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 Gražinytė-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
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 16:07

Mother and Daughter Project

Mother and DaughterI am organising workshops where we will open up discussions between mothers and daughters about their lives reflecting on the past and offer an opportunity to have a photographic portrait taken with visual artist Denise Poote. 

These recorded discussions and photos will preserve a moment between generations of women, at this point in the 21st Century.  This rich resource will be developed into a performance called "I'm Glad I asked" by Michele O'Brien at Shelley Theatre in October as part of Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival

I would really love to work with diverse groups to represent all the women and their experiences in Poole.  We have organised two workshops already which will be held on: 

Wednesday 11th May 2016 at Hamworthy Library at 3-4.30  

Friday 13th May 2016 at Rossmore Library 11-12.30 


Could I ask please for your help by:

 -        Asking you to promote these to your community contacts and to your colleagues

-        Letting me know if you would like to attend a workshop – if you can bring a Daughter 16+ or a Mother to meet us all the better.

-        If you are a community group or know of one and would like to host/organise a workshop with me please contact me on 07977969080 or 01202732270.  I would like to talk to you about how best to arrange it to meet the needs of your mothers and daughters.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Thursday, 21 April 2016 09:09

Ghost Walk of Old Poole Town 2016

Award Winning! Now in its 18th Year.

Every Wednesday between Wednesday 27th July and August 24th.
And Bank Holiday Monday 29th August.

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. 8.00pm (Approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours).
Adults £8, Children £5, Family 2 adults 2 children, £24

Thursday, 03 September 2015 12:26

Ghost Walk of Old Poole Town for Halloween

Granny Cousins Ghost Walk of Old Poole Town for Halloween

Tuesday 27th @ 7pm - booking details on eventbrite.
Thursday 29th @ 8pm for a much spookier late night walk - booking details on eventbrite.

Poole Museum are running a late night on Friday 30th October and I will be walking at 6pm to complement the museum opening - booking details on eventbrite.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 09:31

Poppy Fields Workshop

We worked with Limelights centre for young people to share our research, make poppies and 

talk about rememberance and the feelings we have about war.

The Call

Who's for the trench -

Who's for the trench -
Are you, my laddie?
Who'll follow French -
Will you, my laddie?
Who's fretting to begin,
Who's going out to win?
And who wants to save his skin -
Do you, my laddie?

Who's for the khaki suit -
Are you, my laddie?
Who longs to charge and shoot -
Do you, my laddie?
Who's keen on getting fit,
Who means to show his grit,
And who'd rather wait a bit -
Would you, my laddie?

Who'll earn the Empire's thanks -
Will you, my laddie?
Who'll swell the victor's ranks -
Will you, my laddie?
When that procession comes,
Banners and rolling drums -
Who'll stand and bite his thumbs -
Will you, my laddie?

Jessie Pope

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