|Sunday 29th August: ||Today has been a rather sad affair as we all packed up our things and headed in our separate directions. Our week in Edinburgh has been absolutely amazing; each show was completely different from the last and totally thrilling to perform. Audience feedback was so positive that we found ourselves wanting a much longer run than just six days! We hope one day to be able to reprise Safe House from the murky depths of our memories, polish it up and give it a brand new airing – but funds need to seriously recover first! Many thanks to all who have contributed to Safe House’s debut: we could not have accomplished this unique feat without you!|
|Saturday 21st August: ||The Safe House cast has travelled by planes, trains and automobiles to finally arrive in Edinburgh today! Everyone is nervous but very excited to get underway; tomorrow we have a three hour slot in the venue in order to get all of our set inside and organise our technical set up. This will be the first time we get to see the space we will be performing in for the rest of the week, so everyone is really looking forward to it. For now, however, we are all getting settled into our accommodation and are eager to find some good bars and restaurants for the days (and nights) ahead!|
|Sunday 15th August: ||Today is most definitely a day of recuperation for the cast of Safe House! The preview shows have come to an end, and the run proved to be an incredibly hectic few days. It was not easy moving our entire set in and out of different venues each day, but somehow we pulled together and managed. As might be expected, the first night was a little rocky and we had numerous unfortunate incidents with the set. Despite this, everyone kept their cool and still performed well – the production team couldn’t be more proud! The second and third nights ran much more smoothly, and we had fantastic shows! In total, 86 people have now seen Safe House, and comments included “Amazing, you should be very proud”, “One of the slickest shows I’ve ever seen” and Safe House was deemed “Of the moment, [and] relevant – should go down a storm in Edinburgh!” Indeed, on our final night we even received a standing ovation! So massive congratulations to all the cast and crew who worked so hard over the last few days. Also, we would like to thank the venues for giving us a platform to get Safe House off the ground and ready for its big debut. We have reached the final stretch and are itching to get to Edinburgh – not long now!|
|Sunday 8th August: ||We have just come to the end of our final weekend of rehearsals! We had the whole cast together for the first time in more than a month and simply ran through the show as many times as we could. Everyone’s performances have become so well-rounded now that we are able to go through the whole production both chronologically and with full tech to play against. Indeed, on the first full run through Emma and James managed to completely miss their entrance because they were so enthralled by the action – we must be doing something right! So the next time we all get together will be for the preview shows, with paying audiences! If you haven’t booked tickets yet, please do so by using the links above. This show truly is a unique production that should not be missed!|
|Monday 26th July: ||Despite the fact that Emma only returned to the county yesterday, she came out flyering and postering with me! Today we spread the word around Raunds and Thrapston, whilst last week Bryony and I tackled Northampton. It has been hard work, and never helped by the weather – Northampton was incredibly hot, and today it decided to be both rainy and humid. Despite these conditions, it has been great talking to new people about the production, and many have shown interest. According to James, website traffic doubled after our postering efforts last week, so here’s hoping for another increase!|
|Saturday 24th July: ||Today was our first rehearsal in three weeks since Emma is currently away teaching English to foreign students. Without either of our directors present we could easily have adopted a ‘cat’s away’ attitude, but to ensure everyone was kept fresh and on their toes I brought the footage for all three screens. The cast were excited to finally see what they would be working with and we spent most of the day of going through the video, looking for audio and visual clues to help us time our lines. We even managed to get five scenes up on their feet. Overall, a very productive day! |
|Sunday 18th July: ||On a flying visit to the UK, James has managed to upgrade his laptop to ensure we have the most up-to-date, reliable technology on the project. We also took the time to sit down and do a full tech run of all three screens: this was the first time anyone had seen what ‘Safe House’ would effectively look like! It was amazing to see how all the pre-recorded footage lined up, and I for one was able to fully appreciate just how much work both Emma and James have put in. Even the tiniest of details have been incorporated to ensure that the play really does seem to take place in real space and time. The effect of three screens running simultaneously is incredible when seen live! |
|Monday 12th July: ||James has been an absolute star; not only has he nearly finished editing all the video footage (and there is a lot to be done since we need to work from three separate screens!) but he has also taken the time to produce a full theatrical Safe House trailer! It is quite simply excellent – please use the link above to view. Press and marketing is also moving along nicely: a Safe House advert is set to appear nationally in Edinburgh Festivals Magazine and our t-shirt design has been finalised.|
|Sunday 27th June: ||Today was the final day of filming for Safe House! We made our way to the National Space Centre in Leicester at a rather ungodly hour, but managed to remain conscious and functioning in order to capture some truly excellent footage! Once we were finished in Leicester, we then travelled to Wellingborough train station to film the very last scene we needed. We had a brief moment when we thought we were going to be denied permission to film, but Emma worked her magic with the staff and we were given the go-ahead! All of our extras were a joy to work with; everyone was fun and friendly whilst also being amazingly professional. The entire cast and crew would like to thank them whole-heartedly for their patience and dedication – the footage is beautiful! |
|Saturday 26th June: ||We have once again managed to get James away from Paris and back into rehearsals with the stage cast. Today went brilliantly – James and Bryony got along very well which bodes well for their onstage relationship, plus we were able to block a very long scene involving all cast members. We even succeeded in syncing our lines with the pre-recorded footage practically on the first attempt! Now that everyone is mostly off-script the production is really beginning to come together.|
|Sunday 20th June: ||We had an absolutely brilliant filming session today and everyone worked really hard to get the results we needed. The two main shots, both of which were highly complex and integral to the plot, were both done in one take! We had a few rocky moments when we weren't sure if Aynsleigh would be well enough to film, but she pulled through and we were able to go ahead with the shoot. A big thanks from all of us goes to the cast and crew in France as you were a true joy to work with and we got some amazing footage that we can't wait to use in our show.|
|Saturday 19th June: ||Emma had a slight ordeal picking up the replica prop weapons from Lille as the information desk had never heard of registered luggage and she knows about as much French as a Goldfish! Eventually she managed to track down the bag and all the contents and made it to James' apartment in Paris. Phew! Emma and James then had to create the set for the Safe House and Bookies in James' flat because we couldn't get permission to film in public with the fake guns. Hours later after much cleaning (this is a boys apartment!), set dressing, several fake blood tests (luckily it washes off the walls!) and several real ones - unfortunately one of our important cast members, Aynsleigh Turner, had to be taken off to hospital after a series of fainting episodes - we were ready for the filming session and it was way past bed time!|
|Friday 18th June: ||James' mum and Aunt have helped us out tremendously today by taking some replica prop weapons down to London to be shipped out to France on Eurostar via registered luggage. Customs checked the fake guns thoroughly and they took almost 4 hours to be approved for travel. However we have been successful and they have been sent to Lille to be picked up tomorrow. Stage 1 complete!|
|Sunday 13th June: ||Another highly successful day of rehearsals. Bryony has fit into our stage cast perfectly and the piece is really taking shape now. Even Emma didn't shout as much as usual today!|
|Saturday 12th June: ||We had a brilliant rehearsal today with an almost full cast (minus James). We went over the first 4 scenes and this time we had MUSIC. In case you aren't aware, Safe House is a totally original piece of drama and so an entire score is being composed especially for the play. We've only had a small glimpse at what it's going to be like and we can't wait to hear more.|
|Thursday 10th June: ||We got our copies of the official Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme through the post today. Safe House is on p285! Very excited to see it in print and we have been gaining lots of followers on Twitter, so thanks everyone!|
|Tuesday 8th June: ||Yesterday’s auditions were brilliant: we saw three very talented actresses for the role and it proved to be an extremely tough decision. However, we are happy to welcome Bryony Tebbutt to the cast and look forward to rehearsing with her for the first time this weekend! James has also finished the poster for the Edinburgh shows and it looks absolutely stunning: it should certainly grab people’s attention!|
|Sunday 6th June: ||James has just bought a litre of fake blood; this could get messy!|
|Friday 4th June: ||Emma has set up auditions for the new ‘Kerrie’. We’re seeing three people on Monday, so here’s hoping we find our woman.|
|Sunday 30th May: || James has just released the Safe House teaser trailer: it looks absolutely amazing and very filmic! Click on the link above to view.|
|Saturday 29th May: ||Due to unforeseen circumstances we have lost Camilla from the Safe House cast. We are now facing the slightly worrying prospect of having to re-film parts of our footage. Hopefully this shouldn’t set us back too far, but we are certainly stepping into more work in the coming weeks.
|Wednesday 26th May: ||We are now the proud owners of a second 32” Samsung LCD TV screen for the performance: well done Emma! The footage should show up excellently!
|Sunday 16th May: ||We have just finished a weekend of rehearsals and have managed to accomplish loads in just two days. We have recorded a full script read-through which will be incredibly useful in terms of learning lines (most friends and family are point blank refusing to run lines with me, claiming they don’t want to spoil the experience of seeing it on stage!). We also had Lee’s nephew, Aaron Niven, along today taking photos of our rehearsal – it was great having someone external to the cast watching, it meant we all gave more in terms of performance and got lots done. |
|Saturday 15th May: ||We are mid-way through a full weekend of rehearsals and have managed to reclaim James from France (at least for 48 hours!), meaning the full cast is finally together in the same room. The set is also coming together nicely – Emma has been scouting Ebay hard! We now have two desks and chairs for our Control Office and they look absolutely brilliant! Jack Bauer would be impressed.|
|Sunday 2nd May: ||Today saw the first filming session take place at Emma’s house, using her study as the set of Benedito Travado’s office. This means that costumes have been finalised since they are now part of the onscreen footage during the performance: however this excludes my character, Vivian, since she is never seen on the pre-recorded footage. This gives me the freedom to wear different costumes in each performance if I wish, but certainly removes the worry of disguising alterations due to damage or loss. I think the rest of the cast is somewhat jealous!|
|Friday 16th April: ||Safe House has a Twitter account! Follow us at |
|Tuesday 13th April: ||Fernando made the excellent suggestion of submitting the Safe House script to a professional script reading service called Without A Paddle. Today we received their feedback which was largely positive and also gave some constructive criticism which we will be addressing. This mainly entails developing the relationship between the characters of Lee Jackson and Kerrie Banfield slightly further, meaning we shall have to extend one of our scenes. Overall we are very happy with the review of the script and excited to get it on its feet!|
|Monday 12th April: ||Emma and I met today to begin researching press contacts in Edinburgh. Since Emma will be busy throughout most of July, she is entrusting much of the press and publicity to me during this time: by then I will be finished with university and able to dedicate much more time and effort to the production. We managed to make a very good start and are hoping to get lots of influential critics to attend and review our show!|
|Friday 26th March: ||Emma has been busy creating lots of content to be put into the video systems such as fake internet sites and phone logs to show on the screens during the performance. James has then been able to use these to finalise the UI system for the Control computers to run on. A very busy time for our producers!|
|Wednesday 24th March: ||Lee has created a rather ingenious stage position chart that we can use for each scene: it shows the layout of the set and allows us to mark the initial and final positions of characters. We can also then note down everyone’s movements across the stage space. Since we are not working through scenes in chronological order, but instead according to the availability of the actors, this should come in vey handy! |
|Sunday 21st March: ||Today marked the first rehearsal for most of the cast. Everyone worked really well together, striking a good balance between friendliness and professionalism. We look set to get on well whilst also pushing each other to explore new areas of our acting, since we all come from very different backgrounds and levels of experience. We also have decided to film both this and subsequent rehearsals in order to keep James up to speed over in France and also as a reference tool in terms of timing and scene blocking. Overall, a very promising start!|
|Saturday 20th March: ||We are having a lot of difficulty casting the role of Adam Parker; Emma and James are nearing the end of their tether on this one, since the role must be shot in Paris, and finding the right aged English actor over there is a challenge.|
|Friday 19th March: ||Safe House has been officially registered and is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe. As an added bonus, we managed to register just in time to get an early bird discount! Excellent progress.|
|Thursday 18th March: ||Disney has confirmed that James can have time off to do the show, meaning the cast are sighing in major relief! Also, in order to ensure there are no copyright issues, we have decided to create an entirely new User Interface computer operating system for the show: it will be a lot of work but will make the production completely unique. James started work on it today and has just completed the first UI system test, which looks promising. |
|Monday 15th March: ||Emma has been working hard on press and marketing schemes: she has just ordered 1000 business cards for Broken Pipe and 100 postcards advertising the show. Hopefully these should spread the word well! |
|Tuesday 2nd March: ||Publicity is moving along nicely: James has created the website which is fronted by a stunningly dramatic logo image for the production. Also, the forty-word show description has been finalised for the Edinburgh Fringe programme (although it shall also effectively constitute our production tagline across all marketing mediums). |
|Monday 1st March: || James has finished the first full draft of the script and circulated it amongst the cast today. It’s proving to be a real page turner; I think everyone will be excited to start rehearsals!|
|Friday 19th February: ||As of today, James is approximately halfway through the script, having written thirty-one pages. I’m concerned he may actually be a machine!
|Saturday 23rd January: ||Today saw the first tech test: most of the cast met for the first time to run through a preliminary scene and see how well they could interact with pre-recorded footage. Everyone coped really well, so hopefully they are now less daunted by the prospect of staging the show without the aid of a technician!
|Saturday 16th January: ||Emma, after many hours of rigorous research (which we hope have not secured her a place on any government watch lists!), has completed the character profiles. They are incredibly detailed, giving the cast lots to work with in terms of forming characters and providing plenty of ‘motivation’.
|Wednesday 6th January: ||Emma and James have finalised the character names; the list can be found in the credits section above. Trivia fact: Kate Green was originally called Stella, but was eventually renamed monosyllabically in order to fully reflect her sharp demeanour. |