January 30th, 2014
Please Help Us – Mobile from Johnny O'Hanlon on Vimeo.
We don’t normally carry Crowd Sourcing pleas on our blog because we don’t believe that’s what you come here for, but…
This afternoon the excellent Johnny O’Hanlon and I were plotting the latest Space adventures we hope to Year 5 on at Billesley Primary school, he mentioned his work with Hocus Pocus Theatre Group who meet at mac in Cannon Hill Park regularly. They are a group of actors with learning disabilities who devise their own shows. They’re looking for £875 to make a new show. They’ve had £790 pledged and if they don’t get the remaining £45 pledged by Monday they lose everything pledged so far.
For them, and for Johnny’s commitment to them, I have broken our rule.
January 21st, 2014
Our Japanese/Robotics sleuth has put us onto this clip, which documents a highly peculiar cultural event. Watch it and enjoy, then at 5 min 4 sec and 7 min 64 sec in those with very long memories may recognize two ideas that appeared in No Walls, Just Doors our collaboration with Stage 2 way back in 1997. Even our outrageous arrogance won’t allow us to claim to have be ripped off by the Japanese choreographer, these are just the obvious things to do when you have a large troupe of highly skilled and disciplined performers at your disposal.
January 15th, 2014
We’ve been talking about the concept of what our first contribution to the Warwick Commission will be. We’ve been gathering some materials together. Today was our first day trying some of the ideas out in practice.
It’s all quite intimidating, but we did have one of those gratifying moments in which you agree that something you really like cannot be allowed into the piece because it breaks the rules (in an unhelpful way). You always feel a warm glow of virtue at that point.
January 14th, 2014
We’re pleased to be able to announce the Spring tour of The Anatomy of Melancholy, please check the list of dates to the right and check if they are either near you or near friends, it would be great to have some good crowds coming along.
As well as being entertaining and causing people to think about contemporary approaches to depression / low mood, the show does fill in some pretty esoteric areas of knowledge. Recently there have been reports of research suggesting that Alexander The Great may have been killed by our old friend, the upward purger, White Hellebore and in a recent edition of In Our Time about Plato’s Symposium who should be there lounging around with Socrates and everyone but the beautiful and popular (in his youth) Alcibiades. Stan’s Cafe – always with our finger on the pulse.
January 4th, 2014
Mmmm the holidays are a time to get fed up. Not just fattened by rich food but also by ill disciplined cultural consumption. So the last two weeks have included:
Continue reading “Re-Charge” »
December 20th, 2013
School’s out, but unfortunate Year 11 Students at Washwood Heath Academy earned their break this morning by enduring a Geography revision lesson lead by a theatre director who got his ‘A’ Level Geography qualification before tectonic plates were invented. He insisted all the students had been beamed down from another planet to explore the earth and needed to report back their findings. They took it in good spirit and displayed an impressive knowledge of the biosphere, well done them.
Obviously the day our internet service provider staggers under the weight of corporate ‘What we’ve done this year’ propaganda. Which always proves informative if not a bit saccharine after the third dose. This year Craig knocked up our version using Comic Life. If you haven’t had your brain washed enough already you are very welcome to download the comic and digest it – Craig’s jokes sweeten the pill.
December 19th, 2013
Photo: Graeme Braidwood
Late last month, while I was keeping a longstanding appointment to play Scalextric with teachers at Washwood Heath Academy and Craig was anatomizing melancholy at Ovalhouse, Charlotte went brain to brain with the brains at the launch of The Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value (see photo). Why so? Terrifyingly Stan’s Cafe are the official Artists In Residence for the commission.
Our first duty in this position is to make something to for ‘a major London venue’ on the occasion of Robert Peston‘s provocation talk (4th February 18:00 – 20:30). Last week I zipped down to the venue in order to have a good idea. Fortunately, with five minutes to go before the good idea had to be explained to The Commission’s Chair the good idea arrived. Double fortunately the idea was indeed deemed to be good. Sometimes a bit of pressure helps clarity of thinking.
This first provocation event hasn’t
December 7th, 2013
Two days ago I was early for a meeting at mac birmingham and so took the opportunity to watch the piece of video art they had looping just off their foyer space. To Dance Like Your Dad is a seductive diptych in which on the left hand screen an engineer gives a guided tour of the garage in which he customizes cars. On the right hand screen, the artist Hetain Patel, in an empty room mimics these actions. The camera movements are also matched up. The recreation sometimes matches perfectly and occasionally strays, its lovely.
Yesterday I was early for a meeting at mac birmingham and so took the opportunity to watch the piece of video art they had looping in the main gallery. The First Dance is a highly seductive projection with the image split into six narrow strips. In an elegantly paced unfolding you come to be shown the set up and execution of a moment from the film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon alongside the original. The recreation sometimes matches perfectly and occasionally strays, I love it.
There were also great photographs and a multi-screen piece I regretted not having time to watch properly. Suddenly I regard myself a Hetain Patel fan, his aesthetic chimes with me.
Also last night I had the delight of introducing an eight year old to Laurel and Hardy AND Harold Lloyd on the big screen thanks to Flatpack. We zoomed to seats on the front row at Birmingham Cathedral so we could see John Sweeney in full flow providing live accompaniment from the piano. It was fantastic, the eight year old really enjoyed it but I suspect still doesn’t realize quite what an amazing treat it was.
December 5th, 2013
Today a meeting with Reel Access and Flatpack in the Colmore Business District kindled an idea…
December 3rd, 2013
Just before Christmas Talking Birds are dusting off their musical comedy classic Trevor Goose and his dark night of lights. Which uses The Little Match Seller story as an excuse for theatrical fun and games. In this incarnation ‘our very own’ Craig Stephens will be staring, possibly in the goose role (I’m not privy to such industry secrets). The show is on 19th – 21st December in Coventry and after the show on 21st the now almost mildly well know Theatre-ish party kicks off at the same venue. All thoroughly recommended.