Sun, 28 October 2012 Halloween in London

The Hallowe'en SessionsI’m off to London today, and tomorrow I’ll be attending the première performance of The Hallowe’en Sessions in the Leicester Square Theatre.

It’s a rather surreal experience to type those words.

The effect of writing is often only felt many months (or years) after you have gestated and laboured over an idea. Due to the passage of time these projects can become rather abstract, especially as you continue to work on other stories. Then, whosh, it manifests suddenly as a concrete form, and you come to the work as fresh as everyone else (except with way more nervousness).

Tickets have been selling well, and the closing night performance, and Hallowe’en night, are sold out. Although, it’s probably no harm to chance your arm and phone the box office if you’re after a single ticket. People always have to drop out of attending things at the last minute.

It you want to hear a bit about the genesis of the play, check out two podcasts of our director (and fellow writer) Sean Hogan talk about the project with another of our writers, Kim Newman. The first podcast is from an interview with Virginie Selavy on Resonance FM and the second is on the recent GeekCast podcast,

Like all theatrical productions there have been a series of changes, and last minute-edits, that have occurred along the way. Several weeks ago one of our actresses Pollyanna McIntosh had to leave the play through an unfortunate sheduling clash. There was nothing she could do about it, and there was no hard feelings, especially as she helped us secure Gina Abolins to replace her. Gina recently pulled off a memorable performance in The Seasoning House. This change was of particular interest to me as Gina’s part is central to my section of the play.

From what I’ve heard Gina has done a remarkable job during rehearsals to get into all her various roles and catch up with the other actors.

The event brought to mind a great scene in Shakespeare in Love, written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard.

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

So to remind you, the entire cast is: Sarah Douglas (Superman 2, Conan the Destroyer), Gina Abolins (The Seasoning House), Billy Clarke (The Devil’s Business, Hunger), Daniel Brocklebank (The Hole, Little Deaths), Holly Lucas (Little Deaths, Holby City), Joshua Mayes-Cooper(Doctors, Outpost 11) and Grace Ker (‘Madame Edwarda’).  The stage manager is Jocasta Upton.

I met Billy Clarke at FantasyCon in Brighton, where he performed Stephen Volk’s section of the play. His performance was intense and memorable, and Billy is also a lovely fellow (who hails from Northern Ireland). I can’t wait to meet the rest of the cast.

Since I’m going to be in London for over a week, I might even go to a museum! Usually I’m too busy when I visit London to go to any exhibitions or events. I was tipped off about the Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde at the Tate Britain by my friend Kate Laity, and I will try to get to that.

Henry Wallis, 'The Death of Chatterton' 1856

Plus, it’s Hallowe’en in London. I suspect there might be a thing or two happening in the city.

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