. I’m very excited about it and loving writing it. I’ve not shown it anybody yet but I really hope the TV people see the comedy potential combined with the serious underlying message regarding the use and abuse of our emergency services.
I’ve been mentoring a young writer John Lebbon from Cumbria and we’ve written a script about life in that part of the world. I've found it a refreshing change to get out of inner cities and examine how disaffected youth struggle with modern day life out in the countryside where fewer opportunities in terms of work , leisure and relationships go hand in hand with less hope , more frustration and despair . The fact that these emotions seem to be amplified when viewed in an area of natural beauty where outsiders are thrilled by idyllic landscapes yet the youngsters who live there view it as a bleak world is a strong theme I think. Our aim is to make a short film as a taster later in the year.
Interview by Denise Kasperkiewicz
Words Don't Come Easy - Thursday 1st September - 7.30pm. Doors open 6.45pm
You may have read in the press this week about vandalism to the theatre front. 2 window panes were smashed on Sunday night, and have now been replaced with extra-strength safety glass.
This is now the 4th time this has happened this year, and is very annoying after all the time and effort we've put in to make the building look good. Every time it happens, it costs us £200 to replace and it all adds up. We only exist on ticket sales, there's no council or Lottery funding to back us up, so anything that knocks us back or damages our ability to cover costs is very frustrating.
If anyone has any info on the vandalism please let us know.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe starts properly today. The biggest arts event in the world, it's a great showcase of the best and brightest talents in the world. But there's no need to go to Scotland, as we're bringing the highlights here to Chorley Little Theatre. With Richard Herring's new show going on sale today, here's the (current) list of Edinburgh shows you can see right here over the next few months. We hope to add more, so keep checking!
|Dave Gorman - Thursday 29th September|
|He sold out ages ago (sorry) but Dave takes his Powerpoint Presentation to the Fringe before coming here in September.|
|Craig Campbell - Wednesday 26th October|
|This shouty Canadian is taking a break from his 120-date tour to do three weeks at The Stand in Edinburgh, on the back of hugely successful appearances on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and Dave's One Night Stand. Strictly adults only!|
|Wolfman Investigations - Thursday 27th October|
They're making their Fringe debut this year, but this "live-action cartoon" has already thrilled families four times here in Chorley. A panto-style adventure suitable for all ages, their creators After Dark Theatre are on the way to becoming big names. Remember where you saw them first!
All tickets just £5
|Joe Wilkinson - Thursday 10th November|
|He's been at the Edinburgh Fringe for years, as half of acclaimed duo Two Episodes of MASH, but is doing a solo show after appearances on Russell Howard's Good News and Have I Got News For You. With a unique outlook on life, this is a stand-up star of the future.|
|Alun Cochrane - Thursday 17th November|
|Making his 7th Fringe appearance in 6 years, Alun has also just joined Frank Skinner on Absolute Radio and has recently appeared on Have I Got News For You and Just A Minute. He's a no-nonsense comedian who specialises in funny nonsense - taking everyday observations into flights of fancy.|
|ComedySportz - Saturday 19th November|
They began in Chorley 10 years ago and have gone onto conquer the world. Originally a spin-off from Chorley Youth Theatre, they're now the resident improvisation group at Manchester's Comedy Store and have appeared all over the UK and America. They're doing free shows in Edinburgh for just one week, and bring their family-friendly impro back to Chorley for one night only in November.
All tickets just £5
|Tom Stade - Friday 25th November|
|This Canadian has taken the comedy world by storm over the last two years, and is appearing at The Pleasance in Edinburgh before carrying on his mammoth UK tour. As seen on Frankie Boyle's TV show, Tom is proving very popular and tickets are selling fast.|
|Richard Herring - Friday 9th March 2012|
|It's his 21st Fringe, but only his third visit to Chorley - where he will no doubt visit "Parmesan & Petulant" (now immortalised on his DVD). This year's show is all about Love, and we -aptly- love having him here, where he's gone down a storm with his shows about Hitler and Jesus. He's moved up to a bigger venue, The Cow Barn, for this year's Fringe.|
|Russell Kane - Saturday 21st March 2012|
|Russell won the Fosters Comedy Award (formerly the Perrier) in Edinburgh last year and is one of the biggest venues with his new show Manscaping. His career has taken off since last year's Fringe - his version of Beyonce's "Crazy In Love" came second in Lets Dance For Comic Relief, and he's now got his own show on BBC Radio 2 (which also features The Upbeat Beatles)|
|Chris Ramsey - supporting Russell Kane|
|Chorley Little Theatre audiences have already had a sneak preview of Chris's show when he came here in June, and now they can see the rest when he supports Russell next year. This upcoming comedian has appeared on 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Comedy Rocks but reckons Chorley might have been his best gig all year. He's also at The Pleasance in Edinburgh.|
A message from Mark Jones, Head of the Artistic Committee
2012-2013 CADOS Season – Submissions Welcomed
Just as we are about to embark on the 2011-2012 season, work now starts on putting together the 2012-2013 season. We are looking for submissions for those who may want to direct. We have 5 production slots (September 2012 has already been allocated for Calendar Girls) - which are October 2012, December 2012 (a pantomine), February 2013, April 2013 and June 2013 (a musical). The only requirement the artistic committee have decided for this season is that the submissions must be for productions which CADOS have never done before. We are looking to do a 'brand-new' season.
In addition to the main season we are also launching 'Studio' productions. These will perform Thurs-Sat at the theatre in Nov 2012, March 2013 and May 2013. These will be smaller scale productions with a limited budget of £500 per production. Which obviously dictates the options for staging.
It doesn't matter if you have never directed before - if you have a passion for a production which you'd like to see on our stage then please make a submission.
We are aiming to get the season finalised by the end of 2011. With this in mind - we have a new submission form for you to complete should you want to direct a CADOS production. This will be soon available on the websitebut for now use the "contact us" page and we'll send it to you. Complete the form and send it back - either by post to the theatre…. for my attention. The closing date for the submission forms is 30th September 2011.
Should you have any questions or queries then don't hesitate to contact me either via this website or by phone - 07877 111 248.
CADOS – Head of Artistic
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