Sunday, 26 November 2017

Kit our dog

We never wanted to be dog owners, so imagine our annoyance when Kit the border Collie came into our life?

But, since he's been here we've had some adventures.  

Kit the Border Collie

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Friday, 24 November 2017

3 Reasons to be Famous

Why would I want to become famous? Well, three reasons.
1. Money – as an actor you get paid something in the region of £400 per week for say a panto, if I were a famous actor I’d be looking at anything up to ten grand.
2. Work – I went up for Coronation Street last week, I met the casting director and two directors. One of the directors said, this episode is the biggest, most ambitious storylines since the Deirdre love triangle in 1983 (ask your gran). 
It’s about Roy Cropper and his whippet (spoiler alert). Blah, blah, blah and he’s telling me this great storyline, big fight, car chase and it ends up with Ken Barlow being hijacked on a plane as he’s coming back from Malta.  It’s a really current storyline about an ex-celebrity who’s been accused of acting inappropriately with animals and he’s got drunk on the plane (must be made of money) anyway, he’s taken a stewardess (played by Antony Cotton) hostage.  To cut a long story short the pilot has a fit and Ken has to land the plane, in Whetherfield!
I don’t want to spoil it for you, but he puts the plane down just outside the Kabin and there’s explosions and flames and Leanne Battersby gets knocked over and it’s marvelous mayhem.
I’m sat listening and I’m thinking, brilliant, this is my big chance to shine, the part I’ve been waiting twenty years for.  “This is where you come in” he says.
CUT TO. Ken stumbles out the plane and he’s off his head, but he manages to make it to the Kabin.  He pushes the door open through the debris and shouts “Roy! Roy, come quick” I’m, my character, is sat eating a bacon barm cake and I turn to Ken and I say “He’s just nipped next door, he shouldn’t be too long”.
Twenty years.  Twenty years of bottom feeding and scratching about for work and all I get is “He’s just nipped next door, he shouldn’t be too long”.
Reason 3. Weight – If I become famous I’m going to be in lots of newspapers, magazines and television shows. My face will be adorning such glossy’s as OK, Chat, DIY Week and Nuts. And what’s the first thing I’m going to do when I see myself in them? You fat bleeder.
So then you’ll have to live through ‘My Battle with the Bulge’. Endless interviews about my weight, childhood obesity, caused by depression, I’ll have depression, they all have depression. Hello will do another spread – At home with the Whiteley’s.  – I’ll probably do a cooking show or a diet show.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Monday Mornings

Joanne hates mornings, she'll sit, silent for 40 minutes while the caffeine kicks in.  Mark wakes up running.  How annoying for them both. 

Check out this New Podcast episode!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween, stories and theatre makers

Well, another Halloween passes and we at hard graft are as chuffed as punch with the massive turnout once again.  We have been producing innovative walks at halloween since 2012 in Oldham, Uppermill, Burnley and now in our home town of Rawtenstall. 
What we love are the faces of the audience when we deliver the history of their streets, they had no idea about.  Stories of witches, madmen or murders.  People always ask ' Are they true'?  And we always say, if you believe, then yes.  We research online, in libraries and get lots and lots of stories from the public, in fact the majority of our stories are your stories retold by our award winning team.
As a theatre company we feel it is our job to entertain at times like Halloween, who else has the access to professional storytellers, writers and producers.   Halloween walks are part of a community development scheme to get everyone to enjoy theatre without even knowing they were part of it.
Stories are the most important part of human existence and being scared, safely, is a normal healthy part of living.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Halloween is just around the corner.
A couple of months ago, my friend’s cousin (a single mother) bought a new mobile phone. After a long day of work, she came home, placed her phone on the counter, and went watch to TV; her son came to her and asked if he could play with her new phone. She told him not to call anyone or mess with text messages, and he agreed.
At around 10:20, she was drowsy, so she decided to tuck her son in and go to bed. She walked to his room and saw that he wasn’t there. She then ran over to her room to find him sleeping on her bed with the phone in his hand.
Relieved, she picked her phone back up from his hand to inspect it. Browsing through it, she noticed only minor changes such as a new background, banner, etc., but then she opened up her saved pictures. She began deleting the pictures he had taken, until only one new picture remained.
When she first saw it, she was in disbelief. It was her son sleeping on her bed, but the picture was taken by someone else above him... and it showed the left half of an elderly woman’s face.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Halloween, Ghosts and Bunkum

Joanne and Mark talk about Ghosts and murders and mysteries.  The UFO in Mark's grandma's living room.  Our ghost in the bathroom, the ghost dog in the wardrobe and much, much more. 


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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

How I write (pt.1)

Mark Whiteley is an actor, writer and theatre producer from the UK.  He has written numerous plays and stories for the theatre.  He won the MTA for Thick As Thieves.

Many people have many ways to write, here's some of the tricks I've learnt along the way.

Idea – the idea is the most important part of writing my stories.  To me they usually come out of the blue and very quickly.  I usually write a half page synopsis of every idea.  If the idea is any good it stays with me, I think about it night and day and let it grow in my head. 


Ideas I’ve never written are numerous.  Some ideas stay with you for years.  One of my plays, GRASS took 5 years, until I could get all the components to finish it.  Sometimes it’s because I can’t think of the end.  I think sometimes as I get better at writing I’ll be able to do the really mad ideas I have, I’m not good enough yet.


Ideas come from every where, friends, family, personal stories (Grass), internet, newspapers, photographs, flyers (walk this way). 

See and read about his work HERE

Check out this New Podcast episode!