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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From Australia with Love

by Andrew Wilson

11 April 2017

With Madame Rubenstein barely two weeks from opening, Jez Bond is coming to the end of an unusual process: developing a script with a writer who lives halfway around the world. “It’s the first time I’ve worked on a play where the playwright’s not been in the same country,” he says.One of Australia’s most successful television screenwriters and playwrights, John Misto lives eleven time-zones away in Sydney. The two communicated by email, Skype and telephone with Jez usually phoning Misto at 11 or midnight London time, which was the beginning of the …

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Blog from the Frog No. 1

by Dawn

30 December 2016

Welcome to the first blog in our Blog from the Frog series. The inhabitants of the Raising Martha frog farm are taking a frogs eye view on all things happening in rehearsals for the World Premiere of our latest hilarious comedy opening in Park200 12 Jan. Click here for more information and to book, and check back again in the New Year for more posts in our Blog from the Frog series.

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OUR GRAND OPENING SEASON ANNOUNCED

by Melli Bond

Wednesday, 20 March, 2013

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

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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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A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION A LITTLE MORE ACTION PLEASE

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 18 September, 2012

Who doesn't like Elvis? I have been on what feels like a mission for some action - waaaaa- not that kind of action- naughty!  No I'm looking for the action in the drama. The piece that moves, that shakes and yes the play that makes you scream! I'm off again tonight - my usual nightly routine in check: Walk Hazel - check, Feed Hazel - check, send that last email - check - Location prepped - check. And I'm off. So keep these great invites coming in please people - and when you are thinking about your next production try to think about Elvis - sometimes too many words c…

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CONTEXT

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 8 August, 2012

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

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UP NORTH

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 7 June, 2012

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

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CITIZENS

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 6 June, 2012

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

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HELPING OUT

by Park Theatre

Monday, 4 June, 2012

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

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JUST WRITE

by Park Theatre

Friday, 1 June, 2012

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

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BEHIND

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 31 May, 2012

So behind I've had to backdate this blog. Sorry to those avid followers who wondered what happened to Jez! It's been a hectic week and 'today' (the day this blog was supposed to be written) we had a fundraising dinner and auction - in aid of us and another charity 'Care for Casulaties'. The final figures aren't in yet but we reckon that we've made somwhere between £6,000 and £10,000 - not bad at all! Thanks to all those involved and to our wonderful Ambassador Tamzin Outhwaite for hosting the evening.

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UPDATE

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 30 May, 2012

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

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NOT YET BUT SOON

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 29 May, 2012

We are getting there - not yet but soon. Steels, glass, materials all arriving into the building - that is opening, not yet but soon. We have proposals flying in - I'd love to meet with you all - not yet, but soon. A proper office to work out of - not yet but soon! Another tour for industry professionals - not yet, but soon. No one really likes to wait, but sometimes it is the waiting that makes the enjoyment just so delightfully good. The anticipation of waiting for it all - you almost break out into a sweat!  I said to Amy "I feel awful having to say to everyone yes I wan…

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TRAVELLING

by Park Theatre

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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BIG NIGHT

by Park Theatre

Friday, 25 May, 2012

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

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PARTY TIME

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 24 May, 2012

It's not often that the majority of the team can convene in the same room at the same time - but this evening at The Groucho Club we had an almost 90% turnout of staff, trustees, ambassadors and other key Park players. It was a chance for many of the team to meet others for the first time - and an opportunity for us to reward the hard work done by the volunteers on board. As we sat in the dining room at Groucho new friendships were forged and exciting ideas discussed. Towards the end of the meal a cake was brought out and the room (including - on other tables - Ronnie Wood and R…

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DIRECTORS

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 23 May, 2012

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

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NY & MY LOCAL NEIGHBOURHOOD

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 22 May, 2012

Having just come back from NY I'm faced with the most amazing London weather, which I seemed to have brought back with me from New York. I stayed in the Lower East Side at my lovely friends place and I loved it. The great thing about New York is the neighbourhood feeling. So many neighbourhoods really have a sense of pride in their area. I feel like this is exactly what we are getting in Finsbury Park and can't wait for our doors to open. Having people of the neighborhood pop in for a morning coffee, a last drink and a chat at the bar in the evening, seeing those familiar faces e…

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WEBSITES SAYING HELLO

by Park Theatre

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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FAST AND SLOW

by Park Theatre

Friday, 18 May, 2012

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

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STRESS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 17 May, 2012

How does one manage stress? Breath deeply? Go to your 'happy place'? Remember to step back and put things into perspective? I have no trouble breathing, my happy place is the theatre and when I step back to put things into perspective I see a huge building, a £2.2 million budget and the possibility of mistakes that could be costly. Oh - and I'm a control freak. Does that make it better or worse, I wonder? Well of course it makes the stress worse - I care about everything so deeply it's all consuming; but the outcome better - that very care means atte…

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GAME CHANGER

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 16 May, 2012

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

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SMALL WONDER

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 15 May, 2012

Delaware is known as a place that is a tax free state. The Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, is from Delaware. Many companies have their official home in Delaware, yeah for tax reasons. It's a small state with beautiful beaches, a big shopping mall, lots of highways, some serious suburbs that really aren't so suburban anymore, and a yearly flower market at Mother's Day in Rockford Park - to name but a few little Delaware tidbits. The most special thing about Delaware however is that it is the current home to my darling nephew Henry James. He is the now newest ad…

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QUALITY

by Park Theatre

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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GOING BACK TO THE SOURCE

by Park Theatre

Friday, 11 May, 2012

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

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THE MAVERICKS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 10 May, 2012

"You're such a Maverick, Jez" said Sean Mathias on the phone this morning. I could sense the glint in his eye, the slight grin and hear the pride in his voice. Like all our Ambassadors, Sean, one of the most respected directors in the industry worldwide, is a close part of the Park Theatre family. It's important that the whole team support everything we do and his line was a response to my telling him of our decision to hire Andrew Fishwick. Like all of us, he believes that everybody deserves a second chance - and that great opportunities now lie ahead... A y…

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BALANCE

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 9 May, 2012

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

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HEAD GAME

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 8 May, 2012

Luckily I took a typing class when I was in high school. I also spent time working at a high profile bank when I was 17. I hated that - but let's not get into that now. Anyway,  I'm pretty fast at my typing which is very useful as I'm the secretary for our Board meetings. Furiously typing conversation so that I don't lose the thread when decisions are made, my only way of keeping up is to record the lot! I also used to read insanely fast. At university I spent one day reading 2 novels and wrote papers on them both Lady Audley's Secret and Sense and Sensibility. T…

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HISTORY

by Park Theatre

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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ALCHEMY

by Park Theatre

Friday, 4 May, 2012

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

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MY TASTE IN THEATRE

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 3 May, 2012

Further to Charlie's comments yesterday, I must protest. I do not, as my cheeky assistant pointed out, favour shows that run without an interval. It depends entirley on the circumstance. So here are some thoughts on intervals: - If a production has a running time of more than 95 minutes, it should have an interval - If a production has a running time of less than 80 minutes, it should not have an interval - If a production is of a traditional three act play, it should generally be split into two halves and retain one, not two, intervals - T…

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INTERVALS

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 2 May, 2012

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

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LITTLE AMERICANA

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 1 May, 2012

So this time next week I'll be packing for NYC. I've been focusing so much on my day to day work that I realised time is running out to plan for the big apple. Things work a bit differently in New York and I'm pleased (as an American British woman) to have brought over a little slice of North America that is currently available for all you Londoners. That slice of Americana is Transmission - which I have co-founded with actress Ursula Campbell - also North American (Canadian to be  more specific). Transmission is a workshop for professional London actors to drop in and j…

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GETTING PHYSICAL

by Park Theatre

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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THE JOY OF SHORT JOURNEYS

by Park Theatre

Friday, 27 April, 2012

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

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GOOD MORALE

by Melli Bond

Thursday, 26 April, 2012

This weather's not helping with the wellbeing of all on site. Yesterday the contractors working on the external cladding had to stop work early - despite soldiering on through the rain, the bonding material they were applying to the walls became useless. Even deep inside the building workers are suffering from wet and damp conditions - as, not having a roof to the rear building, water seems to penetrate every level. Once it stops raining upstairs, it starts to drip downstairs. It will be a very different story once the roof goes on. One can sense the frustration of the project manage…

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PERFORMING UNDER PRESSURE

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 25 April, 2012

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

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DOGS IN THE PARK DO ALL SORTS OF STUFF

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 24 April, 2012

One burst of sunshine makes you forget the rain. Running faster makes the rain insignificant. Each day provides its own little challenge. A baby not allowed in a pub was today's challenge. Did you know that this isn't a legal thing - it is actually at the owner's discretion to allow or not allow a baby into the pub. This is the same thing for dogs. It is only illegal to have a dog in an area where food is being prepared - i.e. the kitchen. So when an owner of a pub says to you it is a legal thing, or a licensing thing, you will know that isn't the case with European law. …

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TIME WILL TELL

by Park Theatre

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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POSTCARD FROM THE HEBRIDES

by Park Theatre

Friday, 20 April, 2012

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

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QUESTIONS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 19 April, 2012

Questions can tell us so much about a person. They can tell you whether someone is happy or whether they are sad, they can inform you as to whether the asker has been listening to what you have been saying or simply been waiting to voice their question, they can give you a great insight into people's dreams and desires. Questions are one of my favourite parts of a site tour - perhaps because I do 99% of the talking and by the end am thristy for someone else to speak. Some groups ask many questions, some ask few, some ask none at all. This job is always about people and communication …

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APPRAISALS

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

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

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THE ALL SEEING ALL DANCING LIVE MALE SHOW

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 17 April, 2012

Ok not really, but after reading lots of plays about women and finding some great stuff and not being uber keen on more male stuff, I am however a fan of a new play with an all male cast. It's an American play and it's hilarious! When I was reading it I was able to cast it very easily in my mind's eye using American guys that live right here in London - ones who I know are very good. I don't want to get their hopes up or anyone's hopes up so I won't say what it's called or who the writer is or the actors I like but I wanted to share the great feeling …

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TOURS TAKING PLACE

by Park Theatre

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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BREATHING SPACE

by Park Theatre

Friday, 13 April, 2012

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

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FACE TO FACE WITH THE FAMILY

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 12 April, 2012

Since being away in Sweden we had not yet had an entire family meeting - as in all members of the team. Well, suffice to say that (with one exception) we were a full house at 10am this morning. A three hour meeting followed by lunch ensued. It was extremely useful to have everyone in the same room - that's probably a really obvious thing to say but as we don't yet have an office, and we're all working from home, cafes and the building site, it's a rare luxury that feels good! How important though - despite the amazing opportunities of the internet and telephone, for some …

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FEEDBACK

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

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

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FORMALITIES

by Park Theatre

Tuesday, 10 April, 2012

We are just putting the finishing touches to our Social Media Policy, which will determine how we use Twitter and Facebook, and indeed this blog, to share what we're up to and what we're excited about.  We're trying to strike a balance between the personal and the professional, giving a sense not just of what Park Theatre is, but who we are and what makes us tick.  You'll see a few changes over the next few weeks as the Twitter account comes to terms with multiple users, all of whom will be sharing bits and bobs under their own names.  As usual, we'd lo…

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TIME AND RHYTHM MAKES A LIVING...

by Park Theatre

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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WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT READTHROUGHS

by Park Theatre

Friday, 6 April, 2012

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

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NEW VOICES

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 5 April, 2012

I remember writing a blog more than a year or so ago about being so busy that I needed an assistant and too busy to have the time to interview one. That same catch 22 (is that the right phrase in this context... kind of) applied today. I had been too busy to organise a full Park Family meeting (and the whole team extremely busy that the coordination proved to be no easy feat) yet one was desperately needed in order to deal with the many items which had recently arisen. You'll start to see some big changes both on site and off now. On the website, for example, our blog will…

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COFFEE

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 4 April, 2012

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

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NOISES OFF

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 3 April, 2012

What a great evening. I have just returned from the West End press night of 'Noises Off'. Having transferred from the Old Vic, where it got great reviews, it is now playing (with nearly all of the same cast) at the Novello Theatre. I enjoyed it tremendously and, accompanied by the wonderfully ever upbeat and funny Mark Cameron (good qualities considering he's co-writing the annual Christmas panto with me) we headed to the Savoy for the after-party. Great drinks and nibbles, great company and great music. Lovely to chat to our first Ambassador Celia Imrie, fresh from her fabul…

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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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BACK FROM ABROAD

by Jez Bond

Friday, 30 March, 2012

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

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ENGAGEMENT

by Park Theatre

Thursday, 29 March, 2012

As we hop nimbly from the architect's plan to the opening season, we are increasingly thinking about how we can engage with our audience.  As a theatre without a history, we have the pleasure of seeking out an entirely new audience, including, we hope, some people who will never have been to the theatre before.  Dave Hughes has designed a beautiful facade with  large panes of glass to attract people in from Clifton Terrace, but we are aware that it may take more than that to draw a diverse and curious crowd.  How can we overcome the stigma of theatre as a boring a…

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CONSTRUCTION

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 28 March, 2012

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

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PLAYS ARE LIKE BABIES

by Park Theatre

Tuesday, 27 March, 2012

My first play, What You Do To People, turned my life upside down.  The first draft was written half an hour at a time, every night as soon as my two toddlers were asleep.  No time to look over what I’d written the night before; some nights it all just spilled out, other nights I just had to force myself to write something, anything, continuously for those thirty minutes until, some months later, I eventually had a document.  Something with a beginning, a middle of sorts, and an end.  Lots of holes and not much sense, but i…

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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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A PLACE OF SAFETY

by Park Theatre

Friday, 23 March, 2012

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

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SO MANY GOOD THINGS

by Park Theatre

Thursday, 22 March, 2012

The last few weeks since I began as Melli’s assistant have been a huge and enjoyable learning curve and an abundance of new experiences. From meeting a lot of passionate and interesting people to working those fundraising parties for that all important money for the education floor.  And,  the trials and tribulations of occasionally being on a building site. Amongst many aspects, we all look very special in those hard hats and heavy boots - building-site chic is where it’s at! Another great thing is the opportunity to see so much new work as we r…

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TOWARDS A FEMALE FRIENDLY THEATRE

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 21 March, 2012

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

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THE RIBBON DANCE

by Park Theatre

Tuesday, 20 March, 2012

  Now...Im not qualifying any of my praise for Pitchfork Disney but after my blog last night, I did begin to think about Matilda in greater detail...or rather...I thought about Miss Trunchbull’s ribbon dance. This was for me, the highlight of the show... and the subject of  much post- show-pub discussion, with the man himself. Bertie Carvel is a friend of Park Theatre, (he worked with Melli and our Ambassador, David Horovitch on a radio play a few years back) and his unbelievable performance in Matilda has been the stand-out, break through, tour de f…

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GHOST TRAIN

by Park Theatre

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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PASSING THE BATON

by Jez Bond

Friday, 16 March, 2012

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

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THE PARK LADIES

by Melli Bond

Thursday, 15 March, 2012

This blog is dedicated to the wonderful women of Park Theatre: We've had a brilliant fundraising season and we could not have done this without the blood sweat and dedication of the sisters of Park. Annabel Topham Director of Development, who has worked on our all our fundraising, has proudly brought us to the halfway mark of raising £200,000!  Amy Lumsden, my amazing assistant, has taken on the mammoth task of coordinating our industry tours and been a massive support to me. Nouska Hanly, Press and PR manager, has taken…

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APPLICATIONS GALORE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 14 March, 2012

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

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AGENTS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 13 March, 2012

A great day today that started with a presentation to the literary and creatives agents at United. Melli and I chatted away in the plush board room at their offices on Lexington Street, showing them images of the building and discussing artistic and literary policies. It's great to share our plans with some of the biggest names in the agency world - and Rachel, StJohn's assistant, is now going to set up another presentation with the acting agents their (two very separate departments as we learnt). This evening Leah Schmidt, co-founder of The Agency, and soon to be boar…

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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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ANOTHER PARTY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 9 March, 2012

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

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EVERYTHING MUST GO!

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 8 March, 2012

It was Chris McGill's party on site tonight with a lovely bunch of people - mainly local. We've enlisted plenty more people to sign the wall - the new campaign we launched a few days ago. We had more enquiries about toilets, and the possibility of a corporate sponsor for the bar. Meanwhile someone from the previous party has bought the staircase up the Education Floor. Just have to think how to design all this so there aren't plaques on every light switch and tap! 

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LORD ARCHER

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 7 March, 2012

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

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OVERLOAD

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 6 March, 2012

Following a meeting with the structural engineer in the early afternoon, we were told that the loading requirements for an education space use were far more stringent than for residential apartments. As such, unless we want a restriction on numbers we may have to install more steel. Slightly odd of course as one can only physically fit less than a hundred on that floor - and two flats could easily host a party for fifty people on the same Saturday night. So what does this actually mean? At what stage does the integrity of the building get compromised - and it... well...fall down?

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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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ALL THAT JAZZ

by Jez Bond

Friday, 2 March, 2012

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

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BENEFACTORS, BUGHES AND BUDDIES

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 1 March, 2012

There are many people without whom this entire project would not be possible, but the most important is our major donor. It’s incredibly rare for a benefactor to be so gracious in their giving and devoid of any ulterior motives. The result, for us, is a dream come true – the opportunity to “get on with it”: to build a theatre that is led by the artist and not by committee. This continued confidence in us gives me strength every day – but, as the saying goes, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. The £2.2m project costs a…

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PARK FAMILY PARTY

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

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

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FRIED!

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 28 February, 2012

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

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THEY GROW SO FAST, DON'T THEY?

by Jez Bond

Monday, 27 February, 2012

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

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TRUSTS AND FOUNDATION

by Jez Bond

Friday, 24 February, 2012

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

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ABIGAIL'S PARTY

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 23 February, 2012

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

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

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

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THE KINDNESS OF FRIENDS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 21 February, 2012

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

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PROBABLE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 20 February, 2012

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

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FULL ON FRIDAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 17 February, 2012

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

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A 'POLITE NOTE'

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

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

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THE ARTISTRY OF GIVING

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 15 February, 2012

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

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SHMALENTINE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 14 February, 2012

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

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TAMZIN CAN'T WAITE

by Jez Bond

Monday, 13 February, 2012

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

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I HEAR A RUMOUR...

by Jez Bond

Friday, 10 February, 2012

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

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AND AGAIN...

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 9 February, 2012

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

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THE LURE OF THE BED...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 8 February, 2012

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

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STARTING WITH A BLANK SLATE

by Park Theatre

Tuesday, 7 February, 2012

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

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THE ROUTE THROUGH...

by Jez Bond

Monday, 6 February, 2012

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

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I NEED 48 HOURS IN A DAY

by Jez Bond

Friday, 3 February, 2012

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

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LOTS TO COME

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 2 February, 2012

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

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WHO YOU KNOW

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

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

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VISION

by Park Theatre

Tuesday, 31 January, 2012

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

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REGENERATION

by Jez Bond

Monday, 30 January, 2012

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

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CROSSING THE RIVER

by Jez Bond

Friday, 27 January, 2012

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

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WE MADE IT TO 1,000

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 26 January, 2012

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

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MUST FILM

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 25 January, 2012

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

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JUSTICE FOR A MOVING NIGHT

by Melli Bond

Tuesday, 24 January, 2012

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

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BIG TRIP FOR BIG MEN IN BIG SOCIETY

by Melli Bond

Monday, 23 January, 2012

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

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INCREASING OUR PROFILE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 20 January, 2012

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

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MANIC THURSDAYS

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 19 January, 2012

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

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EVENING STANDARD

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 18 January, 2012

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

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INTERVIEWS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 17 January, 2012

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

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SLEEPING DOGS

by Jez Bond

Monday, 16 January, 2012

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

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DAVID HOROVITCH

by Jez Bond

Friday, 13 January, 2012

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

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LONG LUNCH

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 12 January, 2012

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

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PARTY NUMBER ONE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 11 January, 2012

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

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TIME

by Melli Bond

Monday, 9 January, 2012

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

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PRIVATE READING

by Jez Bond

Friday, 6 January, 2012

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

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DIFFERENT WORLDS

by Melli Bond

Thursday, 5 January, 2012

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

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BEING SCOTTISH

by Park Theatre

Wednesday, 4 January, 2012

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

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DEVELOPMENT PACKS ARRIVE

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 3 January, 2012

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

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2012: THE YEAR STARTS HERE!

by Jez Bond

Monday, 2 January, 2012

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

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NEW YEAR'S PLANS CANCELLED

by Jez Bond

Friday, 30 December, 2011

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

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REFER TO YESTERDAY!

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 29 December, 2011

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

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BY ORDER OF THE MANAGEMENT

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 28 December, 2011

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

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OOPS

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 27 December, 2011

Never go out when you are only just starting to get better, you'll only get ill again!

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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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CHRISTMAS

by Jez Bond

In the lead up to Christmas for what do I pine the most? For the comfort of a warm fireplace and a mug of hot chocolate - for a show to stage in the new year - for a week long getaway in the Maldives? The answer is all of these things. The reality is that my Christmas pudding is still cooking - and will hopefully be plump and juicy (hold on, I think that's the goose) in time for next year. So this year's festivities are likely to be slightly surpressed  - not in a spoilt child "where's my present" kind of way but simply due to the fact that we'll…

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CATCHING UP WITH ME

by Jez Bond

Friday, 23 December, 2011

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

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CHRISTMAS IS COMING

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 22 December, 2011

So much to do, so little time. Christmas is coming, email responses from people are slowing down and most people aren't picking up the phones. Dave and I are still battling on with loads to do. On site the substation walls are nearly complete. Soon we'll forget we ever had that space - which will be a good thing to get used to! Desperately cold outside now. The wind is picking up and with our roof off, the wet weather is most unwelcome. Tomorrow's the last day on site then then work will resume on the 3rd January. Here, however, in the warmth of my flat, work continues as eve…

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PUPPETS COME TO LIFE

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 21 December, 2011

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

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GROWING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 20 December, 2011

Today our Chairman and I met three new board members, who will officially voted on at our January board meeting. It's very exciting as the diversity of skills and experience is now really fantastic. On site the floor joists for the fourth floor are halfway complete and the new floors are visible from the pavement. We're growing in the right direction. In the evening a fun play at the White Bear - where I seem to be becoming quite a regular!

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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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TRYING TO LEAVE

by Jez Bond

Friday, 16 December, 2011

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

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KEEPING THE FORCE STRONG

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 15 December, 2011

'm starting to feel the inevitable slow down of productivity from certain quarters as Christmas sets in. It's the usual combination of a rush of last minute requests and, in certain cases, a 'winding down for the holidays' mentality. However at ground control, despite illness, the force is still strong amongst the Park Jedi. Annabel was a real (storm)trooper earlier as, dosed up with drugs but coughing none the less, she braved a one hour Skype meeting. I'm not quite sure where this random Star Wars theme has come from - I'm not even a major fan of the …

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THE TEAM GROWS...

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 14 December, 2011

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

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GOOD DAY

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 13 December, 2011

Lots of meetings and lots of things bubbling away that are starting to come to the boil. Amazingly it was the first day that I felt 'wow, I'm not behind with emails etc' - yes, I know, always a bad sign; it usally means that a storm is brewing.

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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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REMAINING OPEN

by Jez Bond

Friday, 9 December, 2011

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

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SITE SPECIFIC

by Jez Bond

Thursday, 8 December, 2011

A site specific promenade show in Shoreditch Town Hall today, with my friend Hugh Ross playing a simply awful human being. He's lovely in real life, honest! We walked from room to room, with action happening continually around us and the atmosphere was dark and intriguing. As we were finally ejected onto the pavement at the back of the building nobody quite knew whether the show was really over or not. Tomorrow it's on to safer pastures - where one can sit in a theatre seat and watch a show from the comfort of the shadows!  

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CREATIVE ISLINGTON

by Jez Bond

Wednesday, 7 December, 2011

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

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NAUGHTY

by Jez Bond

Tuesday, 6 December, 2011

I didn't write a blog today. For the first time in.... over a year.... ever?..... oh dear... so much to do! 

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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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EXCEEDING OUR TARGETS

by Jez Bond

Friday, 2 December, 2011

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

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BIRTHS, DEATHS & MARRIAGES

by Park Theatre

Thursday, 1 December, 2011

I enjoy a good switchboard as much as the next man: the automated selection system and synthesised Wagner are enough to brighten up any winter morning, and this is particularly the case with a local government hot line.  I sometimes detect a certain wariness when I get through to an operator, almost as if I might be calling the council because I want something from them.  I do, and so the game is to make me somebody else's problem.  Each call is like a little tour of their extension list.  'You'll want to speak to Gary', I'm told, but unfortunately…

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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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