Hello and welcome to a small project with big ambitions.
We need to raise £2,500 to help bring my first play to life. With your support we'll produce the world premiere of 'Up Your Prana', a dark comedy about secrets and yoga. If you're thinking to yourself, 'secrets ... and yoga ... sounds a bit weird', you'd be right. On the other hand, an acclaimed theatre professional with over 30 years' experience has described the play as a 'very accomplished piece of writing'.
I have over 20 years' experience as a professional advertising copywriter under my belt, and many TV projects on the go. With this personal project, I'm honoured to be working with a small production crew of highly-experienced people who firmly believe in the play. We've secured a brilliant venue right in the heart of Brighton, the play has a fantastic all-professional cast, and now we need your help to get us over the finishing line.
SOME BACKGROUND ON THE PLAY
'Up Your Prana' was selected as part of StageWrite 2015, Bedford's festival of new writing. Back then it had a successful scratch performance with professional actors, and a Q&A with the director, cast and I answering questions from the audience who 'got' and enjoyed the play. Since then it's been selected for a performance by Manchester ADP Theatre for one of their 'Scripts Aloud' nights during 2019.
WHY BRIGHTON FRINGE 2019?
Taking the play through the Brighton Fringe Festival in May 2019 is a wonderful opportunity to launch a darkly comic tale on an unsuspecting public. The Brighton Fringe is the largest annual arts festival in England and one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. Its 2018 programme included 1008 events at over 166 venues across four weeks. You can help stage the production for three launch performances from 9 to 11 May 2019 at The Blockhouse Theatre. Because, to bastardise an old saying, you can't keep a good play down.
WHAT'S THE PLAY ABOUT?
It's a fast, hard-hitting comedy featuring six characters at the same yoga centre, all eaten up with secrets. A new receptionist arrives after the manager’s disappearance, to find the centre in chaos. She unearths the reasons behind the manager’s fall from grace - but is herself defeated by her own demons. Along the way, the play explores the nature of love, betrayal, overarching ambition and unlikely friendships. It's also a great vehicle for female actresses of all ages, and the sole male character has a rather surprising character arc as well.
WHERE WILL MY MONEY GO?
Paying the actors
They're human beings too, and they need to live. While a fringe theatre production budget is always going to be tight, it's important to us to pay our lovely professional actors for their time, and a contribution for their travel.
Paying the production team
Money you donate will help pay for the time and experience of our play's director, Alex Miller (more about him later) and our very own publicist and crowd funder extraordinaire, Mona Walsh (read on for more about her too.)
Sourcing costumes and props
To create the world of the play, we need to realise it in physical form - and that all costs money. Whatever you donate will help us find that wig, or buy the right fire retardant spray for the costumes.
Posters, flyers, building the website, paying for illustrators, developers and graphic designers - they're all part and parcel of building the story around the play so that supportive audiences like you come and see the performance. (Not forgetting associated costs, like insurance, or the ticketing fee charged by the Brighton Fringe Festival box office.)
We've got a lovely venue right in the centre of Brighton, The Blockhouse, and a stage which we're confident will do justice to the play. Your donations can help us pay the venue hire costs.
We've got a people-carrier, courtesy of my valiant book-keeper so we can transport actors, costumes and props securely around Brighton for rehearsals and in the run-up to the performances. Your pledges could help pay for petrol, and the driver.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Alex Miller - Director
Alex’s has been directing in London and around the UK for the last four years. His credits include: PAEDO. (Summer 2019). Bon Ami (Assistant Director, Battersea Arts Centre), Greenwood Scratch (Tristan Bates Theatre), Beetles From the West (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Mercy Seat (Hen and Chickens Theatre), The Snatcher (Etcetera Theatre), Seminar (Etcetera Theatre). He co-founded Greenwood Theatre Company in 2015. They are in development for their next production, PAEDO, which will run in London.
Alex started out by training with the National Youth Theatre. Before turning solely to directing, he performed in Rep with Fourth Monkey Theatre Company and trained at Mountview under Carol Harvey and Peter James.
Mona Walsh - Promoter and Head of Funding
A communications professional with a love of the arts and a passion for theatre, Mona studied English and Theatre at The University of Sussex. She went on to develop a career in advertising and communications, which included five years as Head of Communications at the National Gallery. She's recently moved back to Brighton and started her own consultancy. Keen to continue putting those marketing skills to good use in supporting the arts, she's delighted to be working on 'Up Your Prana', a new play by an exciting new writer, and to be involved with the Brighton Festival.
Thank you for reading and for your support in helping to raise £2,500 to make this project happen. We're excited - and we hope you are too. Please join us for the adventure.