It’s certainly safe to say that we’re currently as excited as that song offof the Crunchie advert here at chez Chicken Pox Fox* (*Lee’s house, Paula’s house, any pub.)
Because in our absence – since we rendered The Bush agog with the disabled brownies of Brown Bird – we’ve been planning and plotting some thrilling new ventures for this upcoming year.
In no specific order, the projects you can expect to be smashed in the face with some time soon are:
A country and western-inspired musical which spans Scotland, sexuality and the super bowl, and may very well include a song entitled ‘you can’t make a fist if you’re limp-wristed.’
A mockumentary film project about a girl with no thumbs and her obsessive quest to find not only two missing pieces of herself, but each and every one of them.
Born out of the odds and sods that make us hyperventilate with hysterics, this is a mash-up of Eurovision faux pas’s, Wookiee bingo callers and sticky little boys called Toby.
Furthermore, we have a new addition to team Chicken, Pox and Fox in the form of a glittering new producer who goes by the name of Phil Hargreaves. We have him care of the The Empty Space‘s This Way Up initiative which we were invited to apply for before Christmas.
In his very own third person words, here’s a little bit about our new-kid-on-this-block but not all-the-blocks Phil…
‘Phil Hargreaves has a vast amount of experience working with a broad mix of artists and companies at varying career levels. His work includes creative and strategic development, advocacy, UK and International Tour Producing, relationship building, fundraising and mentoring.
Phil has a great understanding of the UK touring circuit and has toured well over three thousand shows across the UK to theatres, festivals and outdoor events. Over the past five years, Phil has worked on tours to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and America and has worked with some of the UK’s leading theatre companies such as Third Angel, Stan’s Cafe, Hull Truck Theatre, Theatre Alibi, RashDash and Fifth Word.
Phil has been working with Dep Arts for the last 5 years as a Producer and recently left the company to work in a freelance capacity.’
…we know. He’s mint and comes with a name that can be effortlessly adapted to Chicken Phil(let). Win win.
And that’s it for now, which we think is enough to keep you tantalisingly ticking over for the time being.
It is worth flagging up that we’re just putting the finishing touches to a teaser trailer for ‘Violet Violet’ which will find it’s way into your retinas in the next couple of days…so watch this racy space.
Love and Light
Chicken Lee, Chicken Paula, Chicken Laura and Chicken Phil(let)
This might’ve taken a month but suffice to say we’re back, we’re bad and joyously triumphant!
Our adventure to The Bush was nothing short of exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure. But like a combined Edinburgh-Irvine-Cumbrian Jess Fletch in search of some culpable cousin the trip was well worth it.
Because by introducing our sensational audience to the world of Brown Owl Beth we might just have opened the tiniest of minds whilst high-fiving the already free ones, made a couple of ladies leave whilst two lads gave us a standing ovation and etched the streets ‘Chicken Pox’ and ‘Fox‘ onto a map of London.
Without meaning to blow our own bagpipes, the positive feedback was aplenty:
‘Humbert Humbert but a Brown Owl? Awesome and difficult and funny’
‘The balance between comedy and poignancy was awesome’
‘Touching, thought-provoking, beautiful work’
Company highlights included:
- Awarding Chicken Laura a plastic good-luck-Fox only for her to obsessively photograph it in and around every inch of the weekend.
- ‘Borrowing’ a polystyrene ‘D’ from the RADAR Festival sign for my niece Dee.
- An early hours frisk around a 24/7 Tesco’s which included a holler of ‘did I just do that?’ from Chicken Paula somewhere near the breaded ham.
The next step for us is to embark on an altogether exciting new venture (newsflash to follow) and kick off our concrete plan for the next couple of years…which includes producing a film, a national tour, an Edinburgh jaunt, plenty new plays, a sketch show and umpteen chicken pox adventures inbetween.
So, watch this space and stock up on the chamomile lotion because (in the words of the late, great Carpenters) we’ve only just bastard begun.
Love and light
Chicken Lee, Chicken Paula and Chicken Laura
It’s weird isn’t it?
You spend far too many hours in the same company’s company, listening to the same One Direction songs, running over the SAME interaction with the SAME empty wheelchair and STILL that’s what’s you crave at the end of each exhausting day.
That doesn’t mean to say I’m writing this from our newly WD40’d wheelchair to the addictive beats of What Makes You Beautiful…whilst repeatedly going to Chicken Paula’s voicemail…it doesn’t…cos that would just be even more weird.
Having said that, we’ve just returned from our final rehearsal and are naught short of massively excited to introduce Brown Owl Beth to the world at the weekend.
Because over the last couple of days the whole play has completely come together. And slotting those final few pieces into place, akin to a jigsaw-loving Nana pressing those last cathartic nails into her 2000-piece extravaganza of the crucifixion, has allowed us to see the bigger picture; one which we hoped we were painting but one which has appeared in more glorious technicolour than any of us could have imagined.
All that remains now is to cross our heads, shoulders, knees and toes…because the ‘to do’ scribbles of page.1 have all been crossed out…the clarity clarified…the final track edited…the train tickets departmentalised…and we even have a company allen key.
So, wish us luck. Because, if you don’t see us through the week you’ll see us through the window. Bearing in mind we’ve yet to secure funding to finance a company window. And we’re only on at the weekend. Not the week. And it’s sold out. Anyway.
Love and light
Chicken Lee, Chicken Paula and Chicken Laura
Still nursing our tickled ribs from Chicken Paula’s dismissal of Lorraine Chase’s wedding gag in Emmerdale Farm, we’ve transplanted our rehearsals from a flat in Bill Quay to Live Theatre’s rehearsal room.
And it’s safe to say, the heat is on. We’ve upped our sessions to pretty much daily – crowbarred between panic attacks and hangovers – in order that the show will be in naught but Bristol fashion when we rock up at the Bush in just ten tiny days.
With almost all of Beth’s 6481 words now haunting Paula like that spent-too-long-in-the-bath Nana in The Others, it’s just a case of tweaking, finalizing the blocking and making sure that every little line lives up to it’s hilarious and/or heartbreaking potential.
More importantly, we’re still trying to decide how Beth should leave the theatre at the end of the play, though the current consensus is that she should fly off into the star-filled skies above London town like a flimsily CRB-checked Mary Poppins.
Highlights of the process this week have included:
- A new Erasure track for the finale, which manages to reduce all three Chicken’s to sniffles and sobs.
- The potential for ‘Brown Bird 2 – Beth in the City’ which is looking more like a distinct and disturbing possibility by the day.
- Breaking the wheelchair.
That’s it for now, as ever there’s prop shopping to do, tweaks to our powerpoint projections to be made and cartwheels to be performed the length and breadth of the quayside since we’re now sold out for the Friday performance.
Pop back to see how the final leg of our adventure pans out and if we manage to fix the wheelchair without loosing one or all of our thirty company fingers.
Love and Light
It’s safe to say we’re on track and feeling whack. I missed the majority of today’s rehearsal but I have it on exceptional authority that it was a corker. Chicken Paula’s even mastered the names of Beth’s fifteen fantastic brownies:
Clare. Anna. Donna. Lottie. Leah. Eve. Katy. Poppy. Kaitlyn. Zoe. Lily. Lucy. Kyla. Millie. Alice. And Phoebe.
Which prompted a discussion as to how much of Donna Disco still skulks about in that wise head of hers. It turned out she could still rattle this similar Krypton Factor style memory feat like no ones business:
Quiet, chunky, ugly, four-eyed, minging, pizza faced, shy, sad, rotten, stinky, lesbionic little girls.
There’s ne flies on that lass.
Whilst we’re on that lass be sure to watch Emmerdale Farm on Wednesday evening as Chicken Paula will be the one handcuffed to Lorraine Chase for the majority of it. She’s called Jane in it and is sure to be nothing short of shit hot.
I haven’t really got much else to say having not been at rehearsals. Here’s some random odds and ends from our post-rehearsal pint meeting to pop you on though:
- There’s a severe lack of plays about wolves.
- We all know the correct way in which to use a semi-colon.
- Application forms are better filled out on no tea and ten pints.
Love and Light
Despite being four weeks (AKA shite all) until we open, there’s a distinct lack of panic in the rehearsal air. This may be for one of three reasons:
a) Chicken Paula secretly knows all 40 pages of script (front and back)
b) Chicken Laura blocked the whole thing while I was in the toilet
c) Chicken Me invited our guests weeks ago
Though I suspect it’s more likely to be a case of:
a) Chicken Paula’s hyperventilating in her soul
b) Chicken Laura’s thinking about white pudding
c) Chicken Me is wondering if/when I’ll be offered a slice of Swiss Roll to go with this brew
Either way, today’s rehearsal went down like…well…whatever the opposite of going ‘down like a sack of shit’ is…because it was epic…it went down a dream, a peach dream…no…it went down an absolute STORM!
Chicken Paula and Chicken Laura have continued to sprinkle their theatrical popping candy all over the script and the character work continues to shine bigger and brighter with every readthrough. And, I don’t mean to blow out very own trumpets, but mine and Laura’s rendition of A Little Respect by Erasure (in the absence of a ghetto blaster) is swiftly becoming the most genuinely moving part of this whole fiasco.
Anyhow, best dash, there’s a whole list of social media related questions from the Bush that’ll not answer themselves, I’ve umpteen props to source/make and an AWOL yellow whistle to find.
Love and Light