Miranda Harrison ~ [email protected]
Loved playing a police officer who can't think outside the rule book in Being John Barrowman, a rehearsed reading of new comedy by Tessa Hart at The Bread & Roses. And, in more rehearsed reading news, I performed the Lab Results Show of the London Playwriting Lab. In one evening I went from punk rocker launching her comeback, to nervous academic who develops a taste for murder, to chilled-out Beatnik. Exhilarating!
Lots of voiceover work this month, including more audio for Cisco. Love working in the studio. Meanwhile, November's Page to Stage was a great evening, with fab pieces, direction and performances, an enthusiastic audience, and a wonderfully helpful and gracious panel.
Photo: Performing in the Talos Science Fiction Theatre Festival, at Chelsea Theatre. I played the bumbling mayor in the comedic two-hander The Crooked Fork. There were lots of laughs, and a wonderful audience reaction. The month began with the Deadline Theatre challenge. At 10am, actors (cast by showreels) saw the script for the first time; at 8.30pm we were performing off-book to a packed audience.
Photo: Rehearsal shot for More Than This, at the Clapham Fringe, 14–17 Sept. A comedy of relationships, I played a doctor going out with a (much) younger man. Brilliant fun. Meanwhile, the September Page to Stage event was a great evening, with a wonderful panel, and fab writing, directing and performing.
Photo: Here's the gang with whom I trained and rehearsed – with RSC actors Simon Trinder and Adjoa Andoh – in July (see below). We were also lucky enough to work with Jeanette Nelson, Head of Voice at the National. On 2 Aug we performed an ensemble version of The Merchant of Venice at The Swan Theatre, Stratford.
Living and breathing Shakespeare for the two-week ICAT course (Independent Centre of Acting Training), run along the lines of RSC rehearsal practice – culminating in a performance in Stratford. Meanwhile, at the July Page to Stage we had wonderful input from panelists, writers, directors, actors and audience.
The month began with more v/o work (repeat work for a client needing clear audio for various communication apps), included some excellent workshops and classes, and concluded with an exciting audition (see July!).
Attended the first in a series of Samuel French-hosted workshops, with an excellent talk by Richard Evans. And we had a great Page to Stage this month. 3 fab panelists, 4 great scripts and a talented cast list of directors and actors – plus a brilliantly lively and engaged audience. Thanks to everyone for making it such a fun evening.
Planning May's Page to Stage. I have some wonderful panelists lined up, the scripts are chosen, and I'm currently casting. For more information on this new writing event, see Page to Stage.
Attended the Castathon at The Actors Centre – 10 mins to talk to the CDs of your choice certainly focuses the mind! Had some really interesting discussions. More v/o work this month – voicing animated demos for Cisco (ensuring technological concepts are explained clearly and helpfully). And hosted Page to Stage at the Horse & Stables, the perfect venue for this new writing event. The 4 pieces, ably directed and performed, received great feedback from the panel.
Packed audience for Doe, part of the Unheard Festival at the Bread & Roses. I played Dee, abused and caught in a catch-22 scenario. Performed as a rehearsed reading with ensemble speaking (including soundscapes), dialogue and monologues.
In The Mesmer (part of KimBo Theatre's 'See-Through' night at the Dirty Dick Vaults) I played Mme Zeddmore, star of a stage show about a Victorian spiritualist.Script was learnt in a handful of days!
Loved performing in No White Mongoose for Wilma (see photo). And rehearsing for The Mesmer and Doe – see Feb above. Meanwhile, the January Page to Stage was a great success, with a fabulous panel and a great team of writers, directors and actors.
A great way to round off a busy year - I have just been cast in No White Mongoose for Wilma, a crazy new play being performed at Camden's Etcetera Theatre (16–18 January). Click here for a short note about the play from our director.
Hosted Page to Stage on Weds 26 Nov at the atmospheric Horse & Stables, near Waterloo. We had a great turn-out, and very helpful feedback to the writers from the panel and audience. In other news, I was cast in the November Liars League event, reading short story Kitty and Pussy by Anne Neumann.
I'm delighted to announce that I am now represented by Johnston & Mathers. And playing Diane in Father – a two-hander about father and daughter living with his dementia – was an intense and rewarding experience (Ghost Dog Productions).
Photo: Greatly enjoyed performing in Handle by artist Ilona Sagar, as part of 'Prop and Proposition: The Body as Sculpture' - a performance art event at Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing. My role was to narrate technical, precise text, and to time it to flow with a vibrant dance piece along with a promenading audience. It was a fun challenge!
Delighted to have joined the Scaffold Shakespeare company, who are workshopping all the plays in chronological order. Two days are given over to each play – the first reading it (on its feet) and working on themes that emerge, the second with an invited speaker for a master class followed by further work on themes.
Thoroughly enjoyed Finger in the Pie's week-long workshop 'A–Z of Producing Theatre'. Expert advice, imparted with a real generosity and enthusiasm, and some great nuggets of info. Extremely interesting. And a lovely group of fellow attendees too.
Blue Heart is a tricky but ultimately hugely rewarding play to pull off! Under the auspices of LSDA we performed at the Mountbatten Theatre (Bhavan Centre) to an audience of 100 or so. The reaction was wonderful - lots of laughs and some tangibly moving moments too. Obviously Caryl Churchill is a great writer, and it was a privilege to bring the work to life under the skillful steerage of our lovely director Anna Jones.
Delighted to be cast as Alice and Mother in Caryl Churchill's double bill Blue Heart. It's a tricky text (linguistically experimental), but very exciting to be working on such good writing. We are a group of 7, having come together on the 2 year training at LSDA (London School of Dramatic Art).
The Guardian recently named Liars League one of their ten UK's Great Storytelling Nights. This month, in an evening of new writing linked to the Bard, I read At The Bottom of the Sea of Troubles by Lucy Ribchester, an intriguing take on who the Dark Lady may have been.
Greatly enjoyed playing Sarah in a rehearsed reading of new play More Than This by Melanie Fortune, for Toasted Mouse Productions.
January / February 2014
Auditions and classes!
Really enjoyed 3-day residency with Paines Plough, giving Mike Bartlett's latest play its first ever spoken reading, and exploring ways into the text, the rehearsal process etc.
Busy month, including excellent vocal classes with Susan White, and Colin David Reese's Shakespeare workshop: http://shakespeareworkshops.blogspot.co.uk/
Just taken part in Europe's first ever Lit Crawl (it's been running in the US since 2004). On 7 Sept London's Soho and Covent Garden were taken over by this literary pub crawl. We at Liars League had a packed-out slot at The Royal George. A great event.
Greatly enjoyed the Voicemaster's Master Class course, learning the Hudson Voice Technique. You never stop learning in this profession!
I was one of 6 actors reading 6 new short stories at this month's Liars League event:
Delighted to have been cast in the next Liars League event, taking place on Tues 9 July. (Liars League brings together writers and actors for a monthly evening of short story readings plus a book quiz with prizes: http://liarsleague.typepad.com)
Busy with castings and auditions, and a showing at LSDA of scenes from A Taste of Honey. Having been working hard on Salford accent and physicality of Helen ('semi-whore' with a taste for drink and little evidence of maternal instincts towards her daughter), I'd love to do the full play. Anyone out there casting it at the moment?!
Thrilled to perform Romeo and Juliet at Leicester Square Theatre - audiences really embraced the multi-cultural take, and many commented on the energy and humour. Meanwhile, delighted to upload new headshots by Claire Grogan. She knows exactly what casting directors need, and was a real pleasure to work with.
Jobs this month included a photo shoot for clinical research (facial expressions using specific muscle groups), and filmed scenes for a Spanish company teaching adults English. Rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet are going well. lt's a high-energy show!
Rehearsals started for Romeo and Juliet. Performances at Leicester Square Theatre, 29 April 2013.
Cast as Nurse in exciting new version of Romeo and Juliet, where the Capulets are a white, 'old money' family, and the Montagues are Asian self-made millionaires. Cue two cultures, two feuding families... Also cast in table-reading of new play Tastes Like Chicken for Rikki Beadle-Blair at Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Several auditions to prepare for this month, plus a monologue showcase at LSDA. Busy, busy!
Busy on two different projects, both with a medical connection: a film being made for BTBS (the Book Trade Benevolent Trust), where I tell the story of a beneficiary who had a terrible run of illness and consequent financial hardship; and a voiceover for a stroke charity.
As one of five newly written stories for this month's Liars League event, on the theme of Food and Drink, I read The Greatest Breakfast in the World, by Owen Booth:
Undertook the 4-day taster course at The Poor School. You never stop learning in this profession! Some interesting classes, and a really nice crowd of fellow attendees.
Photo: Some of the gang!
A great Transmission workshop at the Rag Factory – workshopping three new radio plays with Ali Anderson-Dyer, audio drama director.
Hosted 'First Stages' at the Dugdale Centre - a joint event put together by Artists Anonymous and the Dramaturgs' Network. Two new writing pieces and two devised pieces were showcased to an industry panel.
And I enjoyed performing In a Moment, a moving 20-minute monologue as part of WriteOn's new writing festival at Cambridge's ADC Theatre. Lovely people to work with (and rather exciting to perform at the home of the Cambridge Footlights).
The month began with a fabulous 1-day workshop, 'Building Character Voices', with Yvonne Morley at the Actors Centre. And rehearsals are underway for 20-min monologue at Cambridge's ADC Theatre, taking place in June.
Recorded v/o for BBC Children in Need (with White Circle Productions) for children about to have a cleft palette operation. Thoroughly enjoyed rehearsed reading for AWL (Actors & Writers London) of new comedy Writers' Group - I played a writer/director.
Currently working on two new audition speeches with Tilly Blackwood. Voiceover work this month included a corporate web animation, commissioned by L&CO Design on behalf of SHL Analytics, to promote a new marketing analysis tool.
Scripts chosen, roles cast and directors signed up for the next Page to Stage. Meanwhile, had a fascinating tour in hard hats and hi-vis jackets (organised by the South and South-East London Equity branch) of The Park, the new theatre being built in Finsbury Park. Amazing project, and great to meet branch members afterwards.
Fab evening on 30th, workshopping new play Only Human by Rose Lewenstein with the Transmission team at The Rag Factory. Recorded new radio pieces for a writing workshop with Peter L. Wild.
Meanwhile, busy organising the next Page to Stage event, taking place on 24 Feb.
Shot a commercial for picture framers' glass, on location in Dorset. Organised Page to Stage event on 9 December at Battersea Arts Centre: writers, actors, directors and the panel of industry experts all came together in a fabulous evening of creative collaboration. Thank you to everyone who was a part of it.
Delighted to have been appointed as Organiser for Page to Stage. Really looking forward to running this exciting new writing event and meeting industry creatives.
Enjoyed doing a corporate voiceover for Nominet Trust, a charity supporting safe and accessible use of the internet. Meanwhile, the poker voiceovers continue. We are now using two different studios to fit in as many recording hours as possible by the end of November.
Continuing to voice the series of online poker videos. The site will be launched at the end of November. Meanwhile, Autumn Leaves (see May 2011, below) is being turned into a film - with the original cast. More details to follow.
Busy in the studio, voicing the character of Kate – upbeat poker player teaching others how to do it. (Her maths is definitely better than mine!)
This month has been dominated by v/o work, including the next in the online poker series for beginners. I was also a member of the winning quiz team at the inaugural members' social night at the Actors Centre.
Greatly enjoyed 5 week 'Acting for Radio' course with David Gooderson. V/o work included an online poker video for beginners, recorded at Uptown Studios. The intended audience is international, so clear English is required.
Photo: Rehearsal shot for Autumn Leaves, in double bill opening the CPTP New Writing Season at Barons Court Theatre.
April 2011: Rehearsing Autumn Leaves – poignant two-hander that will premiere at Barons Court Theatre. And greatly enjoyed recording my voicereel with Silver-Tongued Productions. Tracks include commercials (corporate, comedy, hard sell) and readings (e.g. multi-character children's story, history documentary, Jane Austen narration). See Voicereel page for all tracks.
March 2011: 'Accents for Actors' finished this month. Fun group, great tuition, very useful notes. Also greatly enjoyed w/end TV presenting course with Kathryn Wolfe. Meanwhile, at the Actors Centre, took part in the Poetry Pool workshop held by Clive Swift and Matthew Lloyd.
February 2011: Recorded an RP voiceover for the Women in Business website. And performed in Strange Love: Romance the Guignol Way, Old Red Lion Theatre, 21 February 2011, a trilogy of pieces in which I played Nurse in The Final Kiss and Josephine von Klibbentrop in Ways and Means.
Photo: As Josephine von Klibbentrop in Ways and Means.
January 2011: Enjoying a 12-week course that started this month, 'Accents for Actors', at the City Lit. Meanwhile, rehearsals underway for the next Le Nouveau Guignol production at the Old Red Lion theatre in February.
December 2010: After months of reading scripts, we on the new writing panel for CPTP drew up two programmes of new writing to be performed at Barons Court Theatre in 2011/12.
November 2010: Le Nouveau Guignol is working on a range of new plays, having been offered a regular monthly slot at the Old Red Lion theatre from Feb 2011.
October 2010: The month began with 2 days filming on a corporate film for the Royal Mail, where I played a bullied worker, and ended with the highly successful debut production from Le Nouveau Guignol.
Photo: As Mme de Merliot in Ticks: Or Doing The Deed, as part of 'A Night of Nouveau Guignol', Old Red Lion Theatre, 25 October 2010.
September 2010: A new campaign,
'I Value the Arts', went live, urging the public to voice their support for the arts. Anyone who values the arts in their community can register their details at: www.ivaluethearts.org.uk.
August 2010: Classes this month included a stage combat course (with Independent Drama Stage Combat) and a day-long vocal workshop at the Actors Centre. My main theatre casting was as a member of the newly formed Le Nouveau Guignol (company set up to perform plays in the Grand Guignol tradition).
July 2010: Hugely enjoyed playing Vi in The Memory of Water (produced by new theatre company Four Eyes And The Peach). During the sell-out run, the following 5 star review came out:
... three sisters who don't get along are brought together in their childhood home on the eve of their mother's funeral. As tensions rise and dysfunctions become increasingly apparent, the secrets begin to come out ... No script is fully appreciated unless the actors do it justice, and to say they did it justice would be a gross understatement. Each one of the cast is absolutely fantastic ... (www.remotegoat.co.uk)