Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Skull: A Socio-Religious Myth for a Modern Audience

You're probably familiar with Philip K. Dick's work and you didn't even know it. His stories have been made into numerous films and television shows: Bladerunner, Total Recall, most recently Man in the High Castle and among my favorites Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly.  In working on The Skull, I have dove head first into Dick's work. In both his adaptations for the screen and his short stories, his interests start to become clear. Most of his work has a similar premise: An advanced scientific technological dystopian or utopian future that follows one philosophical idea with a focus on a central male hero who discovers the corruption in the world and must navigate through the moral ambiguity.  

His stories, like a myth, pulse with a clear concern about the direction of the society we live in. (And if you look at politics in America, rightly so!) It functions as myth does, to put us in line with nature or as Joseph Campbell says, myth is a "...metaphor transparent to transcendence. The concern Dick repeatedly longs to transcend is corruption of totality. For Dick, within any totalitarian society, even one that appears good from the outside, there is bound to be corruption. His heroes are forced to challenge these societal norms and make a moral decision in the face of corruption and often in the balance hangs the fate of humankind.  His stories ask complicated existential and philosophical questions about destiny, morality, and the roles of human beings in society. Such big questions plunked into the excitement of the science fiction genre with plenty of flying cars, time machines, technologically advanced weapons, memory implants, psychics, self evolving robots, and the colonization of Mars! 

Dick sold his first science fiction story in 1951 and the sole source for this production was published in a little pulp magazine called If World of Science Fiction in September 1951. From the midst of the McArthy era Dick imagines a utopian society ruled by The First Church, a religion who preaches peace and poverty, but there is an underground council who believe in scientific progress and are willing to risk lives and start wars to get it. Conger, a hunter and criminal from Mars is sent back in time to kill the Founder of this religion to direct the world to progress with only one clue to complete his mission: The Skull! 

A small story in the grand scheme of his work, but one that still resonates with a modern audience today. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Meet the Cast

Meet the Cast of THE SKULL


Gabriella was born and raised on the Caribbean island of the Commonwealth Dominica. She migrated to the UK in 2009 to pursue studies in A Level Drama at Leyton Sixth Form College. She then went on to do her Bachelors in acting at East 15 Acting School where she graduated in summer 2015. Her credits include Phoebe in Party by Tom Basden (Tristan Bates Theatre)  Carol, in 13 by Mike Bartlett and Scribblers for BBC 3 Radio. The Skull is her professional theatre debut


Megan Blowey graduated East 15 School from the MA Acting Programme in September 2015. Since graduating she has had the pleasure to be part of a Halloween tour around North London, working on Survival of the Fittest with Lippy Theatre Company and playing various roles within Bad Physics Theatre and Events. She has enjoyed the mind-boggling rehearsal process for The Skull immensely and she hopes you enjoy the show!


Born in Isreal and based in London, Itai Leigh is a graduate of East 15’s MA Acting (International) programme. During his time at East 15 he trained at Shakespeare’s Globe and GITIS (The Russian University for Theatric Arts) in Mosow. Some of his professional credits include: The Speaker in The Chairs, Michael in The Pillowman, Lord Grey and Ratcliffe in Richard III: In Motion, Wickersham Brother in Suessical the Musical and Father Flynn in Doubt: A Parable


Neo Mothola is from South Africa but was also raised in England. He studied on the BA Acting and Contemporary theatre course at East 15 acting school. Recently Neo has been performing his own play, S1N1 at the Kings Head Theatre and the Drayton Arms Theatre. 


Rory Keys was born in England, but grew up aboad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2012 he returned to the UK to study Acting and Contemporary Theatre at East 15 Acting School. In the fall he appeared in the Lone Tree Theatre Project’s 4.48 Psychosis at the Etcetera Theatre. After graduating this last summer, Rory performed at his first Edinburgh Fringe Festival where he appeared in Some Big Some Bang at the Underbelly and Leftovers at Zoo Venues. Rory has appeared alongside Zoe Coombs Marr in her stand up comedy, DAVE, at the Underbelly and the Soho Theatre.