Fallen Angel Theatre in association with Stepping Out and Dreamweavers
RAY COLLINS DIES ON STAGEThe Alma Tavern Theatre Bristol
2nd to 13th June 8.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday
Bookings www.almataverntheatre.co.uk 117 946 7899
Review - Plays International
(Alma Tavern's) June production was Ray Collins Dies on Stage by local writer Mark Breckon, featuring the stunning talents of Oliver Millingham, Kirsty Cox, and Neil Jennings, and directed with devastating insight and astounding pace by Chris Loveless.
Ray Collins is chronically and painfully allergic to every scrap of the fabric of his own life - the clothes he wears, room he lives in, computer he tries to work on. It doesnt sound like a laugh a minute but bizarrely it was, until the moving finale.
Mark Breckon knows the scenario well, he lived it -
and unlike Ray Collins survived it. His account of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and its
treatment is hilarious and tragic. Huge credit to Stepping Out Theatre Company for
bringing this brave & brilliant play to Bristol.
Review - Venue Magazine
Bristols Stepping Out combined with Dreamweavers (Frome) and Londons Fallen Angel to stage this poignant, uneasily funny comedy from one of our greatest local talents. Mark Breckons play follows the troubled times of Bristol playwright Ray Collins, who labours for years to get his work seen, scuppered by various factors including incompetent, arrogant local directors.
Collins also struggles with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, condemning him to a hermit-like existence; falls in love with a kindred spirit similarly functioning at the fringes of society; and dies not long after from a hospital superbug, while undergoing treatment for his condition. Wrapped around this was Breckons ingenious narrative device, whereby we meet our hero beyond the grave, condemned to watch a pair of actors staging his last, autobiographical play. At the Alma.
Confused? You werent, happily. The gear-changes between
Collins post-mortem present and his hard, lonely but ultimately fulfilled life were
seamless. And the story mined rich seams of poignancy and black humour throughout, aided
by a trio of pretty flawless performances from Oliver Millingham (Collins) and Neil
Jennings and Kirsty Cox as the two am-drammers playing the many protagonists from his
life. That a proportion of Breckons play (his illness though not, thankfully, his
death; some of his frustrations in theatreland) was autobiographical, meanwhile,
added to the evenings emotional heft. Funny, moving, neatly constructed and superbly
Photography by Jose Navarro
Trained: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (2007 Graduate)
Trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Stage Credits include: Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Don John (Much Ado About Nothing) Macduff (Macbeth), Bottom (A Midsummer Nights Dream), Marcus (Titus Andronicus) Skinlad (Road), Donald (Blue Remembered Hills). Film and TV credits include. Harker (Kiss of the Moon filmed on location in Bristol), Griff (Scab), Favrough (Cowboys, Baby), Kyle Varn (Countdown)
Neil has a passion for Shakespeare, both in performance and text, but is also pursuing an active interest in acting for film. He is due to start filming for his first feature The Other Woman in the summer of 2010.
|Kirsty trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Her professional theatre experience has included work with Raindog, MacRobert Productions, National Trust Theatre Projects, The Long Overdue Theatre Company, Lanternfish Theatre Company and The Kings Head.
In Bristol, Kirsty has performed in Woyzeck and Dr Love at the Tobacco Factory, A Beginners Guide to Shakespeare at Bristol Old Vic, Chess at the Pro Cathedral, The House of Bernarda Alba and A Dolls House with SWAN, Mary, Mary with Theatre West and On The Edge with Stepping Out Theatre Company.
She has recorded Dr Finlay: Further Adventures of a Black Bag for BBC Radio 4 and has worked on several short films and independent feature films.
|Theatre writing includes The Camp (Show of Strength
at The Tobacco Factory, Bristol) listed in The Independents best five plays outside
London. The Keith Ashton Experience and The Fun Factory
(Theatre West at the Alma Tavern). The Radicals (Southwest
Scriptwriters/Tobacco Factory). RADIO: The Cupboard Beneath the Stairs
(BBC 7). TELEVISION: Doctors (BBC1).
|Ann has designed many productions at the Alma Tavern Theatre in Bristol
for Theatre West, of which she is Joint Artistic Director. Other work includes Two Noble
Kinsmen, Shang-a-Lang, Blue Heart, Far Away (all Bristol Old Vic Studio), Viral Sutra (The
Finborough), Little Pictures (Old Vic Studio and tour of Latvia), Six Beckett Pieces (tour
of Latvia), A Dolls House (QEH Theatre) and various Edinburgh Fringe productions.
|Steve has had nineteen plays staged
in Bristol, London, Manchester and elsewhere and four radio plays broadcast in Britain,
Ireland and Germany, including The Song of the Whale and The Secret of
He was Writer in Residence at the Finborough Theatre in
'Still Life won the Venue magazine
Best New Play award in 2001 and his Lullabies of Broadmoor trilogy
about celebrated Broadmoor patients received widespread acclaim in
Alex Loveless' musical adaptation of the novel by
directed by Chris Loveless
Kazuo Ishiguro's Booker Prize-winning novel