Welcome to my blog


Join me on my journey

as I take a new step in

my life and move

to Plymouth and all it

has to offer.


Bringing characters to

life may look slightly

different in Devon but

the outcome is just

as important.

By charlie ranken, Jun 1 2018 01:03PM

This week, I discovered for the first time, Plymouth Fringe. As a parent, you have to time 'get out passes,' as you dont want to use them up in one go, so I made sure I chose a evening where I could see as much as I could without it being a logistical nightmare.

First port of call was The Lab at the Theatre Royal, which I have only actually been in as a Assistant Director and therefore, only knew the way in through stage door. I didnt go this way, I thought it might look strange and I knew I would just get lost again. It was a double bill, starting with Fynn Roberts and then continuing on to 'Audition.' I then crossed the road to Radiant, where I watched unTamed theatre, Running Out. I knew how to get into this one, no problems there.

All three were monologues, all three had humour and all three had moments of seriousness. Fynn Roberts challenged me and made me work at times, to differentiate between his jokes and his outcries for help through humour. At times, I wasn't sure of the appropriate response to his circumstances. He was joking, it was funny but the message underneath was hard not to miss. Go and see this in the future if you can. There is one joke that sinks in at different times throughout the audience. This in its self is a marvellous thing to watch.

All three were male actors, all three wore relevantly the same, all three were around the same age. 'Audition' has a great concept, man stuck inbetween reality and unconsciousness. We, as audience members, were therefore, not really real to him, a figment of his imagination. I felt disconnected though, he was stuck with us, us with him but I wasn't in his journey. I wanted him to use all the space not just the front, I wanted him to move us around, change the room, he can do what he wants, we are in his dream. Ask us questions, help us, help him. I think 'Audition,' was enaging but I wanted more.

I was entirely absorbed in Running Out. I was on the journey, imagining the layout of rooms, vases and meadows. Jake has an ability to 'pause' life and although, as I did, you might think you've seen a number of films about time in many different ways, I really enjoyed this piece. I had a smile on my face the whole time! Well, when appropriate. It was small scale enough to be involved and the concept was large enough to be interesting. The plot was curious and you are gently lead through Jake's emotions of possessing this gift/burden which results in a dilemma which even I was trying to work out ways of solving and I was just sitting in a chair, watching.

Fringe Festival, next year, you never know I might use two evening 'get out passes.' If this year was anything to go by, it will be worth it.

By charlie ranken, Feb 6 2018 10:47PM

Life is exciting. Not always predictable and comfortable but enjoyable and surprising.

In the last fews weeks, I have gone into primary schools to deliver Sophie and Goose workshops, worked with 20 young people as Assistant Director for the Young Company at the theatre Royal and hosted free tasters at the Barbican Theatre for Heads Up!

I have learnt that rubber ducks do not stick to the bottom of buckets using glue guns and velcro and so will therefore, be turning to pom pom created creatures of the quacking kind. I have realised once again that I love young people and I'm proud that I was in the Youth Service in West Sussex for just under ten years and I absoulety love to the brim teaching, faciliating and enabling the creative minds of teenagers. I have also learnt that Plymouth is ready and rarely to go when it comes to opportunity. Not just for me as a practitioner but for those a little younger. Our free session at the Barbican had 9 amazing children in. I'm glad they had such a good time and they saw Heads Up as providing something different in the sea of art organsiations in Plymouth.

If January is anything to go by, I might need to plug in my seatbelt because I think its going to be an exciting and surprising kind of journey :)

By charlie ranken, Jan 12 2018 06:01PM

We managed to get a pair of tickets to see The Enormous Turnip at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth on Wednesday. 'We' is myself and my three year old son. I took him a few times to the Brighton Dome when we lived in West Sussex so I think this is his 4th performance offically.

Afterwards I asked him what his best bit was and he answer, 'Race cars.'

No, there isn't any race cars, this is his automatic response lately as he loves them. Inside though he mentioned the mouse was his favourite, he yelled pull with all the other children brought along by two schools and at the end asked me if he could see it again. All in all, a success.

I loved it as a adult. I felt sorry for Mr Chickweed, I was given an insight into their marriage on another level and I thought Mrs Chickweed was incredibly lucky to have such a supportive, inventive and creative husband. The children responded to every chapter of the story and there wasn’t a dull moment. I loved the dancing, the songs, the vegetables and their house.

My three year old understood the issue that arose and how Mr Chickweek found a solution and every child understood the importance of Mrs Chickweeds house rule which they reminded everyone if it wasn’t adhered too.

I would say if you three go and see it, if your a teacher take someone small with permission and if your an adult looking into theatre work for children you should go and get some inspiration.

By charlie ranken, Jan 12 2018 03:06PM

I wanted to publish this blog before Christmas but I was running out of time between working and then my MacBook packed up, so here it is. A few weeks late, a short blog of the amount I've managed to do in the 3months I've been in Devon:

*Received Space to Play studio time from Dance in Devon for Off the ground_ and ran professional dance tasters at Radiant

*Taught at Exeter Youth Dance Company

*Attended Exim Dance Company CIC professional classes

*Worked with Ruth Bell as a dancer on a piece for film at the Exeter Phoenix

*Performed as Freddy the Frog in The Sandcastle Theatre Co. at Lowell Dam and Plymouth University Preschool.

*Designed a movement workshop with Laura Wall - Artist and Illustrator inspired by Goose and Friends

*Continued to find funding for the Neo Natal in Chichester and get groups booked on my community platform Best of Me

*Prepare to launch a new dance and theatre group for primary school children called Heads Up with Ryan Wilce IT LAUNCHED THIS WEEK!

*Became Assistant Director for Brainstorm Young Company @ Theatre Royal Plymouth

*Became a cast member for Candlelight Murder Mystery Company

*Wrote my first review for @dance in Devon after watching a piece of dance at Northcott Theatre

*Worked in the Effervescent as a charming deer and once had to be Snowy the adorable snow creature for the Christmas Grotto.

I have also got some exciting news about a new job but have to hold off until after Christmas! ITS HERE!

Thank you to the whole of Plymouth Creative Community, I feel part of the gang and can't wait for 2018 to kick up a gear :)

Merry Christmas everyone :)

By charlie ranken, Oct 31 2017 12:22PM

Its only Tuesday and a lot has happened this week already.

I launched my Sophie & Goose workshops yesterday. I'm very excited about this collaboration so excited that both myself and Laura Wall have decided to create two special offers for school who book before 2018. Free books and a discounted price of workshops. For more information visit my StoryBook Page on my website or contact me. If you are a teacher or know anyone who maybe interested get in touch, these offers are only available in 2017!

Yesterday, I also attended professional classes at Plymouth Univeristy. Heather Richmond lead the class for Exim Dance and its was great. She made everyone feel at ease and we definitely used different muscles from those we normally use. Her movement phrases were refreshingly strong, vibrant and gave dancers scope to push themselves dynamically. The music was a wonderful aray of popular tracks, some seemed to have Carribean bounce to them which got everyone freestyling whilst waiting to travel across the space. Thanks Heather, you said you wanted fun, it was fun!

I didn't think I would have to talk about my off the ground_ professional classes in the same paragraph as poo or urine. However, Radiant unfortunately has lost it space for a few days and I'm still unsure whether it will be ready for Thursday night when I launch my professional taster sessions. Watch this space. Apparently, the flat above the studio has had a sewage leak. Not nice. I'm thinking of everyone that has to work there today as I'm sure it doesnt smell great. I'm currently listening to Blink 182, drinking tea and eating jaffa cakes so I'm all good!

If you interested in coming along on Thursday, keep up dated on FB. If the studio is all storted it will be a great class, something a bit different for your Thursday evening and no, you shouldn't need air freshers or nose pegs!

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