STEP UP Creative ensemble: Goldfish rehearsals by Matthew Heseltine

My name is Matthew Heseltine but most people call me Matt. I am an Actor, Performer, and Artistic Director within my own theatre company, Impulse Collective.

Matthew Heseltine I was very happy at being given the opportunity to work with and alongside New Perspectives Theatre Company in October 2011 as a part of the STEP UP Creatives ensemble. Many months in, I have not only developed as a performer, but have met and created some very exciting work with some of the best practitioners from the East Midlands.

Our latest session, on 3rd June 2012 was more fragmented than usual, but within a rehearsal process this always means that some in depth work is happening. Shortly after arriving, I went into the rehearsal room to have a good look at The Unsaid with Ollie and Tilly. We worked through the scene little by little to find the true intentions of each character, (James for me and Geoff for Ollie). We had fun finding the opposing rhythms between us, and the contrasting elements in character. We looked at the script in great detail, and discussed how we can move forward effectively. You’ll be surprised how fast an hour and a half can go when you are so focussed.

Later in the day, after a short lunch, myself, Lesley, Subika and of course Tilly, the director of Goldfish, felt it necessary to look in great detail at the basic story of False Witness. It is certainly one of the scripts that I have had some trouble getting my head around. We looked at the different ways in which we can clearly convey to an audience the idea of rapidly switching ages and seeing someone’s memory in performance. It was crucial that we establish the way in which Lesley’s character Rachel can easily choose to show a memory to an audience and choose to become a part of it, then leave it again. We used one of the most basic yet important of theatrical conventions, levels/space to help us as an ensemble realise the full potential of the scene.

The final part of the day was spent looking at If I am that lucky and the character simply called The Girl, who appears in the scene with Kevin Carter. It was helpful to focus mainly on the feelings of The Girl today, and how we could use improvisation with the script to help Selina, who is playing the part, find the natural points at which The Girl shows that she is clearly in control of the situation. We still have a huge amount of work to do on the scene but it is undeniable that today was a huge step in the right direction.

I don’t, and won’t give too much away. Come and see the fantastic Goldfish to see what the excitement is all about. Looking forward to an incredible two weeks of devising and rehearsing before our first performances.

Goldfish is a brand new piece of theatre created by the STEP UP Creatives Ensemble from a selection of the winning scripts from the DREAM UP Writing Competition.

The piece explores the blurred and murky realm of memory through a series of stories – diving deep into our ability to remember and examining the powerful part played by others as memories resurface over time.

Guildhall Theatre, Derby Thursday 21 June 7.30pm

Lakeside Arts Centre Friday 22 June 7.30pm

Glentworth Village Hall, Lincolnshire 23 June 7.30pm

Thomas Cranmer Centre, Nottinghamshire 24 June 7.30pm

For more information and to book tickets visit


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