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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White Fang blows in on a gale - Hurricane Irma, in fact

by Jethro Compton

2 November 2017

Writer & Director of White Fang, Jethro Compton tells a dramatic true tale from the USA opening                Getting prepared - boats in the theatre's bunker It has been almost two months since Hurricane Irma surged ou…

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Talking (and Signing) about Theatre and Disability

by Andrew Wilson

28 November 2016

It was a day of hope, frustration, and a lot of laughter – much more laughter than I expected to find in an event called "Reshaping our Future: Theatre and Disability."Co-hosted by Graeae Theatre Company, UK Disability History Month (UKDHM), and Park Theatre, the day's aim was to “bring together Artistic Directors, Producers, Managers, Casting Directors, Writers and Actors... to encourage the inclusion of disability in plays and explore best practice to help us work inclusively with the growing pool of disabled and deaf artists, to embrace a truly diverse an…

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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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Starstruck in Stokey: Park Gala 2015

by Andrew Wilson

Thursday, 12 November, 2015

All photos by Darren Bell except where indicated.Spotted in the crowd... “Omigod, isn’t that...?” gasps Rose, my fellow Park Friend, clutching my hand as she searches for the name. “Over there, by the door. In the velvet dinner jacket!”&ldqu…

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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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Waat a week!

by Sophie Gill (Assistant Director)

Friday, 21 November, 2014

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

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Welcome to Waa

by Tamar Saphra (Assistant Director)

Friday, 14 November, 2014

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

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Intern

by Jessica Hodgson

Wednesday, 10 September, 2014

 Personally I’ve always loved theatre. Whether going to see shows with friends and family or participating in performances myself throughout my school years, it has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I have never before had the opportunity to experience what makes it all work. Until now…Although my time so far as part of the Park Theatre family has been short, the small but extremely dedicated team has…

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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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SHAKESPEARE, INTERNS, DANCING AND PRE-CHRISTMAS FROLICKS

by Melli Bond

Friday, 29 November, 2013

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

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´IS IT FUNNY?´

by Jez Bond

Friday, 22 November, 2013

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

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MY FIRST BLOG

by JJ Almond

Friday, 15 November, 2013

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

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PARK THEATRE BLOG

by Dorcas Morgan

Friday, 8 November, 2013

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

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OUR GRAND OPENING SEASON ANNOUNCED

by Melli Bond

Wednesday, 20 March, 2013

Today's launch has stirred the team into a frenzy chills and excitement. After 3 and 1/2 years of hard work we are finally at the day we can announce our opening season. Yay! We are so proud too - we've been working really hard to make this happen. You will see our personality coming through in our choices of productions. It's all about passion, issues, intimacy, love  and a bunch of good old fashioned laughter to round it off. We've always said we want to make you laugh and make you cry - and hopefully you will all do that - this season an…

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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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“Helen of Troy wouldn’t have had a Brazilian” – A night with Park Theatre

by brackets digital

Monday, 31 December, 2012

…Or 'Key-Change as Comedy Licence'   A Guest Blog by Vicky Johnson Moving to Finsbury Park in the wet and windy days of October, the first thing I did to acclimatise was hit Google. Because like everyone under 40, I’m tech-dependent and Google is my friend. There wasn’t a lot happening in the area, so it seemed – a Bermuda Triangle of culture right in the middle of North London. And then, bang! Is that Ian McKellen? Promoting a theatre? …

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LOVE AND LIGHT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

by Melli Bond

Monday, 24 December, 2012

It's not yet down tools for key staff at Park Theatre. We still have a few hours before taking a much needed break. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who came to our wonderful DIckens evening on Dec 21st at The Crypt. We all had such a wonderful time and are so very grateful to the supporters who came out and those of you who have supported us in so many different ways. Our special guest Adam Long did a beautiful reading of A Christmas Carol - complete with a Tiny Tim song - it really made the evening so special.  With 2013 just around the corner we can really fee…

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WINNERS AND LOSERS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 12 December, 2012

As ABBA has been telling us repeatedly since 1980, the winner, when all is said and done, takes it all.  We can surmise that it doesn’t matter what is taken, provided there’s nothing left for the person who hasn’t won.  This can be a hard slice of cake to swallow, which is why Benny and Björn's consoling lyrics and open vowels are as important today as they were back when Thai-dye short sleeved shirts were the done thing to we…

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EVERY LITTLE HELPS

by brackets digital

Monday, 3 December, 2012

We’re still hugely focused on fundraising in the lead up to the opening of Park and beyond. As a charity there is, and always will be, fundraising to be done. It’s what will sustain our work and your enjoyment of what we deliver. Our newest strategy is charity collection containers. Many charities use them and that is because every little helps and if you see ‘us’ while you’re out and about at your local shops or cafes, it’s a little reminder of what will be and continue to be a world class theatre from 2013 - with your help. From…

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INTOXICATED

by brackets digital

Friday, 30 November, 2012

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

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STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 29 November, 2012

The extension to our back of house staircase just went in today - what a result! Okay it's not quite as magnificent as the one in the picture (obviously that's the one leading to the actors' dressing rooms) but hey, it serves its purpose! For a few months now the upper office had been built but there was no way to access it. It's exciting to be able to get up there now: to measure up for a sofa, table, shelving etc. Our home away from home! I wo…

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THINGS ARE GOING WELL

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012

Should we be worried?  We're optimists, positive thinkers, bad company at a quiet breakfast table.  The chances are we'll always tell you how well things are going even when the roof has collapsed and the façade has fallen off (neither of these things have happened).  But it's surely a worrying sign when even Gary, our esteemed construction manager, says things are going very well.   If you've been to the site in the last week then you might have felt the difference as well as seen it.  Park 200 is just about to disappear from si…

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HOLIDAY SEASON IS COMING....

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 27 November, 2012

That's right it's creeping up on us that festive time of year where we are celebrating traditions old and new. I hope some of you fantastic people out there would like to come and join us to celebrate a wonderful Dickens Family Tradition this holiday season. We are having a reading from A CHRISTMAS CAROL - in honour of the bicentenary of Charles Dickens' birth. It's going to be a wonderful evening and with the weather all cold and windy outside it makes it so much fun to be inside all warm with beautiful candles, divine wine and food glorious food! As a Park Theatre blog …

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NEW YORK HERE YOU COME

by brackets digital

Friday, 23 November, 2012

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

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PERCEPTIONS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 22 November, 2012

Sometimes things move too fast, you need them to slow down so you can catch up, be ready in time. Sometimes so slow that you wish you could grab the reins and turn a trot into a canter. Inevitably the things that seem, in the moment, to move at a frustrating pace are at the exact speed necessary for our journey - but life is a cruel teacher; it gives the exam first and then the lesson. So these statements can only be understood with the benefit of hindsight. Theatre challenges perceptions, buil…

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THE HYPOTHETICAL AUDIENCE

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 21 November, 2012

One of the best things about working at Park Theatre is the range of activities involved in the standard working day.  That's partly because building a theatre and programming the work that will bring it to life is a perilous juggling act.  And it's partly because we're a very small team trying to cope with a huge variety of tasks, many of which are completely new to us. 'If you build it they will come' is a mantra that we throw around every now and again, but the reality is slightly more complicated than that.  It takes time and effort to at…

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FLOOR OUT

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 20 November, 2012

Major construction going on all today and this week. The floor is finally coming out in Park 200 getting ready to create that beautiful open space where we can look from the circle down into the stalls. It's pretty loud noisy and dusty. Makes me think of playing in a sandbox to the extreme! It's gotta be fun tearing stuff down right? I'm thinking that's one of the best kicks about being in the building trade - it's not so much the building up as the tearing down which is pretty fun!   

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ENDINGS

by brackets digital

Monday, 19 November, 2012

How do you bring a play to an end? At Park we’re always talking about beginnings, what is evolving and how it will grow. But within this growth, this building and organisation, performances and shows will be housed and they need endings. And, the way a show ends is so crucial to how the audience can feel about the piece. I’m sure most people reading this blog have seen a show that you really hope will end, think will never end, think it has ended and begin to clap – oh, the awkwardness (and usually pain) when it continues for another half …

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UNTITLED

by brackets digital

Friday, 16 November, 2012

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

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WHAT TO CHOOSE?

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 13 November, 2012

So many choices! What to choose? Children Shows, Happy plays - stories that make you escape Horror Shows, Scary Plays - stories of murder and rape Pieces from days of old to stories that help you never grow old All in a days work at the Park We'll have them all from light to dark

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N4 STORIES, TWO YEARS ON

by brackets digital

Friday, 9 November, 2012

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

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SOMEONE ELSE'S WEEKEND

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 8 November, 2012

I love the weekends. Well, I don't have a "week end" per se (I refer to my blog of two years ago!) but I'm beginning to love other people's. You see, given that I receive in excess of a hundred emails on a weekday, Saturdays and Sundays are a much needed opportunity to catch up with the backlog. There's nothing more frustrating than when on, say, a Tuesday afternoon I deal with three important emails while twelve new ones (all equally demanding my attention) come through (I refer again to an

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THE SECOND TERM

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 7 November, 2012

Exactly one year ago today, fresh faced and bushy tailed, I arrived in the Park Theatre development office in Greswell Street to begin my first day as part of the Park Theatre family.  At that time the first steel joists hadn't arrived on site, the construction office had a 'WE LOVE SUPERYACHTS' sticker on the door, and we were around £400,000 short of an Education Floor.   As far as I'm aware we are still pro superyachts, but the sticker has long since disappeared into the rubble, to be replaced by an outreach space that we hope will outlive al…

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HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY TRANSMISSION

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 6 November, 2012

It's been 2 years now that Transmission is up and running and it's high time we came out of the lime light and said hello! Transmission is a weekly workshop co-founded by myself and fellow actress/singer/producer/director Ursula Campbell. We have designed it for the working actor who likes to keep in touch with established and emerging theatre makers in order to keep their skills sharp for the next job or…

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WINDOW BOX THEATRE

by brackets digital

Monday, 5 November, 2012

Whilst no one can deny that Jez looks great inside our window we would like to see something else in there before it gets full of people enjoying drinks and chatting.  This window is one of my favourite parts of the building. It’s original from a theatre design perspective and gives a feeling of space and openness once you’re on the bar/café floor. Every time I stand inside it  I get a little tingle of excitement. Standing in mid-air over the pavement I end up smiling at people walking by beneath who look up a bit surprised. But we can&r…

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FAMILY PRIDE

by brackets digital

Friday, 2 November, 2012

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

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Pigeon Holes

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 1 November, 2012

In the midst of programming decisions we start to question every choice: - Is everything you've worked so hard to achieve judged purely on the basis of the first show. - What does the choice of this show say about you? (The first show can only be one genre - yet we have a broad artistic policy) - Or, are people less quick to judge than we might imagine? - Do we simply need to consider a season o…

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SIGN

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 31 October, 2012

For the first time last night, we were able to plug in the sign at the front of the building and watch Park Theatre come to life.  It has actually been a frustrating couple of weeks on site, as the epic construction of walls and spaces has given way to the more prosaic fitting of pipes, wires and cables.  Electrical work is less dramatic than steel alignment, and less sexy than Gary, our construction manager.  (It's a little known fact that, as the diamond of aesthetics, Gary is the most beautiful naturally occurring phenomenon in the Park Theatre construction office).…

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LIKE US

by brackets digital

Monday, 29 October, 2012

In the glowing aftermath of our successful Gala a couple of weeks ago there’s been no pause or break from the momentum driving us closer to the opening. Whilst celebrating the generosity of all our supporters in reaching the target needed to complete building the Education Floor there is still plenty to do, move on with and yes, still more fundraising.  Check out our updated website for more information: https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/donate The big news of the day, to push this on further, is that we’ve launched a new Facebook Page. You may already …

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DIGITAL

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 24 October, 2012

Amy has often protested about the digital segregation of the Park Theatre family.  As the beloved and recently deceased Maureen wheezed her way through our staff meetings, game for anything and a match for almost any word processing software, the rest of us used to stare guiltily at whatever shiny product we had been able to exchange for our souls.  As a hapless Apple junkie, the immortal and immaterial part of myself has all the integrity of a naked credit default swap.  [That's just a little credit crunch joke to set the morning off with a bang]. As you mi…

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AN INCREDIBLE NIGHT

by brackets digital

Monday, 22 October, 2012

Superlatives escape me in attempting to describe with accuracy, just how glamorous the Park Theatre gala was on Friday night. Therefore, I shall name drop - use lots of links to press articles published today and finish off with an Oscar - style list of thank you’s. Im in PR - what can I say... Incredible host: Ian McKellen, tick. London’s best auctioneer: Jeffery Archer (as quoted in

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DELIVERY

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 17 October, 2012

For anyone lucky enough to have a ticket to the gala on Friday, make sure you get your hands on a few strips of raffle tickets while you're there.  The Park Theatre team has been buzzing around London all week, collecting unique and often very unusual items for the auction and the raffle.  The neighbours raised a few eyebrows as I accepted a massive box today from Tracy Rose, who has designed a hat to mark the birth of Park Theatre.  I've also got several piles of signed books waiting for a new set of shelves, and photographs of a wonderful cottage on the west coas…

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THE FIRST PLAYERS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 10 October, 2012

We had a very exciting day today, as for the first time we had a group of children on site.  The children, who all live on the Andover Estate, were given a special tour by Jez.  They also had the distinction of being the first people to play a game in the half-built Education Floor.  If you're curious, we played a special version of Grandma's Footsteps where the persecutors had to don a hard hat and a high visibility jacket along the way!  It was a fantastic evening, and we can't wait to welcome more young people from the local area to the finished buildin…

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SOUNDSCAPES

by brackets digital

Monday, 1 October, 2012

I think I’ve always been very aware of sound, most likely from growing up in a very musical household. I find it easier to concentrate with music playing in the background. I can feel too isolated and alone if I don’t have a radio or something going into my ears and I’m a light sleeper so I wake up at the slightest noise. But I don’t just mean music; I mean the mixture of all types of sounds melded together.  I would say there is good noise and bad noise. The bad is repetitive, intrusive and boring. The right kind of noise is the busy sound of people chatting…

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THE UNBUILT

by brackets digital

Monday, 24 September, 2012

The ‘Unbuilt’ was the affectionate term my ex-boyfriend used to use for Park Theatre when distinguishing it from The Old Vic (my other place of work at the time), which was known as, ‘The Built.’  My BF was a lot younger (lol), not in the arts and not familiar with London. So, according to him, the best way to distinguish Park Theatre from The Old Vic was the fact that it was already built. Apart from the obvious differences between size, scale and the small matter of a couple of centuries, there are ways in which we very much hope to resemble The …

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TENNIS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 19 September, 2012

I had been working at Park Theatre for a few months before I learned what was really going on.  Jez leaned in - a nervous moment - and whispered to me, ‘can I tell you a secret?’  I told him he could, and promised that I’d never put it on a blog or anything.  ‘The thing is’, he said, ‘I’m really only in it for the tennis.’  I nodded; yes of course.  ‘It dawned on me that in most jobs it’s hard to find time to work on your backhand.  And so I thought: why don’t I build a theatre, and…

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THE PRE-AUCTION AUCTION

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 12 September, 2012

As you probably know, we have an extremely exciting auction lined up for our gala, to be hosted by Lord Archer.  Just to get you in the mood, we'll be doing a small pre-auction auction, of one very special lot that can only happen on one evening.  It's worth looking out for over the coming days, but in the meantime I can give you this little teaser: it involves a personal tour around one of the most interesting buildings in the world, with one of the greatest actors as your guide...

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PARTIES

by brackets digital

Monday, 10 September, 2012

Park Parties are a particularly good breed of party. Not only can we style it out on a roofless, windowless building site in the depths of Winter in our building-site chic attire (short skirts, woolly tops and steel-toe capped boots); we also have an amazing amount of energy for them allowing us to keep going even after a long day.  A lot of this comes from the adrenaline of just talking to people about Park Theatre, and our genuine passion of being involved. Parties are essential to our fundraising but also to our bonding as a family and a way of getting to know our supp…

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COMPLETION OF FLATS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 5 September, 2012

The flats are nearing completion, and every time I take a look they become more alluring.  I had a few minutes to spare early on Saturday morning, and so went up onto the balcony of the penthouse flat to have cup of coffee.  The morning sun was streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, making it the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by.  Even better, when you close the triple-glazed doors, the entire flat is silent.  I'm already jealous of the lucky people who get to live there...

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QUESTIONNING

by brackets digital

Monday, 3 September, 2012

I went to see a play tonight. I’d heard that it was amazing. Everyone had already been or wanted to go. Other than that I didn’t know much about it except it was about a community dealing with something; a sensitive subject. I was liking it, getting into it, but half way through the first act I start getting a niggling feeling. I started to question. Question whether I thought it was funny - should I laugh? Why were some of the audience laughing? Question if this was trivialising or undermining an actual occurrence and the real people involved with it? Was that rig…

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TWITTER

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 29 August, 2012

When we first set up the @ParkTheatreLive Twitter account, we had a very informal style of keep people up to date with the building process and the work we were seeing.  The style has obviously had to evolve as the team has got bigger, and as the shape of the organisation emerges.  We've been talking a lot about the tone of the social media interaction, partly because we want it to be an accurate reflection of Park Theatre not only as a place, but also as a group of people.   We think of ourselves as a working family, replete with our very own mascot, leader…

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WHO IS YOUR COMMUNITY?

by brackets digital

Monday, 27 August, 2012

Bank holiday weekends are lush. A time to meet up with friends in your favorite places, while away some hours, go festival-ling, carnival-ling, wandering and sitting. I spent the weekend seeing some of my favourite people in my favourite local places and talking, amongst other things how they just need to walk past Wells Terrace and get a look at Park. I loved seeing these people in my local pubs but was craving for Park’s café and bar to be open. A good friend of mine from Italy asked me what she should do in London on Saturday night; what places could I recommen…

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INVESTMENT

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 22 August, 2012

The funding application I'm working on at the moment is an interesting one, because the foundation I'm applying to sees every grant as an investment.  Although the principals are largely the same, it has encouraged me to see the project in business terms (no flip-board jokes please) and this has actually helped to clarify my thinking on the project as a whole.  Because we have no access to public money, Jez and Dave have had to be incredibly efficient in the the design and construction of the building.  It's a project that has called for a certain amount of ing…

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MAUREEN CONTINUED - OR NOT.....

by brackets digital

Monday, 20 August, 2012

  I haven’t managed to write a regular Monday blog for a while. This was partly because I’d been finishing a course and also because Maureen had to go to intensive care. (Check blog dated 25th June 2012 for reference and backstory). This was a sad and serious time, not least because it happened the night before a very busy week for me, her and Park. There were lots of tours to coordinate and confirm with people who had already been patiently waiting, and we had our ‘Take to the Streets’ campaign to organise for that weekend.   …

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WALLS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 15 August, 2012

I've never really lived in my own time.  I was born in the eighties, but a part of me still expects to hear the Village People on Radio 1.  I knew almost none of the performers in the Closing Ceremony last week, although I'm told that even those who are 'down with the kids' felt like they'd stumbled on an understudy run.  When did a single letter become an acceptable surname?  Until recently, I thought that walls were still built with bricks and cement.  It's true that we did have a specialist workman on site about ten days ago …

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CONTEXT

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 8 August, 2012

I'm in the middle of my Fringe adventure, loving the cobbled city in the sunshine and the buzz of good work around every corner.  One of the odd things about the Fringe is the different context that producers and directors have to work with.  At any other time of year, an hour seems like a short time slot, but in Edinburgh an hour can sometimes feel like three.  Today I'm seeing five shows before 6pm, and so each exists in its relationship to the ones that came before it.  In order to stand out, a Fringe show has to pack a punch, and the qualities that disting…

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FRINGE

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 1 August, 2012

Next week, along with every other tinker and tailor, I'll be heading up to the land of fried food and rain.  Did you know that Scotland is the only country where the supermarkets have an entire aisle dedicated to batter?  You can't even buy a cheap joke.  I've been scouring the Fringe programme, a bible of high expectations, leveraged on granny's car and silver spoon collection.  Producers, performers and directors have spent months bracing their fingers for the refreshing strain of scotsman.com/reviews.  This is boot camp for the liver…

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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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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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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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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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UPDATE

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 30 May, 2012

I hope you won't notice any disruption, but over the next few days I'm going to be updating the backlog on this blog, moving the old posts from one server onto the other.  If there's a global technology meltdown this week, then I'm probably responsible.  On the plus side, it means that we will have every Park Theatre blog post in one place.

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TRAVELLING

by brackets digital

Monday, 28 May, 2012

My brothers did a 30 hour walk for charity over the weekend. Whilst I knew in my head this was impressive, it wasn’t until I went to bed on Saturday, knowing they and their small team would be walking through the night, that the commitment required for this challenge hit me. Different to a marathon, where you get to  your mark in a few hours, this was about keeping going, through light and dark with aching legs and blisters. I wondered what it felt like to do that and imagined it might be quite exhilarating to have that unique journey; with the camaraderie to keep each other g…

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DIRECTORS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 23 May, 2012

I had a really enjoyable tour today with the directing students at Mountview, where this time last year I was worrying about what 2012 would hold.  It was great to meet the new directors, who are about to present a season of work at the Cockpit Theatre before finishing the MA and stepping out into the industry.  One of the things I love about my job is that no two tours are ever the same, and it's particularly exciting to show the site to a group whose careers will be beginning at the same time as our doors open.  I wonder what work we will see from the faces around th…

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WEBSITES SAYING HELLO

by brackets digital

Monday, 21 May, 2012

As I go through our epic contacts database one of the things I do is check some missing or incorrect information, which involves going to lots of peoples’ websites. This is quite a distracting task because it’s interesting seeing what creative companies are out there and the massive diversity in style and content of websites.  Websites are so valuable to the identity you’re trying to present and the audience you’re hoping to reach and preserve contact with. Like a book cover, or that 2 seconds when you first meet with someone,  a judgement is formed and …

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GAME CHANGER

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 16 May, 2012

Every now and again, a piece of theatre comes along that changes the scope of the work that follows it.  It's been an interesting week, as London is currently hosting the first revival of a major game changer: Einstein on the Beach.  The production has divided the critics and brought shame on the Jagger family, but it seems unlikely to have the same impact on practitioners as it did when it was first performed.  But it's not the only show in town that has sparked vigorous debate.  At the other end of London, the Lyric has excited the wrath of the Da…

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QUALITY

by brackets digital

Monday, 14 May, 2012

Editing my CV -  which I appear to be having a stab  at every week, so it seems (Note: ‘stab’ being the key word here as it is generally painful, as many of you will know) -  got me thinking about some work I did on ‘quality’ for a previous employer.  It was a big, thorough (fairly arduous) piece of work but a really useful way to check that every part of the organisation and its services are working holistically and to high standards. Many spreadsheets and cross-referenced notes later it did create a picture about the …

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BALANCE

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 9 May, 2012

I have had several discussions with directors over the last few days about the role of obsession and dedication in any creative career.  Are the people who succeed invariably those who give every waking moment to their art, or is it the people who can stand back from their work and find balance in their lives who eventually triumph?  It’s a thorny issue, as there are always more people to meet, more shows to see and more forms to fill in.  Or perhaps the very idea of balance is laughable?

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HISTORY

by brackets digital

Monday, 7 May, 2012

Although we will be the only theatre in Finsbury Park, we are certainly not the first.  There was a beautiful Frank Matcham building on the other side of the station which was very sadly demolished in 1960.  Here's a little bit of information about the building and its claim to fame! "The Finsbury Park Empire was built by Frank Matcham for Moss Empires Ltd at a cost of 45,000 and opened on the 5th of September 1910 with a capacity of around 2000. The Theatre closed on the 7th of May 1960 and was demolished in 1965.  

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INTERVALS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 2 May, 2012

Jez and I were at the theatre last night, seeing a very good revival of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me.  It's an unusual play because it has a very long first half (about an hour and twenty minutes).  Jez likes short productions that run through without an interval, whereas I am blessed with the bladder of a five year old girl and the thirst of a sailor.  Imagine my horror when I heard that Einstein on the Beach, playing at the Barbican this week, lasts six hours with no interval.  It's the theatrical equivalent of a hosepipe ban, and I was worried that this…

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GETTING PHYSICAL

by brackets digital

Monday, 30 April, 2012

In part of my time, when I’m not working for Park Theatre, I am training to be a holistic massage therapist. While this may not seem directly relevant, the connection of art and science is often explored in theatre and there are many threads between the two elements that I find increasingly interesting. On one level just think of the everyday uses we have for describing how we feel or think:  a ‘need for room to breathe’ or  ‘my heart is in my mouth’ . Our physical feelings relate to our thoughts and vice versa. Most of the time…

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PERFORMING UNDER PRESSURE

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 25 April, 2012

It seemed like an easy week when I opened the diary on Monday morning.  A few spare mornings to pursue forgotten links for Park Theatre, send a couple of emails and plough on with some research.  Two telephone conversations changed this quite suddenly.  The first informed me that a principal actor in the play I've directed has had a medical emergency and will be unable to perform.  The second was an urgent call for help from a big project that needed a director who could start immediately.  Suddenly my free time has been punched out of the diary, and there…

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TIME WILL TELL

by brackets digital

Monday, 23 April, 2012

A week of very successful tours has just passed, notching up the number people in the industry who’ve seen the space  to over 500. Obviously, there are hundreds more people to have a look around and all it takes is an email to me to get you on the list. ([email protected]) It’s interesting to hear people’s reactions to the concept of a new theatre. A place with no history. It can be quite difficult to comprehend the prospect of something new, where there is no legacy or tradition. Park Theatre is unique for exactly this reason.  It can…

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APPRAISALS

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

My last blog here was about feedback after a specific project, but a lot of this week has been dedicated to feedback on performance in general.  It's been a week of wild hilarity, researching various appraisal formats through which I can communicate to Jez what he already knows: that I am bad at drawing up appraisal documents.  Who said bureaucracy wasn't useful? I am about to be the guinea pig for our new system, which will be the first formal appraisal that Jez has conducted.  The document has asked me to assess my personal appearance, which can only b…

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TOURS TAKING PLACE

by brackets digital

Monday, 16 April, 2012

Industry tours began last week, which means that people that work in any capacity related to theatre can have the opportunity to look around the (building) site and hear about all the innovative technical features, and our artistic policies that will be in place when we open. I haven’t been on-site for nearly a month so it was vitalising to see the progression that has taken place, and  also to hear again in full detail about all the intentions for the theatre and how the building will be. It can be quite hard to imagine as you walk around a roofl…

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FEEDBACK

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

I did a workshop about a year ago with Jon from Unlimited, a company that was started from scratch by a group of graduate friends, and has since emerged as one of ACE's Portfolio jewels.  One of the many excellent pieces of advice that he offered us was to have a reflective session with the company a couple of weeks after the final performance of a production.  The aim of the meeting: to identify what went well, and what could have been done better. A production of mine had its final performance on Saturday; by fringe standards we had had a successful run, and ea…

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TIME AND RHYTHM MAKES A LIVING...

by brackets digital

Monday, 9 April, 2012

“One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.”     Chinese Proverb Recently, time and rhythm have been two things constantly on my mind. The juggling of time and tasks and the rhythm involved in achieving those tasks. Over the last 3 weeks I’ve been mostly sending out invitations to industry folk to attend tours of the Park Theatre in its growing glory. This may sound like a straight forward job, and it is to some extent. But 700 indi…

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COFFEE

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 4 April, 2012

Yesterday we began the first, and in my humble opinion the most important, discussion about the café / wine bar.  We wanted to know what brand of coffee you want to drink in Park Theatre.   If you're interested, there were multiple votes for Illy and Square Mile, a solitary vote for Starbucks and a small army of Monmouth fans fighting their corner.  This was music to my ears, as I first started petitioning to Jez and Melli on behalf of Monmouth on the day I joined the Park Theatre family.  Whichever brand emerges as the winner, you can be sure that a lot of…

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NEW LOOK FOR THE PARTIES...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 2 April, 2012

So today we cleared out some of the items from the 'party room' (or 'the old site office' depending on your perspective) to make way for its imminent demolition. In fact it means that soon we'll have the whole floor for entertainment, meetings, discussions for group tours etc. With the weather getting warmer and, fingers crossed, dryer we'll soon have a far superior environment than we are used to. Long gone will be the days of huddling together around a radiator, glass of wine in hand, within the confines of a tiny space. That right folks our Park Theatre fundrai…

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CONSTRUCTION

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 28 March, 2012

I had an unsettling experience earlier in the week, when a sizeable chunk of one of London's leading theatres was dislodged by the foot of an audience member in the gallery.  I say chunk because the piece was hard to describe: it was about two feet long and a foot wide, and was basically a metal sheet which had been coated in carpet.  It fell about ten feet and, to the horror of everyone in the auditorium, landed on the head of an audience member in the circle below.  There was enough blood for the whole thing to be quite frightening, but I believe the audience member …

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POWER!

by Jez Bond

Monday, 26 March, 2012

As Spiderman wisely noted, great power comes with great responsibility, not to mention great lycra.  In the absence of Jez and Melli, I have appointed myself de facto Artistic Director of Park Theatre, and have spent most of the last week rubbing my hands with unrestrained glee.  The great power has been altogether pleasant, but time is running out on my reign of terror / benevolence / polite ambivalence, and it would be irresponsible not to leave a striking legacy.  Should I raid the Education Floor coffers and blow it all on a giant glitter ball?  I’ve always …

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TOWARDS A FEMALE FRIENDLY THEATRE

by brackets digital

Wednesday, 21 March, 2012

One of the exciting developments on site this week is the appearance of wall structures for the dressing rooms and toilets.  As anyone who has been on a tour will know, we have more ladies’ toilets than gents’, for which we expect a loud round of applause.  Unfortunately I lack the basic credentials for accessing ladies’ toilets, but I’ve walked apologetically past enough queues of women to know how important this is. When I shared this information with Twitter on Monday, I described Park Theatre as ‘female friendly’.  Not, I …

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GHOST TRAIN

by brackets digital

Monday, 19 March, 2012

From one end of the theatrical spectrum to the other... Matilda on Wednesday, Pichfork Disney on Saturday... Both shows were produced with greatness in mind, the latter by our wonderful board member Danielle Tarento. But While Matilda was unquestionably well done and hugely enjoyable, I seem to have developed a growing taste for what London’s smaller fringe venues have to offer. After years spent in West End shows, it seems an antidote is required and I certainly got my fix from the darker side on Saturday. ‘You know why the ghost train is so popula…

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APPLICATIONS GALORE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 14 March, 2012

Just finished writing another funding application. It's amazing the difference in what different trusts and foundations ask for. Some ask for a two page document, no longer or it will not be read. Others for reams of material. Others ask for a small amount at the first stage and then more and more as time goes on. I liked this one though - it was fairly detailed for a first stage, but in a way I preffered that. Sometimes you wonder how on earth you can fit everything into just two pages. Fingers crossed, off in the post tomorrow, and a few more to send in the next few days before our…

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GREAT DRAMA STARTED IN N4

by Jez Bond

Monday, 12 March, 2012

Some twelve or so years ago I worked for a company called Y Touring, who were then based on Lennox Road in Finsbury Park (directly opposite Pooles Park Primary School). It was my first introduction to the area and having spent time in N4 then and now later having returned I had insight into the changes that had taken place - and was able to create a fair forecast of how Finsbury Park might look and 'feel' in a further few years, given significant regeneration that is taking place. It was then with great excitement that I went to the Royal Albert Hall tonight, to watch …

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LORD ARCHER

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 7 March, 2012

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly our afternoon meeting with Lord Jeffrey Archer at his riverside penthouse - often remarked on as the best view in London (I would agree). Lord Archer has kindly agreed to be the auctioneer for a gala dinner and auction that we are organising. The date is soon to be confirmed - as is a high profile compere for the evening. Having Lord Archer is already a great start and as the grey skies cleared over the houses of parliament we left feeling excited and inspired about what we could achieve. Much more on this anon....

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ADMIN IS A FULL TIME JOB

by Jez Bond

Monday, 5 March, 2012

I consider myself a pretty tidy person - and when it comes to my desk I can't live like one of those "it looks like a mess but I know exactly where everything is" kinds of people! So today alarm bells rang when piles started to appear on my desk. It's taken most of the day to clear them - as they always tend to be the boring time-consuming things that one doesn't want to do: setting up a direct debit, writing to Thames Water, filing financial information... oh the joys! Now as the BBC Radio interview Tamzin and I did last week uploads to YouTube, I write …

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PARK FAMILY PARTY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

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

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THEY GROW SO FAST, DON'T THEY?

by Jez Bond

Monday, 27 February, 2012

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

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

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

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PROBABLE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 20 February, 2012

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

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THE ARTISTRY OF GIVING

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 15 February, 2012

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

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TAMZIN CAN'T WAITE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 13 February, 2012

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

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THE LURE OF THE BED...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 8 February, 2012

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

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THE ROUTE THROUGH...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 6 February, 2012

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

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WHO YOU KNOW

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

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

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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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BY ORDER OF THE MANAGEMENT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 28 December, 2011

I have been instructed to stay in bed and off the computer!

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GETTING BETTER...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 26 December, 2011

I'm towards the end of this illness now - at least I hope so. A weekend spent mostly in bed (up for Christmas lunch thankfully) and today I am slowly getting back to normality; starting to catch up with the many tasks that have been piling up. We'll leave it there for today - time for another Lemsip!

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PUPPETS COME TO LIFE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 21 December, 2011

A day of meetings, some at home, some on site and some out in Soho. I showed Sam West the building and he was very excited by the project. I hope he may be able to give us some time and get involved - he lives locally so that's a plus. In the evening we went to the first show in a long time to which we bought a ticket (rather than being invited). It was War Horse. A truly magical experience for the life-like puppets of the horses (and a star appearance from a goose!) After a short time one ceased to see the puppeteers (who were superb not just at the movements but…

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BREATH THAT FRESH AIR!

by Jez Bond

Monday, 19 December, 2011

What a lovely break! Yes a complete break, as in no phone calls and (almost!) no emails for three days. We had a long weekend in Dorset with some friends; Christmas carols, log fires, country walks, late nights - and late mornings. I feel revived and ready for the tens of shows I am seeing over the next few weeks.

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THE TEAM GROWS...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 14 December, 2011

We have two new board members - but I won't announce them until they are official. We have a great quote from Nick Kent (Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre) who came round site today: “Park Theatre is an incredibly exciting new theatre in an area of London not well-served by the Arts. The new building promises to be very popular with local people, and to be a landmark destination for all Londoners.” Nicolas Kent, Artistic Director, Tricycle Theatre We're starting our fundraising parties in the new year …

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STARBUCKS

by Jez Bond

Monday, 12 December, 2011

Starbucks, Victoria Street, London. Not the most glamorous of meeting places, but a handy one for both Sean Mathias and me. Over some hot chocolate we chatted about the key fundraising priorities for the theatre over the next vital few months - and it was wonderful to see Sean, like our other Ambassadors, fully engaged in the process. Despite his hectic commitments next year, he will host a party on site, invite friends and colleagues to our fundraising launch and help me write letters to other potential supporters. We're also looking to secure some big names for these events - watch…

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CREATIVE ISLINGTON

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 7 December, 2011

We had a successful networking event this evening, hosted by our lovely neighbours John Jones. 25 or so people came on a site tour of the theatre (whilst a similar number attended a tour of John Jones - well worth the visit by the way) and then around 90 people convened in John Jones' gallery space for wine, talks and a short extract from the play that our writer in residence Sarah Rutherford has been working on. The evening was attended by some key figures from the council including the Major, Phil Kelly (a local ward councillor), Paul Convery, the Executive Member for Leisure and R…

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NEW DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

by Jez Bond

Monday, 5 December, 2011

We're very excited to welcome Annabel Topham to the team! An incredibly talented, intelligent person with a delightful bubbly personality and tremendous energy, we have no doubt that Annabel will be a valuable asset to the Park family.  It's lovely to see some donors coming forward after all our recent tours. There are loads of ways to get involved and support us and now with Annabel on board we will be sure to power full speed ahead with our fundraising. You can see her photo and biography under the staff page and if you'd like to talk to her about…

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101 DALMEMAILS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 30 November, 2011

At 2pm this afternoon I counted the emails that had been pouring in since 8.30am. Over 70 - and, amazingly, I had just about been keeping on top of them. By 6pm it was over 100. It's always like that on days in between tours, the buzz seems to be superstrong and traffic starts to pile up on the information highway. It's hectic, but at the same time fun - knowing that we are sparking such interest. Melli said that over the course of the day she received proposals from theatre companies throughout the UK, Australia and... Utah! It's gone 10pm now and we've just f…

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NEW AMBASSADOR

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 29 November, 2011

A busy day on site today - with two industry tours and two local residents tours and meetings in between. The result of the lunchtime tour was a long chat, over 'breakfast', with director Sean Mathias - who, we're very excited to announce, joins Celia Imrie and Roger Lloyd Pack as an Ambassador for Park Theatre. Sean and I are meeting to chat about the way forward in the next week or so. So more on this anon.... Suffice to say there are some exciting opportunities for us all!

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BUSY WEEKEND

by Jez Bond

Monday, 28 November, 2011

A busy weekend with an evening party, a lunch party, a rehearsal (with the kids I teach) and a show at Waterloo East Theatre. In the midst of all this, two more funding applications done. Today we're sending out five more and preparing for more site tours tomorrow...

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APPLICATIONS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 25 November, 2011

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

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MORE TOURS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 24 November, 2011

Whoah. I'm getting exhausted from these site tours - but, at the same time, it's great fun. Between the morning and afternoon sessions we showed round another 40 people today. Fun to point to the bay window which now proudly sits there in steel awaiting its floor and glazing. 

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YOUNG VIC DIRECTORS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 23 November, 2011

Today we did a workshop for a group of 25 Young Vic Directors in Short Street (opposite the Young Vic). Following our many site tours (more tomorrow) it was a refreshing change to present our plans in a different space and context. Here we delivered a workshop looking - in a similar way to the transmission workshop I ran a few weeks back - at the changing styles of theatre and auditoria forms over the years. We concluded that there is a need for an extremely intimate theatre now... enter Park Theatre (and our presentation).

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WELCOME TO THE NEW WEBSITE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 21 November, 2011

Well, it's been a busy year for us at Park Theatre. As we fast approach Christmas, we will have toured round over 250 theatre companies, directors and producers, we will have the majority of new steel in place and we will have launched our fundriaising initiaives. We have been working with the wonderful 'Feast Creative' over the past few months to develop a brand. We've come up with an identity of which we are very proud and I write today's blog, for the first time, from the new website. In a couple of weeks we will have, back from the printers, …

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NEW WEBSITE A MATTER OF DAYS AWAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 18 November, 2011

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

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NEW WEBSITE A MATTER OF DAYS AWAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 18 November, 2011

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

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OFFICE PARTY

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 17 November, 2011

If you’re expecting a night out sitting in an auditorium watching a play on stage and you’re not able to adapt your expectations then Office Party at the Pleasance just isn’t for you. If, however, you fancy a non-traditional theatrical experience, a few drinks, some laughs and perhaps the opportunity to make some friends then this is just the ticket! I won’t give it away for those who haven’t seen it but suffice to say it’s enormous fun, full of surprises and I highly recommend it.

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OFFICE PARTY

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 17 November, 2011

 If you’re expecting a night out sitting in an auditorium watching a play on stage and you’re not able to adapt your expectations then Office Party at the Pleasance just isn’t for you. If, however, you fancy a non-traditional theatrical experience, a few drinks, some laughs and perhaps the opportunity to make some friends then this is just the ticket! I won’t give it away for those who haven’t seen it but suffice to say it’s enormous fun, full of surprises and I highly recommend it. Great to see two known faces in the ‘show’…

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BIT BY BIT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 16 November, 2011

Bit by bit today things have been getting closer to the finish line.On site I witnessed the fitting of some of the steel that had been delivered by the crane yesterday. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle it’s all starting to take shape. The hoarding at the front has received its first coat of red and a new ramp has been erected inside, to take the new steels up half a storey to the back of the building on the upper ground floor.

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BIT BY BIT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 16 November, 2011

Bit by bit today things have been getting closer to the finish line. On site I witnessed the fitting of some of the steel that had been delivered by the crane yesterday. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle it’s all starting to take shape. The hoarding at the front has received its first coat of red and a new ramp has been erected inside, to take the new steels up half a storey to the back of the building on the upper ground floor. We had a good meeting with Charles from Hall Stage and started to chat about how and when we would go about the install of his kit – t…

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THE CRANE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 15 November, 2011

The road was closed and the crane arrived…. Wow! Sadly I did not make it to site today, with so much happening ‘back at the base’. Such a shame as I would have liked to video some of the manoeuvres. At least Jordan kindly emailed through some pictures.

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THE CRANE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 15 November, 2011

The road was closed and the crane arrived…. Wow! Sadly I did not make it to site today, with so much happening ‘back at the base’. Such a shame as I would have liked to video some of the manoeuvres. At least Jordan kindly emailed through some pictures. The crane delivered the largest steels to the front of the building. It also delivered the steels for the cantilevered bay window which have been installed. It’s great to see some of these large elements take shape. I’m on site tomorrow in meetings for most of the day – and look fo…

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THE CRANE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 15 November, 2011

The road was closed and the crane arrived…. Wow! Sadly I did not make it to site today, with so much happening ‘back at the base’. Such a shame as I would have liked to video some of the manoeuvres. At least Jordan kindly emailed through some pictures. The crane delivered the largest steels to the front of the building. It also delivered the steels for the cantilevered bay window which have been installed. It’s great to see some of these large elements take shape. I’m on site tomorrow in meetings for most of the day – and look fo…

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NO TRUTH BENDING REQUIRED

by Jez Bond

Monday, 14 November, 2011

A lot of work spent on grant applications for the Education Floor today. We are about to submit our second and, hopefully, as the week continues more will flow… It’s taken so long getting to the first one but that is apparently just the way it as; as the initial stages involve the most work – in our case re-drafting the business plan, creating a Case for Support and preparing answers for the array of questions that funders can ask.

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NO TRUTH BENDING REQUIRED

by Jez Bond

Monday, 14 November, 2011

A lot of work spent on grant applications for the Education Floor today. We are about to submit our second and, hopefully, as the week continues more will flow… It’s taken so long getting to the first one but that is apparently just the way it as; as the initial stages involve the most work – in our case re-drafting the business plan, creating a Case for Support and preparing answers for the array of questions that funders can ask. Having been through this process I am now feeling even more confident. I suppose because so many people end up needin…

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FRIDAY FINISH LINE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 11 November, 2011

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

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SEASON KITCHEN

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 10 November, 2011

This evening four of us went to Season Kitchen for, shamefully, the first time. The restaurant opened earlier this year and, judging by reviews online and by the fact that it was full tonight (luckily we had booked), seems to be doing incredibly well. And so it should be – the food was delicious, the service was great, the atmosphere was just right and the bill was very reasonable (we could have well spent double in a lesser restaurant in the centre of town. A great little find – I shall certainly be spreading the word.

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SEASON KITCHEN

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 10 November, 2011

This evening four of us went to Season Kitchen for, shamefully, the first time. The restaurant opened earlier this year and, judging by reviews online and by the fact that it was full tonight (luckily we had booked), seems to be doing incredibly well. And so it should be – the food was delicious, the service was great, the atmosphere was just right and the bill was very reasonable (we could have well spent double in a lesser restaurant in the centre of town. A great little find – I shall certainly be spreading the word. If it wasn’t for all that delicious Pro…

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VAT DOESN\'T HAVE TO BE BORING!

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 9 November, 2011

What a great night! It was the annual fundraiser for the Charity Finance Directors’ Group and I was kindly invited by SOC VAT, our VAT consultants. Socrates, who runs the company, is that rare thing – a true expert and someone who can translate complex matters into layman’s terms. If ever anyone needs VAT advice – he specialises in Charities and has some great theatres on his books – then he is your man. Check them out: www.socvat.com Tom, his colleague, who runs a firm that provides business advice – and again has an impressive c…

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OTHELLO

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 8 November, 2011

Been working with Charlie for the most part today. Excited to have him on board. Now he has loads to do – and is making good headway! We saw a very good production of Othello tonight – very pleased we went. Great performance from Iago. Short blog as tired and still so much work to do (yes typical I know). More tomorrow…

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KITCHEN SINK DRAMA

by Jez Bond

Monday, 7 November, 2011

We watched Wesker’s ‘The Kitchen’ at the NT tonight – a play I, and I think most people, hadn’t seen since Daldry’s production many years ago. After a drink and catch up with three fellow ex-Hull University members who were in the show, we are heading back home to complete some final emails before bed. It’s been a full day – Dave Hughes had some strong words to our contractors about the delay in the steelwork on site, Melli booked in a load more industry tours (two slots now fully booked) and I – amongst many other things – faci…

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SPARK AND TINGLE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 4 November, 2011

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

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FLATS FOR SALE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 3 November, 2011

We’ve just put our flats on the market today – not through an estate agent but through personal emails to a number of people who expressed an interest in purchasing the properties, potentially ‘off plan’. Next week the steel for the third and fourth floors gets craned on and things will start to move quickly. As we currently stand the completion date for the four one bedroom flats and one two bedroom penthouse is likely to be April 2012. Anyone interested should send an email to our [email protected] address so that we can send you some more information……

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DEGREES OF FAMILIARITY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 2 November, 2011

On my way to Islington Arts Factory for our 33rd tour of a fellow venue. I haven’t been there for years and am keen to take a look inside. Later we’re returning to Teatro Technis where we saw a production just a month ago. In the middle it’s meetings on site and a review of the hoarding panels which have arrived. Hooray!

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PETER BROOK EMPTY SPACE AWARDS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011

Today Melli and I were invited to the Annual Peter Brook Empty Space Awards. This is a ceremony that recognises innovation, creativity and excellence in smaller off West End, Fringe and Studio theatres across the UK. The event took place in the National Theatre Studio on The Cut and was attended by nearly 200 people made up in the most part by artistic directors, producers and critics. The ceremony was chaired, as it was organised, by the renowned theatre critic and real character, Blanche Marvin. It was our first trip to the awards and wonderful to be part of such an importan…

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HALLOWEEN

by Jez Bond

Monday, 31 October, 2011

The weekend was as busy as ever and towards the end of Sunday I flopped down on the sofa limbs weak, head gently aching – not enough to be ill but just to subtly taunt me – and eyes sore. I felt like the whole of the last few months had caught up with me. After an extended sleep and some food which was far better for the soul than it was for the waistline, I’m feeling a little more powered – apart from my painful neck which I feel like I want to rip off it’s so aggravating. Perhaps I just should as it’s Halloween today – I could be the headless m…

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COLCHESTER

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

It’s late and we’ve just returned from Colchester seeing a very original, sometimes witty and very thought-provoking piece of theatre called ‘Wretch’. Earlier, despite much of the day being taken up with travelling (3.5 hours to get there –thankfully we allowed for 4 on a supposed 2 hour journey), we managed to send out our Autumn newsletter to our mailing list, through Feast’s mailer – which is a powerful tool and much easier than our old way. Since then we’ve been tackling a flood of emails from local residents wishi…

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RAT IN A BAG

by Jez Bond

Monday, 24 October, 2011

We saw the Rat today – we were on a tour of the theatre with the Old Vic crew and Mr Rat decided to make an appearance. He’s not the same rat that was previously resident – we know this as the last one ended up in a body bag. We’ll just have to lay some more traps. I think it’s the new trenches that have been dug. As soon as the site’s cleared out and we’re water tight again they’ll be gone – and we’ll rat-proof like mad. Talking of being water tight, as I write this it’s pouring with rain – the first in a…

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FIRST MISSED SHOW

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 19 October, 2011

In the last 30 days I’ve been to: 24 shows (2 of them rehearsed readings), 2 workshops and 2 rehearsals Tonight I was due to head to the Tristan Bates Theatre but after a long day, and early start, it proved impossible to get there on time and I sent an apologetic email to the director explaining that I couldn’t be there. Crucially I had seen the director’s work before so, much that I’d have liked to go, it’s some consolation. Lucky that I did remain though as I haven’t stopped typing on the laptop for a moment. It&rsqu…

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TEMERATURES RISING...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 17 October, 2011

Cooling, heating and ventilation – how many units, what power, where will they be located and where do the ducts go? In the interests of saving money on the M&E these questions have been re-examined over the past twenty four hours. Peter from Airworks has been working with Dave – and they have both been aided by the extremely knowledagble and helpful David ‘The Big’ Apple. We’ve made some headway and final diagrams are being drawn up.

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DASHING OUT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 12 October, 2011

Off to the theatre (of course!) – to see a show at the Courtyard. It’s so gloomy and pitch black outside and it’s only just gone half past six. I feel like having a bath and a bowl of soup. No no, no rest – a quick shower at best and then it’s out the door. Today has been great, lots of work done, Melli and I have just finished the first draft of our ‘development pack’. Soon you, our avid readers, will be able to read a little brochure about how you can support us by buying a seat, becoming a member and other exciting things…..!

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THE MODERN WORKER

by Jez Bond

Monday, 10 October, 2011

Melli and I are at the stage where we are almost emailing each other over the breakfast table to ask for the salt. Not that we don’t talk to each other, quite the contrary – simply that  our laptops are open pretty much 24/7 and, not wanting to disturb each other during a potential moment of high concentration, emailing is often the most efficient way of sending through a request so that it can be dealt with at an appropriate time. “Thanks” I type back, knowing she’s in the middle of coordinating diary dates… And so our days…

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FORMS FORMS FORMS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 5 October, 2011

HMRC have recently changed the requirements regarding registering for Gift Aid. As such all the paperwork I sent off had been returned and we required three, not just one, ‘responsible people’ (one of whom will be the ‘authorised person’) to fill in and sign sections of the form. I am therefore dashing around London today to collect relevant signatures. Oh the joy! Meanwhile on site a letter from HMRC arrived about a different matter – the VAT group registration for which we had applied. This letter was a refusal on grounds that they had misunders…

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GHOST TOWN

by Jez Bond

Monday, 3 October, 2011

I arose afresh to a warm Monday morning. Whilst I’ve been working 6.5 days a week somehow yesterday evening’s tranquil BBQ and beer in the garden enabled a rare weekend feeling in me. As such I arose with a ‘start to the week’ mentality, read a chapter of Celia’s autobiography, showered and headed out to my first meeting on site. On arrival I was struck by the sound of silence. Not a body was to be seen and, descending the building in its semi demolished state, I had a sudden feeling that I was on the set of a post apocalyptic drama (or, worse, in one for re…

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15 SHOWS IN 14 DAYS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 28 September, 2011

I’ve been accustomed to going to the theatre regularly for most of my life. But following our recent site tours (2 more tomorrow) things have really picked up. In order to ensure that both theatres are curated with excellent work – that is to say for the weeks of the year when we aren’t producing in-house- we are committed to seeing as much work from both emerging and established companies, directors and producers as possible. Over the next 14 days I am seeing 15 shows and haven’t had a schedule more hectic than that since my last Edinburgh trip. Today marked the …

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EPISODE THREE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 26 September, 2011

This weekend I completed the edit of ‘How To Build a Theatre: Episode Three‘. It’s a fairly succinct look at the current state of building works, with an introduction to our project manager, the man on site every day coordinating works, Jordan Russell. If you haven’t yet seen it, then do take a peek. As things are now changing regularly, we will probably end up releasing the next episode in a couple of months. The steel starts arriving today and there is much heavy work to happen over the next few weeks, including road closures for cranes, additional st…

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TOUR DE FORCE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 21 September, 2011

After showing around some very lovely people this week I am super buzzed. I am so pleased to have shown around brilliant theatre companies, directors, producers and actors. The weather has been lovely today and with sunshine on our now roofless building everyone got to take in the space at a truly unusual time. We had some lovely feedback, great questions and enthusiasm from our guests. We are keen to nurture and develop these relationships and are thrilled and thankful to all who came and tweeted or facebooked post tour. Thanks indeed because we must spread the word for the good of ever…

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POWER!

by Jez Bond

Monday, 19 September, 2011

After two industry tours with over thirty people between them I was quite exhausted. Not as exhausted of course as I would have been if I had shown all thirty people round separately – hence the new regime of group tours, which is nicer actually as it starts to cultivate an atmosphere of community. Hard hats, high vis and hard soled shoes to the ready we kitted everyone out in the site office and talked about the architecture before traversing the building in a constantly reshaping mass of PPE yellow. Ending up back at the site office for details of the artistic policy and plenty o…

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IDLER ACADEMY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 14 September, 2011

I just spent a lovely evening at the Idler Academy, where Melli hosted a discussion between Sir Timothy Ackroyd and journalist / BBC foreign correspondent Frank Gardner. It was a fascinating event, with many stories of travel and politics. From German backpackers and trains from Cairo to the current situation in the middle east. Some distinguished guests. Very funny when I started telling Penelope Wilton about the theatre and she replied “is that the one in Finsbury Park?” Odd pizza afterwards – corn dough – tasted more like pastry. Heavy as anything bu…

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REMEMBER THE VIDEO

by Jez Bond

Monday, 12 September, 2011

The site is changing daily and today I took the camera to 11-13 Clifton Terrace in order to continue documenting the progress. All sorts going on behind the facade of scaffolding and hoarding. Roof coming off. Rubble piling up waiting for the skips. Padstones being created ready for the steels to arrive. Episode 3 of How To Build A Theatre coming soon to a screen near you…

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PROGRESSIONS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 7 September, 2011

This afternoon we had another meeting at Feast to develop the brand. We’re really excited at what we’ve arrived at and are now looking at the progressions of the sub-brands and the design of all stationery. Soon we’ll have the grand unveiling! I had hoped to add some text and graphics to the hoarding sooner but, whilst I’m always eager to do do do, there’s no need not rush things. On site things have changed. The concrete panels are coming off the front and the roof is being stripped off the back of the building. Let’s hope the rain stays aw…

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MORE MUSICALS, MORE SCRIPTS

by Jez Bond

Monday, 5 September, 2011

More CDs of musicals through the door (not more CD’s as EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE SAYING LATELY – sorry, little outburst from the grammar police!) More scripts too… so a heap of things to be read and heard. Earlier I had tea with Celia and she also passed me a script – she’s soon to be in a show at the Finborough,  I’m looking forward to that. And so to prioritise the various scripts I need to read. Generally I decide on the basis of which script comes in first. The only ones that break the rule are usually redrafts of scripts I am developi…

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UP AND RUNNING AGAIN

by Jez Bond

MONDAY, 31 AUGUST, 2011

Apologies to those of you who logged in and saw odd things, wrong images, missing links etc over the past 24 hours. In the end it took some time iron out all the kinks after the havoc caused by those weird terrorist hackers. It’s all sorted now! Last night was intense. I had a ten hour writing session on the Panto 2012 which ended in the early hours of the morning. Loads of great original ideas and a strong structure emerging. These discussions will continue soon and we hope to have a script by early next year. In fact the way we’re going we’ll probably have …

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HACK HOLIDAY MONDAY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 29 August, 2011

Today we were hacked – hence not posting a blog. Read about it on tomorrow’s blog…

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SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 24 August, 2011

A long day of script developments today. A few hours spent on Act 2 of the new musical I am developing – which is going really well – and then a discussion late into the night about the Christmas show I am co-writing. Buzzing with ideas, inspiration and creative energy! It’s 2am…. time for bed. Tomorrow we continue to build the theatre in which all these ideas will soon be realised. That’s the dream, that’s what we’re fighting for…

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HARD HATS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 17 August, 2011

They’re not comfortable or attractive fashion accessories but much needed safety wear for a construction site. I’ve just ordered a load of hard hats, high-vis jackets and a selection of steel toe capped shoes for visitors to site. We’ll be conducting more tours over the coming months. I did take the liberty of choosing something a little different for myself.

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PPE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 15 August, 2011

Scaffolding has been erected to the inside of the building and also to the facade. The drainage for the toilets at lower ground floor level has almost been completed. The substation now has clear dates for installation and the steels are with the fabricators. We’re in PPE mode now (Personal Protection Equipment) – meaning that hard hats, steel toe capped boots and high vis jackets need to be worn at all times on site. Time to order a supply of appropriate footwear and additional hard hats for potential visitors – and to get the camera out again before too much more happ…

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NUDGEMINDER

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 10 August, 2011

If people keep you waiting and you don’t know why, nine times out of ten it’s because they’ve forgotten or don’t realise the urgency required. Sometimes they may just need a nudgeminder. That’s my little word for the day. Thought I’d share…

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NEW LOOK

by Jez Bond

Monday, 8 August, 2011

By Friday the scaffolding will be up on the front of the building. On Monday the hoarding will be erected and painted. Next week the facade will look decidedly different. On Tuesday more demolition will take place inside and things will kick up a gear. We had a good meeting on site with one of our contractors and they should be providing us with a date for the steel arrival within the next 24 hours. Meanwhile we’re still looking at logos and chatting with Feast about ideas for the new brand. It would be a dream to get the new images on the hoarding, but then of course we mustn&rsqu…

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LATE AGAIN

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 3 August, 2011

Delicious home cooked meal to break up the evening’s work. Still at it (work that is – not the mint and chilli chicken) and just finished rebuilding the business plan with accurate figures for utility bills, waste collection and many other previously less known aspects of the operation. Nearly at a place where I can turn off and zone out for a few minutes before bed. Hazel, our theatre dog to be, is accustomed to our routine of watching a little TV or listening to a little music before we sleep. After such busy days no-one can really settle for the night until we’ve ach…

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BUSINESS PLANNING

by Jez Bond

Monday, 1 August, 2011

Hours and hours spent in Excel – not literally in excel, I’m not trapped inside the computer…. but it feels a little like it. On Excel…? With Excel…. Oh dear, so tired. When you look at figures for too long you start to question yourself. Why is that not adding up? Did I add National Insurance? Did I make that same mistake on everything I did for the last few hours….? No. You’re tired. Go to bed. And so…. Good Night!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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NEW YORK HERE WE COME...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 30 May, 2011

It’s nearly midnight in the UK, but just early evening here in the USA. Off to New York tomorrow. Very busy working today and writing my speech for the Theatres Trust Conference. Need to finish it, sort out some emails, read a lot of plays etc while we are out here. This is just  a quick email to keep in touch with all our followers back home. Will report more from the Big Apple…

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VAST

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 25 May, 2011

Just three days and we’ll be in the USA. Suddenly things are rushing ahead even more than before. Each day closer to that start on site date. It must sound to many like it’s never going to happen, like we’re always ‘about to start’ but in truth only really Jordan and I, who are working on this every single day, can really appreciate how every day brings us closer and closer. When I started this project I had no idea how vast it was. I remember writing an early blog about when we first started the project. It wouldn’t be stretching the truth to say that…

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THINGS THAT BREAK

by Jez Bond

Monday, 23 May, 2011

It’s been a bit of a crazy few days, with things going wrong in and around the home – plus a few careless mistakes due to over tiredness and stress. At one point last night (yes a very hectic weekend as usual) I felt as though I shouldn’t hold a sharp knife for fear that something bad would happen. Yes – tiredness. So things that break include… well, me, I suppose. Note to self: take a rest. The fridge freezer is not looking healthy – the fridge is distinctly mild and, most likely (as the freezer works perfectly) we’ll have to replace…

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SILENCE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 18 May, 2011

It’s pouring down with rain – and not only does the usual hole in the lower roof sprout water but puddles are also appearing in the upper floor below where we recently removed the water tank. Either we inadvertently ripped or damaged the membrane in the process or, possibly, the roofing top layers may have been installed around a pre-existing tank and we may have simply exposed the untreated roof below. It’s odd, and somehow amusing, to have something like this happen and it not be a problem - the reason being that it’s all getting ripped out soon anyway. Besides …

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TOURS ARE BOOKING WELL...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 16 May, 2011

Four slots on offer and, all in all, about thirty people booked for the site tours now. Looking forward to showing people round and sharing our exciting plans. Aside from the mailing list I posted on some local online forums  - if I’ve left anything obvious out then I hope that someone will let me know. Big meeting about all the tenders tomorrow. (Ate far too much cheese today)

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WEBSITE REVAMPED

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 11 May, 2011

Well it’s not completed yet but the ‘architecture’ is now in place and over the next days the content will be updated – our refined mision and vision are on the way! Bearing in mind it’s still a slightly temporary website (we’ll get something brilliant purpose built a little further down the line!) I think it’s getting there…

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PEOPLE GET READY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 9 May, 2011

Massive day yesterday working with the trustees on the brand, the USP, refining the mission. Feel absolutely brilliant today, loads to do but have a very clear idea of the direction towards which we are aiming. Big changes in the air… Hope to be back with you before the end of the night to share one…. Here it is (just gone midnight, but nevermind) the updated (though not completed) website… more to follow…

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A DEAD HORSE AND A LOAD OF HEALTHY FOALS

by Jez Bond

MONDAY, 6 MAY, 2011

Okay so half of today has been spent flogging a dead horse. On one hand I am a realist but on the other there’s the little boy in me that believes in magic. Perhaps after multiple attempts at resuscitation, some major heart surgery, clinical trials of untested drugs, visits from witchdoctors, renegade doctors using advances in molecular technology and stem cell research, the horse may once more acquire a pulse. If not then at least I know I have exhausted all angles. On the flip side, the other half of the day has been extremely positive. We have made some excellent new …

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ALICE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 4 May, 2011

I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. It has been this way all day. Book meetings in one after the other and if one overruns then the whole day goes askew. Book them with oodles of time apart and you end up with awkward gaps which doesn’t prove to be the best use of time – even with the ability to check emails and work on the laptop in between. Some more helpful advice just in regarding the ‘S’ word (that of which we do not speak). I feel like I need to emerge from the rabbit hole at some stage, with a theatre to show for it. Maybe not, maybe t…

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A LONG DAY\'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT

by Jez Bond

MONDAY, 3 MAY, 2011

For those of you who did not see Dave Hughes’ excellent blog post yesterday then check it out here. A blog post on a bank holiday Monday!? Yes it’s back to 24/7/365 here at the Park so keep up! This morning we finalised our latest newsletter, which I shall be sending out imminently. It includes some dates for your diary – tours of the site. If you don’t receive this by the end of the week you are either not on our mailing list or we have an incorrect email for you – in either case please let us know by sending us an email at: info at pa…

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EDUCATING RITA (WELL, DAVE HUGHES) PART 2...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 2 May, 2011

Following in my education programme, we’ve had enough of the high faluting West End, the RST, the glamour, the glitz – we wanted some ‘Fringe’. Something cutting edge, something real man! So, last week Jez and I went to the Network Theatre, under Waterloo Station to see Stockholm by Bryony Lavery – 2 actors, 60 minutes, no interval, very uncomfortable seats. The play was okay, really nice set design, good performances, nice lighting design, lots of f’ing and c words from the female character – gives it a bit of edge, shows we’re not mainstr…

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TENDERS COMING BACK

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 27 April, 2011

Exciting day today as the tenders are starting to come back. The final big hitters will be in by the end of the week with the rest to follow the following week. The next stage will then be to sit down with the shortlisted companies for each package and to interview them to ensure they have allowed for everything in their pricing. Just off to a meeting now at IAMS to discuss our potential involvement with an upcoming festival in the park. More on this later…

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RETURNING TO PLACES FAMILIAR

by Jez Bond

Monday, 11 April, 2011

More tenders out today and a very supportive email from an Islington councillor assisting us with some ‘street’ issues – I refer to an older blog detailing the problems we have been facing with road markings and other street improvement plans. One month on but it looks as though we will finally get this still standing issue resolved. This evening I returned to a familiar venue as Martin and I attended the Southwark Playhouse for an very interesting adaptation of Louis De Bernieres’ ‘Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World’. On entering the…

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ONE QUESTION CLOSES ANOTHER ONE OPENS...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 6 April, 2011

Despite having discussed substations for a matter of weeks over countless emails and phone calls with numerous companies and, in person with EDF Energy / UKPN, today when we met with a potential installer on site, some different options emerged. Sadly not options for eliminating the need for the High Voltage supply with associated transformer and switch gear – but different options for how and where some of these elements can be housed. I’m not talking different as in “you could go for the mauve or do that in lime green, Sir”. No, I’m talking diff…

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RICH DAY MIXED DAY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 4 April, 2011

A great meeting this morning with Jane and Oliver from RichMix who, after touring our site, proceeded to impart a great deal of knowledge regarding everything from toilet handles and cleaning contracts to digital film projectors and artistic programming – just the sort of conversations we love! I am looking forward to touring their 50,000+ sq ft building at the beginning of May – and to asking even more questions and, importantly, discussing potential ways in which to link – something that given our current state and the priority of upcoming building works we completely…

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ALMEIDA VISIT AND OTHER WONDROUS THINGS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 30 March, 2011

Meetings all day from 9am on site. Digital signage companies all seem to be saying different things, which is a real headache. Then Theo a freelance sound designer, who is very kindly designing our audio infrastructure with Orbital, had a look round and started chatting through the spec. Finally in the afternoon we visited some more venues. Our first stop was the new Caponata/Forge in Camden, a private scheme that combines a restaurant with a small performance venue, predominantly for live music. We then headed to Islington for the much anticipated tour of the Almei…

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A BREAK IN THE TREES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 28 March, 2011

It has been a hectic weekend and for the past few days I have been up at 7am and to bed at 2am. With the tender process ongoing and the vast amount of work needing to be done in developing the brand, the USP and the fundraising initiatives there has been little time for fun and frolics. Only today after days of furiously beavering away – and only enjoying the beautiful sunshine on walks to meetings – was I able to see a way out. Suddenly there appeared a break in the trees ahead, a glimmer of sunlight teasing its way through the branches. Beyond that no respite, bu…

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KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

After a huge gap that followed our last meeting, we met with the trustees on site this evening for a board meeting. As we are currently going out to tender and the start on site date is looming (pencilled in as May 1st) we suddenly have loads to arrange. Refining the mission statement and the USP are high on the list as is the creation and implementation of fundraising initiatives. Previously, this morning, Jordan and I finished checking the room data sheets. We now have a number of questions to ask the various consultants (mainly HJF, but also our fire and acoustic consultant…

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THE BOND LEGACY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 21 March, 2011

This weekend I travelled, with my family, to The Wirral for my grandmother’s memorial service in the picturesque church of beautiful Caldy. This was the village where in 1958 she risked everything, took out a loan and bought Avalon – a school which, over the following three decades she turned into one of the most successful girls schools in the region. It made me very proud this weekend when I met many of the so called ‘Bond Girls’ – ladies, now in their late 30s, 40s and 50s, who my grandmother helped to shape at a crucial stage of their lives. T…

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THE IMPORTANT AND THE TIME CONSUMING

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 16 March, 2011

A good meeting this afternoon with project manager Jordan Russell. We went through the program of works and the schedule for the next two weeks. All the tenders should be back three weeks from now and we will very soon have an official ‘start on site’ date! Very exciting. In the meantime we are continuing to struggle with the utility companies – what is it with these people!? As is the EDF fiasco with the substation wasn’t enough! (Still ongoing by the way). I finally managed to get British Gas Business to remove the (approximately) £20…

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NYC CONNECT

by Jez Bond

Monday, 14 March, 2011

Today we met with Kids With Guns – an exciting new writing company from New York.  Like the majority of theatre companies both here in London and across the pond, they don’t have a permanent base but produce shows at a number of venues. In most recent years they have established a good relationship with E59 Theatre (the home of the yearly Brits off Broadway season). We showed them the plans, gave them a tour of the building and chatted away about our aims and objectives. They are certainly interested in the possibility of bringing a show over here, and we spoke about loo…

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THE HISTORY OF BUILDINGS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 9 March, 2011

I find history fascinating. People who follow this blog have will have read more than once about the feeling of an energy in a space and how I believe that the things we do in this world fly out and attach themselves to people, buildings, air… As such the history of a building, what took place inside its walls, is so interesting. Earlier today I was kindly given an extremely insightful pdf by Mark Foley of Burrell Foley Fischer, who have been the architects of the Almeida since its inception as a theatre space. Within the context of their latest (and beautiful) redevelo…

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MR FRY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 7 March, 2011

I got a personal response today from Stephen Fry. He wrote me a lovely email and explained that (as we half guessed) he was extremely oversubscribed with meetings, openings, functions, official roles on theatre, charities etc that he doesn’t feel that he would have the time to commit to The Park Theatre. It’s an honest response that I truly appreciate. I did make it explicit in my email to him that we were looking for people to take an active role and not for any ‘names on a piece of paper’. Indeed a recent advice session with a fundraiser also concurred, suggesti…

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THE DUNCAN TRILOGY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 2 March, 2011

A good couple of meetings on site today. We met first with Jill Barton, who is a governor of IAMS (Islington Arts and Media School not the cat food). They already have very good links with the Almeida (where Jill is on the board) but are very keen to explore partnership potentials with us, their most local theatre. Melli and I chatted about our plans and we discussed various ideas together. I hope to give a presentation to IAMS’ governors sometime over the summer. Afterwards we met Sheila Duncan, a playwright friend of ours. She was telling us about what we jokingly call…

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MOVING

by Jez Bond

Monday, 28 February, 2011

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

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I\'M NOT A GYMNAST

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

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

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MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING

by Jez Bond

Monday, 21 February, 2011

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

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CONTRAST

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 16 February, 2011

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

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SOCRATES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 14 February, 2011

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

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PRESS NIGHT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 9 February, 2011

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

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A HELPING HAND FROM THE NT AND ROH

by Jez Bond

Monday, 7 February, 2011

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

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TUBES, ELECTRICS, SHOWS AND SNACKS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 2 February, 2011

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

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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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CLOSING DOWN...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 22 December, 2010

I’d usually be grumbling about how people close for Christmas – okay not actually the Christmas day part (I’m not Scrooge) but for such an extended period of time during the holiday season – however due to my aching head and tight chest I am content to take my antibiotics and deal with fewer incoming emails. Most companies start back on the 4th Jan. We will resume warp speed at that point. A December update: Lots of exciting meetings arranged for Jan/Feb Banner to be displayed on site mid Jan Party wall awards beng issued and …

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EXPANDING

by Jez Bond

Monday, 20 December, 2010

I was on the phone earlier with a company interested in working in the space. I decided to use the phone to have a few such chats recently as an email can lack tone and passion -plus by the time you’ve crafted it, re-read it and checked it over for grammatical error’s (intentional, I hate that!) you may as well have had a friendly dialogue! It’s interesting to note that there are now ten theatre companies who have already come to us with enquiries. Christina is currently compiling a list of other companies that we can approach in order to spread the word near…

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AND SO IT ENDS...

by Jez Bond

Sunday, 19 December, 2010

07.53 Bed

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T-DUB

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 15 December, 2010

Following from yesterday’s adventures we returned home with our beautiful lost boy – a large black staffie cross. An actor from Transmission Workshop decided he should be called T-DUB, as in TW, and thus his journey began… We immediately followed the customary process we engage in with all four legged visitors to the house (having fostered Great Danes it’s all second nature now). Beginning outdoors with an introduction to the pack – a walk-by and then sniff of our very own mastiff cross, Hazel – we then proceeded indoors for a wash down; ge…

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BIG BAD DOM (BAD AS IN \'COOL\')

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 8 December, 2010

The first port of call today was Hoare Lea. Situated in the impressive location of Tottenham Court Road, Hoare Lea are one of the top lighting designers in the country. In the field of theatre, they have worked on some major venues producing stunning results. Their work on the Victoria Apollo theatre can be seen on the image I have posted here.   As mentioned previously, Dom, one of the partners, is helping us out massively. I just adore him. He has the most passionate high-energy fast talking way about him. Every time you meet him you feel like you need a para…

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LIGHTS ON THE TREE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 6 December, 2010

A day editing on my big Mac with my trusty Final Cut Pro suite. I’m always thinking about the theatre – and responding to emails and phone calls throughout the day – but it’s probably a good idea to do something unrelated once in a while, lest I go mad! Also on the plus side it keeps a different type of creative juice flowing and, importantly, it earns a few quid. Perhaps we’ll have a goose this Christmas after all! Just returned home and put the lights on the tree. Ah…. time for the Christmas tunes. Good job I catalogued all our personal C…

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A SNOWY TRIP TO STRATFORD

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 1 December, 2010

We’re in Dave’s trusty Volkswagen, driving through the snow on our way home from Stratford upon Avon. It was great to see Flip Tanner from the RSC again and talk about the possibility of getting some bits and bobs from the old theatre for the Park. Many congratulations to Flip who, after a long stint at the RSC, is now off to head up the UK division of theatre consultants Fischer Dachs (or Basement Jacks as Dave likes to call them). It was really nice to tour round again, having been a few months ago when it was still a building site, and to see it all finished with people mi…

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HATE TO CANCEL

by Jez Bond

Monday, 29 November, 2010

Argh! I hate to cancel meetings. Was due for a meet at the M & E engineers this morning, followed by a meeting at HJF. Last time there was a tube strike I walked in. However today I am recovering from a horrible weekend of sinusitis. I’ve had it once before and it’s really not pleasant. When people say their head feels like it’s in a vice… yep, I get that. I blatantly developed this because I pretended I wasn’t ill for the last two weeks and my body had enough. I have therefore been a (relatively) good boy for the past few days. Okay well today’s …

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SHAKING THE SENSES

by Jez Bond

Friday, 26 November, 2010

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

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GREEK THEATRE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 25 November, 2010

Working as an assistant for the artistic director of Park theatre is a new and very exciting experience for me. It is so interesting to see the whole process of how you can transform a building to a contemporary theatre venue and how you can bring such a big dream to a realisation. I couldn’t imagine how many things you need to organise to do before you open a theatre. Working by Jez’s side i meet the design team as well as people that work for promotional companies, i do the archive for some important documents for the theatre and i help generally in the organization of Jez&…

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 24 November, 2010

This morning I met with Sacha Corcoran, the lady who developed creative apprenticeships. This is a scheme adopted by educational institutions where, over the course of a twelve to eighteen month period, a student is placed within an arts organisation for four days a week and attends college one day a week. We discussed the scheme in detail and looked at how we might work together in the future – either next year, to engage a student in the pre-launch process, or for the following year when we take full possession of the building. Dave “I’m now a theatre exper…

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GREAT TITLE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 23 November, 2010

I had a really good title for this blog earlier but so much has happened today my head is spinning and I have forgotten what it was! Jordan and I looked at contracts this morning and agreed that a JCT Construction Management process is the best way for our project. It does rely on a client / client representative that has a firm understanding of building. Jordan is confident that’s me – plus “you’re no mug” he said! In the late afternoon I met with Vinod the owner of number 10 Clifton Terrace (our direct neighbour) and – it transpired &ndash…

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PAPERWORK

by Jez Bond

Monday, 22 November, 2010

A day of forms… Filling in the form to instruct our party wall surveyor, filling in the form that the council sent us regarding changes to the on street parking provision at home, filling in an application for EDF energy to provide a new electricity supply on site and, last but not least, updating the room data sheets. The usual load of emails too of course. All dealt with from the comfort of my bed. Flu!

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BRANDING, FUNDING, FLASH, BUZZ, GO!

by Jez Bond

Friday, 19 November, 2010

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

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STATS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 18 November, 2010

Programmes from A – Abigail’s Party – through to D – Dying Of The Light (The) – have been catalogued into the system. Over 400. One storage box filled. Looking at the remaining piles, my estimate for the total is around 1,500. In terms of the number of programmes for different productions of the same play, first equal is currently held by Cherry Orchard (The), Comedy of Errors (The), Death Of A Salesman and Doll’s House (A) with four each. It’s disappointing to see that there are a lot of shows for which we are missing progr…

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COMPANY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 17 November, 2010

It’s that time of the year when my immune system is attacked by fatigue, stress and the change in weather – although I wouldn’t admit to the first two. I’m well accustomed to this now, after years – my throat glands are always my Achilles’ heel. A few lemsips and ibuprofen can help to soothe but nothing cures apart from time. So on we go with much to do, neither the company nor the building will create themselves! Joules has firmed up the basis for the lighting rigs in both theatres, so Dave and Paul can now coordinate this within their arch…

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FAMILY FEELING

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 16 November, 2010

I’m pleased to report another great induction day for a new group of excellent actors. We have really got a talented lot. Lots of laughs were shared on our way towards more research for N4 Stories. I’ve been very lucky to find keen and talented actors able to accept this challenge. We are building a great team- what I hope will be a kind of family of actors. Melli Bond, Associate Director

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NON GLORY DAY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 15 November, 2010

Filing, emailing, typing up contacts, a day of lots done but nothing hugely exciting to show for it – well actually nothing even remotely exciting to show for it. There are plenty of days like this – but then also plenty others with glorious results to parade. Good news that the Arts Council have finally acknowledged our existence. Last time we wrote to them we received a rather cold response: “we are not interested into entering into discussions with you at this time”. The new administration seems to be more receptive, despite the current crisis. I did…

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AWAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 12 November, 2010

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

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TALKTALK

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 11 November, 2010

It’s not really talktalk though; more like silentsilent. It’s been 48 hours now without internet access and the lovely Lisa upstairs has just saved the day by giving me the code for her wireless router! Why do these companies have such bad customer service? Well one thing is for sure – we will have two different broadband lines at the theatre with two different companies. It’s a good lesson to learn. Our business – including all the ticket sales – will rely on an internet connection and I sure as hell don’t want to be phoning up a call centre in …

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SKYDECK IS THE WAY...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 10 November, 2010

I have recently been trying to maximise my time by not arranging single meetings on a day; either booking in multiple meetings or working from home exclusively – it’s far more economical in terms of both time (due to travel) and finance. Today was a successful day full of meetings. Abi, who had assisted me previously had to stand down and the delightful Christina has taken over. Today was her first day as my assistant and I did warn her that it would be a bit of a baptism by fire! In the morning I showed her around the site at the same time as Katy, the …

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S.A.D.

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

Just two weeks ago I was preparing to write a blog on workaholism. I had calculated that over the past few months I have been averaging 75 hour weeks. Suddenly since the first of the month it seems that all the leaves have fallen from the trees, a chill has hit the air and darkness has descended. I now find myself in a very different place. It’s far easier to lie in for an extra hour than it is to jump right into the shower in the morning. It’s far easier to watch a film at 9pm than it is to carry on working. Positivity doesn’t come naturally in th…

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VOODOO HUSSY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 8 November, 2010

It’s a rainy Monday morning and we’re beavering away with emails and paperwork. I have never written my blog in the morning, it has always been a dead of night affair. However I wanted to use today’s column inches to write about the on site events of the weekend, so here goes: Late last week Jules Taylor, stage manager at the RSC, and I were supposed to be going for a meal to catch up (years ago we had worked together at Watford). It was the day of the tube strikes so I called her to suggest that we reschedule. Whilst on the phone – I was in …

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STRANGE DAYS [BY WRITER LEON PARRIS]

by Jez Bond

Friday, 5 November, 2010

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

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THE THREE ACT STRUCTURE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 4 November, 2010

Leon and I have just completed a successful 15 hour writing session. Act 1 and 2 complete. Act 3 is halfway there. Though Leon’s Act 2 is my Act 2 (part 2) and Act 3. And my Act 1 is Leon’s Act 1 (part 1). It’s all very simple really, depending on the use of the two act or the three act structure. Of course almost every single play and film follow the three act structure (or the five – don’t get me started) but modern custom in theatre is to perform a full length play with one interval, thereby giving the illusion of two where indeed three exist… or f…

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WORKING ON A NEW MUSICAL

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 3 November, 2010

It’s the end of day one of a three day workshop of a new musical comedy. Award winning composer and lyricist Leon Parris – whose recent ‘Wolfboy’ played at the Trafalgar Studios – has come over from his home in Spain to work on the script. It’s always exciting for me to work with new writing, something I have done a lot over the years. Combining this with my love of music makes for a truly exciting process. After Leon’s hour long pitch of the new draft to Melli and me we sat down for a meal and discussed some notes over a glass of wine…

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TRANSMISSION

by Jez Bond

Monday, 1 November, 2010

This evening I headed over to the Rag Factory off Brick Lane for the inaugural session of Transmission – a new drop in workshop for actors. The group will meet on a weekly basis and the aspiration is to have its eventual home at the Park. As such I was invited to lead the first workshop. There were twelve actors present this evening – and I imagine that numbers will increase once word of mouth spreads and the group gets established. I chose to explore ‘the influence of style on content’ using various scenes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the text. W…

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FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR N4 STORIES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 1 November, 2010

Today was our first induction day for N4 Stories with our first group of actors. After spending lots of time in the admin process, we finally got to show a group of 18 around the theatre and bring them into our world. I enjoyed giving the tour of our building, it is never tiring or boring to talk about and here we were for the first time with our baby steps towards a production with actors in our building – guess what- they loved it! They were happy to hear all about it and to look around and visualise its transformation over the many months ahead. After our t…

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GO GO GO...!

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 27 October, 2010

A busy day today (how many times do i say that). Correction. A quiet day today, nothing to do. No, that’s not right either! Let’s start again: With Abi ill (she turned up at RADA yesterday to check out the tension wire grid looking rather peaky – lucky she wasn’t scared of heights!) the pressure is on. It feels like, to start the main build by January (still planning to do some preparation and early work in Nov/Dec), we have to shift up a gear. Particularly as I know that in a few weeks the customary Christmas spirit will kick in – and i don&rsquo…

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IMMERSED [WRITES NOUSKA]

by Jez Bond

Monday, 25 October, 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed my first week as assistant at the Park Theatre. After attending my first architects meeting, visiting the site and getting to grips with the projects, I now feel fully immersed in every aspect of the task ahead. One of my first tasks has been to write the press release for local and National press. I sent this out today and will eagerly await some interest for articles on the project. I’m hopeful that given the recent announcements of arts cuts, the news that people and organisations like ourselves are still moving forward regardless, will be met wit…

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WHAT A DAY!

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 20 October, 2010

So much to blog about. Head buzzing. A three hour meeting in the morning at the (new!) offices of Hughes Jones Farrell proved to be one of the most important to date. Decisions have been made – and more to dwell on. The roof to the back of the property will be lightweight timber (or metal frame) with plasterboard and sound block acoustic insulation rather than concrete as previously considered. This keeps the weight of the structure down and significantly reduces the steelwork needed to support it and – a major knock-on benefit – negates the need for (expensi…

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LET THERE BE LIGHT!

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 20 October, 2010

On this so called day of doom and gloom for the Arts, with the announcement of massive funding cuts, we are moving onwards and upwards. Theatre is not built out of necessity or through finance or legislation – it is borne and run through passion. Nothing is going to quash our vision. We met on site this morning with one of the UK’s top building lighting designers. An expert on the science of light and daylight, on colour, on perception… a fountain of knowledge… Dominic is one of the most inspiring and enthusiastic people we’ve met. What an absol…

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FURNITURE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 18 October, 2010

After copious amounts of computing in the morning (sorting out new email accounts, updating some key documents and sending them to Nouska and Abi…)  I met director Gavin McAlinden on site. Gavin was excited to learn about our new venue and had some interesting ideas regarding European funding streams (note to self: follow this up). We agreed to meet for a drink in the near future. Lots to discuss. I then gave Nouska (Melli’s assistant) her first tour. Melli should have been in my place but as I was already in the area it seemed to make sense. As we went round…

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LONDON THEATRE PONCES

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 13 October, 2010

[A blog from our architect Dave Hughes] I’ve never designed a theatre before The Park and I wasn’t a big theatre goer either, so as part of my continuing education and broadening of my horizons I, along with Jez and various other people I know, am going to as wide a variety of theatre ‘types’ as possible – we were at the Bush a couple of weeks ago, then ‘Passion’ at The Donmar (fantastic), ENB next month and last night a West End Musical. ‘Sister Act’. It’s the Harvester Restaurant of the theatrical experie…

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PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED

by Jez Bond

Monday, 11 October, 2010

The wait is finally over. This morning we received the good news. Islington council have granted our planning permission. Due to the fact that there were so many letters and emails in support and that there were no objections, the decision was an officer delegated one. We had originally been told that, as a major application (more than 10,000 square feet) the decision would rest with the planning committee. Incidentally the session we were expecting to be at is tonight – so we are ahead of schedule by a few hours! Thanks to the Islington officers and councillors we have …

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WAITING AT THE ALTER

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 6 October, 2010

It’s an odd feeling; you’ve heard from a number of sources both inside and outside of the council that for all intents and purposes you’ve been granted planning permission, the piece of paper is evidently sitting on a desk at the council offices waiting to be stamped and yet still the bride has not appeared. The guests all clock their watches, the priest paces calmly – he’s seen it all before – and the groom anxiously starts to tap his feet and twiddle his fingers…. Then suddenly the music swells, a hush descends and one by one the gu…

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SWEET CHARITY

by Jez Bond

Monday, 4 October, 2010

I’ve just returned from the Menier’s production of ‘Sweet Charity’ at the Haymarket Theatre. I’ve enjoyed many of their productions in the past – both straight plays and musicals, both transferred and at their venue. This seemed an odd choice however and almost entirely lacked a plot line in the first act, being simply an episodic journey that was unable to engage or hook one in. Therefore, despite a competent production and strong performances from Tamzin Outhwaite and the rest of the cast, it doesn’t rate highly amongst the many shows I have se…

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THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 29 September, 2010

I’ve just finished rehearsing with my band The Wang Dang Doodles. It took two and half hours to get to the rehearsal studio from the edit suite but I finally made it. Having agreed to learn three new songs for our gig on Friday I was pleased to see that I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t the time to prepare them all. We got two down, so for our ardent fans there’ll be a couple of new tunes throughout the night: www.charlottestblues.co.uk Earlier in the day I spoke with Rory, our acoustic consultant. We are keen to look at the possibility of a timber roof …

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LOVE NEVER DIES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 27 September, 2010

After dropping the keys round to Hardman Engineers (so that they could gain access to the site in order to investigate the recent expositions) I headed to Islington via Nincomsoup at Old Street Station. It brought back memories of rehearsing a show round the corner about ten years ago. A couple of the actors and I used to pick up a soup on the way in every morning. We loved that place and memories came flooding back. Every production is special for different reasons and that one taught me a lot about working on a new play. Next stop Islington, for a numbe…

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N4 ACTION

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 22 September, 2010

Melli Bond writes: A buzzing morning with writer in residence Sarah Rutherford and artistic director Jez Bond. As associate director I am excited to be engaging with N4 Stories as the project develops. So, all you actors who are interested in getting involved watch this space, I will soon be contacting you. Following such a successful New York trip I am enjoying getting stuck into the many new plays I have been passed and continued the process in the afternoon. After a full day of writing and reading I was delighted to see Jez’s model box of our stu…

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A DAY IN THE THEATRE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 20 September, 2010

Starting on site this this morning, my first meeting was with Sharon Schaffer who formed and used to run successful theatre company Kaos. She was very interested in The Park Theatre and potential involvement and it was a pleasure to show her round. Dave Hughes had provided me with some great colour printouts so I was happy not to have to lug my laptop in on the tube. Returning home I resumed work on the model box of the studio (I had mentioned in Friday’s blog that our debate about seating was ongoing – this exercise has evolved from our discussions). La…

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SCRIBD

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 15 September, 2010

It’s a strange name but a very useful website that allows you to upload documents for others to view and download. Due to our newsletters containing many photos, the resulting PDFs are rather large. As such, this method of communication is a happy alternative to clogging up people’s emails. Thanks Scribd! Check it out to view – and, if you so wish, download – our July newsletter, our ‘hot off the press’ September newsletter and much more to come… I have applied the link to the blog and the website and it’s right here …

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TO FLIP OR NOT TO FLIP - THAT IS THE QUESTION...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 8 September, 2010

It’s all about the seating. Following from our trip to Trafalgar Studios yesterday we continued our discussions on seating for the studio… We had always considered flexibility as important, but now it seems we may be changing our minds. The fact is – and this is a view shared among architects and theatre consultants alike – flexibility costs money. It costs in terms of initial capital expenditure (fixed tiers are far cheaper than reconfigurable steel/aluminium deck) and in terms of ongoing expenditure (considerable man power is required to reconfigure …

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A DAY OUT IN ISLINGTON

by Jez Bond

Monday, 6 September, 2010

It’s pouring with rain as I write this but earlier today as I trod the streets of Islington the sun was shining down on me. I first met with one of the local ward councillors. As he had visited the site before we met in the more comfortable council offices. My intention over the next two weeks is to speak the relevant members of the council – and by relevant I mean those that sit on the planning committee, the licensing committee or are an executive member. It is important for me to speak to councillors face to face in order to bring them up to date with the latest…

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NEW YORK PART 3

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 1 September, 2010

The Chelsea Market is a cool welcome change from the steam outside. As I pondered the many choices a strange feeling crept over me – oh no that was an increasing level of volume on the buskers slightly eerie version of Eleanor Rigby. I can’t put a finger on why I got chills down my spine. Hmm. Where do they all come from? I was advised to eat my lunch here so I finally move away from the creeping-me-out-music and choose sushi. One of my favorite lunch treats, this Lobster company’s tempura prawn roll was nothing short of happiness in a bite. Ah. Still and calm but wait …

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SOME FEEDBACK

by Jez Bond

MONDAY, 31 AUGUST, 2010

We are near the end of the consultation period for our planning application and I believe there have been almost twenty letters and/or emails of support from members of the public – plus a very positive letter from The Theatres’ Trust (who are nearly always consulted concerning either alterations or new builds of theatres throughout the UK). I am not sure at this point whether there have been any letters of disapproval or any concerns raised, but it seems not. Of course the area where this might be expected is from residents in the neighbouring dwellings, however w…

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28 MONTHS LATER

by Jez Bond

Monday, 30 August, 2010

An early start today as associate director, Melli Bond, travelled to Heathrow airport bound for New York to meet with theatre companies and literary agents. Following her departure on the tube, Hazel (our Mastiff cross) and I went for a long walk. The streets of London were decidedly eerie. Traffic at 8am was almost non-existent and pedestrians were few and far between. It seemed more like a scene from ’28 Days Later’ than a typical bank holiday. Indeed, I rather felt it would the perfect setting for the sequel to the sequel (’28 Weeks Later’) and began…

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NEW BEGINNINGS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 25 August, 2010

Having digested last night’s post court meeting with Hardman Engineers, a relatively young company who seem to share our working ethos, I confirmed their appointment as our new structural engineers this lunchtime. I very much look forward to working with Paul Hardman and his colleagues and hope that the solutions they have suggested are ones that may, in the long run, save us considerable money. It’s always a hurdle to change horses in midstream but I feel we have made the right decision. On the 5th floor of the Old Bailey my fellow jurors – now &l…

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THE FINAL SUMMING UP

by Jez Bond

Monday, 23 August, 2010

As those who have been following this blog will be aware, over the past few days I have been attending jury service and my comments have been somewhat split between the Old Bailey and The Park Theatre. Today’s blog is no exception… Following the incessant rain throughout last night, it was observed by our project manager, Jordan, that the water levels in our trial holes have risen substantially. I’ve often marveled at the beauty of rain on stage – but that’s always been the controlled variety, pumped around through pipe work. Eventuall…

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THE JURY\'S OUT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 18 August, 2010

We have now received the structural steel scheme from our engineers. I am waiting for confirmation from Dave and Jordan that the documents are all in order – i.e. that there is sufficient and understandable information for us to get the structural steel element of the project accurately priced: note that structural engineers’ scribbles can be a little like doctors’ scrawl! What a fascinating day at court today. Pure theatre in the round. More on this anon but it’s been an extremely long day and I am heading out for a walk to clear my head.

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IN COURT

by Jez Bond

Monday, 16 August, 2010

Over the next two weeks I am sitting on a jury at the Old Bailey and therefore the time I have available to spend on the theatre is limited. It’s a great shame that I can’t blog about my daily experiences in court but we are all obliged not to disclose any details of the case to anybody outside of the courtroom until after the event. So that particular drama will just have to wait. At lunchtime I heard from Dave Hughes that the council meeting with our planning officer and design officer concerning the facade went very well and that everybody is feeling positive ab…

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CONSTRUCTION V. CREATION

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 11 August, 2010

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists” G K Chesterton [Say no more.]

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CAT5

by Jez Bond

Monday, 9 August, 2010

A technical learning curve today on the subject of CAT5 telephone, internet and network infrastructure. I wouldn’t say that I am a master by any means but, after having spoken to a number of extremely helpful companies, I am however aware of the basic workings of the systems and the options available to us. One particularly good discovery – which I suspected existed – was the use of telephone systems that handle multiple extensions without multiple lines. What I mean is this: where we are looking at having, say, one telephone number for admin related calls, w…

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AND MORE...

by Jez Bond

MONDAY, 6 AUGUST, 2010

The following to be read in a dramatic ‘movie voice’: “4 white recessed double wall sockets 3 single telephone points with master plus auxiliaries on separate lines 2 double glazed clear partially opening roof lights with trickle vents 1 FD30 fire door with single vision panel, electro magnetic release, push release to exterior and fire breakout button In a world of construction comes a tale of one man… who went to work a theatre. He was a guy with a dream. But the dream was bigger than he ever imagined. When…

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ONE FOR THE PLANNERS

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 4 August, 2010

It strikes me that with my various blogs alluding to the mountain of paperwork required to get through planning, the frustrations of having to conform to legislation and the difficulty of co-ordinating documents, I have almost entirely dismissed the planners. Deep within 222 Upper Street they sit, the patient few, leafing through our contribution to deforestation – a waste they neither desire nor like. We feel the weight of bureaucracy through them, but it is truly far further along the chain where the legislature which demands such excess of paperwork is created.

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PYRENEES

by Jez Bond

Monday, 2 August, 2010

This morning brought an email confirming our charity status. I am delighted to announce that we are now a registered charity, number 1137223. It’s another step closer to the realisation of our dreams… I have been furiously emailing and calling councillors for most of the day, attempting to arrange face to face meetings with them ahead of our planning committee meeting. Whilst those councillors who sit on the planning committee must remain impartial, I am keen to share my ideas and passion for the project in person. The room data sheets need to be finish…

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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