#WorldTheatreDay Pt. 5 Kate Noviss

Kate Noviss (Marketing Manager)

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As a child the minute we  convinced my dad that we didn’t want to see panto at Christmas but preferred visiting London’s West End was the same time I realised the magic of escaping into the bright lights of a story brought to life on stage.

From Chess, Me and My Girl, Starlight Express, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and 42nd Street at one point there wasn’t a musical on in London I hadn’t dragged my family to see.

Once I moved out of the family home rather disappointingly the cost of theatre tickets rested with me! Now whilst there are a number of shows on in London at any given time that I haven’t seen these days I indulge my love of theatre in a different way.

After having my own children and feeling like I needed something for myself (and as the realisation that I wasn’t an undiscovered Ruthie Henshall finally sunk in) I took a magical first brave step into a local amateur dramatics group.

Crazy For You (EBOS – East Berkshire Operatic Society)

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Having never had any sort of training it was certainly a baptism of fire! Auditions were jaw clenchingly terrifying as a newbie and I’ve learnt an entire new language. Never more embarassed than not knowing the call ‘Act One Beginners’ actually means ‘if you are meant to be onstage as the curtain opens get yourself to the stage now!’

Crazy For You (EBOS – East Berkshire Operatic Society)

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I’ve met a whole new group of people whilst treading the boards – ever patient every time I say ‘what’s position 2 again?’;  challenged myself like never before (tap dancing in formation when I didn’t know my wings from my paddle steps… to be honest still not sure that I do!) and felt the supreme magic of a spot light on your face and just realised a secret ambition to be mic’d up for a show!! (to me this is as close to ‘fame’ as I will ever get!).

Chess (EBOS – East Berkshire Operatic Society)

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I’ve shared the drama of props in the wrong place on the stage, missed cues followed by some ad lib, the joy of finalling nailing waltzing in a circle, principle cast members with their backs to an audience intent on making you laugh, costume fails and people falling off the stage into the orchestra pit.

The Wizard of Oz (EBOS – East Berkshire Operatic Society)

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I still love going to see a show but I now almost prefer being in one!

(Photos all courtesy of My World My Eyes)

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#WorldTheatreDay pt.3 Andy Edmeads

Andy Edmeads (Venue Manager)

How long have you worked within theatre?

I started working professionally as an actor when I was 12 and started working in venues when I was 24. I’ve been at Camberley Theatre since December 2014 and a couple of roles later, I’m now Venue Manager.

Why did you choose theatre as a career?

Since I was Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Junior School, theatre is all I’ve ever wanted to do. Having worked as an actor for about 10 years before moving into theatre marketing and management, I love the people you meet and the variety of the work. No two days are ever the same!

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Do  you ever get a chance to go to see shows not connected with work?

Yes all the time! Having met lots of wonderful people at University who have gone on to work in the industry as well and people connected with productions I’ve worked on I’m always able to go and see a range of shows. It’s always good to see shows at other venues to get ideas and inspiration.

What’s the best thing you’ve worked on at Camberley Theatre – why was it so good?

I’m always very excited and proud of our in-house pantomimes. They’ve got better and better in recent years and I love the team of people who work on the show and it’s a great time of year for all of the staff here to get involved with.

The excitement of breaking all sales records with Peter Pan in December is a definite highlight for me!

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What’s the last thing you saw outside of Camberley Theatre?

I saw a new production of A Streetcar Named Desire at Nuffield Theatre Southampton on Saturday. It’s my favourite play and it was a really neat, updated version. It’s a brand new venue too so was great to get some ideas for our refurb in the summer!

 Favourite ever piece of theatre, either that you’ve seen or wished you’d seen.

I think Moulin Rouge Secret Cinema has to be up there. I’m loving the trend for immersive and interactive theatre and I think we’ll see more and more of this sort of theatre. They really created the right atmosphere and world of the play and you forgot all about life outside – I could have seen it again and again!

 

#WorldTheatreDay pt. 1 Zoe Stanton

Today is #WorldTheatreDay. We have been asking members of the Camberley Theatre team for their thoughts and memories on theatre.

Zoe Stanton (Front of House Officer)

How long have you worked within theatre?

 I started working as a casual Front of House assistant 2 years ago, then became a full-time Front of House Officer 6 months later.

 Why did you choose theatre as a career?

The theatre has always been a second home to me, I’ve performed in many amateur productions from a young age and now love working at a theatre as my job!

Zoe

(Me as Tracy Turnblad with her mum Edna in my college’s production of ‘Hairspray’.)

Do you ever get the chance to go to see shows not connected with work?

Yes, I’m a big fan of the West End and like to occasionally treat myself to one of the big London shows.

What’s the best thing you’ve worked on at Camberley Theatre – why was it so good?

Frimley Lodge Live is a favourite of mine, we’ve always been lucky with the weather and everyone is always in such a good mood all weekend – it’s great to work in such a fun, chilled out environment with fabulous music and sunshine.

What’s the last thing you saw outside of Camberley Theatre?

 I went to see Les Miserables last month with my friends, which I was buzzing to see because I loved the film version so much. It didn’t disappoint!

 

Les Mis

Favourite ever piece of theatre, either that you’ve seen or wished you’d seen.

If you’re a theatre fan and haven’t seen the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, then where have you been? I’m also secretly crossing my fingers to finally get tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

 

 

 

Russell Kane interview!

Brian Donaldson caught up with Russell ahead of his Camberley Theatre show on May 3rd.

Russell Kane is a changed man. For his Right Man, Wrong Age tour, you may encounter someone with a new look, fresh perspectives and a different approach to his comedy. “In the last year I’ve been married and had a baby. I’ve changed my hair, I’ve changed my look, I’ve thrown all my eyeliner in the bin. I literally went to my wardrobe one day and got all my ridiculous clothes and took them to the Sue Ryder shop for some other man having a midlife crisis then bought the four exact same suits in different colours from Topman. Then I got my hair as flat as it can go and I thought, ‘that’s it: this is me now’.”

 

russell-k-use-mid-resIn fact, Russell can pinpoint the exact moment when he needed to alter his outlook and write a new show. It started with somebody at the door . . . “I’m always looking for the moment that can make me look ridiculous in a way that is compelling. I was in the middle of spray-tanning myself upstairs in these tiny pants when the doorbell went. I went downstairs in my dressing gown and this window cleaner was touting for work. He leaned in and said, ‘I’m really sorry to disturb you: is your mum or dad in at all?’ Initially you might have thought this was a compliment, but it’s really not. He could be talking about how I’m putting myself across so I thought: ‘clothes in the bin’. And at that moment, there was Right Man, Wrong Age.”

 

In the world of stand-up, acts are continually expected to evolve and grow and turn over a significant amount of material every one or two years. For some this burden might prove too much, but for Russell Kane this is a challenge he relishes. “I’ll keep changing, and I don’t really ever want to stand still. I don’t care if it confuses people about where I’m coming from. I’m protean; I don’t want to be recognisable in five years’ time; that’s what keeps my writing going. One day I’m learning Spanish, the next I’m learning survivalism. I might do my maths GCSE next week: who knows?”

 

For now, though, Russell is focused on making Right Man, Wrong Age the best show it can possibly be. His topic this time around is how we never quite feel the life-stage that we’re in and the age that we’re at, whether we’re 80 or 18. “When you’re 18, you look in the mirror and think ‘I know what I want to do, so why am I trapped in this 18-year-old body?’ while the 80-year-old is still waltzing and dancing around in her head. That’s going to be my jumping off point and from there I’ll do lots of accessible observations as well as the odd thinky bit. But I don’t want to disappear up my own bum with this show, I just want to go on in my suit, like Michael McIntyre or Peter Kay, and just be funny and have lots of big laughs. My only job in life is to be funny.”

 

Inevitably, his new fatherhood status will have to be addressed in his show. As ever with Russell, he’ll work hard to avoid easy clichés and tired stereotypes as he tackles a subject that has been raised on many a stage by several generations of comedians. “It’s so hack to talk about having babies that I need to find another way in. It’s like walking into Pret at 5pm and there’s one boiled egg left: that’s what’s left to say about childbirth. But when you’re coming at it from a male point of view, you need to find a way in. I’ve never heard a man talk about caesarean section, so that might be the way to go.”

 

If you’ve seen Russell on stage, you’ll know there is a physicality to his act which matches the blizzard of ideas and words. So, how does he wind down after a show? “Nothing exotic, just a glass of red wine. I would like to get to bed earlier, but I need a good movie or, if I’m feeling particularly tired, something like Towie or Take Me Out; something that lobotomises me. I’m always reading good stuff, but now and again you need a burger because you can’t live on quinoa all the time. So I need something mega mainstream to bring me down.”

 

Normally in the run-up to a touring show, Russell will have almost a month of preview gigs under his belt. This time around, he had to ditch most of those plans to film his BBC series, Stupid Man, Smart Phone, for which he jetted off to various inhospitable parts of the world (the Arctic Circle, North Africa and Costa Rica among them) to see if he could survive purely with the aid of a constantly fully-charged mobile device with a permanent Wi-Fi connection. This is another example of a man who constantly wants to stretch himself, both physically and intellectually, whether it’s going on to Radio 4’s Saturday Review alongside AS Byatt to discuss the new Julian Barnes novel or writing his own next literary work. In 2012, two years after he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award, Russell published The Humorist, the tale of a tormented comedy critic who discovers the secret blueprint for humour, and he is continually working away on future literary projects.

 

Kane also has ambitions to tap into the online market with his stand-up. “I’ve not really seen other stand-ups doing it; I’ve seen some using their social media and doing bits of sketches but I haven’t seen many take the risk of doing stand-up down the barrel of a camera, posting it and seeing what happens. I did a thing recently, which I called The Kaneing, where I looked at a celebrity news story and put it on my Facebook wall. I was worried it might seem a bit embarrassing and desperate, but it got 64,000 views overnight.”

 

The popularity of Russell Kane is in little doubt, but he’s keen to make the most of his time at the top of the British stand-up tree. His sense of gratitude for the job he’s doing is palpable and he confesses that touring the country and making people laugh is something he will never tire of. “I love it. If I ever have a bad day and feel miserable, I think about the things my family have done for a living. The fact that I can walk into a hotel, lie on the bed, watch a sci-fi movie, go and do an hour’s work on stage is incredible.”

Jack Nicklaus v Gary Player 1966

As you know, 1966 is the year that Camberley Theatre opened. Here’s another great story we’ve found, also from that famous sporting year.

Did anyone see England’s Danny Willett win the Masters yesterday?

Well, on this day in 1966 this is what happened – including ‘The Incident’ and ‘hitting a steward on the head and landing in the car park’!

Read more about it here from the Guardian and watch as events unfold in this clip….