The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family – full show

In November I developed and twice performed the first twenty minutes of what I hoped would become a full hour-long one-man show. I even wrote about it, and how I hoped it would grow. Well, since then, I’ve found a producer (the apparently super-human Oscar French), found some support and expertise (the apparently omniscient Louisa Davies), found a filmmaker (the apparently nocturnal Paul McHale), found an artistic mentor (the boundlessly talented Inua Ellams), found a rehearsal and performance venue (the definitely real mac birmingham), retained a director (the apparently eternally energetic Polly Tisdall), and – crucially – found some money (from performance poetry overlords Apples & Snakes, and overlord of all overlords Arts Council England). So it’s happening!

Tomorrow morning, Oscar and I, armed with hired film equipment and a plan more flexible than tabloid morals, will embark on a journey from Nottingham to Wembley, hitchhiking whenever we can. We’ll be blogging as we go, on the show’s brand spanking new website. It’s sure to be a genuinely fascinating ride, and hopefully also a genuinely fascinating read! The hitchhike will inspire the show, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family, and the footage we get over the next few days will not only be used as a record of the trip for me to look back on, but will be incorporated into the show too. Details of the performance, how to buy tickets, and everything else you need to know (which is pretty much limited to the details of the performance and how to buy tickets!) is all on the show’s website, but for the sake of ease, and insatiable self-promotion, here are the details in the digi-flesh:

19:30, Saturday 6th September 2014
Hexagon Theatre, mac birmingham
Tickets £5, available here

I really hope to see some of you there. The show will be followed by a brief open-floor discussion in which the audience will be invited to offer feedback, in order to shape the development of the show before (fingers crossed) a UK tour and Edinburgh Fringe run in 2015! So I really hope to see some of you there! I’ll be the tired, dirty, happy traveller, thumbing a ride to the venue…

Hitchhikers promo

Method

This post might at first seem to have a rather explicit agenda – to persuade you to come and see my play – but actually I just want to write a little something about it (sadly, Facebook is where the aggressive self-promotion happens at the moment!). Although of course I’d be delighted if you did come and see it.

Method is my second full-length play, although it’s the first to be properly produced. And it’s also the first play I’ve ever directed. Putting it on, therefore, has been a fantastic and challenging exercise in many respects, but one that I have absolutely relished. I’m wary of speaking too soon, as I know how much hard work the next few days require (we open on Friday 6th December!) and how much could go wrong in the short time we have, but so far it has been nothing but a pleasure. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a very talented and committed cast of 8, and alongside an extremely hard working and equally talented creative team. Special kudos must go to producer Elisha Owen, and to filmmaker Paul McHale, whose skills I could wax lyrical about for hours (and have done to many friends already!). But instead of doing that, I think I’d rather show you this trailer, so you can see for yourself:

Method is a play about blindness, both literal and figurative, and concepts of performance, in life and in art. I first conceived of it in Spring 2012, wrote Act 1 in Scotland in October 2012, and finally finished Act 2 in July this year (having taken a necessary sabbatical in order to focus on the small matter of my degree!). I then tweaked it over the summer, following a read-through of the first draft with some superb and willing actor-friends, before starting rehearsals in October. So it’s been a long time coming, and I am a different writer now to the one I was when I sat down to pen (read: type) the first scene almost 18 months ago. But that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the script. I absolutely am, and I’m even prouder of what we have done with it. The play involves a lot of digital theatre elements, principally the film projections, and about this I am particularly excited. The potential for interaction between live and recorded performance has always interested me (indeed, it’s something I intend to explore even further in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family) and Method is my first foray in to this area. Whether it works will become clear as the week plays itself out, or perhaps it will never become clear, but either way I think the production will contribute something new and important to the University of Birmingham’s theatrical landscape. Fingers crossed.

Oh, so you are interested in coming to see it? Well, you should’ve said sooner! Tickets can be reserved by writing on the wall of the Facebook event, or, if you’re not the Facebook-ing type, by emailing Elisha Owen on mselishaowen@gmail.com

Method runs 6th – 8th December 2013 in the Amos Room at University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students. Tickets are £4 Watch This members, £5 concessions, £7 standard.