8pm Show Done

Bob, Mike and I all agree – everyone killed. Bob said that’s probably enough to write. But I’ll add where the band and design weren’t used as much yesterday, holy crap did they bring it today. Good work all!

The horse was my favorite. Best. Horse. Ever. Good work Beth!

Ok – one more show. Two minutes to go. CLOSING NIGHT ENERGY!


7pm Meeting – Day Two

The collective attitude tonight is a bit more cheeky than yesterday. Probably because everyone is beyond tired and have pushed through so you’re bound to hear a little friendly snark or some really bad puns.

Before we even begin, the band finishes up but starts in on what sounds like Fields of Gold, by Sting and Charlotte Bond starts ad libbing as if she’s Theresa May singing her dreadful interview answer about running through fields of wheat when asked about the naughtiest thing she’d ever done. No one can escape the political dumpster fire, which never ceases to permeate everything these days, even here within the walls of 14/48. At least we have fun with it. Kat Wootton reminds me of the best joke after that interview mentioned something about ‘Thatcher in the Rye’ and I giggle.. That’s pretty good. Stuart Reid also adds, “Like the band didn’t have enough to do today. They ad libbed a song for the 7pm meeting too.”

We go through the band’s needs and their name: It’s Just A Flesh Wound, due to the zombie play possibly.

Design is asked what they need and Pove firmly reminds everyone there is stuff everywhere, be careful, all exits will be used, don’t mess with any props or set that aren’t yours – the usual. And, in addition, there’s a pile of prop food set on a table in the middle of the stage for the first play.

Pove holds up a prop sandwich from a platter of prop sandwiches and says to everyone sternly,  “LOOK – GLUE! There isn’t butter, it’s glue. So if you eat it, it’s your problem.”

From the audience behind me I hear Stuart ask, “So it’s not glue-ten free?”

Boooooo! See what I mean? Cheeky.

Neil moves on to discuss all the usual details about cleaning up after our filthy selves – and suddenly, we all hear a honk three times. Out of the side entrance, one of the cast dressed as a clown comes out and moves towards the table set with food. No one understands what is happening as this actor seems VERY committed to this bit and he walks around Pove and stands behind the table. He looks at her and then to everyone’s shock, punches the cake! We all gasp. Then we all looked at Pove to see what she was going to do. I don’t think Pove knew what she was going to do. But then the clown (this is what I’m calling him now) clown-walked off shoving cake in his mouth and giving zero fucks.

So.. that happened.

Shortly after we found out the cake needed to be damaged and the director, Paul, came up with this idea mostly to humor himself. Ooh man. You take your life into your own hands, buddy.

The cheek is off the freaking hook here tonight. I’m excited to see what this energy will bring as the house opens for the 8pm audience. Woot!


Midday Heat

I’m hanging out in the theatre because before tech begins, it’s much cooler than anywhere else in the building and I can rock out quietly to some live tunes. Purely selfish reasons.

England is known for its rainy and cold weather but occasionally, summer does happen during summer even and it’s decided today would be that day. And tomorrow. So it’s currently 81 degrees for the international crowd and 27 if you’re local and not a cloud in the sky. AND what do theatre nerds do on sunny summer days? Stay inside a dark theatre, obviously. Duh.

The band is making loads of progress with only an hour left before tech begins. I’ve heard snippets of a Uncle F**ker from the South Park movie, some Bob Marley and Paperback Writer by the Beatles. They’re currently working with the cast of the one musical in the line-up.

Pove and Sam are leading the design crew and finishing up set bits and pieces (the horse in particular looks amazing). The light crew seems ready for tech at 3:30 and I can see one of the BSL interpreters going over his scripts too. Sweet!

Some of the writers are hanging out in the lobby talking local news and nonsense, laughing in their delirium and waiting around to sit in on tech for their show.

Liam Thornton is showing my husband what his ‘sexy’ outfit is and Mike is appropriately impressed.

Really, nothing to see here yet.. but there will be at 8pm.

Hope you’re enjoying this gorgeous weather because we’re going to crack on inside and get this done (well, all of us but Stuart who is catching some much needed rest in the greenroom).


Day 2: Gluttons For Punishment

AAAAAANNNNND we’re back! Wow did that seem like an awfully short evening of sleep, if I do say so myself, mumbly, dreary-eyed and lacking sufficient caffeine. And I just sat around yesterday writing and social-media-ing it up. Everyone else actually DID stuff worthy of a day of rest and yet they made it here, excited, maybe moving a bit slower but ready to exude massive amounts of creativity.

As I mentioned, the designers weren’t overly challenged yesterday. However, I would challenge anyone to create a giant papier mâché head of Donald Trump in a single day and our designers knocked it out of the park like it was easy. But today is a different story. There will be horses, houses, cars and lampposts. There will be no laurels upon which to rest today. No. No there will not!

From where yours truly is sitting, the band sounds like they’ve nearly completed two to three songs for the shows already and it’s not even noon. I also heard them listening to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song.. so that’s awesome.

And everyone else SHOULD be either sleeping (STUART – SERIOUSLY GO TO BED) or working on their plays.

Here’s who wrote what, who’s directing what and who we’ll be seeing on stage tonight:

Play #1: Partybags!, by Tom Allsopp
Director: Paul Rogers
Cast: Emma Bamford, Nick Edwards, Rob Gredzinski and Liam Thornton

Play #2: Shot in the Dark, by Jessica Lovett
Director: Karran Collings
Cast: Jonathan Collings and Christin McGowan

Play #3: It’s not the End of the World, by Stuart Reid
Director: Eleanor Grey
Cast: Sarah Beebe, Amy Danneker and Jade Pearce

Play #4: What’s Under the Lexicographer’s Bed?, by Dave Pitt
Director: Matt Beames
Cast: Damien Dickens, Paul Johnson, Kirsty Mealing and Michael Southan

Play #5: %@^$*#*%(*#)$^  – aka Expletive, by Kat Wootton
Director: Bob Christer
Cast: Pamela Cole-Hudson, Trick Danneker, Alex Turner and Daniel Yorke

Play #6: End of Austerity, by Jess Green
Director: Emily Sly
Cast: Kirsty Munro, Lily Portman and Fran Richards

Play #7: Everything is Fine: The Musical, by Hayley Thornton
Director: Claire Chandler
Cast: Joe Ellery, Michelle Jennings, Stuart Keen, Sam Simkiss and Molly Southan


1st Day Done

Night all – that was a lovely first day, but this little blogger and her handsome liaison are going home. Tomorrow – seven new world premiere plays about “Everything’s fine”. And I’m sure it will be. Nighty night!


The 7pm Meeting


All artists and volunteers  converge for last words, to hear the 8pm show has sold well and for the usual reminders – clean up after yourselves, you filthy pigs, and get your shit out of the bar and theatre.

The 14/48 Band’s name is Ad Nauseam Et Al – because it reflects the theme – Going through the motions – per Charlotte Bond – do it til you’re sick.

Ok then.

And most importantly, how the show will end so the casts can come down collectively to take their bows. This will involve Trick Danneker at the end of play #7 coming out wearing the giant Trump head and dancing for a few seconds. Then everyone can come join him to close out the show.


Bob: Neil – there might need to be a moment where Trick will need to take off the head before the bows.

Neil: Good point! Thanks Bob!

Stuart: Who’s going to take off his head?

Trick: Kathy Griffin.


Yeah, I think we’re ready. Let’s do this.

An Interview with Amy Christer

Amy Christer is taking it a little easier than usual this 14/48 because she’s seven months pregnant and because she deserves it. She’s the Artistic Director of 14/48 UK and Producer of 14/48 Leicester, which, she tells me, “basically means telling Bob [the Executive Producer of 14/48 UK] what to do and then he does it.” I like that a lot. He and Amy have done a fantastic job together bringing 14/48 from Seattle to the UK and Bob usually hosts and gets all the mentions. So Amy graciously agreed to chat with me for a bit.

Me (Angel): What’s your favorite thing about 14/48?

Amy: The teamwork – it just brings people together to create without any sort of agenda. It allows people the time and space to appreciate their craft. And I love how there’s just no competitive element about it and that the family just grows and grows.

Me: What’s been the biggest challenge of creating 14/48 U.K.?

Amy: The biggest challenge initially was convincing people to do it when they didn’t know what it was. So the first Leicester one I had a lot of favors I had to pull in – I’d say, Remember when I did that thing for you? How about you give me a weekend of your time and then if you hate it, you can kick me in the shins. I actually said that to people. I’m that confident you’re going to love it. Then after the first one, that challenge was significantly reduced because people loved it and wanted it more and became advocates for it so they told other people to do it and did the convincing for me. So it’s been much easier since then. I say easy, but it’s a massive undertaking. There’s a massive team here in Wolverhampton and it’s just me on my own producing it in Leicester.

Me: How do you see it continuing in the U.K. – different versions or more weekends, for example – and do you see it growing into other cities and countries?

Amy: Definitely what we proved with 14/48 Takeover [a school holiday scheme doing 14/48 with children] that it can be done in various different forms and adapted, but it’s very important to have the genuine festival as the breeding ground for that work. That has to exist. We haven’t done Kamikaze in the UK [where no one is assigned a discipline until they draw it from the hat the first night] and I would like to see that happen within the next year – maybe next two.

With regards to other cities, we’re always open to that. Our rules are that whomever takes it forward, needs to participate in the Leicester one to know what they’re basically taking on. So far we’ve had lots of interests from other cities – Manchester, Lichfield, Birmingham, Liverpool – quite a few places, which shows a level of commitment, but we want them to come to Leicester. And if they can’t commit to doing it in Leicester, they can’t commit to doing it elsewhere. Yeah, we’re open for more than that, but it’s not something we can push right now – we’re growing in other ways.

Me: Yes! The new baby is due when?

Amy: August.

Me: Is Elsie excited to be a big sister?

Amy: Yes, but I’m not sure she realizes it won’t be in my tummy eventually.

Me: Final words about your 14/48 experience?

Amy: Personally it’s been massive. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of in my career – probably THE most proud of and I’m tremendously grateful every day that Seattle has entrusted me with their baby to look after for them.