Some brilliant audience feedback from the wonderful Dog Days:
Theatre503 is pleased to announce that The Latchmere is now under new management and will be closed for refurbishment from 10th March for several weeks.*
Theatre503 will remain open throughout the building works for DOG DAYS, OCCUPIED and A HANDFUL OF STARS.
During the work please enter the Theatre via the Latchmere Road entrance at the rear of the building and up the external steps. See map below.
Light refreshments will be available at the Theatre however should you wish for something a little stronger we can recommend:
The Lighthouse www.thelighthousebattersea.com
The Duke of Cambridge www.youngs.co.uk/pubs/duke-of-cambridge
Both watering holes are just a stone’s throw from Theatre503 and serve excellent food.
*The re-launch of The Latchmere will be announced in the next few weeks. In the meantime please continue to support us and local business by spending an evening or three in Battersea.
If you have any specific questions please ring Theatre503 on 020 7978 7040 and we will endeavour to help.
I wrote Dog Days because I was frustrated at the lack of roles for mature actresses. Apart from playing someone’s wife, mother, granny, nosey neighbour, hospital patient…or even worse and alarmingly more common…a ridiculous woman with whom the audience can laugh at rather than with…there is very little else out there to get ones teeth into. Born out of those alternatives came the desire to write a more complex role for an older woman and I wanted this to be in direct contrast to exploring the hopes and ambitions of a younger woman. Given the fact that there are so few roles for young black women and those that are written are fairly stereotypical, I wanted to write a naturally comic role for a young black actress and the character of Hayley allowed me to do that. Hayley is blissfully unaware of her effect on others and it is clear throughout her journey in the play that this optimistic and bright young woman will ultimately come out on top no matter what life throws at her. She is pregnant, she is madly in love, she is a survivor.
Cate in direct contrast to Hayley, thinks she has nothing left to live for and this contrast allowed me a lot of dramatic scope in exploring a crumbling marriage, empty nest syndrome and what it is like to look in the mirror and no longer like what you see. Not because the character of Cate, necessarily dislikes the lines and wrinkles she sees staring back at her, but because of where it places her in society. Her husband John can have a new life, a new beginning but for Cate in her fifties this is almost impossible.
Cate is a mature woman and Hayley is a black woman and very few women from those core groups are represented in the media and entertainment industry. It’s a different story for men an whilst I applaud the fact that there is no ‘sell by date for men’ I just want that equivalent for women.
We’re interesting …we have something to say …we are entertaining to listen to, to work with. all we want is to be represented in the media on an equal footing. Not a lot to ask is it?
Actress & Writer of ‘Dog Days’
“Urghhhhh…” We’re in a poorly-heated room in a dingy office block somewhere in central London. The groan in question is coming from Hayley (played by Lashana Lynch), on all fours, as she uses a chair (proving an excellent stunt double for a birthing ball) to practice birthing exercises. Behind her, her partner Tony (Peter Bramhill) kneels supporting her back in what looks to be the world’s most awkward conga line. As the rest of the room attempts to stifle laughter, director Lisa Cagnacci suggests that Peter might want to move in a little closer…
Welcome to the weird and wonderful Dog Days universe, where love, loss, parenthood and real estate merge in a darkly comic world that is both incredibly disturbing and very, very funny. The event described above is by no means a one-off. Earlier in the day, we had a ten minute impasse as Jonathan Oliver and Annie Hulley struggled to get through a particular exchange equating car sex with urinating in the front garden and character improvisations in early rehearsals were as hilarious as they were revealing. The research wall in our rehearsal room is adorned with such surreal gems as ‘The Potential Impact of Being Stabbed in the Hand with a Fork’ and an all too graphic piece about alternative uses for garlic as a vaginal suppository.
The latter of these has cost me the chaste sanctity of my internet history, one of the many trials and tribulations I have had to endure as the show’s assistant director. Other highlights include being sent to Watford and back to acquire sound equipment for the rehearsal room and being used as a human guinea pig for the blocking of strangulations and fork stabbings (the latter accomplished with well-researched aplomb). However, in spite of all these hardships, I can recall few productions that have been as much fun to work on as Dog Days.
Lisa’s process has given our cast has the creative freedom to make bold decisions in the safety of the rehearsal room, while never losing sight of each scene’s underlying emotional structure. New discoveries are made with every run, and even after two weeks of intensive rehearsal the play still feels fresh and, crucially, still makes us laugh.
It would appear that there is plenty of warmth in this rehearsal room after all.
We are delighted to announce that we have been nominated for four OFFIE awards as follows:
Best Artistic Director: Paul Robinson
Most Promising New Playwright: Sam Potter for Mucky Kid
Best Sound Designer: Simon Slater for The Life of Stuff
We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in our productions and our wonderful audience for their continued support.
The full shortlist can be found here