Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?
Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack
and unbuttoning thee after supper and sleeping upon
benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to
demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know.
What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the
(Henry IV, I. ii)
And what the devil have Fine Chisel got to do with a Shakespeare festival? We devise new work and work with new writers, don’t we?
It started with the wonderful people from the Ustinov Studio in Bath (part of the Theatre Royal complex), who came to see 4.3 MILES FROM NOWHERE in Edinburgh this summer. They seemed to enjoy the piece, particularly the music, and asked us whether we’d like to propose for a small commission for the ‘Shakespeare Unplugged’ festival. The project is all about encouraging new audiences to engage with Shakespeare’s works. We have always been interested in classical work as individuals - and 4.3 Miles was very loosely based on The Winter’s Tale (the play from which Fine Chisel’s name is drawn) – we simply felt that it was important to carve a niche as a young company and we were most interested in twenty-first century stories. However, the whole team at Bath (the festival is programmed by Kate Cross, Artistic Director at the egg) have allowed us an incredible amount of freedom to approach Shakespeare with devotion and irreverence in equal measure. We are hugely grateful for their support and cannot wait to show what we’ve been developing at our work-in-progress showings in February.
MIDNIGHT AT THE BOAR’S HEAD
Join us for an evening of foot-stomping, ale-swilling, folk-fuelled storytelling, with handmade puppets and live music.
Fine Chisel Theatre breathe life into an eclectic collection of often-overlooked characters plucked from the Complete Works. Armed with nothing more than an array of acoustic instruments, this dynamic group of theatre makers and musicians explore the underside of Shakespeare.
Praise for Fine Chisel’s previous productions:
***** ‘Every so often… the [Edinburgh] festival unearths a little gem and this piece sparkles as brightly as any I’ve seen’ Broadway Baby on ‘Firing Blanks’
**** ‘A charming, witty and ridiculously entertaining piece of theatre’, FringeGuru on ‘4.3 Miles from Nowhere’
That’s the official blurb, as it appears in the programme. More specifically, we’re looking at the characters that began this blog, Prince Hal and Falstaff. The pub is the great leveller; princes and rogues sit side by side. We are devising a new piece, using only Shakespeare’s words, set entirely in the pub (the Boar’s Head in cheapside was Shakespeare’s favourite as well as Falstaff’s). Other characters, plucked from across the complete works, will wander in to the Boar’s Head and join the party.
James Hill (Felix Fables) and Greg Hall (Minima), who both worked with us in the band for 4.3 Miles, will be joining George Williams (Longnose Puppets) and me to bring the piece to life musically. We’ve been tracing through all of the songs from Shakespeare’s plays and adding a Fine Chisel folk twist to them.
This production is commissioned by Theatre Royal Bath, and will premiere there 22-25th February 2012. Full ticketing info will be published asap.