Rare Fortune Productions are delighted to be returning to the OSO to launch their live performance season post-lockdown. Our five short plays, presented to a socially-distanced audience, deal with the eternal themes of connection - the dangerous, the ecstatic and the hilarious.
These plays are all written by members of the professional Actors and Writers London group (www.actorsandwriters.london) and provide short insights into all kinds of connection, ranging from new love to timeless misunderstandings via an alternative view on that iconic encounter at a provincial railway station.
Thank you for joining us for our first return to live theatre - we will keep our distance but we promise the experience will still be touching. It’s great to be back.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
by Sally Sheringham
Martin - Alexander Jonas
Becky - Susan Casanove
by Tom Jensen
Daniel - Jeremy Drakes
Sophie - Julia Haythorn
First Interval (15 Minutes)
On Thin Ice
by Carolyn Pertwee
Fran - Susan Casanove
Mick - Alexander Jonas
In Plain Sight
by Nicolas Ridley
Mrs Potts - Robin Miller
Georgia - Julia Haythorn
Oliver - Gregory Cox
Mark - Jeremy Drakes
Second Interval (15 Minutes)
by David Hampshire
Laura - Robin Miller
Alec - Gregory Cox
Director - Maurice Thorogood
Producer - Julia Haythorn
Photographer/Sound Designer - Paddy Gormley
Susan is no stranger to the OSO having appeared here in Barry Langley’s 2013 play, Cold Smoke and again later that year in Halfway to the Sun which she also wrote. Both plays directed by the late, much-missed Ross Livingstone. In 2018, she returned to the OSO in Robin Miller’s farce, Liberty Hall. Other theatre includes Gameplan and Birthday Suite at the English Theatre of Hamburg, As You Like It and Twelfth Night at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo & Juliet with Heartbreak Productions, and Drayton Trench, a Wireless Theatre/Snatchback production at the Museum of Comedy. Her extensive radio work includes the comedy series We Are The BBC which she wrote and starred in alongside Stephen Fry and Nicholas Parsons, as well as numerous other audio dramas and comedies with The Wireless Theatre Company both as a writer and actor. Television includes Doctor Who.
Gregory trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. West End credits: Oliver!, Little Lies and The Mousetrap. He has toured with the National Theatre in Arcadia and with Actors From The London Stage throughout the USA in The Merchant of Venice. Other theatre: Muswell Hill (Park Theatre), Don Juan (Lyric Hammersmith), King Lear (Colchester), The Seagull (UK tour), Murder On Cue (OSO), Funny Money (Vienna English Theatre), Dorian Gray (Windsor) and Only When I Laugh (World Tour). TV includes: X Company, Bad Boyes, Coronation Street, Poirot, Keeping up Appearances, Robin of Sherwood, Eastenders, In Suspicious Circumstances, Brookside, Maigret and Joint Account. He performed with Judi Dench in the Poetry of War at Cheltenham Literary Festival and recorded the role of Rudyard Kipling in My Boy Jack for Listening Books.
Jeremy trained at Drama Studio London. His stage credits include Tom in Round and Round the Garden by Alan Ayckbourn earlier this year at the OSO, the UK premiere, at the Finborough Theatre, of Arthur Miller’s final play, Finishing The Picture, in which he played a character based on Miller himself. Other stage work includes A Doll's House (national tour), Uncle Vanya (Old Red Lion Theatre), Richard III (Greenwich Theatre), Gold Coast (Theatre 503), Measure for Measure (Courtyard Theatre), Nobody's Business (King's Head, Islington), Hope (Southwark Playhouse), Broken Gargoyles (Theatre 503), Widowers' Houses (Park Theatre), In Lipstick (Arcola), A Clockwork Orange (Action To The Word), The Dance Hall (Blue Elephant Theatre), After Eleven (Brockley Jack), Clap Hands (Hackney Showroom), Mary Stuart - The Musical (Karamel Club). Films include The Drummond Will, Who Will Buy?, Relentless, The Hand of the Creator. Television includes Psychopath Night (Channel 4), The Three Crow Boys (BBC Four), Bloody Tales and UFO UK (both National Geographic). Radio and voiceover includes Great Expectations, Wild Elusive Butterfly and Zombies, Run!
Julia trained at East 15 Acting School. Theatre includes Round and Round the Garden, Murder On Cue and Liberty Hall (OSO), I’ll Be Back Before Midnight (English Theatre of Hamburg), Tartuffe (Isleworth Actors), Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Rain or Shine), Portia in The Merchant of Venice (Festival Players), Mrs Cratchit in A Christmas Carol and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Image Theatre), Rosalind in As You Like It (Shakespeare in Provence), Yerma in Yerma (Chamaeleon). Television and Film: French Teacher in Oscar Charlie (BBC TV), Mille Urday in Grange Hill (BBC TV), Jackpot (Bill Rudgard Films) and Jules et George (NFTS).
As a producer, Julia has been involved in a number of national touring productions including Lady Chatterley’s Lover with Patrick Mower, Twelfth Night and The Tempest for Gloriana Productions and Liberty Hall, Murder On Cue and Round and Round the Garden for Rare Fortune Productions.
Theatre: Hickton in The Maestroʼs Last Words (Barry Langley/Actors Writers London), Colin in Liberty Hall (Rare Fortune Productions), Understudy/Bob/ William in How The Other Half Loves (Bill Kenwright No. 1 Tour), Jason in Realife TV (Redneedle Productions), Understudy/Adam Snow in The Small Hand (Bill Kenwright No. 1 Tour), Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night (English Repertory Theatre), Understudy/Keith in Volcano (Bill Kenwright No. 1 Tour), Sebastian in The Tempest (Antic Disposition, Middle Temple Hall), William Shakespeare in Shakespeareʼs Mothers (Straylight Australia, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Touchstone in As You Like It (Principal Theatre Company), Betty in Aunt Aggieʼs Gut Rot (Adelaide Fringe Festival), Phil in Backpacker! (Darlinghurst Theatre), Adam in The Kabbalistic Psychoanalysis Of Adam R Tzaddik (Adelaide Fringe Festival)Film: BBC Journalist/Voice of Albert Einstein in The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom (Optimism Films)
Trained at Central School of Speech and Drama. OSO shows include Cold Smoke, State Of Affairs, Maestro’s Last Words and her own plays, Liberty Hall and Murder On Cue. And earlier this year she played Annie in Round and Round the Garden. Other theatre: Daisy Pulls It Off (West End), Murder At The Vicarage, Martin Chuzzlewit (Belgrade, Coventry), Boeing Boeing (Lyceum, Crewe), Charley’s Aunt, Confusions, How The Other Half Loves (Guildhall, St Ives), Merry Wives Of Windsor, All’s Well That Ends Well, Winter’s Tale (Festival Players), As You Like It (Shakespeare In Provence), Two Gentlemen Of Verona, The Rivals, Love’s Labours’ Lost (Rain Or Shine), The Winslow Boy, School For Scandal (Gawsworth Hall), Twelfth Night (Gloriana), Arms And The Man, The Miser (Michael Friend Productions), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Highley Manor). TV includes: Playdays, Oscar Charlie, Manhunt, Prince John.
Maurice returns to the OSO to direct once more for Rare Fortuine Productions. Previous plays were the Alan Ayckbourn play Round and Round the Garden, and Robin Miller’s thriller Murder On Cue and farce Liberty Hall. Other directing credits include 2020 Visions at the OSO, Stunning Meara, a play about selective mutism at Theatre 503, and Beauty and the Beast at Dorking Town Hall. Maurice worked as an award-winning film editor for ITN, BBC and Southern TV, before gaining a scholarship to RADA, where he won the Ronson Award and the Bronze Medal. He is a member of Stage Directors UK and Actors and Writers London.
Paddy Gormley - Photographer and Sound Designer
Paddy Gormley is a self-unemployed photographer, database programmer, web, print & sound designer, creative & analytical thinker & writer, speechifier, facilitator, Socratic interlocutor, husband, father, grandfather, cook, washer-upper and general dogsbody. Paddy manages the Actors & Writers London website.
David has been a professional actor since 1966 when he played the title role in the BBC TV series ‘Jennings’. He started writing in 2002 and to date he has written 23 short plays and two full-length plays, the most recent being ‘Funny Turns’, a comedy drama set in a theatrical boarding house in 1935, which enjoyed sold out runs at the Museum of Comedy and the Jermyn Street Theatre, London in 2019. His writing is published by Stagescripts Ltd. Stagescripts.com davidhampshire.com
Tom Jensen mostly writes absurdist drama. In 2014 he took part in the Royal Court writing programme. Two festivals of his short plays have been staged by the Complete Theatre Company, New York. Last year his full-length absurdist play Headhog was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. You can find out more about his work at www.tomjensen.co.uk and on Twitter @absurdistworld.
Tom is a big fan of all those involved in today's show, so he was delighted to have the opportunity to contribute a play.
Following an active and successful acting career on both stage and TV Carolyn turned to writing. Her TV sitcom Rosie and Dud was first commissioned by the late John Howard Davis and then later sold to Warner Sisters and her first stage play For the Love of Art, a 30-minute black comedy was produced at The BAC in a season of new writers. Her first full-length play, A Very Private Matter was selected for the Wandsworth Arts Festival. Carolyn developed her award-winning short play, The Beautiful Couple into a Radio Four afternoon play with Julia McKenzie and Ronald Pickup. Sexologically Speaking, a quartet of plays sold out for its run at the OSO. Between Friends written with Rosalind Adler, starring Catherine Shipton also had a sell-out week at the OSO. Her book of short stories, Feeling the Fear and other intriguing tales, is available on Amazon. Carolyn wrote the book for the musical revue, A Bowl of Cherries starring Gary Wilmot at The Charing Cross Theatre.Life Changes, due to go on at the OSO in March this year but has been postponed till next spring.
Nicolas Ridley has lived and worked in Tokyo, Casablanca, Barcelona, Hong Kong & Paris and now lives in London & Bath where he writes fiction, nonfiction, scripts and stage plays under different names. His plays have been performed by professional and non-professional companies in theatres and at drama festivals in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isles of Scilly, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Australia. His one-act plays are published by Stagescripts; other pieces are published by Smith Scripts and Lazy Bee Scripts. Godfrey's Ghost, his biographical memoir, is published by Mogzilla Life. A prize-winner and Pushcart Nominee, Nicolas’s short stories, nonfiction and flash fiction pieces have appeared in a wide range of anthologies, magazines and literary journals in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA.
Sally Sheringham has had her work performed at Southwark Playhouse, Bread and Roses Theatre, The Bunker and The Space. Her play about suffragettes toured schools with Historia Theatre Company. She has taken a playwriting course at the National Theatre and is a member of Actors and Writers London, where several of her short comedies have won audience-vote competitions. A published author, she’s currently completing a novel set in the 18th century.
Rare Fortune Productions would like to give a special thank you to the following people for their help:
Actors and Writers London(www.actorsandwriters.london) for providing the means for all of our creatives to meet and be inspired to set up Rare Fortune Productions; Lisa, Jonny and everyone at the OSO Arts Centre for giving us the opportunity to re-open your theatre; Paddy Gormley for photography and sound and his enthusiastic support; and our fantastic audience for giving us all the chance to be in a theatre again. Thank you.