Ghosts of Christmas Past…

Christmas for many in the Entertainment industry is going to be very different this year – myself included. I will be one of the many who will be without work this Christmas – although I count myself lucky to have qualified for the Self Employed help from the Government (Unlike many of my colleagues – please support #ExcludedUK to push for assistance for those who have had nothing since March).

I have been fortunate to have worked on many shows over the Christmas period during my career to date – so I thought I would revisit some of them, to help remind myself and others that whilst the current situation is dire, there have been many moments of Christmas joy in the past, and will be again in the future – particularly now that vaccines appear to be on the way.

It will also give me a chance to re-connect with some of the wonderful people I have had the pleasure to work with, share some memories of those who are no longer with us, dig out some of the music I’ve written, and hopefully a few will join in the fun, and share some of their memories too. One of the most difficult things I have found to deal with during the pandemic has been the lack of a sense of direction, and I’m hoping this may help with my own and others mental health.

It’s a difficult and uncertain time for most people at the minute – but if anyone is in a position to help support others, you can do so via the M.U. and Equity hardship funds here:

Musicians Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund: https://musiciansunion.org.uk/Donate

Equity Benevolent Fund:https://www.equity.org.uk/about/benevolent-fund-subscriptions-solidarity/how-to-donate-to-the-benevolent-fund/

Bectu don’t appear to have a specific hardship fund, but you can find details of help on offer here: https://bectu.org.uk/coronavirus-support/

I will also share links to any venue fundraising where appropriate.

The first “Ghost” will be visiting shortly, so keep an eye on the GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST page here: https://richardatkinson.org/ghosts-of-christmas-past/

Christmas in China! (..sort of)

18134 The Emperor and the Nightingale new image v5Rehearsals have started today for the Christmas show at Theatre by the Lake. This year’s production is THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALENeil Duffield‘s reworking of the tale by Hans Anderson, set in ancient China. The piece will be performed by 8 talented actor musicians, and features a score written by myself, and which is heavily influenced by traditional Chinese music. Day 1 has consisted of introducing the cast to some of the new instruments they will be tackling, including the Guzheng and the Dizi, and starting to learn some of the songs. We also had a fabulous read through of the script, and got to see the amazing set and costume designs by Martin Johns. Tomorrow will see the start of getting the show on it’s feet with Director Ian Forrest and movement director Bronya Deutsch. If you’re up near the Lakes this Christmas then please feel free to come and catch the show, which previews on Nov 25th, and opens on the 26th: https://www.theatrebythelake.com/production/14733/The-Emperor-The-Nightingale