Acting,  Producing,  Work,  Writing

Meet Elsie and Charles – two characters featured in Till The Boys Come Home

So much is going on right now, but … I’ve managed to fit in a blog post before February is over, so my idea of at least one blog post a month for 2019 is still on track! Amazing!

A lot has been going on in the Incognita office over the past 5 weeks. Some I can talk about, some I can’t (… yet!), but here is a quick update on what I can publicly discuss … so here goes …

Shakespeare Republic update

Shakespeare Republic (Season Two) laurels

For those who follow the web series world, you will have heard of the Web Series World Cup. For those who haven’t – the WSWC ranks the most awarded web series from around the world each year by tabling results from a curated list of the top webfests across the globe, to give audiences a live and up to date listing of the best programs of the moment.

In 2017 (the year we were active on the webfest circuit and screened at several of the webfests on the WSWC list), Shakespeare Republic ended up landing at No. 14 on the list globally and at No. 3 in Australia (behind High Life and Bruce – two more awesome Aussie series that you should watch if you can!).

Then, earlier this week, the WSWC released it’s list of All Time Best Web Series on the circuit (calculated from results from 2015-2018) … and … Shakespeare Republic came in at No. 29!! This was an amazing result, considering that we only had one season (Season Two) included in any of the webfests on the WSWC list (in 2017) – and we only submitted to about 2/3 of the webfests listed due to budget constraints.

Not only that, but going by these results, Shakespeare Republic is in the Top 10 Australian Web Series of all time (at No. 7), and may also be the current No. 1 Anthology series worldwide (I have to investigate that a little more, as the WSWC doesn’t have that category in their database).

So thrilled for the whole Shakespeare Republic team and our amazing supporters and wider Republic family! And a huge thank you to the guys behind the WSWC for the amazing amount of work they do in compiling all these series and their respective scores each year – a mammoth effort that is most appreciated!

Christopher Kirby as “Charles” with Sally McLean as “Elsie” in ‘Till The Boys Come Home

Till The Boys Come Home update

I’ve had so much fun playing back in the 1940s for my new project, Till The Boys Come Home, which is being developed as a long-form theatre production at the moment. This included shooting a couple of scenes about three weeks ago in late January for our concept pitch for the show to funding bodies.

Adapted from my shorter play, P.S. I Love You (written in 2003 & produced in 2004), this new version includes all the characters and events from the original play and expands the story to bring in additional characters and storylines, which gives me the chance as a writer to truly explore the world of Melbourne during the height of World War Two (which is challenging as well as exciting).

Christopher Kirby as “Charles” with Sally McLean as “Elsie” in ‘Till The Boys Come Home

As with the original version of the story, I play “Elsie McLeod”, who is such a joy to inhabit already, but even more so now, as I get to expand her story to include elements that were only alluded to in the original play. Such as being the driver for the American officer, “Captain Charles Johnson”, (played by Christopher Kirby) and the twists and turns their relationship takes over the course of the story.

Chris very generously agreed to jump on board and film these scenes with me as fellow cast (and also helped produce the shoot), for which I am very grateful. I am also hugely grateful to our wonderful crew – Shaun Herbertson, Tim McCormick, Abramo Peghini, Oliver Gross and Billy Smedley (who also stepped in as an Army MP on screen). The shoot was a crazy, fun and wonderful evening of creative madness, which has resulted in some fantastic images and a really great taste of Charles and Elsie’s world. My wonderful editor (okay, so he’s not just mine, but I still claim him!), Thanassi Panagiotaras, has been working tirelessly on the images – both fine cutting and colour grading – and Tim McCormick has been a champion putting together the sound edit and I am so grateful to everyone on the team for making this possible.

Christopher Kirby as “Charles” with Sally McLean as “Elsie” in ‘Till The Boys Come Home

Chris Kirby is also a co-producer on the project. Billy Smedley is another co-producer and they are both also in the cast. Many of the other Shakespeare Republic ensemble have already agreed to come onto this project as cast members as well, including Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Scott Major and Dean Haglund which is amazing. We have such a great ensemble that I am lucky enough to work with and I do admit I pinch myself regularly that I get to play with all these awesome folk on a regular basis.

So that’s it for now! I wish you a fabulous weekend and month to come.

‘Til next we speak … show kindness to yourself and others and keep shining bright.

All best, always,

Sally xo