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A (Temporary) Farewell

I've been a member of The Factory theatre company for a few years now, and a fan since their inception over a decade ago. They try to keep their performances as spontaneous, uncomplicated and free as possible. At the moment we've been performing Macbeth for a couple of years in various different spaces (they don't do traditional runs - the work is often unpaid so it's easier to rock up at a venue for one night and use whoever is free and knows the lines). There are hundreds of people in or associated with the company, but probably 20 or 30 who know a part, or several parts in Macbeth. For example, I know Banquo, Ross, Doctor, Young MacDuff, Mentieth, and Siward. Others know up to a dozen roles. We don't bother defining parts within gender or age perameters, so if I chose to learn Macbeth while I was in Scarborough (and I might...) I could be asked to play it when I got back.

We don't set blocking; we don't rehearse in the traditional sense, and rarely with the people who'll actually be playing the parts with us in the next performance, and we don't recce the venue before we get there on the day. This keeps everything completely alive. Yes, sometimes it feels like watching a rehearsal, and sometimes we can be prone to indulging our wanky actor sides, but most of the time it's electric and magical.

Last night I played Ross at the Matchstick Piehouse - a new venue in New Cross. It was a wonderful show and I'm proud to have been a part of it. now I must say goodbye to The Factory while I concentrate on all this other work. It's a shame as they're just about to start an exciting run at Theatre Clwyd, and more shows in London. But I hope they'll gain momentum and I can fit right back in once I've finished tap-dancing up North.

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