Does the Red Carpet beckon in 2021?

The Whirligig Of Time

Does the Red Carpet beckon in 2021? Well, what do you know, it might! After eleven years of touring our series of one actor shows BARD HEADS, one of them has been nominated for an ONCOMM Award 2021. Written and performed by our very own Richard Curnow, THE WHIRLIGIG OF TIME , was picked up after some of the ONCOMM panel watched a live-streamed performance last week. We are absolutely delighted that, at last, there is some recognition of this brilliant piece of writing (not to mention the scarily good performance!).

Richard Curnow as Malvolio in The Whirligig of Time

Jan and feb in lockdown

Putting the red carpet to one side for a moment, it’s been a really rewarding month for FINDING THE WILL despite the lockdown. I think I was last talking to you around 12 January – since then we have worked with our good friends at Tortive Theatre to live-stream all the BARD HEADS shows every Thursday evening at 7.30pm. It has been as close to live theatre as we can possibly make it. No recordings, no catch up, be there or miss it! Everybody waits in the Zoom Waiting Room and is then admitted into the virtual auditorium ten minutes before the show begins. It’s just like getting your ticket torn as you enter the theatre auditorium. Once everyone is in and ‘seated’, there is a brief introduction from our producer Ben at Tortive Theatre. Everyone is asked to mute their microphones and switch off their cameras. Then, by the magic of zoom, we are transported to kitchens, apartments, rooms, palaces, cells and beaches in England, Denmark, Greece, Croatia, and Italy. All this via Wiltshire and Cornwall. This is live theatre but not as we know it – pure theatrical magic!

Images of all six Bard Heads shows used in Lockdown Live Stream learning curve.
All six Bard Heads shows live-streamed in 2020 Lockdowns and again in early 2021.

To be honest, we can’t wait to be back in the same room as you. Hearing your laughter, your gasps, your silence, your appreciation is what makes actors tick. It’s a very different feeling talking to yourself on screen in your own kitchen! But we are so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work in all three lockdowns. We have also increased our audience. One of the joys of working this way is that there are no geographical limits. We have reached people across all four nations of the UK as well as Europe, America, the Middle East and Japan. Finally FINDING THE WILL is truly international! More work to be done here of course.

In Other news…….

All our lovely plans for work in Primary schools during the first half of the Spring term have had to be shelved of course. Those of you who are aware of our work already will appreciate that the interactive workshops are as much about encouraging the shyer children to speak as getting the more confident ones up and performing. We fear this element would be lost in a virtual workshop and have not yet found a satisfactory way of making these workshops digitally-friendly. However, there are exciting plans afoot for an outdoor Shakespeare Project Week in June at Anson Primary, Cricklewood. We are working with this highly creative school to plan a “rehearse, record” schedule so that a Macbeth performance by Years 3/4 can be filmed outside in a completely Covid-safe manner. You might recall Anson Primary is famed for its Annie Award Ceremony at the end of each year, so if the red carpet doesn’t beckon for Macbeth, the movie, then there will be something seriously awry!

The red carpet for The Annies Ceremony
The red carpet for The Annies 2017

And talking of movies, a film of our other show, NAMING THE VIEW, is also in the early stages of preparation. In all honesty it is contingent upon a successful funding application to Arts Council England but, if successful, filming will take place later this year. I’ll say no more on that for now as it’s all in the lap of the Funding Gods whom I really don’t want to upset!

And finally……

It’s been a long, cold, grim winter on all fronts. We’re attempting to grasp all the positive straws that float past us and we hope you can do something similar. No one ever said it would be easy, but no one ever said it would be this hard either. So hang on to your dreams of a brighter future (whether or not they include a red carpet), hold your nerve, and stay safe. We are so nearly on the other side…………….


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Posted on

13th February 2021

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