The Theatre Industry

Creating & Producing New Work Together

Tara Robinson & Steffan Donnelly co-wrote, co-created and co-produced My Body Welsh, the newest production from their two companies Invertigo Theatre, The Conker Group, and venue partner Pontio, Bangor. It’s an investigation into small town life on Anglesey, what it means to be from somewhere, and how truth, history and stories weave together to forge a sense of national identity. It toured across Wales in January 2017 and is published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.


Co-writing, co-creating and co-producing is definitely fun, rich, varied and exciting, it’s also satisfying and sometimes tricky. We’ve jotted down some basic advice based on our findings working together...

FIND SOMEONE YOU LIKE THEN DATE THEM

We have zero advice for how you find this person. For us it happened by chance working on Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare’s Globe. We discovered we had the same sense of humour and enjoyed each other’s company. But that in itself is a good start. The thing we advise is …

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Top Audition Tips from The Forge Initiative

Here at The Forge Initiative, we believe that there are going to be times when you have a good feeling about an acting audition, a workshop or a course. Perhaps it is going to be for someone you know, maybe they have heard you audition before or it could be that they have expressly asked to see you as they think you are well suited to the role they are auditioning. However, that is going to be only a very small percentage of the time. Mostly you are going to be auditioning for a panel of people who you have never met before and who only know you through a headshot photo.

You have no idea what they are looking for and they have no idea if you are going to be suitable. So, without being defeatist or apologetic, you must always bear in mind that as soon as you walk in that room, there is a chance you may not fill the criteria of the panel.

Having said that, we at The Forge Initiative, encourage all auditionees to always face an audition with a positive attitude. Someone is going to get a …

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BEYOND THE CANON: Colour-blind casting turned on its head.

Warning! Stop reading this if you’re precious about the classical and contemporary play canon. I’m referring to the canon that mainly features the works of dead white men with hardly any reference to the plays written by or for people from a culturally diverse background. For those that have ever studied Drama & Theatre Studies or Acting or fortunate enough to work in the arts industry, these are the plays that are constantly pushed down our throats at every given opportunity, with a big invisible sign that reads:

‘This is high-quality art. Respect, value and digest the work as it is written – and do not (by any means) contest it’.

In addition to numerous revivals, these works are usually backed by the limited number of ‘respected’ critics for that added certification.

Well I, like many others, questioned the whereabouts of the plays that existed beyond the canon. The plays that were written by men and women from around the world who wanted to …

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Crowdfunding insights

This is my first blog for this site. At the moment I am in pre-production for my play Scenes from 68* Years which is at the Arcola Theatre from 6-30 April

I'm looking forward to writing here about the process of page to stage, and page to publication, but as I'm redrafting ahead of first rehearsal on Monday I'm idea rich but time poor...  so I thought I'd repost two pieces from my personal blog - Hannykha's Listography. I posted them last May during and after a crowdfunding campaign to help money for this play. I hope you find them interesting. 

Three things I’ve learned about Crowdfunding

My play Scenes from 68* Years (about life under occupation in Palestine) is due to go on at the Arcola in Dalston, London in April next year. Sandpit Productions are producing and we will be applying to the Arts Council for funding. What some of you who don’t work in theatre may not know is that with most ‘fringe’ theatres even when they select your …

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BBC's The Voice

The new dramatisation of War and Peace might edify. Scandinavian thrillers may well captivate. Breaking Bad or The Sopranos can satisfy as much as a meaty novel. The joy of TV, for me, is when treasure is found in unexpected places. For example, Horrible Histories on CBBC is one of the cleverest, funniest and well-written comedies - tucked away for the enjoyment mainly of children. I would happily exchange it for Lucas and Walliams or Mitchell and Webb. It certainly has a higher laugh per minute ratio. Just as surprising is the fact that one of the most finely crafted and well tuned narratives has to returned to the BBC for a final season before it moves to ITV - The Voice and its revolving chairs. There is little point in watching it past this stage - anything that follows can only be a disappointment. As long as someone is singing to the back of a potentially spinning chair, I am hooked. I've watched it on YouTube in languages that I don't speak. It doesn't matter. The story-telling …

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