Casting Announced for Greyhounds A/W 2019 Tour

Time & Again are incredibly excited to welcome five new company members! They’ll be joining us in heading back to the 1940s and performing in Greyhounds for our Autumn/Winter 2019 tour!

Greyhounds will be coming to Sheffield 9th – 12th October and Cambridge 9th & 16th November, with more dates to be added soon. You can book tickets here and here!

From left:
Samantha Vaughan – Ruby Winters
Katherine Reynolds  – Katherine Winters
Adam Martin-Brooks – Will Croft
Kendal Boardman – Nancy Wilde
Ben Hynes – Edward Holmes

We’re really excited to welcome to our new members to the company and to see them bring this story to life once again for brand new audiences.

Written by Laura Crow, Greyhounds entwines Shakespeare’s famous story of ‘warlike Harry’ with the everyday trials and tribulations of small village life during World War Two. Whilst the war rages above them, the residents of Shuttlefield village struggle to stage a production of Henry V to raise money for their local Spitfire fund.

The original cast, from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 run of Greyhounds, will also be performing for two nights of the tour.


From left:
Catherine Cowdrey – Ruby Winters
Laura Crow – Katherine Winters
Jacob Taylor – Will Croft
Fiona Primrose – Nancy Wilde
Tim Cooper – Edward Holmes

Greyhounds AW 2019 Touring Poster

OPEN CASTING CALL – New Company Members

THIS OPPORTUNITY IS NOW CLOSED

Time & Again Theatre Company are currently seeking new company members to join us on our Autumn/Winter 2019 Tour!

Audition date – Sunday 8th September, 1pm – 4pm
Audition Location – Hope Aria Academy, Hope Aria House, Unit 15 Wellington House, Manchester, M40 7FS

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Time & Again formed in July 2017 as a new company wishing to explore all things vintage and historical. We’ve just completed our second successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and are now small-scale and rural touring both of our shows. Time & Again recently won the Oldham Coliseum Pick of the Manchester Fringe award, as well as winning an Undrowning Scholarship of $1000 back in July for our efforts in promoting women in STEM, particularly the lack of women in the aviation industry.

We are looking for 6 new company members, 3 male, 3 female.

New company members will be expected to each learn and perform two different roles – one in our 1940s show Greyhounds and one in our Edwardian show Clouds – as well as joining in with ASM and tech duties, including helping to load and unload the van, setting up the lights for each show, laying out and packing away props. The ability to drink endless of cups of tea and snack on biscuits is also preferable!

Tour dates are currently between 9th October and 3rd December 2019 so anyone applying would need good availability from the end of September onwards.
So far we have dates in Sheffield, Cambridge, and London, as well as local performances in the Manchester area. You will be required to stay overnight for some shows. Time & Again pays for and provides accommodation and travel for all shows out of the Manchester area, as well as breakfast and an evening meal.

We currently pay our company members minimum wage of £8.21 per hour on performance nights only. This covers from the moment we arrive at a venue, from unloading, setting up, performing, and packing again, to the time we leave. This is supplemented by a share of the profits (if any) on a show by show basis.

To Apply
Please email a headshot, CV, and short cover letter explaining why you would like to join the company to itslauracrow@gmail.com

Show Information

Greyhounds
Written and Produced by Laura Crow
Directed by Jacqueline Wheble

Greyhounds 12 Location

The year is 1941 and rehearsals for Henry V are underway…
Greyhounds entwines Shakespeare’s famous story of warlike Harry with the everyday trials and tribulations of small village life during the Second World War. From within the wooden O of the local village hall, where every scene is set, the residents of Shuttlefield rehearse, gossip and indulge in some seriously bad acting as the night of the performance draws ever closer.
Each character is required to perform a short monologue from Henry V during the course of the show. There are additional extracts of Henry V threaded throughout, so experience or understanding of Shakespeare would be desirable.

Greyhounds is a full length play comprising two acts each 1hr long, usually with a 20 minute interval between each act.

Character Breakdown

All roles, other than Mr Nelson, are equal in terms of stage time and importance. It’s a true ensemble piece.

RUBY WINTERS – Playing age: 25 – 40
Directing the village’s production of Henry V. Would-be bohemian; thwarted artist. Bossy but kind. Loses her sight during the show after being caught in the blast of a stray German bomb.

KATHERINE (KATE) WINTERS – Playing age: 18 – 25
Ruby’s younger sister. Reluctant participant. Quiet, awkward, extremely literal. Logical to the point of causing unintentional offence. Becomes a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during the course of the show.

NANCY WILDE – Playing age: 18 – 25
Aspiring actress, recently moved to the village from London. Cheerful, friendly, tries to be helpful. Works in the local greengrocer’s shop owned by her aunt.

EDWARD (NED) HOLMES – Playing age: 25 – 35
Former RAF pilot, currently injured. Studied mathematics at Christ’s College, Cambridge. Rather formal and traditional. High ranking official at Bletchley Park.

WILL CROFT – Playing age: 18 – 25
Playing Henry V. A devotee of literature, working in the fields. Reserved but friendly. During the play we discover he is a conscientious objector. Returns from service in the RAMC with a slight tremor in his right hand.

ARTHUR NELSON – Playing age: 45 – 65
Ruby’s cantankerous lodger. Fought in the First World War. He only appears in the second act of Greyhounds but it’s still a sizeable part.

Clouds
Written and Produced by Laura Crow
Directed by Jacqueline Wheble

Brown Group Shot

The year is 1913 and women are rising up…
Winifred Baxter is determined to become the first Englishwoman to enter an air race, learning to fly amidst the chaos of the suffragette movement, a glorious garden party and far too much nephology: the study of clouds.
Our only set is a large mockup of an Edwardian monoplane so performers must learn how to assemble and take apart the plane quickly as part of the show. In Edinburgh we managed to do this in less than 3 minutes each night, though on tour we’ll have considerably more time!

Clouds is a one act play lasting 1 hour.

Character Breakdown

All roles are fairly equal in terms of stage time and importance. It’s a true ensemble piece.

PHILIP BROOK – Playing age: 25 – 35
An aviator with a high opinion of himself. Seems to be a typical product of a male-dominated society to begin with but he becomes invested in Freddie’s efforts to enter the race. Obnoxious yet charming.

SYLVIA LOVEJOY – Playing age: 18 – 25
A budding Suffragette with an innocent view of the world. Likes to grow flowers. Always talking, incredibly naive, accidentally humorous. Drives the pace of the show along with Philip. Extremely likeable.

FREDDIE (WINIFRED) BAXTER – Playing age: 18 – 25
Determined to become the first female pilot to fly around Britain in an air race. Hot-headed and rather cutting, but able to win the sympathy of the audience. Her health declines rapidly throughout the course of the play.

THEODORE BAXTER – Playing age: 18 – 25
Freddie’s older brother. Stutters badly and is obsessed with Nephology; the study of clouds. Shy and sympathetic. Fond of Sylvia.

LADY SARA FITZMAURICE – Playing age: 25 – 40
Married to Sir Hugh Fitzmaurice who owns the Blackburn monoplane flown by Philip and Freddie. Visitor to the local hospital and organiser of a garden party. Seems snobby and rude initially but a more understanding character emerges.

The parts usually double as follows;
Ruby Winters and Lady Sara
Katherine Winters and Freddie Baxter
Nancy Wilde and Sylvia Lovejoy
Edward Holmes and Philip Brook
Will Croft and Theodore Baxter
Mr Nelson and Light and Sound

 

What I’ve Learnt About Society’s Views on Women From Walking Round Edinburgh Fringe Dressed as a Suffragette

What I’ve learnt about society’s views on women from walking round Edinburgh Fringe dressed as a suffragette.

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Firstly, I feel incredibly proud to wear my sash. It’s a constant reminder of the real women who – however controversial – fought for a very basic right; that women should have an equal voice and say as men. They were determined, brave, unwavering, and consistently belittled, beaten, arrested, mocked and shamed for simply wanting to give women a voice.

Whilst we’re not facing a fraction of the hatred heaped upon our Edwardian sisters, we are still getting heckled, called out and challenged every single day. Just yesterday we had:

“Ridiculous!”

“No, no, no, no, no. Dreadful idea!”

“Bloody socialists!”

“That’s worked out well!”

Some of these comments are dressed up as wit, some less so, but there’s an uneasiness behind each negative reaction. In 2019 people still find the concept of women needing to fight for their rights as just a little bit of a joke. Don’t be silly love. You’ve no need to go on about any of that any more.

Our male cast members, particularly, come in for a lot of curiosity, incredulity and scrutiny. Fair enough, a group of women might parade around as silly suffragettes but surely a man can’t be standing there holding a ‘deeds not words’ banner?

“Men can’t be suffragettes, can they?”

“Don’t you mean, votes for men?”

This is a pervading attitude, one that seems to think that only women can support the rights of women, only women should have an interest in feminism. And this is a big problem. If people only care about issues that 100% directly effect themselves, it doesn’t leave much scope for creating a better world.

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On the flip side, we’re getting a huge positive reaction from young women and girls (and a wonderful young father with his baby daughter). You can see visible excitement pass their faces as we stalk past with our sashes and banners.

“Yassssss!”

“Votes for women!”

The image of these militant freedom fighters resonates hugely with them. But why? It’s been over 100 years since Emmeline Pankhurst and co. chained themselves to the railings and threw bricks through windows. You could argue that suffragettes are no longer relevant. But perhaps, just perhaps, that struggle to have your voice heard still rings true for many women today.

In the arts world, there is a huge lack of female writers, producers, and directors getting their work made and recognised. Though, not for a want of willing and able candidates.

Even here at Fringe, according to The Stage, men earn 60% more than women. (https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2019/men-earned-60-more-than-women-at-last-years-edinburgh-fringe-study-claims/)

This year the #womenoffringe group have been truly excellent, offering support and a platform for the women coming up to Edinburgh. But the fact remains, that it’s still sadly necessary to have a specific group supporting women. Our voices still get lost, talked over, patronized.

So pardon me if we continue “engaging in unedifying conversations about the suffragette movement.” There’s still a long way to go.

As Emmeline said:

“I incite this meeting to rebellion!”

And that’s my call to you. Support female theatre, support female writers. Listen to what we say and recognise that there’s still plenty we have to fight for. Because, if the reaction to our costumes is anything to go by, wanting equal rights is still an act of rebellion!

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Flying Lesson

Laura, the writer, producer, and actor playing Winifred Baxter in Time & Again’s latest show, Clouds, is taking to the skies in the lead up to the Edinburgh Fringe to experience what it’s really like to wield the controls of a plane. The only problem – she’s absolutely terrified of flying!
Last Tuesday she managed to conquer her fear and head up to the clouds. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

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On Tuesday I had my first ever flying lesson.

This was a HUGE deal for me as I’m totally afraid of flying. Even on big passenger jets, which I use as little as possible, I’m stressing and feeling sick and clutching at the arm rests at the slightest movement. I’ve even been known to call out loudly, “are we going down?”, which probably doesn’t make for a particularly fun flight if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself sitting next to me..
So going up in something much smaller, and actually taking over the controls, was filling me with ‘you’re going to die’ level of fear. But it was a really important challenge for me to undertake. My character in Clouds is a daring female pilot and I want to be able to do her justice. I feel I can’t play such a pioneer without experiencing what it’s actually like to control a plane myself.

The lesson had already been rescheduled twice due to low clouds (ironic!) but luckily on Tuesday the weather was clear, bright and not too windy. I arrived at Barton and met my instructor. I was given a headset with a little microphone to wear during the flight so we could hear each other. Not going to lie, it felt a bit like being on TV or in a film (nerd). We went to the control tower to write down the details of our plane and which runway we’d be using. There’s actually plenty of traffic up in the sky, although it looks pretty empty and peaceful from the ground, so it’s important to get these details and times to avoid collisions. Then it was time to get in…

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The plane felt quite flimsy. It was much smaller than a car; a little box under big white wings with two seats side by side. The inside was a bit car-like I suppose, with windows either side and a sun shield you could fold down. I was instructed to strap myself in and give the door a good thump to make sure it was firmly shut.
There were lots of checks to perform before we started up: dials had to be in the right place, switches had to be tested, seat belts checked. Then it was safe to start up the engine.

It wasn’t actually as loud as I was expecting (though I don’t know what I was expecting… a Spitfire? A Jet? Who knows with my mind at this point). On the ground, you control the steering with foot pedals which is a bit mind bending to get your head around. You want to use the control wheel, like you would if you were driving a car, but instead it’s all in the feet. I was told to direct us out so I took up the pedals. Our trundles down to and away from the runway were a bit wobbly but I did my best.

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The engine was revved up a bit to help us take off. It felt like we weren’t going fast enough to ever get up into the sky, but of course we did. The going up wasn’t so bad. It was the levelling off. Every tiny pocket of air, every little rise or drop felt hugely amplified and sent a burst of fear shooting through me. It would be calm for a stretch but then there’d come another burst of the plane bumping and wobbling in the air. This feeling never eased off through our time in the air and was the worst part of the experience for me. Luckily, my instructor was lovely and told me lots about the plane and the area we were flying over (towards Blackpool) to distract me.

The view was AMAZING. That was definitely my favourite part of the flight. The north west is actually really green! You notice that there’s actually far more fields stretching out around you than built up areas when you’re up that high! We flew over the abandoned Camelot theme park which looked particularly captivating and poignant, the rusting rollercoaster track slowly decaying in the bright sunshine.

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Taking the controls was also terrifying. The first time my instructor passed over control, I passed it back in about 2 seconds flat with the professional exclamation, “I don’t like it, take it away!” But I pushed myself to have three attempts. The plane really responds to the smallest movement. It was a lot trickier than you might think just keeping it level (though the instructor made it look ridiculously easy!)

I have to say, although I was so anxious, the time passed pretty quickly. Soon we were turning round and heading back towards the airfield. I think landing was the part I’d been dreading the most but actually it was fine. We did a large rectangular circuit over the airfield before slowly descending. It felt almost like gliding (though before anyone asks, if you ever think I’m going up in something without an engine, you can think again). It was a BIG relief to be back on firm ground. There were more checks to complete upon landing before heading back to the aircraft’s stand.

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I felt relieved and elated and sweaty. People kept asking if I’d enjoyed my flight. I’m not sure enjoyed is the correct word. It was definitely a great experience that I’m so glad I managed to persuade myself to do. But there was also so much fear and anxiety, not just during the flight, but for the days leading up to it.
Once I’d handed in my headset and collected my certificate, I headed over to the Trafford Centre and treated myself to an immense Belgian waffle. The sugar was very much needed, partly because I’d not eaten much all day and partly because I was buzzing so much!

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The lesson taught me a lot and gave me plenty to think about regarding early aviation (such as in my character’s day). The smaller, slower planes must have been so wobbly. The slightest gust of wind must have been catastrophic. And the pilot’s themselves must have been so fearless to the point of being a bit mad! Imagine doing something so risky for the first time, without an established set of rules and guidelines. Aviators wouldn’t have known what to check before and after take off until something went wrong on someone else’s flight and they learned from the consequences.
On top of that, if you were a woman back then, you were also fighting against everyone’s prejudices and expectation that you were going to fail at such an ‘inappropriate’ endeavour. Truly, I have so much for those early pioneers of aviation, especially the women.

You can catch Clouds at The Pankhurst Centre in Manchester as part of the GM Fringe on Thursday 25th July and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Friday 2nd – Saturday 17th August at theSpace on the Mile.

Time & Again Book Club: The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

Wild Air

To bring our plays to life, we find it invaluable to immerse ourselves in books, exhibitions, films and documentaries all about the era and context in which our stories are set. As we prepare to take to Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 with Clouds, a story of women rising up in 1913, we thought now would be an excellent time to invite you to join us in reading up on this exciting era of early aviation and women’s suffrage!

For this first instalment of Time & Again Book Club, we decided to read historical novelist Rebecca Mascull’s The Wild Air. Like Clouds, the story is set in Edwardian England and follows a young woman with a burning desire to take to the skies in these new fangled flying machines.

fionaFiona Primrose who plays budding suffragette Sylvia Lovejoy in Clouds enjoyed an introduction to the world of early aviation.

‘It’s reminded me of what a huge event flying used to be. These days the novelty has worn off with thousands of successful flights happening every day, but back then it really was a spectacle and I’ll be looking to bring some of that excitement (and probably trepidation!) to our performance. I also loved the references to Shakespeare too.’

We’re no strangers to a bit of Shakespeare, our debut show Greyhounds was closely entwined with the bard’s Henry V. Thus, a reference or two will never go amiss with us.

lauraLaura Crow was also particularly taken with the insight into flying the novel gave her. Laura is the writer and producer of Clouds and also plays Freddie Baxter, who is determined to become the first female pilot to fly around Britain in an air race so this was very pertinent to her character development!

‘The descriptions of early aviation and flight was so well researched and detailed. It definitely helped me think about what Freddie would go through each time she took her Blackburn up; the cold, the fear, the excitement, the tempestuous nature of early machinery! 

I loved the descriptions of pre-war Hendon too. It really gave a window into the ‘last glorious summer’ type feeling of the Edwardian era.’

We recently visited Hendon on a trip to London’s RAF Museum. It was particularly exciting to see where parts of the novel were set and see photographs and memorabilia of Claude Grahame-White, who has quite the cameo in the book.

catherineCatherine Cowdrey, who plays Lady Sara Fitzmaurice whose focus is on hosting the perfect garden party, found the characters a big part of the delight of the book.

‘Rebecca Mascull has done a fantastic job of creating a set of vibrant, strong female characters. Aviatrix Della definitely knows her own mind and is not afraid to break the rules. Similarly, her sisters and aunt manage to carve their way in what is perceived to be quite a repressed society. I think this is something we can definitely engage with and explore when we discuss our characters and their motives.’

Clouds director Jacqueline Wheble liked how the author evokes that feeling of being trapped in a small town like Cleethorpes with no future at the start of the novel. The way this then blossoms into the delight of kite flying with that special Auntie who opens up the world to her is really delightful. Cultivating convincing family relationships like this is something which will be key for Clouds as we meet Freddie and her brother Theodore who share a similarly special bond. Jac also thought that the character of the father in The Wild Air, Pop the damaged actor, is very well drawn, bitter and demanding, withholding praise to control his children. Rebecca Mascull’s characters are clearly very carefully considered.

All in all, this page-turner was a big hit with Time & Again Theatre Company’s bookworms. Rebecca Mascull paints a stunning picture of Edwardian England and its aviation scene, one which will certainly inform how we take our Clouds characters to the stage.

Have you read The Wild Air? Let us know what you enjoyed about the book if so! Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of our next read very soon.

Rural Touring in Kent & East Sussex!

For the past month Time & Again have had a wonderful time performing our show, Greyhounds, for rural communities in Kent & East Sussex, in association with Applause Rural Touring! This was our first experience of rural touring and life on the road, and it couldn’t have been more fun! We loved getting the chance to perform Greyhounds in actual village halls as the first act of the show is based in the fictitious Shuttlefield Village Hall so it leant itself perfectly to small local venues.

We were very excited to hit the road in our trusty VW Crew Van!

During our first leg of shows we were based in the lovely town of Tonbridge, near Tunbridge Wells. Our apartment was really nice and just a stone’s throw from the ruins of a castle (how great is that?) We explored Tonbridge during our time off, visiting a cat cafe for hot chocolate with some feline friends and having drinks in local pub The Humphrey Bean! We even managed to make it over to Tunbridge Wells for a wander along the Pantiles.

Kent gives the perfect G&T based advice…

Our shows were at Blackham Village Hall, Crowhurst Village Hall, Bredhurst Village Hall and Shoreham Village Hall (which was also near the Shoreham Air Museum. Obviously we had to drop in for a cup of tea and chat with the museum’s owner Geoff!) All the promoters made us feel very welcome, providing us with copious cups of tea and biscuits, and even a full picnic lunch.

Give us food and we’re happy. We like food.

It’s been really interesting having to adapt the show to different spaces and stages, with the entrances and exits all in different places. We’ve also become very quick at packing and unpacking all of our set into the back of the van! We also felt very proud of ourselves for cooking up a good meal before each of the shows (#adulting)!

Shoreham had pictures in the village hall from their VE Day parade!

We’ve just finished our final show at the 1000-year-old Allsaints Church in Allhallows. It was a wonderful way to end the tour. We got so many feedback cards filled in with wonderful comments and the promoters even bought us fish and chips for dinner!

We got to visit some really beautiful locations.

We’ve had so much fun on the road, a lot of laughs and hi-jinks, and it was amazing to perform our show to such friendly, engaged audiences. Thank you so much to Applause Rural Touring for organising everything – we hope you’ll have us back again soon! We’d love to return to Kent and East Sussex next year with brand new show Clouds!

Letters from the Home Front – Edinburgh Diary Day 12

Sunday 12th August 2018

It was here. Our day off had arrived. And boy was I glad not to be flyering on this wet and gloomy Sunday. Even the usually wildly vocal seagulls had decided to have a lie in and avoid the vicious downpour.

Fiona headed out first for a day of bookish fun. First stop for her was a much-longed for lounge in a coffee shop with her poor slightly neglected novel. A few chapters down, she headed to Lighthouse Books (Edinburgh’s radical bookshop). She perused the tomes on offer with reckless abandon, finally deciding upon an anthology of short stories about political protests.

After lunch with a fellow-Fringing friend, she caught The Red Shoes by Young Pleasance. The show is based upon a Hans Christian Andersen and is brought to life through song and dance. The Red Shoes was full of gorgeous costumes, exciting dance and innovative lighting.

Meanwhile, director Jac and techie Paul pootled on down to Stockbridge market to soak up the hipster vibes (and the torrential rain). They described the vibe as ‘very Chorlton’ for all you Manchester folks in the know. They then spent the afternoon with family (as Paul hails from right here in the land of haggis), celebrating a birthday and stuffing themselves with what I’m told was truly delightful trifle.

Last but certainly not least, Laura, Tim and I had a very exciting day at the ZOO! We set the tone on the way there by cobbling together a makeshift playlist of animal themed songs from what we already had downloaded on Spotify (Octopus’ Garden, Shakira’s She Wolf and I am the Walrus all featured). The zoo was everything I dreamed of and more despite the downpour. Highlights for me were the proud penguin parade, the pygmy hippos and the panda gorging himself on bamboo.

We were all completely tuckered out but the day wasn’t over yet as we had tickets for three shows in quick succession in the evening. We refuelled with a quick and delicious supper of minestrone soup and crackers. Pea-hater Tim left all of his peas in the bowl which isn’t very inkeeping with the wartime spirit. Wasting rations, we shan’t be having any of that!

First show of the evening was Bugle Boys at Assembly Hall. This drag tribute to our beloved Andrews Sisters was full of sass, songs and sequins. It was jolly good fun and the Bugle Boys’ harmonies were so on point.

Next up, we hot-footed it to The Stand to finally catch a bit of the stand-up that Edinburgh Fringe is so renowned for. We took in Alun Cochrun’s show. Depressingly relatable was his observation about having to turn up the TV when the crisps you’re munching on are too loud. A crisis I face on an almost daily basis.

Our final show of the night was late-night Showstopper! The talented cast come up with a musical on the fly based on audience suggestions. We were treated to a Baywatch musical in the style of Hamilton, Mamma Mia, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Book of Mormon. It’s incredible to see the musicians pick up on the melodies the cast throw out and the ever-perfect harmonies. Seriously, don’t miss these guys if you’re at the Fringe. I could go see it every day!

For a day off, we really did jam-pack it full of activities, but you’ve got to cease those opportunities when at the Fringe!

Yours,

Catherine

(Greyhounds’ Ruby Winters)