Category Archives: Photographs and Screengrabs

Books, Acting and Things: ActorTim is BACK, baby!

Where does the time go?

But let’s not start with all that!  I have been having a very busy year as a performer and as a novelist.  Let me tell you all about it,…

As you’ll have seen in my last post – oh, so long ago – I spent part of my Summer working as a storyteller in my home of Bentham.  I have also been hard at work as a medical roleplayer in Lancaster and Manchester.  It’s one of those jobs that is an enjoyable and reliable “filler” between more visible acting work.

I continued my association with Rough Magic Theatre last year, returning to perform as Lewis Carol and The Mad Hatter in a short summer tour of their “Alice In Wonderland” show at a number of festivals.  I also returned to the role of Fred Fettler in “Fred Fettler’s Pony 3000”, a street theatre show that went down a storm at Lancaster Encounter, a summertime festival in Preston.

 

Beyond acting, I have been busy writing.  My “Christmas Tails” collection of short stories has been selling well over the holiday season and I’ve been typing out stories for the sequel collection, due out later this year.

Santa Cover

Just before Christmas I released “The Santa Beneath The Ice”, a short comic/Noir crime thriller set in 1900 New York.  It quickly drew a set of Five Star reviews and sold in good numbers – though the fashion on Kindle these days seems to favour full-length novels.

With that in mind, I have already begun work on my first full-length novel featuring Keegan and Lestrade, characters that I grew very fond of during the writing of “Santa”.  Their first full-length adventure (currently under the provisional title “The Ripper of Red Hook”) will be written over the course of 2016.  I’ve already mapped out the mystery they will face and many of the characters they’ll meet on the way.  Lets see what happens!

I’ll be blogging solidly about my experience writing this first full-length work over the next year.  If you’re curious about how it feels to write a novel and what challenges a writer faces, subscribe to this blog and keep updated on my progress.

Which reminds me: this blog is going weekly.  After an eon in suspended animation, I’m ensuring that I update it every Wednesday from now on.  I hope that you can join me.

Until Wednesday, though,…

Stay Frosty.

Tim xx

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Down on the (Worthy) Farm: Glastonbury Festival 2014

Today I can officially announce that I’ll be starring in a brand new stage show at Glastonbury Festival in June 2014.

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The new show, Clueless and Wuffles: the Case of the Missing Jewels, is a family comedy farce.  Packed with slapstick, song and puppetry, the show has been put together for Professor Panic’s Big Top and will be performed on the Kidz Field.

I’ll be starring as DCI Clueless, a vain detective who’s as inept as he is self-absorbed.  His faithful canine partner, DS Wuffles, supports him by,…. well, by solving all of his cases for him!  But have they met their match when the Crown Jewels are snatched from the Tower?

It’s a fantastic show and a brilliant showcase, and I’m thrilled to be taking on yet another leading role for my long-time collaborators at Rough Magic Theatre.

If you’re at the festival, do make the trip across and enjoy the show!

Glastonbury 2014 takes place between the 25th – 29th of June at Worthy Farm near Pilton in Somerset.  For full details of this year’s festival, click here.

Introducing Officer Buckle

With the première of “Officer Buckle and Gloria” fast approaching, I had my first costume fitting t’other day.  As we had a spare moment, we took a few promotional pictures for various newspapers while we were at it.

Feast your eyes on these:

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As you can see, we’re going all-out to re-create the colourful, larger-than-life feel of the original book – and having a great time doing it!  I’ve also had a blast working on the character and acting out his,… ahem, “mature” physique!

But here’s the big question:  why couldn’t I grow a tache that bushy for Movember?

You can see Officer Buckle and Gloria at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley on the 25th of June and Bradford’s City Park on the 28th.  Performances run throughout the day and are free to the public.

For more information on the creation of the show, please visit http://puppetlady.wordpress.com

Tim Austin is an actor, writer and dramaturg based in North Yorkshire, UK.  Take a look around the site to find out more.

Officer Buckle and Gloria © 1995 by Peggy Rathmann.  First published in the United States by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.

Out and About: Performing for the Queen (of Bentham).

Gracious, doesn’t time fly!?

Well I hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend.  Might I say, though, that while you were drinking Pimms from Union Jack plastic cups, I was hard at work!

No, not that terrible 9-5 stiff collar kind of work – that’s so 2010!  I was, once again, working with the wonderfully inventive puppetry geniuses at Rough Magic Theatre, who brought me on board for two Street Theatre shows to celebrate the Jubilee.

Some theatre types go all sneer-y at the idea of Street Theatre but I’m an equal-opportunity thespian: I don’t discriminate!  My job as an actor is to create characters and take audiences on journeys.  You don’t need a theatre stage to do that.  Plus, street theatre is tremendous fun!

First up was a brand new improv show called “Fred Fettler’s Pony 3000: The Transport of the Future!”, in which I played the eponymous Mr. Fettler – inventor extraordinaire.

It was a great show which attracted fantastic crowds of onlookers and victims volunteers.  It was described by some as “Monty Python meets the Goodies”, which is a pretty good description of the show.  Madness, it was: utter madness – in the best possible British tradition of absurdity.

The show took place over a day on the 2nd of June, as part of the Bentham leg of “My Last CarNival” – an event that highlighted a future without the motorcar, using art installations, music and theatre.

My second street show was an extension of Rough Magic’s “Alice in Wonderland”.  I took thier “Mad Hatter and the March Hare” puppetry rig on a tour around a mass Jubilee picnic.  I was even knighted by the “Queen”!  Images below.

I attended the inaugural meeting of the North Lancashire and Cumbria branch of Equity a couple of weeks back.  It’s a campaigning branch that has already been responsible for successfully lobbying the return of The Dukes Theatre’s Play in the Park show – before the branch was even official!

It’s wonderful to get involved with Equity.  Not only does it give you a feeling of community within the industry, but it also allows actors to take more control of their careers and opportunities.  If you’re an actor, I encourage you to join and get stuck in!

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Larkin’ About

Well, I’ve now finished my temporary assignment in the “Real World”, doing the 9-5 (or, in my case, the 8 – 6.30) and I’m back chasing new work as a performer. And, as lovely as the guys at the GP surgery were – and they were seriously lovely! Thank you, thank you! – I’m glad to be back chasing my career.

And, wouldn’t you know it, within a week of finishing at the surgery I found myself on stage at Contact Theatre in Manchester, helping out my old friend Aliki Chaple.

Last Saturday I performed in an improvised, and frighteningly high tech, social gaming show as part of an evening arranged by Larkin’ About. Aliki was producing and directing an interactive show called Improv Avatar and I volunteered to be one of her guinnea pigs professional actors.

The idea was this; Three other actors and I would perform together and improvise around words tweeted to us by selected members of the audience. No script, no warnings as to how to react; nothing. Imagine Whose Line is it Anyay?… on Speed. But madder.

It was hillarious. Flat out anarchy from start to finish and I loved it!

Although I’ve helped to create devised works before, I’ve never performed straight Improv, except when playing to an audience for Alice and in Panto. It was a truly remarkable experience! You had to be quick!

One moment I was attempting to force a Hippo into a cooking pot, the next I was trying to wrench my jaw out, the next I was floating in space trying to convince someone that they weren’t in Australia after all. Which was true enough.

Manic, energetic and great entertainment.

I’d like to thank my fellow performers, Jack Coverdale, Sharon Lancaster and Nathan Birkinshaw for being such sports, and a big thanks to Aliki for inviting us along!

The stage for Improv Avatar

To learn more about Larkin’ About, please visit thier website; http://larkin-about.co.uk

Only two more weeks to Christmas! Don’t forget to buy a copy of my short story e-book, Christmas Tails – it’s a great gift and 50p of every copy goes to children in need! Click here to find out more.

Help! I’ve Been Headshot!

Greetings once again, and thank you in advance!

Because, y’see, I need your help; a second opinion, so to speak. I have been out with a photographer this week, trudging across the North Yorkshire Moors to try and capture a dynamic and alluring new headshot! I have three to show you and I would like you to vote on which is your favorite. I already have mine, but I’d like to hear your thoughts and, more importantly, your votes on which you prefer.

So, here they are; vote in the poll at the bottom! Your thoughts will directly influence my choice of main headshot so don’t be shy! Opinions and thoughts welcome! Off you Go!