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 …

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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: www.ninatour.co.uk 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:https://www.riksteatern.se/ https://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk/ 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

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 …

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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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