Rod's Blog - Red Ladder Theatre Company

Red Ladder Theatre Company

Rod’s Blog

Introducing Nana-Kofi Kufuor

English-Ghanaian writer Nana-Kofi Kufuor is the writer behind My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored, which Red Ladder Theatre Company is producing for its world premiere tour. Find out more as we caught up with Kofi ahead of rehearsals of this gripping new play.  Please describe My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored in […]

Rod’s Blog 25.03.20 – Smile Club: The Making of a One Woman Show.

It feels very strange that only a week ago we were still touring our new play Smile Club, and this month-long week now sees us self-isolated and all theatres are closed – A play set in a fictional dystopian near-future has been postponed and we are living in a strange near-dystopian present. Honestly, we didn’t […]

Rod’s Blog 10.05.19

Reviewing … reflecting…delivering…and Whelan Like a lot of organisations who are funded as part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, we are required to review our business plan and let the funders know whether we are hitting our targets – our SMART  targets… don’t ask … it’s far too ‘New Labour’ to explain (!). Cynicism […]

Rod’s Blog 07.03.19 – What’s the value of applause?

Nearly every performance of Mother Courage was given a standing ovation last October and I wasn’t expecting to see that very often, but audiences are on their feet after every performance of Glory – our latest show. I would be disingenuous if I were to say this isn’t important: we make theatre for audiences to […]

Rod’s Blog 01.09.17

Every so often a book is published which becomes a best-seller – not just because it is well written but because it becomes almost notorious … readers from all across society talk about such books avidly: in middle class dinner parties, over a pint of bitter in the pub, in English Literature classrooms – all […]

Rod’s Blog 09.08.17 – Six Questions for David Peace

Rod Dixon, Director of The Damned United snatched five minutes with David Peace, author of the gripping novel ‘The Damned Utd.’ that inspired the stage adaptation Red Ladder are currently touring through to June 2018. How did this stage adaptation of The Damned United come about?   The original idea came up one afternoon in […]

Rod’s Blog 20.05.16 – Leeds Lads at Leeds Rhinos

Last week we promoted Leeds Lads on Jamie’s home turf, after the Leeds Rhino’s Vs Castleford Tigers Match at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Thursday 12 May. Alex Simmons of Rugby AM interviewed Jamie in the Long Bar, before the cast performed three songs from the play to fans, hopefully raising people’s spirits after a pretty […]

Rod’s Blog 06.04.16

Yes you read that correctly – April 6th 2016 …the last time I wrote a blog was after ‘We’re Not Going Back’ went on tour back in 2014. Lazy? The world’s greatest procrastinator? Nope – busy. When you run a company that is outside the National Portfolio you suddenly find that you work three times […]

Rod’s Blog 25.9.14

‘We’re Not Going Back’ is back on the road and I am pleased to say is a real hit with audiences. Full houses at Hull Fruit Space, Barnsley Civic, Oldham Campus and Doncaster Cast have enjoyed this beautiful show and the stunning performances by all four of the women in the team. It is really […]

Rod’s Blog 15.07.14

I’ve just come back from the Durham Miner’s Gala where we opened Boff’s new hard hitting comedy musical ‘We’re Not Going Back’. After four weeks rehearsal this has been one of the most collaborative processes ever – with all four performers (3 actors and a musician) working together to develop the script and embrace Boff’s […]

Rod’s Blog 09.05.14

The legacy of the 1984-5 miner’s strike. “’From the start it has been the theatre’s business to entertain people … it needs no other passport than fun’ – Brecht For the last two years Red Ladder Theatre Company has been building a relationship with Unite the Union to support the union’s work in education. Our […]

Rod’s Blog 22.04.14

As part of our research for two new plays about extremism in modern Britain, Avaes Mohammad, the playwright we have commissioned, and I have been looking under the stone that is extreme right politics. We obviously expected to find some unpleasant stuff crawling about under there, but what has been shocking is how widespread so-called […]

Rod’s Blog 27.03.14

  Today is Tony Benn’s funeral. I’m not very comfortable with the idea of heroes. As soon as someone is lionised there is massive pressure on them not to disappoint, as if life isn’t hard enough already.  It is inevitable that our heroes let us down – after all, they are not actually superhuman. Tony […]

Rod’s Blog 25.02.14

Rod’s Blog 25th February 2014 Today’s blog will possibly irritate other theatre makers to want to either comment on it or just tut and sigh, or roll their eyes – the international language for ‘Oh he just doesn’t get it’. The ‘it’ I don’t get is the latest trend in theatre making – I call […]

Rod’s Blog 28.01.14

I don’t want to bore you with yet more enthusiasm for our one woman musical (called Wrong ‘Un) but we kicked off the main national tour last week with press night at The Lowry and the reviews have been outstandingly positive – with lots of admiration and praise for Ella’s performance, Justin’s direction, Ali’s design […]

Rod’s Blog 8.11.13

I’m a workaholic. I’m not sitting in a circle with other workaholics and trying to use some kind of step programme to get off my addiction – I just love, to the point of obsession, my work. I have done other things in my life – for a big chunk of time I was a […]

Rod’s Blog 03.09.13

August for a high number of theatre makers means working stupid hours to share shows with other theatre makers in Edinburgh – most of whom have come up to Edinburgh from England to show their shows to …eachother.. I’m sorry to say this, but I hate the Fringe – it is a scrum, not a […]

Rod’s Blog 21.06.13

‘Wrong ‘Un,’ our new one woman musical written by Boff Whalley and performed by Ella Harris has now opened – and this coming Monday will play to a sell-out audience in Hebden Bridge as part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival. ‘Wrong ‘Un’ is a beautiful piece – in many ways Boff’s best piece of […]

Rod’s Blog 21.05.13

That’s that – ‘The Thing About Psychopaths’ ended a long and exciting national tour at Park Theatre – the brand new venue in Finsbury Park. I’d visited the theatre only a few weeks back and it was still a building site – so to get open in time for their first main house show and […]

Rod’s Blog 15.04.13

Rods Blog April 15th 2013 We are all in relationship – either with others or with ourselves. The death of Margaret Thatcher last week was challenging for me. My relationship to the entire world has been marked by Mrs Thatcher’s existence in my life. In 1979 when she came to power I was a student […]

Rod’s blog 21.03.13

Now that ‘Psychos’ is well and truly on the road, it’s time to think back on the work and then begin the journey of the next project. I want to reflect on openness and what it is to be open. One of my early rehearsal exercises is to explore being ‘open’ and being ‘closed’ – […]

Rod’s Blog 5.02.13

After all the hype about me stepping back onstage in underpants and vest (thanks Nick Ahad for highlighting that in your preview!) ‘Sex and Docks and Rock n Roll’ played to good houses all week at The City Varieties and I have to admit – I thoroughly enjoyed playing Ronnie McDermott and wandering front of […]

Rod’s Blog 10.01.13

If  I haven’t wished you a Happy New Year, dear reader, then I think today is the probably the last date when I can before it becomes a rather eccentric thing to say. The last time I blogged was in November when I had been working with students from Northern School of Contemporary Dance and […]

Rod’s Blog 9.11.12

It’s strange the way creativity sometimes pops and crackles like a cheap firework and makes you jump. A few weeks ago – I can’t remember exactly when, but it was… just before the week in Hull when I made a short piece of theatre with Foundation Degree students – I met Beccy Owen for lunch. […]

Rod’s Blog 31.10.12

I hate Halloween – or rather what the American imperialists have done to it. ‘Trick or Treat’ is nothing to do with ‘Mischief Night’ as we called it when I was a kid. It was good fun but without the aim of grabbing as many ‘treats’ as you can. My four and six year old […]

Rod’s Blog 21.08.12

have a tan – it is fading and if you look closely it is really just a thick cluster of freckles – but I have what passes as a tan – gained from three weeks in real weather, not sprayed from a can! Ella and I spent the last few weeks driving our kids from […]

Rod’s Blog 16.08.12

Rod’s Summer Blog I’m all alone in the office after a manic month – everyone else is away on holiday and as soon as I have written this blog I am out of here too!! The last time I wrote we were about to go into production week and technical rehearsals for ‘Promised Land’. As […]

Rod’s Blog 18.06.12

Here we are in production week for ‘Promised Land’ – and we have one final rehearsal tonight with an interview with The Today Programme for Radio 4. Of course this doesn’t guarantee an airing for us – it all depends what ‘news’ comes in – but it will be great to have a feature about […]

Rod’s Blog 23.05.12

‘Promised Land’ opens in one month. That sounds a bit scary! We are now at the point of doing staggered run-throughs of the play. As is always the case, at this stage we have moments of pure brilliance and scenes which can’t really progress without props or set. I just have to keep faith in […]

Rod’s Blog 20.03.12

So. The NHS has gone. We have lost free health care – probably forever. The Tories and the Limp Dems have decided that following the disastrous model of the private system in the US will be sustainable – no I mean – profitable. I’m not in the least bit surprised by how undemocratic this all […]