Whose Ta6oo?

by Andrew Wilson

23 October 2018

“Am I old?” The question comes abruptly from the mouths of three women performing in Park Theatre’s Morris Space. There is nervous but supportive laughter from audience: after all, with a newly developed script called Ta6oo, it is hard to know where the trialogue might end up.

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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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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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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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“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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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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MISCHIEF NIGHT

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 30 October, 2012

The night before Halloween is known as Mischief Night. In the states they are getting more than their fair share of evil mischief. My hometown is a washout but thankfully all relatives are pretty much ok. Last time we had a scary hurricane I came down from New York to surprise my family - I had made it just in time. But this week has been scary for a lot of people and I'm thinking of them and wishing them well. Especially relatives who are actually being transported to shelters! I just can't imagine.  Here in London at least we had a pretty sunny day today and it …

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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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STILL SMILING

by brackets digital

Friday, 26 October, 2012

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

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UPDATES AND CHANGES

by brackets digital

Thursday, 25 October, 2012

In the aftermath of the gala and the success of the Education Floor campaign, we've been working on changing our website for the next phase.  It's still a work in progress, but do let us know if you have any suggestions for how we might make it better!  We'll also be changing our Facebook presence, which we will explain as soon as it's ready to launch.

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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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INSPIRED

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 23 October, 2012

Am feeling inspired. My dance teacher Shanie always said "don't be tired be inspired" and I think his daily mantra has stayed with me. I've had a very long few months behind me working on putting together the Gala, proposals, building a company, making decisions with Jez about the build, all sorts of stuff that sounds fun but put together can also be very tiring. Sure it can be tiring but the thrill of securing our Education Floor - thanks to incredible kindness and generosity of so many people just keeps me going.  I'm also in a wonderful position w…

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

by brackets digital

Friday, 19 October, 2012

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

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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 NIGHT SHIFT

by brackets digital

Friday, 12 October, 2012

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

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A WEEK TO GO...

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 11 October, 2012

It's almost a week until Park Theatre's first ever fundraising gala night... We're almost sold out and are very busy with all the preparations - dietary requirements to finalise for the chefs, tickets to email out, programme to send to the printers. It's like organising a weddding: a large wedding for 275 people! This is the biggest event in our calendar so far... and very exciting! A week on Friday will be awesome! Can't wait.... 

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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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HIGHER QUICKER FASTER WIRED

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 9 October, 2012

With only 9 days until our Gala I'm totally wired. Gail and I stayed up late last night working on the program. There are more little surprises that we'd like to have on the night - this means more coordination and planning and execution. It probably wouldn't seem so big of a deal expect for the fact I'm trying to get through lots of proposals - this means reading lots of plays - as many are new plays. Everything requires full attention. So I guess my default position is to go into a hyper mode where I feel like I'm working super fast. Well was nice to check in with y…

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MINDFULNESS

by brackets digital

Friday, 5 October, 2012

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

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EDUCATION FLOOR

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 4 October, 2012

How exciting. We just had a board meeting on our education floor. A year ago it was a site office and then it became a store room and now it's a nearly finished education office and adjoining workshop space - to be used for rehearsals, play-reading and education work. I would ask Charlie to take a photo - but he's off running five marathons back to back in order to help raise money to finish it off! You can sponsor him by donating any amount at all to the education floor right here.  

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THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 2 October, 2012

Wow folks! We are almost entirely sold out for the Gala! I'm so thrilled. We've been working so hard on planning it and we are really getting excited now. I just wanted to take a second to thank some amazing people that have been helping me with some very special prizes for the night. This isn't by any means a complete list - just some people I need to thank for helping me personally. Here goes: Deirdre Nazareth, Veronica Bainbridge, Erin Browne, Ellie Scully, Kirsty Caldwell, Ryan Andes, Nick Hart ( Spencer Hart) Tracy Rose, K-tee, Katia Loma, Bertie Carvel, Imi Bond, Duncan…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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PHONE MEETINGS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 28 October, 2011

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

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TOP TABLES IN SOHO

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 27 October, 2011

A meeting with a young theatre company, Sheer Drop, in the Curzon bar followed by a rehearsed reading of a new play at the Leicester Square Theatre, followed by a fantastic lunch meeting over Dim Sum and eventually ending with a trip to see Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios. Fantastic performances from the entire cast. A drink in the pub afterwards and lovely chat with the delightful Olivia Poulet. Off home to eat dinner. Concise but accurate account of the day. Note to self: small glass of wine, mini tube of Pringles and programme: £11. For some things in life there&rs…

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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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ISLE OF DOGS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 25 October, 2011

We’ve just returned from the Isle of Dogs where we attended a fun performance of Kid Arthur – a very modern retelling of the classic King story – at The Space. The seven strong ensemble did a great job with an original script, and were directed to deliver a wonderful energy throughout. Refreshing also to see a Fringe show in-the-round – a configuration that will be available in both Park 90 and Park 200. With a lovely high vaulted ceiling and exposed timber beams the venue had far more atmosphere than the oddly ghost-like surroundings of Mudchute. A sha…

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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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STEEL DATES AND MORE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 21 October, 2011

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

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HOW COULD I FORGET

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 20 October, 2011

Oh I didn’t really forget, I just had too much to do. Naughty naughty. I did end up watching Holy Flying Circus which was amusing and distracted me as the midnight hour flew by. Love those Pythons. A very rare backdated blog. It’s tomorrow now! Sorry.

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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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GLOBE TROTTING

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 18 October, 2011

I visited Shakespeare’s Globe this afternoon and had a great meeting with Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, who was extremely friendly and supportive about Park Theatre. He lives very close to the area and on his return from the states at the end of November is going to come and take a look around the site and find out more about what we’re doing… Meanwhile back in the office, we’d come to realise that hand painted info on the hoarding is going to be very tough in order to achieve the right look. So Simon from Feast has come up with a good solution …

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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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503

by Jez Bond

Friday, 14 October, 2011

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

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MORE TO DO...

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 13 October, 2011

Tired. Weepy eyes. Yawning. Longing for bed. Returning home from an altogether engaging show at Greenwich Playhouse tonight – which was an accomplishment given it was 1hr 45mins with no interval in not the most comfortable of theatres. A well handled production in the capable hands of director Joss Bennathan. Earlier today on site Danielle Tarento (of whom you will hear more in the coming weeks) gave us some great advice with regards the bar and cafe offering. More work needs to be done on this, particularly decisions regarding the design of the bar layouts. Although muc…

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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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BENTLEY\'S OYSTER BAR AND GRILL

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 11 October, 2011

Yummy. Nothing wrong with that three hour lunch – although my brain got very confused after about twenty five minutes as to why it wasn’t at work. Oh well… Another one of those pomegranate vodka cocktail things please, waiter! John and David at Forgewood are about to take over the management of the construction and Jordan, our project manager, will (certainly in the immediate future) be retained. Great result and a strong team… No I’m not back home having another vodka. I’m catching up on work!

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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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WE (MAY) NEED A BIGGER BOAT

by Jez Bond

Friday, 7 October, 2011

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

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PANTS POWER

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 6 October, 2011

Its blackened crispy marshmallowy texture makes me want to bite into it. Not destroyed but altered. Changed and given a new name and a new life; maybe a hundred times larger than its former self. Once it was a simple toy, now it has grown up –  it has become art. This was one of the many pieces at the exhibition of designer and photographer duo ‘Two Shoes’ which launched tonight in Soho – the designer being Simon Williams of Feast Creative. Rewind to this morning….and I started my day as I often do, focusing on breathing in and ou…

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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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PRECISION

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 4 October, 2011

A clandestine meeting with a producer, a posh fish finger sandwich and an energy bar that can only be described as tasting like a combination of marzipan and dog food (the marzipan bit’s not a problem, but I could have done without the insight into the diet of man’s best friend). Around these key events (!) lots of conversations with the architects about the best way to move forward, given some emerging coordination issues on site. Our project manager, Jordan (of latest video fame), has been doing a sterling job but it’s becoming clear that he’s wearing…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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ONE PROJECT OF MANY (BY MELLI)

by Jez Bond

Friday, 29 October, 2010

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

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DRAMA GAMES

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 28 October, 2010

This afternoon I headed to the town hall for Creative Islington’s conference on the Islington Young People’s Festival. Whilst by no means its only aim, the festival (2011) seeks to promote and celebrate the conversion of Hornsey Road Baths into ‘Platform’; an exciting new arts centre run predominantly by and for young people. As such, a number of events are hoped to be scheduled in the new space, which is due to be completed in March of next year. Following an ‘information giving’ section in which a number of people both from inside and outs…

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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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THREE DAYS OF RAIN

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010

Please let this be the last negative ‘discovery’. Okay in the grand scheme of things we’ve probably not had many (the perched water table and lack of electrical supply jump out) but boy when they come they come hard and fast, like an unexpected blow to the back of the neck (the scar marked ‘substation’ on the top of my spine is healing quite nicely). Today’s revelation was that the existing sewer pipe to the road was not large enough to take the new loads (increased toilets to existing portion of the property plus the added residential eleme…

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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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CHIPPING AWAY THE EDGES

by Jez Bond

Friday, 22 October, 2010

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

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MY FIRST BLOG FOR THE PARK THEATRE [WRITES ABI]...

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 21 October, 2010

My introduction to working as part of The Park Theatre team was a three hour meeting with the architect and various other members of the design team…and I have to confess, most of it went over my head! However, it was fascinating to hear everyone’s opinion on each and every detail of the build, as they all brought expertise from different areas to the table. It provided a real insight into the the complexity of every decision as cost, philosophy, aesthetic and artistic vision were weighed up against each other in order to reach a compromise. We left the…

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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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COMMENTS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 19 October, 2010

A quick blog before my main blog of the day to say thanks to those who have contributed comments in the past. Oddly on this version of WordPress one doesn’t seem to be able to display comments on the main page – only to approve them so that they can be expanded if one clicks on the tiny ‘view comment’ sign. As such I have decided to publish yesterday’s comment from board Member David Barry: “Far be it for me to make remarks about anyone’s sanity; I was one of the board members of FinFuture who heard your presentation. Yes we…

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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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MUCH NEEDED ASSISTANCE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 15 October, 2010

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

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GIVE ME SOME LIGHT...

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 14 October, 2010

It was 3am last night when I checked my emails, sent my tweets, posted yesterday’s blog and finally went to bed! The journey up in the car to Sheffield yesterday had taken nearly four and a half hours due to road works on the M1. Melli and I were so hectic with emails and phone calls – me driving, Melli with both our phones in her hands – that we laughed about how, quite seriously, we were too busy to call our assistants to let them know they had got the position. Four hours went by and with every three emails that we responded to another three just as urgent arrived. I…

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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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INTERVIEWS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 12 October, 2010

A great day today interviewing some fantastic candidates for the new intern position of assistant to the directors. Melli and I desperately need administrative and creative support across the many tasks and projects we are working on. I was extremely impressed with the candidates we saw. All were more than capable, all had very interesting experience and all seemed genuinely enthusiastic and highly personable. Much like a great day’s auditioning, it will be both desperately difficult to reach a decision and extremely disappointing to turn away so many good people. If onl…

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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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WOE IS NOT ME

by Jez Bond

Friday, 8 October, 2010

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

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Y TOURING

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 7 October, 2010

Ten years ago I left Finsbury Park driving a large van full of actors, set and props bound for a number of cities and towns across the UK. It was to be the last of my tours with this company who had taken me on young and fresh faced. Save a few treasured weekends I wouldn’t return home for ten weeks. Little did I know then that my fate lay so close by to the old Lennox road headquarters. Today Y Touring celebrated their 21year anniversary at the Jerwood Space. As I caught up with many familiar faces it was a pleasure to share in the memories and wish the compa…

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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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TIME FLIES

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

I met with Councillor Phil Kelly at Euphorium on Upper Street to update him on the progress of our plans and to show him the latest designs and pictures. I can’t believe that it had been almost exactly a year since we first met, during our pre-application process with the council. It’s amazing how time has flown by – and how much longer things take than at first one thinks! I then met a couple of directors on site. Given that we have six months until we need to start programming our first season and (assuming things go roughly to plan) less than 18 months unt…

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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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GIG

by Jez Bond

Friday, 1 October, 2010

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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