On the 30th of May, High Bentham will see the world première of 3 new short stories by celebrated local actor and writer Tim Austin. Told to visitors in venues around the town as part of this year’s “Carnival Bentham”, the event marks a departure into straight storytelling that Tim has been planning for a long time.
“I’ve been writing for stage, page and audio for a while now,” explains Tim. “And much of my work has been short stories. I’ve already performed self-penned shadow theatre shows and even a monologue or two on a West End stage but this will be the first time I’ve written and performed a story without props or puppets – the purest kind of storytelling.”
Tim will be telling stories about life and fantastical events on the River Wenning, which runs beside and through High Bentham. The hubris of kings, magical creatures, an adventure in the undergrowth and the great Wenning Oak (a local landmark) will all feature.
The River itself provides the inspiration for this year’s Carnival Bentham; an event that’s now in it’s 4th year. Along with Tim’s storytelling trail, the carnival will include a vibrant mix of street entertainment, a street procession, live music and fun competitions for all.
“I’ve been involved in the Carnival every year since it started,” continues Tim. “It’s a great event! This is the first time I’ve been presenting my own work there and I’m really looking forward to it.”
As well as a busy Actor, Tim is a prolific writer, having penned many theatre plays and shadow shows for long-time collaborators Rough Magic Theatre. He is also a published short-story writer, with his “Christmas Tails” collection riding high in the Amazon book charts every December and another collection on the way later this year.
Tim will be performing on streets and inside shops around the town. Carnival Bentham takes place on Saturday the 30th of May. For more details on the event, please visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CARnivalBentham
(From a press release submitted to local newspapers)
Rehearsals for Clueless and Wuffles: the Case of the Missing Jewels are now complete, with a dress and tech rehearsal dusted over the weekend. Now it’s just a waiting game before we head down to Worthy Farm for the festival itself.
In case you didn’t know (or you’ve lost the ability to scroll down to the post underneath this one), I’ll be performing as DCI Clueless – a hapless and unbelievably vain detective who, along with his faithful Sergeant, DS Wuffles, must hunt down the stolen Crown Jewels. The show will be performed at the Panic Circus Big Top on the Kidz Field from Thursday the 26th until the close of the festival.
If you’re at Glastonbury this year, keep an eye on the hashtag #wuffles for show times, pictures and all kinds of random micro-blogging goodness. I look forward to seeing you there!
I’ll be writing up my experiences and thoughts on the festival for Frost Magazine upon my return. Keep a weather eye out for that.
In other news, I’ve recently been cast in “Justice”, a site-specific theatrical event being held at Lancaster Castle over the Summer this year. Work has already begun on the show, with showings taking place on weekends through July and all week through August. More on that in my next blog post.
Plans are progressing on a funding application for a big show in March 2015. The project, which I’ll be keeping under wraps until things are a little more firmed up, has a producer, director and musical director attached, with work due to begin on the script and music in August/September. We’ve finalised an initial budget and our first funding bid goes in this week, with a further GFA bid emerging in July. I’ll update you on details for the show once we know that it’s definitely happening (fingers crossed!)
And, to round things off, I’m continuing my work as a medical role-player and enjoying it immensely. It’s a fantastic team of actors to work with and a marvellous team in charge. I’ll be jetting back up from Somerset for another performance the day after Glastonbury (I know!)
Until next time, stay frosty!
Posted in Arts Funding, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
Tagged Acting, Actor, clueless and wuffles, glastonbury 2014, glastonbury festival, glastonbury shows, lancaster castle, medical roleplay, stage, Theater, Theatre
Today I can officially announce that I’ll be starring in a brand new stage show at Glastonbury Festival in June 2014.
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.
Posted in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World., Photographs and Screengrabs
Tagged Acting, Actor, Comedy, glastonbury 2014, glastonbury festival, panic's big top, panic's circus, professor panic, Puppetry, Rough Magic Theatre, slapstick, Theater, Theatre
As 2014 chugs merrily on, I’m encouraged by the opportunities that are springing up – some on the acting side, some on the writing and some on the Dramaturgy.
I’ve recently started working with a company in Lancaster on some medical roleplay for the local hospital. It’s a fantastic way to keep your “hand in” between stage and screen roles and the people involved are marvelous. It’s also nice to see employers who are still pro-active in employing local actors – it’s a frequent complaint that I hear in my position at my local Equity branch: why do many Northern theatres and TV producers mainly audition for performers in London? Why does this still happen when there are so many talented performers right next door? Are the actors in London better? In most cases, the answer is simply “No”. Yet it happens.
Sorry, bit of a rant there.
Writing plans are a touch hush-hush but things may pan out in very interesting ways as the year goes on. Keep ’em peeled!
What I can say is that I’ve a radio drama script in contention at the Beeb – it’s a play that I wrote from my previous experience as an ambulance call taker and dispatcher. Feedback has been positive so far but you can never tell; the commissioning structure at the BBC isn’t the most straight-forward process in the world.
I was down in London t’other day (as a Dramaturg) to meet with Puppeteers and producers about the process of writing for puppets. It was a fantastic event that threw up a bunch of interesting questions. I’ve written for puppets quite a bit and it’s great to be able to share some of my experience. If you’ve a puppetry play that you could do with a little feedback on, even if you’ve not started scripting it yet, do drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to the acting: last year was a slow year, with many other concerns (a lot of them to do with feeding myself each month) distracting me from pushing hard on the acting side of things. I’m determined that this will change in 2014 and, to help myself capitalise on my experience and ability, I’m drawing up a plan.
If I could give one piece of advice to new-comers to the acting biz it’d be to plan. What are the types of shows that you’d like to do (be specific!)? Who makes them? When will they be most open to hearing from you and what’s the best way of getting in touch? How can you be seen by them in performance? If you’ve nothing coming up, is there a way of making some work of your own in their area?
All these questions go into a year planner on my wall. A career is a career, after all: Acting is not a hobby.
So I’ll end on a question – just pop your answers in a comment, below. How do you plan out your acting career and what kind of actor do you want to be?
Until next time, stay frosty!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Acting, Actor, Dramaturg, Dramaturge, Dramaturgy, Film, Lancashire, Lancaster, London, Manchester, North, Puppeteer, Puppetry, Puppets, Television, Theater, Theatre, TV
At the start of 2013, I acted in a short film called “Life Like Mine”. As the year draws to a close, then, it’s a great time to announce that the film has now garnered not 1 but 3 awards at the Angel Film Awards at the Monaco Film Festival.
The awards, now in their 11th year, are among the most prestigious on the short-film circuit. These three awards are a testament to the hard work and talent of the crew and I’m delighted to share in their success.
What a lovely way to end the year.
And what an interesting year it’s been. I’ve continued my successful partnership with Yorkshire-based Rough Magic Theatre, performing a number of street shows with the company and starring in their brand new theatre piece “Officer Buckle and Gloria”.
I’ve also spent a good chunk of the year training my screen performance with the help of Beverley Keogh in Manchester, as well as auditioning for a number of shows, among which was a brand new BBC sitcom.
The feature film that I shot last year, The Rise, has also had its cinema release and is now out on DVD.
My work with the local Equity branch has also been rewarding, with recent discussions and efforts delivering real benefits for performers in the region.
All in all, a fascinating time. What will 2014 bring?
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, all!
Posted in Filming, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
Tagged Acting, Actor, arts, Audition, Casting, Film, Films, Lancaster, Officer Buckle and Gloria, stage, Theater, Theatre, TV, UK
After a frantic few weeks of rehearsal and revision, “Officer Buckle and Gloria” finally went before audiences in West Yorkshire at the end of June.
Amidst sweltering heat and occasional torrential rain, I donned a fat suit and baked in the name of my art. Jumping around, running about and performing pratfalls is a bit of a challenge when you’re lumbered with a belly the size of Texas – subtle it was not (fun it was)!
But Gloria is now resting comfortably in her basket and I’m thin and trim once more, eager to push forward into my next project.
Which will be? Ah, well that’s the thing: you never can tell.
I’m due to return as Fred Fettler in Rough Magic Theatre’s street show “Fred Fettler’s Pony 3000: the Transport of the Future” in late August and early September.
I can also announce that I’ve been commissioned to write a brand new stage play for a theatre company in York – all a bit hush-hush but I’ll be back with more news on this soon. I’m going to be writing and sketching out the script later in the year, with “mood” scrap books and character breakdowns already under way.
On the performing front, however, I’m searching out new roles and new challenges going forward. I’ve found the screen acting course I’ve been doing in Manchester recently (see posts below) to be invaluable in this regard. It’s been extremely helpful in fine-tuning my screen presence and I look forward to taking these new skills into auditions through the rest of the year. I’ll be doing a whole blog on screen acting soon so keep a weather eye out!
So meetings, contacts and auditions will be filling up my calender in the months ahead. Stay tuned!
Tim Austin is an actor, writer and Dramaturg based in both London and North Yorkshire, UK. Take a look around the site to find out more.