Monday, 14 July 2014

Features in Sardines Magazine plus Sharing the Successes in my theatre writing.

Looking back over the last twelve months of theatre reviewing and professionally writing about and for the theatre I have built myself a good reputation as an interesting and inspired writer. My sincere thanks to Heidi McKenzie of Derby Theatre and Jo McLeish of Nottingham Playhouse whose generosity of support has been invaluable during this time. Equally to Paul Johnson of Sardines magazine who saw something in my writing and encouraged me along the way. Lastly to Abigail Rhodes the editor of The Boards who made positive comments about my theatre based ideas for their magazine and encouraged me to submit my articles which were subsequently published.

As well as having the honour to be a regular contributor to the illustrious Sardines theatre magazine I have been out and about throughout the cities of Derby and Nottingham reviewing a plethora of professional plays and shows and interviewing major playwrights such as John Godber, Howard Brenton and Nottingham based playwright, Andy Barratt. Other interviews have included the cast of The Second Minute, Shobna Gulati and Joe McGann, Warwick Davis and Barrie Rutter of Northern Broadsides.

For Sardines I have had three articles published; the cover article and interview with Warwick Davis, a piece about my life as a reviewer and another three page spread about Nottingham's Lace Market Theatre's twinning history with two German theatre companies. This sharing of European theatre is one of my great passions.

Howard Brenton Photo by Phil Lowe
Also for Sardines I have been compiling articles, interviews and reviews connected with plays about and concerned with the centenary of World War One. The result (August edition) will be a twenty page spread of fascinating text that shows off the best of amateur and professional work across the UK accompanied by stunning photographic images. It should be brilliant and collectable edition. As previously mentioned I recently had the chance to go the Globe Theatre in London to meet playwright Howard Brenton to interview him about his new play - Dr Scroggy's War.  The image below is 'hot off the press' and shows both Brenton and Godber on the front page. I was so intrigued by the headline that I had to phone Paul the editor to question it. I was ignorant that the term 'triple threat' was a drama school expression relating to the talents of dance, drama and singing. Well. you learn something new every day!

The issue also supports my World War One Centenary Special.

August edition number 23.

I also had the pleasure of meeting up with the Editor in Chief of Sardines, Mr Paul Johnson for this interview. This was a wonderful day that made me realise how important my on-going experiences and my BA (hons) degree in performance art were; all finally combining to create something of  great value to share with my readers. It is that very satisfying feeling that finally things are coming together and I am doing something that, despite the long hours of creative input and working around an un-connected full time job, I am achieving something of value to all. Through Paul's sterling editorial advice my writing is becoming ever sharper.

Cover of the July- August edition of The Boards
For the Lace Market Theatre I am a regular contributor to their 'The Boards' magazine that informs their membership and members of the public about the activities of the renowned amateur Nottingham based theatre group. The latest July/August edition was primarily about the April twinning event and included news about the sad loss of one of its members, John Holbrook. Magdelena Maier, a talented young actress from Karlsruhe features on the cover. The picture is taken from their amusing and energetic performance of Boeing Boeing.

I am also developing a script towards a performance in Karlsruhe, Germany, this coming December, about a fictional friendship between a two soldiers in WW1, a German and an English Soldier. The English title is 'Greetings From The Trenches' and it will be a performance in English and German with song from the exceptionally talented Emma Brown. It has an unusual poetic angle on the aftermath of WW1 and food privations and hopes for the future plus a ghost story. This is currently a work in progress but should be completed (in the scripted form) by August 2014. Emma's work can be discovered at The piece has also been submitted to Nottingham Playhouse for their Time & Memory opportunity.

And finally, I have been invited by Derby Theatre to present an amateur theatre award at the prestigious The Eagle Awards on Sunday 20th of July. I will be presenting the award for best Panto. Given that my fledgling 1970s and 1980s theatre experiences were through the amateur forum in Derby this will be such an honour. Phil Lowe.

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