Wednesday, 13 September 2017 17:36

LAND Latest Production with the National Trust

I've been working for 18 months on a new project called LAND that will be premiered at Corfe Castle - this Saturday and Sunday. LAND is part of the National Trust's: 'Land, Nature and Outdoors' strategy that is being piloted in the Purbecks, Swanage and Corfe area. The LON Strategy is to engage people in a ten years (and ongoing) relationship with the land management and conservation

I was able to be successful in receiving an Arts Council G4A grant that has ensured a high quality of scriptwriting, directing, making and design. 

Starting at Corfe Castle on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 of September Colin Phillimore and myself will be bringing our work along with Amy Rose (Director), Sarah Corbett, Teresa Grimaldi (Puppets), Chris Perie (Puppeteering advice) alive to thousands of visitors over the next four successive weekends:

Performances are FREE, but you will need to pay the entrance fee for Corfe Castle or use your National Trust membership card.

I am very pleased to take the piece to the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival where I have performed over the last 6 successive years:

Lower Gardens, Bournemouth

The Gardens of Russell-Cotes Museum

Performances are FREE 

Associate Artist and award winning actress Michele O’Brien shares her relationship with Gena in this funny, tender, heart-felt performance drawn from workshops across the area. This show is directed by Katherina Radeva.


View Flyer

Wednesday 8th March 2017 @ 8pm
Venue: Sherling Studio, Lighthouse, Poole BH15 1UG
Ticket Box Office: 01202 280000
Before the show there will be a display of photos and an interactive installation.


View Flyer

Friday 10 March 2017 @ 8pm
Venue: Lyric Theatre, 9 Barrack Street, Bridport DT6 1LX
Ticket Box Office: 01308 424240
Doors open @ 7.00pm with an exhibition of the research and work that took place in workshops in Dorset over the last year.

Saturday 11 March @ 11.00am-12.30pm
Venue: Lyric Theatre, 9 Barrack Street, Bridport DT6 1LX
Ticket Box Office: 01308 424240
A free memory workshop for Mothers and Daughters 16yrs+


Tuesday, 08 November 2016 10:01

Celebrating Shakespeare 2016

Another of my two great passions brought together. The Bard and bringing interactive and child-led storytelling to the under 5's. I love the disciplines of Vivian Gussin Paley, fantasy play and the Reggio Emilia Approach from Italy

I have been very pleased to be commissioned by the Society of Chief Librarians and partners, to provide storytelling for under 5's in Dorset Libraries.

"It's got to be fairies!" we said as I planned and devised with Colin Phillimore who set about creating: a 'Will 'o the wisp'ish Puck, assorted gossama fairies, The Mechanicals: Lion, Moon, Piramus and Thisbe - not forgetting the all important 'Wall'. Of course casting Piramus as a vegetable allows us to indulge one of our favourite Shakespeare's lines: "Eyes as green as Leeks!"

It's off to Christchurch and Blandford Libraries Tuesday 8 November and Bournemouth and Poole Libraries on Thursday 10 November.

Sorry "if we shadows have offended!"

I always enjoy working with the team at Wimborne Community Theatre and the Priests House Museum in Wimborne, Dorset. I have been collaborating with Tony and Gill Horitz for nearly 20 years and their work is always engaging and relevant, wanting to add to our understanding of culture, history and heritage.

'Tommy's Sisters' is a welcome chance to work on film with Dorset-based Alastair Nisbet, along with regular invitations from Arts University Bournemouth Director's courses. It's a very different acting discipline and a welcome diversion into another world of acting. 

I am looking forward to viewing the finished product on Friday.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 13:16

Halloween Special with Granny Cousins

Award Winning! Now in its 20th Year.

Halloween walks coming in October...

Tickets via Eventbrite booking sites only, thank you.

Saturday 28 October at 7.00pm

and Monday 30 October at 8.00pm

Dress up as your favourite spooky character and join in the fun...

Bring torches too...

Local Victorian character Granny Cousins and her sidekick 'Red' will take you on an entertaining and informative evening walk telling you about some of the people that have lived, worked and....haunted this ancient fishing port.

“Brilliant walk this evening - thanks Granny! Some great ghost stories, and the history of Poole brought to life. If you are a local or a visitor I'd recommend you get to one of the walks you won't be disappointed!”

View the facebook page...

Fore more information call: 07977 969080

Meet outside Scaplen's Court Museum, Sarum Street, Poole. Approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Adults £8, Children £5, Family 2 adults 2 children, £24

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 11:09

10 October Shelley Theatre Mothers & Daughters

The culimination of the first stage of Mothers and Daughters: 'I'm GladI Asked' at the Shelley Theatre in Bournemouth as part of the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival.

I have been working with local artist Denise Poote on workshops around Dorset collecting stories and images from Mothers and Daughters. An exhibition and installations will be on display from 7.00pm on Monday 10 October before the premier of my one woman (+puppet, by Teresa Grimaldi!) show.

After two weeks of devising and rehearsing with Director Katherina Redeva (2 Destination Language) I will now be fine tuning and crafting the piece and you can buy tickets via the Festival website:

Medieval Storytelling at Corfe

We're so enjoying meddling with Medieval Dorset and the close links with Normandie. Working Colin Phillimore (le Jongleur) and writer/deviser Alice Flynn and digging deep (!) into the detritus at Corfe Castles everyday business and especially the Garderobe (or the toilet to you and me). 

I find it so animating to be presented with the challenges of a vast amount of historical data and wonderful stories and crafting them with other artists into an interpretation that i s both educational and entertaining, with a few laughs on the way.

If you have read my Twitter post @StorytellerUK you will have read what the children replied when we asked them if they needed anything else from our first performances:

"more about poo, bottoms and cleaning your bottom after the garderobe" 

out of the mouths of babes!

Anyway - this week it's King John (Boo!)

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September

11.30,1.00pm and 2.30pm 

and then it's Edward I (urm! Hooray!)

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September

11.30,1.00pm and 2.30pm

Hope to see you there and come and say hello!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 10:02

Rehearsals Week 2

Working hard to bring the show together.

Feeling a little overwhelmed.

The responses to the monkey survey are very powerful and allow me to tell our story too. Thank you!

Trying to find honesty and truth in every word.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 13:11

Mother and Daughter: I'm Glad I Asked

As the busy-ness of Summer fades among the shadows start to lengthen, it's great to know that the 'Mother and Daughter' project will be working towards its performance stage during the next month and a half. I've enjoyed swimming in the sea a lot in recent weeks with various friends and family and tots learning for themselves how to jump waves and cope with mouthfuls of refreshing salty water!!!!!!!!

My Mum's been able to join us on many of these occasions and she's enjoyed being by the seaside once again in the latest snap of warm weather.

On Monday I take the lovely drive to Bridport for two weeks of devising, exploring and rehearsing with Director Katherina Radeva, using the material we have all created together at the Lyric Theatre (Niki McCretton). It's not often that I get the chance to indulge my great love for the craft of theatre and have time to interact with other theatre practitioners in this way. It's a great 'value added' to the Arts Council grant that I've been allocated-not a luxury I hasten to add, but an important part in creating quality pieces of Art.

With a deadline of 10 October and its first performance at the Shelley Theatre, Boscombe as part of the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival  we will be focused in our creativity, warm ups, technical planning and depictions. And it feels really good (if not a little daunting!) to be in this place, this wonderful space-as we say: "Right here, right now!'

Last night I had the privilege of listening to the first draft of a music piece I have asked my brother Mark O'Brien (professional musician with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) to create. I like the thought of drawing him in to interpret the 'Mother and Daughter' theme with the dear Mum Gina that we share. He had just finished the whirlwind premier at Symphony Hall Birmingham on Friday night with the CBSO's new Director Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla and then her debut appearance at the BBC Prom No.55 (Royal Albert Hall). If you didn't get to hear this you can find it at: he and his partner seemed very animated when they arrived, exhausted, on Sunday and its always great to talk music,art and family late into the night.

Denise Poote will be concentrating on exhibiting material and photographs as well as Twitter and Facebook updates. It's been a great joy to work so closely with Denise and we seem to compliment each others artistry and skills well. She's a great encouragement and very good hugger.

So, there's a lot to do before hitting the road on Monday and where I'm going to have time to pack I'll never know! There's only the small matter of a newly comissioned piece telling tales of Corfe Castle in Norman Times from the National Trust (Saturday/Sunday 3-4 September), we have horse manure to collect and herbs to harvest, costumes to create and a medieval chorus to crack with Colin Phillimore as my sidekick - an aspirant Jongleur-it'll keep our feet firmly on the ground ad in the muck!

I hope to be able to provide regular updates through this Blog so look out for posts and don't forget to book your tickets for 'Mothers and Daughters'!

Michele's latest project at Kingston Lacy House in Wimborne a promenade of the house and its grounds as Anne Frances Bankes sister of Willianm John Bankes. Saturdays and Sundays. July and August 2016. No Booking required. Performances at 11.00am and 1.00pm (assemble in the Rose Garden. Web:  FB:  Twitter: @NTKingstonLacy
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