Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Quick Quiz: #20 Laura Eades

1. Where are you working at present?

Next week we are rehearsing Holiday at Camden People's Theatre, in their basement rehearsal room. Some might say that rehearsing in a lightless underground room is unseasonal - I say, a windowless room is exactly what you need when rehearsing a show in the total nude while pregnant. It's about the body, and it's brazen, but the last thing you want is window-shoppers. And it's a huge privilege to have the development of our work supported by CPT - a fringe theatre that is so committed to new and experimental work.
 
2. Describe your occupation and why you love it.

I'm director of the theatre company The Honourable Society of Faster Craftswomen. Sometimes I write or perform as in Holiday, but mainly I bring together new collaborations project by project - and it's that that I really love - the feeling of being in great company - as well as the wonderful 'society' of the audience when we finally get to a show. 

3. Who do you most enjoy working with and why?

It's different every time. This time around, I'm excited to be working with two directors: Sara Kewly from the company Little Wonder, and Elgiva Field, who has a company called Oblique House and works a lot with Punchdrunk. The people I work with tend to be interested in experimental theatre and live art, and in what it means to forge an intimate relationship with an audience. 

4. What's your dream day?

I've never been one for taking it easy, so being pregnant has been a very different pace for me. But I do love to swim so today's job - preparing for rehearsal by learning lines lying beside Brockwell Lido - is the perfect mix of activity and lounging. Also, I get to photosynthesise as much as possible in advance of basement rehearsals. 

5. Favourite ever show and why?

EVER? That's a bit tricky. You can't really compare the immersion of going around Punchdrunk's Faust in a Wapping warehouse to, say, the irony of the dancing in Forced Entertainment's The Thrill of it All, or the surreality of some of the events Lone Twin have initiated, or the lovely at-ease feeling of watching Daniel Kitson tell rambling stories. Tim Crouch's The Author was the most ground-breaking thing I saw last year. 

6. Favourite actor/actress and why?

I don't tend to go for people with an acting style so much as a way of addressing an audience that feels natural and without pretence, albeit when it's a persona. I saw Ursula Martinez's Family Outing when I was 17, and it altered my mind forever. 
7. Favourite band/musical artist and why?

I love Clinic, they sound faintly dangerous. This year's obsession: Anna Calvi. 

8. Where do you see yourself in 25 years?

In 25 years I will be 57 and I hope to be making theatre whose form is defined by whatever parameters our lives present at that point! I hope I always get to team up with wonderful artists. I don't wish to still be making autobiographical work though ... after Holiday, I feel like turning my attention outwards for a while. I'm going to be a parent - it's not all about me any more. 

9. Any exciting future projects you'd like to mention?

This year I'll be making theatre in between looking after a newborn. To fit with this time, I'm going to launch an Honourable Society of Faster Craftswomen project which is about experimenting with new and much looser kinds of collaboration - whatever's possible in between feeds - ones that use the internet, the postal service, skype, writing, drawing, talking, the stuff of life. 

10. Random one: what's your favorite cheese?

Stilton. Goat. Gorgonzola. Camembert. All the wonderful, pungent, honking, farmyard cheese you're not allowed while pregnant. I swear, when it's breastfeeding time it's gonna be cheese cheese cheese all the way. This child of mine is not going to be fed on milk, more a kind of homemade breast fondue. 

11. Do you have Twitter? Do you follow @the_prompt? You should... 

Yes we should. and you should follow @TheHSFC

Monday, 4 July 2011

Quick Quiz: #19 Dean Stalham

 1. Where are you working at present? 

Brockley Jack, Goldsmiths University and Channel 4
.
2. Describe your occupation and why you love it. 

I am a writer and an artist and I love it because of the freedom it gives me to express
myself.

3. Who do you most enjoy working with and why? 

I enjoy working with the renowned character actor Dudley Sutton, he is worldly wise and
doesnt mind sharing.

4. What's your dream day? 

To have a play on at the Royal Court theatre, waking up to rave reviews

5. Favourite ever show and why? 

Antigone - a play 2500 years old - that still resonates today.

6. Favourite actor/actress and why?

Paul Newman - ultimate cool.

7. Favourite band/musical artist and why? 

Amy Winehouse - sad genius who needs support and love.

8. Where do you see yourself in 25 years? 

On a hammock!
 
9. Any exciting future projects you'd like to mention? 

My first film showing on channel four in about three weeks time.

10. Random one: what's your favorite cheese? 

Red Leicester - I like the colour

11. Do you have Twitter? Do you follow @the_prompt? You should...

Yes
and I will.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Review: Fixer @ Oval House Theatre

The Prompt always enjoys an evening at the Oval House Theatre, and this one proved again that London's fringe and African themed theatre scene is very much alive and kicking.

Fixer explores the relationship between Western journalists and those individuals on the ground connected with headline grabbing stories abroad; centering on a conflict between a major gas company and a group of rebels in the north of Nigeria. A pipeline has been attacked by insurgents, and two British writers are eager to get complete coverage for their respective employers by whatever means necessary. The play highlights the cut throat exploitation of local people in a remote Nigerian town by these two characters, Dave and Lawrence, and leaves the audience debating upon the moral implications of their journalistic methods.

The Prompt was quick to note that this piece is extremely well choreographed, with quick and clever scene changes centering around minimal props and scenery (a crate of bottled Guinness's and a row of aircraft chairs are used cleverly to bring to life a multitude of different settings ranging from a 5* hotel to a rebel encampment). The entire cast is on stage for the duration, and those not engaged in dialogue form an interesting backdrop and supporting act to the scenes taking place.

The characters are brought to life by a diverse and animated cast, with some clever and highly amusing exchanges between Chuks (Richard Pepple) and The Porter (Nick Oshikanlu) providing some of the comedic highlights of this otherwise dark and thought-provoking story. Alex Barclay's 'Dave' is sublime, capturing perfectly the plight of a once well-established journalist who is over the proverbial hump and desperate to save his job and credibility, often by subversive and amoral means. 'Lawrence', played by recent RADA graduate Damola Adelaja, seems frustratingly naive as he starts out his journey on stage and undergoes an interesting and emotional transition of guiding principles as he comes to terms with the means necessary to succeed in this unregulated arena.

The Prompt has now had the pleasure of attending two performances at the Oval House Theatre that are part of the London via Lagos festival (the last being Arinze Kene's Little Baby Jesus), and is adamant that this has been a hugely compelling and successful programme. It is a real shame that more London theatregoers cannot find the time or the will to attend more of these types of events, as they truly fulfill the quintessential essence and purpose of theatre: to invoke within an audience an understanding of the human condition that they previously were unfamiliar with. Fixer does just that.

Quick Quiz: #18 Ian Foster

1. Where are you working at present?

I work for a consortium of London-based voluntary sector consultants.

2. Describe your occupation and why you love it.

I train charities and voluntary groups in fundraising and other organisational development areas, and help write their funding bids. I love it because I get to talk all day, meet new people all across London and get a genuine buzz from knowing that I am helping some of the most undervalued work going on in the city. Also, I have the flexibility to write up theatre reviews when no-one is looking... ;-)

3. Who do you most enjoy working with and why?

Not really office-based, but I love the complete diversity of all the people I meet, forever keeping me on my toes. 

4. What's your dream day?

A rare trip back up north to see family and friends, especially my nieces and nephews.

5. Favourite ever show and why?

Hard one, but His Dark Materials at the National Theatre completely blew me away. I love the books so much that I never imagined I could love a different version of the story, but the adaptation was nigh on perfect, a brilliant cast and a production that showed off the NT at its best. I cried for 10 minutes in my seat as it ended, and wanted to sit through all six hours of it again straightaway.

6. Favourite actor/actress and why?

This changes on a moment by moment basis so I’ll have to give a selection: Julie Atherton whose musical interpretation skills make her one of the most heartbreakingly effective actors out there; John Heffernan, a rising star of subtle power and great depth, a top tip for future stardom; Elliot Cowan for combining being one of the hottest men alive with skilful acting choices; Nancy Carroll, if only for the end of Act II in After The Dance, one of the most perfect acting performances ever; and Helen McCrory as she simply bewitched my heart from the very first moment I saw her. But I reserve the right to change my mind.

7. Favourite band/musical artist and why?

Bj√∂rk. She’s not to everyone’s taste but she has been one of the most fearlessly inventive and consistently innovative artists of recent times, never resting on her laurels and continually challenging herself, audiences and the record industry.

8. Where do you see yourself in 25 years?

Retired to the South of France, having won the Lottery.

9. Any exciting future projects you'd like to mention?

It is all change over here so watch this space, life is getting interesting...

10. Random one: what's your favourite cheese?
Why do you keep making me commit to favourites?! Today it is Grandma Singleton’s Tasty Lancashire – the king of cheeses.

11. Do you have Twitter? Do you follow @the_prompt? You should...

I do have the twitter on @oughttobeclowns and I do follow @the_prompt

Friday, 24 June 2011

Quick Quiz: #17 Jodie McNee

1. Where are you working at present?
 
At the Arcola doing Chekov's Seagull directed by Joseph Blatchley

2. Describe your occupation and why you love it.
 
It is unpredictable, chaotic and inspiring, I have already met some incredible people who have changed my life. Every job you do, you learn new things...

3. Who do you most enjoy working with and why?
 
Cheek By Jowl, Joe Blatchley, Jonathan Harvey and loads of brilliant actors, people who are passionate and are real artists.

4. What's your dream day?
 
Working on a project that I really care about.

5. Favourite ever show and why?
 
My favourite show has to be Ecstasy, Mike Leigh, because it was full of life and i haven't been able to get it out of my head.

6. Favourite actor/actress and why?
 
Liv Ullmann because she is completely open and alive!

7. Favourite band/musical artist and why?
 
Nina Simone because she was incredible!

8. Where do you see yourself in 25 years?
 
Hopefully I'll be working with people who inspire me on a project that I love.

9. Any exciting future projects you'd like to mention?
 
I'm about to play at Bath theatre Royal doing Noel Cowards "This Happy Breed" as part of the Peter Hall company directed by Steven Unwin.  
 
10. Random one: what's your favorite cheese?
 
I really like Blue Stilton!

11. Do you have Twitter? Do you follow @the_prompt? You should...
 
Yes I am on twitter and yes I do follow you! X

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Quick Quiz: #16 Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder (BOTTC)

1. Where are you working at present?

Primarily in London, at the Box of Tricks office, but we’re really excited about travelling around the country with our tour of ‘Head/Heart’ this summer.

2. Describe your occupation and why you love it.

I’m a theatre director. It’s a great occupation because you’re constantly challenging yourself and working with other people who are equally passionate about theatre.

3. Who do you most enjoy working with and why?

Working with actors is really enjoyable as you feel a tangible sense of achievement at the end of every rehearsal day as you edge closer to bringing a play to life.

4. What's your dream day?

Rehearsals followed by a sunny summer evening in a beer garden planning the future of theatre!

5. Favourite ever show and why?

At the moment I’d probably say Black Watch, having seen it twice in 2008 and 2010, I would still say it’s the most inspirational piece of theatre I’ve ever seen.

6. Favorite actor/actress and why?

Again, I don’t think I could commit to just one– Paterson Joseph, David Morrissey, Andrew Scott, all of whom bring a mesmerizing level of detail and truth to every performance.

7. Favourite band/musical artist and why?

Elbow, Bright Eyes, Laura Marling and Maximo Park are often on the playlist at Box of Tricks HQ. Just great tunes.

8. Where do you see yourself in 25 years?

Hopefully still supporting and promoting the next generation of new writing, maybe in a building of our very own!

9. Any exciting future projects you'd like to mention?

Quite a few things in the mix, but nothing we can talk about at the moment I’m afraid. Watch this space!

10. Random one: what's your favorite cheese?

Camembert, especially when it’s baked and there’s plenty of bread to dip into it…delicious!

11. Do you have Twitter? Do you follow @the_prompt? You should...

Yes and yes! You can find us at @bottc.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Quick Quiz: #15 Hannah Nicklin

1. Where are you working at present?
 
My bedroom/lounge. Mostly. Unless that answer contradicts housing/tax law, in which case the answer is 'you know, around...'

2. Describe your occupation and why you love it.
 
If I had to boil it down to a sentence, I guess I'd say that I 'write, think, talk about and make theatre and performance for a living'. If you wanted a longer version of that, I'd say my work specifically lives in some of the space between performance and digital technology;  including speaking at conferences, running workshops, giving lectures, working with theatre/arts companies on their use of tech, writing for and making my own performance/performative projects, collaborating with others on creative projects, and a PhD which is mostly concerned with arguing what I do *is* theatre/performance. I'm also on the board of Third Angel. Oh and I do a bit of whining on my blog occasionally too.
I love theatre and performance and technology, and so count myself very lucky to be able to eke a living out of it. But what I think I love the most, is the energy and generosity of most people I encounter in the sector.
 
3. Who do you most enjoy working with and why?
 
ALL OF THE PEOPLE. No, seriously, I spend way too much time around books at the moment. Any chance to get out and talk to/work with creative people is awesome. A lot of my practice has so far been long-distance collaboration, so I'm hoping that over the next few years I can add a bit more 'seeing people IRL' into the mix. Maybe work with certain companies more regularly.

4. What's your dream day?
 
Gosh. I don't know. A couple of months ago I was walking through Nottingham past Page45 comics and tweeted how I wished I could afford something from there, and then half an hour later of lazing in the sunshine talking about setting up a new scratch night I got a DM inviting me back to the shop, where a benevolent stranger had put some money on account for me to buy 3 books. That day was pretty dreamy. I bought an ice cream and gave it to someone I'd walked past a few times holding a big sign in the sun. Pass it forward, you know?
But I suppose at the moment my 'dream day' is the end of the PhD - I'm going to try and go full freelance then, and move somewhere exciting and full of life, like Leeds. Lots of trepidations involved, but well outweighed by excitement.

5. Favourite ever show and why?
 
FAVOURITE EVER questions are difficult. There's no 'ever', as each show, musician, performer marks and shifts different versions of you. Sarah Kane's writing woke me up to theatre when I was 16. Black Watch took my breath away when I was 22, As If It Were the Last Time by Duncan Speakman opened my mind to performance that lived and breathed the streets 2 years ago. Right now, my favourite show is SlungLow's Mapping the City. Not only my favourite show, but one of my favourite ever experiences. I wax lyrical about how brilliant it was over here if you're interested.

6. Favourite actor/actress and why?
 
I tend not to think about performers as much as I probably should. I think the best disappear in front of you. I regularly fall a little in love in the theatre, though. Recently people like Lucy Ellinson, Chris Goode, Jon Spooner. What characterises them is passion, support when they're working with an audience, and the sense that they're offering you a little bit of their heart.

7. Favourite band/musical artist and why?
 
I'm into screamy, guitar-y stuff. I'm not doing you a favourite, but recent listening includes: La Dispute, Without Fire, Castavet, Deaf Havana, Piano Becomes the Teeth, The Wild, the Front Bottoms, Monument. I buy a lot of music at the moment. I grew up when Napster got big, so I only started paying for my downloads very recently. It was Bandcamp that did it. I have actual relationships with bands that mean something, all or almost all of my money goes to them, and they treat me like an adult, I can stream it all before I buy and then 'pay what you think it's worth' with two clicks. Some music is only worth £6. Some is worth much more than that. I'll often go back and give the band more money when I fall in love with something.

8. Where do you see yourself in 25 years?
 
No idea, and I kind of like that. Although I've given up hope of ever owning a house (I reckon anyone under 30 without rich parents has no chance), but hopefully it will be somewhere high up, with solar panels, a vegetable garden, and an independent water source. Plus I'd like to be still working with awesome people making awesome stuff.

9. Any exciting future projects you'd like to mention?
 
Is this where I'm supposed to plug stuff? I guess I just finished writing for a piece about the apocalypse to be done atop a London night bus next month, and I'm speaking at TEDxYork on the 7th about cities and art in the lead up to a month-long city-wide storytelling experiment starting in October. Oh, and me and Andy Field of Forest Fringe are getting together a 'flash conference' for Edinburgh this year, about performance, fringes, and the state of the world. We're going to be asking some big questions and inviting people to have conversations about them amongst performance, installations, and provocations from some exciting TBA people. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME. We're even doing lunch.
If you're interested in any of these things, best thing to do is follow me on Twitter @hannahnicklin, on my blog http://hannahnicklin.com, or on dedicated sites, like http://umbrellaproject.co.uk and http://flashconference.co.uk
 
10. Random one: what's your favorite cheese?
 
ALL OF THE CHEESE. Except feta. Which isn't cheese. It's chalky and malevolent.

11. Do you have Twitter? Do you follow @the_prompt? You should...
 
I do! I'm @hannahnicklin. I'm really fussy about the people that I follow, though, it's distracting enough as it is with only 1000 or so to follow! Quite often I'll list people, and go and check out what they're saying when I have a mo.