hastetheatre

the journey of Haste as they enter the big wild world

An update and a farewell from Anna!

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Dear friends of Haste,

Happy New Year! Here is a wee update of what Haste will be getting up to this year…

2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year already. OYSTER BOY is making a comeback this January as part of the Black Box Festival at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, THE HIDEOUT will be back in London early this year as part of the Ideas Tap Emerging Graduate Companies programme at the New Diorama Theatre (dates TBC), and BEYOND CRAGPORTH ROCK will be on the road in the UK in the late Spring.

In other news, after much consideration I have decided to start a new chapter in my career and have consequently stepped down from my role as Co-Director of Haste Theatre. This has been a truly difficult decision, and I’m still coming to terms with the idea of not spending my days with the motley crew that have made the past two and half years a whirlwind of adventure and amazing experiences! I am so proud of what we have achieved together, but I feel it’s the right time for me to forge a new path. Although I have officially stepped down, I will be performing OYSTER BOY with the gals at the Black Box Festival in January, and will also be going on the road with BEYOND CRAGPORTH ROCK for the tour later this year. I will of course be staying in touch and you never know – there may be opportunity for new collaborations in the future!

I want to take this opportunity to say an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us get this company off the ground – it would not have been possible without your generosity and immense support. In particular, I want to thank the extended families and friends of Haste here in the UK, in Italy and the USA. You have opened your doors to us in every way imaginable, and made sure that we have never been short of delicious food, costumes, glue guns, shed space, surf lessons, and places to sleep on tour! I am so grateful for everything that you have invested in Haste – your kindness has been amazing. I would also like to give a big shout out to the theatre professionals we have collaborated with – your input has been invaluable. Not forgetting the support we have received from St Mary’s University College, and the festivals and venues who have hosted our work. You have contributed so much to the company’s development for which we are all very grateful. I would also like to thank our brilliant audiences for taking a chance on a group of quirky ladies, for laughing with us, and making it all worthwhile!

Finally, I would like to thank Jesse, Elly, Valeria, Sophie and Elena for being such wonderful colleagues and friends. I will definitely miss our collectively whacky sense of humour and the ridiculous, yet fabulous times we’ve had together.

One last thing: I know that Haste will continue to go from strength to strength for many years to come, and I hope that you will continue to support them and help this exciting company flourish. I look forward to seeing you at all of their performances…I’ll be the number 1 fan in the front row cheering them on!

Big Love from Anna xxx

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Haste US Tour Summer 2014

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I think I can speak for the whole of Haste when I say that our US tour this summer was amazing and epic. From Orlando, Florida to San Diego, California, we had many varied and interesting experiences, meeting a whole range of new people, visiting new places and performing in different venues.

We started our journey in Orlando as we were invited by the producer to bring our show ‘Oyster Boy’ to the Fringe Festival there (America’s oldest Fringe Festival). After a day of recovering from the long flight, we set out on our marketing campaign which involved busking in and around the Fringe venues and flyering virtually every person we passed, inviting them to come and see the show. A couple of times, we would flyer someone and they would politely say ‘Oh, no, thank you, I already have 4.’ We were playing in a really great but very large (300+ seats) venue and as we were as yet unknown to the audience of the Orlando Fringe, we needed to make people aware of our existence!

We also signed up to do workshops in the Kid’s Fringe area (a very impressive area across the road from the main Fringe site, with lots of exciting free things for kids to do) and do ‘Meet and Greet’ sessions with Sam, the puppet in our show. We were placed under a 300 year old beautiful tree to do these workshops and had a great turnout – the ages ranging from about 0-10, not forgetting the enthusiastic parents who were keen to get involved. The ‘Meet and Greet’ was a great chance for us to introduce our puppet to children – it’s always interesting to see how different children interact with him – some hugged and tickled him, some hit him, some let out a primal scream upon seeing him and had to be carried away by their parents…

Anyway, the build up to the beginning of the festival itself was very busy and productive – we met lots of amazing fellow artists and managed to fit in seeing many inspiring shows. There was a really strong artist community in Orlando, which made us feel very welcome and involved. We were very happy with the audience turnout for our shows, and we felt that all five of the performances went well. It was only the first press night in which we had some technical difficulties – because of a storm we lost electricity at a crucial point (of course), which meant a minute long blackout and rain coming through the ceiling onto the stage. Although this was a little nerve-wracking, after performing outside in San Diego last year where we had to deal with a police helicopter search, fireworks, loud football fans and a pregnant cat on stage, we weren’t phased and carried on with the show as soon as the electricity decided to start working again. We ended up winning 3 awards – ‘Fringe Crush’ along with the puppet, Sam (who was long asleep by this point in the evening so couldn’t be there to accept the award); ‘Best Kid’s Fringe Show’ and ‘Best International Show’. All in all we had a really fulfilling and fun time in Orlando and hope to go back at some point!

Next, we set off on our second leg of the journey – to San Diego. Here we did 2 performances of ‘Oyster Boy’ as a pre-fringe venture at the Ocean Beach Playhouse, as well as developed and re-worked our show ‘The Hideout’ which we had previously performed for 1 night only (five times back to back) as a site-specific piece in South London in January. In San Diego we were lucky enough to use rehearsal space at the Academy of Performing Arts, which is owned by Kevin Charles Patterson, the producer of the Fringe. We did about a week of rehearsing ‘The Hideout’ and then took a trip up the coast to San Francisco and Bakersfield. In San Francisco we stayed with two girls we had met last year at the San Diego Fringe. One of the nights we were able to partake in a Circus Skills workshop which one of the girls runs every week. There we learnt the basics of juggling, plate spinning and tight rope walking… Then onto Bakersfield where we were hosted by a lovely family, friends of Valeria’s, who arranged for us to do a performance of ‘Oyster Boy’ in their backyard for their friends. It was another great experience of doing this show in an unconventional location – always interesting and very fun! Sadly we could only stay the weekend there before heading back to San Diego to carry on the rehearsal process.

Upon our return we ran a workshop which we organised in conjunction with the Actors Alliance of San Diego. We were thrilled with the turnout for the 3-hour session, there was a wide range of people from different disciplines – some involved in improvisation, some involved in musical theatre and some were there simply to find out more about physical theatre. It’s a really rewarding experience being able to exchange skills and techniques across cultures, and seeing what people are aware of already in their area of theatre and what they have never been exposed to. Sometimes the same games are played but in a different context, giving a whole new meaning to them.

At the end of June we were joined by Paul, our technician, who flew from London to work with us for the Fringe. He was super helpful and supportive, making some major set pieces and props as well as helping design (and operate) the lighting for the show. It took a lot of work and a lot of nerves before the show was ready to go up, as it was the first time this show would be put in front of any form of audience excluding Paul! Thankfully our first night went very well and the audience were really positive. As always we like to get feedback so we have a different perspective of the show so we can tweak it if necessary. After a nice review (read it here!)

http://m.sandiegoreader.com/news/2014/jul/08/theater-fringe-hideout/

and a couple of nights doing the show, we were able to relax into it and enjoy playing our individual characters more fully. There were some amazing shows at the Fringe this year which we were fortunate enough to see. Other strange and wonderful experiences happened during our time in San Diego, including singing at a lesbian wedding on a rooftop and being guests on an improv show where we were interviewed and then the performers improvised (hilarious) scenes based on what we said. Very insightful into how other people view us!

San Diego Fringe ended very nicely with a party and an awards ceremony in which we won ‘Best World Premiere’. The post-tour come down involved travelling around the US for some of us, going back to Europe for others, and above all lots of sleep. Now we are back in the UK, working on our next production, ‘Beyond Cragporth Rock’ which is playing from 23rd Sept-4th Oct at the CLF Art Café (aka Bussey Building); tickets available here:

https://shop.ticketscript.com/channel/web2/get-dates/rid/TX7K7Y2T/eid/216456/language/en/format/html

If you would like to donate to this project, please see our funding campaign here:

http://www.ideastap.com/crowdfunding/project/haste-theatre-presents-beyond-cragporth-rock

That’s all from me for now! Watch this space for future tales of Haste adventures…

Jesse

Haste get ready to fly away on tour again…

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We are about to pack up our hampers and throw Oyster Boy back into the arms of Italy and America…

First stop is Italy where we will be performing shows of ‘Oyster Boy’ over eight days in a number of theatres and schools near Mantova. As we performed at Rome Fringe last June, we have already adapted the text of the show to include some Italian. Not a lot of Italian was added, however, and thankfully the audience were able to understand despite the language barrier. This is a very positive thing for us, as it is one of the main aspects of this style of theatre – that it is not entirely reliant on the text to tell the story. In fact I saw a show recently that featured Dutch as the main language and although the exact sense completely went over my head, I was able to grasp the understanding because of the expression and the performance surrounding it. I feel this is something we will focus on more, as we are lucky to have five languages between us within the company, and we would like to explore the usage of them further.

After we fly back from Italy, we have a month of rehearsing (and working, sadly!) before we hit the airport again to fly off to sunny Florida! We have been invited to play at Orlando Fringe Festival, where we will do a number of performances of ‘Oyster Boy’ as well as meeting other artists from the festival and checking out the town of Mickey Mouse! After meeting the producer of the festival at San Diego Fringe Festival last year, we can’t wait to go and check out Orlando Fringe and experience another festival. Along with a spring cleaning of the props and remaking of the costumes, Oyster Boy himself has been dusted down and had a bit of a makeover, and is ready to face the sunshine of Orlando.

Then…onto San Diego where will be returning with our new show, ‘The Hideout’ which we performed in January at a great venue in South London called Café Cairo. Since that performance which was quite site-specific and immersive as the venue leant itself so nicely to improvising with moving the audience around, we are now in the process of developing it to be more adaptable for touring, so that it will work in a completely different setting. Our venue in San Diego is a lovely old theatre called ‘Spreckels’, located downtown, and seemingly quite flexible in terms of how we use the space. ‘The Hideout’ currently includes a live band and audience interaction and so we are thinking of staging the show so that it has in-the-round seating. This will lend itself nicely to create the feel that the audience are actually in the speakeasy bar (our main setting) with us. Lots to think about and lots to look forward to for this tour – we are really excited to reconnect with the people we met last year and also see new work and meet new artists too.

That’s all for now, wish us luck bringing two show’s worth of stuff plus all our own baggage through customs!!!

Haste visits Edinburgh!

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Recently, 3 of Haste Theatre departed for Edinburgh Festival for a few days to meet up with the producers of the festivals we have been to this summer: Kevin Patterson – San Diego, Davide Ambrogi – Roma and Michael Marinaccio – Orlando Fringe; to network, see some shows, soak up the atmosphere and spread the Haste word! After uncrumpling ourselves from a long night bus we hit the Pleasance where we met Davide, Michael and Kevin as well as Holly Payton-Lambardo and Catherine Mattos who run the World Fringe Network. Holly and Catherine were animated and informative and invited us not only to drinks in the private bar for industry professionals that evening, but also to the promoters’ breakfast, where artists have the chance to network and meet promoters, producers and agents! The World Fringe Network had also set up a panel which we were invited to speak on.  After a great festival Mexican lunch, we saw a brilliant one-woman show, ‘The Veil’ by Lucy Hopkins. That evening we went for drinks at the industry professionals’ bar in the famous Udderbelly where we met more  fringe festival producers.  Great to be there as artists having a good time chatting, meeting such interesting people and representing Haste to the industry.

In the morning we sat in on the producers’ panel where producers answered questions on their fringes and the ways they are run. This gave us a great insight into the world of fringe and a greater depth of knowledge which will inform the planning for our next tour. It also gave us the chance to see the people we had met the previous night in action, talking about the great work they do! We spent the next part of the day helping Kevin at the Fringe Fair, acting as ambassadors for the San Diego and Roma festivals, answering artists’ questions about our experiences and making lots of interesting connections.

The next day we went to the promoters’ breakfast, feeling a little cheeky as it was for Edinburgh artists, but as part of the World Fringe Network panel we were welcomed.  A picture board informed artists which professionals were there and after a mouthful of fruit cocktail we got chatting to an international tour promoter and the director of a Polish theatre , both of whom we had targeted to see what they were all about. The breakfast was a buzz of chattering, promoting and networking, a great way to get our name known in the industry!

Mid-day, and time for the panel which consisted of 6 artists from the U.S, England and Canada all of whom had performed at a variety of Fringe Festivals around the world. The questions were led by Holly of the World Fringe Network. The big audience consisted largely of Edinburgh artists as well as some producers and industry professionals keen to get an artist’s insight into Fringe.  After feeling cool, calm and collected at the promoters’ breakfast, I began to feel a little nervous as the first question was asked, but as soon as the ball got rolling we began to enjoy ourselves, listening to the experiences of different artists at varying stages in their careers. It was also great to have a platform for our own tales from San Diego, Roma and Camden, giving an account of the performances, audiences, locations and organisations we have been working with this summer. We were also able to convey our ideas about the benefits for emerging international artists of performing at the newer Fringe festivals in gaining reviews and press exposure. Hearing about Canadian and other U.S Fringes gave us useful (and exciting!) first- hand information to use in planning next summer’s tour.  After a fun and tasty lunch with ‘the producers’ listening to stories and pearls of theatre wisdom, we went to  a show called Repertory Theatre by Elephant and the Mouse (tickets kindly donated to us by the company!) to see a manic 2 man whirlwind show full of Shakespeare satire, energy, comedy and a lot of spit!

On our last day at the festival we again met up with Kevin, who told us that in San Diego they have little, perhaps no European Physical Theatre and so was very eager to see some. We were also keen for him to see the sort of work that inspires us and that we love to experience as audience members. First stop was ‘Missing’ by Gecko Theatre. This was a dark and imaginative piece using conveyor belts, lights, simply constructed frames through which the protagonist saw memories. The fantastic gestural ensemble and solo movement left us all completely inspired. The second piece we saw left us less inspired but it was interesting in its own right, filled with true and horrific stories of capital punishment, torture and unjust killings told through some beautiful imagery and at points less than inspiring cookery metaphors. We sadly said goodbye to Kevin later that afternoon but with the promise that we would see him next year with an even better show. Thank you, Kevin for the shows, advice, fun and promotion all weekend! A big thank you to Michael and Davide too for great company and advice all weekend and a special thanks to Holly and Catherine for giving us the opportunity to talk on the panel and getting us out and about with industry pros at various events each day! Throughout our time in the land of crazy and often somewhat lacklustre flyering and performances we stayed with various members of the lovely Dupre family who gave us great hospitality and a lot of fun too. All in all a very productive and enjoyable few days at the festival and we weren’t even performing! Who knows what will happen same time next year, watch this space…!

Haste arrive back in London with 3 awards!

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The Haste ladies arrived back home a couple of weeks ago from their international tour after having some truly amazing experiences and meeting some wonderful people. Everyone we met and stayed with in both Rome and San Diego couldn’t have been more welcoming and supportive, we really felt part of a large artistic community which was very encouraging for us as a young company. After winning two awards in San Diego – one for adversity and the other big one – ‘Spirit of the Fringe’ – we then found out that we won the Creativity award from the press in Rome! We are extremely honoured and flattered to have won these awards. It gives us the confidence that we need to carry on, and the knowledge that our show, which was devised completely on our own with no director, was well received and appreciated.

Now back in London, we are all busy trying to make some money after being away, but still finding the time to rehearse for our next festival, which will be Camden Fringe. We will be playing at the Etcetera Theatre on the 8th-11th August at 3pm. We will have about a week of rehearsals before we perform, in which we plan to develop and tweak the show a little, taking into account all the feedback we received from various people. It is very useful having different opinions from professionals and audience members alike, yet we then have to sift through and make sure we stay true to our original intentions as a company. It seems that when we add in extra bits it helps us to keep the play free and spontaneous which is one of our main aims when devising.

We would like to say how grateful we are for all the support we have had – from family members, friends, other artists, staff at the festivals to St Mary’s University College where we were born! We hope that we have been able to show our appreciation and gratitude through our hard-work and determination, which we hope to maintain.

Please check out our website: http://www.hastetheatre.com and do follow us on St Mary’s blog here: http://www.smuc.ac.uk/news/blog/drama-st-marys-blog/

You can also check out an article written about our show in San Diego here:
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/out-about/2013/jul/06/sd-fringe-festival-oyster-boy-and-diapers-dishes-a/

Haste in San Diego

So Haste have been in San Diego for just over a week and I am quite sure that we are all ready to up sticks in London and move out here to California! We have been shown such a warm welcome – by both the people and the weather!!! It is real a pleasure to be in such a friendly city and to contribute in what is sure to be a fantastic Fringe Festival.

We have been kept busy playing frisbe and surfing (well attempting to…) on the beach, rehearsing at the San Diego Academy of Performing Arts Studio and joining in the local Zumba classes. Today we will be out and about in Down Town SD to busk and make some noise about Oyster Boy before we start our technical rehearsal this evening at Space4Art.

Last night we took part in the Fringe Press Mixer hosted by the 10th Avenue Theatre (Fringe Central), where we were thrilled to be welcomed by such a lively audience and the brilliant Fringe Team. It was a great opportunity to perform a little taster of the show to a California audience, and of course to see what all the other great artists have brought to the festival. It seems the week ahead is going to be an absolute blast!!

Thank you so much to our friends at home, our new friends in Rome and here in San Diego who have supported us thus far. Without your encouragement this tour would never have been possible. We are extremely grateful!

Ok, ciao for now!Image

Ciao Roma...

Photo by Giovanna Onofri

Well it was an amazing week in Rome and it’s safe to say our little Oyster Boy is beginning to walk safely on his own two feet now, leaving us lots of time to enjoy the performances and the amazing opportunities this summer is giving us.

We met so many lovely people who supported us over the week, from the stage managers to the olive sellers on the path to our stage (who on the final night administered some brilliant first aid to Elly whose running across the Roman cobbles left her with a heavily bleeding toe about 20 minutes before the show went up…), as well as lovely reviewers, performers and other industry professionals. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from the Italian audience, and managed to completely sell out with extra seats having to be found.

Our first experience performing in a foreign country definitely had its stressful sides, not least the language barrier for four of us, but we are pleased to say that we are finding our feet during performance and whatever stresses (bloody toes, last minute stage changes, lights blowing and sound problems) we had faced, during performance we managed to come together and play the show with even more fun and confidence than before.

We hope to return to Rome Fringe again soon as a week certainly wasn’t long enough to immerse ourselves in all the city and festival had to offer! However, we are now sitting in sunny San Diego preparing for our performances at the Fringe next week. This theatre company life really isn’t so bad huh? We met with the festival producer, Kevin, yesterday who made us feel so welcome and at home here, and are looking forward to meeting the rest of the artists and press at the festival mixers this week.

We are also putting in some time in the rehearsal room to try out some more developments to a show which has already developed so much since opening night, and which we are really starting to feel comfortable and looking forward to sharing with the beautiful people in the US of A.

HOWDY PARTNERS!!! Also check us out on the St Mary’s blog

http://www.smuc.ac.uk/news/news/school-of-communication-culture-and-creative-arts/2013/06/st-marys-drama-students-get-set-for-international-tour/

Soph x

Haste arrive in Rome for the Fringe Festival!

So, Haste have arrived in Roma – and what a city to begin our international tour. Every corner you turn there is something new to be discovered and most likely a spectacular ancient ruin! We are in awe and so grateful to have the opportunity to perform in such a lively city.

After a surreal and somewhat stressful morning of organising flyer printing and box office arrangements (and discovering that we were performing outdoors!) we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon busking in the sunshine and encouraging people to come to our opening night at the Villa Mercede. It seems our singing was well received as we had a great first audience! We thoroughly enjoyed the first show and are still overwhelmed by the positive feedback from the audience  – one couple told us it was the best show they had seen in the festival so far!  After the show we were interviewed by the magazine Nouvelle Vague, which you can watch on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHN2sJEx1CM&feature=youtu.be

Today we are heading out for another day of busking and promoting the show…and maybe a cheeky trip to the Coliseum too. Roma, Roma, Roma – Haste theatre vi ama!

 

You can also follow us on the Drama St Mary’s blog here: http://www.smuc.ac.uk/news/blog/drama-st-marys-blog/

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Haste ha appena iniziato il suo tour in giro per il mondo, prima tappa ieri al Roma Fringe Festival.

Una serata davvero positiva per la nostra compagnia che è stata accolta con calore dal pubblico italiano, saremo ancora in scena per altre due sere nel parco di Villa Mercede a San Lorenzo. Considerando che Haste è appena nata e per la prima volta sul suolo italiano possiamo essere fiere del numero di persone che sono venute a vedere Oyster Boy, sicuramente anche grazie ai nostri metodi “canori” di volantinaggio, infatti durante tutta la giornata prima dello spettacolo abbiamo cantato per le strade della capitale e all’interno della città universitaria de “ La sapienza”. Dopo lo spettacolo siamo state intervistate dalla rivista Nouvelle Vague, potete vedere la nostra intervista qui:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHN2sJEx1CM&feature=youtu.be

Oggi e domani continueremo ad aggirarci per le strade di Roma cantando e chiacchierando con le persone invitandole  ai nostri prossimi spettacoli il 20 e 21 Giugno. Se anche voi vi aggirate da queste parti attenti perché potreste incontrarci dietro l’angolo a cantare accompagnate dal nostro hukulele!

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Haste feature on St Mary’s Drama blog!

Haste feature on St Mary’s Drama blog!

Click on the link to read about Haste and other posts about life in the drama world at St Mary’s!

arbus-field

“I am not an elephant, I am not an animal, I am a human being!” Without wanting to give too much away, I thought I would share with you some of the many and wide ranging influences that have inspired us in the creation of Oyster Boy. We are working hard to create something both […]