Been busy writing a new musical, this time for actual adults! We’re holding a reading on Sep 11 and 12 at the Bread & Roses Theatre in Clapham. It’s a paid job, so please send your CV and voice reel to: g [@] germanmunoz.com. Casting breakdown below:
We’re holding a reading of a contemporary new musical in a theatre Clapham on Sun 11 Sep and Mon 12 Sep at 19:30. We need strong singer’s who are good at sight-reading music as rehearsal time will be limited. Looking for good comedy skills.
Performers of ANY RACE, COLOUR, ETHNICITY are welcome to apply.
Auditions will be on Sunday 17 July in a Central London venue, between 11am-6pm.
If selected, please prepare 16 bars of one song. You will also be asked to sight read a new piece of music and read from a scene of the libretto.
“Isabelle’s fiancee is in a coma. She’s remarkably optimistic about his recovery. Until he wakes up and can’t remember her. And he realises he’s gay. A darkly comic story about the limits of love and the dark side of devotion. And comas.”
Hey folks. Wanted to let everyone know that our S&S Award-nominated children’s musical “Mars Rover” is going to be featured as part of a new musicals festival this week, BEAM taking place March 8-9 at the Park Theatre in London.
It’s organised by Mercury Musical Developments and it’s the first festival of its kind in the UK. We had to “audition” for it back in November and we were delighted to be invited to join the Lights Up Pitching Platform 4.
You can see the 10 minute pitch for Mars Rover both days of BEAM at the following times:
My short play “Schrödinger’s Cat” is being revived as part of The Platform at the Bread and Roses Theatre here in London Nov 1-2. Other than being shameless self-promotion, I wanted to take the opportunity to call out this opportunity for two reasons.
First, this is the one year anniversary of the Bread & Roses Theatre and this special event to commemorate it was put together from over 500 entries. My little play was one of 6 chosen for the night. OK, that was shameless self-promotion again. Sorry.
Second, this was one of the first paid writing opportunities I’ve seen for short plays in London. The pay is quite modest, £25 plus a share of the profits. Nonetheless, it’s significant for recognising that writers deserve to be paid. For full-lengths as well as for one acts and short plays. Thank you Bread and Roses Theatre Co. for setting an excellent example. I hope others follow suit.
I’ve produced short play evenings in the past, and it’s a large logistical challenge to get all the plays ready for what is usually a one or two night engagement. The economics of short play nights are something I’d like to explore in a future blog, but for now let’s just say it ain’t easy paying people (even a small amount), but I’m glad people are stepping up to the plate.
I just completed my residency at the CASA Latin American Theatre Festival, which took place between Oct 2-11 at the Barbican and Rich Mix. I was selected to be a part of the CASA Artist in Residency programme and was mentored by CASA and given free access to the festival shows and events. It was 10 days of theatre, performance, fiesta and lots of learning.
The first hurdle was preparing for the Scratch Night and the very first public showing of my new Mexico-related play. The performance went well and I got some very good feedback from some trusted friends and colleagues as well as the CASA staff. Writer, performer and director Gaël Le Cornec served as my mentor for the project and her detailed input was also really helpful.
After much drinking and reviling, I interacted with lots of Latino and British-Latino artists. Most of the invited companies were from Mexico and it was fascinating to become more familiar with contemporary Mexican theatre and performance. From the wild and earthy “Apart” by Colectivo Alebrije, to the political and stunning “I’ll melt the snow off a volcano with a match” by Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol about the 70 years history of the PRI party in Mexico. It was also a joy to see the enchanting “The Love of the Fireflies” by Los Guggenheim (and discovering the brilliant writing of Alejandro Ricaño), the delightfully informal and joyous “Border Mass” by Goguz Teatro, plus many others. Not everything I saw was to my complete satisfaction, but it was all very different and refreshing.
Then there was the Mexico Day of Debate. We saw the documentary “Rosario” about Mexican politician and human rights activist Rosario Ibarra de Piedra. I’d never heard of this left-wing politician who was the first female candidate for President in Mexico; it spoke of the hidden “dirty war” that happened in Mexico during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (and to some degree, now). It was then followed by a very spirited debate among Mexicans, Latinos and others. It was cathartic to speak about the current security situation in Mexico, the human rights abuses and how dissatisfied we are with the current government. It also made me realise how much class has to do with the situation, and how, as a middle class Mexican, I’ve even helped perpetuate some of it. Lots of food for thought.
I also participated in a week-long workshop with the Colectivo Alebrije and the other Artists in Residence. It was a week spent talking about what it means to be Latin American in the UK, how that’s affected us, who we are, who we used to be, where we came from, etc, etc, etc. The workshop culminated in a public performance/sharing. It was scared to death, but it ended up being a lovely experience.
This all got me thinking about my Latin American heritage and how little it has influenced my work and my day to day life. Mixing with so many native Spanish speakers during the festival got my mind working in a different way, I even started speaking Spanish to English speakers randomly. Weird.
I definitely think a lot of this experience will rub off on me and my future work. Exactly how, I’m not sure, but change is in the air…
Awesome news. Our musical “Mars Rover” has been shortlisted for this year’s S&S Award by Mercury Musical Developments and Curve Leicester. We’re in the middle of working on the show, so this is fantastic news!
Friends are usually asking me how to get ticket deals for London theatre. Ticket prices have been on the rise and if you’re a big fan like me, the cost adds up quite quickly.
I have finally compiled my list of the bst deals out there and am posting it here for all to see. If you have anything you’d like to add, please do so in the comments.
This is an obvious choice, especially if you want to catch a West End show. Tickets here are not extra cheap. You can usually get tickets to a musical for around £25, plays can be cheaper. This is obviously for shows that are not selling out, but you’d be surprised what you can find, especially in low tourist season. Earlier in the week is also better, and theatres tend to release the better seats later in the day. More info: http://www.tkts.co.uk/
Add one more Monday deal to the list! The Donmar recently started doing their own £10 Monday night deal, thank you Josie Rourke! The only catch is that you have to book it two weeks in advance, but again, as long as you have fast fingers, it should be easy. Tickets go on sale at 10am Monday mornings for a performance that is 2 weeks away on Monday night. Confusing? You’ll get over it. More info: http://www.donmarwarehouse.com/barclays-front-row
Arcola Theatre PWYC nights – Tuesday
“Pay What You Can” nights are another way to see great theatre on the cheap. You can literally pay zero for these tickets, it’s based on an honour system, but the Arcola suggests £5. Please don’t abuse this great perk, of it will likely go away. There’s a limited number available each night, so get there early. Also, these nights are usually attended by industry peeps.
Less formal than the others, it usually gets announced on Theatre503’s Twitter or Facebook. Keep a look out.
Theatre503 writer’s nights
Theatre503 runs an occasional Writer’s Night. Tickets are £5 and you get the chance to participate in the Rapid Write Response events. These are for playwrights (like myself) and you have to be on the theatre’s mailing list. The aim is to get people to then submit a short play in response to the production you saw. They choose their favoruites and put them up as part of the Rapid Write Response nights. More information here:
Hey folks. Just want to let you all know (all 2 of you) that Playthings is taking my one-act comedy “How Will I Know?” to the Brighton Fringe this May. Come along and have a raucous good time. Details below:
Playthings theatre presents
How Will I Know?
by German Munoz
2 – 4 May at 4:30pm
Tickets: £9 / £7.50 concessions
The Warren: Theatre Box
St Peter’s Church North, York Place
Brighton, BN1 4GU
As Seattle celebrates Halloween, three housemates have scarier things on their minds. Mark would do anything to keep his Mexican boyfriend in the country, but marriage isn’t on the cards yet. When his best friend Brooke offers a helping hand, it seems the trio has hatched the perfect plan. But who are they really trying to fool?
“The physical comedy was superb… the audience constantly in hysterics… a hugely entertaining affair.” Everything Theatre
I had a piece on at The Miniaturists again. My second time. I feel like I’ve joined an elite club. The Minis has a special place in my heart since it was the very first new writing night I attended in London (back at the old Arcola). It was intimidating to realise just how much better the writing was in London, but now it’s a joy to have my work being presented at that level.
The play I wrote is called “Confessional” and it satirises the world of the celebrity confessional interview. I’m really happy with the way it turned out (you can see the Twitter love here), and this post is basically charting how we go to the show.
Where did it come from?
I wrote the first draft back in the summer of this year, whilst on a writing retreat with the Crowther writing group. It came from a conversation I was having with my fellow writers around the artificiality of high-profile celebrity trials and interviews, and it made me think a lot about all the work that needs to go into this very specific type of “performance”. I decided to focus on the celebrity apology that we’ve seen so often from politicians, sports stars and actors.
From the beginning, I felt the piece would need to be performed by a single person. The problem is that I usually don’t like monologues. I’ve been burned a few times with some pretty bad ones, and when they’re bad, they are painful. For writing this, I went back to a few choice monologues I really enjoyed. I read them over and over, trying to find out what it is that made them special, what made them tick.
Based on this research I made a very small list of elements that make up a German-approved monologue:
A good monologue is present tense. Things are happening NOW.
The character has done something that is compelling them to speak. They have a strong psychological reason that is making them talk to an audience.
A monologue doesn’t mean a single character. Adding more characters gives the performer a good challenge, and is quite fun to watch.
It needs to be funny (this is MY personal list, after all).
Putting it together
Once I decided on the format and cast size (1), it came time to do the research. I looked at several high profile celebrity confessional interviews and tried to absorb the language and format. Which means I basically sat watching YouTube for ages. Princess Diana, Monica Lewinsky, Meg Ryan, Lance Armstrong, etc. I took notes on the type of questions they were asked, the stock answers they gave and especially the body language. From the beginning, I knew that for Confessional the interviewee’s body language would be used to convey the artifice behind the whole charade.
I’m not exactly sure when I decided this, but it was also always clear that this was going to be written for a woman to perform. My character was going to be a high-profile person who had done something immoral, and now she was going on TV to say how sorry she was, in spite of not being contrite at all. And the same performer would be playing both the role of the interviewer and interviewee. Fun, huh?
Whilst away with the Crowther gang, I stitched together a very rough first draft. We read it to the group and even though A LOT of it didn’t work or necessarily make sense, I felt I had found the heart and language of the piece. As usual with my first drafts, I still had plenty of thinking to do about who the characters were, what they wanted and what they were doing about it. I finished a second draft, and while it still wasn’t where I wanted it to be, it was a lot closer.
When the Declan and Will from The Minis came calling, I was still thinking about what to do with the third draft. Once I was committed to the Nov 30 show, I finally had some pressure to deliver. It forced me to make decisions and commit to them. I decided the main character would be an actress, “Emily”. And her crime, she had dared to have an affair with her married co-star. Not ground-breaking perhaps, but realistic. I also added a third character, the PR assistant Sally.
The fearless Chris Lawson agreed to direct (he helmed my short musical Bedspread over the summer). He cast the lovely Norma Butikofer as “Emily”. Norma is American but her English accent is uncanny. We were set. We did a table read at my flat and I tweaked the script one last time (or so I thought). After that we had four rehearsals, all in the intimacy of my living room. Chris and Norma did a lot of detailed character work, I did more than a few rewrites along the way (sorry guys!), but things went mostly smoothly.
The day of reckoning
On Sunday 30 Nov, we went in to the Arcola Theatre to tech our piece. I have to say, the logistics of rehearsing and putting on a monologue are so much simpler than regular theatre pieces. We had zero props, no set, just a chair. And our lighting cues? Two: lights ON. Lights OFF. Boom. This was a relief.
Then it was show time! I have to say I was a bit nervous before the first show. The thing about writing comedic material for live performance is, you don’t really know if it will be funny. Ever. You get used to the material during the writing/re-writing/rehearsal process, and you become numb to it. You have to blindly trust your gut over what will be funny (or not). It’s actually kind of terrifying.
When Norma first came on as “Emily”, she entered the huge Studio 1 space like she owned it. I breathed a sigh of relief. The audience really liked it, they reacted strongly to everything “Emily” was doing. Norma held the attention of the entire auditorium, all with no set, props or any other actors. It was thrilling. The second performance was even better. And then it was all over. Such is the deal with short play nights…
I have to give a shout out to Will Bourdillon and Declan Feenan of The Miniaturists. They run a very tight ship, everything is always super organised and they basically give the writers free reign, which is a huge risk. And I love them all the more for it. Thanks guys! And of course, THANK YOU to the director Chris and to Norma, who pulled off a great show.
I’ve been tasked with writing not only a short piece, but a short musical piece. Yes, myself and a small group of people will be putting together a short musical in exactly 10 days. Yikes! And I won’t just be doing the book this time… I’ll also be doing lyrics… LYRICS! :-O
What does the “Undercover” mean exactly? Good question. I have no idea. But I think I will find out during our inspiration session this Friday where I’ll meet the two actors I’ll be writing for. Then it’ll be 10 days of “Putting it together”… SO EXCITED! (And kind of terrified… but in a good way!… Sort of…)