I hope you’re all keeping well, wearing masks, and working to overthrow the Tories.
Been a busy week here… I was in a live streaming show in Canada Friday night – an online show for Live Bait Theatre, a company I had the privilege of working with for 20 years, as part of Live Bait’s 3rd Annual New Works Festival.
Here’s the show… Grandma’s Bubble Trouble, written and directed by the wonderful Charlie Rhindress. I played an ageing Punk Rocker by the name of Max Libido! And I play my Uke!
And coming up on Sunday 19th July at 8pm, it’s the latest episode of my online chat show, MOCKDOWN! I have three guests from the world of Comedy, to discuss if we’ll still be laughing once the pandemic is over.
Here’s a preview…
So, I may still be isolating at home, but I’m getting out there online!
Enjoy your weekend, and please wear a mask!
Stay safe, D x
I’m currently enjoying a post-show Brewdog beer after another thoroughly enjoyable episode of Mockdown!
Lovely guests this week…
Fiona Egan and Scott Worsfold Fiona is an actress and presenter, mum of two, and co founder of the PantoEverAfter panto company. Professional actress for 25 years and been doing panto for 22 years, with the exception of one year when I had a baby. First was Marley’s Ghost a musical adaptation of Scrooge, that’s where she met Scott at Cragrats Theatre Holmfirth, which sadly no longer exists.
20 years later they decided to create their own pantomime, and hence the company was born. Workwise, it’s theatre, TV, film, corporate, touring, outdoor, voice over, like most actors you name it, they’ve done it.
They have two venues where they produce pantomime. The Viaduct theatre Halifax, home of Northern Broadsides and The Marsden Mechanics Hall, Huddersfield. www.pantoeverafter.co.uk • Twitter
Liam is a BAFTA nominated actor who’s work includes Peterloo with Mike Leigh, Death defying Acts, Coronation St, Hollyoaks, and more. His theatre work includes a lot of Shakespeare, from Midsummer Night’s Dream at work at Sheffield Crucible to Northern Broadsides and international tours for the BSC. He appeared in the 4-hander Miss-Julie alongside Maxine Peake at the Manchester Royal Exchange. Other theatre work includes SJT, New Vic, Hull Truck, Oldham Coliseum, Soho Theatre, Edinburgh Lyceum, Traverse, Theatre by the Lake, the Dukes, Salisbury Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse, The Lowry, Derby Playhouse and many more.
He is also a voiceover actor and has narrated over 100 audiobooks, and can be heard daily on radio / television commercials. Earlier this year he won an Earphones award for his narration of H.G. Wells anthology of short stories (volume 1) and is a 4x One Voice Award nominee, as well as an Audio and Sovas nominee.
When not performing he is a magician and magic / illusion consultant to theatre companies.
In 2018 he established the Sheffield equity branch and he is the secretary of the branch www.liamgerrard.co.uk • Twitter
Melanie is a Sheffield born and based professional actress, writer and theatre maker/event organiser. Described as a “one woman army”, Melanie has single-handedly set up her own event; “Sheffield Monologue Showcase (SMS),” that premiered last March, with lots of feedback of it’s success. Melanie is also known for writing for the stage with her most note-worthy piece “The Sylvia Swing” performed at the York Theatre Royal’s Take Over Festival. Two pieces of her comedy writing have since also appeared on BBC Radio’s Upload Festival during lockdown. www.melaniejhopkins.com • Twitter
I hope this update finds you happy and healthy.
A couple of items for you… on the last post, I shared a video of me doing the opening Future Legend monologue from Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, a lyric I memorised at 16 and never forgot.
Today I have more remembered lyrics, and I’ve done a bit of a video production on this one. Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3, by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, is well lodged in my brain, and I will often rattle it off to the confusion of those around me… Until I get to the chorus and they realise what it is.
So here is my version of it. It makes me cheerful, I hope it does you during these Lockdown Days. My memory must be dodgy though, I missed some lines, should have listened to the original or checked the lyrics first!
Right, last time I told you about the new Barry Pigeon Protects episode, Barry Goes Viral, a special Covid-19 episode.
I hope you’re all well and staying safe during this pandemic. I don’t know how it’s impacting on you, but for me, I seem unable to concentrate on computer stuff, hence the long wait since my last post. I just don’t have the willpower tou sit at a screen. I’ve had to force myself to write this today.
Similar tale with TV. I can sit to watch a show and I’m constantly pausing to check for phone updates. And I fall alseep a lot in front of the telly, despite sleeping well at night. It’s different ways of reacting to the state we live in I guess.
I’m trying to be creative, done lots of garden work, tidying, weeding, planting. I make lots of videos, dog walks, bird song, etc. More of that further down.
A couple of things I’d like to promote though… 5 years ago, I worked on a web series called Barry Pigeon Protects, all about a night security guard sharing his life via webcam. Lovely project written/directed and produced by Kurt Brookes and Andrew Birtwell.
My old mate Doug Thorp asked if I could rekindle Barry as a guest for his Broken Biscuits Online Cabaret.
I asked Kurt and Andy, and within a week we had it written, shot and edited. Due to lockdown, I shot at home with a green screen, and my old security cabin office magically appeared in editing.
Here’s Broken Biscuits Online No. 2. Barry Pigeon is the final artiste in the show… It’s well worth the watch as an alternative to the assault of information we have these days.
For those who want just a dose of Barry Pigeon, here’s the new episode….
And good new Pigeon fans, more Barry is likely to be forthcoming 🙂
I’ll update when I can.
Other bits of creativity overcome me. The opening of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album, the spoken track Future Legend, is something I committed to memory at age 16.
The words kept coming back to me recently, so here it is, performed as a monologue…
I have another favourite song committed to memory that I plan to make a video for. A more complicated production, but hopefully coming soon.
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been filming my daily dog walks, and sharing on my Facebook feed as Virtual Dog Walking for Shut Ins. I also post my daily Twitter Feeds… the sound of bird song captured in the park.
Been a busy few weeks. This past weekend I was on stage at York Theatre Royal in the TakeOver Festival with the lovely short play, THE SYLVIA SWING, written by Melanie Hopkins. If you’d like to see it, the video is below…
Born and bred here, I love the city. The hills, the lifestyle, and the trees – the green ribbon that brings the countryside into the city.
But as many already know, Sheffield City Council, in partnership with Amey plc, are chopping down many of our street trees as part of a controversial 25-year PFI street improvement program.
Ordinary people who campaign to save our trees are being hit with huge legal bills.
Defend the tree defenders. Stump up! is a Crowdfunder campaign to raise £27,000 for two of those tree campaigners. And I’m proud to be part of a campaign to help them. I present the Crowdfunder video, and met out two heroes on one of the threatened streets.
Please visit the Crowdfunder page and help out if you can.
Every pound is appreciated.
Local council elections are coming up soon. I have supported Labour at every election since I was a lad.
I’ve walked the streets. I’ve talked to voters.
But I cannot honestly support a Labour Council that engages in this sort of behaviour against it’s citizens.
Sheffield Councillors – Your time has come to do the right thing.
Listen to the people of Sheffield and ditch this contract with Amey!
Hello folks! I hope you’ve all had a great start to 2018!
Mine has been (generally) a good one and I had a significant birthday as well, so it’s been a month of celebration. Thank you to all the old friends who shared my birthday, it was really lovely to re-connect with people from all the different periods of my life – school, work, Canada, film, TV… Magical.
My episode of Kay Mellor’s GIRLFRIENDS aired (I’m in Episode 3 if you want to catch it on ITV Hub here). Nice scene with Miranda Richardson and Zoë Wannamaker. I’m really enjoying this series, what a great writer Kay Mellor is!
I was on Radio Sheffield yesterday – a nice interview about First Loves with Rony Robinson – I’ve put the clip on my Bandcamp site to make it easier to listen to my bit…
Right, I’m off to enjoy this last day of January, have fun and be kind!
Had some brilliant news today, a very short film I’ve made has been chosen as a finalist to be shown at Celluloid Screams, the Sheffield Horror Film Festival this coming weekend.
INSIDE, a short ‘bumper’ film, has been accepted as one of the finalists in the Celluloid Screams Film Festival Bumper Competition this weekend in Sheffield. Bumpers are 30 to 60 second short films designed to play before festival feature presentations. The winning Bumper will be announced at the close of the festival.
Since the last update I had a great day on a new ITV drama, GIRLFRIENDS, written and directed by the lovely Kay Mellor. Had a lovely scene with Miranda Richardson and Zoë Wanamaker.
Had a couple of meaty auditions for a lovely soap stint and a new musical tour, but no luck on either. Sad Dave. But keeping busy with Showreel updates, so if you’re an actor looking for a new reel, or want to refresh the one you have, give me a shout!
Had a nice photo session yesterday with an up and coming photographer, Samantha Devine, and I’m including a few below. Click to full-size them….
The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice there is less of me to feast your eyes upon…
I’m delighted to say my weight-loss routine is going well, I’ve lost over 50lbs since this time last year. Feeling great and buying new clothes to fit the new me.
And finally, coming up, a BBC animated sitcom, STICKY, starring Tom Hardy. More on that when I get the details. You’ll have my voice and an animated version of me!
Terror attacks, horrific fires. And May holding on to power by her finger tips.
I was very pleased with the Labour result in the election last week. Yes, a straight win would have been better, but things may change in coming weeks as May collapses. The Grenfell disgrace may just be the thing that finishes her off, so roll on the Queens speech and subsequent parliamentary vote next week.
I walked the streets delivering leaflets and knocking on doors for this election, and I have to say there was a great feeling of support for the Labour Party. When the time comes to go to the polls again, and it could be soon, I hope you’ll see we can actually win this thing, get out there and help turn the tide against austerity.
Since the election, I’ve been kept busy on the latest production from WellRedFilms, a left-leaning, Sheffield-based group of filmmakers.
The latest video, shot on Thursday evening, released Friday and online now, takes a topical look at the aftermath of the election and looks at various campaigns we still need to continue.
I took the production lead on this one, working 5 cameras, edited it all together once I returned home, suffering technical issues and internet problems. I’m very pleased with the end result. I hope I can develop more work like this.
In other news, BROKEN on BBC1 is getting great reviews and I return for the remaining episodes as Christopher Kerrigan, brother to Sean Bean. Not a huge role, but loved it. Jimmy McGovern has written a timely piece on British society, the cast is incredible. It’s not easy viewing, have a tissue handy, but you can’t stop watching.
And I had some good news about an upcoming project. I can’t say more now, but it’s a nice role in a new series from another hugely respected writer.