Archive | July, 2012

Susie in the sunset tonight #beautiful

29 Jul

The light was beautiful too…

Converse All Star Flip Flops borrowed from @christyromer2 #fashionista

29 Jul

Footwear of choice – for the style conscious beach bum 🙂

I’m not in Kansas anymore #Croatia

28 Jul

A car / a taxi / a boat / a walk / another boat / another taxi / another walk / #Brac #Croatia #Travelling

A call from Benin

24 Jul


A call from my son / on the back of a motorbike / from Benin / to Piazza San Nicola in Tollentino / Does a holiday make / the sun is now out / my spirits are  lifted / coffee is drunk / the light here seems brighter / the flagstones shimmer in the afternoon heat / the rain has passed / for a fleeting moment / we are all together / as a family / the doors of the church are opened / I am here / 

Paying Artists – My Thoughts – a blogpost –

21 Jul

After I finished uni my first job was in theatre – or rather in a theatre van touring Europe – we got put up in hotels and got expenses – we didn’t get paid – it was brilliant fun. Working in a theatre company – subsistence living – creating work – building the sets driving through the night to arrive at cheap backstreet hotels in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dusseldorf – we thought we had made it. And for the next two years this is what we did – it was great – I learned to tour – pack a van – get in and fit up the show in less than two hours – lx and sound check – no breaks – get on – perform in the show – take the set down – pack it away and then drive off into the night. We got an allowance per show – food and hotels – we didn’t get paid for rehearsals – it was a dream job. I had arrived.


There is a time in your life – when starting out that this is ok – it is a training and experience and really worthwhile. But it can’t be a permanent career choice. You won’t be able to survive. But it is valuable and some may say inevitable way to start to work in the theatre industry.


For me – It led to me getting an agent – this time in Sheffield – a co-op called Otto Personal Management – which is still going – this was the 80’s and together we worked collectively to get each other work. The commission we paid came back into the co-op to help us run things. OK when the actors were in paid work – less so when actors undertook fringe work…
This is where I first came into contact with the term ‘profit-share’ theatre – as in this case we didn’t charge commission – as there was never any profit to share – This always led to robust discussion – if all of us did profit share fringe shows the co-op would fold – so for me I vowed to always hold out for paid work – and pretty much this worked out for me.


The thing is the venues that were not paying in the 80’s are still not paying now. The work is still there for actors to work unpaid – there are always plenty of takers.


The cycle needs to be broken for change to occur.


As I said there is a time in your career when a couple of jobs and experiences like this are immensely valuable. But not for ever…


So when I started directing I always paid actors – and followed the Equity Contract. It was a matter of principle for me.


Since being Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre we have always paid people properly – above Equity minimum – and paid full allowances – full contracts – this is something I learned from Graham Devlin – ex AD of Major Road – to always pay people – an to pay them above the minimum level set by Equity. Why? Why not? – it is what we are subsidised to do – and it means that we are always able to get the best people working with us. Our current project is a new piece by Roy Williams – with a cast of 10 actors – that is how many we could afford to pay properly. So we make projects that allow all our team to be properly paid – this is something I started even when as a small company with little funding we paid artists the going rate – the result? We carried on – making good work – paying people properly – and in return our reputation and funding grew. We were taken seriously – by agents, by funders, by actors, by artists.


This is not Rocket Science – but borne out of an ethos that dates back to the 80’s where collective and collaborative working between artists was vital for survival.


So when I do hear about artists not being paid it opens up that part of my thinking which is connected to justice and equality and above all fairness.


If we don’t make the case that it is important to value and pay the talented creative people who make extraordinary things – then all too soon our ability to make the case for subsidy and its importance will be diminished.




Marcus Romer
Artistic Director
Pilot Theatre
York Theatre Royal
Http:// Skype: marcusromerpilot Http://


+441904635755 work
+447774922118 mobile


Sent from my iPhone

Cast for ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ – adapted by Roy Williams #LDR2012

16 Jul
We go into rehearsal on August 20th – Open in York September 13th – tours until November 24th

Info here…

Spotlight Graduates
Colin Smith

Spotlight Actresses

Spotlight Actors
Luke / PC

Spotlight Actors

Spotlight Actresses

Spotlight Actors

Spotlight Actors
Dad / Trevor

Spotlight Actresses
Sandra / Guard

Spotlight Actors
Asher / PC / Guard

Testing six camera livestream for #thespacearts #mysteryplays

16 Jul


An exciting day at Pilot Theatre today – as Kinura are testing the six encoders and cameras for our use for the York Mystery Plays as part of the BBC and ACE project

The Space…

So watch this space for more info as we head towards our broadcast date of Aug 10/11

Exciting times and Kinura are just awesome – with three audio feeds and six cameras – full transcript and audio description Access All Areas


Grantchester Meadows then The Orchard Tea Rooms

15 Jul


The tea room and orchard frequented by Rupert Brooke, E M Forster, Virginia Woolf, as well as Alan Turing, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and A A Milne.

Today we ate scones and drank tea. In the sun.

It almost felt like summer…


But this is the right soundtrack…



In The Space – Everyone can hear you stream… #thespacearts #yorkmysteries

14 Jul


(With thanks to Bill Thompson for the title from his talk at #shifthappens )

So in the picture is Mark Beasley – our Digital Producer for @pilot_theatre on the site of the #YorkMysteries

Why you may ask? Well as part of The Space ( we will be delivering a six camera live feed live stream that you can interact with.

This will be on the weekend of August 10/11 and we have been working with Kinura behind the scenes since April to prepare for this.

The York Mysteries are taking place with a new production in the museum gardens in front of the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey throughout the whole of August.

This mammoth project involves a community cast and team of over 1000 people – a professional production team and has been in preparation for two years now.

Key partners are of course York Theatre Royal, Museums Trust, City Council, Riding Lights and of course Pilot Theatre with the livestream.

Pilot Theatre’s Associate Director, @katieposner has been working as an associate director on this too, and we as a team have been testing all the technology as part of our #PilotLive work on

So what are we going to do and why?
Well on the livestream weekend it will be possible to follow and watch the performance from a number of places. So from front of stage, backstage, overhead, and from the control desk. We will also have some remote and robot cameras that will move during the action.

On top of this you can choose which audio feed you want to hear. The stage action, with all the dialogue, singing and performances, or you could choose the production and cans feed from the DSM calling the show. Here you can hear all the cues, set ups and action points whilst watching the results as they happen live. Or you could have the audio described version of the events that are happening live on stage.

So yo can access all areas throughout the performance. The idea came from when I was watching a show in the main house at York Theatre Royal – and realising of course that you are free to watch wherever and whatever you want. Be that the follow spot operators, the audience, the action downstage right – or the lighting changes. So as a next iteration of the Idea of live performance we wanted to recreate this idea using multiple camera viewpoints.

So as a difference from say an NT Live stream where the decisions to which shot you will see have already been predetermined by a director – this gives you a greater sense of creative intervention and participation in the event. As of course the chatroom facility is still available to cross connect with fellow online audience members.

But this is not all. This is the start of the project – after the livestream – the footage will then still be available on the space site – where the view again option is still available – only now you will be able to drag and drop from the clips available into an audio timeline so you can choose your own bespoke version of the York Mysteries, by mixing the clips from the 6 cameras into your own version to watch back.

So you can watch the backstage journey for some clips, cut to the choral sections on stage and back to the control desk view…infinite possibilities

Which is what this project is all about. The next iteration of what iplayer might become, the interaction, participation and creative involvement of audiences, viewers and collaborators.

The Mystery Cycle traditionally had all sectors of the community playing their part in the delivery of the project for each other. The Guilds would collaborate and work together For this part of this amazing project we like to think of Pilot Theatre and Kinura belonging to the new Guild of Digital Livestreamers…

So as you can see Mark is scratching his head – and we are working out the optimal positions for the cameras and cables…

This is the start of this story – follow us @pilot_theatre and @thespacearts #mysteryplays for more info…

We are continuing to make shift happen….


The food at #shifthappens

13 Jul

York Theatre Royal along with Henshallwood’s deli did a sterling job last week. With breakfast and lunch

But it was Manjit’s Kitchen who stole the dinner honours – preparing fresh samosa and bhel puri in the rain was above and beyond the call of duty!

But hey, the results were superb and at the end of the sessions the sun came out and the wine was opened and yes – their food was amazing.

Book them – no seriously – just book them – they are fantastic

Thanks to Manjit and Emjay again