Community Libraries and their value to our town ...

Community Libraries and their value to our town ...

Researching for our next production Spine by Clara Brennan made us wonder what exactly a community library is, and what value do they bring. We set up an interview with the lovely Kate Daly from Old Town Community Library in Eastbourne (only a stones throw from our theatre) and were quite humbled at the answer. We are going to split this blog into two, as every word is worth a read.

How does a community library vary from a council library?

A community library is either a registered charity or a community interest company, or even a charitable incorporated organisation. We don’t get any funding so we had to become self- funding.  In 2002, we were one of the first community libraries in the whole country. So we've been doing it a long time.

A Year In The Making ... Someone, Somewhere.

A Year In The Making ... Someone, Somewhere.

That time is here again - the madness that is pre-show week. 

The last two weeks before any production are pretty hectic as every aspect of the play comes together. All members of the company are running around putting the final tweaks to their particular role, and in general preparing for the get-in.  The actors are all in a state of panic that the lines and cues they have spent weeks learning won’t escape them, and for me the Producer, I have to make sure that no fish has escaped the net, and everyone is set to go.

The Flint Street Nativity ... The Truth Behind The Teatowel

The Flint Street Nativity ... The Truth Behind The Teatowel

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE TEATOWEL

Come Christmas there are always those cynics who decry infant nativities as pointless charades, championed only by hypocrites seeking to inoculate themselves against hedonism with a brief intravenous of 'meaning'. What lessons, they ask, are to be learned in the modern age from plodding formation of a tableaux by kids trying to work out what a 'virgin's womb' is and how not to 'abhor' it. The answer is 'numerous and trenchant' lessons for all concerned; not in the table itself but rather in the telling.

Sea Fret and The Human Cost of Coastal Erosion

Sea Fret and The Human Cost of Coastal Erosion

Living in Eastbourne, we’re very aware of the presence of the sea and can imagine how painful it must be to watch that relentless sea eroding away the land from beneath your house.  As such, we decided to put on the play, Sea Fret, which addresses the issue of coastal erosion on the Suffolk coast and the effect it has on the people who lose their homes to the sea.  Recent collapses of cliffs in Norfolk and, much closer to home, at Birling Gap have demonstrated why this phenomenon can be so heart-breaking and why we thought it was such a good choice for a poignant play to be performed here in Eastbourne.

An evening with Holocaust survivor Dorit Oliver Wolff

An evening with Holocaust survivor Dorit Oliver Wolff

Meeting Holocaust survivor Dorit Oliver Wolff was a fascinating but shocking experience for everyone at Green Room Productions.  Dorit was a wonderful character and speaker who considered herself to be a survivor of the Holocaust rather than a victim.  Despite her strong European accent, when people ask her where she is from, she says ‘Eastbourne’ and has the attitude that when her phone beeps at night and wakes her up, it is a good thing because it shows her she’s not dead.  Here is her extraordinary tale.

Interview with 'This Wide Night Actress' Sandra Cheesman

Interview with 'This Wide Night Actress' Sandra Cheesman

What is your theatrical background?

I have been acting since I was knee-high to a Grasshopper. At the ripe old age of 24, I managed to gain a place at a drama school in London and train professionally.  Deciding quite early on after leaving the school that the professional side was not for me, I took my learned skills and acted and directed my way up to eventually starting my own theatre company in 2009.

Interview with 'This Wide Night' actress Samantha Steer

Interview with 'This Wide Night' actress Samantha Steer

What is your theatrical background?

I have been performing since I was around 8 years old where I was always in the school plays and worked with local amateur companies throughout my youth. I studied literature and theatre studies at the University of Kent and after I graduated last summer I spent my year back home working with the lovely people at Green Room.

Interview with playwright Chloe Moss by Neil Cooper

Interview with playwright Chloe Moss by Neil Cooper

When Chloe Moss was commissioned by Clean Break theatre company to spend twelve weeks developing a play from working with inmates in a women's prison, she was initially daunted by the terms laid down for her by the company set up in 1979 by two female prisoners to explore the hidden stories of women prisoners through drama. By the end of the process, things had changed somewhat for the Liverpool-born writer.

Di and Viv and Rose Rehearsal Process

Di and Viv and Rose Rehearsal Process

Di and Viv and Rose is a play full of fun and laughter.  It’s fitting, therefore, that the rehearsal period has been exactly the same.  As Becky, who plays Di, Emma, who plays Viv and Casey, who plays Rose, are all such good friends in real life, it’s really added something to the production but also added to the giggle-factor.  Quick scene changes and a plethora of costumes have provided challenges off the stage while emotional content, strange facial expressions and pronunciation issues have kept, Sandra, the director, and the girls working hard on the stage.

Di and Viv and Rose

Di and Viv and Rose

Di and Viv and Rose is a story of enduring friendship.  Playwright Amelia Bullmore decided to write it in 2009 when she realised how much she missed an old friend.  The feeling was so powerful that it inspired her to write a piece about the profundity of female friendships and the importance of these long-standing relationships.  We chose it as part of our programme this year because it really resonated with us and we believe we have what it takes to do it justice.

A Sneak Preview of the Green Room Productions 2017 Programme

A Sneak Preview of the Green Room Productions 2017 Programme

At Green Room Productions, we put on plays that make people think, laugh and cry. Our mission is to bring the best modern plays to Eastbourne and play them with oodles of heart and plenty of polish.  This season promises to be no different.  We have selected three brilliant new plays for your viewing pleasure to move and amuse.  In addition to our theatrical programme, we’re also offering a treat for the ears with a performance by our talented singing group, the Green Room Belles.

Hi-diddle-dee-dee, an actor's life for me ...

Hi-diddle-dee-dee, an actor's life for me ...

On Monday we held an 'open audition night', the purpose of which was to meet new actors & actresses who had expressed an interest in our company.  What a lovely evening it was.  No ego's arrived through the door, no pretentiousness, just a bunch of great actors wanting to get their hands dirty and produce good theatre.  A refreshing change I can tell you!

Wanted 2 x white plastic picnic mugs ...

Wanted 2 x white plastic picnic mugs ...

Two weeks to go until opening night and the madness kicks in ...

Everything needs to be sorted. Programme designed, practice props replaced by real ones, costumes co-ordinated and worn, liaising on set design/construction, sound FX recorded, lighting designed, cue sheets written up and so on ....  My to-do list just gets longer and longer, and my sleep gets less and less!

“What is that unforgettable line?”

“What is that unforgettable line?”

So with a month to go until opening night, the pressure is on to 'get books down'.  Act I is pretty much there, but Act II needs some ​serious line learning on my part. 

The days of having a prompt sitting in the corner as a security blanket have well and truly passed, and we always go on knowing it is down to us to get ourselves out of any sticky situations that may arise.  There is nothing more frightening than seeing the fear in a fellow actors face, as their lines disappear right before your eyes, or the same happening to you.