Saturday 6th September was a busy day – I missed the Festival of Colour in Digbeth, as I was performing at Reams of Dreams in Stafford. I have seen some great photos and heard it was a great day. After Stafford Arts Festival, I got home in time to get across to the MAC for Ben’s show, a one off Preview Performance.
Oscar French © 2014
‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family’
It was absolutely ruddy amazing and I wish I had written about it once I got home – with all the energy and eagerness I felt when I got in. Ben Norris is a UK SLAM Champion and a great Performance Poet, I have had the pleasure of watching him perform a few times this year. He has also been working on this one man show.
I don’t want to give too much away as I know he plans to take it to Edinburgh next year, so look out for it and GO AND SEE IT!
In the meantime I am sure Ben won’t mind me sharing the teasers he posted on You Tube or blogging my reaction to this great show.
Oscar French and Ben Norris spent 6 days on the road this summer re-tracing his father’s steps backwards from their home in Nottingham to London, where his dad came from. They visit relatives and friends, rely on the kindness of strangers and hope that people still hitch hike.
They created a blog to track the time on the road http://thehitchhikersguidetothefamily.wordpress.com and once home Ben working really hard for probably less than 3 weeks to get the show together.
Post Show Discussion
There was a post show discussion with Polly Tisdall, Oscar French and Ben Norris, which proved what some people love, others don’t and helped the team realise which areas of the production were confusing or worked well. I filled out my feedback form fully (whole sheet of A4) as well as getting some points across in the post discussion show. It was exciting listening to other people’s opinions.
Here is what people had to say about this one man show.
Ben Norris‘s One man show The Hitchhikers Guide to The Family was truly a stunning piece of spoken word theatre, from the eyewatering hysterical laughing & the emotional nostalgia I felt so happy & completely mesmerised at his storytelling ability & Omg to top all that brilliance off he gets his kit off I loved it. – Ddotti Bluebell
Had an awesome evening watching the incredibly talented Ben Norris debuting his one man show The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family at MAC, Birmingham. Compelling, achingly hilarious and heartbreakingly poignant in equal measure, if you missed it you really missed a treat, but it will hit the road (pardon the pun) again next year so keep an eye out for it and go see it if you get chance. You won’t regret it. – Deborah McEwan
And my own words;
This was an awesome show – a very polished project in process… so you too could have a chance of seeing it in the future! DO! Well done Ben Norris a superb one man show with the perfect balance of comic storytelling and insightful family tale… a great piece of theatre… the team should be very proud!
Oscar French © 2014
The Production Team
Ben Norris Writer & Performer
Actor, writer, spoken-word artist, and the reigning UK all-stars poetry slam champion. He is a regular on the spoken-word and festival circuit, with recent performances at the Roundhouse, Royal Festival Hall, Latitude, Ronnie Scott’s, Tongue Fu, Bang Said The Gun, and many more. His first book of poetry was published earlier this year by Nasty Little Press.
Polly Tisdall Director
Storyteller, Birmingham REP Foundry director, and founder of Rambling Heart Theatre Company. She was also 2011 UK Young Storyteller of the Year.
Oscar French Producer
Emerging producer and freelance script reader, whose experience to date includes producing and stage management roles for independent short films and student theatre. He has also worked with the Romany Theatre Company and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
Paul McHale Filmmaker
Freelance camera operator and editor, filming and producing animations, promotional films, narrative and art exhibition projects.
Inua Ellams Artistic Mentor
Internationally recognised poet, playwright and performance artist. He has published two poetry pamphlets: Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars and Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales. His first play, The 14th Tale, was awarded a Fringe First, and his third, Black T-Shirt Collection ran at the National Theatre. He is currently working on a new play called Barber Shop Chronicles, a poetry pamphlet called #Afterhours and his first full collection, Of All The Boys of Plateau Private School.
Louisa Davies Executive Producer
Performing Arts Producer at mac birmingham, she has worked with artists including Polarbear, Nick Makoha, A Little Commitment and Sid Peacock on solo shows.
With this post I have just learnt how to change text and that the toolbar extends…. hmmmmm how long have I been using WordPress!