News/Blog

Hamlet at Blue Orange, Birmingham, 22nd Feb-3rd March

Tuesday 16th January 2018

Very happy to announce that I'll be playing Hamlet in (you guessed it...) Hamlet at the The Blue Orange Theatre​, 22nd Feb - 3rd March. This production will be short (relatively!), dynamic, inventive and very accessible, and is directed by Oliver Hume​. 

I'm honoured to be part of such a unique iteration of Hamlet - one which takes a new look at the story, adds a few plot twists and alternative ideas, and will completely engage the audience from start to finish...at least, that's the impression I get from our script and the director's ideas- but don't take my word for it, come along and see for yourself ;).

If you like booking early, you can check it out and get your tickets here: https://blueorangetheatre.co.uk/project/hamlet-22nd-february-3rd-march/ .

Hope to see you there! :D

xx

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What a year!

Saturday 30th December 2017

As I sit down to write a quick reflection on how 2017 has been for me as a performer, I can't help but feel INCREDIBLY lucky and blown away by it all!

I have been in 9 plays/public performances this year. I don't know how on Earth that happened, but each one has been unique and given me the chance to develop my skills immensely. On top of that, I started off the year with my directing debut of Twelfth Night in Stratford-Upon-Avon, which was stressful and thrilling in equal measure. I was so proud with the resulting performances! It taught me a lot about directing and I particularly enjoyed breathing new life/melodies into the songs with Ben Churm. I'm proud to have done it, but definitely learned that I am much more at home as an actor/singer :D 

I have also managed to perform in 4 theatres (a surprising rarity in the life of a non-famous actor :p), along with reprising the role of Eva in the incredible Holding Baby by Jan Watts, for a Social Worker Conference at Birmingham City University. It was amazing seeing the effect it had yet again, and that leads me onto the next success of 2017. Along with my two inspirational and incredible friends/partners, Adaya Henry and Edward Loboda, I formed our theatre company Rag City. We performed two wonderful short plays by Jan Watts to launch the company, and have been devising and developing ever since. Jan has done us the honour of letting us organise a tour of Holding Baby for next year, where we hope to raise awareness of Kinship Care families and what needs to be done to support them in our community. 

I also worked with Imagineer Productions, and the acclaimed Polish company Teatr Biuro Podrozy, in a spirited and ground-breaking production of Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale' in the new CITY OF CULTURE 2021, Coventry. This was my first ever piece of outdoor theatre and was amazing along with being incredibly atmospheric. It involved lots of physical theatre as well as guitar playing and singing, so really utilised my skills and pushed them beyond any previous level.

I finished the year with yet another panto with Northeast Producers - this work may not seem glamourous but it is absolutely fulfilling and one of the reasons I enjoy performing so much: bringing theatre to people who don't get the chance to see it very often and seeing it brighten their day (for the most part!). My absolute highlight this year was going to a Brain Injury unit in Birmingham and, once the panto was complete and our carol service had commenced, hearing a young man who never speaks burst into Silent Night. Two members of staff were brought to tears and it was such a moving moment.

Along with all this, I've started working with Froggle Parties which is an enjoyable way to spend my weekends. If anyone needs a children's entertainer around the Midlands, do go to https://www.froggleparties.com/ and ask for me. You can also get in touch with me...

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Not That Kind of Girl - 18th-21st October

Thursday 12th October 2017

SO, I've just got back from an amazing cruise (where I was busy learning scripts!), and now I've plunged straight into rehearsals for Not That Kind of Girl which is on at the Blue Orange theatre next week (18th-21st October).

After running Act 1 twice today alongside my fellow actor (and writer of the piece), Mike Bower, I can honestly say that this piece is going to be exceptional. I'm LOVING the characters; the script is gripping and filled with lots of twists and turns, and we're really pushing ourselves to the limits with it. Rehearsals (all two days of them!) have been great fun, led by Kirsty Ford, who I've acted with before so it's been a nice reunion. Also, who knew she was such an exceptional director?! - really picking apart the characters and journey of the piece to bring out the nuances, which of course is SO important when there's just two of us onstage for the whole blooming thing !!

Help a girl out and book a ticket... you know you want to ;) I honestly am so excited to share this piece with y'all, so hopefully there'll be at least a few people in the audience! 

Anyway, better get off and learn the rest of my lines :D

x

 

 

 

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The Winter's Tale... so excited!

Monday 11th September 2017

So I've had an incredibly lucky 2017 so far. I've worked on 5 theatrical projects, 2 of them in ACTUAL THEATRES! And now I am SO SO SO SO SO excited to announce that my next project will be The Winter's Tale in Coventry, as part of the Festival of Imagineers. I will be working with Imagineer Productions and Teatr Biuro Podrozy on an extremely physical and musical imagining of this Shakespeare play as part of the Mariachi Band. Tickets are FREE but limited, and performances are 8pm on Friday 29th September, and 8.45pm on Saturday 30th September. For more information check out the Facebook event here.

I will also be working with Murder on the Side and The Little English Theatre on their special Halloween event at Redditch Palace Theatre, which you can book for by clicking here, and am set to be working with Jan Watts and Roaring Theatre on yet another incredible piece of theatre before the year is up! Wooooo!

 

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Summertime and the living is easy...ish

Friday 9th June 2017

Since my last post I've also had a charming little getaway in Cornwall with the family, along with reprising the role of Eva in the groundbreaking Holding Baby by Jan Watts, performed for Social Services to great acclaim. We've also been working hard on Rag City Productions to get plans underway for the next year! 

At the moment I'm working towards another care home/community tour with Northeast Producers in July around Staffordshire and Birmingham. The show is called 'One Fine Day' and is a lovely story of domestic 'bliss' in preparation for a Summer Holiday. Some fantastic songs are thrown into the mix too, so it promises to be a fun month!

I'm also in rehearsal for Anne Boleyn with Here to There Productions. We had the read-through this week and the show has an exceptional cast. I'm very much looking forward to playing an androgenous servant named Sloop, and forming a double act with the wonderful Andy Bainbridge as Simpkin. Always nice to meet new Midlands actors, especially when they're lovely, supportive and passionate. That seems to be the thing I've picked up about the Midlands theatre scene - we try and help each other out as much as possible!

Alongside this I'll be starting work with Froggle Parties, and am very excited to start learning some new skills for them which will also look good on the acting CV! I've also been doing bits and bobs with Flair Events; as a cricket fan, I've very much enjoyed experiencing the atmosphere at Edgbaston while working on the bar. 

Massive thanks as well to my agent, Rob Wilkinson of Red Talent Management, who has gotten me my first advert this year for Soak.com along with some great corporate work! 

This was just a general update - hope it hasn't been too boring! :D 

x

 

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Feeling very grateful...

Monday 27th March 2017

Wow - what a month this has been! I've been very lucky to work on a number of projects and meet lots of new people. Medical Roleplay, Mad Science, Rehearsals, my first Murder Mystery and performing in The Ghost Train have all made this possibly the most fulfilling and exciting period of time since I graduated in 2015 :D On top of that we've got a full cast for Holding Baby in May AND I AM NOW A DIRECTOR OF A LTD COMPANY MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Working with The Little English Theatre and their sister company Murder on the Side has allowed me the opportunity to perform in the beautiful Palace Theatre, Redditch, to big and responsive audiences. It has also allowed me to meet some extremely talented and wonderful people who I hope to work with many, many more times, as well as making lots of 1920's exclamations. I've never said 'Oh' or 'Ahhhh' so much in my life. And the very next day I had GREAT fun as Marlene and Raquel in Only Fools and Hearses. Can't wait to do many more Murder Mysteries - thanks so much to Stephan Bessant for letting me loose on his projects :P 

Now, onto our brand new company! Adaya Henry, Edward Loboda and I are now Directors of Rag City Productions Ltd. We're launching our company with a bang on April 27th and 28th at Cherry Red's, John Bright Street, Brum. We'll be presenting two wonderfully quirky short plays by Jan Watts, Icarus and Second Coming, in an excitingly intimate space. There are only 40 tickets available for each performance - get in touch with ragcityproductions@gmail.com or directly to me, Ed or Adaya to reserve your £5 ticket! JAN WATTS is an incredibly inspiring lady (and former Brum Poet Laureate!) who we will also be working with on Holding Baby, her life-changing play about kinship care.

And so, as I head off to Wales for a little mini-break, I can't help but express to the world how lucky I feel to have met so many incredible people and to be working on such fulfilling projects.

x

 

 

 

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The Ghost Train - Redditch Palace Theatre - March 22nd-23rd

Sunday 12th February 2017

I'm currently working on The Ghost Train with The Little English Theatre Company. It's a real fest of super-clipped RP, melodrama, hilarity and fear; I'm absolutely loving working with this sensational group of Midlands-based actors and creating the provocative and slightly bananas 'Julia Price'.

Come along for one of our two Redditch performances by booking tickets here: http://www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/all-shows/ghost-train/.

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Let the 2017 job-hunting commence!

Tuesday 24th January 2017

After an incredible directorial debut of Twelfth Night with Civil Brawl Theatre Company at The View, Stratford, I now enter the bleak place known as 'out-of-work-actor' land. 

I think it's a difficult thing in this industry to garner up the determination to just keep going through all the many ups and downs. I've had some interesting experiences so far which range from euphoric to soul-destroying, but I think the important thing I've learned is to try and balance each new experience with a sense of perspective. It's difficult to pick yourself up from some of the infuriating people you deal with or yet another rejection or empty space in your career; the things that I find get me through these times are the incredible support network of the friends I have, particularly those in the industry who understand the struggles, along with some good old-fashioned positive thinking! 

I've got a few potential things lined up for 2017: Alpha Tones will be picking up with some more regular gigging, I may be in a play in March at the Redditch Palace Theatre and the wonderful 'Holding Baby' by Jan Watts will be reviving itself in both Birmingham and London this year. I have also started working with Stonebridge Associated Colleges Ltd as a regular Voiceover Artist so there should be plenty more of that to come this year. Edward Loboda, Adaya Henry and myself are also on the verge of some very exciting things which we've been brewing up and should hopefully start coming to fruition as well! 

I think the biggest thing for me to focus on this year is bettering myself. I need to broaden my horizons, take more classes and do some more networking. I also need to ensure that I'm applying myself all of the time and keep motivated to develop new ideas and push some boundaries! Here's to defying the horrors of the world and plodding on regardless of obstacles and barriers! 

Sending positive thoughts and hope for the year ahead to all of you!

Ash

x

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Twelfth Night - My Directing Debut!

Monday 9th January 2017

Well... it has been a long while since I posted any news on here. I suppose my New Years Resolution should be to update my website more! Since the last post I finished Holding Baby which had exceptional reviews and hopefully that project will be continuing into this year. I also spent December working for Northeast Producers in their Birmingham tour of Puss in Boots which was a wonderful and enlightening experience. It was very rewarding performing for people in care homes and brightening their days with some panto banter as well as some great sing-alongs! I have also done my first professional V/O job which I will post once it has been fully edited. I have seen my very good pal Adaya Henry win the Monologue Slam Birmingham and set herself up for a year of well-deserved success. And finally, I have spent the past few months directing.

 

Yes, directing! I decided to grab the offer by both hands to work with Civil Brawl Theatre Company and see if I could fit into a director's shoes in a rehearsal room. It was a slightly terrifying notion to begin with - coming from a Musical Theatre background I haven't really partaken in much Shakespeare before even as an actor, but I certainly knew that I had some ideas on how to be a good director from other directors I've worked with. I also read a few books to prepare myself.

 

I feel that I've grown from the initial rehearsals where I was slightly terrified to be in charge through to now when I probably enjoy it a bit too much! I've learned that the Director has to do A LOT more than I thought previously in my self-centered actor kind of way, and I am SURE that this will help me when I go back to more acting projects (that is, if fortune and hard work bless me with jobs!). I have also learned that it's important to have a co-operative cast more than anything else, and thankfully my cast has been very easy to work with. They are good at bringing life to the character as well as listening to my sometimes-vague musings and applying whatever it is I'm insisting on at the time. We've also done a lot of PLAYING which I think is very important in the rehearsal process, exploring Laban as well as character meditation and a bit of Meisner. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me and also a real eye-opener to the amount of work and pressure on a director's back to create something that is worthy of the actors that form your team. 

If you'd like to come along and support us in this post-apocalyptic Twelfth Night, please do book tickets at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/civil-brawl or you can contact civilbrawl@icloud.com to reserve some. 

 

I may try and do these musings a bit more rather than the usual brief news posts. A sort of blog I suppose! But for now, have a Merry January!

Ash

 

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Holding Baby by Jan Watts

Tuesday 27th September 2016

I'm very excited to be working with Roaring Theatre Company led by the incredible Jan Watts (Birmingham Poet Laureate 2011-2012). Jan has written a very poignant play called 'Holding Baby' all about the emotional impact of Kinship Care. I will be playing Eva in this production which is part of UoB's 'Book to the Future' festival this year. Performances are at 7.30pm on Friday 14th October and 2.00pm on Saturday 15th October at Cadbury Room, St Francis Hall, and are completely FREE! I am looking forward to the emotional challenge as well as the character study into heroin addiction. 

You can get tickets for Friday's performance here: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/university/colleges/artslaw/events/bttf/2016/jan-watts.aspx and for Saturday's performance here: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/university/colleges/artslaw/events/bttf/2016/jan-watts-saturday.aspx .

 

Hope to see you there to support this amazing cause! If you want to pledge a donation to this project which raises awareness about Kinship Care, feel free to support on this crowdfunding page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jan-watts .

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