Three's Company Blog

Not The London Transfer

Following a sell-out, five-star run at the Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Fringe, we’re pleased to announce that Not The Messiah will be transferring to London this October.

Not The Messiah, our new one-man-show about Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, will play at the Leicester Square Theatre, in London’s West End from 22-26 October.

We’re very excited to be continuing this production, written by Tom, directed by Yaz and starring the unbelievable acting talents of George Telfer. It’s been a great honour to work with George and we’re glad the show has a future, especially after the feedback from Edinburgh.

Tickets for the show can be bought from here. And more info on the show is here.

We hope to see you all there sometime!

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Work on… Something

Shooting the Missing Something Pilot

Lots of people have asked if there’s any way they can get involved with Missing Something, our new online sitcom we’re creating with Brother Brother.

Well the answer is yes. Yes there is.

We’re still looking to fill a few key roles in the shoot. This is a really great chance to get some serious, professional experience on a two-week shoot, and be involved in a unique project that’s practically guaranteed to be great. So read on, dear reader, and see if any of them sound interesting to you…

GET-INVOLVED

  • Assistant Director(s) filled
    Brilliant way to gain experience of directing for screen. You’ll be on the front line with Yaz and Haz, helping make the series happen, on set and off.
  • Sound Recordist
    What it says on the tin. Needs on-set experience. We can provide most of the required kit, though we expect you’ll be more comfortable with your own. We have a small daily sound hire budget to cover your kit.
  • Make-up and/or Hair
    Screen experience is essential, or at least screen training. You’ll work closely with our Art team to bring the characters to life, and keep an eye on their continuity, as we’ll be jumping between episodes like nobody’s business.
  • Costume Assistant(s) filled
    A good mix of sourcing, dressing, designing, and potentially making. Several characters are already in place, others ace totally new. You’ll work closely with the directors and Art team. Could be a great role for someone with stage experience looking to move into screen work.
  • Art/Design Assistant(s)
    Since our production designer’s just gone and got himself a job on the next Star Wars film, he’s going to be pretty busy for the next ten years and we’re going to need a team to support him. A combo of realising his designs, and supporting them with your own input where necessary.
  • Runners
    Extra hands that can come on set for a few days, supporting where necessary. Again, brilliant experience, and always lots of fun.

GET-ACTING

And there are also a few acting roles going spare. We can’t publish too much info here without spoiling the plot, but here’s an overview, with fake names.

  • Male #1 (codename: Elmo)
    A romantic disinterest who appears to be a minor character but turns out to be more than to seems. Looking for a likeable, slightly awkward, white* actor between about 22 and 30. Needed for 5 separate (but short) filming days.
  • Male #2 (codename: Big Bird)
    A young, eligible doctor, whose date with Rachel goes artfully and spectacularly wrong. Between 25 and 35, any ethnicity or nationality. Required for one day of filming – the 24th Sep. Finish around 5pm.
  • Female #1 (codename: Abby) – provisionally cast
    A classical actress. Just required for a couple of hours in Series 1, but will make a larger appearance as Annie’s rival in the outer world stories (and potentially future series). Must have long dark hair (ie. similar casting to Annie and Zoe).
  • Female #2 (codename: Zoe) – cast
    A modern actress. Required for a day in Series 1, and will an appearance as Annie’s rival in the outer world stories (and potentially future series). Must have long dark hair (ie. similar casting to Annie and Abby).
  • Extras
    We’re also looking for tons of extras for scenes that to take place on the 25th and 24th September. Literally anybody is allowed.

The shoot runs 14th September-29th September, with a few days off in that period. We can cover expenses/per diems for most of the positions. More info on application.

If you’re interested in any of these roles, drop us a line on info@missingsomething.tv asap. Likewise, if you can recommend someone great, give us a shout or show them this post.

Any questions, get in touch, or comment below.

That's All, Folks!

*Because we’ve cast some of his family, not because we’re huge racists.

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Not The Messiah – reviews and audience feedback

Not The Messiah opened last night, at the start of it’s 30-date run at Buxton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe.

We have our first review from Buxton Fringe Review, to add to our two reviews from previews in 2011. So we’re going to use this blog post to collate all the reviews as they come in over the next six weeks.

We’d also encourage you to add your own thoughts on the show in comments below. If you’ve seen the show, we’d all really like to know what you thought.

Don’t forget, if you want to know more about our work, you can join the mailing list from the Home page.

 

Reviews

You don’t have to be a fan of Monty Python to enjoy this absolutely brilliant and moving play about the tumultuous life of late group member Graham Chapman. The script and performance managed to be both laugh-out-loud funny and utterly captivating, even bringing a tear to my eye.”

An incredible show.”

★★★★★

Three Weeks, 10/08/2013

 

Nothing short of magnificent. Empathetic, playful and slightly headstrong as Chapman, [Telfer] can manipulate your emotions between joy and sadness in the space of a comma.”

“Chapman’s death is a tear-jerker; his life complex, but ultimately joyous. The same can be said of this remarkable play, which will surely have a life beyond Edinburgh..”

★★★★

Chortle, 10/08/2013

 

The writing is a pure dream. Jokes come fast and furious, delighting in the absurd wit and wordplay that raised Python to the levels of greatness.”

Telfer is stunning. He is versatile, charming and unimaginably composed. He has all the sparkling wit of Chapman himself, but is also equally as comfortable with the quieter, tortured and more tragic side of his existence”

One cannot imagine a better one man show done on the subject. Brilliant..”

★★★★★

Broadway Baby, 14/08/2013

 

“Portrayed beautifully by the superbly talented George Telfer, a charming and charismatic performer who builds up an incredible rapport with the audience.”

I cannot recommend this show enough, it was the highlight of the festival for me and despite the great atmosphere that came from being in such an intimate venue, I can only hope this show is offered a West End transfer onto a bigger stage.”

★★★★★

The Gay UK, 10/08/2013

 

“Definitely a must see at this year’s festival.”

“Telfer’s acting skill is outstanding.”

“The writers have really hit the nail on the head with the accessibility of the show… The powerful storytelling can enthral even a Python novice.”

★★★★★

Student Review, 23/08/2013

 

This is a priceless piece of solo theatre, a direct story conversation with the audience, unfolding a life, revealing Graham Chapman, the queen of the Pythons.”

“This is a surgically accurate stage performance. Carrying Chapman, Python and the birth of public homosexuality with such competent, beautifully paced and modulated authenticity – as well as telling us a story, a history, an autobiography – this is an impressive theatrical achievement from Telfer.”

“We are drawn in and our interest never flags for a moment. Striking the balance between humour and the more serious, touching and tragic parts of the story, Crawshaw has got it all just right. Very highly recommended.”

★★★★

Fringe Review, 12/08/2013

 

A clever and captivating performance, never stooping to parody or exaggerated physicality. Telfer simply embodies the persona of Chapman with an ease and grace.”

“It’s a wonderful journey, peppered with witty nods to Chapman’s characters and to many well-known jokes from the Python sketches, often used to clever bittersweet effect. Ultimately it’s a very funny, very sad story told in heart wrenching detail.”

Sensitively and brilliantly told. A gem.”

★★★★

British Theatre Guide, 12/08/2013
 

“George Telfer embodies the spirit of Graham Chapman completely.”

“At times touching and funny, this play conjures up the essence of the Monty Python team.”

“Telfer flits between some of the Python’s best known characters, including Arthur King of the Britons and the policeman, as well as throwing in admirable impersonations of Chapman’s colleagues and friends.”

★★★★

Edinburgh Spotlight, 12/08/2013

 

A master class in the art of the one man show

“This ultimately tragic tale is very very funny”

Go and see Not The Messiah. You’ll laugh like a drain, wipe away a manly tear and leave safe in the knowledge that the social mores that constrain and constrict our lives are really not all that important.”

Buxton Fringe Review, 11/07/2013

 

Audience Feedback

“This was without a doubt the highlight of the Fringe for us. We laughed and we cried – an amazing one man performance – he had us spellbound. Absolutely brilliant.”

Nigel Hough

“I’ve seen possibly 150+ shows at Edinburgh over the last few years and I feel this may well be the best thing I’ve ever seen. The script was perfect. Thank you all. It’s made my Fringe.”

Philip Hutchinson

“Brilliant script and acting-would highly recommend this. Five stars.”

Anne Keeler

“Put simply, I’d encourage everyone to go and see George Telfer’s beautiful performance as the complex, exasperating, loveable Chapman. At the end of the hour, by which time I felt I’d actually met the “man himself”, I was sobbing. Nor was I the only one! I hope this wonderful piece of Theatre will enjoy a long life apres-Fringe.”

Mark Ponsford

Had to take a moment after @ThreesCompany Not The Messiah, as a fan I have never been so absorbed. A perfect love letter to Graham Chapman.”

@Jonny_Barrett

“Loved the show and hope it’s done well.”

@PaulZenon (Yes, that Paul Zenon…)

“We booked this show shortly after the program was released & the gamble paid off brilliantly. An interesting, touching, entertaining & very funny show. Wonderfully written & wonderfully performed. The show we saw was sold out & deservedly so.”

Kenny Mackin

“Laugh out loud in places, poignant in others… I am full of praise for this production. Get a ticket if you can.”

Michelle Lillie

“Lovely and original one man show about Graham Chapman, go and see if you are a python fan.”

@thepelicanclub

“#notmessiah was absolutely glorious! What a fantastically poignant and hilarious show. Go see it!”

@EmmaLouiseNixon

“Excellent, well researched, moving, funny show from @ThreesCompany. If you’re into Python, go and see Not the Messiah!”

@mdb036

“Very much enjoyed @ThreesCompany ‘s #notthemessiah. Funny, touching, enlightening… What’s not to love?”

@robcrouch

“#notthemessiah Entertaining, Emotional and hugely impressive one man show #empirerecomended”

@EmpireComedyUK

“Throughly enjoyed Not The Messiah. A stunning and moving performance. @ThreesCompany #EdFringe”

@HelianthusStar

“Excellent show and incredible performance from George Telfer.”

Roy

“A very enjoyable depiction of the life and career of Graham Chapman… Highly recommend catching this show if you get the chance.”

Jon Embury

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Composer Wanted!

In 2005 we produced Plane Of Existence to great acclaim on the Buxton Fringe. It’s a musical comedy about three fugitives who escape on a plane to Mexico only to find that there are three men in Business Class writing a musical about them. Through farce and philosophy, the show also spoofed a wide range of musicals and musical styles.

However, the music for this original performance was never written down. We are now looking to revive the book and lyrics and turn them into a major new Fringe musical for performance in London.

We are therefore on the look for a composer to work with us. The book and lyrics (by Tom Crawshaw) already exist but can be altered, and we are looking for someone with orignal ideas to help give the show a strong musical underpinning.

We are ideally looking for someone with experience of writing musicals or songs and with experience of comedy. We’re looking to write something witty, fun and original rather than moving, complex or experimental. Ability to play the piano would also be a plus.

We’re on tour with a couple of shows this summer, and will be scouting for musicals at the Buxton and Edinburgh Fringe in July and August. We’ll then be back in London (where we are based) in late August.

If you’d like to apply to compose a musical with us then…
– send an email to fun@threescompany.co.uk
– tweet us @threescompany
– arrange to meet us in Buxton (from 1st July), Edinburgh (from 29th July) or London (from 26th August)

Script, lyrics and company info available on request.

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Monty Python – A Crash Course!

Monty Python

A number of people planning to come to see Not The Messiah this summer have been concerned they aren’t familiar enough with the Python cannon, or don’t know much about Graham Chapman. It’s worth pointing out that the play still works fine for such people – it should be entertaining and tell a cracking story no matter what your background.

That said, it probably is rather more fun if you have something of a Python background and get some (if not all) the references.

Graham Chapman

In summary, Graham Chapman was one of six young writer/actor comedians who made up Monty Python. They made lots of silly sketches and then four very successful films during the 1960s and 1970s. The other five Pythons include some very familiar names – John Cleese (who went on to do Fawlty Towers etc.), Michael Palin (who went on to travel round the world etc.), Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam.

But rather than read about it all we thought we’d take you through in it videos. Much more fun. The following (spot all the links in the text) should, between them, give you most of the references to get that little bit more out of the show…

Graham Chapman in video

So, we’ll start with Graham Chapman. Born during WWII, He had an ordinary upbringing in Leicestershire, before ‘poncing off’ to Cambridge. His father was a policeman (plenty of those in Python) and we imagine his family life was something like this sketch (in which Graham happens to give one of his finest performances as the father).

Graham got a place to study medicine at Cambridge where he began mixing with the upper classes. He also met John Cleese in the Cambridge Footlights and the two formed a writing partnership. This continued up to and throughout Monty Python and the pair created some of the group’s most famous works, including The Parrot Sketch (based on an idea from Michael Palin) and The Argument Clinic.

As well as a great comic writer, Graham was also a skilled actor. Among a group of mad comedians, he was probably the best straight actor, often cast in their sketches as Policemen, Colonels, mountaineers, English country gents and vicars. Straight is an apposite word as this persona meant the Python team were completely surprised when Chapman came out as gay toward the end of their first season. He’d had to keep this a secret during a time when homosexuality was still illegal in Britain and more commonly the punchline of a joke.

After four seasons of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the same team regrouped to produce four films, the most famous of which are Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Monty Python’s Life Of Brian. Graham was once again cast as the central ‘straight’ role in both. Here he is as King Arthur and here as Brian. A chance here to compare alcoholic Graham with ‘on the wagon’ Graham: Holy Grail was shot when he was drinking copiously and could barely remember his lines; Brain was shot a few years after he’d collapsed and completely cut all alcohol to save his life.

We won’t ruin the show by describing exactly what happens next, although it’s hardly a secret that Graham Chapman still sadly died long before his time. He is best remembered through the great characters he created and played in the videos above, still being rediscovered by generation after generation.

But if you do want to see him as himself, try this Parkinson interview from shortly after he went sober or this one where he talks about Keith Moon (who crops up in Not The Messiah as well).

And that’s pretty much all you need.

Now just don’t forget to see Not The Messiah, starring George Telfer and Graham Chapman, at the Buxton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe.

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Pythonesque Design

We’re pleased to announce our design team for Not The Messiah, touring to Buxton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe this summer. This completes the artistic team for this summer’s run which opens on July 11th.

Creating the set, props and overall design is Jacob Hughes, who earlier this year was nominated for Best Set Design at the Off West End awards. Jacob will be creating the hospital setting where Graham Chapman re-enacts his life through Pythonesque sketches.

Lighting design is being handled by Celia Dugua who has a strong track record of design at the Edinburgh Fringe, particularly at Bedlam Theatre.

Finally, taking charge of sound design is James Percival, who has worked for us for many years as Technical Manager at Underground Venues. He’ll be digging out various Python effects, probably including some coconuts at some point

Just over two weeks now to put it all together. Then 6 weeks of performances!

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A video of us in action

Just realised we never posted this video of us performing None Of The Above at Lost Theatre in November.

This show won the Lost Theatre Five Minute Theatre Festival. However, this video was filmed at the dress rehearsal rather than any of the heats, so you’ll just have to trust us that the audience laughed a lot. Really. A lot. They did.

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Preview press for Not The Messiah

We’re about to start rehearsals for this year’s tour of Not The Messiah – it’s first full production after a scratch in 2011.

It will be heading to the Buxton Fringe in July and Edinburgh Fringe in August, but we’re pleased to see some lovely coverage in the press already!

Fringe Guru have written a great preview piece here, following their 5-star review of 2011’s production.
And Fringe Review, another of Edinburgh’s most respected review organisations, have picked the show as one of their ‘Special Picks’ of Pleasance shows this year.

If you want to see the show, just head to the show page to book tickets – and let us know you’re coming, so we can say hi!

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Tickets on sale for Not The Messiah

You can now buy tickets online for the Buxton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe runs of Not The Messiah, starring George Telfer.

For Buxton (11-21 July) just click here
And for Edinburgh (1-24 August) click here

And you can click here to see more information on our website.

Why not give us a nudge on Twitter or Facebook if you’re coming and we’ll be sure to say hi! Or email fun@threescompany.co.uk

We’re hoping to take the tour on show following Edinburgh, so if you’re not in Buxton or Edinburgh and think we should bring the show nearer to you, do let us know!

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Designer Sought

Not The Messiah – a new one-man-show about the life of Monty Python star Graham Chapman – is on tour this summer and we are looking for a designer to help make it look awesome.

The show, starring award-winning actor George Telfer, will be playing at Underground Venues (on the Buxton Fringe) and then the Pleasance Courtyard (on the Edinburgh Fringe). Further touring may then follow. It sees Graham Chapman, from his hospital room, relive his exciting life, as imagined in a series of Pythonesque sketches. It’s an hilarious and moving tribute to a one of life’s true originals – and a very naughty boy.

We’re looking for someone with experience of Fringe theatre to help us craft a stage design, with an overall vision to include properies, costume, lighting and sound. You’ll work with the rest of the company as well as any specific designers we get for individual elements.

For some more info on the play click here or here. Or for more on Three’s Company just have a look around this website!

If you’re interested, just email jobs@threescompany.co.uk to request a copy of the script and/or an interview.

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