Category Archives: Theatre

The history of my involvement with the theatre from interviews with actors, reviews of fringe plays and scripts I have written that have been performed on stage.

First Scrumpstock Reviews

Thank you very much to the Exmouth Journal’s Paul Strange for his review of this year’s Scrumpstock:

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Also, Meredith Collins posted a review on her blog Along Came a Cider, as she was luckily visiting the UK from America at the right time.

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Publicity for comedy: Glen Maney comes to Falmouth

glen new 7Thanks to the Falmouth Packet for including this piece on Glen Maney’s Edinburgh preview of The Prostate Years. Here is a wider selection of press I have done to promote comedy Also thanks to What’s On Cornwall

Plus the West Briton.

Thanks to the Falmouth Packet

comedymicI really appreciate the local papers in Falmouth.

The Falmouth Packet continued to support my 4th comedy night at the Falmouth Watersports Centre with a piece in last week’s issue. Plus 3 punters came along after reading it after the July night was cancelled. They came back!

Here’s the article. Pictures to follow when finished film. (Yes trying out my Canon camera from charity shop).

The first night in May they put this piece in the What’s On Section.

The next comedy night at Falmouth Watersports (yes, go on have a giggle) will be on 25 September.

Farm Shops, Radio and Comedy

Each week I do an hour radio show on Sundays from 7.30pm-8.30pm – The Enhancing Your Chances Show. Then on Tuesday mornings I do the breakfast slot from 7.30am-9.30am – Sophie’s Laughing Alarm Clock Show. After Tuesday morning’s stint, I went to the Perranarworthal Farm Shop and Michelle Burley Hodge was there.

I’d done an interview with Michelle, aired on Sunday 17 March, for an article promised to the West Briton. Michelle showed me a copy of article, which I found I had missed in the 7 March West Briton. However, a copy was still knocking around in my room. Then I heard that a woman had gone to Michelle’s stall because she heard the radio interview! Wow.

Comedy

I’m organising a promoted comedy night for emerging talent in Falmouth starting on 15 May called the Falmouth Comedy Floor. There are already 2 active comedy promoters in the area, so luckily we all get on and work together. One new night is at Tyacks in Camborne (now I know there’s no u in Camborne).Here’s my set from the April one.

The Falmouth Comedy Floor is twinned with a night I launched with a team of 3 in December 2009, now in the Time Out Top Ten Open Mic Nights in London. Here’s the Freedom Fridge website with the Cornwall outpost page.

In a couple of weeks, am starting doing music PR on a freelance basis for Matchbox Recordings, so please see my vintage Music PR for a taste of what’s to come.

Enjoying the Performing Arts in Falmouth

Comedians in Falmouth

Since I moved to Falmouth in 2011, I’ve seen two of favourite comedians perform within walking distance of where I live. One, Mark Steel, was at the Pavillion and the other, Josie Long, was at the Poly.

Thanks for the pose, Josie.
Thanks for the pose, Josie.

In a year I’ve also seen Henning Wehn, who was fabulous, Robin Ince, Seann Walsh (not my cuppa) and Jo Caulfield (laughed throughout). At the Pavillion, I also saw Simon Day from the Fast Show who seemed ill-advised in his performance of a reading from his autobiography for £14 a head.

It’s not just comedians but local theatre companies too. Owdyado Theatre toured Wrong-doings and Wake Up Calls at the Stop-Off Motel, which I saw at the Poly. Last night I saw Near-Ta Theatre’s Christmas Time in which two guys in jail get themselves worked up into Christmas excitement which climaxes with their own nativity musical.

Here’s a link to my review of Josie Long at the Poly in the local paper.

Secrets to writing press releases that get published

Press releases, or so-called ‘below the line advertising’, are a very effective way to promote your artistic activities. After all, people in your local area or industry would want to know what is going on. Remember that while you are writing.

Format

The simple format for a good press release is the same one you would use if you were asked to write an article as a journalist:

  • Who
  • When
  • What
  • Where
  • Why – the most interesting one that would form the central angle of your piece.

Despite current trends for what I call ‘me-me-I-I’ journalism, mainly employed by columnists who are famous or named journalists, a press release wants to be objective, in my opinion, to give it the best chance of being used.

Lively Quotes

If you don your journalist’s trilby, say out loud something you would say about what you are promoting. You could get someone else to interview you. The aim of this is to pick out some words that sound like a person speaking in a way that reveals their character and honest feelings about the event.

Promoters

If you are holding an event in a venue with a known promoter or shop owner, why not get them to give you a quote?

Remember to put details in between commas:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Place of residence. If this is not local, then add:
  • If they have an historical connection from the area, add this briefly by saying ‘family from’, ‘grew up’, ‘born in’ etc
  • Relevant label for what you do, ‘artist’, ‘songwriter’ etc. Or for someone else, ‘promoter’ etc.

ie Comedian Rachel Formby, 34, who live in London and was raised in Cambourne, says, ‘I never thought it would happen.’

Opening

Your first paragraph wants to sum up, in less than 30 words, what the event is about. To do this you could mention:

  • Who is the event for?
  • The urgency, ie next week, this Sunday, the first gig by…
  • Why the event has come about
  • A colourful picture of something current, talked about, or a recent news event that relates to your show.

These above 4 points are ideally incorporated into a concise summary of who, where, what, when. Why? would be in the second paragraph. Here’s an example:

the West Briton

Visit my Art (Current) page to see more recent examples.

The most important thing is to get write something down and send it in.

Look through your local newspapers to find the email address to send your news too.  Phone up or look for deadlines, so the issue your item appears in gives readers time to arrange to come along.

Think of a triangle with its tip facing downwards: This is the technique used by many newspapers. This means that your piece can be fit into whatever space is available. If you start with an intro that sums up who, when, what and where, then write a para on why. Follow that with your quote. Then provide any more information, what people need to do, buy tickets, turn up, bring a bottle, etc. If you can get readers to take an immediate action, while they are still inspired with your event, that will be a winner!

At the bottom, put a listing in this format:

TITLE OF EVENT

Date, time, entry price. Doors: (8pm-late)

@ Venue, address, your telephone number. Venue telephone number.

If your story strikes a chord with the newspaper, they may phone you up and interview you.

Photography:

  • Make this 300dpi (high resolution)
  • Make sure no business icons, logos, or other product brands are showing.
  • Say what the photograph shows in plain, informative, factual words
  • Choose a picture that tells a story if possible. Ideally this would sum up your event. Try to include yourself, other people and give their names.

Social Media:

When putting your event on Facebook, try to ensure that the date, time, venue, its location or address and entry price appear in what people receive. You could test this with a friend before you send out your bulk of invitations.

If you are interested in promoting events, products or getting people to a venue, I recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s book Tipping Point. The easier you make it for people to turn up, by including nearby railway stations or bus routes, the better.

Tip:

If you are promoting a profitable business event or launching a new company, try to keep this information subtle, and at the end of the piece. Put what the readers would be interested in before any information that you want to get out there. Try to avoid:

  • Saying how great it is.
  • Using adjectives or adverbs
  • Using an impersonal, formal style.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a piece of poetry, even if you are promoting a poetry event. Include information that the newspaper would like, arts, events, community interest, local characters, and what readers would be drawn to.