Truly, Madly, Alan

by Jez Bond

8 February 2016

(Photo: Charlie Ward)   I’m looking at a photo of Alan Rickman’s shoes taken during his first visit, back in 2012 when the Park Theatre was still under construction. Unlaced, well lived-in tennis sneakers that he exchanged for work boots to tour the site. Funny, the little things that sharpen a memory. …

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Full house!

by Andrew Wilson

Friday, 13 March, 2015

                    It’s a Friday evening, and Marketing Manager Patrick Kennedy – on duty in the Park’s improvised box office tucked behind the café bar –…

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Kill Me Now Rehearsals

by Andrew Wilson

Tuesday, 17 February, 2015

  It’s ten minutes before a full run-through of Kill Me Now in a rehearsal space in South London. Greg Wise is kneeling at the end of a large bathtub, talking quietly to a technician. The words “pump” and “blockage” and “we’ll try it later” can be heard. ​Greg Wise and technical advisor Peter Large  The bath will have a prominent place on stage in Kill Me Now. Wise’s charact…

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Waat a week!

by Sophie Gill (Assistant Director)

Friday, 21 November, 2014

It's been an action packed week here in Nowen! On Monday, Claire from RC Annie (@rcannie) joined us to teach some of the cast how to fight safely on stage. She got them to pretend to be proud monkeys riding on fat pigs, apparently this helps to get into the correct fighting stance! It was fascinating to see the actors learning different types of stance, and tricks for falling over without hurting themselves. Thanks to a lot of hard work from the stage management team, this was also the first day we had most of the set and props in the rehearsal room - a great start to t…

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Welcome to Waa

by Tamar Saphra (Assistant Director)

Friday, 14 November, 2014

It’s ten days into our journey into the land of Waa, and expectedly there’s that ‘I can’t quite believe it's the end of the second week of rehearsals’ feeling resounding amongst the Jack and the Beanstalk cast and crew. To be honest, the sheer amount of different accents flying about in the room is enough to cause anyone to get a little disconnected from time and space, no matter what religion you are…(don’t worry – that’ll make more sense when you come and see the show).First week of rehearsals was …

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Script Accelerator Is Back!

by Melli Bond

Friday, 4 April, 2014

Yeeehaw! It's spring time folks. New growth and new birth means new developments at Park. Our successful Script Accelerator program from last year has been stewing in my soul ever since. I've been so busy with programming, being mummy to a big doggie,  and well- life, but these responsibilities have given me the space and time for reflection on how to make the program even better. So improvements for SA are: More time to work, same great quality of writers and companies will be invited - an additional chance to participate wi…

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Poorly Paws...

by Hazel - Park Theatre Dog

Friday, 4 April, 2014

So I'm at the end of a week in bed... I have to say anyone out there who suffers from disabilities I feel that I've had a small glimpse of what a bed ridden life must be like - highly frustrating to say the least. I'm only allowed to go outside to "use the facilities" and walks are out of the question until I heal. I should really take you through the journey though - as many of you will not know how I came to be laid up in bed for a week.  I enjoy swimming. It's one of the simple pleasures life brings and it is my passion. My favourite game is …

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Creative Minds and Hearts

by Melli Bond

Thursday, 27 February, 2014

I have some newly appointed Creative Learning teachers and I'm very pleased to add them to our little team. They are all geared up for our new term and we are ready for action.We have gone into wonderful discussions about what being truly creative means and what a joy it is to delve into your imagination - and this can be done at any age. With the little ones its all about engaging the early senses - and what better way to do that with an exciting interactive story where you can be anyone and anywhere. What worlds can you create? What lives and lifetimes can you explore?Wi…

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HELLO FROM FRONT OF HOUSE

by Tom Kingdon

Friday, 6 December, 2013

Hello. So this is my first ever blog, I know next I will be telling you that I have never tweeted. So I am Tom the Front of House/Box Office Manager at Park Theatre. I am the one usally seen lurking on the balchony watching patrons into the theatres (its not as creepy as it sounds. Honest).It has been a busy couple of weeks for the Front of House team. We have had the plesure of having the Reduced Shakespeare Company in P200 and the company of Much Ado About Nothing in P90. Both shows are doing really well and have recived amazing feedback from the press and audiences.Next wee…

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SHAKESPEARE, INTERNS, DANCING AND PRE-CHRISTMAS FROLICKS

by Melli Bond

Friday, 29 November, 2013

This week we have 2 fantastic shows on and I recently did a podcast with the Reduced Shakespeare Company. I was incredibly proud to talk about our ethos as a company and how far we've come from getting this building to now being a living breathing theatre. I've been blessed with the opportunity of having an intern this week as part of a joint internship with the RSC and our very delightful intern Cheyenne has already proven to be a super help to me.  She lovingly makes sure I eat - which believe me sounds crazy but I do actually have to be told to eat food! It's that crazy …

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´IS IT FUNNY?´

by Jez Bond

Friday, 22 November, 2013

As the sun set on the Cartmel campsite, three words were shared by two men in a static caravan: "Is it funny?" It was September and the final writing session before a workshop of our script with professional actors. Over the past year my writing partner, Mark Cameron, and I had grabbed a week here, a weekend there and the odd evening (usually very odd) in order to complete the script for Park Theatre's first ever pantomime. We set the bar high, maintaining some of the traditional elements of panto whilst hugely challenging ourselves in other areas. We set ru…

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MY FIRST BLOG

by JJ Almond

Friday, 15 November, 2013

Well this is my first Blog, so I am JJ, I am the interim Executive Director. Our Trustees (Management Committee) are currently in the process of recruiting a permanent Executive Producer to replace this role. My role is to oversee the organisation with Jez, Melli and Dorcas. The main focus is the money and how we use it as well as the nuts and bolts of how all the departments work. Last night was the Press Night for The Door, following hot on the tails of Press Night for The Dead Wait - two fabulous shows that everyone should see! Press nights are always fun, w…

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PARK THEATRE BLOG

by Dorcas Morgan

Friday, 8 November, 2013

Hello. We’ve all agreed it’s time we brought back the Park Theatre blog so here it is. I’ve been reading back through the archive and it’s been great to follow the journey of Park Theatre from the early days of building speak about ‘structural steel’, ‘disproportionate collapse’ and’ the benefits of gas combi boilers’, right through to the excitement of announcing the opening season. Since then, it’s been a bit quiet on the blog front, but here we are, back in action, to bring you the backstage banter and front of house gossi…

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WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE

by brackets digital

Friday, 1 February, 2013

If you’ve gone past the theatre in the last week you may have noticed something a bit different emerging in our window.  If you haven’t gone past, I strongly recommend you do. The result of a lot of hard work and energy is a sight that will undoubtedly chase away the January blues and bring colour to the unrelenting cold and grey we’ve all been putting up with. In December, we did a call-out for designers to work with local schools or youth groups to create an installation to sit in our shop window so that while we finish the build you have some…

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The Four Steps To Opening A Venue From Scratch

by David Byrne

Friday, 11 January, 2013

A Guest Blog by David Byrne, Artistic & Executive Director of the New Diorama TheatreAs we begin 2013, you can feel the excitement growing and the momentum building towards the opening of Park Theatre.I’ve been through it before when we opened New Diorama Theatre, where I’m Artistic and Executive Director (a title that ages me…

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MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM YOUR WRITER IN RESIDENCE

by brackets digital

Friday, 21 December, 2012

Just pausing long enough in my packing (I'm heading up north for a week) to sincerely wish all followers of this blog a wonderful festive season.  And to all attending the Dickens night tonight, have a magical evening - I'll be with you in (Christmas) spirit.  Have a restful break everyone, and I'll see you on the other side.

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SARAH'S CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

by brackets digital

Friday, 14 December, 2012

I have a horror of stuff. I'm sure it's partly because I'm a naturally untidy person who hates clutter.  Not an easy combination - and the more stuff I have, the harder it gets.  I'm not keen on shops, conspicuous consumption makes me queasy, and I worry a bit about the planet.  That's why an article in the Guardian this week called "On the 12th day of Christmas ... your gift will just be junk" struck a chord. …

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CHILD'S PLAY

by brackets digital

Friday, 7 December, 2012

It's that time of year again, and a lot of my time this week has been spent watching children perform in carol concerts and Christmas shows.  These performances vary in quality from the endearingly shambolic to the shockingly professional, but it seems there's always something that brings me up short.  This year I listened to primary school children reading their own accounts of the nativity, and was struck by the way the originality and subjectiveness of their take on a well-worn tale, combined with the unselfconscious freshness of their language, made me - a fairly ja…

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INTOXICATED

by brackets digital

Friday, 30 November, 2012

This week I received an email from Creative Director Melli describing how a Transmission workshop session on acting drunk had taken her back to when we first met in 2001.  Melli and I played two very different sisters in a US play called Independence and bonded irrevocably through our increasingly outrageous backstage warm-ups for a scene where Melli's delinquent character got her innocent older sibling inebriated. This was also the week when Melli and I finally got together for a social (yes, non-work!) evening …

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NEW YORK HERE YOU COME

by brackets digital

Friday, 23 November, 2012

No playwriting updates this week as I have something very nearly as exciting as my latest draft for you: a New York Experience for Two* worth over £10,000…. Here are the details: - American Airlines Business Class Flights to New York and three night stay at boutique hotel The Standard in Manhattan (with an option to extend the number of nights) - Shopping spree - receive a suit by designer Duncan Quinn before enjoying lunch with him at the legendary Balthazar restaurant. - Now that you're s…

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UNTITLED

by brackets digital

Friday, 16 November, 2012

Just a quick line from me today as I'm dotting the i's and crossing the t's on the latest draft of the N4 Stories play I am writing for Park.  I've been writing so solidly this week that the RSI in my right hand has returned.  Still, later today the script will be pinging its way into Jez's inbox.  All it needs now is a title ...

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N4 STORIES, TWO YEARS ON

by brackets digital

Friday, 9 November, 2012

It's been a week of anniversary blog posts: two years of Transmission and of course a year of Charlie Ward.  Which made me realise that it's also two years since N4 Stories kicked off in the chilly school hall of Pooles Park Primary, where Melli and I, aided by Nouska, assembled a team of brave (if baffled) actors and exhorted them to go forth and find stories.  And find stories they did.  And the st…

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FAMILY PRIDE

by brackets digital

Friday, 2 November, 2012

In the Park family, we don't believe in false modesty.  We know we're working with London's finest.  That said, every now and again it's nice when someone else notices this fact. That's why this week we're celebrating the well-deserved presence on the Evening Standard Theatre Awards longlist of not one but two Park family members: Ambassador Hattie Morahan (pictured above) for Best Actress, and Trustee Danielle Tar…

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STILL SMILING

by brackets digital

Friday, 26 October, 2012

It's exactly a week since the now-famous Park gala, and I can honestly say that we're all still smiling.  Melli and Jez have always known how to throw a mean party, but on this occasion they succeeded in masterminding an event that rivalled even their glorious wedding by the sea in sun-soaked Delaware seven years ago. There's been no time to recover; the core team hit the ground running pretty much as soon as they blinked their bleary eyes open the day after the event.  This last week has been business as frenzied usual (building work of course, continued…

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I'VE GOT A FEELIN' ... (WOOHOO) ...

by brackets digital

Friday, 19 October, 2012

Pictured below, dear reader, is your Writer in Residence's normally workmanlike (workwomanlike?) right hand as you've never seen it before - and as you won't see it again for sometime.  The Park team is getting its collective glam on for tonight's impossibly starry celebrity extravaganza that will be the Park Theatre fundraising gala.  Hosts and guests include Sir Ian McKellen, Jeffrey Archer, Patrick Stewart, Maureen Lipman, Tom Stoppard, Ruth Jones, Stephen Daldry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tamzin Outhwaite, Celia Imrie, Tobias Menzies and Romola Garai.  Wish…

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THE NIGHT SHIFT

by brackets digital

Friday, 12 October, 2012

If you write, what time of day do you write?  For many of us, there's not much choice.  Due to those pesky non-writing commitments, we're lucky if there's a moment here or there that we can grab to pull out our notebook or gadget of choice and scribble or tap out a few words. When I wrote the first draft of my first play, What You Do To People, my kids were still toddlers.  So I wrote in half-hour chunks, mostly longhand, sitting on the edge of my bed every night after the children were asleep.  I never had time to read over what I'…

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MINDFULNESS

by brackets digital

Friday, 5 October, 2012

Yesterday I started a course in Mindfulness: the practice of 'paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgementally.' It's the opposite of acting on automatic pilot, and the opposite of multitasking - both of which are habits of mine.  It's also definitely the opposite of worry and mind-chatter. Yesterday was the first session of eight, so it's early days - but on exiting the class I did feel a new sense of vividness and sensitivity as I walked along the street, like the colour and brightness of everyth…

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CASTING

by brackets digital

Friday, 28 September, 2012

Last week I wrote about what a strain it can be to hear certain characters' voices, and to see them in three dimensions.  (Other characters, it must be said, are so autonomous and assertive that they happily do your work for you.)  In last week's case, it was in the end an actor who unknowingly helped me on my way to hauling that particular slippery character off the page and onto his feet. Which brings me agreeably to one of my tasks this week: casting.  The final step in making a chara…

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HEARING VOICES

by brackets digital

Friday, 21 September, 2012

The other day, a well-known actress said to me that the last time she attempted to write a script, she felt like the characters were about two inches high, standing there on the page, looking up at her pleadingly and making desperate hand gestures at their mouths as if to say, 'Give us something to say!  Let us speak!'. She was powerless to help them. With me, lately, it's been a somewhat different problem.  At least my friend's characters popped up in 3D; one of mine has been refusing to even stir himself that far.  All I could do was…

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MILESTONES

by brackets digital

Friday, 14 September, 2012

Yesterday was my birthday and (as Jez mentioned in last night's blog) it also happened to be the day of the Park family dinner at the theatre's local restaurant, Season Kitchen. Milestones like this always prompt us (for good or ill) to project ourselves backwards and forwards in time.  Melli (Creative Director) and I will always remember the first time we celebrated my birthday together, during the run of a show called Independence back i…

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WRITING IS REWRITING

by brackets digital

Friday, 7 September, 2012

All summer I've been working on the rewrite for my (temporarily title-less) Park play, sometimes in my head, sometimes on paper or on the screen.  But now that the new term is under way I've got my head down, tapping away at the new draft in earnest. I tend to approach rewrites in one of two ways, depending on what stage I'm at.  Towards the end of the process, I'll just open up the previous draft and, with notes from myself and others by my side, go through scene by scene, cutting an…

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EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION

by brackets digital

Friday, 31 August, 2012

This morning I was excited and provoked by Lyn Gardner's blog entry for the Guardian: Why major theatre institutions should be left to die.  The headline doesn't quite do justice to her argument, but it's a great read.  Her quote from Richard Dawkins about unrealised potential is particularly moving.  While the suggestion of the headline is one I'm still pondering, I am wholeheartedly behind Lyn's call to arms on education: …

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BACK TO SCHOOL

by brackets digital

Friday, 24 August, 2012

I admit it.  I was the kid whose heart leapt at the words BACK TO SCHOOL in the shop windows.  The heady smell of new stationery, the piles of freshly-pressed uniform re-emerging from the wardrobe, the dusting off of the satchel after the endless days of summer filled me with a fizz of anticipation. As an adult, BACK TO SCHOOL lost its meaning for a while, and one month followed another pretty ploddingly as I completely lost track of when kids were and were not at their desks. Now, with kids of my own, my years have reacquired the seasonal rhythms of autum…

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GUM BALLS

by brackets digital

Friday, 17 August, 2012

Back in June, I wrote about the subconscious and what a hard worker it is, whirring away on its own and coming up with solutions and inspiration - under one condition: that you feed it by writing on a daily basis.  Doesn't matter whether it's for 10 minutes or eight hours; just write, I said.  Every day. Well, as I also wrote recently, there are exceptions to every rule.  I'm just back from two weeks in Andaluc…

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HAVE FAITH

by brackets digital

Friday, 10 August, 2012

‘Have faith’ my beloved Great Uncle Tony used to say to me. It was his favourite phrase and has since become mine. It was a useful phrase to remember as a performer when a contract came to an end and I’d be waiting for the next one. The times in between shows would feel like infinity... and keeping the faith was always a challenge, but I did somehow and my faith would be rewarded - the jobs did always come and they were always worth the wait. The Park Theatre journey is all about having faith and vision and the ability to make the things which begin life…

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INGENIUM

by brackets digital

Friday, 3 August, 2012

Like most emerging directors, I do several other things to make ends meet and keep my toes in the water.  Today I was taking photographs at a great new venture called Ingenium, where talented young musicians from all over the world come together to learn from each other.  It was a fantastic reminder of the way young people can grow in confidence through creative exploration, but I also enjoyed talking to conductors about the discipline of leading an orchestra.  Interdisciplinary workshop, anyone?

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TRANSFORMATION

by brackets digital

Friday, 27 July, 2012

See that fascinating creature With perfection stamped on ev'ry feature She was plain little Nellie The kid from the deli But Mother of God, look what happened to Mabel! This week I went to see the glorious Mack and Mabel at Southwark Playhouse, produced by Park trustee Danielle Tarento. Mack and Mabel is first and foremost a love story, but it is also an irresistible tale of transformation: of Mabel's rise from deli to silver screen, where audiences find they can see into her soul.  I…

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FEED YOUR HEAD

by brackets digital

Friday, 20 July, 2012

Today I'm preparing for the masterclass on Researching Your Character that I'm running this Sunday.  A few days ago I put out a tweet asking for people's experiences of, and views on, research for actors.  There were some great replies ('sex in a carpark', from an actor-turned-director who shall remain nameless, being the most intriguing), but also some resistance.  Some seem to think that research shouldn't be necessary; 'it should all be there i…

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ON BREAKING MY OWN RULES

by brackets digital

Friday, 13 July, 2012

This week I played a game of literary Consequences with nine other writers for the salon:collective's Echo Experiment #1 as part of the gloriously-named CockSquat.  There are many variations of Consequences (known by the Surrealists as 'Exquisite Corpse'), including the picture version as played by my daughters in the slightly disturbing drawing below.  In the game I played this week, each writer was invited to 'beg, borrow and steal…

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BUILDING UP

by brackets digital

Friday, 6 July, 2012

Q: What does it take to give a playwright a kick up the backside when she's about to launch herself back into work on a play for a new theatre? A: Take her to the building site for that theatre and show her how it's thrillingly, inexorably coming together.  Let her see the sheer bloody labour that is going into the manipulation of steel, glass and concrete into a sophisticated and complex home for inspiration and magic.  Bring her close to shedding a little tear when she thinks of how far this place has come since she first walked through the door of…

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TALKIN' 'BOUT A REVOLUTION

by brackets digital

Friday, 29 June, 2012

There's been a lot in the media this week about the underrepresentation of women on stage.  It seems to be on everyone's minds, which can only be a good thing.  Yesterday I had three meetings in a row and completely coincidentally they were all with incredibly dynamic theatrical women: a fellow playwright, two young women who've set up their own theatre company, and an extraordinary actor fresh from a lead role at the National Theatre.  In each meetin…

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TRIPPING

by brackets digital

Friday, 22 June, 2012

This week I've been very slowly beginning to research a new play.  Slowly not because I'm dawdling along in a nonchalant manner, but because the subject I've chosen is not the easiest to delve into.  After I was flown to Turkey this time last year to research my Park play, Closer Than The Jugular, many wags suggested that my next play should definitely be set in the Bahamas.  This seemed an eminently sensible suggestion to me, but for some reason I haven't taken it up.  Instead, I've chosen something murky and decidedly uncomfortable, with…

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ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS

by brackets digital

Friday, 15 June, 2012

This week I've been rewriting the very very end of my first play.  As the reality of a production edges into view, suddenly the ending acquires added significance, as if it 'says' something very general about the subject of the play.  With very few significant exceptions, I'm not a great fan of literature with an overt message to push.  The best stories examine the truth, ask questions, provoke thought and debate; they don't ne…

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WHAT MAKES A GREAT SHOWCASE

by brackets digital

Friday, 8 June, 2012

Attending the exceptional MonologueSlam at Rich Mix this week inspired me to think about the qualities of a successful performers' showcase (a very very hard thing to pull off).  Here are a few: 1. A great compere who keeps the energy up, inspires confidence in the event (nerves, on the part of the participants and infecting the audience, can kill a showcase) and keeps the whole show flowing.  I had my doubts about the idea of having a compere at all, thinking it could make the evening feel more…

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JUST WRITE

by brackets digital

Friday, 1 June, 2012

An article I read in a publication produced by the Federation of Entertainment Unions this week described the time of the freelancer as split three ways: 1. work for which you are paid 2. work for which you are not paid (including admin and finding more work) 3. personal life. While that's a helpful way of looking at things, I'm not sure it's that simple.  What about creative work for which you intend to be paid but for which there's no guarantee that you ever will?  Even the most established playwrights can e…

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BIG NIGHT

by brackets digital

Friday, 25 May, 2012

Last night, for the first time, the staff, trustees and ambassadors of The Park assembled in the same place at the same time.  It may seem odd that we have never all been in the same room before - but as the theatre itself is still a building site and we are all working away towards the same end in separate places, meeting only in small groups and teams, there has never been an opportunity. So yesterday at the Groucho Club, this state of affairs was put well and truly right.  Inevitably, ideas were thrown around; working relationships sparked or cemented; plans were …

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FAST AND SLOW

by brackets digital

Friday, 18 May, 2012

This week has been one of promising new connections, heady discussions, exciting plans for future projects.  At Wednesday's party for friends and supporters old and new, there was an almost tangible fizz of creativity as groups formed and reformed, the conversational volume rose, and gestures grew ever more expansive. In the midst of all this buzziness, I was twice able to slow down a little for much-needed reflection.  The first pause was at the Soho Theatre where I spent an afternoon exploring 'The Writer's Journey' with Sarah Dickenson, the BBC'…

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GOING BACK TO THE SOURCE

by brackets digital

Friday, 11 May, 2012

Yesterday I made an unscheduled trip back to the very source of Closer Than The Jugular, the play I have written for The Park.  The script emerged out of 'N4 Stories', a project that involved interviewing over a hundred local people in order to find stories and characters for a play set in the area.  One of my early visits was to the Turkish, Kurdish and Cypriot Women's Welfare Group, which meets every Thursday on Durham Road.  I was received with such warmth and openness (despite the baffling nature of what I was after) that I went back man…

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ALCHEMY

by brackets digital

Friday, 4 May, 2012

Another fundraiser last night, this time lubricated by the delights of the new Park Theatre Highball, kindly provided by the Compass Box Whisky Company.  It was a cold drink on a cold, damp night - the site is still very draughty, drippy and puddly - and I could tell that a few of our guests were wondering just how, exactly, they had come to be drinking cocktails in their coats on a building site on a dismal Thursday night. But The Park did its magic once again and, warmed by the tour of the building (and maybe a little by their whiskies), by the end of the evening our br…

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THE JOY OF SHORT JOURNEYS

by brackets digital

Friday, 27 April, 2012

To Fulham yesterday, for a Park Theatre family meeting yesterday at the home of the Artistic and Creative Directors.  What a buzz to be around a table with the team.  But what a nightmare to get there.  Though a former North London girl, I now live in Clapham and I investigated various routes to Fulham: bus, train, tube, combinations of all the above.  As each of these looked like taking forever (plus I was carrying a freshly-baked birthday cake for Melli, which I didn't fancy toting around in hail and lightning), I drove - my least favourite way to tra…

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POSTCARD FROM THE HEBRIDES

by brackets digital

Friday, 20 April, 2012

A round of Park Theatre applause, please, for succeeding in getting this blog entry to you today. I write this not from the familiar environs of Finsbury Park, but overlooking the sea to Goat Island from my current antler-bedecked lodgings in the former manager's abode at the Isle of Jura Distillery, in the Inner Hebrides.  This is a place described approvingly by George Orwell as 'extremely unget-at-able' - and communications haven't improved a great deal since his day.  It's a shock, for a dogged Steve Jobs disciple like me, to be in a place wit…

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BREATHING SPACE

by brackets digital

Friday, 13 April, 2012

This week I finished my third play. It's an odd moment when a play is finished: a moment of unnerving calm (is it really finished? or is a major rewrite lurking around the corner?) followed by the anxious wait for those significant people to read it and comment.  And at the same time, the itch to start something new starts all over again ... Into this strange little space has dropped a welcome diversion.  Later today I take off to my home country of Scotland.  First a flight to Glasgow, then tomorrow another flight to the Isle of Islay, followed b…

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WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT READTHROUGHS

by brackets digital

Friday, 6 April, 2012

Yesterday I heard my new play read for the first time by four excellent actors: Rakie Ayola, Ruth Gibson, Judith Faultless and Laura Doddington.  Always an exciting moment: very exposing, but a huge thrill to see characters that you created out of nothing come to life. Given that yesterday went so very well, I thought I'd share my top 5 tips for getting the most out of readthroughs as part of a writer's process (as distinct from rehearsed readings in front of an audience). 1. Arrange a closed reading when you feel the penultimate draft (definitely NOT t…

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BACK FROM ABROAD

by Jez Bond

Friday, 30 March, 2012

Well I'm back folks! (I say 'I' as Melli is still away - we both came home together but the very next morning she returned to Heathrow to catch a flight to a friend's wedding.) We had the most wonderful time. First we spent a week dog sledding in the north of Sweden with one of the few dog sled mushing kennels who actually give you a fully hands-on experience. They are called Axehandle Mountain and you can check out their website here. We did the "Winter Experience", each driving our personal tea…

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A PLACE OF SAFETY

by brackets digital

Friday, 23 March, 2012

“I felt so free to experiment in the improvisations, and also to throw in ideas – I think we all did.  It was a lovely group.” This is from an email I received the other day from one of our N4 Stories actors, talking about the year we spent researching and experimenting with what is now Closer Than The Jugular, a play set in Finsbury Park that will be part of The Park’s opening season. A few days after this email, in an interview about The Park for the new StageWon website, I found myself talking about how I began writi…

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PASSING THE BATON

by Jez Bond

Friday, 16 March, 2012

Whilst you will see, on the right hand side, that you can only go back as far as November 2011, the Park Theatre blog has actually been running daily since June 2010! The reason you can't see back to the very beginning is that all the blogs posted on old website are yet to be added to this server. It's on the long list of things to do and we'll get round to it soon, as it should prove to be a valuable resource. Nearly two years on from that inaugral blog and 99% of the posts have been by me. However, Melli and I are going away for a few days break this w…

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ANOTHER PARTY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 9 March, 2012

Not yet 'partied out' but lesser teams than my Park family might easily be at this stage. We've had a long run of on-site events and it's been fantastic but tiring working every night; setting up before, presenting and hosting during and clearing up afterwards. Today a wonderfully supportive local resident hosted a party for a few of her friends and colleagues and we met some highly enthused members of the community keen to help the theatre in any way they can. Tomorrow is a full day again - starting with teaching in the morning and ending with the submission of more gran…

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ALL THAT JAZZ

by Jez Bond

Friday, 2 March, 2012

Just about to leave the house to go to Camden's Forge - where a friend of ours is singing and playing the piano tonight. I'd been to the venue with Dave Hughes some months ago for a spot of lunch and a look around, as it was deemed by a number of people in the industry (both architectural and artistic) to be a wonderful conversion of a building. Indeed it looked it when we toured around during the day - and now I'm very much looking forward to seeing it in action! Earlier this morning I met a colleague of one of our trustees who runs a music promotions company - an…

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PARK FAMILY PARTY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

A lovely evening on site yesterday, the Park Family party was a chance for Melli, Annabel and I to invite people to the site as many of our trustees and ambassadors had done. We had the largest turn out to date - about thirty people - and it was good to see that we could deal with the numbers. Melli and I each led a tour staggered just a couple of minutes apart and this worked very well. We were pledged some great donations on the night and emails with pledges and promises of cheques are still coming in. Thanks to all our fabulous and supportive friends! I can't wait to throw more pa…

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FRIED!

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 28 February, 2012

Amazing. What a wonderful feeling! On Friday I wrote, in the blog, about how I had just hosted a tour and meeting with The Garfield Weston Foundation - and how they asked for more information. I didn't write a long blog that night as I had to work on all that over the weekend - I had, as I put it, "bigger fish to fry". Well at one minute to midnight on Sunday night I emailed through the amended business plan, additional figures and supporting statements to the grants officer and at a little after four thirty today I received a phone call to say that we have been awardd &pou…

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THEY GROW SO FAST, DON'T THEY?

by Jez Bond

Monday, 27 February, 2012

This weekend - amongst seeing shows, leading workshops, reworking budgets and general emails - we miracously managed to get to Finsbury Park with the video camera and capture some of the progress on site. We'd been meaning to do this for so long and it's just in the nick of time as in a couple more weeks the top floors will again have changed dramatically. The only down side about the whole thing was that we were so tired it ended up being a rather quick, and possibly less energetic than usual, zip round. Not sure when we'll release Episode 4, we may wait for the next round o…

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TRUSTS AND FOUNDATION

by Jez Bond

Friday, 24 February, 2012

I had five meetings back to back today - it was rather 'one-in-one-out'. A hectic schedule but a very good meeting with a large grant-giving foundation to end the day. They've requested some additional information and I'll be working on this over the weekend. So it's a brief one for now - I love you dear diary but right now I've got bigger fish to fry...!

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ABIGAIL'S PARTY

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 23 February, 2012

It was a remarkably warm afternoon as the Park team set up for another fundraising drinks party on site – a happy contrast to the previous party hosted in minus one degree weather. Today the host was our ambassador, David Horovitch – fresh from his recent trip to India; a much needed break after a nine month stint at the National Theatre. David’s guests included writer/director Mike Leigh along with actors David Warner, Phil Davis, Sharon Small and others. The party was a great success, Mike was enthused about the space and had many questions. He had lived extremely clo…

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

  As each hour passes by we grow closer to D-day, the day of the biggest decision this year – to build or not to build (the education floor I mean). We’re getting more money on almost a daily basis. I go to sleep at night and just can’t picture us not doing it. That’s positive energy and that helps; but what helps most is actual hard cash… so on we soldier doing all we can to spread the word and reach more people who can help us.

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THE KINDNESS OF FRIENDS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 21 February, 2012

I remember many months ago writing a blog entitled The Kindness of Strangers. For those not familiar with A Streetcar Named Desire, I should tell you that therein lies the reference. Today's blog, however, takes a different stance - as it seems that many of the strangers of yester-month are the friends of today... Since occupying the building some two years ago our presence in the community has been increasing - both quickly and confidently. It has been a pleasure to begin relationships with so many people, relationships that have started out from a tiny …

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PROBABLE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 20 February, 2012

A few meetings on site today including a good chat with the General Manager of Improbable and a couple of their associate artists. A company whose work we certainly admire. Let’s hope that, when we’re ready to programme, something fits! I was advised to check to Peter Hall’s diaries on building the National Theatre - note to self, must buy. The day ended with a screening of a new Tim Roth film produced by my friend Rupert Jermyn, great to see the rough cut of what should prove to be a great british thriller. A bigger blog soon I hope - I…

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FULL ON FRIDAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 17 February, 2012

Great day, fab meeting with Tamzin regarding a top secret project that we soon hope to announce! Just gone midnight and have returned from Guildford seeing Terence Rattigan's 'Less Than Kind' which is currently on tour after selling out at the Jermyn Street Theatre last year. This feels more like a tweet - short and sweet. That's 'cause I'm knackered and for Park peeps, there ain't no such thing as a week end! Grrrr.... (but we love it!)

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A 'POLITE NOTE'

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

For some reason, no matter how clear we think we are, we seem to be with inundated with people trying to “drop in” for either a tour a coffee or both. Now, to be clear:–  - We do not work from the site office most days; we usually work from home. - We do not currently live near the theatre. - No-one is permitted on the building site without an official appointment for reasons of health and safety. - We have arranged and are continuing to arrange various group tours for both the industry and local residents.…

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THE ARTISTRY OF GIVING

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 15 February, 2012

Very touched today by an incredibly generous donation. Not just a large amount but a wondefully clever amount too. Just over two thousand pounds - in fact twelve pounds more. £2,012. Get it! I challenge the next donor to come up with something equally as profound! Many thanks to you, dear Friend, and to all our wonderful supporters to date.  And hey, it's an early night. 11.15pm and I'm about to finish the blog and watch a few minutes of TV. Trumpet fanfare please.... ba ba ba baaaaaaaa! (actually when it's written that looks more like a sheep). 

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SHMALENTINE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 14 February, 2012

"Ah Valentine Shmalentine!" he says, the Scrooge of the Romance world. No time for flowers when you're building a theatre. Actually I did manage the flowers, but it's nearly midnight and once more the Bond workstation is busy through the night. I'm really excited to have the fantastic video we made with Sir Ian McKellen, Tamzin Outhwaite and Celia Imrie up on the website. Lots of positive feedback and some more donations starting to come in. For those enjoying their valentine's evening and wanting to reward their loved one with something mo…

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TAMZIN CAN'T WAITE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 13 February, 2012

Tamzin Outhwaite has been officially inaugurated as an Ambassador for Park Theatre - and a prouder, energetic, more active ambassador we could not wish for! What most people didn't know is that Tamzin has already been working behind the scenes with me over the past ten days and - as a result - we are about to release a very exciting video within the next few hours! Let's just say she's not the only star of it. So watch this space!..... We may also have some further exciting news early next week as we are hatching all sorts of marvellous plans. She's …

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I HEAR A RUMOUR...

by Jez Bond

Friday, 10 February, 2012

"I hear a rumour you're opening with a musical" someone tells me. Of course word spreads like wild fire in our industry so evidently what started as a possibility, a suggestion, a desire is now - in most people's minds - a fact. We may well open withe a musical. It has an inherent sense of celebration about it - which just feels right juxtaposed with opening a new building. The funniest thing is that there appears to now be a sweepstake on which musical it will be! In fact some interesting ideas have come up... so keep 'em coming!   

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AND AGAIN...

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 9 February, 2012

Sorry to delay but again no time for the clever blog. It's gone midnight and I've just finsihed a one hour phone meeting (great to know that someone else also works late hours). Up at 8am again to start another hectic day...

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THE LURE OF THE BED...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 8 February, 2012

So much to say today, an amazing day in fact. But too important to ruin it all by exhaustedly blogging now as the lure of bed is too strong. I've been feeling increasingly unwell and run down, my eyes are sore and my head is throbbing. These final few words then to bed and tomorrow another rather epic day... hopefully some more energy, at that point, to share the excitement of the last 24 hours with you all.... 

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STARTING WITH A BLANK SLATE

by brackets digital

Tuesday, 7 February, 2012

One of the delights of building a theatre is working from a blank slate.  Unlike most capital theatre projects, Park Theatre will not house a company with a previous history: there is no audience to keep and no style to accommodate.  Clearly the choice of site influences the size and shape of the auditoria, but at every turn there are small decisions that will affect the Park Theatre experience for actors and audience alike.  Many of the decisions are practical, but I've found the last few months creatively stimulating in various exciting ways.  When yo…

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THE ROUTE THROUGH...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 6 February, 2012

The route through the lower ground floor is cold and damp, water drips down through cracks in the floor above and steel columns prop tonnes of concrete. This is not the set for the latest low budget horror movie - although it does a very good impression of being exactly that. No, this is the stalls-to-be; and beyond this dark atmosphere a modest but comfortable room awaits, filled with plans and folders, tables and chairs, hard hats and boots. This is the new site office - and the warmth hits you as soon as you enter. So as the February snow melts above our heads we sit inside our very o…

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I NEED 48 HOURS IN A DAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 3 February, 2012

It's 1am and I am still working like nuts. I wish there were 48 hours in a day, I simply don't have enough time to get things done. Today was insane. Great breakfast with Tamzin this morning but I've hardly had a second to think about anything we've talked about, let alone deal with all the invites to our upcoming parties. Right... must continue... Dear Friends I shall be back on Monday when hopefully I will be on top of things again, having spent the weekend tackling the mountainous workload infront of me....

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LOTS TO COME

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 2 February, 2012

I’ve had a long day today. I’ve travelled from West to North to South to North to West but it’s all been worth it. Dave and I saw the new Bush building earlier – and Steve Tompkins has done a terrific job with the design. It’s not quite finished yet though - they have plans to refurbish and convert other currently back of house spaces into public areas. As for my own wonderful architect, my dream-maker, my Horatio – he’s come up with a potential change to the back of house that reminds me why I love him so. We simply never stop refining, tweaking…

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WHO YOU KNOW

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

There's a great deal of truth in the famous expression 'it's not what you know, it's who you know' . In the theatre industry we often thrive on this; people take cautious steps to appease the people positioned to give them a step up and would make little apology for getting the job through a friend or family member. Of course it's all very well when you're one of those who know people, but for those on the other side of the fence - those, for example, starting out or not in the 'it crowd' it's incredibly frustrating and, let's face it, downrigh…

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CROSSING THE RIVER

by Jez Bond

Friday, 27 January, 2012

A great day today. This morning I started at the Young Vic, where a young and energetic company were presenting a workshop snippet of a new play they had devised. It was very well recieved and had a lot going for it. I found the narrative, the characters and the clever interaction with video to be very well realised and look forward to seeing their developments.  Following The Stage's New Year's party at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane - where I made some new friends and met lots of old - I proceeded back across the river to the Jerwood Space where some practitioners…

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INCREASING OUR PROFILE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 20 January, 2012

The team as a whole decided recently that we should really have at least 1,000 followers on Twitter so we've been undertaking some hardcore 24 hour profile raising via our respective tweet decks - encouraging people to retweet and 'friday follow' us. The good news is that it's been working very well indeed. Whilst last night we had a mere 650 followers, now as I write this it's closer to 800. Please continue to spread the word and let's hit the big 1,000. Onwards and upwards everyone! Thanks for your support :)

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DAVID HOROVITCH

by Jez Bond

Friday, 13 January, 2012

We're very excited to introduce our newest Ambassador, David Horovitch. We are thrilled to have such a wonderfully experienced and accomplished actor on board. Melli and David met when working together on Caryl Churchill's Serious Money for BBC Radio. David lives locally and was extremely excited to hear about Park Theatre's plans. Suffice to say that once he stepped inside and took a tour he was hooked. When I saw him at the bar at the National yesterday night, after his production of Grief, he was already handing out development packs. Now that's c…

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PRIVATE READING

by Jez Bond

Friday, 6 January, 2012

This afternoon I attended a closed reading of an exciting 'new' play that Sean Mathias is directing. I use new in inverted commas as it's actually an old play by a playwright now sadly passed away that was never completed beyond a first draft - so it's been an interesting process for Sean and the team as to how to take this draft towards a production-ready script. Hopefully I'll be able to write more about it further down the line - and indeed perhaps Park Theatre may even be able to get behind it. That's just a teaser for now...

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NEW YEAR'S PLANS CANCELLED

by Jez Bond

Friday, 30 December, 2011

By order of the management - I must remain resting. Rightly so, otherwise I'll never get better!

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CATCHING UP WITH ME

by Jez Bond

Friday, 23 December, 2011

Well it was only a matter of time and sure enough, with the festive season here, the cold weather outside and having stopped for a couple of days rest last weekend, my body has decided that enough is enough. I woke up ill this morning. My achilles heel when I am run down is always the glands in my throat - and typically my throat is burning and it hurts when I swallow. So lots of rest (well as much as possible), hot drinks and... well that's it really. The usual meds are lemsip and ibuprofen. Sadly antibiotics never work so it's just a matter of letting it take its course. Does m…

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TRYING TO LEAVE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 16 December, 2011

Need to pack for the country but there's so much to do. This weekend we are having a little getaway with some friends who have just moved down to Dorset. I'm determined to leave before the hell that is Friday traffic kicks in....! Blog - done :)

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REMAINING OPEN

by Jez Bond

Friday, 9 December, 2011

Must we always be remain open to everything around us, to possibilities, to the potential of an open door? It's true that it you close yourself off from the world, if you don't send out the right messages into the world, then the things you want to happen aren't just going to come to you. So should I feel guilty for switching off on the tube? For five minutes of Angry Birds, for zoning out for a few moments? Should I be sitting riding the Victoria line sending out Park Theatre's fundraising needs to the carriage of strangers? You know I probably should, but I just don'…

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EXCEEDING OUR TARGETS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 2 December, 2011

Earlier in the year we set ourselves a target of showing round 250 theatre companies / producers / directors by the end of this year. I'm pleased to announce that we have exceeded this target and will have shown round almost 300 by Christmas. A week tomorrow is the final group tour - an exclusive one for the NE London branch of Equity. However today was the last of the general industry tours for this year - and, across two groups, we showed round fifty people; including some West End producers and drama schools.  The drive now over the next few weeks will be on the fu…

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APPLICATIONS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 25 November, 2011

Loads more applications today, so many to post out and so many emails to respond to that we still haven't plugged the new website in all the social media. I'm waiting for a time when I can dedicate 30 minutes (at least) to plastering over Facebook and Twitter and, ideally, sending out some emails. 8.30pm and typically it's still go go go here at base camp. Both Melli and I furiously working away. For her there's a week of tour left to arrange and emails still fly in every hour with new people wanting to join...

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NEW WEBSITE A MATTER OF DAYS AWAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 18 November, 2011

Exciting times. New website days away. Development pack the same. A private launch to our board on Monday evening and then the public unveiling to follow shortly after.

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NEW WEBSITE A MATTER OF DAYS AWAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 18 November, 2011

Exciting times. New website days away. Development pack the same. A private launch to our board on Monday evening and then the public unveiling to follow shortly after. I’ve just learned to scan on the new printer. Forgot it could do that. Took a while to figure it out but now extremely helpful – no longer the need to rush over to Dave’s and ask for a favour! The frustrating thing was that it ran out of ink earlier – both black and colour – so I had to rush down to PC world (I made it just before they closed at 8pm). The printer cost around £…

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FRIDAY FINISH LINE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 11 November, 2011

It’s a race to the finish line and I’m racing against the clock. It’s 19.39 as I type this and I’d love to close the laptop lid by 20.00. Hope everyone’s enjoying a relaxing Friday night….!

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SPARK AND TINGLE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 4 November, 2011

With now hundreds of emails flying in and out of my Mac I feel a quiet buzz of satisfaction this lovely Friday. I think the small firework display was really apt for me as I went into the Pleasance to see ‘Madeline On Toes’ presented by Hitgelamp Theatre Co. The small display reminded me of my own personal mini triumph over pain. No not the pain and stress you might think from creating a theatre but from a very old dance injury. I have started acupuncture and massage and with the wise Chinese natural wellness I am actually starting to feel relief. A tingle in my leg is a wond…

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PHONE MEETINGS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 28 October, 2011

Working from home all day with a number of phone meetings booked in. A much more efficient way of doing things as it cuts down on all the travel time. Face to face is always good – and crucial for certain scenarios – but for today’s subjects of discussion voice alone will suffice.

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STEEL DATES AND MORE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 21 October, 2011

Very exciting. It’s gone 8pm on a Friday night and an email has recently arrived in my inbox from the steel fabricators. Lots of dates over the coming weeks for RSJs to arrive and cranes to lift the third and fourth floor steels in place! At least I’m not the only one working late – good job, Nick. Melli meanwhile is at the Arcola seeing Phaedra’s Love which I had to miss given…. all these emails. Lots done today. We’ve proofed the text for the development pack, we’ve sent the hoarding panels to print, we’ve built a database for…

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503

by Jez Bond

Friday, 14 October, 2011

How quickly another week has gone by. Christina came over today, after a long break away (she had been back home to Greece to do a show). It was useful to have her help in completing more databases of contacts. A great night tonight with a very strong piece of theatre at the 503 – two one act comedies about Internet dating which whilst sounds done to death was remarkably well observed, original and highly engaging. Tomorrow lots to do – and of course plenty of shows over the upcoming ‘weekend’…

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WE (MAY) NEED A BIGGER BOAT

by Jez Bond

Friday, 7 October, 2011

It’s been a tough week as in the background of all the various events of which we have been vigourously blogging, there has been some serious discussion as to the best way forward with the project in terms of managing all the various contracts. Our current Project Manager has been extremely proactive in engaging team members and vetting the various tender returns, however it’s apparent that he’s wearing too many hats (metaphorically). We are making the final decision this weekend as to whether we should employ a Management Contractor from now on – as this approach…

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OCTOBER AIR CON

by Jez Bond

Friday, 30 September, 2011

In very unBritish fashion I have neglected commenting on the weather recently. So now I will. It has been thirty degrees for the past few days and today was no exception – a real scorcher. At 10pm we found ourselves at the Kings Head, for a late night show, where momentary bursts of air conditioning were much appreciated. After midnight now and heading home for a weekend full of theatre – two shows tomorrow and one on Sunday. Let’s hope that the others on the journey will provide a cool environment. It’s officially October 1st, who would have thought it!

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POSITIVE VIBES

by Jez Bond

Friday, 23 September, 2011

The business plan has been through a major rewrite in the last ten days – and I am just finishing it off. Sections have been moved, deleted, reworded, added… all in all it’s a lot more thorough and gives a very clear idea of our markets, targets and strategies. In summary it made me feel even more positive about the project. There are now additional reasons and further supporting evidence as to why this is truly going to be an amazing project. A nice way to enter the weekend, though of course I’m continuing my 6.5 day weeks so there’s still no re…

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7...2...1...

by Jez Bond

Friday, 16 September, 2011

A great day which I had long awaited as it involved a crucial meeting with an experienced theatre producer, board member and executive director who had so kindly offered me his time. 7 hours of analyising the staffing structure, the budgets and the business plan. 2 bottles of fizz.  1 bedtime story (for his gorgeous little girl). A highly productive day. Such valuable advice and insight. Now lots of homework…!

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THE POWER OF THE BROKK

by Jez Bond

Friday, 9 September, 2011

On site today the Brokk remote controlled digger has been ripping through the concrete in order to form the trench for our substation. Meanwhile I have been riffling through a mountain of assorted tasks, working from home – which, due to 50% of the theatre currently being exposed to the elements, is a far more comfortable environment from which to conduct business. I usually work on Saturday and a half day Sunday but it looks like all work and no play’s just going to have make Jack a dull boy this weekend.

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DECISIONS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 2 September, 2011

Melli landed at Heathrow at 7am, came straight home, showered and then left with me to meet Feast Creative. It seems (he says cautiously) that we have reached a decision on the logo. Dum dum dum…….. A little too early for the unveiling but more on this to come… On site we looked at the programme of works and got our head round some key decisions that needed to be made over the course of the next few months. Back home now and suddenly it’s 6pm. Decisions now – food!

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WINDY ON SITE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 26 August, 2011

It’s freezing on site and it’s only the end of August. Standing on the ground, first or second floors you can look out to the world through an opening where the windows used to be. An odd feeling with the wind whistling straight past you. How quickly the end of this week came and after getting up at 6.30am to start meetings on site at 8am the rare ‘Friday feeling’ is welcome – for tomorrow I’m off to a friend’s country retreat. How civilised! Unfortunately it is without Melli as she is working all weekend. More of this anon…

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FIRST WEEK OF CONSTRUCTION ENDS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 19 August, 2011

Noise, dust, skips, timber, a hole in the floor and a discarded high vis jacket lying on the balustrade. The workers have gone home for the weekend and week one is complete. Next week promises to have even more in store – hoarding, more demo and a crazy director walking around with a video camera.

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EMOTIONS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 12 August, 2011

Like a child in the back of a car Are we there yet? Like a crew of a boat under fire Canons to the ready! Like waiting for exam results That one phone call That ultimate word Like standing in an empty building and imagining what will be…

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COMPLEX INTERLINKED

by Jez Bond

Friday, 5 August, 2011

Complex interlinked issues are the hardest to solve and the most crucial as they affect so many elements. After days of questions concerning fundraising structure, box offices software, bar software, epos hardware, customer relationship databases, VAT legislation, accounting practices; of speaking to HMRC, Companies House, the Charity Commission, a VAT expert, software developers and web developers; of hours on the phone, face-to-face meetings and numerous emails… suddenly at noon today we cracked it! We are incredibly excited with the decisions we have reach…

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LATE END TO THE WEEK

by Jez Bond

Friday, 29 July, 2011

Friday night. Busy day. Box office meetings, bar layout meetings and decisions on bin storage made. Amending the door schedules postponed for another day. Late now but faithfully posting for my loyal followers. Best wishes for a great weekend to all!

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CONCRETE IS TOUGH

by Jez Bond

Friday, 22 July, 2011

Two days the workmen have been attacking the ground floor slab with their power tools and diamond saws and the trenches for the drainage are now starting to take shape. These will connect all of the back of house drains (sinks, toilets, washing machine waste etc) with the rest of the system that currently enters from the street to serve the front of the building. These are some of the crucial things that aren’t hugely exciting to talk about but important to get right – once done the pipes will be buried back underneath newly poured concrete. Not easy or cheap to rectify any m…

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HEATING UP

by Jez Bond

Friday, 15 July, 2011

Finally feels like summer today and normal work has resumed for the once “4 eyed” associate director. Now feeling almost fully restored -like a cybernetic organism in Terminator- I’m back! Lots of really interesting plays from New York that have wetted my appetite are whirling around in my brain. Also today I received details from newly named Firework Theatre based in New York City. Well done Ben and Mike (co-artisitic directors). Their new production The Pillow Book is due to open soon at E59E – a very cool theatre with a fantastic ethos. Very exciting…

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SALT PINCHES

by Jez Bond

Friday, 8 July, 2011

Friday, end of the week for some. For mechanical contractors who promised tenders in by the close of play today. It remains to be seen as to whether they will keep their word. So often is it quite the opposite that I have learned to consider dates with a large pinch or salt. Jordan will doubtless be haranguing them as I write this. The last person we spoke to had intimated that they would be able to work within our budgets. Will this be the case once the numbers are crunched or will it involve significant changes to the design? As I often say, watch this space…!

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BLIND FOR A DAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 1 July, 2011

Gone are the days of glasses. Gone are the days of contact lenses. The price includes a day of blindness and pain, but it will be worth it in the end. The next time I see the site it will be with 20/20 vision (or better). [This blog was dictated by Jez Bond]

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SARAH RETURNS TO THE UK

by Jez Bond

Friday, 24 June, 2011

What a terrific week of blogs from Sarah, who returned yesterday from her research trip in Turkey. I look forward to hearing the finer details from her when we catch up in person imminently. It’s been a busy week here too. After the Wray Crescent festival on Saturday I conducted tours of the building. Two more slots were available on Tuesday and, all in all, we had about 75 people. It was such fun taking round local residents and vital to start building that sense of ownership at this early stage. As I said to them all, “it’s your theatre, you are the ones wh…

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TURKEY, DAY 3

by Jez Bond

Friday, 22 June, 2011

Sarah Rutherford, our writer in residence, has been developing a play inspired by some of the stories of Finsbury Park residents. Under the project title ‘N4 Stories’, she has been working with a group of (predominantly) local actors, interviewing people from the N4 area over the past four months. The actors have then brought these real characters and stories to life inside the rehearsal room where they have been hot-seated by Sarah and put into groups in order to improvise scenes. For the past three days Sarah has blogged from Turkey, where she is on a research tr…

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BRING ME SUNSHINE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 17 June, 2011

We’ve got the props, the costumes, the script and the passion – now give us the sunshine (or at least hold off the rain)! Tomorrow at 1pm it’s the Wray Crescent Park Festival. Hope to see lots of faces both new and familiar.

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THE BIG 250

by Jez Bond

Friday, 10 June, 2011

Yesterday we hit the big 250 – that’s 250 blogs from The Park Theatre! Happy Anniversary to our faithful followers. Please raise a glass for us. Here’s to the next 250 – by which time we should have a finished theatre! For now though the work continues. Jordan has been on the phone all day chasing final tenders – and it’s really just the air conditioning that’s left. We’re behind on this due to a number of companies dropping out and others taking too long to get back to us. It’s another usually busy weekend comin…

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PHILADELPHIA

by Jez Bond

Friday, 3 June, 2011

A little cooler in the USA today and we’re in Philadelphia for a family wedding. Got the morning to spend dealing with emails and liaising with Jordan about the final tender returns – due in by the close of play today. I hate it when hotels charge for internet access – but we’re not in the centre of the city so, unlike in NY, we can’t just pop across to the nearest internet cafe. Therefore I am resigned to pay. Grrr…

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CONCRETE JUNGLE...

by Jez Bond

Friday, 27 May, 2011

…that dreams are made of. New York here we come…. and Philadelphia…. and Bear, Delaware…. nearly midnight. not yet packed. not finished emails. off to teach at 7.30am tomorrow and then heading straight to the airport from there – armed with laptops. much work to do….

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A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO LOTS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 20 May, 2011

Starting with 7am emails and document editing on the laptop before heading in to site. First meeting regarding funding, second regarding box office systems. Talking on the tube to a substation contractor on route and emailing Leon (in Barcelona) to arrange our next phone meeting to discuss the latest draft of the musical. Writing blog early as grabbing any available minute. Need to make a call about Saturday and another about the upcoming festival (to arrange costumes). Plus about three things that I have written down as i knew I would forget. Need to speak to Homes For Islington today b…

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FINGS AIN\'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 13 May, 2011

Today ended with Phil Wilmott’s production of Lionel Bart’s lesser performed Fings Ain’t What They Used To Be. Whilst it is clear why it rarely graces our stages – Charles Dickens wasn’t involved in the script for this one – it was an enjoyable night. An ensemble played the characters with panache, directed and designed smoothly by Wilmott and his team in the intimate setting of the Union Theatre.

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STEALING TIME

by Jez Bond

Friday, 29 April, 2011

After watching The Royal Wedding (I think that deserves those caps, don’t you?) we proceeded to, well… proceed with Park business. Given the long weekend and the wait for final tender returns before any significant advances can be made regarding the building, we were able to turn our attention to a number of plays that needed reading and to various administrative tasks. Even though we continue to steal a few extra hours whilst others are working, it still feels like time is rushing ahead of us. So much to do, but – as ever – it’s all extremely positive and …

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RUSH OF HEAT

by Jez Bond

Friday, 8 April, 2011

Crazy day when every meeting butted up against the next and there was no time for a minute’s breather let alone lunch! Funniest memory of the day: me writing an email on a laptop having said goodbye to one person and asked another (who had come in to ask a favour) to kindly wait two minutes while Jordan, talking to the insurers on my mobile (which I had just passed across) went downstairs to let in the next meeting. And so it continued. Got lots done! Last official meeting was with Joules, Roger, Theo and Dave – discussing hugely technical details of the…

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DON\'T SPEAK TOO SOON

by Jez Bond

Friday, 1 April, 2011

That was a very short view of the clearing (ref: post on 28th March), I fear I spoke too soon. Jon from 59 Productions made things easier on the digital signage / screens front today by telling us exactly how we should be doing things in the main house with regards video. However along with this, the digital signage, the sound/paging, the lighting, the IT and the telephony all require not just cabling but immense coordination. My brain is truly frazzled – but, nonetheless, I am very much looking forward to my meeting with the head of fundraising from the Royal Opera House tomorrow …

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SUBSTATION SAGA ENDS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 25 March, 2011

I can’t really call it good news, or can I? I am loathe to call any news regarding the electrical kit we require to be ‘good’ but, being resigned to having the installation, I should rejoice in any small help. Edf today confirmed that the additional capacity on the high voltage network is available and that they would not increase their costs for the extra loading. This means that we will able to heat the flats electrically, which is more sustainable and very efficient and comfortable (under-floor throughout). It also means that we do not have to deal with an…

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THE BIG 200

by Jez Bond

Friday, 18 March, 2011

We have been writing the daily blog for so long now that last night I wrote the 200th entry. How many more until we open, I wonder? As we hope to be producing the inaugural show in less than a year, perhaps we’ll be on blog number 400 or so… It has certainly been a great record of all our achievements to date. Have a little look back at a few random days over the past few months – it’s interesting to see just how varied and complex the journey has been to date.

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CIRCUS SPACE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 11 March, 2011

We had a lovely tour of Circus Space yesterday. It is London’s only training and rehearsal grounds for circus performers – and it’s really quite stunning. I had some experience of the venue a few years ago when a friend of mine who is an aerialist brought me along to watch her training on the silks in order to get a feel for the technique – which I employed in a Christmas show (and later, with the same actress, in a family show that toured Switzerland). What I hadn’t realised then was how big the building was. It used to be a Victorian power stati…

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IN THE WORDS OF ROBERT FROST

by Jez Bond

Friday, 4 March, 2011

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet kn…

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MOVING

by Jez Bond

Monday, 28 February, 2011

The decision to move my edit studio from Hersham to our flat was not a quick one but in the end it was an easy one. It means we loose our spare bedroom but it also means that I don’t need to travel what can often be a three hour round trip on public transport in order to get to the kit. This way I can keep working on some paid editing jobs and subsidise my work on the theatre.

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OUT OF IT

by Jez Bond

Friday, 25 February, 2011

It’s strange being somewhat out of it. Handling live cables, being covered in plaster dust and crawling around in an attic aren’t exactly conducive to answering emails and phone calls! I am now looking at the thirty two emails that have come through. It’s the weekend (in most people’s eyes) but some demand an urgent response. Tomorrow night we are aiming to finish the wiring. How tricky it has been, as I mentioned before, working in an old flat. In a new build things are far easier – and even at the Park Theatre where the building exists, things will be easi…

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ANOTHER 2AM

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Very tired. Haven’t been out for three days now. Need to get some fresh air. All work and no play makes Jez a dull boy. Not entirely true, having plenty of laughs – though mostly through delirium.

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I\'M NOT A GYMNAST

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

All this week I am rewiring my friend’s house – removing the old consumer unit, adding some outdoor lighting circuits, some additional sockets to the ring main, some three way switching etc. Getting into the main attic space would be tricky for even a ten year old gymnast and it is taking it’s toll. When you are working with wiring and in confined spaces it’s surprising how long it takes to just to determine what was done (often badly) the previous time round. It’s vital to do so because if you want to re-use any of the circuit (which we have in s…

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OH AND THERE\'S THAT LICENSE APPLICATION!

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 22 February, 2011

Our associate director, Melli, and one of our trustees, Frances, attended an advice session on Fundraising this evening – followed by a Creative Islington networking event. They came away buzzing with ideas and inspiration so I look forward to a full debrief. Frances chatted to the licensing officer who we had met with some time ago and reminded me that the licensing application should be done soon – we should strike while the iron is hot. Sadly despite it being high on my rather large ‘to do’ list, the recent onslaught of issues has taken precedent &nd…

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MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING

by Jez Bond

Monday, 21 February, 2011

Dave and I are returning from rainy Suffolk, where we have spent a fantastic half day at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. On arrival in this rather ghostly quiet and picturesque town we were greeted by Abi, the theatre’s associate director, who had kindly arranged our visit. She was accompanied by Ian, a delightful volunteer tour guide, who had made a very special effort to come in on his day off and give us a private tour of the building. An expert on the recent restoration and on the fascinating history of the theatre, Ian answered our many questions with a huge dep…

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O WOE IS ME - O WOW

by Jez Bond

Friday, 18 February, 2011

Some days so low, some days so high Stressed and tired, then feeling now a sudden jolt, then jump for joy O, woe is me – oh wow… It’s all a mess, it’s all a maze It’s tough to build, easy to see No hitches, glitches, impossibly Oh wow – o woe is me… If Tuesday’s fair then Wednesday’s storm comes fast upon us now It’s best and worst, it’s lottery O  woe is me – oh wow…

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THE GAS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 17 February, 2011

My bus driver’s driving like he can’t find the accelerator pedal or, as they say in the states, ‘the gas’. I keep thinking he’s about to pull over and we’ll see smoke pouring from under the ‘hood’ but no, he maintains this snail pace continually. I am resigned to conclude that I am trapped in another sequel to Speed. That instead of the bus blowing up if the speed drops below 70mph, the bus will blow up if the driver exceeds 9mph. Any minute now Keanu’s going to crash in through the window, mind you if he waits an hour he could just g…

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CONTRAST

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 16 February, 2011

Following on from yesterday’s blog, some very exciting opportunities have arisen with Celia on board and she is kindly assisting with contacting other influential industry professionals – both local and national, both ‘names’ and non ‘names’. Lots of work ahead, with some heavies on board many doors open. In open response to somebody’s tweet to me – no I didn’t get any cucumber sandwiches (perhaps they are strictly afternoon only!) but I enjoyed some lovely homemade cup cakes! Today, by contrast, was dull and stressful. Mel…

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FIRST AMBASSADOR

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 15 February, 2011

It’s half past eight, my food is ready and getting cold (as usual). So a real quick one today. Very excited that Celia Imrie, our first ambassador, is on board and totally committed to the project. So much so that she even called Stephen Fry to tell him about it while I was round for tea. Lots of other contacts and potential other ambassadors also….. watch this space (I’ll write more tomorrow…. need to eat!!!!!!)

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SOCRATES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 14 February, 2011

This morning we had a key meeting concerning VAT. Even our highly experienced accountant finds it a most confusing and complex topic. Having engaged in substantial conversations on the subject over the past year and having been to see a specialist VAT consultant almost eighteen months ago, we felt that some revision and clarification on various points would be most useful. However rather than returning to the man we saw previously we decided to find someone who was more able to communicate in a language that we could understand – someone who might perhaps answ…

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FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS AND LOTS LOTS MORE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 11 February, 2011

One of those days where lots of little bits and bobs happened rather than one major event. I met an American actor who had recently arrived in the UK and was keen to pitch a couple of interesting plays to us. Led by Melli and her important goal to readdress the balance of female to male work, we have been committed to sourcing plays by women and/or with strong female parts – not exclusively but it’s always in the back of our heads. It sounded like these might fit that bill and I look forward to receiving them. We then organised a dinner with my ROH/NT pa…

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A GREAT DAY

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 10 February, 2011

A tour of yet another theatre this morning – we are being spoilt! Jacksons Lane Arts Centre had an unusual mix of old decor, beautiful history (it’s a converted church) and modern touches. Perhaps the most noticeable thing about it, apart from the stained glass windows, was the sense of community. The cafe was buzzing with mums and their kids, there was a class for toddlers going on in one of the rehearsal rooms and signs on the noticeboard informed patrons of the next yoga class. It was great to see such vital daytime hubbub in a theatre building. Back on site I h…

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PRESS NIGHT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 9 February, 2011

It’s always such an exciting day. The cast and director have rehearsed for weeks, the director and producer have worked for months with the entire creative team and through the previews the show has been refined again and again. The constant striving for perfection won’t end here but tonight is the night when the show is officially ready for judgement, when critics put pen to paper… Never has a show changed so much than this production of Company. The difference from the dress rehearsal to the last preview is immense. Certain sections are unrecognisable and …

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THE TIERS OF THE CAKE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 8 February, 2011

We started the day with a site meeting. Unfortunately a certain structural engineer had forgotten all about it (oops Paul!) – but when he finally arrived all was well. Martin walked through the building with him, chatting over the plans, while – for the most part – I gave an impromptu tour to a group led by our writer in residence, Sarah Rutherford. Paul seemed confident that the final tweaks to the scheme would take but a few days. These included rectifying various coordination issues, re-examining the structural support to the cantilevered bay window and el…

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A HELPING HAND FROM THE NT AND ROH

by Jez Bond

Monday, 7 February, 2011

Editing all day. Just about time to check the various emails in the breaks. Working on three video projects at the moment. Great to be earning some money for a change! Working on the theatre full time is the most exciting thing ever but I have to face the fact that bills need to be paid. Never before in the field of human labour, has so much been done for so little pay and yet so great reward. The weekend was hectic, as ever. I was very lucky to meet some extremely knowledgable and supportive local residents who work at the National and the Royal Opera House. They are helping …

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DOUBLE YELLOW LINES

by Jez Bond

Friday, 4 February, 2011

It was a great day when quite by chance the council’s widening of the pavement to a section of Clifton Terrace appeared to centre around our building. Despite my project manager trying to convince me that the work was scheduled because of our development, I remained stalwart in my belief that it was completely co-incidental. Today we heard from the men carrying out the work on the street that they are soon to complete their task by painting a set of double yellow lines along the entire run of the corresponding section of road. This rather confirms the fact that our property, which …

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WAITING

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 3 February, 2011

An ever increasing number of people contacting us some on Twitter, some on facebook many having seen the banner hanging high on the building Just when we thought there were no more to be removed more internal walls have come down and the sandblasted brick stands proudly now the dust has settled Signs for health and safety adorn the site with instructions, warnings and advice while the portable radiator chugs out warmth into the site office and we wait on some final drawings for tender The building sits impat…

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TUBES, ELECTRICS, SHOWS AND SNACKS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 2 February, 2011

It’s the Dress Rehearsal for ‘Company’ this afternoon. I have hectically been trying to finalise some substation solutions before heading out the door and now tfl have very kindly made me late. When I boarded the tube the destination was Victoria but on looking up I found myself in Bayswater. It is actually only the first time that I have been penalised for not concentrating on public transport. The tube, it seemed, had been diverted to Paddington. So I promptly got off and assessed the situation, having lost a good fifteen minutes in the process. Well I can’t bla…

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THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF CARE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 1 February, 2011

Already six months ago Hughes Jones Farrell would have far exceeded the total hours spent by many other architects on this near pro-bono project. Our many sessions – from design team meetings on site (or at various consultants’ offices across London) to a great many tours of theatres, attendances at conferences and events and even trips to see shows – have racked up a vast number of hours. Yet on Friday we spent an hour discussing the intricacies of a drinks shelf in the circulation area of the upper ground floor. Such is the level of detail that we engage in…

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AMBASSADORS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 28 January, 2011

Throughout last year we were completely inundated with our planning application and the pre-construction phase. As we approach a start-on-site date we are now able to spend some time on other much needed activities such as fundraising and profile raising, two things which are rather inextricably linked. I’ve heard of a number of venues which have opened without many people knowing they exist – I have heard this about a year after they have launched. Our aim at The Park is to build as much awareness of the project before we open. This will involve significant PR and…

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EVERYBODY NEEDS GOOD NEIGHBOURS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 21 January, 2011

After finally meeting with the council (our neighbours to the left) and sorting out a long standing issue over our fire escape – which should be signed off next week – I travelled to site. I saw, for the first time in situ, the banner that Jordan had hung on the facade. It has certainly caught people’s eyes and we have already had emails from passers by who have checked out the website as a result. Inside, one of our labourers, Sasha, had finished stripping off the plaster to a number of sections of wall, revealing brickwork that we will soon sandb…

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NOT AGAIN, TALK TALK!

by Jez Bond

Friday, 14 January, 2011

I can’t believe that the internet is not working again! Okay, it has come back on for a momentary few minutes – giving me time to write this short blog – but for the past few hours it has been dead! I can’t wait to go with BT fibre optic speed broadband once we can get out of this contract. All that aside, it’s been a full day at home working with Melli and Christina. We are no nearer, it seems, to solving our energy crisis but we are a little nearer to solving our issues with the council over the adjoining land (we meet with them next Friday). It was useful…

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WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 7 January, 2011

It has been a terribly rainy day again here at The Park Theatre headquaters. And its been fairly gloomy on many levels. We seem to be back in discussions over issues we believed to have been settled months ago. I am a very optimistic person though, and although at this stage it appears that we are facing a brick wall (well maybe a new room not just a brick wall) I believe these issues can be resolved. Not just because of our problem solving and need for solution but because people out there can help. Yes, some people don’t care – but they must. Why do a …

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SEASON\'S GREETINGS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 17 December, 2010

A dry day as I turned to my laptop to write a few emails. When I turned back round there was snow all around. Well not all around, but all over the garden at any rate. It goes to show two things. Firstly how easy it is to lose one’s sense of time whilst beavering away at the computer and, secondly, how quickly the weather turns. I completely missed the snow fall! Melli worked on a few handwritten Christmas cards and presents to send to our relatives abroad and I finalised and uploaded our Park Theatre Christmas newsletter which all our extended friends and family should …

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FIRE AND RAIN

by Jez Bond

Friday, 10 December, 2010

Just listening to the fabulous James Taylor and Carole King – highly recommended. I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. Yep, that’s the theatre alright. We’ve got it all! Started out in the morning meeting with Vinod, who owns the property next to us and is interested in looking at options whereby (if we raise additional capital now or down the line) we could purchase a portion of his building to use as a dedicated rehearsal room. Dave measured up and we just need to do the maths (or do the math as they say in the States). Melli, Dave and …

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S\'NO PROBLEM

by Jez Bond

Friday, 3 December, 2010

Despite the freezing temps and snow fall… The Park Theatre continues its development at full pace. The snow hasn’t stopped the flurry of actors attending the N4 workshops (now in its second month) and the branding for the theatre is almost complete. It appears that The Park Theatre is already becoming known in the area; one of our actors remarked that she’d asked the way to ‘the theatre’ at the tube and had been immediately pointed in the right direction! Tonight’s schedule includes a visit to Notting Hill’s The Printroom theatre to c…

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SHAKING THE SENSES

by Jez Bond

Friday, 26 November, 2010

After purchasing a different router this morning and finally sorting out our internet connection (no thanks to TalkTalk) we proceeded to the Comedy Theatre which, as Dave pointed out, is not perhaps the most aptly named venue for the current show. It was the understudy run of ‘Birdsong’, a production we had seen a few weeks ago. Our good friend Annabel Topham was superb in the female lead among a marvellous cast. From the subtler moments between characters to the vibration of the entire auditorium with the horror of gunfire, like the first time we saw it, this was powerful st…

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BRANDING, FUNDING, FLASH, BUZZ, GO!

by Jez Bond

Friday, 19 November, 2010

We’ve got that end of the week fervour! Mini breakthroughs with our game of ‘flash the logo’. I recommend trying it at home kids. For example, draw a few pictures. Now, show the first pic to mum or dad and in a flash you take it away and show them the next one. You’ll get their honest opinion kids! Games aside, we’ve really been working all day – turning the lights brighter as the day goes on – and like the lights so is my optimism about our funding package. I think we have a “banging” project. That’s the w…

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AWAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 12 November, 2010

Sitting in beautiful Henley on this grey rainy evening. Have been coordinating with Joules, Roger, Charles (from Hall Stage) and Dave regarding lighting rig positions. Next week we should have made the final decisions. Just a short one today as I’m officially on my weekend! More on Monday…

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STRANGE DAYS [BY WRITER LEON PARRIS]

by Jez Bond

Friday, 5 November, 2010

It all began with a good, firm handshake followed by a feeling of familiarity and safety which manifested in an impromptu hug between two men who, until two days ago had never even met. The rest of it’s a blur. Hundreds of pieces of A6 paper cover the wall; each of them holding some nugget of hilarity or tragedy which, eighteen months from now, will grace the stage of the Park Theatre. It’s been a strange few days. We have reincarnated the devil (who it turns out does look like Monica Bellucci), we have torn heroes and heroins to shreds and reassembled them piece b…

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ONE PROJECT OF MANY (BY MELLI)

by Jez Bond

Friday, 29 October, 2010

As Associate Director of The Park Theatre my job is varied. One of my big projects of the moment is N4 Stories. We have been on the street, in shops, in a church, in homes and now we are preparing to get our team of actors involved. Thankfully I have Nouska to help with our detailed database. Our first briefing session with a group of actors is coming up on Tuesday. We have been working hard all week in preparation for the event. There has been a tremendous response to our search for actors to come out for this project. With the weekend ahead we are still getting in responses.…

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CHIPPING AWAY THE EDGES

by Jez Bond

Friday, 22 October, 2010

Friday and it’s the end of the first week with our assistants. The difference is noticeable. Despite new tasks emerging every day the ‘to do’ list is starting to get a little shorter. What a relief and, once again, how wonderful to have such support. Tonight Melli, Nouska and I went to the Barons Court theatre to see the UK premiere of an American play by a writer whose agent Melli had met out in New York. Not only did we introduce Nouska to the unusually intimate Barons Court theatre but, afterwards, to West Ken’s finest ‘Best Mangal&r…

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MUCH NEEDED ASSISTANCE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 15 October, 2010

A very useful day today and one that I hope will mark the start of great things to come. Our new assistants Nouska and Abi arrived at the house for an induction. We worked for a few hours, taking a little break at the local coffee shop mid afternoon, and gave what must have been a rather hectic run through of the project. We looked at the current work load and started to break tasks down into subheadings and decide who might be responsible for each. In terms of creating a master plan, we really just scratched the surface. I hope that Abi and Nouska at least have a basic but firm understa…

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WOE IS NOT ME

by Jez Bond

Friday, 8 October, 2010

My life is a constant rush. A rushing to and fro, place to place, person to person, never more than just a few minutes early to meetings – apart from the occasions where the other party is late, rarely walking more often jogging, rarely stopping for more than a quick unpleasant bite on the way or, with a landline in one hand and a mobile in the other, scanning the incoming emails as the water boils for a 4pm lunch… Honestly, shut up – you’re building a theatre!

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GIG

by Jez Bond

Friday, 1 October, 2010

There will surely come a time when I run out of clever titles. Not that all my titles have been so – far from it, but I constantly feel the urge to try. It’s my gig tonight at Charlotte Street Blues. It’s also day of updating our technology. We are changing the host for our emails as I haven’t been happy with the service. Thankfully my friend Nick, who is rather a wizard at all things computer related, is doing this for us. Video editing has taught me much about computers but I’d rather leave all that gig and ram to the experts. Off to …

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HAYFEVER

by Jez Bond

Friday, 24 September, 2010

After preparing a refined design brief for our logo, I attended to a much neglected task – that of budgeting and admin for N4 Stories. I completed the major part of this before we left for the theatre this evening. I now have a list of actors who speak Somali and Turkish, which may be useful for approaching some of the local migrant communities. I have also produced a first draft of a budget, with appropriate fees for script development and workshops. We will soon be in a position to seek funding for the project. Melli and I then ventured down to Ki…

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MOVING ON UP

by Jez Bond

Friday, 17 September, 2010

This morning I had a very successful meeting with local MP Jeremy Corbyn. I proudly showed him the plans and 3D model shots before we toured the site. I was impressed that he wanted the meeting to take place at Clifton Terrace and not at his office. It indicated to me a real interest in what we are doing – rather than the superficial fulfillment of a duty. Indeed he was extremely positive about the project and very enthused. Like many others he shares the view that Finsbury Park is crying out for a new cultural centre and it’s a pleasure to have him in support of o…

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LEAVING NEW YORK

by Jez Bond

Friday, 3 September, 2010

Day 4 - Today, from the comfort of my Delaware home, we discuss family and culture and so it happens I chat with Lynn Thompson, Artistic Director of America-in-Play about America’s historical cultural legacy. Having missed her in the city, we chat on the phone. We really connect and I feel very inspired with the work she’s doing with her dynamic dramaturgy group of New Yorkers. There is so much to be learned from our past and a question I’ve always been asked abroad is “What IS the American culture?” Just a few more days here then it&rs…

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COMMENTS PLEASE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 27 August, 2010

The consultation period will soon be over and the council are keen to receive any feedback on our application. For those who haven’t already done so please consider taking two minutes to view and comment on the plans. You can do this online by clicking http://mytinyurl.net/9ea143 and entering application number P101570 to view. Then click ‘comment on this application’ to add your words of support. Alternatively you can send an email for the attention of Sarah Ricketts (the planning department case officer) quoting application number P101570 to: [email protected]

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INNOCENT OR GUILTY?

by Jez Bond

Friday, 20 August, 2010

The past few days at the Old Bailey have been a fantastic experience. Sitting in a jury of my peers, I have listened to the defence and the prosecution argue their case, I have heard witnesses give evidence and watched defendants examined and cross examined in the witness box. Throughout the entire process, one thing has been obvious – that the tradition, the pomp and ceremony, the setting and the vernacular are each important contributions to the theatre of the court. Much like an audience in the circle of a playhouse, a congregation sit in the vie…

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FIRST VIDEO COMPLETE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 13 August, 2010

A big meeting this morning at DSA, discussing the way forward for electrics, plumbing and drainage, central heating, air conditioning and ventilation. Jordan, our project manager, is coordinating a drain survey and a water pressure test the results of which will influence us as to the best course of action to take. Furthermore, in addition to the room data sheets, DSA would like us to produce a set of drawings with sockets etc drawn on so that they can work out circuit diagrams. Two weeks for us to do all we need, about two weeks for them to draw up all their schematic diagrams and then …

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iLIFE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 30 July, 2010

Heading back from the west end unusually early following the ninety minute musical ‘Wolfboy’ I sit on the tube to write the daily blog… Wearing about three different hats (metaphorically) every minute is precious and only due to modern technology can time on public transport be spent on emails, internet research, writing blogs and viewing documents. All this from the iPhone. When directing a show out in Hong Kong a few years ago I became a convert to ‘the leaky pipe’ – a method of retaining mobile telephone signals in their under…

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CHARITY REGISTRATION

by Jez Bond

Friday, 23 July, 2010

When I set up my first theatre company years ago, the paperwork associated with charity registration was more a formality than an examination process one needed to pass. It seems that times have changed and, as ever, being ‘new’ comes with a great number of hurdles and complications. Whether talking to the council about energy and sustainability, to the police about security, to the insurance company about the alarm system or to the charity commission in order to be granted charitable status it seems that things now are much harder than they ever were. The argument…

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LEVEL ONE COMPLETE!

by Jez Bond

Friday, 16 July, 2010

All documents and reports for planning have been printed off and submitted to Planning Perspectives who will submit the application to the council on Monday!

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DR ARCHITECT

by Jez Bond

Friday, 9 July, 2010

Three years ago we moved in to our new home, a run down pokey one bedroom ground floor garden flat. To say that decor hadn’t changed since the seventies might perhaps be a little too kind. You couldn’t eat off any surfaces in the kitchen and using the shower was not a pleasant experience. The carpet was home to a number of creatures, most of whom would come out at night. This was our dream home! The plan was to gut the property, build a back extension and a side return, re-wire, re-plumb, re-plaster, landscape the garden, erect a fence and then, well&hel…

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PAPERWORK AND A NEW LIFE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 2 July, 2010

We have been preparing the vast number of documents which, along with the various existing and proposed plans and sections, will form our planning submission to Islington council. I have been focussing on the ‘Applicant’s Statement’ and ‘Management Statement’ which, among other things, explain the rationale behind the project – why, who, what, when and where. In partnership with Hughes Jones Farrell (our architects), Planning Perspectives, our planning consultants, have been instrumental both in writing many of the relevant docume…

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STUDIO THEATRE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 25 June, 2010

Despite the huge enjoyment of talking about structural steel, disproportionate collapse and the benefits of gas combi boilers – and no, I do not jest – the fact remains that talking about sightlines, seat sizes and the layout of the theatres is what really gets my heart pumping. Today we received a mock-up of four different configurations for the studio: traditional ‘end on’, traverse, ‘L shaped’/two sides and ‘in the round’. They enable a capacity of between 75 and 82 seats. This is now a firm starting point and from …

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ON SITE MEETINGS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 18 June, 2010

‘Giving the tour’ involves starting with the plans in the site office upstairs and then doing a walk through the building – on your right the box office, straight ahead the outside wall of the theatre, above you the glazing to the atrium and please mind the swimming pool to your left (the astute among you should be able to deduce to what that refers). If I had a penny for every time I did this… I’d have about thirty pence. Today I showed round a number of actors, a set designer and other interested colleagues. For me it’s always exciting and I don&rsq…

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HELLO WORLD!

by Jez Bond

Friday, 11 June, 2010

Welcome to the ridiculously exciting world of building a theatre…

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