Told in reverse order, Salford-based theatre company Organised Chaos’s new play Lightspeed tells the story of Emma and Charlie, whose paths cross one day. She leads him to believe that she is besotted with the idea of fate and love – and him. He is sceptical yet intrigued by her mystery. Emma is playing a game and never truly reveals her feelings. The roles then reverse and Charlie becomes the very character that Emma portrays in the beginning. He falls into her trap of ideological fantasies and unrealistic realities. Executive producer Gayle Hare explains how the company nurtures emerging North West talent.
At Organised Chaos we always put out open calls for all of the roles in our productions – this is a key part of who we are. We want to work with new and emerging talent to provide them with platforms to showcase their creativity and to bring this talent, in all its forms, to our audiences.
We started in 2009 with these aims in mind and it is always a thrill to work with talent in the early stages of their careers. Some will come from the thriving Manchester theatre scene while others come directly from university and many other places besides. These open calls mean that we, as producers, are always working with a new team of people who haven’t worked together before and perhaps don’t have experience of touring plays. So part of what we need to do is ensure that the team gels well and that everyone is on the same page in terms of what we are striving to achieve creatively. Communication is key.
We use our experience to guide the team and offer advice on aspects of the show but the main creative ideas come from the team we put in place. We have a creative team of director, designer and stage manager alongside our cast. We strive to have this full creative team as we feel productions are better from having input from differing ideas and views. As we work with new writing the writer-director relationship is key also – lots of things can come out of the rehearsals that can impact on the writing even when the script has been worked on beforehand.
We are thrilled to be touring our latest production, Lightspeed, throughout the North West. Last year we had a record response to our script call and Lightspeed was selected. We felt that the characters were really there and the premise of the script, in terms of starting at the end of the story, was especially unique and an interesting way to look at the unfolding relationship between the couple depicted. The play has been worked on since selection to hone it to the best it can be with the writer Clem Haran.
So earlier this year open calls went out and we have a new team working alongside the producing team of Organised Chaos. For Haran this will be her first play after university.
Mark Croasdale, who is directing the show, has recently finished directing several newly written short plays for the Manchester Fringe, for our Mid-Winter Ignition earlier this year at the Kings Arms and Scripts Out Loud for Hercules Productions at 3MT.
Taran Knight stars as Charlie. He appeared in Temper at the 24:7 Theatre Festival and is currently appearing in the National Trust’s award-winning theatre project Sanctuary from the Trenches.
Francesca Heraghty-Smith stars as Emma. She has recently worked with Fourth Monkey Theatre Company as part of her training. This is a team of people who are at the very start of their careers – a fantastic chance to see some of the new talent in the North West.
We are also thrilled to be able to say that we have been given funding from the Arts Council for this tour. This has enabled us to support all of those involved financially but also to help in reaching further audiences with the show.
Lightspeed tours: 12 June, Square Chapel Centre For The Arts, Halifax; 17-18 June, The Lowry, Salford; 20 June, Korova Arts Café & Bar, Preston; 23 June, Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St Annes; 25 June, Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton; 27 June, Lantern Theatre, Liverpool; 11 June, Civic Arts Centre, Oswaldtwistle
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