Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Last week I finally managed to complete a project with Disco I've been trying to get done for ages: a photoshoot to build up a press pack for the production to try and garner some sponsorship for the May dates.
It was the usual nightmare trying to get everybody together on one single night near Christmas but no-budget circumstances will always rear when you do these things - so I stretched it into two nights at two different studios. We couldn't quite get everybody together at the same time but no matter, our photographer the amazing Mr Mark Tew put his back into it and we came up with some corking shots.
Our main hassle was that our main Stud character is supposed to have great flowing 70s bouffant locks perched on his head. And as the show isn't on until May my main man Charlie, who'll be playing the part, was sporting rather short hair. So the next (literal) headache was getting a wig. And not some stupid cod-afro worn at bad stag nights, but a realistic syrup Charlie could sport and genuinely pull in the ladies...
In a week? Impossible, you shout. No, not for this production; not for this crazy fool of a writer/director. Step forward Siobhan Harper-Ryan, lovely make-up and hair artiste; the magician on a little show I co-wrote and filmed a decade ago called 'Tales of Uplift and Moral Improvement'. Within minutes, she posted that she possessed an impressive selection of hairpieces and the deal was done. This sort of thing keeps happening with Disco, making it officially a 'blessed' show.
Now it was down to the lovely Jeanette Gregory to practice on the actors. For three of them this was the first thing they were asked to do since their audition and I thank all involved for being so enthusiastic. Jeanette was kind enough also to expose these nice people to the seedy horrors of The Stud, playing in the background on DVD as she fiddled with their hair and made them wear silly vintage clothes. Again, for no pay, everyone involved pulled off a miracle...

Obviously, the Stud is a raunchy film. And Disco is a raunchy play. However, Disco is also a comedy so I wasn't going to publicise this show like an FHM shoot. The idea is that somehow, in an amusing fashion, we're laying into that idea. So the photos had to be glamorous but also wrong in some small way.

I want to thank Jeanette and the cast for braving the wilds of Worthing for the Monday night and especially Andrea for going to the pool hall next door and borrowing some pool cues - when the director and every other male present chickened out. You are a rock!

Look I would have gone, honest, only I was busy. And that. With clothes and make-up and hair. Helping, I mean...

To find the shots themselves, I went back to various iconic shots from 1978 - photos people would have forgotten but as soon as they saw them would recognise. The first was easy. I've tried to attach some of my own phone-pics to give you a rough idea...but believe me, they're not in the same quality league as the actual Mark Tew deal. Guess which 70s immortal game cover photo we're after here... Thanks to Emma for the Hove Studio, Leanne for the Worthing Studio, Mark, Jeanette, Dick Douglass (pictured), Kat Marchant (pictured), Charlie Allen (lurking in the background), Nneka Barnes, Alex Barnes, Ann Feloy and for pool cues the irreplaceable Andrea Regan. We're a cru!
We had a lot of fun doing the shoots. Thanks to everyone involved on two freezing December evenings. If this is how the show is going to progress, it's going to be great.
Apologies for the brevity of this blog - I've got a stinking bastard cold and I have to get back to re-drafting Disco ready for rehearsals in January. There's a lot to do. But we have some photos!