Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Greetings from the Trench. Exciting progress on my play.

Over the last few weeks I have been continuing my Skype rehearsals with Emma Brown and starting to put together my show 'Greetings From The Trench' ready for its European premiere in Karlsruhe in early December. As it is mostly a very well rehearsed reading it means that Emma and I need to have the books in the format that we will be using on stage. This is the character Frank Philips' famous book that he and his daughter Madeleine (Emma Brown) use to tell various stories in the play.

Yesterday I reformatted the script so that it is a larger font and readable without squinting and with one small exception no sentence goes over to the next page. Emma and I discussed this as a practical point to make the reading and acting aspects easier for ourselves and to give the piece a natural flow.

They have been ring bound with a card back and a clear acetate cover. The image on the book cover is designed by me and I wanted a 1960s look and type face as this is the period that the action takes place in.

I made up the name of the German publisher and Verlag is what appears on some of the books published in Germany. Verlag means publisher.

I also designed the poster for the show in Germany and plan to get it published through Instaprint in Nottingham as they made a good job of the books and they have a few offers on at the moment. I can't afford to spend a lot on publicity but it does need to sell seats and be promoted the same as any other play. We are hoping for a sell out two days. I have spoken to Carsten Thein at the Jakobus theatre and he has an idea of promoting the work through schools in Karlsruhe. I am currently working on other methods of promotion via the internet. The show is mainly in English with a fair amount of German and a small amount of French. It also has live and recorded music and singing.

I have had help with making sure that the German language in the play is correct and suitable for its often poetic use. My friend Thorsten Feldman has been especially helpful in this. Recently I made a short video in German to encourage my German audience to be interested in the play that I have especially written with the people of Karlsruhe and my friends at the Jakobus theatre in mind. The video can be seen at the bottom of this blog post.

My co-star Emma Brown currently lives in Holland and next week I will be going over to the city of Leiden for a week to rehearse with her and be the director as well as actor/author. Should the play see a life in England and Emma Brown not be able to join me in such a production I have been in touch with another actress also called Emma to act as understudy. Emma Nash and I had read through and discussion at the Broadway Media centre a few weeks ago and I have created a cd for her with the correct pronunciation for the German words and sentences. Both Emma's have been kind enough to send me some feedback on their work with me.

" Working with Phil on his play “Greetings from the Trench” is a real privilege. The play is beautifully constructed, combining different themes ranging from butchery and urban planning to comradeship and creative inspiration. I was allowed to observe Phil's craftmanship as the play came together. He had a clear, organised approach to the structure of the play, and paid attention to small details such as the nuances of each character's speech. The result is a moving and entertaining piece, and I am very much looking forward to help bring it to life in Karlsruhe this December." Emma Brown.

"The horrors of war are touched on in this heart warming and honest story of two butchers from separate sides of Europe who build an unexpected, touching and joyful friendship after meeting in the trenches in World War One. I thoroughly enjoyed an evening of acting and discussion with Phil, the writer, on Thursday; which allowed me an insight into the layers of emotional storytelling in his work.” Emma Nash

No comments: