Magic ! *

Magic.mahboobe h

It’s the first few months of 2007 … How can we out here know the magic that is brewing inside the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama?   We are oblivious.   We are not prepared.   We know nothing of the exciting talent that germinates inside this auspicious institution.  We are innocents.

We are not privy to the first steps onto 3 London West End Theatres … one, then the next … and another following in quick succession.  We, in the world outside London, are still unaware of what’s coming.

Then …

2008 arrives … bringing with it “Merlin” and the beginning of an enchantment that will never end.

.

(*archives 2/18/2015)

Time Travel … Graduation*

It’s 2007 … Colin Morgan is in his final year at RSAMD.  He is pursuing his studies, pursuing improving his craft, looking to a future fast coming toward him.  What will it be like?  To be out of school and treading the boards to audition after audition?  It will be exciting, surely … and a little scary perhaps … but this is the first step out into the world he has been preparing for.

graduation.1

Along the way, there have been those watching … among them, Rufus Norris, Associate Director at the Young Vic from 2002 – 2007.   May 8, 2007 … Rufus Norris, along with many of his generation, was excited by the novel, Vernon God Little, and began preparing to bring it to a theatre audience.  Not one to wait for his destiny, but rather one who pursues it, and not due to graduate until July, Colin auditioned for the lead role of Vernon Little. When asked about the casting of the young undergraduate, Mr. Norris responded,

Good casting directors have their spies in many places. We did have to look pretty hard for that part and it took a long time. Colin was literally the last person we saw. There were two others who were alright but when Colin came in on the last day we knew we had our Vernon. 

Colin had to leave RSAMD three-quarters of the way through his final year to make this professional London West End theatre debut as the title character of Vernon God Little, a role for which he was critically acclaimed, and one that was also assessed for his final grade.

We will begin our look at Colin’s early stage work soon. However,

It is very special to note: … This is the  first time he will set his foot on the professional stage.  It is the well-known Young Vic Theatre in London, and he takes on the role which launches his professional career.

(*archives 2/23/2015)

Time Travel … The RSAMD Years * … A Glimpse of the Future

It is 2005.  Colin Morgan is a 19 year old student at the RSAMD.  Viewing this we begin to understand that it holds promise of a bright future … a path, gently rippling forward, stretching out before this young thespian, one more step in achieving his dream.

Continuing in 2005 Another very early performance.

Bite.Night

The play is Bite of the Night: An Education (Playscript). He was part of the First Youth, the Chorus. I have found the First Prologue to this play, which is full of meaning about the art of drama.  These are the last stanzas:

And again, she listened to everything
This time understanding different things
This time untroubled that some things  Could not be understood
Laughing rarely but now without shame
Sometimes suffering disgust  Sometimes thoroughly amazed
And in the light again said

This is art, it is hard work. And one friend said, too hard for me. And the other said, if you will, I will come again. Because I found it hard, I felt honoured(Howard Barker, from “The Bite of the Night”)

Between 2005 and 2006 he participated in three other productions mentioned in his CV.  God the Game Show as Stewart; Vassa, a Soviet Drama, as Semyon; and Last Supper as a young man in the Chorus.

2006 … His education with RSAMD continues in their student drama productions and goes on to include the following performances:

Plasticine.2

“Plasticine” … An extraordinary and disturbing play about post-Communist Russia by a young Siberian-born writer.  The first of Vassily Sigarev’s plays performed at London’s Royal Court was an unremittingly bleak evocation of Russian provincial life that opened with a harrowing suicide and concluded with a vicious male rape.  Apparently they do not shrink from exposing students to extremes at the Royal Conservatoire … this is Drama … this is the substance of Colin’s education.  His dual roles were Groom and Grandmother.

From Dark to Light, the next play is “The Tempest”.  His role:  Prince Ferdinand.

Ferdinand

Followed by Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”.  Written in self-imposed exile towards the end of World War II, this a story within a play, in which a bard, or singer, interrupts a group of Caucasian farmers arguing over ownership of land that has been ravaged by Nazi tanks and entertains them with a relevant tale of yore.  Colin’s role is the Singer, Arkadi Tsheidse.

Caucasion Chalk Circle

And back to the Light as Marble Archie, Superhero, in “Jack and The Beanstalk”.

Jack.Beanstalk

2007 is hovering in the background … graduation time, which holds an interesting story, known by some, perhaps not by all, and which we will publish in our next Time Travel post … Graduation Year.

(*archives 2/22/2015)

Time Travel … The Early Years*

Colin at 5Even when I was really young I wanted to perform and do shows. I also had this fascination with magic. I was doing magic tricks when I was three. If I ever saw magic on television I would say: ‘I want that. That’s what I want from Santa Claus’. So the cupboard in my bedroom was full of boxes of magic tricks, cups and balls, cards and foam rabbits, all sorts of stuff.

Colin Morgan

Despite limited opportunities due to the turmoil surrounding him, his natural acting ability and ambition was evident from an early age — he was only five years old when he made his acting debut, appearing in the chorus in a production of Cinderella and then Peter Pan, then going on to participate in various local amateur stage productions during his childhood.  While he was attending Saints and Scholars Integrated Primary School, Morgan had a teacher named Harry McGee who was a tremendous inspiration to him and whose support and belief made a real difference in how he felt and gave him the real confidence to go on. According to Morgan,

  “He recognized something in me that… He would stay behind after class each day and he’d pull out a poem and he’d say, ‘Let’s work on this,’ and we’d just do it. He really believed in me and really fueled my passion. And that’s all it takes sometimes, I think, just one person to believe in you.”

Morgan was inspired to become a professional actor. From the age of eleven, he studied in Integrated College Dungannon from 1997 until 2002, winning the ‘Denis Rooney Associates Cup’ for best overall student in Year 10. The school described him as a keen musician and budding actor, as he starred in several college productions including the renowned Surgical Sensations at St Senapods and Bad Day at Black Frog Creek. Morgan’s drama teacher at the college, James McCoy, said this about him,

“His potential to become a successful actor was evident from a young age here at ICD. He participated wholeheartedly in every Drama class, concert and production that the college was showcasing. He loved Drama and he was a pleasure to teach.”

Determined, he went on to study in Belfast, and every day for two years, he commuted between Armagh and Belfast for an hour and twenty minutes each way because it was the closest place that had a college that offered drama as a subject.There, he was awarded a National Diploma in Performing Arts from the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education in 2004.

We visit Colin’s next steps in the upcoming post:  Time Travel …The RSAMD years

(*archives 2/21/2015)

(information primarily from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Morgan)

Time Travel … Graduation

It’s 2007 … Colin Morgan is in his final year at RSAMD.  He is pursuing his studies, pursuing improving his craft, looking to a future fast coming toward him.  What will it be like?  To be out of school and treading the boards to audition after audition?  It will be exciting, surely … and a little scary perhaps … but this is the first step out into the world he has been preparing for.

graduation.1

Along the way, there have been those watching … among them, Rufus Norris, Associate Director at the Young Vic from 2002 – 2007.   May 8, 2007 … Rufus Norris, along with many of his generation, was excited by the novel, Vernon God Little, and began preparing to bring it to a theatre audience.  Not one to wait for his destiny, but rather one who pursues it, and not due to graduate until July, Colin auditioned for the lead role of Vernon Little. When asked about the casting of the young undergraduate, Mr. Norris responded,

Good casting directors have their spies in many places. We did have to look pretty hard for that part and it took a long time. Colin was literally the last person we saw. There were two others who were alright but when Colin came in on the last day we knew we had our Vernon. 

Colin had to leave RSAMD three-quarters of the way through his final year to make this professional London West End theatre debut as the title character of Vernon God Little, a role for which he was critically acclaimed, and one that was also assessed for his final grade.

We will begin our look at Colin’s early stage work soon. However,

It is very special to note: … This is the  first time he will set his foot on the professional stage.  It is the well-known Young Vic Theatre in London, and he takes on the role which launches his professional career.

Bite of the Night … A Play by Howard Barker

Hugh Hodgart is what you might call a bit of a Scottish theatrical legend. Head of the School of Drama at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama).Hugh Hodgart

For Hodgart, as a director and teacher, presenting student actors such as Colin Morgan with a Howard Barker play is rather like offering them a drama by Shakespeare: “Barker is a poet and a historian, and that’s expressed through his writing.  Barker’s theatre stands, says the director, against “the dead hand of Hollywood realism. Something has happened in the past 100 years that has made us fearful of drama which is poetic, ambiguous and metaphorical”.

I am copying here the entire First Prologue of Bite of the Night as an example of Hugh Barker’s poetry.  The play was directed by Professor Hugh Hodgart.

First Prologue

They brought a woman from the street  And made her sit in the stalls
By threats  By bribes  By flattery
Obliging her to share a little of her life with actors

But I don’t understand art.  Sit still, they said

But I don’t want to see sad things.  Sit still, they said

And she listened to everything   Understanding some things  But not others
Laughing rarely, and always without knowing why
Sometimes suffering disgust  Sometimes thoroughly amazed
And in the light again, said

If that’s art I think it is hard work.  It was beyond me.  So much beyond my actual life

But something troubled her   Something gnawed her peace
And she came a second time, armoured with friends

Sit still, she said

And again, she listened to everything
This time understanding different things
This time untroubled that some things
Could not be understood
Laughing rarely  but now without shame
Sometimes suffering disgust  Sometimes thoroughly amazed
And in the light again said

This is art, it is hard work.  And one friend said, too hard for me
And the other said,  if you will, I will come again
Because I found it hard.  I felt honoured

— Howard Barker,
from The Bite of the Night

*******************************************************

Time Travel … The RSAMD Years

Bite.Night

2005 This is one of the very early plays in which Colin participated.  He was part of the First Youth, the Chorus. The play is Bite of the Night: An Education (Playscript). I have found the First Prologue to this play, which is full of meaning about the art of drama.  These are the last stanzas:

And again, she listened to everything
This time understanding different things
This time untroubled that some things  Could not be understood
Laughing rarely but now without shame
Sometimes suffering disgust  Sometimes thoroughly amazed
And in the light again said

This is art, it is hard work. And one friend said, too hard for me. And the other said, if you will, I will come again. Because I found it hard, I felt honoured.  — (Howard Barker, from “The Bite of the Night”)

Between 2005 and 2006 he participated in three other productions mentioned in his CV.  God the Game Show as Stewart, Vassa, a Soviet Drama, as Semyon, and Last Supper as a young man in the Chorus.

2006 … His education with RSAMD continues in their student drama productions and goes on to include the following performances:

Plasticine.2

Plasticine … An extraordinary and disturbing play about post-Communist Russia by a young Siberian-born writer.  The first of Vassily Sigarev’s plays performed at London’s Royal Court was an unremittingly bleak evocation of Russian provincial life that opened with a harrowing suicide and concluded with a vicious male rape.  Apparently they do not shrink from exposing students to extremes at the Royal Conservatoire … this is Drama … this is the substance of Colin’s education.  His dual roles were Groom and Grandmother.

From Dark to Light, the next play is The Tempest.  His role:  Prince Ferdinand.

Ferdinand

Followed by Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”.  Written in self-imposed exile towards the end of World War II, this a story within a play, in which a bard, or singer, interrupts a group of Caucasian farmers arguing over ownership of land that has been ravaged by Nazi tanks and entertains them with a relevant tale of yore.  Colin’s role is the Singer, Arkadi Tsheidse.

Caucasion Chalk Circle

And back to the Light as Marble Archie, Superhero, in Jack and The Beanstalk

Jack.Beanstalk

2007 is hovering in the background … graduation time, which holds an interesting story, known by some, perhaps not by all, and which we will publish in our next Time Travel post … Graduation Year.