October is proving a steadier month with projects ticking along nicely for Kaitlin. Teaching wise she has been working in Oldham, Manchester and Salford providing workshops and exam courses.
Oldham Coliseum‘s “Full Circle” group for the local community over 50 had her come along to talk about her role as an Equity Registered Fight Director and demonstrate some of her techniques and when/how she would utilise them. The group fully enjoyed the session and were excited that they had insider knowledge of some of the “magic tricks” used in fights.
Kaitlin also started working with First Take School of Acting based near Media City in Salford, teaching a series of classes in stage combat. So far the students there are having a blast and Kaitlin is overjoyed to have begun what she hopes will be a long and close association with this fast expanding school.
There’s also an APC Unarmed exam course going on in Manchester this month which Kaitlin is running at the new Wildhawk Dance Studios in the Northern Quarter on the 26th-27th October. Having filled the rooms which used to be run by Hope Studios, Kaitlin knows the space well and is looking forward to getting more students trained and sent home at the end with more industry recognised qualifications in Stage Combat. There’s still a few places available so do get in touch if you’d like to take part.
Finally, Kaitlin is gearing up to get started on the Fight Direction for Oldham Coliseum‘s Pantomime Jack and The Beanstalk and also ALRA North‘s Christmas production Treasure Island. She is absolutely delighted to be working with both directors again, Chris Lawson and Alyx Tole, and can’t wait to get creative in these brilliant spaces with both fantastic casts.
Kaitlin’s feet have not touched the ground this month as it has been utterly rammed with various exciting projects. First of all she is delighted to announce that she has officially been made an Examiner with her Stage Combat teaching organisation, The APC. She has been in training for some time now, and this month she has been given the title and has started examining stage combat students all over the UK. As well as this she has also been teaching various workshops, including to the students of Ella Shaw’s Academy of Arts in Clitheroe where she spent a day with the kids getting them to knock each other about… completely safely of course!
Also on the teaching front, she has joined the teaching staff at Salford City College‘s Pendleton site as an Acting Tutor where she is teaching on the A-Level and HNC courses, helping the students with their internal performance pieces, theory, written and practical work. For the first few weeks she has enjoyed directing excerpts from the musical adaptation of the 80’s black comedy film Heathers, which will be performed at the beginning of October. This new avenue has turned out to be a challenge that she has really enjoyed and Kaitlin hopes the association with the college will long continue.
Another new challenge has been that Kaitlin has been working on another of her skills as a Movement Director. She has worked closely with Bolton Octagon and director Kimberley Sykes to create the movement and physical detailing on their current production of Maxine Peake’s play Beryl, all about the incredible female British cyclist Beryl Burton. Never heard of her? That’s the whole point of the piece – get over to Bolton to see this incredibly moving play and find out!
On more familiar territory, Kaitlin has been Fight Directing on a couple of shows as well. Firstly she popped in to see the brilliant students at ALRA North to work on their 3rd Year’s finals production of Great Expectations, directed by Chris Hallam. It was great fun to meet them all and put together some brutal sequences using all her technical knowledge specialised for in the round theatre.
And to finish her off she has shared some hilarious moments creating what the stage directions described as a “Dallas style cat fight” in Melanie Blake’s The Thunder Girls at The Lowry in Salford. Directed by the wondrous Joyce Branagh, the rehearsal room was filled with a star studded cast of Sandra Marvin, Carol Harrison, Beverley Callard and Coleen Nolan… all of them there to slap faces, pull hair, throw drinks in faces and rip designer dresses. Kaitlin was incredibly proud of them all and the resulting fight was marvellous… it regularly received applause mid sequence and stills were even featured in The Daily Mirror, of all places!
This month Kaitlin is back to lots of teaching and fight direction. Firstly she has been up at Theatre By The Lake in Keswick working with the brilliant director Kash Arshad on Guards At The Taj. It’s a brilliant, beautiful and brutal two hander by Rajiv Joseph and is being performed in their studio space as part of the Summer Season and it has required a lot of inventive and clever thinking to pull off some tricky moments. It really does promise to be a fantastic show and Kaitlin is so proud to have been involved. For more information and tickets please click here.
Teaching wise she also has a few APC examination courses set up for the coming month. She is providing a short unarmed course for the Merseyside Academy of Drama in Liverpool which can be booked onto here, and also is back again for her fourth year as a lead tutor on the APC SW Summer Course in Gloucester. This latter week long course is always a hoot to be part of and those interested in coming along can find out more and book here.
Finally, she also spent a glorious couple of days working with the awesome youth performers on Stage Combat and a fight showing called The Battle of The Birds as part of The Denbigh Workshop. This free week long summer school for the children of the local area has been an utterly wonderful thing to be a part of and all 86 of the kids were fantastic to work with.
Kaitlin’s time at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is flying by as she is playing all the music for Hamlet and acting smaller roles in the show, providing fight choreography for five of the eight productions at the festival and is directing and opening her own show Much Ado About Nothing. With the festival operating in reparatory fashion time and scheduling is very tight, yet Kaitlin is having a lot of fun, is loving every moment and hopes to bring an amazing production to the audiences of Cambridge. For more information and tickets please click here.
This month has been relatively quiet which has been a welcome lull for Kaitlin after an incredibly busy year so far. She did spend a day at Oldham Coliseumas part of their Cultivate Festivalteaching Stage Combat for the up-skilling workshops provided to local performers and enthusiasts, which as ever was a lot of fun.
Other than that she has been spending time preparing for her professional directorial debut. Havingbeen in two seasons at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival as an actor and fight director, this year she is over the moon to have been asked to direct a show and has been given a ten strong cast for Much Ado About Nothing. Not only is she delighted to be back at the festival, but Much Ado is her favourite Shakespeare play and she is already having lots of ideas as to how to stage this beautiful play in the gardens of St. John’s College. Not one to give herself an easy job, Kaitlin will also be providing the fight direction for the festival and also playing a role and music in Hamlet as well! Its going to be a busy Summer.
After an insanely busy first few months of 2019, Kaitlin is very happy to say that things are becoming a little steadier and, while she is still working on many projects, she is taking the time to recoup and enjoy the rewards of all her hard work. She finished working on Girl Gang‘s all female Hamlet at Hope Mill Theatre and was incredibly proud to have been part of the team bringing this smash to Manchester. She also worked with Llandudno Youth Musical Theatre to bring the fights to life in their upcoming production of Oklahoma! and spent a couple of mornings having a blast setting and polishing up their performances ready for opening night.
On top of this, Kaitlin travelled back down South to Cheltenham to visit The Everyman Theatre and their Actor’s Lab group. She spent a great few hours teaching them some basics of Stage Combat and sharing her skills in terms of what a Fight Director does. It was such a lovely evening, especially as the group had searched her out specifically after seeing her work in The Tobacco Factory‘s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This month Kaitlin has been working on several projects. She has continued her role on the Intake Audition Panel at The Manchester School of Theatre and has had a couple of lovely Fight Direction and teaching jobs to work on as well.
Kaitlin finished working on The Tobacco Factory‘s production of Our Country’s Good in Bristol and saw it open to great success. Once back in Manchester she then started on the much anticipated all female Hamlet produced by Girl Gang at Hope Mill Theatre.
As well as this, Kaitlin visited Birmingham to run another set of Stage Combat workshops for the Year 9 students at King Edward VI Five Ways School. As last time, it was a wonderful day where Kaitlin and her APC apprentice teacher Gwill taught a keen set of students the basics of Unarmed Theatrical Combat. Finally, to finish off the month off she also ran an APC Stage Combat Exam Course at Hope Street Theatre in Liverpool. It was a great weekend with lots of new faces coming along to learn. Kaitlin hopes to be running a lot more courses in the near future so watch this space.
Kaitlin spent a good portion of this month having a blast working on Macbeth in Liverpool with Daniel Taylor Productions. It was wonderful to be involved both as an Actress and a Fight Director and the response from the audiences and press alike were wonderful.
After this she swiftly picked up the Fight Direction work again at The Tobacco Factory in Bristol to continue her work with their ensemble company on their next show Our Country’s Good. It was great to see and work with the whole team there again. Whilst she was visiting she took the time to check up on and watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream again and she was very happy to see how the show had grown and settled.
Finally, she is spending a bit of time doing some more horse back training in Warwick with The Knights of Middle England. It’s not only a great set of skills for her to keep on top of, but also something she really enjoys and after such a hectic few months she is really looking forward to blowing the cobwebs away and hitting the reset button!
This month has required Kaitlin to use all of her organisational and time management skills as she has filled her days with various jobs all over the country. Firstly she battled her way through the South West’s blizzards to start her Fight Direction sessions on A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Tobacco Factory in Bristol. There’s been a fair bit to get her teeth into and working with the brilliant Artistic Director, Mike Tweddle, and the fantastic cast and crew has been a joy. Kaitlin can’t wait to see the show in full swing. For tickets and details please click here.
She has also enjoyed teaming up with Director Chris Lawson again after directing the fights for his Doncaster Panto this last Christmas. In his new role as Interim Artistic Director of Oldham Coliseum, he has invited her to create the violence on his production of A Skull In Connemara. This dark piece is set to be very chilling and with Chris’ request for the violence to be “Tarantino-esque”, it is set to be a great show… and a bit different to Robin Hood and The Babes in The Wood! For tickets and more production information please click here.
Her next Fight Direction engagement this month is with Great Expectations Theatre who’s production of The Cycle explores the upsetting and often complicated subject of domestic violence, with a particular view of it aimed at the male. This piece will be performed at The King’s Arms, Salford and for tickets and more information please click here.
Other than all of the Fight Direction, Kaitlin has been continuing with her role on the Intake Audition Panel for Manchester School of Theatre, and has also been doing some Master Classes and Workshops. She has been working with the brilliant Youth Theatre at AK Theatre Arts, and also spent a fantastic morning at The Arden School of Theatre in Manchester taking the students through unarmed combat techniques.
Her final and biggest news this month is that the end of February Kaitlin will once again be teaming up with Daniel Taylor Productions in Liverpool after being involved in their fabulous production of Romeo and Juliet last year. This year’s production will be of Macbeth, and she is delighted that not only will she be directing the fights again, but she has also been cast in the role of Lady Macduff. It’s nearly ten years since she performed in Liverpool, with Daniel Taylor himself, in Peter Pan and she is looking forward to getting back there. The show will be playing at The Epstein Theatre in early March and tickets can be bought here.
If Kaitlin thought she would ease into the New Year then she was sorely mistaken as thus far things have been pretty full throttle across the board. She started off by having the honour bestowed on her of being placed on the Intake Audition Panel for MMU’s Manchester School of Theatre. She has worked at the school since 2005 as one of their Stage Combat tutor’s and she is delighted to have been asked to take on this new additional role. She has really enjoyed meeting all the candidates so far and has enjoyed watching their work.
On top of this she has run her first APC Stage Combat Examination Course of the year and all the students passed well across the board. Her next course will be coming up in April in Liverpool and if you fancy taking part, would like more details and to book a place please click here.
Fight Direction wise Kaitlin has had no time to rest on her laurels. She has been working on Flesh with Carl Cieka and the outstanding Youth Actors at Marple Drama and also doing all the preparatory work for several shows she is going to commence work on in February. It’s already looking like a busy Spring!
All of Kaitlin’s hard work over the last few months has come to fruition as all the shows she has been providing Fight Direction for opened with huge success. However, instead of resting on her laurels, she has has filled some of her time this month with Stage Combat workshops, self taping auditions for other possible projects and planning ahead for next year.
Early in the month she spent a brilliant day providing Stage Combat workshops to Year 9 students at King Edward VI Five Ways School in Birmingham. This arts outreach day was to provide the students with a taste of what they could experience through studying arts subjects and was a lot of fun for all involved, including Kaitlin and her apprentice teacher Gwill. Also on the combat front, she has been continuing with her training to become an Examiner for The APC. It is a long process but a natural progression in her career in this field and an incredibly worthwhile endeavour. On top of this, she has some great workshops planned for Manchester and Liverpool in the new year. Please click here for details of the first one in January.
Acting wise Kaitlin has done a spot of filming to advertise a well known chain of Gyms and there looks to be some interesting possibilities for the new year coupled to some Fight Direction she has taken on. Watch this space for an exciting 2019.
Things are certainly coming thick and fast this month as lots of projects are being continued and other bookings coming in for as far away as next March. As well as working on the productions Kaitlin began last month, she has several new Fight Direction jobs starting as well this month. In her capacity as FD on drama school shows, ALRA North started production of Alice in Wonderland and The Manchester School of Theatre involved her in their next finals production of The Illusion. Both shows require some fancy sword work and Kaitlin is loving coming up with inventive choreography for both shows. Everyone involved is top notch so the rehearsals are running very smoothly so far!
Another exciting project Kaitlin worked on this month was with Director Chris Lawson over at Cast in Doncaster doing the fights for their Pantomime Robin Hood and The Babes in The Wood. The cast have all proven to be strong in their fighting skills and Kaitlin has had a lot of fun creating some very complicated and fun group fight scenes using various weapons. It’s a very kick-ass show and has the potential to be a thrilling swashbuckling adventure.
October has been a crammed month for Kaitlin with lots of projects coming thick and fast. Fight Direction wise, firstly she has been involved with The Manchester School of Theatre again with their production of Arcadia on the main stage at HOME, Manchester. She was also asked to produce a sensitive rape scene in The Pride for Green Carnation Theatre Company and she was incredibly proud of the results, working with very focused and dedicated performers. She is also currently planning the fights for The Cycle with Great Expectations Theatre and Alice in Wonderland for ALRA North, both beginning rehearsals at the end of the month. Finally, she has now begun work on Playhouse 2’s production of Cyrano de Bergerac and spent a brilliant first rehearsal with the whole cast teaching them the rudiments of sword play.
Kaitlin also had some fun working with Laughlines doing some sitcom tribute shows and murder mysteries this month. This was an utter delight to do and she looks forward to occasionally doing some more shows going forward!
September kicked off with The APC South West Summer Course on which Kaitlin was tutoring both the Basic and the Honours students – never one to shy away from a challenge she spent the week operating in two very different sections of her brain to prepare students who had never held a sword before and those who were at the top, most difficult level of performance certificate. Brilliant results were attained across the whole summer course and she is already looking forward to next year.
She has also set to on a few of her Fight Direction jobs this month. Firstly, she has been working with the brilliant Manchester based theatre company Play With Fire on their production of The Effect, to be performed at Oldham Coliseum at the end of the month. It is being performed alongside a devised piece in response to this play by Lucy Prebble by a local youth theatre Kaitlin has close ties to, Wild Things Drama and it promises to be a great double-bill. For more details and to book tickets please click here.
She has also entered into the planning stages for what is a very ambitious and spectacular production of Cyrano de Bergerac with a local amateur company at Playhouse 2 in Shaw. She attended a recent initial read-through and after chatting with the director, she will be training all the performers from scratch and it is promising to be a very swashbuckly show!