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The Summer Before Everything

Days Before Everything

Days Before Everything...

As with every verbatim play, whose characters are still alive, we have been exploring the gap between documentary and fiction.  'The Summer Before Everything' is a play with a narrative created by the juxtaposition of 3 individual stories.  The real-life characters were interviewed separately, in different cities, at various times of the year.  In our production, their stage equivalents appear together, talk a different language, and even sometimes play other characters - we are about as far away as we can get from the interviews that spawned this fascinating play.  Anchored as we are by the playwrights' connections to the real-life characters, and an obligation to reproduce the exact words spoken, we strive to create a space for the imagination to reign supreme. 

In rehearsals for 'The Summer Before Everything' with Director PATRICK MORRIS

Park Benches, Lemons and an Olivier Nominee

Park Benches, Lemons and an Olivier Nominee

Things are powering along here in the Menagerie offices.  Part of our team were rehearsing in the beautiful new building at Hills Road yesterday, and our ASM, Bryony, was totally inspired by the stunning coloured windows.  They do sound amazing!  Thanks Hills Road for helping us out with rehearsal space!  

Bryony has also come up trumps and found a park bench we can borrow for our play 'The Summer Before Everything'.  Saves us from stealing one from Parker's Piece (only joking!). Finding props is a busy job and people are running all over Cambridge finding the right bits and bobs to bring our Hotbed plays to life: wigs, candlesticks, a washing line, 18th century window, lemons, loaf of bread with money hidden in it...the list goes on.

We are also really excited about our guest shows and have started to arrange accommodation for visiting companies.  If you haven't already booked tickets for 'Ross and Rachel', don't miss this little gem.  It has an impressive list of accolades, and has been described as 'a startling piece of new writing' by The Stage. Written by 2015 Olivier Nominee, James Fritz, the play tells the mind-bending, heart-breaking story of what happens when a couple that was always meant to be together, gets together.  And stays together!  It was a sell-out hit in Edinburgh and in New York.

Anyway, hope to see you at Hotbed!

Mhari I Producer






Hotbed 4 Weeks Away!

Hotbed 4 Weeks Away!

With Hotbed weekend now just 4 weeks away, we are full steam ahead on all fronts - the final drafts of the Young Writers’ pieces are coming in, auditions for the actors are set for next week, the call is out for the young persons’ One-Page Plays, the community project is really taking shape, the brochure is about to be published, Steve Waters is visiting the ‘jungle’ in Calais, Ed Harris’ What’s Up Doc? commission is ready, and...Cambridge Foodcycle have just confirmed that they will be providing the food over the weekend!  

I’m particularly excited about the Young Writers’ pieces, as I’ve been working with the group since January and they have all put an enormous amount of time, thought and soul into their plays.  We’re producing two of them: ‘Flog’ by Josie Dale-Jones, and ‘The Summer Before Everything’ by Bohdan Tokarsky and Maria Montague.   Both are a brave new step for their respective writers and we’re looking forward to putting them on stage before some eager audiences.  

Patrick Morris I Associate Artistic Director