Firstly, sorry to all our followers who aren’t on Facebook – we’ve been neglecting our comprehensive website in favour of shallow social networking simplicity. Time to redress the balance!
Our next production, on at the Drill hall Lincoln on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th January, is a funny but heart-wrenchingly tragic black comedy by the award-winning writer Gillian Plowman. The play is a glimspe into the lives of four people with mental health issues trying their best to deal with life following their early release from hospital. Two men, Bunny and Oz, share a flat which is part of a ‘care in the community’ initiative. Two women, Robin and Julia, share an identical flat upstairs from the men. As the story unfolds, we discover the various circumstances that led to the characters’ admission to hospital.
Act one follows the men one afternoon as they prepare for their return to working life and discover that there are women living upstairs. The second act is all about the women and their plans to become travellers by going on holiday to France. In act three, all four characters finally meet in a disastrous party organised by Oz.
Although the characters have mental health problems, they are the result of circumstances that we could all face in life. This is a warm, funny, sad and touching look at how life can go so wrong and how difficult it can be to put things right.
It’s been two weeks since Simon and Lisa bared all for OBT’s first production; David Hare’s The Blue Room. It went very well, with over 90% of all tickets being sold. We even managed to make a small profit to give us some working capital for the next production. The play was generally well received. We’ve had plenty of good feedback, along with some useful constructive criticism. We value our audience’s opinions and thoughts, so let us know if you have any comments to make about the Blue Room.
We are about to get underway with rehearsals for our next production; Me and my Friend by Gillian Plowman. It’s a bittersweet comedy,featuring four characters all attempting to deal with everyday life following release from a mental hospital. We will be covering the whole rehearsal process on these pages, so check back regularly.
We’re now planning our poduction schedule for 2013 and 2014, so if you want to get involved as an actor, director, stage crew or publicity, then please get in touch.
We’re also keen to receive suggestions for plays to perform. If you’ve read a script you think would suit OBT’s ethos, let us know. We’re also looking for new work and new writers.
More pictures (which we love) of our final rehearsals. Thanks to Andy Benn Photography for the images and the Victoria Inn for the rehearsal space.
We had a great rehearsal at the Victoria Inn in Lincoln on Monday evening. Costumes and props were used, but we couldn’t fit our boxes up the stairs, so we had to make do with the floor!
The buzz is spreading. Lots of people have heard about ‘the naked play’, but what is it all about? We shall reveal all… (pun intended!)
THE HISTORY The Blue Room is based on the play La Ronde, written in 1897 by Austrian dramatist Arthur Schnitzler. La Ronde examines the sexual morals and class ideology of the day through a series of sexual encounters between characters of different social classes. It was not performed publicly until 1920, having been deeming too sexually explicit. A film based on the story of LA Ronde was released in 1950.
THE PLAY The Blue Room takes the characters and storyline of LA Ronde and updates them to a modern setting. The daisy-chain of relationships which gave the original play its name is retained and made even more apparent by the use of two actors to play all the roles. David Hare’s version was first performed in the West End by Nicole Kidman and Ian Glenn, with direction by Sam Mendes. It was famously described by critics as ‘theatrical viagra’.
THE NUDITY Much has been made of the nudity , so it’s only fair to let the audience know what to expect. Firstly, it is not pornographic! The characters are all lovers and each scene features the characters before and after they have made love. Couples usually have no reason to hide their nudity from each other, especially in the privacy of a bedroom, so the play takes the same attitude. That is not to say the actors are naked all the time! In fact, there are only two or three scenes where anyone is nude. However, instead of stripping off for the benefit of the audience, the characters are naked for each other. This leaves the audience in the position of voyeur or Peeping Tom, watching and listening without being seen.
THE MORAL ISSUES La Ronde was written against the background of Syphilis, which was rife at the time. Attitudes towards casual sex caused it to reach almost epidemic levels. A hundred years or so later, sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, are still a blight on society. The Blue Room reflects on this. However, we have noticed another sexual ‘disease’ emerging in society; the rise of aggressive sexual behaviour. Date rape and sexual assault are becoming major problems and we have chosen to reflect this in the performance. The causes of this behaviour, whether it’s the media, internet porn or society, is not for us to judge, but we hope that our production of the Blue Room will provoke debate amongst our audience.
For those who are thinking of auditioning, there are some samples from the script available here: me and my friend
We will using Act 1 pages 7-9 for the men and Act 2 pages 23-25 for the women. We will also use Act 3 pages 36-41 for all four characters.
Auditions for the first open production by Out of the Box Theatre Company – Me and My Friend by Gillian Plowman – will be held in the function room of the Victoria pub, Union Road Lincoln, at 8pm on Wednesday, 15th August 2012. If you’d like to audition but can’t make the date, please message us to arrange an alternative date.
PERFORMANCE DATES ARE 25 & 26 JANUARY 2013
in Lincoln Drill Hall’s Room Upstairs
Details of the play and characters:
The production tells the story of four individuals (Bunny, Oz, Julia and Robin) who have recently been released from a psychiatric hospital into the ‘Care in the Community’ scheme — an early-release program for mental health patients. They are housed by the social welfare system in two small Council flats in a modern English urban setting. They are encouraged to find jobs and make their way back into the civil and social structures that had earlier judged them mentally unfit by courts of law.
Bunny and Oz (two men who are both 30 – 40 years old) conduct fantasy interviews for jobs they will never get, while the two women, Julia and Robin (in their 20s – 30s) try to ‘make plans’ as urged to do by the hospital. The action switches between the everyday and the characters own psychosis. In a series of interactions and monologues they share with us their hopes and dreams.
Robin and Julia are trying to save Dr. Pepper cans so they can go to France and be proper travelers. Their psychiatric problems come to the fold when a red dress is sent through the post with no note attached. Robin suffocated her son but refuses to accept the fact that he is dead, while Julia is former prostitute obsessed with Welshmen.
The four patients meet when Oz throws a party. They all desperately attempt the niceties of social intercourse — with disastrous results when everything that can go wrong, does.
Tickets for The Blue Room are now on sale online via this link or by calling the Drill Hall box office on 01522 873894. We’re working our little socks off – come and see what we come up with!!