ManMoth Productions
16Jul/12

Dead Static Webisode Prequels are live!

Behold! The Dead Static prequels are online and ready for your viewing pleasure. These 5-6 minute videos are an introduction into the characters and world of the play, hitting the Camden Fringe festival in August. Though they are by no means required viewing (you can watch the play having never seen these before), they give a little bit of insight into how these two men came to be sentenced to death. Watch in 720p for best results! Anyway, we hope you enjoy them and we look forward to seeing you at the Etcetera in a few weeks time!

29Jun/12

The official ‘Dead Static’ poster.

1Jun/12

Dead Static tickets are on sale now!

It's that time again! Tickets for 'Dead Static' at the Etcetera Theatre are on sale as of today!

The show will be taking place on the 10th, 11th and 12th of August at 7.30pm.

You can purchase tickets via the Camden Fringe website or directly via ticketweb.

Looking forward to seeing you in August! And I'm sure Tyler and Gary would too, if they were real, and not fictional space adventurers on the run from evil oppressors.

30May/12

Wanted Dead.

 

 

23May/12

Adam Joselyn is Gary.

We are delighted to announce that the role of Gary in Dead Static will be played by the fantastic Adam Joselyn. Adam is a brilliant comic performer who ManMoth have had the pleasure of working with before, and we can't wait to see him get to grips with the delightfully crazy conman this summer.

In other news, the first of the Dead Static prequels has been filmed and we are well into the editing process. The webisode will star Cliff Chapman and Ellen Gallagher, and will be released in July. Watch this (web) space.

 

29Apr/12

Dead Static – Etcetera Theatre, 10th, 11th & 12th August, 7.30pm.

ManMoth Productions is delighted to announce that our new science fiction comedy 'Dead Static' will debut at the Etcetera Theatre as part of this year's Camden Fringe Festival. The performances will take place on the 10th, 11th and 12th August at 7.30pm. That's a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, fact fans.

We had a fantastic time at the Etcetera Theatre last year with our debut production 'A Hero's Journey' and we can't wait to go back there to give you some more funnies. We're thrilled to return to the Camden Fringe and can't wait to see you all in August. Let the good times, as they say, roll.

Tickets will be available on the 1st June from ticketweb and the Camden Fringe website.

23Feb/12

Hollywoodn’t, the ManMoth debut that never was. Part 2.

A big part of Hollywoodn't were the many days we spent filming. Filming? Err, yes. Hollywoodn't was to be the world’s first ever mixed-media comedy play (not really). We filmed roughly five separate short films across eight months that would have appeared during the play in some form or other. The play to be set in a screening room inside the eponymous cinema, where Daniel and James slowly lost their sanity during the course of the hour. Myself and Patrick saw a tremendous opportunity to make the theatre look and feel like a cinema, the centre piece of which was screen on stage that would play movies, trailers and even give us the opportunity to see the characters make their own films in a tense war of arty against mainstream.

A trailer for one of these shorts can still be seen on our youtube channel – Daniel Suckling’s The Lake of Human Existence. It was supposed to be an art house film made by Daniel, the more artistic and stupid of the odd couple protagonists, who believed the film to be one of the greatest ever made, much to James's dismay. Hopefully that’s enough context for you to watch the trailer without being seriously disturbed.

Another of the shorts was was a rather literal parody of Stephen Daldry's The Reader. We knew nothing about the film at all, other than it featured some illiterate nazi woman being read to occasionally. Is there more to the film than that? We don't care. Our version featured a man reading to a woman / nazi at her bedside across a montage. You could tell the character was a nazi because she we made her wear an officer's hat with the work GESTAPO written in block capitals on the hat's rim. As the film went on, the passages read became more and more ludicrous. We started with MacBeth, and eventually descended into the 1992 Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Annual. You get the picture. Filming was long and hard, because we couldn't get through a single passage without someone giggling. 'Donatello was mondo pleased to meet his new friends Esther Rantzen and Frank Bruno' was a particular problem, mainly because of the encompassing picture. The film ended with the woman/nazi flinging herself out of a high window with a noose around her neck. Except, that's actually quite a hard thing to film, if you think about it. How did we solve this logistical nightmare? We tied a noose around a blow up sex doll dressed up in the woman's costume and threw it out of a window, filming it from the next street. You can imagine the stunned looks of passersby. Unfortunately, the Gestapo hat was lost in the melee, never to be seen again.

Basically, there was some pretty mad shit in these shorts, but mad shit a group of people planned, scripted, directed, filmed, acted in and spent real time on. Whether the films even still exist, I have no idea. It saddens me that the fruits of all our labour will never see the light of day. But I must say that the logistics of actually projecting these videos onto the back of a stage are problems I’m quite glad we never had a chance to try and solve.

Anyway, back to the play itself. Due to the increasing success of the Inbetweeners, Channel 4 was very keen about producing a film of the project in 2010. Unfortunately, the film faced a long year of production false starts, resulting in the shooting dates being more erratic than David Walliams’s sexuality. Soon it was clear that Blake Harrison's schedule was suddenly very full. He delivered the news like Jim Gordon might inform a sudden widow of her husband’s demise at the hands of the Joker, with a certain sympathetic dread. However, he was upfront with us and that was all we could have hoped for. The filming of the feature was due to occur early in the summer, and would have a drastic effect on when we had planned to rehearse. However, we tried to stay optimistic that we could sort something out. The filming was pushed back again, and again, and again, until we resigned ourselves to putting the play on in the winter. However, even that fell apart. Soon, our meetings had a sudden air of inevitability about them. The longer we waited, the more it seemed like the entire production was to collapse. Unless we could find a few hundred thousand pounds to pay Blake more than Channel 4 could, the production would not occur. Alas, even our planned bank robbery was cancelled due to the building being used as a filming location for an Inbetweeners Movie deleted scene (not really). We decided in mid-2010 that the production was to be put on an indefinite hiatus and the year ended with us not staging the play we had worked on for eight long months to produce. The Inbetweeners Movie went into production at the end of 2010, and became one of the highest grossing British films of 2011.

But, shit happens. Blake and Jack did their utmost to try and make the production happen, but it wasn’t to be. There can’t be any hard feelings, they were top guys and I hope that one day we might work together in some capacity again. So, Hollywoodn’t sits in limbo, untouched for nearly two years, waiting for the right moment to resurface. One of its characters, Daniel Suckling, managed to find his way into the 2011 production of A Hero’s Journey, and some of his lines were adapted from the original Hollywoodn't script.

With Hollywoodn't, we set out to achieve a style of comedy which can only be judged on how an audience reacts to it. Without producing it, we’ll never really know if we succeeded. I hope that one day we’ll give the script the run it deserves, and we’ll find out if it was even worth bothering or not. The Hollwoodn’t misfire was a learning curve, and a necessary one at that. We tried our hand at a great many things, giving us the know-how and experience to make A Hero’s Journey a relative success in 2011, and the life-lesson to never, under any circumstances, hire someone who earns more money in a year than we will earn in five.

22Feb/12

Hollywoodn’t, the ManMoth debut that never was. Part 1.

'Hollywoodn't combines theatre and film to tell the story of two hopeless friends struggling to make ends meet running a cinema in the middle of nowhere. Set entirely within the auditorium of the crumbling Hollywoodn't cinema, James and Daniel are running out of reasons to look each other in the eye, and the shiny new Cineplex opening nearby is breathing heavily down their necks. Can they put their differences aside to turn Hollywoodn't into the success that they may or may not deserve? Hollywoodn't is a fresh new comedy about failure, friendship, and a silverish screen.' - 2010.

Steve Jordan's account of Hollywoodn't, the ManMoth debut comedy that never was.

Hollywoodn’t began its life as mine and Patrick Baker’s second sitcom project. Having worked on an A Hero's Journey sitcom pilot for a year and been rejected by every television production company under the sun, we decided we would act on what little feedback those rejection letters gave us and write something a bit more ‘obviously funny’. Not in a safe, indifferent, meek, weekday evening BBC2 kind of way, but in an out there, in your face, arrestingly funny, Graham Linehan kind of way. The AHJ pilot was a bit subtle in its humour, conceptually awkward and full of rather complex characters (something we worked to solve in the 2011 version). Hollywoodn't was a response to the more constructive feedback comments, and an attempt to write something simpler, funnier, more commercial and inescapably laugh-out-loud. Did it work? No idea.

The sitcom script fell at many of the first hurdles when writing began in very early 2007. Despite having a very good idea of what Daniel and James were all about and an arc for a series mapped, we only got as far as a few scenes in. I can’t remember why this was, I think at the time our priorities were elsewhere post-university and it sort of stopped the project dead for a while. That was until the summer of 2009 when we decided it was time to breathe new life into it. We had a few meetings to discuss where we might actually take our writing next and give ourselves a real chance of getting noticed rather than ignored in the vortex of script rejection in the television world. We considered re-writing Hollywoodn't for radio, but the idea of staging a play version seemed to make a lot more sense at the time. It would give us both the gratification of knowing that the destiny of the product would be in our hands, and we could be involved in every aspect of bringing it into being. For two essentially first-time writers, these were big bonuses.

Later that year, we got to work. We went on a sort of writer’s retreat to the middle of nowhere (Dorset), a picturesque holiday setting full of trees and youths, bad comedians and arcades, and set about constructing the play from our meagre few sitcom scenes and a mass of ideas. "The entire play relies on the two leads characters, their likes and dislikes, personalities, and resulting film tastes," I blogged back in September 2009. "An

original odd couple, simply because the focus was shifted to contrasting film tastes … The lines came naturally and we worked together through the entire first 30 minutes of material, mainly because we knew a lot about the first act, (the arc of which) was originally going to be the entire play, until we realised it wouldn't stretch to the time period we needed to reach. So we'd both sit in front of the same laptop and churn out the lines one by one, often worrying ourselves over the slightest piece of phrasing."

The arc of an entire series was pushed down into one hour onstage, making for some pretty heavy-going logic sessions to try and have it all make sense in such a tight amount time. But I think we did admirably well. Apart from the ending. We don't do endings. However, we had enough confidence in the script to immediately create a website, and even a company. At the end of that writer’s retreat break, ManMoth Productions came into being and the first draft of the script was very nearly finished.

Then we cast the thing, ten months early. That’s right, ten months from when we planned to stage the production. Why did we do that? I think we were excited and impatient. The other contributing factor was that we were kind of going blind into this playwriting lark, so wanted a lot of time with a potential cast. We held auditions at our ongoing base of operations in Trent Park, had a great time, and even cast a couple of even greater performers - best buddies Jack Brackstone-Brown and Blake Harrison, of Inbetweeners fame (the tall one). They showed initiative by asking to do the audition together, and their friendship meant they had instant chemistry. The audition was fantastic. They improvised lines. They used the props provided. They went for it and it was a riot. It was another reasons to get even more excited.

Within weeks, we had all gone out together and bought costumes for the characters and had some promotional posters made. We had a few read-throughs and casual rehearsals. We shared ideas and the script improved. Blake’s involvement in the biggest British sitcom of the last five years was a reason for us all to be terribly optimistic about our chances of filling a theatre that year, perhaps even (gasp) making some cash. Our hopes were high. Unfortunately, our biggest boon became the production’s undoing.

Part 2 soon dross fans, featuring the trials of mixed-media and the fame game.

24Jan/12

ManMoth Productions presents: DEAD STATIC.

After months of meetings and writing, the time has come. We are thrilled to announce our brand new production for 2012 will be DEAD STATIC, a new science-fiction comedy by Steve Jordan.

The year is - 'the future'. Two complete strangers wake up on a tiny space shuttle in the middle of deep space. Tyler, a sarcastic smuggler, finds himself trapped with Gary, an insufferable schizophrenic. If things couldn't get any worse, they discover that the Syndicate have sentenced them both to death - they have one hour before their shuttle goes nose-first into the asteroid belt. Can they work together to survive? Are they doomed to irritate each other into oblivion? Or will they thwart an evil empire in time for tea and Deal or No Deal? Yup. It's still a thing.

Auditions will be running at the end of this month. We've already had a fantastic response and a wealth of talent to choose from. Choosing our cast will be a very tricky task indeed, but tricky in the best way possible!

In the coming months ahead of the performances, we have lots of plans to build the story in your minds before you even set foot in a theatre. Prepare yourself for prequel videos, cast photos and updates regarding our progress. Yeah, I know ... new series of Sherlock, Dark Knight Rises, and now this. 2012 is going to be the entertainment year of the century.

Official Facebook Page - facebook.com/deadstatic

Logo design by Paul Drummond - pauldrummond.co.uk

1Sep/11

The Future is Now.

So the dust has settled on the premiere run of A Hero's Journey. The thanks have been said, the bows have been made and the Celebrations have been eaten.

Now it is time for ManMoth productions to look to the future.  We are beginning the very early brain-storming sessions for our next show, which is an exciting yet terrifying period in any project. As soon as our future plans begin to materialise you will be the first to know, whoever you are...

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