It begins.

On this chilly november evening I’m joining a host of uber talented performance professionals as they set about the daunting feat of creating 14 brand new plays over 48 hours.  As these brave individuals descend into this theatrical rabbit hole I’ll be documenting the happenings; from the drawing of a theme; through selecting writers/directors/cast at random; band rehearsal; into breakneck speed techical rehearsals and finally the performances themselves (which are of course open to general public for a nominal fee).

Theatre will be made, beer will be consumed, participants will most definitely be going big (as opposed to going home).

Stay tuned for regular updates…

Matthew Cawrey 20th November 201612:48 am

14 Plays in 48 hours, DONE!

Matt’s questionable blogging, DONE!

Until next time…

…thank you, and goodnight.

Matthew Cawrey 20th November 201612:46 am
Play Seven: Grandpa’s Tales

Matthew Cawrey 20th November 201612:44 am
Play Six: Written Off

Matthew Cawrey 20th November 201612:41 am
Play Five: In and Out of Bed

Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20169:04 pm

Play Four: Tramps and Thieves

Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20169:02 pm

Play Three: Finish the Story

Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20169:01 pm

Play Two; Dress(ing) Gown Friday

Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20169:00 pm

Play One: Slee, Hamish & Foot

Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20167:21 pm

Tech crew war paint: Pove edition

Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20167:19 pm

Backstage crew prep – tonight’s got ALL the props..!

Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20166:45 pm

Overheard at 14/48:

“Don’t touch me with your Scottish hands!”
Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20166:20 pm

Quickfire Artist Profile No. 5 John Kirby

    What are you doing at 14/48? Artist Liaison (Admin & being nice to people – *crucial*)

    Describe 14/48 in 3 words: Creative, Friendly, A Blast

    Who would be your 3 dream actors to work with? Corbin Bernson, Will Ferrell, Harrison Ford

    If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? Ability to do f*ck all and get away with it

    What is your spirit animal? Geoff (the dog)

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20166:14 pm

    Final tech rehearsal wrapped, much learning of lines going on (all the plays have words tonight)

    Open for performances at 8:00pm and 10:30pm – come and witness what 70+ performance professionals can put together when fuelled by ale and a desire to blow the minds of paying audiences…

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20165:48 pm

    Overheard at 14/48:

    “I’m sick of making things” (design team member)
    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20164:56 pm

    I’ve seen a fair few 14/48 bands over the last couple of years and they’re always awesome, but this one’s next level*

    *yes I used the term “next level”, can a 35 year old use the term “next level”? If the answer’s no, then it was ironic.
    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20164:54 pm

    Sleep may be at a premium and everyone’s pretty much running on coffee and pizza, but the theatre’s definitely happening again!

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20164:51 pm

    Four tech rehearsals down, three to go, things have definitely gotten a bit darker than last night. Without any spoilers, the actors in one play terrified each other, in no small part down to sterling work by the design team.

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20163:52 pm

    Play one tech’d, I don’t think I’m giving too much away if I say that’s the three characters are inanimate objects dreaming about being other inanimate objects…

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20163:18 pm

    Overheard at 14/48:

    “cheesy chips; what a legend”
    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20163:16 pm

    The patriotic lion of consternation

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20163:14 pm

    I never thought I’d hear a John Carpenter-esque version of Tears of a Clown. I was wrong, and it may be what’s been missing from my life.

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20162:16 pm

    There’s an eerie calm hanging over the Y theatre ahead of this afternoon’s tech rehearsals, this either means that everything’s going exactly to plan or that everyone’s too tired to panic about stuff; only time will tell…

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20162:14 pm

    Props spotted so far today include a wheelchair (2 kinds), union jack painted lion, bedside lamps, 14/48 £20 note, garden rake, picnic basket and a gramophone.

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20161:59 pm

    Overheard at 14/48:

    “Paul wants a warm French bit”
    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20161:14 pm

    Band update: Artists being covered today include The Beatles, Supertramp, Metallica (I think), Athlete (that Wires song that I don’t like, but the 14/48 version sounds significantly better*)

    *this opinion on the band Athlete is entirely the view of Matt Cawrey, and not Great Central Magazine or 14/48

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 201612:39 pm
    Quickfire Artist Profile No. 4: Matt Beames

    What are you doing at 14/48? Entourage (and general good spirited helpfulness)

    Describe 14/48 in 3 words: Exhilarating, Madcap, Tremendous

    Who would be your 3 dream actors to work with? Sir Ian McKellan, Stephanie Leonidas, James McAvoy

    If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? Super Agility

    What is your spirit animal? Wolf

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 201612:00 pm

    Oh, and the design team managed to source a choice of wheelchairs, maximum points to them!

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 201611:59 am

    Second rehearsal at the Globe pub, an animated directorial showing; the male lead seems to have some concerns regarding his on stage comfort requirements…

    …this is of course a humorous exaggeration, they’re all working tremendously hard.
    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 201611:30 am

    As I’m walking through town looking like a flustered paparazzo I’m reminded that it’s Saturday morning and most people are doing normal life. Weird.

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 201611:28 am

    First rehearsal of the day in full swing at the Exchange, a darkly comical politically charged domestic study written by Leicester’s own Jess Green

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 201610:25 am

    All the parts are in place, the 14/48 beast has awoken (with the aid of coffee, biscuits and breakfast calzone), actors and directors have set out to the various satellite rehearsal spaces, the band are working on managing expectations; I’m trying to convince my face that it wants to wake up…

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 201610:05 am

    Actor’s draw is under way…much whooping and hollering (although possibly slightly sleepier than yesterday!)

    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20169:33 am

    Once upon a time, in the city of Leicester (land of kings under car parks and unlikely footballing triumphs), a host of talented theatre makers gathered in the Y theatre to create 7 brand new plays from scratch. They toiled long and hard throughout the day, overcoming many obstacles and learning myriad important life lessons (mainly: beer always and don’t upset the design team). In the face of great adversity they performed their works to rapturous audiences who raised the roof of Leicester’s oldest theatre and spilled out into the chill november night to regale their loved ones with tales of the wonders they had witnessed. Everyone lived happily ever after. The End.

    *tonight’s theme is Bed Time Stories*
    Matthew Cawrey 19th November 20168:09 am

    Good morning, it’s 8am on the second performance day of 14/48 Leicester. Seven brand new scripts on the theme of Bedtime Stories will have been submitted by the sleep-deprived writers so that the process can begin all over again! The bleary eyed creatives will soon be massing back at the Y to continue their journey down the theatrical rabbit hole…if previous experience is anything to go by; things are likely to get pretty weird! Stay tuned for further insights as the day unravels.

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:11 pm

    Day One Show One Done!!

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:09 pm
    Play Seven: Heaven (2 Stars)

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:06 pm

    Play Six: Let me in, Let me in!

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:04 pm

    Play Five: Tally Ho!

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20169:02 pm
    Play Four: No Dogs

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20169:01 pm
    Play Three: Last Man Standing

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20168:48 pm
    Play Two: Don’t Leave Me This Way

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20168:21 pm

    Play One: Full Blown Diffusion

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20167:55 pm

    The audience are flooding in to Leicester’s oldest theatre for tonight’s opening performance, you can smell the anticipation in the air (at least I think that’s what it is…)

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20167:47 pm

    Lines are learnt, lighting’s set, band are rehearsed; night one show one, kicking off in 15 minutes…

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20166:56 pm

    Overheard at 14/48:

    “Can we skip forward to the bit with the pooing onstage”
    *please note, there is no actual pooing onstage*
    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20166:48 pm

    The stage is quite literally set. At 8pm tonight 7 brand new plays on the theme of “Access Denied” will premier; at 10:30pm those same 7 brand new plays will have their closing night. A team of dedicated, hardworking (and maybe a little unhinged) professionals have worked tirelessly to pull this work together, it’s going to be spectacular! If you’re in the Leicester area there are significantly worse ways of spending your Friday evening. If you’re busy tonight we’ll be doing it all over again tomorrow with a new theme.

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20166:41 pm

    Quickfire Artist Profile No. 3 Fran Richards

    What are you doing at 14/48? Directing

    Describe 14/48 in three words: Mad, Fast, Furious

    Who would be your three dream actors to work with? Kenneth Brannah, Emma Stone, Hugh Grant (“cos he’s fit”)

    If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? To make tights never ladder

    What is your spirit animal? Budgie

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20165:01 pm

    Out of the chaos theatre begins to appear…

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20164:53 pm

    Tech rehearsals are progressing well (nobody’s had to be shouted at anyway!) the scope of plays on offer from a single theme is as amazing as ever. Settings including: a bench outside a shop, a space station, inside a brain and Oxford students’ union. Four plays down, three to go; we definitely have ourselves a fully functioning theatre festival.

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20163:21 pm

    Overheard at 14/48:

    “At that point the projection changes and we go to the dancers on roller skates…”
    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20163:18 pm

    Pre-tech rehearsal director’s meeting is in full swing, further negotiations with the tech team as to what is and isn’t possible and the logistics of segueing between plays that have wide-ranging themes. Although it all seems pretty simple, I mean how hard can it be to maintain a stylistic thread between performances soundtracked by Wired for Sound and Insane in the Membrane..?

    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20162:52 pm

    Tech rehearsals in t-minus 40 minutes. Surely it can’t be that complicated, I mean they’ve only got to programme the lighting, sort out live projection mapping, block stage positioning and sort out live music cues for 7 brand new plays…one director even seems to have decided that performing on the stage would be too easy…

    Go big or go home they said, I’ve not seen anyone going home yet.
    Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20162:11 pm

    Quickfire Artist Profile No. 2 Stuart Reid

      What are you doing at 14/48? Vlogging

      Describe 14/48 in three words: Intense, Exhausting, Hilarious

      Who would be your three dream actors to work with? James McAvoy, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence

      If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? The ability to back in time by 5 seconds

      What is your spirit animal? Amy Christer

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20161:43 pm

      14/48 band update:

      Original artists who’s songs are being rehearsed for this evening include Cypress Hill, Babylon Zoo, Snoop Dogg and the Communards; in a word: strong!
      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20161:09 pm
      Rehearsals in full swing over at The Exchange in Leicester’s cultural quarter, under the strict directorial instruction of virgin director Fran Richards

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201612:55 pm

      Quickfire Artist Profile No. 1 – Jonathan Arnold

      What are you doing at 14/48? Writing

      Describe 14/48 in three words: Arduous, Epic, Inspirational

      Who would be your three dream actors to work with? Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Tilda Swinton

      If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? Power bestowal

      What is your spirit animal? Bear

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201612:14 pm

      Rehearsal number 4 at The Exchange; THERE ARE NO WORDS (in the script that is). 14/48 does physical theatre!

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201611:54 am

      Third rehearsal checked in on, this one at the Globe pub (everyone was still sober as far as I could tell…)

      Seemed to be coming together nicely. on to the next pub-based rehearsal, participant sobriety report to follow…
      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201611:26 am

      From the two rehearsals I’ve been to so far, references include:

      Star Wars
      The third coming
      The Bullingdon Club
      Leonard Cohen
      It’s also worth noting that these rehearsals are taking place in an art gallery. We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto…
      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:52 am

      I would at this point like to thank the organisers of 14/48 Leicester for ensuring that I achieve my 10,000 steps by spreading the rehearsal venues across the city!

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:43 am

      The intense process of directors planning with the design team, apparently a 10 foot animatronic chicken is not a reasonable request

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:31 am

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:30 am

      Pretty serious looking band set up

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:22 am

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 201610:21 am

      The actors are chosen, they will now head off to various venues across the city learn their lines and rehearse ahead of this afternoon’s tech rehearsals

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20169:56 am

      7 scripts have been submitted, the directors have been allocated said scripts at random; the actors draw will commence shortly…

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20169:54 am

      Following a positively Truman Show-esque journey from the wilds of North West Leicestershire (that can only mean that I’ve really angered the gods of traffic lights) I have landed back at the Y theatre.

      Matthew Cawrey 18th November 20168:29 am

      As I prepare for rejoining the festival today, here’s a shot of the all important ceremonial keg tapping from last night…

      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 201610:24 pm

      So the writers have headed off to scribble furiously through the night. The massed ranks will reconvene at the Y tomorrow to commence the construction of 7 brand new pieces of fully realised theatre that will be unleashed on paying audiences for the first and last time. I’ll be back tomorrow with insightful behind the scenes reports, profiles of the people making all this happen and maybe a few photos too.

      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 20168:42 pm

      …now, the writers draw (the moment when it really starts to sink in that they have to submit a 10 minute play by 8am tomorrow morning!)

      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 20168:40 pm

      …the theme is drawn, Saturday night will bring 7 plays on the theme of “access denied”

      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 20168:38 pm

      …drum roll for the drawing of day one’s theme…

      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 20168:16 pm

      The “virgins” are taking the stage to rapturous applause, looking decidedly trepidatious.

      14 new plays in 48 hours is undoubtedly looking like a pretty big ask right now…
      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 20168:08 pm

      The keg is tapped, all is well, the creative process can now truly begin in earnest.

      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 20167:41 pm

      A positively feverish atmosphere is enveloping The Y theatre as actors, directors, writers and musicians flood into the venue. The “how can this possibly work” look is evident on the faces of festival “virgins”.

      Matthew Cawrey 17th November 20167:16 pm

      We have flashing lights, we have smoke, we have a palpable sense of tension. 14/48 overlord Mr Bob Christer is pacing like a caged animal, preparing to give the most important Keynote presentation of his entire day. This can only possibly mean that we’re mere moments away from the formal launching of the good ship 14/48

      John Helps 16th November 20168:26 pm

      This is our first liveblog, so bear with us whilst we figure out the technical side of things!


      Performance and documentary photographer with an often detrimental urge to absorb all the culture.

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