Thursday, 14 December 2017

Rajinderpal Singh Rakhra: Set design - First Meeting

Rifco have given me a unique opportunity through the Rifco Associate Scheme to observe, learn and apply the fundamental design process within theatre set design, at its primitive stage, while approaching the vernacular.

The first initial meetings with Pravesh Kumar and Sarah Crompton gave me an insightful overview of the program, were we collaboratively discuss and establish the vision for a new piece of work. The possibility to apply transferable skills and establish and learn new processes within the discipline is very existing.

The subsequent initial meetings with Pravesh, Sarah, Rebecca Brower and Jack Weir, the production and creative team of Rifco Studio production Pyar Actually have given me an astute perspective of an inventive process. In particular, while in meetings with Pravesh, Jack and Rebecca have allowed me to unravel their unique creative development process, while mentored by established practitioners.

The entire team have been very welcoming and helpful from the outset. Delighted to be selected as part of the Rifco Associate Scheme. The juxtaposition leaves me very excited about the possibilities of the unknown and the new.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Sarah Sayeed: Jasmit and the Jukebox - First Meeting

The Rifco Associate scheme offers me an unrivalled opportunity to develop as a new writer, and to learn from specialists across the industry. 

At interview, Pravesh Kumar, Madani Younis and Brigid Larmour presented a very warm and inviting picture of the Rifco Associate scheme, and I am highly pleased to be selected for 2017/2018. I am excited about the possibilities of mentorship, potential collaborations and lastly, the chance to talk and develop skills which need to be developed and honed in specific ways. I hope this year will allow some much needed time and space to consider aspects of my artistic practise, work and application in order that I can firmly establish new ideas for theatre and music.

I am beginning what I hope will be a long and fruitful journey.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Daya Kaur Bharj: The Black Sheep - First Meeting

I attended a two day comedy writing workshop last year with Rifco and found the suggestions and talks with the industry professionals to be greatly enriching. It massively boosted my confidence as a writer and was one of the key factors which swayed me to decide to pursue a serious career in writing. In addition, I felt encouragement from being surrounded by other young writers with similar backgrounds, skills and dreams. I am thrilled to have the chance to work with Rifco again, as I feel it is so crucial to support young people from a minority background who may feel apprehensive about being overlooked in the industry. 

In my first meeting with Pravesh and Sarah, we discussed how to develop my idea and what support I feel would be beneficial for me. They suggested that watching some spoken word performances in central London would be useful research for establishing my piece. I was asked what I wanted to get out of the process and what were my ambitions as a writer. They explained the deadlines and meeting dates and they made plans to arrange for an established spoken word artist to mentor me and have one to one sessions, which I feel will be a very useful in writing my spoken word piece and kickstarting my career. I’m looking forward to the next meeting where I can meet the other associates and begin expanding beyond my first draft.  

I’m confident that with Rifco’s guidance, I will be able to produce a piece that I can be proud of. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Sukh Ojla - Pyar Actually - Tour

Rifco announces new comedy Pyar Actually (Love Actually), written by Rifco Associate Sukh Ojla.

The small-scale production presented by Rifco Studio and Sukh Ojla in association with Watford Palace Theatre opens at The Woodville (Gravesend) on 29th September 2017 before touring to The Curve (Slough), Warwick Arts Centre, Watford Palace Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Set in Gravesend, the play follows thirty-something Polly whose picture perfect life is interrupted when her first love Bali gets in touch 20 years later. Sukh developed the play, which explores themes of duty, love and missed opportunities, through a series of community workshops, readings and peer-to-peer mentorship as part of the Rifco Associates programme.

Sukh Ojla is a writer, actress and stand up comedian. Pyar Actually is her first full-length play. She won Monologue Slam with her self-penned monologue Settling, has written and performed stand up comedy for the Alchemy Festival, won the Make The Cut competition at the St James Theatre and recently performed at BBC Asian Network’s Big Comedy Night at Watford Palace Theatre.  

Rifco Associates is a two-year rolling programme for artists and creatives both early in their career and mid-career, supporting them to create a new piece of work or develop a new concept. This structured programme is about opening up access to a wider range of people working in theatre and celebrating the voices of British Asian contemporary artists both on the stage and behind the scenes. Find out more about the Rifco Associates here.

Rifco Studio is Rifco theatre on a smaller scale. Offering the opportunity for new writing and developing artists to present work at intimate venues across the UK. The productions are shorter, with fewer cast members and minimal stage setting, but with the same quality, vibrancy and contemporary British Asian storytelling that audiences have come to expect from Rifco. With Rifco’s yearly mainstage productions and the newly introduced Rifco Studio productions, the company will offer audiences with a year-round programme of diverse work.

For more info:

Tour Dates:

Fri 29 Sept – Sun 1 Oct    The Woodville, Gravesend

08442 439 480

Thur 5 Oct – Sat 7 Oct    The Curve, Slough

Mon 13 Nov – Tue 14 Nov    Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

024 7652 4524

Wed 15 Nov – Fri 17 Nov   Watford Palace Theatre  

01923 225 671

Sat 18 Nov 2017  Theatre Royal Stratford East, London

0208 534 0310

Monday, 17 April 2017

Ameet Chana - Miss Meena & the Masala Queens - Observing the process

Miss Meena & the Masala Queens is a new play about British Asian drag queens.

For this production I had the opportunity to observe the pre-production process in more detail. This involved attending script sessions with Director Pravesh Kumar, writer Harvey Virdi and Dramaturge Brendan Murray as well as observing design meetings.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Ameet Chana: Pyar Actually (Rehearsed Reading) - Director

Building on my Rifco Associate experience I was asked to direct a public rehearsed reading at Watford Palace Theatre of a new play by another Rifco Associate - Pyar Actually by Sukh Ojla. 

This involved casting sessions and three days of rehearsals with the writer and three cast members - Buckso Dhillon Woolley, Stephen Henry and Rekha John-Cheriyan, followed by three public performances. 

Photo credit: Nazish Bana

Monday, 27 February 2017

Sukh Ojla: Pyar Actually - Rehearsed Reading

After a week of rehearsals with three actors, a series of rehearsed readings of Pyar Actually were held at Watford Palace Theatre on 24th and 25th February.

These readings were open to the public and audience members were encouraged to leave their feedback.

The readings were directed by Rifco Associate Ameet Chana and starred Buckso Dhillon Woolley, Stephen Henry and Rekha John-Cheriyan.

Photo credit: Nazish Bana