I hope you’re all keeping well during these strange continuing times.
Last year I was in a play called The Sylvia Swing, a touching piece about loss and loneliness. Playwright Melanie Hopkinshas adapted the stage version to be performed online, and it went live Friday night.
Take a look at the results below. A lovely piece – and feels apt for these times.
The Lockdown Log…
So, Lockdown 2 is over and we are now in Tier 3 (again) – or T3.2 as I think of it.
I passed the days of Lockdown 2 doing a daily log update with a max running time 2:20, so I could post to Twitter.
I’m keeping up with the Log now we’re in T3.2, hopefully through to Christmas at least. Link below is for the YouTube Playlist for the Nov/Dec videos… Take a look, I walk the dogs, eat breakfast, drink coffee and spend time at the computer…. Exciting times.
The project is a collaboration between Kathryn Littlewood, Penny Capper, Charlie Barnes, Brendan Stone, myself, and others. It was funded by the University of Sheffield, and supported by the mental health charity Sheffield Flourish.
Festival of the Mind brings together University academics and professionals from Sheffield’s cultural, creative and digital industries to bring our research to life in exciting, entertaining and innovative ways.
Had a great chat with two lovely people on Sunday night.
We talked Lockdown, theatre and telly stuff, poetry, and Tenby in Wales!
My guests were both actors, each with over 40 years experience in the business…. CHARLES DALE and KATE RUTTER… [Guest info below video]
CHARLES DALE, he’s done it all, English Shakespeare Company, West End, Broadway. Coronation Street (Dennis Stringer), Casualty (Big Mac) and many other bits of general TV shouting. Several films that have disappeared without trace… He’s now become a Lockdown Poet… Charles Dale Twitter
KATE RUTTER, actor in Theatre, Film, TV and Radio. Films include Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo and The Full Monty. She’s appeared in many television dramas including His Dark Materials, Scott and Bailey, Cold Feet, Affinity, Silent Witness, DCI Banks, Clocking Off, Fat Friends, Queer as Folk and many more. She’s appeared in all the major continuing dramas, most recently as Coronation Street‘s tough cop, D.S Sam Beckett. Kate Rutter Twitter
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!