Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone

Producers: Rikseatern, Sweden and Unity Theatre “Josette Bushell-Mingo blows the roof off with this searing look at the life of Nina Simone” — Caroline McGinn (Time Out) Project Weblink: I worked on Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone from its first R&D through to its UK tour. To date the show has played nearly 100 performances, nearly always sold out- October 2016 Liverpool, UK (world premiere) November 2016- March 2017 – Sweden July 2017 – Young Vic (London) August 2017 – Traverse (Edinburgh) December- January 2018 (Stadsteatern, Stockholm, Sweden) January-March 2018 UK tour visiting Salford, Exeter, Leicester, Keswick, Birmingham, Hull and Liverpool ‘A searing tribute restarts Simone’s revolution’ The Guardian ‘Josette Bushell Mingo blows the roof off with this searing look at the life of Nina Simone’ Time Out London ★★★★★ The Scotsman ★★★★★ Broadway Baby ★★★★★ Afridiziak ★★★★ The Times ★★★★ The Stage ★★★★ The Guardian ★★★★ Time Out London Key Dates: Nina will be touring again in Autumn. Dates to be announced soon Web Links: More info:This was my piece for the UK tour programme about the development of Nina: Unity Theatre – Liverpool’s small scale theatre with big ambitions – was a huge part of Josette Bushell Mingo’s early career, and in so many ways, creating Nina has been a kind of homecoming for all of us. Perhaps more importantly though, it has been a natural partnership between kindred spirits. Unity has a long history of making political theatre and of exploring …

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Little Rock

Client: Malmo Theatre (Sweden) and other UK partners tbc Imagine armed troops blocking you from going to school. In 1957? In 2019? Little Rock is the second of my current projects with Dritero Kasapi (director of Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone) supported by an Arts Council/British Council International Artists Development Award. Little Rock is a co-production with Malmo City Theatre, using a similar process to the one used to develop Nina –pan international creative teams, R&D in UK and Sweden, show being rehearsed and created in Sweden and playing in both countries. The work’s starting point is the Little Rock crisis in the fall of 1957. Governor Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling at Central High School. 70 years later one of the Little Rock nine recalls what happened, sharing her story with a child little older than she was then. Dritero Kasapi is being joined by Iranian writer Behrand Behjdou to tell this special story. Development period: First R&D in Malmo, Autumn 18 Second R&D in UK, Spring 19 Opens Malmo, Autumn 19 Plays the UK in Spring 20 What we are looking for: UK Partner venues

Glorious Death

In Development How old is Europe and what is its future? Project Weblink: To Come I’m delighted to be once again working with Dritero Kasapi (director of Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone) on two projects, supported by an Arts Council/British Council International Artists Development Award. A Glorious Death is performed by an older actor/actress, a counter tenor (performing the music live) and 4 on screen characters. The piece is performed in alternative spaces – cafes, bars, galleries as well as studio spaces. The show explores Europe’s History – from WW2 to Brexit – seen 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 deals with so many issues – exile, racism, growing old, death, loss and memory amongst them – yet it is not a piece about issues at all. The subtlety of the director’s methods is utterly extraordinary ’ Nottingham Visual Arts ‘Glorious Death’ is a poetic and yes touching lament over Europe, a scrutinising and honest reflection of the Westerner’ SR Kulturnytt ‘Fascinating stories that stick. The montage technique used creates several meanings and ironies, contrasting with the sad quality that the counter tenor Nuri Harun Ates beautiful voice creates, but also to the nostalgia that is heightened by the speechless presence of Gloria’ Svenska Dagbladet Development period: Filming in Nov, Dec and January followed by rehearsals in March 19. …

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Horny Handed Tons of Soil

Client: Phrased & Confused Horny Handed Tons of Soil is a co-production between Phrased & Confused and Unity Theatre  ‘A modern day Under Milk Wood’ (Chris McCabe) ‘it steals and quietly breaks your heart’ (Liverpool Sound and Vision) Project weblink: Inspired by the maverick work of Adrian Henri, Horny Handed Tons of Soil, fuses beat poetry with folk song, electronic composition with live brass and percussion and documentary film with theatrical story telling. It’s a truly mesmeric show, beautiful in so many ways Heres the blurb: ‘The city is alive. Wandering the streets, the Child, the Poet and Death trace memories and map dreams onto a landscape shifting under the spell of time’ You can read more about the show, Adrian Henri here and about Lizzie Nunnery’s process in developing the show here Key dates: 7 June – York Theatre Royal Web Links: Back in 2016 Phrased & Confused together with the Unity Theatre commissioned Liverpool based poet, folk singer and playwright Lizzie Nunnery to create a new spoken word piece to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Mersey Sound by Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri. Lizzie has always found herself drawn to the work of Adrian – a poet, painter and performer – a polymath who like many of the artists both Unity and Phrased & Confused work with, crossed boundaries and genres with ease.  So it was Adrian’s work, his ‘happenings’ and his wanderings (early experiments in mytho-geography) that …

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