Wednesday, 10 January 2018

2017 was a good year!

Theatre poster
2017 was a big year for me, I played Richard III in Northern Broadsides’ 25th year anniversary production, at Hull Truck Theatre during their year of being City of Culture, and was the first disabled actor to take on the role in the UK. It was a glorious experience, being directed by the legendary Barry Rutter, and working with all those talented actors to make a seminal exciting prooduction, which was recieved well critically and had great audiences. Channel 4 News did a feature article on it, ditto The Guardian and other broadsheets, BBC Radio, and I’m thrilled to say that as a direct result, I got a few more theatre auditions in the UK.
Part of Barry’s style is to use percussion for the battle sequences, so I found myself drumming on stage again, flourishing away on a tiiiight snare in deep Shakespearian battle. The drumming theme was to accompany me all year…

Then starting in late June, I wrote the ONEOFUS version of “Jack & The Beanstalk”,  Julie Atlas Muz my partner in our Company/Art Cell ONEOFUS, and my lovely wife, directed, and it turned out to be a big hit critically when we put it on at our local and favourite off-Broadway Theatre, Abrons Arts Center in New York’s Lower East Side.

Theatre poster
Jack & The Beanstalk

NY Times review: ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ Is a Holiday Treat Worth Savoring
New York Today: Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser, New Yorkers of the Year

I re-wrote a lot of the old fashioned aspects - upgraded the lead romantic woman to be a warrior too, shared the rescuing amongst characters, and made the thwarting of the Giant (one Giant Rump of Rump Towers) something that the whole community had to be part of, to promote collective community strength in the face of austerity and adversity. We had as diverse a cast as you could want, and it was certainly tinged with rainbows. Then after many discussions with Julie director, we agreed the nostalgia aspect should be NYC of the 1970’s, not Olde Engande etc, and then finding the best cast, we, amazingly, succeeded in engaging our local community in it, to the HILT!

As I write this, Jan 10th, we are trying to arrange a re-mount for this December; a couple of meetings later and we will know, so watch this space….

We were amazingly underfunded, one of the reasons I became the drummer in the band (“the band” = drums and keyboards), the other being it was on my bucket list to be a Panto drummer, and I really enjoyed it, learning my Roland V Drum TD 30, and getting lubed up again as a fluid working pro drummer (Drummer TMI: 2018 is the year of nailing the triplet roll !)

Back in October on DirecTV in the USA, I was in Peter Farrelly and & Bobby Mortimer’s “Loudermilk”, the comedy about a maverick alcoholic (played by Ron Livingstone) and his disfunctional 12 steps group, in which I play the English drummer, Roger. Drumming in the fictional 90’s hair metal band Sauced Puppy’s thankfully equally fictional hit “Boilerbreaker”, was an unexpected highlight of that filming in Vancouver, and it was a great episode by Dave Connaughton et al, in a funny, happy time. Working for Peter Farrelly as a director is the best, he’s fantastic on set, as is Bobby and the whole team. Getting a 2nd season commissioned is really exciting, who knows what Roger will do…There’s a trailer for series 1 in my videos section

So, all in all, 2017 was a good year!

ONTO 2018…….To start off I’m back to London and into research and development, and hopefully the start of a first draft, for my next play… Auditioning in the USA’s TV pilot season I hope, and for work in the UK too. That’s it for now!

I hope you enjoy what I do. You may also be interested to check out my artistic productions and creations page on Facebook, that I share with my wife Julie Atlas Muz, called ONEOFUS. Gooble Gobble we accept ya, we accept ya ONEOFUS !!!

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