simple8 News, Uncategorised

Back after an extended period of development, we’re delighted to announce our new show – THE TEXAS SHARPSHOOTER – is coming to Arcola Theatre in May 2015. A new improvised show about financial crisis – and staged on Election Night 7th May, running for only 3 nights – we’ll be covereing the results of the election as they occur… in our own way. Tickets are a steal at only £5 – and on sale very soon – so come on down and join the debate. More details HERE.

workshop performance at shoreditch town hall

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We’re very excited to annouce that at the end of the two week workshop we’re about to embark on we’ll be showing some of the fruits of our labours in a free workshop performance on Friday the 31st of October. You can find all the details of the work and how to reserve tickets here and we’d love to see as many of you who can make it along. We’ll see you on the 31st!

back in the habit

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It’s been a long time but Simple8 are finally back in the room. We’ll be embarking on a two week R&D of two potential new projects at the end of October. If the ideas bear fruit we’ll start talking about them in a real sense but for now it’s all very exploratory and experimental.

Please don’t misread the title of this blog post as any kind of cryptic hint that we’re adapting Sister Act. We’re not, although that would be amazing.

the return of the quiz

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Hello everyone. Christmas is fast approaching which means, of course, it’s time to put together a team and get down to the Simple8 quiz to show off your knowledge chops. This year we’re being hosted by the very lovely people at Shoreditch Town Hall on the 17th of December. Entry is £10 and all proceeds go towards the next Simple8 season. We’ll be kicking off at about 7.30 and it promises to be a brilliant evening. We hope to see you there!

peter brook award

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We’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’ve been nominated for the Peter Brook/Equity Ensemble Award.

It’s particularly gratifying to be nominated for such a prestigious award that is focused on the ensemble, as our work is always down to a group of people working together – be it actors, directors, writers, designers or stage managers.

Doing a season at Arcola Theatre has emphasised to us the importance of the ensemble – and how vital it is that theatre is centred around the collective skills of artists and practitioners.

Thank you to Blanche Marvin for all her support

world book night

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It’s World Book Night tonight – a fantastic event where people give away specially selected books to spread the love of reading. We’re doing a play adapted from a seminal book, and we’re delighted to be a part of it. Before tonight’s performance, we’ll be giving away 20 copies of Josephine Hart’s novel, Damage – and we’ll be giving them to the first 20 people who pick up their tickets tonight. Thank you to World Book Night for donating the books.

a whaler’s tale

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Here’s a little Wednesday treat for you all. Have a listen to one of the traditional sea shanties featured in Moby Dick, as sung by the cast.

sea shanties

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It’s the start of the third week of Moby-Dick, and here are two more sea shanties sung by our cast for your edification and enjoyment. A Whaler’s Tale and Will Your Anchor Hold are both original whaling shanties from the period Moby-Dick was written, and are both, we think, beautiful songs. Enjoy!

shanties ahoy

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It’s tech time, nerves are racing and Seb is beginning to shout “do it again” with a vigour last seen in Attila the Hun… but there is a feeling that things are slowly beginning to come together.

Some of our favourite things in the show are the beautiful sea shanties we sing throughout; shanties that whalers sung in the nineteenth century as they risked their lives in pursuit of money and fish – not dissimilar to actors really. To celebrate these songs, we’ve recorded them and we’re going to put one on YouTube every week. They’re very rough and ready, but that feels in keeping with our work, and with the spirit of the music. Look out for the first one tomorrow.

Green wise, the hydrogen fuel cell is up and running and is powering the house lights, the set is all reclaimed and we’ve got some very positive results back from our Caligari travel survey. Headline news is that only 6% of the audience drove to see the production.

What else? We’ve got some fantastic ticket deals going – including £14 for all opening performances and the wonderful Pay What You Can Tuesdays.

Come and see Moby-Dick if you can. It’s an absolutely spellbinding book, and if we can bring even a fraction of the depth, power and passion to the stage that Melville brought to paper, then you won’t regret it.

goodbye caligari, hello moby-dick

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On Saturday night we bade a sad farewell to the The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It was a cracking five weeks, and we’re delighted with how it went. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has worked on it, and to all of you who came to see it. Up until now we’ve been rehearsing Moby-Dick in the day and performing Caligari by night. This is simultaneously the most draining, exacting and exciting process I’ve been involved in. There was initially some trepidation about the challenges of keeping two shows in your head at the same time but thankfully Caligari was firmly embedded and nothing seems to have been lost.

Aside from the inevitable fatigue of intense work, the overriding sense I’ve got from working with the same cast day and night is regret that we haven’t done this already and that rep theatre is becoming more and more scarce. The feelings of camaraderie and unity have proved invaluable, especially going into something like Moby-Dick where we are hoping to convey the sense of a crew united by their shared experience of a mountainous endeavor.

Last week we looked at some of the physical sequences and probed the quirks of Studio 1 which I think is a fantastic playing space with myriad exciting possibilities. As much as we have come to love Studio 2, the addition of height and the opportunity to use multiple levels is extremely tantalising. This week we’re going to do our first full run – which should see Seb rubbing his forehead with an intensity Ahab would be proud of.

So, onwards to the white whale – only 10 days away now. For those who saw Caligari and enjoyed it, we hope you’ll come along to Moby-Dick as well and follow us into the roil. We think Moby-Dick is going to be fun, exciting and moving – we hope you do too.