Gift to the Future on tour - Review in The Sheffield Star

The run at Sheffield was a great success and everybody very pleased.

I also did a radio interview with BBC Radio Sheffield.

To listen to it go to BBC Radio Sheffield ... find "listen again" and Paulette Edwards and the 16th of September ... slide the time bar across to 1hr 05min and I'm on after Madonna!

Next date Doncaster Little Theatre 6th October.


Arts Funding

ARTS FUNDING A new perspective.

The funding of the arts is subject to a new debate, due in part to the new Government’s declaration that massive and swingeing cuts are in the future.

I would like to propose an entirely new approach to arts funding, which will be cost effective as no other system has been.

The basic principle is
“Guarantee against loss”

“Subsidy” gives to an organisation a fixed sum of money that the organisation is then obliged to spend, regardless of the financial viability of the project in question.

“Guarantee against loss” would make available to an organisation a sum of money equivalent to the production costs which would not then necessarily be called upon if the project were to become financially viable in its own right.

“GAL” therefore maximises the efficacy of the financial resources available to the funding body by essentially making the same money available to finance different projects.

Many projects never get off the ground as organisations lack the financial resources to front them – even though the project may, in the long term be viable, either completely or in part.

Having been awarded a “GAL” an organisation can then launch the project and within a predetermined time frame, eventually returning all or part of the money that was guaranteed.

A practical example:

A theatrical production destined for touring with pre-performance costs of £10k.
The GAL is established at £10k with a time frame of 18 months.
The company in question is then in a position to rehearse and prepare the production, shop window it and find touring dates for the following season.
The subsequent tour of – for example – 60 performances with a ratio of 30% revenue over touring expenditure and an average performance fee of £600/performance would result in a net touring revenue of £10.8k enabling the company to return the £10k to the funding body and retain a small profit. Once the GAL has been reimbursed in full, the company would then be free to continue exploiting the production – maybe with a small percentage of profit going to the funding body to help finance other projects.
Should there be a shortfall and the project does not reach the target figure of £10k by the end of the predetermined period, the funding body could then look at the possibility of extending the time allotted, if there is a reasonable chance of the project gaining further revenue or terminate the arrangement and recall whatever money was available. (Obviously the company would not then be permitted to continue to tour the production.)

If the company is only able to reimburse £8k of the GAL, the funding body has nevertheless obtained £10k of activity for £2k of expenditure.

The figures can be multiplied depending on the size of the projects concerned.

The advantages of this system over subsidy are manifest.
1) The money available to the funding body is recycled, whereas with subsidy it is given once and then is no longer available and has to be renewed.
2) The companies will be encouraged to economise rather than expand their expenditure to the money available.
3) There is a very strong pressure on the companies to maximise box office or sales revenue, rather than relying on funding.
4) Sound economic management within the companies would be encouraged because if the shortfall on a project were large, the funding body would be reluctant to accept the same company a second time.

Much has been made in the current debate of business and other private sponsorship of the Arts being encouraged as an alternative to public funding.
Setting up a funding body of this nature could be very attractive to business sponsors as their participation could be visible on all the activities supported, rather than just one particular project.
Ideologically business leaders might also find this more interesting as much of their resistance to subsidy is “giving money for no return” or to put it more graphically “hand outs”

Initially the running and organisation of the funding body should be by volunteers. For too long the situation has been that the administrators receive salaries, while the creative workers/artists work for nothing and it should be remembered at all times that each £ spent on administration is a £ not spent on the primary activity of the organisation.

The funding body would solicit funds from business partners and even modest contributions would make it function. Funding a single project requires a certain commitment which in the current economic climate is unrealistic. Finding 200 partners each prepared to donate £1k would give a substantial start to the idea and make it functional.


latest work

Just finished shooting "Le Père de ma Fille" with François Berléand. A true gentleman and professional. Director Martin Valente
Photo to come I hope!


Gift to the Future performances

Performances booked for "Gift to the Future" for the season 2010/11 so far;

The Lantern Theatre Sheffield September 13 / 18 inclusive (6 perfs)
The Little Theatre Doncaster October 6th
The Heron Theatre Milnthorpe Cumbria October 22 / 23
The Cotswold Playhouse Stroud May 28 (2011)

Shakespeare Acting Workshop

Unlocking Shakespeare.

Shakespearean verse presents many problems for actors both in comprehension and performance but by the application of a few simple techniques, you can make the verse work for you, the actor.

This is an intensive workshop and a unique way of discovering Shakespeare. By referring to The First Folio for a return to the original texts and avoiding the literary and intellectual baggage that has accumulated over the centuries, the workshop combines the theatrical techniques of Jacques Lecoq with a practical approach to interpretation.

The techniques you will acquire during the workshop include:

Textual and verse analysis in relation to performance;
Corporal control and expression;

By studying and practicing these techniques, applying them to scenes and monologues individually and in small groups you get a better grasp of Shakespeare's language.

You will be directed and guided through the process, learning how to use the verse to develop characterisation and at the end of the workshop you will be left with a unique understanding of Shakespeare's verse and how to make it work for you as an actor, a studied and developed monologue, which could be used as an audition piece and a knowledge of some of Lecoq's techniques, particularly in regard to how movement and text are one.

The workshop will be taken by Colin David Reese, an actor and director for over 40 years, working in the UK, Canada and France. Over the course of his career he has worked with such names as Sir John Gielgud, Alan Bennet, Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Sophie Marceau, Lauren Bacall and Harold Pinter. He trained at the Webber Douglas Academy, followed by two years with Jacques Lecoq in Paris and has attended many workshops on Shakespeare including “Is Shakespeare Still our Contemporary?” with Jan Kott and “Original Shakespeare” with Patrick Tucker.

To apply for the workshop please contact Lucy on

Mob:07538 389961/07505-787122

Marlowes, P.O Box 64576
London, SW17 1BP

Some comments from previous participants;

“the technique is different … and it works”
“ the workshop gave me an understanding of how to use the tools in the text and my speech felt so different afterwards”
“a great tutor and actor sharing his skills”
“the extensive research and knowledge make for a fascinating workshop”


Acting Shakespeare Workshops in Paris

Keys to Performing and translating Shakespeare

For French actors with a good level of English and Anglophones wishing to extend their performance of Shakespeare’s verse.

2 sessions over 2 days
10am – 3pm
Next workshop 29/30 March.
€100.00 / participant - 20% reduction for intermittents/chômeurs
(max 10 participants)

For more information:
01 45 28 01 70
06 63 79 63 30

Understanding for better performance.
Shakespearean verse presents many problems for actors both in comprehension and performance. By the application of a few simple techniques, the actor can make the verse work for him/her.
The techniques that will be acquired in these workshops include:
- Textual and verse analysis with a relation to performance;
- Corporal control and expression;
- Breathing;
- Articulation;
The participants will study and practice these techniques, applying them to monologues.

Finding the keys in Shakespeare’s text.

Shakespearean verse gives many indications of how to create character and the workshops will show how to use it. By referring to The First Folio for a return to the original texts and avoiding the literary and intellectual baggage that has accumulated over the centuries, the workshops combine the theatrical techniques of Jacques Lecoq with a practical approach to interpretation.

The Workshops:
For the workshop, each participant is requested to prepare a verse monologue in English, NOT to learn it by heart.
Soft shoes and track suits for the men and practice skirts for the women.
Please bring a “Complete Works” and a note book and pencil.

Session 1

- First contact with the text – each participant reads their prepared monologue.
- Movement analysis.
- Working with the “pointe fixe” and equilibrium and disequilibrium.
- How physicality affects characterisation.
- How to analyse movement, both one’s own and that of other people.
- Linking movement to breathing. How breathing affects movement and vice versa.
- Verse analysis. Explanation of Iambic pentameter and how Shakespeare exploits and deforms its structure, thereby giving indications to the actor concerning interpretation and characterisation.

Overnight work

The French participants will be asked to translate their chosen monologue, and the Anglophones to study theirs, both using the verse analysis tools/clues discussed during the workshop.

Session 2

Presentation of monologues in both English and translation showing results from overnight work. Criticism and direction from Mr. Reese, inviting comments from the other participants.

Taking a short section from each monologue – committing it to memory, adding movement and breathing pattern to take it to a performance level.


dior internet commercial

A commercial I shot for Christian Dior