Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Communication... its a useful thing. Without it there would be caous. Theres lots of meanings and types of communication, but I'm talking about the kind of communication where you listen to others, pass on information and hold a conversation with them, conversing. Communication keeps a community, a society and people together.

Communication is an issue that Ive been dealing with a lot recently....

As a stage manager I have to communicate between my actors, the director, my lighter and anyone else in the company or management from the venue. It is my job to make sure everyone knows what they need to know.

Sometimes this chain of communication can be broken as i have found out. Conversations were not relayed to the lighter and so this caused a problem in our company. I had to then hold a meeting with everyone to address the break down in communication and to make sure everyone was on the right page. If there is no higher Archy in the company and we are all as equals then its very important that everyone has a say on an important decision..such as adding an extra date to a show...

For my theatre, film and wardrobe exam, myself and Sarah Lunn were planning to do an installation piece for the Roy Kenniher disabled home. We had designed an installation that would be accessible for the clinets who are in wheelchairs and their carers. We were focusing on making it heavily sensory as some clinets were blind.... unfortunately due to the lack of communication between us and the organisers at the home, the organisers have left without telling us and so our installation is no more...

Also communication in my personal life has broken down, my work has taken over so I am never in and so myself and my boyfriend have no time to communicate our feelings, which has led to the destruction of our relationship...

Keeping communiaction is hard... you need to work at it to keep it flowing...

Friday, 14 November 2008

Yard Gal - Spectator review

Blast of real life
Lloyd Evans
Wednesday, 12th November 2008

Yard Gal - Oval House

Last week I saw a little-known play, Yard Gal, which I’m pretty sure is a classic. Written ten years ago by Rebecca Prichard and revived with scintillating and furious energy by Stef O’Driscoll, the play follows the lives of two drug–whore teenagers, Boo and Marie, living in the badlands of Hackney.

The girls exist in a boozed-up whirl of crappy nightclubs, tainted coke and rough sex with strangers. An early scene gives the flavour. Marie fellates a bent copper in a squad car and when he fails to pay up she exacts revenge with her teeth. ‘Smallest meal I ever ate.’
The plot is slender. Boo falls out with a rival gang member, there’s a bust-up, a stabbing and a prison conviction. All fairly predictable. What makes the play special is its political indifference, its assumption not only that the girls’ lives are worth chronicling but that they’re worth living too.

Stephanie di Rubbo and Monsay Whitney inhabit the roles of Boo and Marie with such easy authority, such skin-tight perfection that the play performs that rarest of handsprings and leaps beyond the limits of the theatre and aligns itself with real life.
And what a blistering and uneasy light it sheds on our present attitudes to social policy. We have a generation of politicians, social scientists, think-tank wonks and charity hacks all toiling away at a theory of class eugenics which postulates the existence of some mechanism by which the lumpen underclass can be propelled into the ranks of the parmesan-grating bourgeoisie.
First, the challenge is bigger than they realise. It’s not about ‘changing the world’, which would be hard enough, it’s about changing human nature, a feat beyond the greatest minds of all time, even those with a 2:2 in sociology. Secondly, the life of the crack–whore in her squat is, to her, not just acceptable but attractive. She has attained a kind of excellence, an insurpassability. No one can sink lower than she has and this gives her a sense of eminence, uniqueness even, in which she’s bound to take pride.

She has proved she can survive conditions most women would find intolerable so she feels battle-hardened, self-reliant and secure. She has no reason to abandon her hard-won criminal expertise or to trade in her life of triumphant adversity for a soft-soap yuppie existence with its merry-go-round of petty demands (setting the alarm-clock, dressing for the office) and its alien index of achievement (graduation certificates, property ownership, romantic fidelity, career status).

What underlies our quest for ‘social mobility’ (code for ‘making chavs eat sushi’) is the assumption that we posh folk have more fulfilling and varied lives than the tower block helots. Not on this evidence. Boo and Marie live lives of Homeric intensity. Every day is a deadly game of chicken played with tainted drugs, psychotic punters, pilled-up pimps and jealous boyfriends. The range and depth of their experiences would leave an Afghan war hero in the shade.
After watching this thrilling blast of real life I found myself floating homewards in a euphoric state of wonder and certainty. We should chuck all this social-mobility garbage (which involves posh self-worshipping ghetto-tourists validating their own morality by bribing the underclass to adopt bourgeois gods) and let the crack–whore–chav–scum get on with it.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Yard Gal - Time Out Review and critics choice

Yard Gal
Until Nov 15

Oval House Theatre, 52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW

Rating: 4 stars

By Tamara Gausi

Posted: Mon Nov 10

Two teenage girls swagger on to an almost bare stage like they’re holding champion staffs. Audience members flinch. One girl clutches her boyfriend as if they’ll be blown away by the maelstrom. But Boo (Stefanie Di Rubbo) and Marie (Monsay Whitney) are armed only with their violent tale of drugs, prostitution, girls gangs and gang bangs, and an unshakeable resolve to tell it.Rebecca Prichard’s ‘Yard Gal’, which won her the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Playwright Award in 1998, is the story of two best friends who run the daily gauntlet of urban dysfunction, or as Boo puts it ‘chatting shit, getting fucked, getting high and doing crimes’.It’s disturbing terrain and Di Rubbo and Whitney walk it with towering passion and commitment. In newcomer Stef O’Driscoll’s abrasive and gripping (be prepared for lots of close contact) production, they revisit the cold heart of ’90s London rather than its Cool Britannia, a city also documented in books including Victor Headley’s ‘Yardie’ and Vanessa Walters’s ‘Rude Girls’. It seems a shame, then, with all the timely references to Trenz nightclub and gaudy Moschino prints, that O’Driscoll doesn’t do more to root this production in that period. Rather than subtracting from its contemporary relevance, some kiss curls and stretch jeans might’ve provided some useful cultural sign posting. And for all the horror of the stories, Prichard’s writing rarely goes below its sordid surface. But that Di Rubbo and Whitney take us, and keep us, there for a very uncomfortable hour is testament to the power of this impressive trio of stage debuts.

Comments from website:


Posted by Max Carter on 11 Nov 2008 13:00
I saw the play last week and ‘kiss curls and stretch jeans’ would just be the obvious and stereotypical choice as we border on Kidulthood territory of making these characters seem non realistic and urban streets become glamorized not raw failing to depicts the harsh realties of the streets. It must be taken into account that the play is fundamentally storytelling as Boo and Marie are narrating an account of their lives. They tell the story of their teenage life as adults and act out moments of being 15. If they were still in ‘kiss curls and stretch jeans’ then it would give the impression that they haven’t moved on from that period when in actual fact change has occurred and as charters they have grown. Also given that they have to play different characters, this approach would have been detrimental for the audience in terms of recognizing the various characters purely from the accent or movement that the girls utilize to differentiate them.A brilliant production full of energy a must see! These girls are talented!!!

Posted by Michael A on 03 Nov 2008 18:43
watched this play on press night and I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the performance, which lasted just over an hour. I was impressed not only by the 2 actors who played all of the characters in the play but also by the theatre we were in. We were in a fairly small theatre and on the same level as the performers which made me, as well as the rest of audience, feel more involved in the play to such an extent that by the end of the play, not only did I know the names of every single character in the play but i also felt like I actually knew the characters personally. This play certainly comes closer to the reality of everyday life on the streets compared to a lot of other urban drama's i have seen such as Bullet Boy for instance, and as a young man born & bred in London, I can certainly relate to the play although it is still equally relevant to people from all backgrounds & walks of life. This play isn't one to see if you're looking for an amazing theatrical spectacle with loads of colours and fancy costumes, but if you ARE looking for an hour and a half of constant entertainment with an interesting plot which takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions but yet leaves you leaving the theatre completely satisfied then this certainly is for you.Overall, really, really enjoyed myself. This play certainly deserves 5 stars for the performance and I will certainly be looking out for any production involving Stef O'Driscoll, Monsay Whitney and Stefanie Di Rubbo again!

Posted by Roy Weise on 02 Nov 2008 19:52
An electric production of this fiery play with superb, larger than life performances from two amazing actresses. The simple set allows you to make full use of the imagination and the intimacy takes you to the streets of Hackney in an instant. The story is just absolutely touching and a vital source of ghetto or urban education.Loved it.

Yard Gal - Theatreworld review


Yard Gal By Rebecca Pritchard

Oval House Upstairs 28 Oct – 15 Nov

The Other Side of the World

If there were any justice in the world, this production would be sponsored by Duracell; there’s just such a lot of electricity here. Anyone who cares about the future of theatre really should be getting tickets. Anyone under 30 whose view is that theatre is irrelevant might also like to see what they think of this. Rebecca Pritchard’s Yard Gal contains a near-virtuoso performance by two young actors (both just 22), and won for its writer a Critics’ Circle ‘Most Promising Playwright’ Award. This little epic is by turns touching, violent, funny, alarming and spectacularly amoral. The more tragic the material, the more comedy you must put in, Alan Ayckbourn used to say, and that approach is here in spades. Not that we’re anywhere within a light year of an Ayckbourn world. This is a tale of the exuberant, exultant and purposeless lives of two young women who have left any semblance of moral compass behind them at birth. That we have sympathy for them is really due to theirinstinctive cub-like love for each other, and for their ability to live in and for the moment. They are totally immersed in a search for pleasure and fun, which usually arrives when they are at their most outrageous. The script doesn’t take any prisoners, in terms of morality, values or language, of which more later. About ten minutes in, we’re invited to laugh with the girls as they re-enact a blow job performed on a policeman (I hope I have that right, but the language was tricky to follow early on), which will give you some idea of the territory we’re exploring. There are fights, knives, drugs and death in this rollercoaster ride (‘On the street, you’re either right up, or you’re down there,’ Boo explains) through a hopelessly bleak world. In the course of the play, we’re invited to understand why and how life goes on, and probably stops before you’re 30. Let’s be fair. This won’t be everyone’s idea of a great night out. It is challenging from the momentthe audience walks in to find that there’s no Row F to hide away in. Everyone in the audience in this small black space is well within insulting distance of the two larger than life characters. Boo is played alarmingly by Stephanie di Rubbo; the touchingly excitable Marie by Monsay Whitney, an actor who is blessed with one of the most mobile and expressive faces I’ve seen for a while. It is also played in a remarkable language – the argot of the Hackney street – a dialect that is close to English, but not quite of it, and which does take a bit of time to get used to. Anyone below a certain age though, shouldn’t have too much trouble, I suspect. Director Stef O’Driscoll finds a lot of good ways to use the simple space, but without being obtrusive or mannered (West End directors might like to note that). Paul Stowe’s lighting gives the plain space an intimacy when the production demands it. Weak points? Well, I suppose there were a few. If pushed I wouldn’t imagine Booand Marie exchanging letters for example, and the story within a story idea that wraps up the play seemed a little laboured. But those are really picky little details and come within a 90-minute performance that is remarkable for its completeness. If you are startled by bad language or intimidated by bad behaviour, then this production isn’t for you. It does however make Jimmy Porter (from Look Back in Anger) seem like a rather over-indulged brat, and in doing so, it drags our ideas about disaffected youth into the 21st Century. That it does so with large measures of humour, irony, and sympathy makes it all the more impressive.

Yard Gal - Evening Standard Review

Evening Standard *****

Yard Gal is astonishing By Fiona Mountford,

Evening Standard 03.11.08

It is a rare and delightful treat to encounter a production as splendid as this, especially in a lesser known fringe venue. A credit-crunch-friendly £8 buys entry to 21-year-old director Stef O’Driscoll’s revival of Rebecca Prichard’s terrifying look at two teenage girls posturing around the streets of Hackney. From the opening seconds, O’Driscoll’s confidence-packed production has us gripped, as Boo (Stefanie Di Rubbo) and Marie (Monsay Whitney) saunter on and eyeball individual audience members with menacing intent. Thus begins a hurtling 90-minute account of drug taking and dealing, casual prostitution and girl gang etiquette. Di Rubbo and Whitney are charismatic young actors with great futures. They capture with unflagging vocal and physical energy the high spirits and black humour of these lifelong friends, as well as recounting the exploits of fellow “yard gals”, including one who loved fighting so long as it didn’t mess with her hairAll the bounce in the world, however, cannot mask the frighteningly nihilistic lives that Boo and Marie lead. A bigger yard — or transfer to a larger theatre — would be just reward for these astonishing gals.

Friday, 7 November 2008

The 'Yard Gal' Culture

Hey guys
Some of you may know I'm the stage manager for Yard Gal, directed by Stef O'Driscoll, that is up at the Oval Theatre House, London (got 5 stars in the Evening Standard, woohoo!)
The play revolves around two young girls living in hackney, who get caught up in the Yard Gal image; violence, gangs, knife crime, prostitution and drugs.

This play is as relevant as ever today. Nearly everyday in the newspaper you will see a report about gun and knife crime, gang culture and young deaths. More about more young people are associating themselves with the gang culture, separating themselves from others, creating this divide between them and normal society. Some children are walking around with knifes in their pockets to protect themselves; at what point did this happen, when a child had to carry a weapon to feel safe?

This culture is spreading over the country too. I've started to see it spread into my small fishing town in South Devon. The reason why my parents moved there was because of its 'safe' society, to raise me up somewhere away from London. But only last week it was printed in the Metro that a girl was glassed by another girl to her face and neck and she needed something like 30 stitches, and this was in Plymouth!! On police programmes i see my local towns being highlighted due to the binge drinking and violence at weekend. Last year on my 21st i was actually assaulted by 3 men in one of my local clubs. They severely broke my wrist, and the damaged done to it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was scared of going to the clubs here in London when i first moved up, but I'm now more scared of being out in my home town!

Briton is divided by different cultures and 'clicks', not just in a religious or racial way. Has Briton lost its community through this division and will she ever get it back? Or do those wholesome communities only live on the box in town called Emmerdale?? (Yard Gal tickets on sale now)

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


hello fellow d.i.c's!!!
finally worked out how to do this.
cant wait to get stuck into a worth while project, either as a whole group or in smaller groups.
At first i really wanted to be in a big group as being the stage manager for Helios last year was so amazing, i felt so lucky to be part of this massive project and it was so fun to put together.
But whilst speaking to others it seems like people want to be in smaller groups and to be honest this is probly easier to organise. It was quite hard and frustrating trying to organise rehearsals with 30 ppl who were all doing different lessons and all had jobs.
so if ur in a smaller group then u can fit around each other, but you do have to do more work in arranging and putting together everything.

Neway what ever we decide on im sure itl be exciting.
im just worried about this blogging thing, im not very good at writing!