So many things are possible now! In our earliest shows I directed and ran the lights and sound. The lighting was fun, choose which of twelve channels of light to have up at what level on the A Fader, then prep the next cue on the B Fader and when the moment came pull paired sliders down to cross-fade between the two, then reset the A Fader for Cue Number 3. To the side for the lighting desk two cassette players would sit one on top of the other with blobs of white insulation tape marking the play and stop buttons. Continue reading “Manual Crossfade” »
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The Edinburgh Festival / Fringe is an amazing brand. I can describe any number of impressive contracts Stan’s Cafe may have secured and people are generally unimpressed but mention you’re off to Edinburgh for the Fringe and their eyes light up. It doesn’t seem to matter that the only skill you need to be ‘on The Fringe’ is the ability to make a few phone calls and write a couple of cheques, as far as they are concerned you are going to participate in something they have actually heard of, that they know is big and which holds an excitement and romance for them. Continue reading “Edinburgh 2015” »
Proper Repertory Theatre, in which a mostly fixed group of actors take on a series of plays as a team in the same producing house for a season has pretty much died off in the UK. I believe the RSC still attempts to work in this way but it is an expensive way of approaching things and there are few that can attempt it. Clearly something similar continues with contemporary theatre companies which have a fairly stable set of actors. In these circumstances you look forward to seeing the same actors in fresh roles and settings, carrying with you memories of their previous performances. Unfortunately, because these companies tend to devise their own material and the actors tend to create that material you rarely see huge contrasts in these performances. One of the delicious side effect of repertory companies was to be able to watch someone who was The King last week relegated to be a Butler this week. Although the plays are different in repertory the ghosts of the actors previous roles still linger. Continue reading “Slot Together” »
Along with our Partner Schools Network we are looking to engage a researcher who is interested in how schools are responding to the government requirement that schools promote British Values. We are about to do some work in schools with this as its focus and we’d like to have someone keep tabs on reflect on this activity from an independent perspective. You can download more details including how to apply here.
Ah it’s starting to feel like the olden days. The days when we made shows that sharply divided audiences (mostly for us) from critics (mostly against). Continue reading “War or Peace?” »
I’ve met Jenny Sealey a few times. She’s a powerhouse; funny, clever, passionate and a great artist. She is Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company and co-Directed the Paralympics opening ceremony for London 2012. In order to share her great vision she relies upon British Sign Language translation and this is made possible through an Access to Work grant. Continue reading “Access to Work” »
This week we have had visitors. Two artists were over from Sydney on Churchill Fellowships. As well as seeing some of the cultural delights of this grand city and being introduced to a good range of arty folk they sat in with us on a bit of devising.
Craig and I were doing a bit of work plotting the next Provocation for the Warwick Commission and glad of some extra input. The fact that both Sam Chester and Sarah Vyne Vassallo are choreographers was useful as we’re trying to cook up a short gestural performance. Though their suggestions will carry an influence on our final piece, perhaps of more enduring value will be their contribution of a new term to our devising vocabulary. Where previously every speculative suggestion in the devising room had to be couched in ridiculous circumlocutory phrases such as “It probably isn’t this but I’m going to say it anyway…” or “It isn’t this but maybe it’s something like…” now the Aussies have donated the far more direct and evocative “This is probably a bomb…” we love it!
Hurray for the cultural exchange.
Our agent in Canada has sent through this image of Barbara Kruger’s installation Belief & Doubt at the Hirshhorn museum in Washington DC. Whilst most there were admiring the visual impact and processing the work’s conceptual dimensions our man was in industrial espionage mode: “how on earth have they applied these vast rolls of vinyl so flawlessly?” (see third photograph down).
We thought our vinyl application was good but now the bar has been raised significantly.
On 8th June a choir of 1000 people will gather at Millennium Point to perform the world premiere of David Lang’s Crowd Out. BCMG who have commissioned the piece have asked if we will keep an eye on the visual aspect of the piece, which is exciting new territory for us. Tonight there is a gathering of most of the twenty conductors who are to lead each of the 50 voice choirs which come together to form the mega choir. It’s time to learn the piece.
If you are keen to join in there are still some places vacant in the choir so visit the BCMG website to sign up.
Tomorrow night’s performance of The Anatomy of Melancholy is curiously positioned, it’s not an opening night with all its attendant but we have only performed the show four times before and that was seven months ago, since when we’ve hacked the thing about, plus it’s our first gig at The REP in a decade so there still feels enough to be anxious about. Continue reading “Lighting Up” »