Friday, 26 October 2012

A blog post concerning an Actor trying to write about her involvement in a new play currently running at The New Diorama, or ‘I’m in Bunnies’ for short.

If you are reading this blog post before midnight on Sunday 28th October, you might still have time to take advantage of the ticket offer running via Time Out. You can see Bunnies for just £7 at The Diorama (on selected dates) if you book through Time Out, but the offer ends on Sunday 28th October. Here’s the link to the Time Out offer:

Every time I’m in a play I have these grand plans to blog during the process and every time I realise that there’s no way that will happen until the show is up and running. So I’m typing this whilst sitting in my digs, listening to Radio 2, slurping a cup of tea and wondering if the condensation on the window is hiding the watermarks of rain on the other side, meaning this will be a waterproof-and-wellies day.

Don't trust the Bunnies...Photograph Copyright Annette Chown 2012

I am currently playing Eva in (to give it its full title), ‘A PLAY CONCERNING A FARMER’S RADICAL ATTEMPT TO RESTORE HIS LAND TO ITS SUPPOSED FORMER GLORY, AND THE DIFFERING REACTIONS OF HIS CHILDREN: OR BUNNIES (FOR SHORT)’, which is a dark satirical comedy, containing ‘swearing, violence and lots of taxidermy’. It’s definitely not one for the kids. Here’s some of the blurb from the flyer with more of what it’s about:

The once beautiful land is blighted by non-native species, including the grey squirrel, the Chinese mitten crab, the Siberian chipmunk, the Topmouth Gudgeon and, even, the European rabbit. They are wreaking havoc. Fortunately Stamper, a local farmer, has a solution.’

The play is written by Kieran Lynn (An Incident at The Border) and started life as a short play for The Bike Shed Theatre’s New Blood season in 2011. It went on to become a full-length play, won a Peter Brook Empty Space award and was performed at The Bike Shed Theatre in the Autumn. At the moment, if you search for the show on the web, you will probably find reviews relating to the first full-length production, but this is a different animal (see what I did there?), featuring a new cast (me, Jolyon Westhorpe and Richard Pulman) and a new director (David Lockwood). However, tonight is perhaps the scariest night of all: Press Night in London. So sooner or later there will be reviews floating around that relate to our production. Let’s hope they enjoy it...

Kieran watching from the sidelines, tweaking the script Photograph Copyright Annette Chown 2012

It is a comedy, but like all dark comedies it also makes us look at the world from a different angle. As the audience, we follow a ‘logical conclusion’ in Bunnies and for our director, it made him wonder how many steps it really is from, what he terms, ‘casual racism’ to extremism and ‘eradication’. Do ‘casual’ thoughts ultimately lead to extreme thoughts or does there have to be a catalyst that ignites extremism?
I don’t really want to give too much away, but hopefully, this has given you a flavour of what to expect and if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you can see more rehearsal photos and keep up to date with the show.

That's not a real frog, it is a real pencil. Photograph Copyright Annette Chown 2012
Before I finish this post I do just have to mention our programmes: I love them. They are published by Oberon Books and contain the script as well as biographies of those involved and only cost £3 if you buy them from theatres the play is visiting. If you want to buy the script at a later date, it will cost you more, so now’s the time to grab one. This will be the first time my biography appears in a published script, so for me, it’s extremely exciting!

Me excitedly holding a copy of the programme! Photograph Copyright Annette Chown 2012
Bunnies will be at The New Diorama until 3rd November, then we head to The Salberg Studio at The Salisbury Playhouse (6th - 10th November) and then we finish the tour in The Brewery at The Tobacco Factory in Bristol (13th - 24th November).

Useful Links

The New Diorama Bunnies Page
The Salisbury Playhouse Bunnies Page
The Tobacco Factory Theatre Bunnies Page
Oberon Books