Big Squirrel Productions
My most frequently asked question is 'why are we called Big Squirrel Productions?'. The answer is boringly simple - I like the word squirrel. I assume all writers have their favourite words. Mine are about sound not meaning, with squirrel top of the list (particularly the way Americans pronounce it) closely followed by hoof and pixelated. If I had thrown caution to the wind it would have been the Pixelated Hoofing Squirrels Production Company but I realise that would have just been plain silly
so I settled on Big Squirrel Productions.
Big Squirrel Productions was formed in 2010 because, after writing plays for twenty five years, I felt it was time I moved on from predominately real time one act plays to something more shifting and 'fringey' with the odd fantasy scene thrown in for good measure. I wanted to explore personal themes, rather than plots, with the opportunity to go deeper into characterisations at one end and have moments of extreme silliness at the other.
My first target was the insatiable quest for certainty in 'A MIDDLE AGED MAN`S UNCERTAINTY THEORY' which started as a rant on twelve separate subjects and was honed in rehearsal by an excellent cast to a fairly slick rollercoaster ride that combined 'great comedy, nostalgia and sadness into a well balanced mix as we realised that it's the uncertainties in life that make it worth living' - BroadwayBaby.com
The theme of CHRYSALIS was stability, mental as well as physical. Change is inevitable and, like it or not, everyone has to move on. Events in life can change your mental stability too and Chrysalis explored this with the obligatory fantasy scenes that hopefully injected the trademark Big Squirrel humour on a serious subject. Chrysalis premiered with two preview performances in Cambridge before a 12 day run at Paradise in the Vault Annexe as part of the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe. 'Engaging play that is genuinely moving' - The Skinny.
My latest play was 'ALANA' which explored one of my favourite subjects - 'family'. People being connected whether they like it or not and being set in the music business made it the most musical play of mine yet. It premiered with four performances at the Dukebox Theatre as part of the 2015 Brighton Fringe followed by a run at Corpus Playroom in Cambridge. It is more conventional than the previous two but deeper in characterisation and already describe as 'an engaging and moving story graced with good performances and lovely live music' - BroadwayBaby. It was performed at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe from Sunday August 14th to Sunday August 28th at 16.45 at C Nova.
In 2016 we presented the first summer Big Squirrel Pantos written by myself and my daughter Kattreya, who also produced. 'ALADDIN' and 'CINDERELLA' which were performed at Paradise in Augustine's for the entire Edinburgh Festival, to a sell out audience almost everyday!
I passed over the Artistic Director reigns to Kattreya after Edinburgh and she directed and appeared in our first 'non-new play' Jez Butterworth's 'The River' at Corpus Playroom during January 2017, another sell out for team Big Squirrel! The same year Kattreya wrote her first play 'UKE BELONG TO ME' which I directed. It won both the Cambridge and Sawston Drama Festivals and picked up two more awards at the 'All British Winners Final' at the Lamproom Theatre, Barnsley. We also had a weeks run at Etcetera Theatre, Camden and Corpus Playroom Cambridge before another week`s run at Paradise in the Vault in 2018. At the same time I directed her second play FLAT 2B which won a hatful of awards at local drama festivals.
In 2019 I directed two solo plays. Lanky Olive written by Kattreya and Broken Flowers written by Matt Squance. We performed them under the collective title Love, Cats and Bill Murray first at Corpus Playroom and then the Bedford Fringe and Norwich.
Kattreya and I also started writing a new panto for the super hero age. SUPERELLA is a princess by day and superhero by night. Booked to premiere at Corpus Playrooms in April 2020 it has been cancelled several times but is due to be performed in April 2022. We start rehearsals in February which I will direct with a cast of Kattreya as Ella, Stephanie Swann as Queen B, Roisin O`Shea as the Prince and Tom Heritage as Dame Doolittle. Performance dates are Wednesday April 13th at 7pm, Thursday April 14th at 7pm, Friday April 15th at 3pm & 7pm and Saturday April 16th at 3pm. Booking can be made by visting www.adctheatre.com
To find out more about these plays in-depth please click on the images in the list below!