Friday, September 29, 2006

The Church Newsletter


Do come to see the Church’s Drama Group as never before on the newly acquired staging blocks, funded from proceeds of previous productions supplemented generously by a grant from a local charity and an advance from Circuit funds.

Two One-Act Plays will be performed this year each night on Wed. 22, Thurs. 23 and Fri. 24 November 2006 in the Church Hall, starting at 7.30 p.m.:-

- BREAKFAST FOR ONE - a bright and breezy (and only very slightly saucy) French-farce style comedy of mistaken identities providing the cast with the additional challenge of French accents; and

- ACTS OF COMMUNION - a comedy written especially for the Group’s present members by former member and home-grown local playwright Michael Pinchbeck, containing many personal and nostalgic references to the Church and the Estate.

Tickets @ £5, £4 concessions, will be available from early October onwards from Donna Thorne, 65 Rise Park Road (tel. 8408207 or 0777 4824482) or through any member of Drama Group. Please book early to avoid disappointment

The Group is ALWAYS on the look out for new members to perfom and/or helpers to assist behind the scenes both in this type of production and in drama for Church services and will warmly welcome any enquiries. Please contact Tony Pinchbeck (9534608) or Betty Walker (9552756) for further details.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Stage

Photographer: Kevin Edwards

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Dissertation

Title and Topics

An investigation into amateur dramatics as a mode of performance using experimental theatre as a reference point in the form of work by MBD, Reckless Sleepers, Forced Entertainment, Goat Island and The Wooster Group. A critical account and review of Acts of Communion including interviews with other artists.

∑ Presence of pretence

Theatricality as topic. Exposing process. Making visible what is usually not. Off stage is onstage etc.

∑ Absence as substance

Ontology of absence. Exploring the bits in between. What is not there. Negative is Positive space etc.

∑ Self as source

History of author(s). Reflection on experience. Catharsis. (Auto-)biography. Private is Public etc.

∑ Site as source

History of space. Reflection on shared experience of site. Site-specificity. Context is Content etc.

∑ Narratives of nostalgia

History of relationship between author(s) and site. What has changed. Archive. Memory is text etc.

Friday, September 22, 2006


'Alterity - lack of identification with some part of one's personality or one's community, differentness, otherness.' Shawver, L. (2006). Nostalgic Postmodernism: Postmodern Therapy

What happens when you remove the words that were meant to be spoken from a written text. Each act of each play begins with a description of the setting and ends with the phrase 'The Curtain Falls'. I will record one act of each play performed upon the stage blocks then play them at the same time. An empty play on an empty stage. Acts of Communion.

The Curious Savage
Act 1
Scene 1

The living room of The Cloisters in a town in Massachusetts. The room is large and charmingly furnished, with many deep chairs, covered in flowered chintz. The wallpaper is bright and in good taste. A large square rug covers most of the floor. There is a double sliding-door leading from the hallway stage R. A single door, stage L., leads off to the front offices.


When Fairy fails to answer she looks up from her game


Fairy starts and turns to him




Shakes her head


He crosses down to Florence





She extends her hand fondly, which Jeff holds for a moment




He goes back to the books as fairy crosses down from the window



Tuning his violin


Plunk etc.

He begins his two-note sawing of the strings again, Mrs Savage conducts with enthusiasm as...

The Curtain Falls

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Abolish the stage

'We abolish the stage and the auditorium and replace them by a single theatre of the action. A direct communication will be re-established between the spectator and the spectacle, between the actor and the spectator, from the fact that the spectator placed in the middle of the action is engulfed and physically affected by it.' - Antonin Artaud, The Theater and its Double (1938)

The new stage arrrives tomorrow. This will be the first year where a performance is not preceded by a week of blood, sweat and tears as mostly retired amateur dramatists lift, move and assemble a makeshift stage out of wood - wearing wallpaper and nails from previous shows. Am negotiating with the drama group about whether I can have their previous stage blocks. The stage blocks they have performed 20 years of plays upon. They want to get rid of them. They want to take them apart. I want to get rid of them for the group. I want to 'stage' the stage blocks. Arrange them as I find them in the Church on Rise Park Store Room in an empty theatre space. Put the offstage onstage and let the stage directions from previous productions play. Aural footprints or an oral archive of performances the stage blocks have seen. I want to take the stage blocks apart. To make the deconstruction the action. To abolish the stage.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Exit Velocity

Entering the final phase of the MA and choosing image and copy for Exposition catalogue. This is a handpainted fire exit sign at The Church on Rise Park. No exit. Exiting the MA. Exiting the building. Exiting the stage. Exeunt dramatis personae. Copy below:

Acts of Communion

The Church on Rise Park Drama Group present Acts of Communion. The setting - The Church Hall. The time – now. The actors will be playing themselves.

A site-specific project devised as an act of communion between research and practice, absence and presence, amateur and academic.

Michael Pinchbeck
The Powerhouse, Victoria Studios
MA Performance and Live Art

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Poster

This is the first draft of the poster for The Church on Rise Park. Designed by Tony Pinchbeck - a solicitor - the poster has a lo-fi aesthetic using Times New Roman. It is as much a publicity machine as a professional production, with proof-reading, printing, distribution and advertising in the church newsletter. There is a ticket cost for the performance. This will go towards the new stage the drama group have acquired and the church funds - so will contribute indirectly towards the purchase of communion Shloer.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Photoshoot

Photographer: Kevin Edwards

Friday, September 01, 2006

Shloer Sponsorship

Sent to Shloer on 1 September 2006:

Dear Shloer

I am an MA student of Performance and Live Art at Nottingham Trent University and am working on a new show with an Amateur Dramatic Group in a local church. The show is set at a wedding, a christening and a funeral and toasts are proposed throughout the evening. Because it is a Methodist Church and a performance we are using Shloer to drink onstage. We are getting through quite a lot of it as we rehearse every fortnight and there are approximately 50 toasts in the show. The performance is at the end of November. I wondered if it would be possible to receive some form of in kind support from Shloer - a donation to the arts of a box or two of your sparkling juice drink. We would happily promote your product in any publicity and the word Shloer is already in the script at least five times - we can say it more if you like. Thanks in advance for your help.

Yours shloerly,

Michael Pinchbeck

Received 19 October 2006:

Hi Michael,

Please accept my hugely overdue reply to your email regarding your forthcoming Amateur Dramatics show in November.

I have arranged for a case of White Grape Shloer to be delivered to you and I will let you know when they get back to me on the date of this delivery.

Good luck with the show and I hope rehearsals (and the Shloer!) are going down well!

Kind Regards,


Shloer Assistant Brand Manager