Here at hj1act we love it when a new company decides to bring their work to our festival. It’s a great opportunity for us to meet new actors, directors, writers and producers and for our audiences to see new faces and what they can do. It’s also a wonderful way to showcase even more great local talent and get their work seen by a wider audience.
Which is why we were thrilled when Stu Jackson and Helen Ackrill of Jackrill Productions decided to enter hj1act this year. They not only bring with them an exciting line-up of local actors but also a new play, written by Helen, which looks set to really light up our opening night.
So before we all meet them at the festival we thought it would be great to get the inside skinny on all things Jackrill!
hjHQ: Welcome to hjHQ! We’re very excited that you’re on-board this year. Tell us about Jackrill Productions.
HELEN: Jackrill is the brainchild of myself, Helen Ackrill, and Stu Jackson. We started working on film and theatre projects together back in 2014. As various projects gathered momentum, it was clear that a production company between us was needed, and so Jackrill was born!
hjHQ: Hence the name – genius! How are you feeling about entering hj1act for the first time?
HELEN: Some slight nerves, but the opportunity to get the work seen by a wider audience is something we are very excited about.
hjHQ: Your play, (Ab)solution, is an original play written by you; what can you tell us about it?
HELEN: The story is about family, faith, and the consequences of keeping secrets: when three brothers, brought up in a strict household, lust after the same woman it sets them on a course that threatens to destroy their familial bond. We wanted to explore how the confessional booth could act as a visual metaphor for the state of mind of the characters within it, which we hope we have achieved.
hjHQ: How do you hope the hj1act audiences will respond?
HELEN: Hopefully there are characters that most people can recognise, and one of the aims of the play is that audiences come out with a deeper understanding of some of the traumatic, real-life issues people sometimes face.
hjHQ: This will be your first time performing in front of a hj1act adjudicator. How are you feeling about that?
HELEN: Whilst it can sometimes be difficult to hear critique of work that has had so much of ourselves poured into it, we tend to be pragmatic and use all feedback (both constructive criticism and praise) to move forward in a positive direction.
hjHQ: How has the casting and rehearsal process been going? Any challenges?
HELEN: The biggest challenge for rehearsals has been getting the cast together, as although most live locally, some live as far away as London. And of course, we all have commitments outside the play as well. Effective communication is the key
hjHQ: Thanks so much Helen for sharing your thoughts with us today . We’re really looking forward to seeing you all perform (Ab)solution at this year’s festival. It’s going to be a cracking part of our opening night line-up on Thursday 14th April.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to find out more about Helen, Stu and Jackrill Productions go to their Facebook page HERE.
Coming soon: Lechlade Players enter two plays for 2016!
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If you have a story you’d like us to include here in our blog, or if there’s something you’d like us to write about, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org So long as it’s festival/drama/local theatre centred, we’ll definitely give it a look!