Well my first play premiered this last weekend and it was a great success. A few bewildered faces at the complexity of the material have shown where my revisions lie, but it was still very well received by the audiences.
A huge thank you goes out to the cast, the crew and everyone who has helped out, but especially to Tim Churchill for his great directing and to Phil Kempson of C M Productions for producing the piece.
Below is the review for you to peruse through at leisure, unfortunately it is not online so i have had to write it here instead of posting the link, luckily it is in the local paper.
"Potteries writer and actor Steven Beattie has created a remarkable piece of theatre inspired by the life and work of American author Edgar Allan Poe. The 19th Century author was famous in his lifetime, and his life and work have remained prominent from that time throughout popular culture in literature, music, films and television.
Poe was a poet, journalist, editor and literary critic, but he is best known for his tales of mystery and horror. Invisible Tears cleverly weaves together all these aspects of Poe’s life and work by using the writer at his desk as a framework for some spell-binding story-telling.
The curtain opens to reveal a set which perfectly complements the largely dark and serious subject matter: subdued lighting on sparse and sombre furnishings, dark walls and the distant view of an empty attic space. Music and sound effects are well chosen throughout.
Poe is a soul tormented by illness in mind and body, by separating from his sick wife, then grief at her death, neglect by an uncaring public and money troubles. He medicates himself with alcohol, and is driven always to write.
James Freeman gives a fine performance, effectively expressing Poe’s despair and pain, sometimes quietly and sometimes with passion, and he displays intense listening skills and superb interaction with the characters in his stories.
The first story is the most difficult: a lecture by the Devil on consuming bodies and souls of philosophers, ancient classical writers and historical figures, interspersed by the sneezes and hiccups of French chef Pierre Bon-Bon proved somewhat challenging. After that, the stories of mysterious death, murder and of the fear of being buried alive are balanced by an unexpected change of tone as Rob Lawton gives a delightfully camp telling of the story of the Dutch borough of Vondervottimittis, where the inhabitants are sealed off from the world in a valley where the only objects they know are clocks and cabbages.
The eleven actors are uniformly excellent, drawing the spectator into the lives of Poe’s characters, who have an urgent need to tell their stories and to be understood. There were two occasions when the level of emotion displayed undermined the clarity and power of the story, namely during the latter part of The Tell-Tale Heart and in the delivery of Poe’s most famous poem, The Raven.
Those moments apart, Tim Churchill’s direction is pitch-perfect, achieving a skilful balance between stillness and movement, calm and powerful emotion, contemplation and sudden activity. This production deserves to be seen more widely, and I hope very much that it is.
Impossible Spaces is here and available to buy from Amazon .
Sometimes the rules can change. Sometimes things aren’t how they appear. Sometimes you can just slip through the cracks and end up… somewhere else. What else is there? Is there somewhere else, right beside you, if you could only reach out and touch it? Or is it waiting to reach out and touch you?
Don’t trust what you see. Don’t trust what you hear. Don’t trust what you remember. It isn’t what you think.
A new collection of twenty-one dark, unsettling and weird short stories that explore the spaces at the edge of possibility.
Ramsey Campbell, Simon Bestwick, Hannah Kate, Jeanette Greaves, Richard Freeman, Almira Holmes, Arpa Mukhopadhyay, Chris Galvin Nguyen, Christos Callow Jr., Daisy Black, Douglas Thompson, Jessica George, Keris McDonald, Laura Brown, Maree Kimberley, Margrét Helgadóttir, Nancy Schumann, Rachel Yelding, Steven K. Beattie, Tej Turner, Tracy Fahey
Here is the link for the article that was featured in last Saturdays edition of 'The Sentinel'.
The article discusses the filming of my short story.
Directed by: Matthijs van Heijningen jr
Written by : Eric Heisserer (Based on the novella Who Goes
There? by John W.
Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich
Thomsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Christian Olsen
Palaeontologist Kate Lloyd is invited by Dr. Sandor Halvorson to join his
team who have found something extraordinary.
Deep below the Arctic ice, they have found an alien spacecraft that has
been there for perhaps 100,000 years.
Not far from where the craft landed, they find the remains of the
occupant. It is cut out of the ice and taken back to their camp, but as the ice
melts the creature reanimates and not only begins to attack them but manages to infect them. With the team members devolving into the alien creature they are slowly eliminated one by one, until only Kate and one other remain….
I know this review is probably a bit late now, but I have only recently
watched the film so decided to post my thoughts anyway.
I think it is fair to say that this ‘Prelude’ to John Carpenters classic was never going to come close to capturing the same atmosphere and character of the original.
With that in mind it is easier to review the film based on it being a separate entity.
I have to say that I actually rather enjoyed the film. This may surprise a
few readers based on the bad reception the film received when released, which I have to say I find a little unfair.
Granted the film lacked in the claustrophobia department and the paranoia
seemed a little thin (all comparisons made with the 1982 version), but I have to lay blame at the script for this and the direction not on the actors. I felt the
actors did as much as they could with what I can only judge as mediocre
direction and a very limited script.
The film seemed to want to push the alien at you rather than keep it from
you, a bad choice as the fear of the unknown is far greater.
Towards the end I found myself shouting at the screen asking ‘Where is the dog?’ and ‘There should be more Norwegians!’ A problem again I lay at the feet of the director and screenplay; the whole plot became a little confusing. Maybe my fault as I was constantly trying to attach Carpenters film to this one, and if I had been patient it finally was with the closing credits.
The ending with the whole battle on the alien craft I did find a little farcical and really quite pointless. A better death scene for the ’conjoined’
alien, which we then see in the Carpenter version, would have made a better
conclusion but again that would just be my opinion.
The special effects of the Alien appeared mediocre and the Alien itself
rather lame and at times modelled on a rather large crab.
All this into account the film was ok. I cannot say that I was ever bored
despite the somewhat obvious plot.
To say that the film is a ‘Carbon Copy’ of the 1982 version is an insult
to Carpenter and a term I will not use here, but that said it does appear to
have tried to replicate many aspects.
In defence of the film, trying to incorporate a new plot where you are
trapped with a Viral, Parasitic alien in an area made up of roughly 5,300,000 sq mi of ice cannot be easy when trying to not stray to far from the original and keeping in mind it is meant to be a ‘prequel’.
All in all, Nothing to shout about but worth a watch.
(See trailer below)
Purchase ‘The Thing’ 2011/1982
John Carpenters ‘The Thing’ DVD http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Thing-DVD-Kurt-Russell/dp/B00004D07X/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1346158978&sr=8-4
Written by : Steven K Beattie
Directed by: Philip Kempson
Damen William Lewis
Pre-production for the filming of Miller's Court is now all but complete, and filming is scheduled for early September 2012.
Locations, Crew and Cast have all been assembled now and are ready to go.
Philip, the director has worked tirelessly over the last few months finding locations, story-boarding and working out the best possible special effects.
Phill is local to Stoke-on-Trent and has worked in the entertainment industry for over twenty years; working for companies such as Warner Bros and M.G.M.
He then set up Chameleon Monkey Ltd to help promote the Staffordshire area through film.
We are delighted to welcome to the project Damen William Lewis, Jade Hammond and Kris Walker as our principal cast.
The Sentinel, Stoke film office and Ray Johnson are all on board in helping this project get recognition within the area. The premiere will be held at the Stoke Film Theatre and will later be distributed into the FILM4 FrightFest ready for next year.
Obviously the film depends an awful lot on the help of others and your contributions are essential to the success of the film. Myself and the production team would be eternally grateful for any contributions.
If you wish to help out in anyway you can visit the Sponsume website via the link below and donate to the film and even become a producer for the film.
Below you will find the link to read Miller's Court absolutely free, and the promo video. There is also a link to Chameleon Monkey Ltd for more info on current projects.
Click here to read Miller's Court'
Steven K Beattie's blogs. Ranging from news regarding his latest projects to general topics of discussion.