Monday, 20 December 2010

STRAWBERRY JACK - The next Tale from Paradise Heights - Update...

STRAWBERRY JACK - A Tale from Paradise Heights

Paradise keeps calling, and it's really time he left The Heights. Doorman Strawberry Jack is a man looking for a way out. For him there is only one thing worth living for. So it's a shame it's going to kill him...

Some Casting News...

IAN CURLEY will be playing STRAWBERRY JACK GRUNDY, a doorman at FRANK MORGAN's club The Ace of Spades.  CLYVE BONELLE will be playing DAVE another doorman at the club. PHOEBE MARIE JONES re-appears, newcomer to Paradise Heights DENICE HOPE joins the cast, and this time I'll be out there as well in a role that will be an interesting departure for me, and a huge challenge. 

Early in the New year I will be auditioning male actors for the part of a Paradise Heights character never seen but mentioned previously in The Bench...DEAF FREDDIE...keep your ear to the ground...;)

The play is currently in negotiation with some VERY exciting venues around the North West - fingers crossed.

More casting details to be announced shortly...


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Professional vs Personal - and the Studio Salford Bifta's

I got to the Studio Salford BIFTA Awards ceremony tonight.  I'd been nominated for a Best Actor Award down there for my performance in Cathy Crabb's wonderful THE ROOTS OF LOVE.  Things have been melancholy of late and I needed a venture out, so I braved the 17 mile frozen route and made my way down there.  I didn't win but I lost out to the lovely JOE SIMS and his dazzling performance in AS WE FORGIVE THEM by the very talented RICHARD VERGETTE.  It was nice to lose out to a guy I have a lot of time for, a fantastic actor and cool lad that put LEE ANTLEY and myself up earlier this year when we went down to London for the CAMDEN FESTIVAL with the play.  Well done Joe lad, you were fantastic and deserved the award - loved the phone in acceptance speech - ahh, technology!  See you in the New Year Joe.

It was FANTASTIC to see CATHY CRABB win the award for BEST NEW WRITING, it deserved it, the play was the richest of gifts and I'm delighted and honoured to be part of the production, I've no doubt it will see a return in the New Year.

It was good to touch base with MARK ASHMORE of FUTURE ARTISTS (we chatted shop), MARK REID, NEIL BELL (Director of The Roots of Love) LEE ANTLEY (fellow actor in Roots) and a few other acquaintences down there.  Professionally it was a good night. 

Personally?  I'm still drifting in and out of things - there were times I felt I was there and times I felt I wasn't - it was like watching from outside a little at times - my concentration and focus is way off.  I felt like I needed to fade out and so silently made my exit.  I've still got some major mountains to climb and I'm not quite equipped just now...

CONGRATULATIONS TO CATHY CRABB - one helluva writer with one helluva future!

Welcome to The Undiscovered Country...Welcome to Paradise Heights


My name is Joe O'Byrne and among many things - I am a writer. 

I have created a fictional community called Paradise Heights, from which I have launched a series of plays and films that have all been critically acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, the story's all fall under the banner TALES FROM PARADISE HEIGHTS.  The characters and situations cross back and forth from the different storys.  Each tale is a complete story in it's own right - you don't have to see all the productions to enjoy the one you may be watching - but if you see more than one tale you will discover links and hidden depths.  A sort of 21st Century Canterbury Tales if you will - shot through with heart, humour, humanity, inhumanity and humility; it's a graphic illustration of Broken Britain. 

You can start discovering Paradise Heights from any one of the productions, the series WILL grow on you.   

I believe 2011 will see Paradise Heights grow in both fame and infamy, for this reason I thought it might be a good idea to create a blog and detail the journey - and as in most things in life - it's not the destination - IT'S THE JOURNEY...

Thus far there have been four Tales from Paradise Heights, of those three are plays, (I'M FRANK MORGAN, THE BENCH and RANK, one is a short film and a one act play (I'M FRANK MORGAN) and one is an independent feature film (LOOKIN' FOR LUCKY) that will be available on download and DVD very soon.  The fifth tale in the series - STRAWBERRY JACK - will premiere in 2011. 

THE BENCH is due to hit the West End in July 2011 in a three week run at THE TRISTAN BATES THEATRE.  There will be plenty to read about the journey of THE BENCH in these postings, and of course there will be plenty to read about around the other tales as well. 

The following appears in every program for every production from Paradise Heights - it will help place the world and set the scene for you.

PARADISE HEIGHTS - The Devils had his way round here...

In the shadows of Paradise Heights you will find a drug fuelled landscape painted on a canvas of deprivation, a kingdom of pain where brutality reigns. A place where teenagers are mountain bike hustlers and crack cocaine canvassers, carving out careers on the number of wraps shifted in a night, where success is your own car and a company gun by the time your 17. You have to be strong to survive round here, no compromise, brutality is met with respect…

But look further and you will find more... It's a place where Angels walk among the gangsters, sharks, prostitutes and pimps...a place where the homeless man is a poet and a king...a place where the red brick walls are the canvas to a child trapped in the body of a man...a place where a doorman is looking for a way out...a place that ghosts won't leave due to unfinished business... Above all it is a place where between the crumbling walls and stripped out shells these people call home you will find heart, soul and humanity. So feel free to walk around, but mind how you go and stay away from the dark corners…

Welcome to Paradise Heights, welcome to The Undiscovered Country...

STRAWBERRY JACK is the fifth tale of a currently projected TEN TALES FROM PARADISE HEIGHTS.

All of this is of course a VERY collaborative process.  None of the tales would have received the success they have thus far without the blood, sweat and tears of so many talented friends that I have shared the journey thus far with - I hope to make many more friends on the journey. 

If you have seen any of the productions feel free to post your thoughts and feedback here, they are much appreciated as indeed is the fact that you took the time to check them out, thank you.

So the Paradise Heights train has left the station - forget the destination and climb aboard and join us on The Journey. 

Strawberry Jack

Strawberry Jack
Designed by Joe O'Byrne