Update: 1st June 2015.
The Spotlight Productions Team, Cast & Crew would like to thank everyone who came along to watch and support Technically Speaking, you have helped to raise a whopping £634.00 which will go to BISEE Books.
Director Sean Hargreaves & producer Bethany Froud released a statement via their Facebook page, which simply reads:
3 ovations, 3 shows and over £600 later – we are done!
We had no expectations going into this, we wanted to do something a bit different, have a laugh and raise some money for a very special charity.
Thank you so much for all the messages and kind words; the amount of money we have raised has surpassed our expectations.
Much love x
By Stephanie Heath
Spotlight productions will be staging Technically Speaking later this month at the Wistaston
Technically Speaking follows six people matched by a dating super-computer and thrown together in a match making experiment that is doomed from the start! Ex-boyfriends are reunited with ex-girlfriends, old feuds are exposed and one alcohol fuelled evening leads to an unlikely dalliance. Louise, Julian, Sarah, Peter, Samantha and Paul are the personification of what it means to be single while rapidly approaching, and exceeding 30. All of them have varying degrees of luck when it comes to their love lives.
They are packed off to a secluded cottage in an idyllic Lake District village where this frivolous comedy unfolds. Brace yourself for an hilarious look at dysfunction at its finest.
Spotlight Productions was formed to bring this show back to the stage. Originally written by Rachel Welch 11 years ago, Producer Bethany Froud and Director Sean Hatgreaves have been given permission to update the play to include references to modern life, especially social media which didn’t exist when Technically Speaking was first penned! The profits from the play will go to BISEE Books, a charity set up to help disadvantaged children in Ecuador, South America.
BISEE Books was established in memory of five young women – Becci Logie, Indira Swann, Sarah Howard, Emily Sadler and Lizzie Pincock who lost their lives when a coach they were travelling in was struck a lorry.
The charity was launched in April 2009 and the BISEE Book Bus has been working in Ecuador since March 2010. Decorated with artwork by Sir Quentin Blake, the bus is stocked with books, materials and volunteers. It travels throughout communities, working directly with those children most in need of help.
I had the pleasure of attending a recent rehearsal and talked to the production team and cast to find out all about their stage careers and about the show itself
Producer Bethany Froud
“I fell in love with theatre from a very young age, being influenced for the most part by my grandparents. I got involved fully at 15 in my first Musical with Crewe Amateur Musicals Society. That was it, I was hooked!
I have had the privilege to play some amazing roles, most recently as Nicky in ‘Sweet Charity’ , Lady Jaqueline in ‘Me and My Girl’ , Sylvia in ‘Stepping Out’ and as Ado Annie in Oklahoma! in October 2014”.
Over the years Beth has been a member of various theatre companies and societies including Crewe Amateur Musicals Society, Acton Amateur Operatic Society, Curtain Call Productions and Yvonnes School of Dancing. It was during Oklahoma! that Beth met her ‘partner in crime’, Director Sean Hargreaves.
“It was towards the end of Oklahoma! that we had the idea to do Technically Speaking. I have long been interested in taking a more hands on position, getting into more of a production role within the theatre and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I am very lucky to be the Secretary of Curtain Call Productions and have had the privilege to work with, and learn, so much from the amazing creative team there. I really wanted to put some of what I have learned into practice – so here I am! This has been a steep learning curve for me but I have loved every second so far. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a bit of determination and the help of some rather amazing friends”.
Director Sean Hargreaves started directing and producing in 2005 when he took over the reins at Chorley Youth Theatre. His directing credits include Little Shop of Horrors, which received a NODA nomination in 2009 for best show, Guys & Dolls and various small scale projects within the community.
“It was in October last year when Beth, myself and some of the cast of the Acton AOS Oklahoma! Production started talking about finding something to perform – we weren’t quite ready to let go of that experience, which is how we have ended up here! Technically Speaking was written by a friend of mine, Rachel Welch, and was directed eleven years ago by another friend, Brainne Edge. Both of these women were a huge influence on my formative years in the theatre. In fact, the first time I ever stepped on a stage I was performing in another of Rachel’s pieces!
Technically Speaking has stuck with me as one of the funniest, most honest pieces of writing I have ever come across. There is a little bit of all of us in these characters – the decision on whether that is a good thing or not remains to be seen!
Seeing this script come to life again reminds me of a very special time in my life. I’m getting married later this year so working on this and planning the wedding at the same time bridges two really important periods of time for me.
Working with this group of actors also makes me thankful to have found such a talented bunch of friends. I am delighted that we can donate all the proceeds from Technically Speaking to BISEE Books – a charity that aims to inspire a love of reading in the poorest and most disadvantaged children in Ecuador. Education is their way out of this extreme poverty and we can change their lives. Many of the children who work with the bus live in extreme poverty. These children cannot imagine a future different to that of their parents; the only way out of poverty for them is education.”
Sean has a personal connection to the charity as he lost one of his closest friends, Becci Logie, in the tragic accident.
“Becci was one of life’s rarities; a kind hearted, talented, intelligent and wickedly funny person who was one of the best friends you could wish for. She inspired me to be brave enough to invest in myself and pursue what I want in life with ambition and drive. It would be amazing to send a boat load of cash to this very special charity – so I hope to see you there!”
On top of producing and directing duties, both Beth and Sean take on the roles of Louise and Paul in the show. Also starring in Technically Speaking are real-life Husband and Wife Matthew & Gemma O’Donnell, Stacey Haughey and Benjamin Stubbs.
Matthew O’Donnell plays Peter
Matt is an active member of Curtain Call Productions, Acton AOS and Crewe AMS and has also been involved with the X-Academy produced ‘Inspire’ shows and YSD ‘Showtime’. Matt has taken lead roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent, Spelling Bee, and more recently played the role of Roger in Grease.
“People should book tickets to come and see Technically Speaking because it’s a modern piece of writing which is really, really funny”.
Gemma O’Donnell plays Samantha.
Gemma is an active member of Curtain Call Productions, Acton Amateur Operatic Society, X-Academy of Performing Arts and the Yvonne School of Dancing.
She has taken lead roles in The King & I, Oklahoma and Spelling Bee, as well as ensemble work in The Slipper & The Rose, Grease, Rent and The Producers.
“Technically Speaking is something completely different; intimate but really, really funny – come and see it!”
Stacey Haughey takes on the role of Sarah.
Stacey teaches for the X-Academy of Performing Arts and has choreographed shows for societies and companies across the region including Acton AOS most-recent production, Oklahoma!
Stacey is generally so busy that if you want to see her, you have to get in her diary at least six weeks in advance!
Technically Speaking’ is a definite change of pace for Stacey
“The script is amazing and the cast are even better. This show is better than a night in watching the TV!”
Benjamin Stubbs portrays Julian
Ben is a presenter on RedShift Radio in Crewe and is an active member of several societies in the area. He has just finished playing the role of Johnny Casino in Curtain Call Productions smash hit staging of Grease. His other credits include Oklahoma! Spelling Bee, Showtime and the 20th Anniversary Cabaret Concert with Musical Mayhem.
“I am thrilled to be a part of something completely new and different”
Technically Speaking by Rachel Welch will be on stage from Friday 29th May to Sunday 31st May 2015 at the Wistaston Memorial Hall in Cheshire. Each performance will start at 19:30.
Please be aware that Technically Speaking, contains adult related themes and is therefore aimed at audiences over the age of 16. However under 16’s are welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by an appropriate adult
For more information on the charity BISEE Books, please visit their website at www.biseebooks.org.uk.
Pictures courtesy of Spotlight Productions and Max Edleston Photography.