Tuesday, 25 May 2010

U2 can have the day off.

I've just had Bono on the phone moaning about his back. I was a bit bored if I'm honest, people talking about their ailments, puts you right off. Did I pull out of Panto when I hurt my back, did I cancel Poles Apart because I was deaf and couldn't hear my cues from Dan, did I stop the audience from seeing me in agony every evening when we walked across the country? NO! Get a grip and rip up your sick note Bono.

I've got a bucket handled tear on my knee but I'll still be at Nottingham Lakeside on Thursday.

Come on England!

I can see it now, all the doom mongers droning on how bad we (England) are at football. "He's rubbish" they'll say, "Can't pass, can't shoot," You know the rest. I don't care I think we are going to win, I always think we're going to win. This time though, the stars have aligned, spirits have come together and our country will speak as one to answer critics and hold aloft the cup. Or will I just get my heart broken again?

This is our time, our competition, our cup.

I do worry about the grass though, its not the right kind.....

Saturday, 22 May 2010

A bloke over the road.

I saw a man over the road yesterday just sitting on the steps opposite our house. i was working and as I came down for a cup of tea he was sat there, sitting. I watched a while then went over to him. he was shaking, really trembling, there was a pile of sick in front of him.

"Can I help"?

"No" He said.

"Are you sure?" He looked really rough.

"I'm all right" He said.

I left him, alone to continue my watch from the house. He dragged himself down on his arse to the bottom of the steps and was gone. There's no help.

All life passers this way if you're patient.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Jobs for actors

I've just left actor David Crowley cleaning carpets at my mother in laws house and it got me thinking about the type of jobs actors do whilst waiting. in the past I've done numerous jobs, debt collector, Polish Immigrant and anal refuge collector.

Somebody somewhere should set up a web site listing actor's other jobs and business's go we can keep our colleagues alive during this recession. like www.whenigrowup.co.uk sort of thing, maybe the union, equity could run it or another out of work actor like YOU who needs a job to bide them over.

We're off to Smethwick this afternoon.


What a happy birthday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgOyTNtsWyY

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Eddie Stobart

How do you pass the time driving the thousands of miles from venue to venue on a theatre tour? You play a great game called Eddie Stobart.   It's very simple every time you see an Eddie Stobart lorry you say 'Eddie, Eddie Stobart' this gives you 10 points.   When you spot a Royal Mail you get 50 points, a Motorbike is 2 and a Plane or Train wins you the game.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

An email this morning

We were in Derby this week performing to an audience of 7.

but, one of the seven sent this....

Dear Mark,

Please could you pass on our very grateful thanks to Nicky, John, Howard and Jill?

We THOROUGHLY enjoyed Knife Edge.

It was a very powerful piece of theatre, up to date theme, clever plot and totally believable characters.

It made me cry.

It really brings it all home - the futility of knife crime, the unimaginable...


We've heard from Ed and David Miliband - what about the other two brothers Steve and Glen?

Tweet Tweet


Wow, aren't you lot lucky? You can now follow HG on Twitter. We're the theatre company that just keeps on giving....
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Friday, 7 May 2010


Knife Edge by Mark Whiteley

Hard Graft Theatre Company,

The Maltings Theatre,

6 May 2010

Knife Edge by Mark Whiteley is a thought-provoking piece of theatre. Brian Shelton, sensitively played by Howard Chadwick, is “just a normal bloke” whose son was stabbed to death months earlier. He believes he knows who did it, and has challenged him to a “duel to the death”.

The audience is almost literally involved, addressed by the cast as attendees of the community meeting he has organised, and at which Brian hopes to flush out the killer.Whiteley’s play is an interesting study of a family beset by grief, guilt, and in particular anger. Brian rails against the local community (“solidarity and all that”), the press, the police, and the ‘killer’, but is also racked with guilt, and apparently unable to communicate with his wife and daughter.

John Elkington excels as the be-cardiganed, local reporter, whose job is to be impartial, to “sit and watch”. He is reluctantly drawn into the centre of the action – his bloody nose literal as well as metaphorical. Whiteley subtly asks questions about the role of the press – at best campaigning, in this instance on knife crime, but at worst happy to betray principles and become a player in the action in order to get an exclusive.Adam Sunderland’s direction is strong – the play is taut, well-paced, and laced with beautifully judged moments of black comedy. But it is the rawness of his wife Jane’s (Jill Myers) hurt, anger and anxiety, and Brian’s dramatic confrontation with the initially cocky young ‘lieutenant’, Danny, a role in which Nicky Bell is all too believable, that become the central drivers of the play.Fittingly for a play with such dark themes, the dram is bookended by music from the man in black, Johnny Cash. Knife Edge packs a powerful, compelling, angry and emotional punch.

Verdict: King of Herts (4 out of 5)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

a bit

If music be the food of love play on.

Sorry, we're a theatre company, you need a bit of culture now and again.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Week three Knife Edge

Knife Edge moved east and south this week. First stop Spalding a smallish market town in Lincolnshire. I think it's a very conservative area so I was wondering how we'd do. We sold 60 seats with many young people in the audience and I thought it went down rather well. I always find it hard to be selling 60 minutes to venues that you feel want 2 hours and an interval before they think they've had value for money, I used to think that a show had to at least have an interval to make it worthy, but no more. I think I've sit and watched far too many padded out shows that all would benefit in a cut or two.
After Spalding we left for that there London! Where everyone looks sad, wear weird fashions and for the most part are skint. In London everyone smokes marlboro Lights cigarettes and Camels, In London they pay 20 pence for a penny chew In London there are approx 13 Million people, but we could only manage to entice 21. Which is not very good. I traveled 400 miles, that's 19 miles per person.

Next week we're having a visit from one of our patron.

Hard Graft Theatre Company are performing at Civic Hall Uppermill (box office 0161 624 2829 ) , St. Albans Maltings and Newark Palace Nottinghamshire

Also you may like to hear this Mark Whiteley on BBC Radio Nottingham http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p007gm65

until next time