Salford

Resurrecting Randall

Posted on

by Pete Gibson who plays Randall Nolan in BLEEDING WITH MOTHER.

Everyone from Carrie Fisher to Sigourney Weaver and William Shatner has reprised a role.

In the case of Captain Kirk there was a ten year gap between his first appearance on the Star Trek television series and his starring role in the franchise’s first feature film. The magic was still there but then so was the melodrama (sorry Bill, I prefer Walter Koenig).

Why would an actor return to a character? We’re an itchy footed transient lot after all, always looking for a fresh challenge.

Unfinished business may be one reason. That was certainly the case for Sigourney who ratcheted-up Ripley from one of the gang to the central iconic character in the Aliens series. I reckon she also wanted to see what she looked like with a Servalan type skinhead (wonder if it made her want to moon stomp?)

When returning to the same script, there is also the rare luxury of getting another go at a character, enhancing it, finding something new in it. Though be warned, even a small gap between productions renders the older mind incapable of recalling lines at an instant!

So here I am facing the prospect of playing Randall Nolan again in Sarah Cassidy’s “Bleeding with Mother” and doing the hard yards with the script in anticipation of performing it again at the King’s Arms Salford (Saturday 10th September).

I am determined to find more in this my third shot at the role (I rehearse read it a couple of years of the role). Polish, improvement and something new is what I am aiming at. But there is another good reason for my reprising Randall:
I just want to.

Bleeding with Mother is a very contemporary play about modern life. But it also transcends time in its themes of death, greed and relationships – issues since the birth of humankind. It also has an old fashioned sense of character, stagecraft and plot. Farcical and comic yes, yet structured and telling a STORY – qualities that are missing from so many plays of today.

This is a play that deserves to be seen again. And in the case of Randall, a lost and bullied soul, displaced and out-of-step with modern life, the subject of working class men’s mental health bears another examination.

They say never go back. But hey, faced with a character on the cusp of an emotional crisis but still able to laugh about farting corpses and nosey neighbours was just too good an opportunity to miss.
See you in Salford.

Bleeding with Mother is staged at the King’s Arms Theatre Salford on Saturday September 10th – doors open 7pm. Tickets are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/366987

The play text is also available via this link on Amazon.

Bleeding with Mother will be produced by the newly formed M62 Productions.

QODlx_Pg_400x400

Advertisements

BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase

Posted on Updated on

On Friday night I attended the second year of the  Salford Sitcom Showcase at the BBC Studios in MediaCity. A colleague from my masters course had managed to secure extra tickets, and even better the tickets belonged to the gold wristband brigade.

The gold wristband brigade are looked after, something that “cheap seats” moi was not used to. And of course made the most of the corporate hospitality (darling!).

I enjoy the thrill of being in the audience, whether it is at a concert, theatre or in television studios. As I write this, I will be attending the Celebrity Mastermind recording tomorrow night which reinforces my audience geekness.

The Salford Sitcom Showcase is an event for the BBC to platform six theatrical presentations of new potential sitcoms to local audiences and to the industry professionals. I do believe that Citizen Khan was picked up at one of these showcases last year.

The first sitcom was called Chain Gang and was written by Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley who wrote together on Little Britain and Spitting Image. More recently they wrote the international box office success Gnomeo and Juliet. The log-line for Chain Gang is “At Sunbeans every macchiato is served with a smile…apart from one branch in Bristol, where it’s more likely to be emptied over your head”. The premise for the show is that the execs at Sunbean send in the wimpy Alistair, fresh from management training to turn around the Sunbeans branch lazily run by the ruthless Natasha, who sleeps with musicians by telling them that she works for a record label.

I really enjoyed this pilot episode, especially Paolo, a camp, Brazilian who spends his working day at Sunbeans on his blackberry – and that’s not the flavour of muffins either. Paolo was played by Stefano Braschi and I could easily see him being the lead character in this show if it did get commissioned as he was far more likeable than Natasha. A gag about him cleaning his cock-ring in the milk steamer had tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks.

The second production was called Homeboys and was written by Pete Jackson, who had a stint of acting with Ant and Dec on Byker Grove. I found this show started off very strong, lots of laughter and characters were set up almost immediately in their first scenes.

David and Brian are Homeboys; 20 something brothers still living at home, despite their parents’ best efforts to get rid of them. David and Brian are total opposites, David is a cocky salesman, and Brian is a recluse who spends his time under the kitchen table in a homemade bar.  The lovely Pauline McLynn from Father Ted and Shameless series starred as their quirky mother and for me she stole the show as she helped David to trick his boss into thinking that he was going to make a killer sale in damp-proofing.

Afterwards, myself and my peers were introduced to a few people who were involved in the production. I spent half an hour chatting to Pauline aka Mrs Doyle from Father Ted who was the most delightful and friendly person I could have met.

Afterwards, it got me thinking to my own goals that I have with the writing. Maybe one day it will be a script by me that has made it onto the shortlist for a live performance – who knows?

But, one things for sure, I definitely could get used to having priority seating, access to the actors, all you can drink wine and platefuls of fancy nibbles.