Schism 'not about disability, but about power' says playwright/actor

by Kayla Cohen

7 June 2018

It took fourteen years for Athena Stevens to write Schism, a new play now on at Park 90. Her inspiration? The unhealthy pattern of codependency and emotional unavailability she noticed permeating her friendships and relationships. Schism is a frank exploration of what went wrong, over and over again, over all those years.The play follows a twenty-year relationship between Harrison and Catherine as they navigate several life-stages and power shuffles. What started out as a teacher-student relationship soon becomes sexual when Catherine goes off to university, but whe…

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Total Eclipse of the Park

by Andrew Wilson

14 January 2018

Think of it as a kind of eclipse: for first time since it opened five years ago, Park Theatre’s doors will be closed to the public for an entire week, January 15th to 22nd. No actor will tread either of the two stages; none of the bar staff will be serving coffees, cocktails or the ever-popular pastéis de nata…

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Robert Czibi: Art in an hour

by Andrew Wilson

12 January 2018

It’s not unusual to find Park Theatre staff up a ladder. Lights need to be hung, sets adjusted, ceilings repaired. Could be two minutes, could be half a day – as long as the job takes. But for Robert Czibi, the multi-talented artist whose chalk drawings adorn the blackboard in the theatre lobby, the time spent up a ladder is very precise: one hour per show, no more and usually not much less.

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School Tours Improving Student's Confidence

by Melanie I. Schultz

28 June 2016

Rokesly School visited us at Park Theatre today for our School Tours program.  Children want to speak their mind.  Our tour leader, Maddie, asked questions that engaged them and helped them grow and warm up their voices, bodies, and brains!  We worked on being detectives and pointing out everything we saw that was new to us.  This nursery group was extremely observant of their surroundings, and questioned what they saw in progressive ways.  Teachers and parents remarked that students who are usually quiet spoke up and were absorbed into the drama games and…

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History of Park Theatre in (approximately) 10 Objects: #1 Plaque from a disappeared Victorian theatre

by Andrew Wilson

Monday, 18 January, 2016

At the bottom of the lobby stairwell, in one of Park patrons’ favourite nooks for chatting and eating, can be found a piece of London’s theatrical history: a plaque bearing the traditional masks of Comedy and Tragedy.The plaque was part of the decorative plasterwork in the old Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. (For a detaile

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Bachs and Coxes: Musical history comes alive

by Andrew Wilson

Monday, 22 June, 2015

Magical things can happen in the Morris Space, on the top floor of Park Theatre. Last Thursday two generations of Coxes played two generations of Bachs when The Score, a new play by Oliver Cotton received its first reading by a full cast, with live keyboard accompaniment.Jez Bond and Brian CoxThe Score deals with a historical event: a visit in 174…

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INTERNSHIP AT PARK THEATRE

by Chelsea Collins

Tuesday, 28 January, 2014

If you’re thinking about applying for an internship with Park Theatre, I highly recommend it.  My experience with the Park Theatre family is one I wouldn’t trade for anything.  It was my first time in London, hailing from New York, and I was nervous. The Park Theatre family was welcoming and made adjusting that much easier for me. I had a lot of fun working with the lovely people that make up the Park Theatre team and thoroughly enjoyed my time being a part of it.            The Park Theatre team is small; y…

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HAZEL'S ACTING ADVICE

by Hazel - Park Theatre Dog

Tuesday, 7 January, 2014

It's wet and messy this time of year but thankfully I get to enjoy evenings in the theatre keeping nice and dry on stage. I tend to just rest leading up to performance time and when I'm not on stage I have a relaxing lie down on my bed either in my Grotto or up in my office. I have a special toy that someone left for me and I've named him Cuddly Adam. He looks a little bit like our Adam here - well a toy cuddly version anyway - and I do love carrying Cuddly Adam around with me. People have asked if I get nervous before going on stage but I actually don't get nervous. I think…

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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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The New Year

by Jez Bond

Sunday, 6 January, 2013

We are still in the early days of 2013 - the time when the brain goes into autopilot and tries to end every date you write with the digits from last year. Is that an inability of speed to adapt or a subconscious desire to cling to the past?  At the Park we've constantly been adapting and evolving alongside the very visual physical changes of our emerging building. We're most certainly looking to the future. This will be our grandest yea…

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 1 January, 2013

It's a new year and we want it to be a happy one. I saw these instruments in the window the other day and it made me really happy - thinking about them being played by people I love. My family is a little bit musical and so I've always been a huge fan of live music and musicians. I really like listening to people sing or play when they really feel it - when it's personal it's pretty amazing. I'm …

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DOG FRIENDLY CAFE BAR

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 31 July, 2012

I talk about the theatre mostly, the build, the fundraising, the gala-but I haven't spoken too much about the cafe bar. It's been on my mind more as we have been looking at specifics with the bar space. I'd like to think the cafe bar is destined for being THE creative place to come for a drink and hang out in Finsbury Park. As a dog owner, lover, enthusiast, rescuer and foster carer I have found a serious lack of cool dog friendly places to go for the evening in London - outside of the pub world. Hey the local pub is great sure, but sometimes - and for me often times- I would…

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TAKE TO THE STREETS

by brackets digital

Monday, 30 July, 2012

Last week we had a very productive weekend at Park. In our plan to distribute the last development packs to the public, we arranged two afternoons for which we needed all hands on deck. On Saturday we stuffed (some 4000)  envelopes and on Sunday we walked up and down streets and stairs to front doors in Muswell Hill to deliver the packs. These packs aim to spread the word (about Park) and inform people of how they can help raise funds to complete the Education Floor. The help we received was so appreciated; especially for forfeiting the lovely weather on Saturday to form …

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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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KEEPING UP THE PACE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 26 July, 2012

I’m working from home today and it makes a nice chance to travelling in to site. Whilst I constantly email, call, type, text and whatnot on the move, the journey still takes its toll. So, with summer finally (and, so they say, temporarily) here, the back doors are open, the dogs are lying on the deck (plural as Hazel has a friend visiting for a week) and Melli and I are sitting at the kitchen table beavering away. Although, come to think of it, the heat is quite draining “beavering” feels a little too quick to describe today’s pace. How do they cope in places like…

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NATURAL LIGHT

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 25 July, 2012

I've been abroad for a couple of weeks, during which time the site has changed radically.  As you probably know, both theatre spaces now have a roof, which makes it much easier to imagine what they will feel like after completion.  The roof won't keep the rain out for a few more weeks, but it does allow the sunshine in.  Both theatres have large skylights above them which will allow anybody working in the building to avoid the zombie look during tech week and daytime rehearsals.  It's also great for sustainability, as the sunlight on days like today will h…

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SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVIN' AIN'T EASY

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 24 July, 2012

It's lush. The heat and happy people equals a summers day. We had a successful walk about on Sunday and I'm so pleased to say thank you to people of Muswell Hill that are donating and signing up for Park membership. It's because of our selfless volunteers and their hard work that we are chipping away at raising the last £150,000. It isnt easy - it's dedication but like a summers day you can feel  it's worth it!

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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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WHY I'LL BE SAYING MACBETH IN MY THEATRE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 19 July, 2012

There is an age old superstition in the theatre concerning the utterance of the name 'Macbeth'. Those who adhere to the superstition uphold that the only time one is allowed to say 'Macbeth' in a theatre (and by this one means the actual auditorium and stage - the foyer, as far as I'm aware is permitted) is when, as an actor, you are speaking the character's name in the play itself. The play is therefore not referred to by its title but as "the Scottish…

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NORA

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 17 July, 2012

We (myself, Jez, Amy, Nouska and Sarah) went to see Park Theatre's very own Ambassador Hattie Morahan as Nora in A Doll's House at the Young Vic.  Hattie gave a beautiful performance as Nora and we all agreed that Nora is not only a wonderful character to play but she has such a satisfying story too.  I feel a little bit like Nora trying to save something I love and needing to ask for money. We have £150,000 left to raise in order to save our Education floor from becoming half of a floor. If we don't raise this money it w…

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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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BREATHE

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 10 July, 2012

It seems a silly thing to need to remind oneself of - to breathe. But it can be such an important thing to do in our lives where stress makes you tight mouthed, and dry throated. In the world of building a small thing as a new theatre it can be - well a little stressful at times. Today I spent the entire day breathing. No not in a yoga studio (though I do love my yoga, as you regular readers with know). No today it was in a recording studio for the entertainment of others. Yes all day long I did variations on breathing, long breaths, short breaths, gasping, desperate, panic breathes and …

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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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REHABILITATION

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 4 July, 2012

I'm on the second fund raising application of the week, and as always it's intriguing to analyse and tease apart the criteria for each trust.  This particular form asks for applicants to demonstrate a 'rehabilitative or therapeutic benefit' of the project, and has forced me to think more carefully about whether an education floor can be used not only to improve lives, but to turn a troubled life around.  I'd be fascinated to hear of anyone who has personal experience of this, or knows of any research on that subject.  Are there any limits to what we can…

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PROPOSE TO ME

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 3 July, 2012

It isn't something I often ask of people but I will start to say this very soon over the coming weeks. Give me a proposal. Not for marriage - not to last a lifetime- but for something exciting and thrilling that would last about 4 weeks and then you can move on. Make it interesting, make me laugh so much I might wet myself. Make me fall in love, make me cry so hard I can't stop. I would like to feel something deeply. If you think you can do that for me then talk to me - send me a proposal. It doesn't have to be in a Tiffany's box this time. No, I'd actually prefer it …

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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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VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 28 June, 2012

Whilst it's tough not directing a show for so long, working on a project like this is an immensely rewarding experience. The main thing is that every day is different. From meetings about architectural lighting design to conducting site tours, from emailing local artists to dealing with Gift Aid returns, there is no shortage of variety. To finish my day I ventured to Crouch End this very evening to attend a variety show. I love variety - it's the spice of life.

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CHANGING SPACES

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012

Not long ago, Finsbury Park was one of London’s least inspiring green spaces, unloved during the day, and dangerous at night.  A recent grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has turned that around, and North London’s kite is really flying again.  It’s one of my favourite places in town, part orchard, part heath, depending which gate you enter through.  It has a boating pond, tennis courts, an outdoor gym and an athletics track.  You can play American Football, Baseball, or Softball (whatever that may be).  Did you know that you can run all the wa…

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MY ROUND UP

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 26 June, 2012

My week's round up big and small it covers all. After last Tuesday I had another bridesmaid dress fitting. Like the theatre it's starting to take shape and you can see how lovely it's going to be. Having something tailor made for you is such a wonderful experiece. It really gives you so much confidence because they design it to your particular look and shape. You don't have that horrible "if only I could squeeze into this, or if only I was a bit taller" moment. I've also had dance rehearsal and a dance show at the weekend. I was very pleased to get back on m…

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MAUREEN – IN A WORLD OF WHIRR...

by brackets digital

Monday, 25 June, 2012

Park will be a technologically innovative theatre. I am not one of the most technologically savvy people on the planet. I’m excited by I.T prospects and innovation but I don’t really understand these things well, and I do like my notebook and pen. And, I take my time joining 21st century developments. I also own a PC. This is almost an unforgivable sin at Park.  I feel I’m an important representative of a sector of society that, within our equality policies,  Park does recognise and value. Having said that, my old PC has been fondly (t…

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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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ASSOCIATE ARTISTS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 21 June, 2012

Amongst the discussions about air conditioning, the reviews of the steelwork and the sound of plumbers and electricians working on site, I'm always incredibly excited when I can sink my teeth into something more artsitic. Today is no exception as we are announcing our inaugural Associate Artist! So, with open arms, we welcome Mark Cameron to the Park Theatre family. It has always been such a pleasure having him as an ear, an eye and a sounding board. He has been a great support to me over the past few years and I am utterly thrilled that through his ro…

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FILING

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 20 June, 2012

We’ve recently had a series of meetings about different ways of storing, tagging and sharing files.  I know, I know, we really put the roll back into rock at Park Theatre, and why stop the fun before you get to data management.  Unsurprisingly we solved one of the great itches of modern technology, but just as Jez was placing the deposit on a tropical island with the projected profit from his solution, we discovered that a few other people had already invented the same wheel.  To whoever you are, and wherever your tropical island happens to be, we salute you. 

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THE SUN IS ALWAYS SHINING IN FINSBURY PARK

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 19 June, 2012

A beautiful day today with the sun shining and blue skies the site looked great all day in this weather. With all of our beautiful steel coming up you can not only really start to see the structure but you get the feel of reality setting in. I am very excited by not only steel but glass. I have a real fascination with glass and there are many reasons why. I have a very strong memory for my dreams - now this may seem like a non-sequitor but I assure you it isn't.  I have a collection of nearly a hundred dreams from childhood that I remember as strongly as real life mem…

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FAMILIES

by brackets digital

Monday, 18 June, 2012

The last few months I’ve thought a lot about my family. This has much to do with the fact I’ve had few big changes in my life and they’ve been a fountain of support and advice. I’ve also thought about how their lives change and I see how it affects them, and in turn the affect it has on me. We are related so, certain life events become interrelated. Your family, in the traditional meaning, are partly what makes you who you are, whether you know them or not (I’m talking DNA) but they can be the people you surround yourself with and they in…

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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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ALAN RICKMAN'S VISIT

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 14 June, 2012

Every day on site now brings something new. The steelworkers constantly expand the giant mecano set that is the Park Theatre auditoria frame meanwhile, at the very top of the building, the electricians and plumbers race to finish off the flats. Intrigued by the goings on in N4 and lured in by the promise of a new theatre in this (cliche) "current economic climate", a number of high profile industry professionals continue to pop by…

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THIS IS ABOUT YOU

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 13 June, 2012

The Park Theatre Just Giving campaign begins now!  With an online hub and a text donation service it has never been easier to help us to transform the creative life of Finsbury Park. In fact, this marks the culmination of a spectacular few months, with grants coming in from trusts and funds, a thrilling charity auction and several ‘building site chic’ parties.  We continue to re…

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MEGA RED

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 12 June, 2012

I'm taking these little supplements called Mega Red. They are supposed to give you clarity of mind and maybe give you a bit of extra strength. I think that its working pretty well. I've got a good vision of what the building will look like. I've got a clear picture of who we are as a company. The main focus for me at the moment is on raising funds, awareness and curating the space. We are about to launch a just giving page - and we hope you'll spread the word and also donate a little something. It's very easy really. We are also working on our Autumn Gala -…

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RAINING DOWN

by brackets digital

Monday, 11 June, 2012

Everyone at Park is juggling a number of different projects and jobs all the time. I feel that we mention this fair a bit, but it does have a massive impact. There is a constant flow of things to do, people to meet, strategies to think about. I personally have at least 4 'to do' lists going on at any one time.  Hence, tonight is my shortest blog ever. I have an exam at the end of the week so that gets to the top of all the lists. Having said that, we, including some of our wonderful Helpers will be at Park tomorrow (weather permitting!) with an informatio…

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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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UP NORTH

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 7 June, 2012

As our train pulled in to St Pancras station it was gone 1pm. The night at Sheffield's Novotel had been nothing more than fine; the slope to the mattress being countered only by a lie-in before the morning train. Andy, Melli and I had been on our first Park Theatre business trip - it wasn't hugely glamorous but neither was it intended to be. Proving successful on many fronts, not …

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CITIZENS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 6 June, 2012

I had a great evening yesterday at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, one of the most beautiful spaces I know.  The theatre is comparable to Park in the relative deprivation of its surrounding area, and I was so happy to see a nearly full auditorium on a Tuesday night for two Beckett plays!

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HELPING OUT

by brackets digital

Monday, 4 June, 2012

Last week we had another couple of Helpers Days. This is when people who have kindly said they will donate their time for any events or PR activities we arrange can come and get stuck in. It’s nice to be able to put faces to names as so much of our communication with people is via email at the moment, and it gets us in a room with some of the many enthusiastic people that we are in touch with. Who doesn’t like sitting and having a natter about theatre, London and life? At the moment we’re very much focused on fundraising (we still need to secure the …

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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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VISION

by brackets digital

Tuesday, 31 January, 2012

What's your vision? It's the big directing question, perhaps the big question for leaders of every stripe.  We want reassurance that the person we're following knows where the gold is, and has the map to find it.  'Look at this lovely map', the leader says.  'Here we see the pot of gold, and look - here is the rainbow that will lead us to it.'  In the context of theatre, I find the notion of 'vision' very problematic, but it's at the core of everything Jez and Melli are doing at the moment.  Because Jordan is a b…

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REGENERATION

by Jez Bond

Monday, 30 January, 2012

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen” I began “I'm Jez Bond, Artistic Director for Park Theatre”. It’s a title that used to sound alien but now comes as second nature. I’ve given countless speeches at tours, presentations and meetings that I’ve become incredibly comfortable in talking on all aspects of the theatre. Today I was at the Finsbury Park Regeneration Conference addressing forty or so residents, business owners and councillors across the three boroughs of Islington, Hackney and Haringey. The key topic I was asked to discus…

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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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WE MADE IT TO 1,000

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 26 January, 2012

Congratulations to the team - and all our faithful followers. Thanks to loads of great tweets and retweets and Friday Follows we made it past 1,000 followers this morning. In fact on Friday we were ranked number 6 in the UK for Friday Follows! That's pretty good going. Plus another 90 or so poured in just in the last few hours thanks to some new tweeters on the case! 

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MUST FILM

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 25 January, 2012

So much to do and so little time (so many times have I said that). Desperately need to go to site with the video camera and make a record of the fast changes to the upper floors. The joists are in and in a couple of weeks the framing system that forms the walls goes on. We'll be watertight in the front building before we know it! 

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JUSTICE FOR A MOVING NIGHT

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 24 January, 2012

The credits for evening's show gave us many reasons to attend - familiar director, producer, actor and venue; and whilst some might think we would be biased in terms of expectation and enjoyment I can assure you I am very open equally to take each show on its own merit. And so tonight we saw 'Execution of Justice' at the Southwark playhouse. A well done piece of theatre - Joss Bennathan directed this large cast and gave, essentially a court room drama a very punchy and well paced delivery. I'm pleased to say I wasn't put off by the accents - as often happen…

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BIG TRIP FOR BIG MEN IN BIG SOCIETY

by Melli Bond

Monday, 23 January, 2012

It's only for one night but packing to stay away is still something that takes thought - mainly because I remember how cold it is 'Up North'! Going to Leeds you would think I was heading for some unheard of town or half expecting a wild journey as I rationed my water and covered up with my huge blanket/scarf/rug - a very snugglish item. On arrival to the theatre there were all sorts of people inviting me in - it did suddenly feel like I was on a journey back in time to 1910. Big Society, directed by the lovely Rod Dixon of Red Ladder, had a great mix …

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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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MANIC THURSDAYS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 19 January, 2012

Meetings on site, meetings off site Meeting with a prospective new board member, meeting with some more local actors Meetings on the ground floor, meetings on the roof Just another manic Thursday.

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EVENING STANDARD

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 18 January, 2012

An exciting few weeks...! Following our first fundraising party hosted by Sean Mathias and attended by Sir Ian Mc Kellen, Rupert Everett, Matthew Kelly, Michael Pennington and David Parfitt, the Evening Standard has published an exclusive on Park Theatre, published in

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INTERVIEWS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 17 January, 2012

I was interviewed by The Evening Standard today, they are writing a story which will go into tomorrow's paper. I have also been approached by a magainze who want to do an article. Nouska Hanly, our Associate, has been really fantastic in getting the word out to the press following last week's fundraising party. Loads more to do today, watch this space...!

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SLEEPING DOGS

by Jez Bond

Monday, 16 January, 2012

I spent the day helping a great friend of mine, playwright Brenda Gottsche, with her latest production 'Sleeping Dogs'. The play tells the story of a man who has led a double life of sorts and whose family is coming to terms with the revelation. I have known Brenda since I directed a production of The Fulham Jesus, her first play at Barons Court Theatre (and subsequently worked on three further productions with her there and at the Old Red Lion).  Today I helped the team by providing audio recording and editing facilities (my sideline) - as some of the play is set…

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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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LONG LUNCH

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 12 January, 2012

A lovely long lunch at the Soho Hotel today. The food was delicious and Simon and Brendan from the aptly named Feast - who treated us to this meal - were excellent company. I fondly remember the chocolate mousse with passion fruit coulis and honeycomb crumble, after which I could eat no more! That's not the whole day but a great portion of it - which is unusual, as time-wise lunch is a luxury we can't often afford.

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PARTY NUMBER ONE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 11 January, 2012

  Hosted by our fabulous Ambassador, Sean Mathias, a dozen industry professionals gathered on site for a glass of wine and a tour this evening. The afternoon had been spent preparing the top floor of the site, clearing, tidying, setting up tables and sofas, softening the lighting, applying some fragrances, candles and arty touches all of which combined turned building site reek into building site chic. And so at 6.30pm on the rooftop of a former Finsbury Park office block gathered some of the finest performers, directors and producers including Sir Ian McKellen…

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TIME

by Melli Bond

Monday, 9 January, 2012

Minutes... Hours...Weeks... Years Sitting on hold for 20 minutes. Waiting on the platform 5 minutes. Taking the meeting's minutes. Walking my Mastiff for 1 hour. Planning the party for 3 weeks. Having a dream for 12 years. Building a dream for 2 years. Time to share the passion and the excitement... Every minute.

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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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DIFFERENT WORLDS

by Melli Bond

Thursday, 5 January, 2012

After a morning working my day job I went to work... to my other day job. I'm an actress a well as creative director for PARK and today was a fun acting day! December saw me playing (amongst other things) a Latin American character speaking Spanish speaking (yes I am bilingual) and some very fun health and safety issues on location. Now I understand David Cameron's urge to rid the UK of extraneous health and safety! But today from the safety of the studio I was hurled up into the air, kissed a sexy guy, drank some crazy potions and got thrown out of an exclusive club onto my ass …

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BEING SCOTTISH

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 4 January, 2012

One of the recurring problems of being Scottish is that I've never learnt the rain dance.  In balance it's probably a good thing, as my dancing is easily mistaken for a crude and unpredictable form of primordial warfare.  A rain dance from me would most likely induce a climate catastrophe that would make even The Weather Girls blush.  Which is why I have decided to launch an appeal to all of our supporters to slip on their meteorological dancing shoes and help us shape the weather.  Next Tuesday is our first on-site fundraising party, and as Jordan has failed …

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DEVELOPMENT PACKS ARRIVE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 3 January, 2012

The development packs arrived in the post today and look great! It's taken a long time to get here, through tweaks, tweaks and more tweaks. But it's important to get everything just right - and we have. Time to start getting them out there now - through parties, through ambassadors, through trustees, through people in the local community. If any readers fancy picking up a few and distributing to their friends, colleagues and neighbours that would be wonderful. Please get in touch...

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2012: THE YEAR STARTS HERE!

by Jez Bond

Monday, 2 January, 2012

It's a bank holiday Monday here in the UK, but for the Park Theatre team the second of January means the first day of the most important year ever. There's lots to be done and we have a strong feeling that this year may just go by quicker than ever. Whilst most start back on the 3rd the team have already put in a few good hours today. Tomorrow we are expecting delivery of our development packs back from the printers and the giant task of reaching our goal towards the education floor kicks up a gear. You'll all be hearing from us very soon indeed!  

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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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THE TROUBLE WITH REACHING HIGH

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Building with big ambition can sometimes be a curse. Confidence and positivity can come across as stubbornness or, more dangerously, can instil a feeling of ‘money is no object’ amongst potential contractors. Somehow I think the ‘this is a privately funded project, we have very little money and no public subsidy’ line would work better if I spoke more quietly, looked down at the floor occasionally and skipped the morning shower. Some people get it and some don’t. Some come up with solutions and options, others can’t think outside the box. It’s a …

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MULTIFACETED

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

One of the many discussions in what has already been a multifaceted day has concerned the erection of temporary hoarding to the front of the property. This is the cladding, in plywood, of the outer face of the external scaffolding that enables contractors to safely undertake works to the outside of the building (for example creating our bay window). Without it there are health and safety issues as it would be very difficult to inhibit the release of dust or debris onto passers by. We were chatting about the size and shape of our hoarding and about the location of access doors within in. …

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ALBANY

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 26 July, 2011

I started the day with a trip to the Albany Theatre in Deptford, which at six minutes from London Bridge by train is surprisingly easy to get to. Gavin showed me round and we chatted about potential linkups. Like me, he’s not a ‘this is my castle’ type of guy – and we discussed the importance of theatres across London collaborating with each other. Later I headed to site for more IT and box office meetings. As an afternoon wave of tiredness came over me, I was left yawning with my head spinning and a show to see at the White Bear. Where’s that clo…

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THE RECIPE FOR DRAMA

by Jez Bond

Monday, 25 July, 2011

Another week of theatre every night begins… This evening I headed to the studio at Hampstead Theatre to see Pentabus’ ‘For Once’ which was a well staged powerful drama about the fractured relationship between three characters – mother, father and son. There’s no perfect recipe for drama but there are a few favourites. Many will have heard me say that I love a piece of theatre that can make you laugh and make you cry – and that if it can do both in the same evening that’s great. Well, whilst tonight didn’t make me well up, it was a ve…

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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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FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

With the temporary three phase power now installed on site, the concrete slab being cut out at ground floor for the drainage and the scaffolding company waiting in the wings it’s getting to the stage where we need to finalise our air conditioning. It’s the final piece of the puzzle, in terms of the fact that all the other contractors have been chosen. The reason we’re behind on our selection for the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) is that the quotes have been phenomenally higher than our budget and the scheme needs some value engineering. The theatres a…

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THE MORNING AFTER

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

I woke up this morning with a great feeling. Yesterday we overcame what I hope will be the final hurdle in terms of council approval (planning/licensing). Over the past 24 hours messages of congratulations have been pouring in. Local residents are thrilled that they’ll have a facility that will open later in the evening, providing a bright street frontage and illuminating the passage from Wells Terrace exit of the station along Clifton Terrace. Earlier yesterday we had toured round the new Platform at the old Hornsey Road Baths. What a fantastic facility for young people…

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WE GOT IT!

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

At 6pm this evening Dave Hughes, Melli Bond and I walked into the council chambers for the licensing committee hearing….. We had over 80 letters in support and no objections from local residents. Only the police had raised a concern over the late hours – and were due to be represented by a key superintendent on the force. Despite much council support, including from the current mayor, the MP for North Islington and all the local ward councillors, we needed to present effectively and demonstrate clearly how this would be a safe and well run establishment – wh…

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PREPARING FOR THE SHOW-DOWN

by Jez Bond

Monday, 18 July, 2011

Lots of meetings on site including interesting discussions with a literary agent and, in a different meeting, a playwright. With our licensing committee hearing tomorrow however, the focus of the late afternoon has been on research and meetings with other neighbouring bars and shops. Tonight we need to work on our speech, making sure that we cover all the vital points and are ready to tackle any questions. Tomorrow’s blog will tell a tale, I’m hopeful that it will be a good one – but then let’s not count our chickens until they’ve hatched!

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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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NO PEEKING UNDER THE BED

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 14 July, 2011

Today we had a look around the Arcola’s new venue. I was familiar with it having seen a show in Studio 2 a few weeks ago (at which time I popped my head in to the Studio 1). We have done nearly thirty theatre visits now and it was great to get another ‘access all areas’ tour. I loved Studio 1; the height, the circle and stalls (though this will change for the next show), the thrust stage, the intimacy. No surprise really that those are the very attributes of our main house. On to the offices of Feast Creative next for our much anticipated branding meeting wit…

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LIBERTY AND GIRAFFE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

Working constantly, glued to the computer, read more scripts, sent more emails, prepared more budgets, I can’t ever finish when all is done as it’s endless…. Starting to get better at finding a natural break so that by 10pm I can power down for a couple of hours before bed (usually). What do Liberty, Urban Outfitters, Nandos and Giraffe have in common….? Tomorrow this will be discussed! Cryptic? Well, it’s good to be sometimes.

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MASSIVE DAY OUT

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 12 July, 2011

A great meeting with Marcus at the Roundhouse this morning – as well as a tour of the fantastic building it was great to get some insight from him on a number of levels. Following that Dave and I went to the offices of Feast Creative – useful as it will be beneficial for Dave (Hjf) and Simon (Feast) to start a relationship with a view to discussing how the brand is integrated with the feel of the building and vice versa (signage, colour palette etc). Then on site a meeting with the structural engineers followed. Both Dave and I picked up on things that h…

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SHOWS SHOWS SHOWS

by Jez Bond

Monday, 11 July, 2011

The most common question people ask is ‘What’s your first show going to be?’ Well I’m excited to announce that it will be…………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………&hel…

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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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TIRESIAS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 7 July, 2011

This is my first blog since my eyes have been lasered – a self treat, as you may have read a week ago, prior to opening the theatre. The last few days’ offerings have been penned by Melli or, at any rate, dictated to her through somewhat blurry eyes and (in the case of the first day) gritted teeth. Tomorrow she undergoes the same procedure and the roles will reverse as patient becomes carer and vice versa. Melli is always reading meaning into the everyday, translating symbols and analysing circumstances with precision. This skill is definitely something that has ru…

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FEAST

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 6 July, 2011

We are very excited today to announce that we will be working with Feast Creative to develop our brand and website. Feast have an excellent track record, their clients include The Royal Court, The Unicorn, and a host of other big names.  We are confident that together we will come up with something great. Work begins next week with an initial briefing discussion at their offices in Chalk Farm. We can’t wait to get stuck in!

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GETTING CLOSER TO THE ACTION

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 5 July, 2011

The now monthly N4 Stories is really taking shape in a very exciting way. With the talented bunch of actors and Writer in Residence, Sarah Rutherford, fresh from her adventures in Turkey, the action is bold, brave and moving to brilliant themes and composition. The most exciting element is that these scenes, characters and plot points are woven from the real life stories of our very own Finsbury Park residents. Yes you have already began to give to The Park Theatre, and we are getting close to the action of giving back. [Melli Bond, Associate Director]

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BRANDING/FUNDRAISING

by Jez Bond

Monday, 4 July, 2011

A very busy Monday today with full on meetings back to back throughout the day meant I ate very little but yet the mental feast was full on. And yes we met with some great people – leaving us the very difficult task of choosing people to help with our branding and fundraising (of course not the same people to do both jobs – that could be madness!). Both of these key needed roles are so close to being filled now…. [Melli Bond, Associate Director]

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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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FOUR EYES

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 30 June, 2011

It’s my last day wearing glasses (or contact lenses) ever… if all goes well (until I’m much older and need reading glasses at any rate). Tomorrow I am having LASEK surgery – and Melli is having the same procedure next week. It’s a treat to ourselves pre-opening. We have been talking about it for years and finally decided to do it so that we’d have our ‘new eyes’ by the time we launched. As such tonight’s theatre trip was the last for a little while. We went to see the Ugly Sisters’ collection of new short plays at th…

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LUNCHEON

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 29 June, 2011

A very civilised lunch in Chelsea today with director Bill Alexander and his agent Lynda Ronan. Some exciting ideas about projects and contacts over cray fish cocktail and organic chicken with thyme sauce. I wish every meeting could be like this! Lots to follow up on now so better dash….

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INTERIORS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

After meeting a fundraiser this morning, we headed to the offices of our dream facilitators ‘Hughes Jones Farrell’. Dave and his team presented a fantastic 45 minutes on the interior design of the building. We looked at everything from floor and wall surfaces to furnishings, trying to determine an agreed ‘theme’ that we could adhere to moving forward. As Dave explained, one can easily continue and choose a light fitting in six months that looks great, a bar counter in a eight months that is beautiful and meanwhile the contractors have laid down a floor that we wow…

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THE HEAT IS ON

by Jez Bond

Monday, 27 June, 2011

Sweltering in the heat as I journey what should be twenty minutes across town. It takes almost half an hour of walking just to find a cab and then it’s another half an hour driving in it – a closed bridge, fallen scaffolding in the road and an accident all in one area are not a good accompaniment to the usual London traffic in South London during Wimbledon fortnight. Back at home the tennis plays in the background. Murray goes through and the Williams Sisters are both defeated. It must be burning hot on court but of course the players are used to playing all around…

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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 4

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 23 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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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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TURKEY, DAY 2

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 21 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. Sarah now writes from Turkey, on her second day of a research trip… …

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TURKEY, DAY 1

by Jez Bond

Monday, 20 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. As Sarah herself explains, below, through her research she now finds herself in Turk…

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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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SUMMER PANTO

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 16 June, 2011

“It’s behind you!” you cry… But it’s far too early for Panto, surely? Well, actually this Saturday we are performing in the Wray Crescent Park festival. We have four fantastic actors lined up to play the Prince, Princess, Fairy and Dame in a number of scenes performed roaming around the park. It’s The Park Theatre’s first public outing – and we’re keeping fingers crossed for the weather. We bought the sweeties for the sweetie throwing sequence, ingredients for a custard pie and sponges for the stocks. Oh yes we …

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ABTT TRADE SHOW 2011

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011

Another year on and, following the Theatres Trust conference, familiar faces returned to the Royal Horticultural halls for the annual ABTT trade show. It was a much quicker visit than last year – although my planned one hour quickly turned into well over two. Dave and I zipped round chatting with Steeldeck, Maltbury staging, Orbital, Hall Stage and others. Given that most of us in the industry are kids at heart and remembering how we all started experimenting with puppets, sheets and desk lamps, this place is like a giant playground. My earliest memory of homemade theatr…

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THEATRES TRUST CONFERENCE 2011

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 14 June, 2011

“Hi. My name’s Jez and I’m a maniac” began my speech to the Pleasance auditorium filled with the illuminati of the theatre design world. I had stood up to the lectern following Dave’s initial presentation, which ended with our rendition of Mr Henslowe and Fennyman’s dialogue on theatre from Shakespeare In Love: - Mr Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. - So what do we do? - Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.

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SPEECHES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 13 June, 2011

This weekend I gave a presentation to the North London Equity branch. They were extremely enthused about the project and the room was buzzing with questions. I stayed during the course of their ten minutes break (before ‘other business’)  in order to speak to a number of people one-on-one. We are planning to arrange an Equity branch tour for the members, who were very keen to look around. It was an utter joy to talk in front of the members and I received the warmest of hands. On the way home they played Ave Maria from the bus. “Is this a new thing they d…

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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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M&S CUSTOMS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 9 June, 2011

We landed a few minutes ahead of schedule this morning and promptly proceeded to customs and immigration before collecting our bags. Melli always travels back on her British passport in order that we can both pass through quickly. The queues for non-EU passports were long, it seemed that most people on our flight were American. We headed to the EU section and were presented with an sign for biometric passports. Taking it we immediately came upon a self serve gate – we scanned our passport, looked into the camera and went through the gates that promptly opened. Very effic…

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FLYIN\' EAST

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 8 June, 2011

It’s 1pm here, 6pm in London, and this evening we are returning home from Philadelphia to Heathrow. It’s an overnight flight that arrives early in the morning. Never pleasant but as I need to head to site tomorrow to sort out some things it’s a necessary evil. The weather here is glorious. It has been super hot the whole time – though, sitting inside on the laptop, I have hardly got to enjoy it. We hear that since we left the temperatures in the UK have dropped. Let’s hope we bring the sun back with us. Finished my speech for the Theatres Trust Co…

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NEARLY CAST

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 7 June, 2011

Nearly cast (three out of four actors confirmed) for our first public outing – Panto in the Park… Melli has been working on some mini scripted scenes and next week we’ll costume our actors. Meanwhile we’re nearly all cast for the building works too – just stuck on the M&E contractors. Heading back to the UK tomorrow and loads to do, so just a short one today!

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THE HANGOVER

by Jez Bond

Monday, 6 June, 2011

No it’s not a blog about getting drunk and feeling bad the next day – that’s a very rare occurrence here, too much work to do… This weekend Melli and I attended a beautiful wedding in a peaceful woodland setting in Pennsylvania. Yesterday we had a post wedding BBQ with some close friends and family and today we went, with the bride and groom, to see a film about a wedding that had rather a rockier start – The Hangover 2. Very funny indeed! Congratulations Jim and Tara…!

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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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SPEECH WRITING

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 2 June, 2011

Most of today has been spent writing my speech for the upcoming Theatres Trust Conference on ‘Converting Spaces’. There are a number of sessions planned for the event and Dave and I are on the panel in one called ‘The Architect of the found space’ along with members of the design teams at the BAC and Arcola. My second draft was nearly ten minutes – I need to cut down to seven. Also it sounds very much like something to be read rather than spoken – a result of all these months blogging perhaps? Here goes draft number three…

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BROADWAY PART TWO

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 1 June, 2011

I don’t know exactly how hot it was today but we just came out of our evening show and it’s 86 degrees! Let’s rewind… After the show at the Public yesterday we returned to our hotel and met one of the actors and the staff director from the Donmar’s Lear, that is currently playing at BAM. Alec, who plays Edmund, is quite possibly our closest actor, about three streets away! He had always been excited about the theatre that was coming to Finsbury Park and, failing meeting up in London, we settled for Manhattan! This morning, on with the …

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THEATRE DOG RECOVERS FROM GENERAL ANAESTHETIC

by Jez Bond

Monday, 31 January, 2011

Very sad news today for The Park Theatre’s resident-to-be doggie who was taken to the vet after a few weeks of discomfort and stiff back legs. Despite huge amounts of rest and some pills administered for a suspected cruciate ligament, things had not improved. Today a number of X Rays revealed that she had been born with hip dysplasia and that over her young life (she is only 3 years old) wear and tear had taken its toll on the knees causing arthritis. She is a Mastiff cross and these larger breeds can of course be prone to bone conditions, but at such a young age it was …

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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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WHY I COULD NEVER BE AN ACTOR

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 27 January, 2011

A question that has been asked of me many times is have I or would I like to act on the stage. The answer has always been a confident ‘no’. There are a number of reasons to this. Firstly the very reason I am a director is that I have always been fascinated in a mercurial coordination of people and things into a live performance. My role has been the facilitator, the conductor, the puppet master, the overseer, the all seeing eye. To take away my ability to stand back and examine a performance or production from the outside would make me uncomfortable and not at my b…

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THEATRE MOTTO

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 26 January, 2011

I have been thinking for some time about a theatre motto. Richmond Theatre has Alexander Pope’s beautiful and very apt “to wake the soul by tender strokes of art” inscribed above the proscenium. The original Globe had “totus mundus agit histrionem” engraved above the door. This latin phrase, literally meaning “all the world’s a playhouse”, was rephrased by Shakespeare as the now more well known “all the world’s a stage” in his play ‘As You Like It’. There is something powerful about a motto – certainly ab…

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STOP DOING EVERYTHING

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 25 January, 2011

As soon as I wrote this title, I realised it may give the wrong impression. I don’t mean “stop the press” or “everybody stop working, it’s all over”. I mean it as a ‘note to self’: I must stop trying to do everything. The latest drawings from the structural engineer arrived a few minutes ago and I started to open up all the pdfs before suddenly saying to myself “hold on a minute!”, closing them all down and returning to my ever increasing ‘to do’ list which doesn’t involve negotiating my way through detailed be…

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AN HONEST DAY\'S WORK

by Jez Bond

Monday, 24 January, 2011

Hands dirty with paint, limbs sore from adjusting wrenches and tightening bolts, back aching from scrambling under decking, eyes tired from dust. 8pm and the set has been made safe for tomorrow’s first rehearsal of ‘Company’ in the space (Southwark Playhouse). Still some bits to do – the odd hand rail, some painting and dressing… but after an honest day’s manual labour it is coming together. As associate director my role is varied! Back to walk Hazel and then to have a bath (yeah right, never happens!) then to catch up with Park Theatre cor…

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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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WAY TO TRAVEL

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 20 January, 2011

It was 6pm when I left Waterloo tube station after this afternoon’s rehearsal for ‘Company’. The sea of people pouring into the station reminded me why I rarely travel during rush hour times. Standing in the crowded tube I could see why many people prefer to drive – even if it takes a long time to get there you are at least in the comfort of your own mechanical organism. It’s not as if in a crowded tube you have enough room to work on your phone or laptop anyway. If we fall into the ‘keep work and home separate camp’ and remain ‘west side&r…

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BIG TIME

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 19 January, 2011

Hooray folks, it’s the big time now! We have our cool banner on the front of the building and with the current widening of the pavement it all looks very hip and happening on Clifton Terrace… Jez and I enjoyed meeting Neil Darlison, Director of Theatre for London for the Arts Council today. We had a great chat – telling him all about our plans; and we are very pleased to begin a relationship with them.  Although many people look at the current climate and the Arts Council funding cuts and see doom and gloom, Neil had a very positive outlook on things &n…

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FREESTYLIN\'

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 18 January, 2011

Ooh the world of social media. I used to be a  sociotechnophobe when it came to Twitter and Facebook (I know what that means, do you?) but over the past few months I have embraced it lovingly like a Hungarian eating a fine slice of Dobos Torta (ooh that’s making me hungry). Too many brackets here, on top of my usual favourite – the hyphen. Have I developed a style over the last few months of writing? Hmm… Possibly my style is like my artistic policy – broad and multifaceted…. Or possibly my style is like the thoughts in my head - multitasking all over…

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A LAME AND RAINY MONDAY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 17 January, 2011

It was such a miserably wet day today. In the morning it rained for four hours non stop. The fields in the park were completely flooded and even the alley to the tube station was impossible to traverse without wellington boots. But it wasn’t monday itself that was lame. In fact it was quite productive on the ‘Company’ front – we made some great headway with the set, albeit resolving issues that should have been done months ago. Shame we didn’t get as far with our electrical issues for The Park – nothing yet resolved, though information is be…

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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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CAROLINA ON MY MIND

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 13 January, 2011

As Associate Director my role is packed full of responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is as Literary Manager. During my trip to the States in September (anyone who read my blog then will remember this) I received a number of plays from New York literary agents. I have been slowly making my way through these. I had hoped to have finished reading them all before the end of 2010 but with so many things going on I haven’t been able to meet my own deadline. I am still reading but have kicked it up a notch as I am determined to finish this winter! I have just read a play that I…

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THE HYPER-SPEED OF TIME

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 12 January, 2011

It’s all kva and volts and stuff that I don’t really understand but Jez and Jordan and co. are clearly on top of things. I have witnessed everyone working hard to resolve our current EDF power issue. Although it sounds complicated in technical gobbledygook I am beginning to get a good grip of what is going on. Then suddenly, while in that head space, I am asked to go to the front door on site to let someone in and show them round. Much to my relief it’s an artistic person and we can speak the same language. Giving my tour I am surprised to see how smiley I am and realis…

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APOLLO 13

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 11 January, 2011

On Friday we discovered that EDF energy – or UK Power Networks as they are now called – were unable to provide us our requested power supply. We had applied for a higher supply to accommodate our increased demand – lighting rigs, air conditioning, lift etc. They had originally told us that in order to meet these needs they would have to install a substation (basically a room full of some electrical kit) in our building as there was no more capacity in the street. We quickly explained that we could neither afford the cost nor the space required by t…

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BORN TO RUN

by Jez Bond

Monday, 10 January, 2011

This evening we cooked dinner for Brenda, Graham and Kylie Gottsche. Brenda is a playwright whose plays I have directed over the years. We’ve all become such good friends that we went to stay with the family (who spend their time between Australia and the UK) in Sydney a few years ago – and they were the most wonderfully kind hosts. Five hours of food and drink and chatting furiously away and the night has just ended. Graham told me about their recent safari to Mozambique and alluded to an interesting story about the hunters in Africa who could outrun antelope. App…

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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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THE COLISEUM

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 6 January, 2011

After a successful morning rehearsing ‘Company’, followed by a brief catch up with the Hughes Jones Farrell team, we headed to the London Coliseum for a 3pm tour with the technical manager, Dewi Evans. The number of private tours we have been on is fast approaching twenty and we have always been treated well. Dewi’s tour, however, has to be one of the top few. On arrival he presented us each with some fascinating plans of the building which he then proceeded to talk us through before he showed us around. We began in the foyer where Dewi’s pas…

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MORE COMPANY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 5 January, 2011

Day 3 for ‘Company’ rehearsals and all is going well. I had spoken to Joe on Monday about a few important adjustments to the set design and band location (which are, in part, linked) and we have come up with a some good changes which were all but 100% confirmed today. We worked on characters this afternoon, focussing on Bobby’s relationships with the three girlfriends that he is seen with during the course of the play. We also looked at two of the married couple who are his friends and began to examine their relationship to each other as well as to Bobby. We were rehear…

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BACK INTO THINGS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 4 January, 2011

A mixed bag today – unblocking the drains, editing some video, chasing up our street numbering application (we are applying to get rid of the numbers 11-13 to simply be ‘The Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace…’) and the usual emails… 10pm and I have just returned home. Time for a bath (yep, can still smell those drains) and some much needed food! Tomorrow it’s more rehearsals for ‘Company’ and an all important meeting with Melli about the way forward over the next few weeks. Nouska and Christina are starting back up and we need to p…

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2011 - THE YEAR OF THE BUILD

by Jez Bond

Monday, 3 January, 2011

Usually in the first week of January the new year particularly jars when one writes the date. Today, however, it seems quite natural. I suppose it’s a result of all our forward planning. In my mind I’ve already plotted the first half of 2012. As avid readers can tell from my lack of online activity since Dec 22nd I did indeed manage to have a few days entirely off and, full of turkey and mince pies, refrained from sneaking on to the computer. Today it’s bank holiday Monday and I am certainly not missing the crowds on the underground – a perfe…

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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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CATALOGUING

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 29 July, 2010

A mixed day today, beginning with a review of some recent quotes – one for a tension wire grid, which I shall write much more about should we progress down this route. I then changed the blog template and photo – hence the new image (courtesy of Ben Jones, HJF) which graces the page. Melli and I have acquired a veritable library of plays yet, due to space restrictions, these will remain boxed up waiting to furnish the shelves in our office at The Park. So, amidst the usual emails and phone calls I aided Melli in her process of cataloguing everything. Like any direc…

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A DAY IN THE LIFE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 28 July, 2010

In N4 all day, beginning with a meeting at Islington Community Theatre. Currently based in an office at The Pleasance, this young company, enthusiastically run by artistic director Ned Glasier, has quickly grown in scale over the past eighteen months. We shared plans with each other and discussed possible ways to link up over the coming years. On site I met with an established actor who had heard about our project through the cyber grapevine. After a short tour of the building we sat and discussed the theatre, our passions, our disappointments and hopes – all over a burg…

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A DAY IN SE1

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 27 July, 2010

After having spent an entire day yesterday in the company of Hughes and Jones (Farrell will have to wait) we repeated the formula today. As if a car journey to Stratford and back complete with gags about shingles, Mossad agents and Richard Griffiths wasn’t enough! At Hughes Jones Farrell’s offices in Southwark, Dave Hughes, aka D-Ave, (you really had to be in the car for that one) gave me a short induction to Vector Works and I completed the addition of door and window references to the floorplans, successfully managing not to destroy any walls, or indeed wipe out …

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THE RSC BOW

by Jez Bond

Monday, 26 July, 2010

Starting in Richmond at 10.30 am this morning, Ben Jones, Dave Hughes and I headed out west in Dave’s trusty volkswagen. Destination: Stratford-upon-Avon. Today was the eagerly awaited tour of the RSC’s £112 million renovated home. The project comprises of three theatre spaces  - the temporary ‘Courtyard Theatre’ which was built on the site of the former ‘The Other Place’  as a RST prototype and temporary home during the main build, the 1,000+ seat renovated RST (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, also known as the main house) and th…

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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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THE NEVER ENDING STORY

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 22 July, 2010

We are currently compiling a giant database which contains every build detail of every room. Beginning with a room reference number (such as LG.03) which relates to the floor plans we then enter the description of the room (such as Dressing Room 1) followed by a vast amount of information entered into various categories such as floor coverings, wall and ceiling finishes, lighting, power, sanitary-ware, windows, doors, door security and fixtures to name a few. It’s a very precise exercise and one that focusses us on putting everything exactly on paper. This throws up cons…

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A THEATRE POWERED BY HYDROGEN...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 21 July, 2010

This afternoon our architect, Ben Jones, travelled to Dalston to meet me for a tour of another theatre. I must confess it had been a long time since my last trip to the converted warehouse known as the Arcola – and since then I had developed an greater appreciation and understanding of their environmental policies. Sadly, due to the landlord reclaiming the piece of land where they stored their hydrogen cylinders, the fuel cell in the bar was for display purposes only. However David Salter, the technician, did say that they had just supplied the energy for the latitude festival and …

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A LANDMARK DAY

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 20 July, 2010

All rather quiet and no popping open bottles of champagne, but amidst chasing up our structural engineer, seeing more theatres and looking over quotes for seats and staging, the planning application has today been submitted to the council. A small landmark on a long journey, tainted in one sense by the knowledge that there are imminent tweaks and modifications – a result of both the London Fire Brigade input (which affects our licensing) and of some cost engineering solutions – but an achievement nonetheless. The best thing of all is the fact the date for the committee decisi…

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DR. THEATRE MEETS DR. APPLE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 19 July, 2010

There’s a well known phrase in theatre that no matter how unrehearsed something is or how unprepared the actors are for that last minute change, somehow when the audience arrive the show runs smoother than it ever did before: Dr Theatre comes to the rescue. It’s a sentiment shared by the character of Philip Henslowe played by Geoffrey Rush in Tom Stoppard’s ‘Shakespeare in Love’: “Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to i…

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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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A WORLDWIDE SHORTAGE OF LITTLE PEOPLE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 15 July, 2010

For the past couple of weeks, someone somewhere in London has been beavering away with bits of card and glue to create our 1:100 scale model of the building. The version being made is what we would call in the theatre a white card model – that is to say that it is without some of the more advanced features such as colour and texture. A fully featured ‘all bells and whistles’ model would take a considerably longer to make and  would result in considerable unnecessary expense – as the advantage of this version is that we will be able to play with the…

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THE FINAL COUNT DOWN

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 14 July, 2010

Still at work, not much more to tell. The hours of the clock have moved on so much so that they are the same now as they were when I wrote the last blog – yet the ‘to do’ list on my laptop has remained full to the brim. Once Friday has passed I shall be able to tackle some of the other tasks on the list. For now, onwards we go – towards Friday (sign off on all the reports from our planning consultants, Planning Perspectives) and Monday (their submission of the full application to Islington Council). After the acquisition of the building, this is second …

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THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 13 July, 2010

Tuesday and just three days until submission. There have been more emails flying around between the planning consultants and architects today than ever before. The rush to make the deadline is on – all the documents need to proofed and changed and proofed again, every policy needs to addressed with an appropriate response and aside from removing the typos and sorting out stray formatting the many documents need to be consistent in their wording and references. With all this running in the background, the marketing document from property agents Dron & Wright went miss…

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THE SEVENTH AND A HALF FLOOR

by Jez Bond

Monday, 12 July, 2010

Today we were privileged to have undertaken a tour of yet another theatre – I will tot them all up in a future blog but with the Arcola and RSC coming up we must be approaching double figures. I don’t wish to put down any theatre, not least one that has obviously struggled so long and hard to pull together the finances to equip itself and open its doors. But it has to be said that this was not the best designed by any means. I think, when one looks at these buildings, one must try to compare like for like. That is to say the facilities of a 300 seater are not expec…

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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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THE HEAT

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 8 July, 2010

Stuck indoors on this glorious day, hidden behind the blinds of our window – keeping cool Spanish style – I have been proofing planning reports. We’ve had some interesting discussions about air conditioning over the past few weeks but the conclusion seems to be that green air conditioning is somewhat of an oxymoron. Whilst there are some interesting advances the technology is either not yet tried and tested, far too expensive or not appropriate for the (smaller) scale of our site. It’s on days like this that I am reminded of our debates &ndas…

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FINSBURY ART

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

A fantastic meeting with Kate Jones of John Jones today. We met at her site and I embarked on a fascinating tour of the building. The immense amount of detailed work and craftsmanship that goes into the creation of a frame is quite magical. From the warehouse where the raw wood comes in to the room where it is cut and then sanded, from the custom made metal teeth that sit in their machines to carve out intricate edgings to the paint room where sprays and finishes are applied, it truly is a wonderland of creativity. It was in the gilding area where I found myself most intrigued and as I e…

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DON\'T CONFUSE YOUR F&B WITH YOUR M&E

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 6 July, 2010

It was in conversation with my father earlier today that the title of today’s blog was coined – after he asked me “what’s F and B?” It simply serves to highlight the sheer amount of bizarre information currently sloshing around in my head – I think sloshing is a fairly good word; it implies that there is enough room in there to move around and that therefore there is the ability to absorb more. At least this is what I hope as, having said this, I do sometimes feel a little like Johnny Mnemonic – or some other such science fiction creat…

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SPAMALOT

by Jez Bond

Monday, 5 July, 2010

News update: This morning our newsletter was had delivered to 600 local residents and businesses. This evening it has been emailed to our mailing list – which is increasing day by day. If you are reading this and you have not subscribed please send an email with your postal address to: info[the 'at' sign]parktheatre.co.uk I have encrypted the email above as recently we have been receiving a few spam mails – and even some spam comments on the blog. With my adequate knowledge of computers I understand how this is achieved – by some…

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THE WEEKEND

by Jez Bond

Saturday, 3 July, 2010

Contrary to my previous post on the strange phenomenon of the Monday to Friday week, today and tomorrow are proving to be the exception to the rule. At long last a weekend! Dare I say the words “without any work on the theatre”? No, for come midnight tomorrow that will certainly prove to be a lie and this artistic director does not wish to turn into a pumpkin!

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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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ONE TESCO AINT GONNA CHANGE THE WORLD!

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 1 July, 2010

Kate Jones, of John Jones the framers, and I discussed meeting up next week to explain to each other our plans. It feels like we’ve hit gold in terms of the timing of the project. John Jones are developing their space with a new extended gallery and student housing which will be home to a host of young people attending the University of the Arts London – a huge organisation which includes colleges such as Central Saint Martins, who turn out great set designers every year. There must be some exciting ways in which we can work together! On top of this, the so-called ‘Twin…

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WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 30 June, 2010

An exciting day today as we have appointed our first ever writer-in-residence…. Sarah Rutherford is an actor and writer. With a degree in English from Oxford University, she pursued a career as an arts journalist alongside a PhD on black farce in Jacobean and 1960s theatre, before training as an actor. Her professional acting credits include popular drama series such as Murphy’s Law, Casualty and The Royal as well as theatre work in the West End and beyond. Her first play, What You Do To People, was recently showcased at the Hampstead Theatre. Sarah is …

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SOUND ENGINEERING

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 29 June, 2010

An exciting meeting on site today with our sound engineers, Orbital. We spent considerable time talking through the various sound requirements of the building – a task far more complex than it might first appear… For those among you thinking ‘what happened to a couple of speakers and a bit of cable’ (or perhaps a tin can and a piece of string) read on. For a start there are two theatres that need seperate communication within each space (a mixture of wired and wireless headsets) with three dressing rooms that need to recieve show relays (an …

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SOCIAL MEDIA

by Jez Bond

Monday, 28 June, 2010

Today has been spent on social media. Our Facebook group has been set up and all known interested parties have been invited. There are photos currently posted and more will follow. There will also be some video in the coming weeks. Our website has been updated with a new link to the facebook group. We’ve had a good response so far and a number of local community groups have asked for material for their website. Hopefully things will be posted within the next dew days. Furthermore, on viewing the photos one organisation asked about using some of the joists we had removed …

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NEWSLETTER

by Jez Bond

Saturday, 26 June, 2010

Despite the soaring temperatures outside and the roaring and whistling of the World Cup in the air, we have been drafting our newsletter today. It should be ready and available early next week – and will be distributed to local residents and businesses. If you would like a copy then please send us an email and we will send you one…

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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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PAPERLESS FILING

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 24 June, 2010

A day of catchup. Tens of business cards from the last few weeks, piles of papers from the past conference days, an assortment of unfiled documents on the desktop. Today everything was catalogued and tidied. I can’t stand clutter but very ocassionally things appear faster than you can deal with them. Why did one contractor send me a quote in the post – costing him a stamp, an envelope, the paper and the printing plus a trip to the post box? Infuriating as all I wanted was an e-copy for my computer files and I explicitly asked for this! Aside from the waste to him, …

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EVENTFUL

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 23 June, 2010

After removing myself from the turmoil at Victoria station this morning, I headed to Finsbury Park by bus. A far more pleasant, though considerably longer, way to to travel. On site we met with a number of contractors, stepping ever closer to our goal of starting the build. This afternoon a fruitful meeting at the architects’ studio concluded with an agreement on the way forward over the next few weeks. Some value engineering will invariably need to be done but the good decision was made to continue to planning submission irrespective of any tweaks that may follow. It&rs…

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STRUCTURAL henGINEERING

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 22 June, 2010

This morning began with our associate director and I taking a trip to nearby Poole’s Park Primary School. The headmaster of the school, Greg Crawford, and Mark Tinkler, the artistic director of Music Platform (whose offices are based within the school), showed us around their impressive drama facilities. Like Mark, who creates exciting projects with his opera company, Greg is passionate about theatre. He is also a green enthusiast and, as we walked over their roof, talked about their vast installation of solar panels. After a walk through the garden and a look at the vegetables tha…

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FORGIVE US, DAVE HUGHES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 21 June, 2010

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the term – and just a few months ago I would have put myself into that category – the words ‘scheme freeze’ refer to the time in a design when the plans are set and no further changes can be made. In reality the smaller details can continue to be tweaked but the key areas – for example anything which affects the fire, access or acoustic strategies or which redefines the scale of any extension – remain fixed. It is, therefore, with the combined cheekiness and nervousness of a schoolboy that I have proc…

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THE WEEKEND

by Jez Bond

Saturday, 19 June, 2010

Inevitaby, whether speaking with friends or business associates, the question of what one is doing for the weekend will arise. As anyone who works for themself will know, the weekend is a curious phenomenon. For most it means a two day break from the 9 to 5, a time to sip a beer and watch the game, to enjoy a long Sunday roast and, yes, sometimes catch up on those household chores which have been piling up from 5 days at the office. For those self-employed or running their own company however, the weekend is as much a misnomer as the 9 to 5 day. Furthermore the atmosphere in the creative…

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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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ABTT TRADE SHOW

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 17 June, 2010

The ABTT trade show’s here, come try a seat, come sip a a beer there’s flip seats, a retracting tier, your questions answered, have no fear The multitude of gadgetry, displayed for all the hoards to see The exhibition filled with glee, with hardly any boundary The fuel cell powered by hydrogen, the rig that takes the weight of men The lead time’s long – you want it when? Here take a biscuit, have a pen. The point hoist sliding on its beam, the curtains; black or red – or cream They …

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THE WORLD WIDE HEADACHE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 17 June, 2010

It’s so convenient when things are running smoothly in one’s online technological world but god how frustrating when the system collapses! I continually teach myself computer skills at the eleventh hour – see our new RSS feed today. Given a dedicated amount of time and google at your fingertips there’s not much you can’t decipher. When our server went down this morning I began to piece together a recovery strategy. But WordPress, RSS, Twitter and website templates are one thing – synching multiple imap email accounts with computers and iphones and a cr…

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ITEAC 3

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 15 June, 2010

Day 3 and another few hours of listening, learning and – in the case of ‘Horizontal motion on stage’ – gasping in amazement! The front door, attended one of our architects, Ben Jones, gave an insight into the requirements and desires for front of house areas tackling issues from acoustics of foyers through to spaces for concession stands (for merchandise). In ‘The total cost of ownership’ a number of principles and strategies were put forward regarding asset management. It was clear that taking the time and care to design a buildi…

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ITEAC 2

by Jez Bond

Monday, 14 June, 2010

Day 2 of the ITEAC proved to spark even more debate. In ‘Getting sound into auditoria’ answers to the various questions of sound design, however, were far more unanimous than the previous day’s session on acoustics. The sound position within the auditorium (and ‘within’ being the key) was deemed of critical importance and one sound designer also highlighted the need for correctly positioned speakers: “it is better to have low quality speakers in good positions than high quality speakers in bad positions” Interestingly this echoed something that w…

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ITEAC 1

by Jez Bond

Sunday, 13 June, 2010

Day 1 of the ITEAC or ‘International Theatre Engineering & Architecture Conference’ ended with a superb boat ride down the Thames from Westminster pier past the O2 and along to the Thames barrier – and, thankfully, back again! There must surely be a joke about how many theatre consultants you can fit onto a boat but, as the time fast approaches midnight, I can’t think of one. My head is spinning from an array of the day’s sessions and with an 8.30am start in the morning I am destined for the comfort of dreamland. However, having promised to write a littl…

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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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