We are very excited to share that coming up on Friday 20th of March, we are hosting what promises to be an awesome evening with Christine Absalom an award winning actress, and Jules Easlea a Theatre Producer. The duo are lining up a unique evening called. ‘Act 1: Developing Character – from Page to Stage ‘. It will lift the curtain on the traditions and superstitions of stage life, whilst putting you through your paces in a pre-show actors warm ups!. Christine and Jules have shared with us a bit about their vibrant careers and personal experience of the theatre, which we have put together below:
How did you get started in the theatre industry?
Jules – I was extremely lucky to see an advert in a newspaper for an arts marketing job in Chelmsford. I applied with no experience and got the job as the Press Officer. I loved it and learnt everything on the job. From there, I went to work in London theatres and ended up working for the Royal Opera House. There was no plan. I was just lucky, worked hard and learnt very quickly.
Christine – My love of the stage was nurtured by two fantastic teachers at The Fitzwimarc School – Gerry Usher who ran the School Choir, which I was a part of and really enjoyed, and Ruth Fenwick my Drama Teacher who encouraged and helped me enormously. I was warned against the horrors of a life in theatre, and told that it was an impossible dream, but by some miracle I was accepted into The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and I am as passionate about theatre today, as I was 50 odd years ago.
Christine continued – My first job was in fact at The Palace Theatre in Westcliff. I left school on a Friday, aged 17, and on the Monday started work as a Student Assistant Stage Manager. I was actually an unpaid dogsbody, but I LOVED it all. I loved the smell, the hard work,the people, the whole shebang. After that I went to Drama School, and then straight into a years contract as an actress at The Salisbury Playhouse.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors & theatre producers?
Jules – Do it because you really want to and you believe in what you’re doing. Care about the audience. Want to do your very best.
Christine – My advice would be listen to your heart. If there is absolutely nothing else that you NEED to do, have a go. Don’t go into the industry if all you want is ‘to be famous’. It is a great life, but sometimes a very tough one. Take every opportunity to learn new skills, and make the most of your education, you will be surprised by what it is useful to know when you are preparing a role. And as Jules says, care about your audience, do it for them. Be the very best you can be.
What is the most memorable stage production you have seen and tell us about it?
Jules – Twelfth Night. The Globe. With Mark Rylance. He was magnificent. We went backstage to meet a friend in the cast. I was introduced to Mark and I just burst into tears because it was so marvellous. I’m far too emotional to actually be able to perform on stage.
Christine – Jules and I went together to see Twelfth Night at The Globe. I laughed until I cried. It was so clever, innovative and witty, they took so many liberties with the text, but it all worked to wonderful effect.
Tell us a little more about Jubilant Productions and the work you do as a team?
Jules – We started Jubilant Productions in 2013 as I wanted to work with Chrissie and we both finally had the time and were in the same place. I believe in doing things for yourself and not waiting for others to do things. The 100th anniversary of World War I was looming and it was the perfect opportunity to put together our first performance using poetry from the period. Merry It Was To Laugh There was a joy to work on and had great reviews. We toured nine venues around Essex including two sell out performances at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester. Our emphasis was on the quality of the work and that is what we always strive for.
Christine – It is a great privilege to work with Jules. She is full of excellent ideas, and energy. We meet regularly and discuss our options and possibilities, and then work together to bring them to fruition. We laugh a lot, but take the endeavour very seriously !