Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Odd Lot Theatre at Cafe 5



Much of July  has been spent developing Odd Lot Theatre’s “Odd Soiree” at  Café 5 here in Easton, Bristol.    Here’s the programme:-                                      


             A fundraiser for Bristol Refugee Rights

1.      Space 1. Devised by Tom Hayes

2.      Space 2.  Written and performed by Andreea Brown.

3.      ‘How Many Things Can You Think About…..?’  A very recent and provisional  response to contrasting events this year:  the solidarity of Glasgow residents in preventing two of their neighbours from removal by Immigration officers and the brutal treatment by Border Force staff of E.U. citizens arriving at U.K. airports for legitimate reasons.  Verbatim accounts of this treatment are drawn from articles in the Guardian newspaper.  

[The suitcase in this performance belonged to Liz Cashdan’s  grandfather, Elias Trilling who was a refugee from Russia in 1917. It then travelled around the world with her father, Samuel Trilling.  Liz was named Elisabeth after her grandfather.]

4.      Incident at the Frontier, 1938.  Written and performed by Liz Cashdan.

5.      The Right Thing A retired couple stumble on the realities of today’s world. At a doorstep press briefing Toby responds to criticism of their response.  Written and performed by Richard Worsnop


6.      Monologue from Age Queer written and performed by Jo Cross. This script is supported by Theatre West under their Zooming Ahead scheme for women writers Theatre West (

7.      How Long And Odd 9 Minutes Are written and performed by Rebecca Braccialarghe.

This  links patriarchy and a need for change to events including George Floyd’s murder and community resistance to immigration enforcement raids

8.      Supernova  written and performed by Andreea Brown, from her forthcoming anthology.

9.      I Come From the Cut - written and performed by Poppy Jermaine from the perspective of Alex Groves, a character featured in Odd Lot’s forthcoming project: R.I.P [Working Title]. This poem was inspired by Robert Seatter’s poem I Come From. 



We all needed the boost that developing this show gave us and we benefitted from rehearsing at WildCat Studios off the Gloucester Road.  After all this time it was fantastic to be working face to face.  Or almost!   Liz Cashdan could  join us via Rebecca’s laptop and  Tom Hayes rehearsed his Under Van Man role via mobile phone. 

A reminder, given the length of time between blog posts, Odd Lot Theatre is a multicultural and importantly, an all-ages inclusive professional company.

We raised £120.00 for Bristol Refugee Rights.  Hopefully we can put “How Many Things Can You Think About…? on a more formal, research and development footing.


Monday, August 23, 2021

Age Queer Final Reading


                                                                                             Image:Theatre West

 Much of  Spring this year has been spent on the Age Queer script.  I could not have chanced on a lovelier group of people while attached to Theatre West’s Zooming Ahead Scheme.  Dramaturg Bea Roberts, Artistic Directors Ann Stiddard and Alison Comely  and Alan Coveney, Noni Lewis and Gareth Kennerley the actors delivering the final reading on June 14th by webinar.  Here are some of the comments posted afterwards:-

‘ Loved this script! Very moving, and very authentic. Congratulations and good luck!’

‘Such a wonderful script! Love how you've structured the scenes to play with the passing of time.’

‘That was wonderfully moving, funny and inspiring (from the P.O.V. of someone 70ish!!) I enjoyed all the performances; it is beautifully written, original and ingenious in many ways and I cannot think of any ways in which I think it could be improved. I'll look out for a future performance. Thank you!’

‘Very much enjoyed the detailed history of the early 80s for the characters; all felt very true.  Established very strongly the history, activism, and engagement that gets negated when older (in others' eyes).  Decline of Norma at the end was strongly written and acted.  Thanks.’

….and I was grateful for critique to help me develop the script further:-

‘I liked the way you structured the piece a lot, though I think there might be more room for thematic continuity from one section to another? I’m not sure I totally understood the gesture - But I did really enjoy it.’

‘I enjoyed the play and think it has a great relevance.  I just think it lost its way slightly in the middle.  I would like to have known more about the characters in middle life.  Nicely done though.’

Currently, the script runs  for approx. 1 hour 15 minutes as read and sticking to the brief (as originally set by Theatre West).  Whether I have a production opportunity or not, I need to develop some of the scenes, refine the dialogue and so forth.  I’ve been mulling over how Norma’s and Alan’s middle years could best be illuminated.  

Thankfully the reading was recorded.  This  has helped me develop  an article/essay explaining more detailed thinking behind Age Queer which I hope will be published online or at least on this blog.  This is intended as a starting point for discussion, workshops and the like.