Suffering from Been on a Trip Syndrome

There’s a thing isn’t there called Been On A Course Syndrome, well I think I’ve caught something similar Been On A Trip Syndrome. I’ve just spent a few days in Cartagena, Spain – a town that is attempting to maximise the value of its Roman Heritage (and ruins).  Living in Colchester its hard not to make comparisons, and draw parallels. Cartagena has a magnificent ruin of a 7,000 seat Roman Theatre, discovered as late as the 1980’s and for a whole host of reasons (including ruins under low grade housing that can be removed, substantial ruins in good condition, some historical good fortune including not being burned to ashes by you know who, a powerful consortium combining the LA, the University, chamber and local history groups driving interest, subsequent EU funding and a desire to rebuild the towns fortunes based on its culture and history) the town has been able to both preserve and substantially invest in its ruins. Alongside the Theatre are two different approaches.  The temple, and a town house are preserved and displayed ‘underground’ – under existing buildings – whilst the Forum is maintained under a contemporary canopy practically in the centre of the town. Everywhere you go there is evidence of joined up thinking – in the signage, in the promotion, in the way the town is communicating, in its joined up message (many of the key sites are run by the consortium), by the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff and there seemingly omnipresent t …

Read moreSuffering from Been on a Trip Syndrome

A VR/AR viewing list courtesy of Expanded Realities

A list of VR/AR films mentioned or featured at todays Digital Catapult / Open Cities Docs Fest #expandedrealities seminar. In no particular order, and I will have missed some!  

The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps – playing at home

  It’s the Monday morning after the week before.  My studio floor in 37 Queen Street, Colchester is covered in the remnants of last weeks residency on The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps, hastily ‘dumped’ on Friday as we raced off to The Idler festival for an initial reading of the work. There’s a Baboon mask, a conductors baton, top hat and tails, empty wig boxes, flip chart paper, pens, pens and more pens. As I tidied through the ephemera, updated the accounts, completed the rehearsal notes and revised our project schedule I found myself reflecting on the week before. @MatthewLinley @MurrayLYoung @idler It’s been a brilliant couple of days! Have a good one tonight, and see u soon! — arun ghosh (@arunghosh) July 13, 2018 We’d been working on a new ‘epic’ poem by Murray Lachlan Young. Murray and I were joined by Nina Hajiyianni, AD of Action Transport (Outside Eye), Arun Ghosh (composer) and Laura Biggs (movement) to explore how this hilarious work could be brought to life live on stage. Julie Verhoeven was also very much present in the room through her stunning illustrations. It had been an exhilarating and successful week, concluding with that live reading of the work at the Idler Festival in the beautiful and atmospheric surroundings of The Drawing Room in Fenton House. There were lots of reasons why the week had felt so positive. First – of course – was the strength of the material. The more we worked on the text, the …

Read moreThe Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps – playing at home

Discovering The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps

Raddlesham Mumps was the seat of the Clumps As ancient and strange as the old fairy tumps Stacked high and widelike a mound of crow feather With rumours the wallpaper held it all together Thanks to the support of Arts Council England, and Essex County Council, Murray Lachlan Young, I and a team of tip top collaborators including clarinetist Arun Ghosh and Action Transport’s Artistic Director Nina Hajiyianni are about to go on a journey into a dark and gothic world! Fitting then that the first of those explorations is happening in my own home town of Wivenhoe!!!! That dark and gothic world is The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps – Murray Lachlan Young’s brand new verse poem for children (8+) and their families. The story centres on young Crispin, the recently orphaned master of the Raddlesham Mumps. With only the company  of the ancient butler Kenilworth, Crispin hears the tale of the lords of Raddlesham Mumps and their untimely demises. But Crispin doesn’t realise that the dark, mysterious force that has been the bane of his family for generations has turned its gaze towards him… (One of Murray’s latest videos with the team at Ridley Scott, Lycra Dad!!) Seven years old, he was seven years old Ripped like a lamb from the warmth of the fold Britches of red with a curl in his hair Thrust to the fore like a pig at the fair   Murray Lachlan Young is of course the BBC6Music Poet in Residence.  He came to prominence during the Brit …

Read moreDiscovering The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps

Jason Singh wins a HMUK award to develop a new music theatre piece for children

I’m really pleased to announce that one of the artists I’ve been working with – Jason Singh – has today been awarded one of HMUK’s Fusion Awards. The support of HMUK will enable Jason, I and his collaborators Arun Ghosh and Fabric Lenny to develop a new music theatre show for 5-8 year olds for 2019.  The award will allow the artists to develop the project across 2018, leading to three periods of touring in 2019 The show – as yet untitled -will be playfull and immersive, focusing on the natural world around us.  It will include a genre-busting mix of live beat boxing, images, surround sound, words, electronica, jazz, hip-hop and South Asian classical/folk music.  We know that the performance will exist in a magical, dreamlike world of sound, words and projections. It will be experimental and abstract.  Part music, part theatre, part spoken word…it’s a potent and innovative mix. The project is commissioned by Big Imaginations, a venue consortium dedicated to showcasing and producing theatre especially for children and their families. Jason Singh said  ‘I’ve not been as excited about a project for ages. It’s been brewing since Arun, Fabric and I teamed up for a one-off gig at Unity Theatre in Liverpool. That whetted my appetite to do more. Then Big Imaginations gave us R&D time/support, which REALLY opened my eyes to the creative possibilities of working with these guys. I’ve never made work of this scale/ambition for children before so the support of HMUK is going to …

Read moreJason Singh wins a HMUK award to develop a new music theatre piece for children

Matthew Linley gains International Artist Development Award

  I’ve just learnt I’ve been awarded one of the final Artists International Development Fund Awards, a jointly funded programme between the British Council and Arts Council England. The award is to undertake a 3 week research project over 6 months, working towards the development of a new mid-scale touring project (Little Rock) & a smaller scale work (The Glorious Death). Both projects are being creatively led by Dritero Kasapi, who I worked alongside in the development and delivery of Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone (Unity/Riksteatern). Though very different both projects they combine theatre, music, digital arts and spoken word and bring together international collaborators. The project will involve 2 key visits, 1 to Sweden (primarily to Stockholm’s Stadsteatern & Malmo City Theatre) and 1 to Sarejevo’s Mess Festival. Although early days in the development of both projects for UK touring, heres some initial information. Glorious Death explores Europes past, present and future – from WW2 to Brexit – through the life of Gloria, a story recovered by her son through song, old letters and personal videos (which feature Gloria’s sister, lover, young friend and an immigrant café owner). A Glorious Death is performed by an older actor/actress, a counter tenor (performing an eclectic soundtrack live) and 4 on screen characters. The piece is performed in alternative spaces – cafes, bars, galleries and we’re looking to tour in March/April 2018. Little Rock is a new mid scale theatre piece being developed with Malmo City Theatre, inspired …

Read moreMatthew Linley gains International Artist Development Award