Looking Back, Looking Forward

It’s been over 5 years since we began working as a company under the name of Makeshift Broadcast. Still to this day, I remember us sitting in Nina’s old flat looking at words that we liked and coming up with our name together.

Katherine, Nina and I had worked on numerous theatre productions at Glasgow University, including The Company of Wolves and Doctor Faustus. We built on that foundation in June 2010 after presenting a work-in-progress of [Un]known Unknowns at the New Works New Worlds Festival in The Arches, Glasgow, inspiring us to build on the different skills we had as a collective: directing, writing, stage management and producing.

From the beginning, Katherine, Nina and I have been passionate about creating new work and tackling global issues, such as climate change, over-consumption and sustainability. It was prevalent in many of our conversations about the work we wanted to make and produce. We considered that not only the work we present should have new ideas and show new ways of living in uncertain times, but it also should consider the impact the presentation and production has on the environment.

WTRSF_300 webAs our first full-scale production we picked Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp as a promenade performance around the Halt Bar as part of Glasgow’s West End Festival in June 2011. This exploration of reaching out physically to audiences continued with Putting Words in my Mouth at Arches Live in September 2011.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, we developed Cat’s Cradle, BIKE and revisited an older work The Company of Wolves. We worked on our own individual projects and strengthened our networks with theatre-makers and companies, engaging with Anatomy, Buzzcut, National Theatre of Scotland, Pilot and Magnetic North.

In 2013, Putting Words in my Mouth was selected for and programmed in the Prague Fringe Festival. We spent several months redeveloping the script and design of the production and gave a rehearsed reading at the Tron Theatre, before presenting the play at the Festival in June 2013. We did a lot of fundraising and promotion for this project. We couldn’t have taken our work to somewhere quite different without you – thank you to all of you who supported us financially, creatively, emotionally and internationally!

In September 2014, we were pleased to record our first ever podcast: The Makeshift Broadcast. An arts podcast recorded in front of a live audience, which exists to be a showcase of new work from artists locally and across the internet. Working with over 30 artists, writers, actors, creatives and musicians has been a real highlight.

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In February 2015, we staged our most ambitious production: a version of Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling at the Tron Theatre. Each of the four nights was sold out: a wonderful achievement.

The closure of The Arches in July 2015 was sad for us, as it was for many, as it was the place we began and developed as a company. We all have fond memories of our shows there.

The decision to no longer operate under our collective name was a hard one to make, but we all have new journeys to go on as we’re no longer all living in the same area of the UK. Katherine has recently moved to London, where I’ve been living for the last three years, while Nina will continue to reside in one of the best cities in the world: Glasgow. After five years together, we are still each other champions, but we are going to fly solo for a while.

We hope you can join us on the next part of our journeys.

This is indeed goodbye, but it is not the end.

Thank you so much for all your support.

Philippa, Nina and Katherine
The Shifty Broads

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Podcast Contributors – May 2015

This month’s live recording features a wealth of talented writers, directors and performers!
Come to the Old Hairdresser’s in Glasgow on 19th May 2015 at 8pm. £2 (pay on the door).

THE LINE UP

Troon by Julie Tsang
directed by Elliot Roberts

Julie Martis as Beth
Gillian McCombe as Annabel
Jane Black as Jacqueline
John Love as Jim

The highlight of Julie’s career came when The Sorry Story of the Angel and the Bear was performed alongside writing by some of her favourite playwrights Alan Ayckbourn, J.P Donleavy, Athol Fugard and Patrick Marber. This encouraged Julie to continue her passion of writing for the stage. Her plays include Like this… (Tron Theatre), Angel/Bear for Mayfesto, Ragdolls with Reclaim the F Word (Tron Theatre), Look After Me (3 minute Theatre, Oran Mor) and Back to Me (Short Play Theatre, CCA). Julie’s play Troon was recently shortlisted for the Short Play Award at Cumbernauld Theatre.

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Project Naked – an Audiobiography
from Megan Hood & Hannah Tait

Project Naked was started by two young women who were sick of only hearing the media’s narrative around women’s bodies, and wanted to hear what women really thought. For the past three years, they have been collecting women’s stories of their relationships with their bodies and publishing them on their blog. They have also recently started putting on live events which aim to promote women in the arts.

Project Naked would like to encourage you to donate what you can to Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre. Please donate here.

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Glitter and Smoke by Allie Costa
directed by Clare Marcie

Allie Costa is a Los Angeles-based actress working in film, TV, theatre, and voiceover. She is also a prolific writer. Her short story Glitter and Smoke is inspired by a photograph by Crissa Chappell and the song Time Lapse Lifetime by Maria Taylor.

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First Fleet by Michael Crowley
directed by Shilpa Hyland
performed by Sarah Miele

Michael Crowley is a poet and playwright who has written for stage, short film and radio and worked extensively in youth theatre. His first collection of poetry Close to Home is published by Prole Books. He is currently writing a collection entitled First Fleet in the imagined voices of the convict settlement of 1788 in New South Wales. He lives in West Yorkshire and teaches creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

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The Makeshift Broadcast #3 – Live Recording

Makeshift Broadcast is recording its next podcast at The Old Hairdresser’s on 19th May 2015 at 8pm.

It will be another evening of plays, poems, stories and everything in between. Join us for the live recording and be part of the applause!

With contributions from Julie Tsang, Michael Crowley, Allie Costa and Project Naked, directed by Clare Marcie, Shilpa Hyland and Elliot Roberts.

Hosted by Katherine Nesbitt
Produced by Nina Doherty and Dave Gillies

If you haven’t already heard one of our podcasts before, you can listen to other episodes on Mixcloud.

Technical support for The Makeshift Broadcast is made possible by Arts Trust Scotland.

Calling all Writers and Directors! The Makeshift Broadcast wants you!

The Makeshift Broadcast is recording its next podcast in early May 2015.

We’re on the hunt for emerging and established writers and directors to work with us on the creation of the show.

Writers 

Makeshift Broadcast would like to read your plays, short stories, comedy routines, poetry, songs and everything in between to include in our arts podcast. We are particularly keen to see radio dramas, or any work that has a strong aural element.

Your submission should include:

  • Your work for no more than 30 minutes of performance for plays / 15 minutes for other forms. We will give preference to pieces with a small number of actors required (less than 4) for its performance for reasons of technical ease.
  • A brief outline of the context of your piece if it is normally longer than what you are submitting
  • A brief history of your work to date and some information about yourself (this is useful for us to get a sense of your work)

Things to consider before submitting:

  • This work will be performed in front of both a live audience and go out as a podcast to listeners. We are particularly interested in including work from artists who have considered the audio audience and how their work will translate without visuals.
  • The work does not have to be new or previously unperformed.
  • There is currently no funding in place for this project, though applications are underway and if successful, terms will be agreed with artists involved.

Directors 

We’d also love to hear from any enthusiastic and skilled directors based in Glasgow.

Please send us your CV, detailing any relevant previous experience and a short statement (max. 2 paragraphs) about how you approach directing contemporary or new writing.

Things to consider:

  • There is currently no funding in place for this project, though applications are underway and if successful, terms will be agreed with artists involved.

For both writers and directors, it will be worthwhile having a listen to our previous podcasts on Mixcloud.

Please send your submission to makeshift.broadcast@gmail.com with the subject “Podcast – May” by Monday 13th April 2015, 5pm. 

The live event will take place in Glasgow in early May 2015.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Technical support for The Makeshift Broadcast is made possible by Arts Trust Scotland.

When The Rain Stops Falling: An Actor’s Diary

Serena Day gives us an insight into working on When The Rain Stops Falling, our production at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow in February 2015.

WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING:  AN ACTOR’S DIARY

November: Good News! I’ve received an email from Katherine Nesbitt, the Director of Makeshift Broadcast, offering me the role of Gabrielle York in their production of When The Rain Stops Falling (WTRSF). It’s an Australian play written by Andrew Bovell, that deals with some pretty dark themes, including child sexual abuse, dementia and suicide. Personally, I like Bovell’s stance on consumer culture and climate change, and he also brings humour and playfulness into some of the scenes. There are laughs to be had as well as serious issues to be contemplated. There are two Gabrielles portrayed in WTRSF – the 24 year old we meet in 1980s and the older woman she has become many years later. It is the 2013 version of Gabrielle that I auditioned for, and I’m thrilled to have been cast. I’m the same age as the character and conveniently, don’t have to learn the accent as I’m actually Australian.

December: First Read Through. We gather on a dark Sunday afternoon in a small room at Kinning Park Complex, to meet our fellow cast members for the first time. Katherine is there, and Nina Doherty, the Production Manager. They don’t say much, but take notes as they listen to us read the play out loud from beginning to end. It’s exciting to hear the dialogue spoken as it takes life from the page through the actors. It’s also challenging to begin to make sense of the story. This play is complex and it requires plenty of concentration to keep up with the twists and revelations that occur throughout. I’m finding it a bit confusing, but maybe that’s just me? Clare from New Zealand is playing the young Gabrielle, and the rest are Scottish actors using either Australian or English accents for their roles, as some of the scenes take place in London.

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January: The Hard Work. Early in January I meet Katherine and Clare at Sloans to discuss the character of Gabrielle. We each offer our thoughts and insights about this woman who, by the time she is in her twenties, has already lost her brother, mother and father. After this session I feel much more confident about how I will play the role, and I have an understanding of Gabrielle that feels authentic, as if she is a real person. In a space above The Old Hairdressers, Katherine leads the whole cast through a series of movement exercises that let us explore our relationship to space, to each other, and to the group as an entity. We are starting to feel like an ensemble, a team – seven actors who are all working towards the same goal. And then for the rest of the month it’s all rehearsals, learning lines (BORING!) and more rehearsals.

February: Performance. Philippa Mannion, our Producer, has come up from London to watch our final rehearsals. Emma Fitzgibbon, the production’s Designer, is giving final approval to our costumes. The pace of events is quickening and opening night is looming. The last few rehearsals fly by, and then suddenly it is dress rehearsal day. At last we enter the Changing House, a studio space inside the Tron Theatre where the play will be staged. All of us are excited and happy, as well as being nervous to varying degrees. The four night run has sold out which is fantastic! Opening night goes well without any significant problems and it’s a really engaged, attentive audience. For the next three nights, I’m not nervous at all and I’m able to enjoy being in the moment during my scenes. John, the actor who plays my husband, does such an accurate Australian accent that my real-life Aussie husband was astonished to learn that he is from Paisley! Our production gets a 4-Star review in The Scotsman, so it’s safe to say that we all consider it a great success!

When The Rain Stops Falling – Reviews

THE SCOTSMAN ★★★★

When The Rain Stops Falling
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
by JOYCE MCMILLAN

THE Past is a mystery, says the quotation on the programme; yet perhaps it will be easier to explain than the fish.

It’s a sentence that captures some of the strange, powerful atmosphere of this fine 2008 play by Australian playwright Andrew Bovell, now given its Scottish premiere by young shoestring Glasgow company Makeshift Broadcast. When The Rain Stops Falling is in one sense a family saga, of a familiar kind. Over two hours, its story moves from London in 1959 to Alice Springs in 2039, a quarter-century hence; yet instead of a chronological narrative, Bovell offers a series of flashbacks and double-forwards, designed to expose both the history of trauma and loss that links one generation to the next, and the backdrop of gradual environmental destruction that many of the characters half-foresee.

It’s a tragic story, sometimes agonisingly so; but both Katherine Nesbitt’s fine, forceful production – with its running motif of umbrellas used as signposts to dates and places – and Bovell’s stunning text, approach it with a poetic energy and eloquence that completely grip the attention. Like much 21st century drama, Bovell’s play touches on themes of child abuse, dementia, the cruelty of parents to children, and vice versa. Yet it also vibrates with a deep, mysterious sense of the great Australian landscape to which the characters flee and return, and of the broken relationship with nature that underpins so much of our pain; its poetry is stunning, and impressively well-served by Makeshift’s eight-strong ensemble, who take on one of the most powerful new plays of the past decade, and do it more than justice.

THE HERALD ★★★

THE SKINNY ★★★

BROADWAY BABY ★★★

 

Band Night @ Broadcast, Glasgow

Broadcast, Sauchiehall St, Glasgow
Thursday 15 January, 8pm

Looking for something to shake off those January blues? An evening of new music. From the genre- hopping theatrical odyssey glam-pop-electro-folk of SCUNNER to the energetic yet ambient rhythms and harmonies of FEATHERWEST to the atmospheric OLIFANT COLLECTIVE via the folk rock sounds of SLOTH METROPOLIS, Makeshift Broadcast bring you some of the best musicians Glasgow has to offer.

LINE UP: FEATHERWEST – a four piece of experienced performers set to make their debut this autumn with their single People In The Station followed by two more single releases and an EP by the end of Jan 2015 on Giant Giant Music. Their sound is energetic yet ambient with big bass and sub tones for a modern live impact coupled with deft rhythms, spacious guitars and sweet male/female harmonies.

SLOTH METROPOLIS – A progressive-folk-rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. They formed in the hazy summer of 2012 and have been making music ever since. Their DIY debut EP “Departure” was released in July 2013 as “pay what you want” download.

SCUNNER – Based in Glasgow, Scotland, SCUNNER are bestcategorised as ‘Post-Glam Cabaret Stagecore’. Fronted by Paul Puppet assisted by The Lunatic Engineer on Guitar and Keyboard, SCUNNER were supported by random Scunnerettes, including percussionists Rowan and Biz,(who replaced The Urban Fairy), and pleasant plucker Mrjonthehat (Bass and Banjo), throughout 2006/2007, until a more permanent line up involving Andy Red on drums, and J J Mills on electric bass and keyboard was established.

OLIFANT COLLECTIVE – The collaborative musical project of Thomas Brumby, which draws together a changing selection of other musicians and artists based in Glasgow. Newly formed in late 2013, they played their debut performance at the Glasgow School of Art. The music is a mixture of electronics, voices and acoustic instruments that attempts to create atmospheric and evocative sounds and songs.

We’re raising money for When The Rain Stops Falling at the Tron Theatre – but we promise it won’t feel like a fundraiser. Don’t miss out on the fun, dancing and music. More event updates here. Tickets – £5 (£4 students)

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