A huge thank you to everyone who supported Machines For Living at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe! We had a great time and you can read all our press, Twitter love and see our photos here on our Storify page. We owe a huge amount to our co-producing partners The Blue Elephant Theatre who commissioned the show for its first run in May and have supported us ever since. Click here to have a look...
Metatheatre? There's a simpler word.
In critiques of Mess by Caroline Horton at The Traverse this year, one word seems to come up over and over again: metatheatre. I was surprised to see this word used quite so obsessively, perhaps because I associate it with my own over-use of it in over-excited undergraduate essays about Renaissance drama. Look, it’s everywhere! Yes, because all Renaissance drama and indeed most theatre ever has...
Another great review brings a good start to the week! **** Exeunt magazine - ’undeniably impressive’ Read the full review here
We’ve had some great reviews so far at the Fringe… **** The Skinny who, rather hilariously, have accidentally called the show Machines For Dying! **** The Edinburgh Guide Who described the show as ‘glittering and sharp’ Matt Trueman for The List wrote that the company had ‘that rare thing: a distinctive voice.’ Read the full review here If you...
Thank you to our sponsors!
A huge thank you to everyone who made a donation to the company via our WeFund appeal. Your support means a huge amount to us! Machines For Living was sponsored by: Richenda Walsh, Tim Day, Sacha Plaige, Emily Ayoub, Jess Hyslop, Elena Wealty, Sue Mann, Jill & Nigel Calvert, Tim Middleton and Bent Haugland.
More Trellick Tower
Following Saturday’s post on the ubiquitous Trellick Tower, I was introduced to this print by Jo Peel. Whilst we’re talking urban architecture, have a look at her incredible stop-motion / street art film below! www.jopeel.com Things Change - Jo Peel 2012 from Jo Peel on Vimeo.
The city of today is a dying thing because it is not geometrical.– From The City of Tomorrow by Le Corbusier.
A New Brutality
Like architecture? Like techno? Interesting review in Fact Magazine of a new release which references Brutalism in its title, artwork and musical concept. So yes, another album cover, another grainy black and white photo of Brutalist architecture. But this time it’s a bit more thought through. Compare with Damon Albarn’s fondness for the very same Trellick Tower in his videos,...
A Morality Play For Our Times
We’ve had lots of support from Building Design magazine and they surpassed themselves at the end of our run at Blue Elephant Theatre by persuading renowned architects Kate Macintosh and George Finch to write reviews of Machines For Living! Kate and George both worked for the Greater London Council in the 1960s, when our play is set, designing huge housing projects such as Lambeth Towers and...
Let Slip in Edinburgh... and how to help us get...
In just two weeks’ time, Let Slip will be on their way to the Edinburgh Fringe! We go back into rehearsals tomorrow, so I’ve spent the last few days reviewing footage we took of the show when we presented it at Blue Elephant Theatre and trying to identify moments we might change or adapt. It’s a strange mental process, trying to distance oneself from something you created in order to see it,...
A response to Alex Chisholm’s article, ‘The End of...
I highly recommend Alex Chisholm’s excellent article on new writing in Exeunt. She makes interesting and vital points about the danger of theatres’ attempts to help writers develop their scripts, as originality is squeezed out by homogenous received wisdom about what a good play should be. She also, very pertinently for me, laments what she sees as a false opposition between ‘new writing’ and...
Help send Machines For Living to Edinburgh
We’re very excited about taking Machines For Living to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe but we need to do some more fundraising to make it possible! We’re raising money via our WeFund site: click here to have a look and make a donation. Anything you can give is hugely appreciated!
Farewell Blue Elephant
Thank you to everyone who came to see Machines For Living at The Blue Elephant Theatre in South London. We had a fantastic four week run and it was a pleasure to make the show and perform it in such a wonderful theatre! Do have a look at The Blue Elephant’s website, here. They programme some of the most exciting work in London, with an impressive commitment to new writing and physical or visual...
Less about bricks and mortar than the tragedy of hope versus reality, it’s an...– The Stage on Machines For Living, click here to read the full review
That most magical time
Finally… Into rehearsals for Machines For Living. It came into being as a scratch in October 2011 and after seven more months of research and preparation we’re in the rehearsal room at last. The research process has been a joy. A week spent in the library at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), afternoons spent watching documentary films and, best of all, interviews...
Last week we were lucky enough to meet Paul Bird, author of the Single Aspect blog (here) which scrutinises housing design and policy in the UK. Single Aspect has been a brilliant resource during our research and it was a delight to finally meet Paul. This is a particularly interesting article he wrote about Kate Macintosh’s Dawson’s Heights building in Dulwich. I’m off to visit Dawson’s...
Friends & Relations
Two exciting shows in London this week! Let Slip’s newest recruit Nicole Pschetz has created a new show with her company Energinmotion, titled Where The Nights Are Blue And Electric. It plays at The Resistance Gallery in Bethnall Green on Thursday and Friday this week. Check out Energinmotion’s blog here and the flyer for the show here. Meanwhile, Let Slip’s very own Frode Gjerlow performs...
Every straight line was to savour; every right angle was suggestive of a brave...– Estates: An Intimate History by Lynsey Hanley
Community Land Trusts
This is a bit technical but it’s one of the most interesting things I’ve discovered whilst researching our new show Machines For Living. In February this year, Boris Jonson offered a site in Mile End to the East London Community Land Trust rather than three rival commercial developers. A Community Land Trust buys land, builds on it and sells the properties for the value of the building, ie. the...
Working with Alison and Peter Smithson was like asking Matisse for advice on...– The best quote I found in the RIBA library
Interview with Stuart from The Blue Elephant...
Delighted to read this interview with Stuart Cox from The Blue Elephant Theatre, in which he talks about the wide-ranging and vital work BET do with young people in Southwark. India and I were lucky enough to work on the Speak Out! Forum Theatre project he discusses at the start of the article. It really was a brilliant experience and we were lucky to work with such a fantastic group of young...
Modernist tower blocks in music videos
Just read an article, published in The Quietus a few days ago, about Trellick Tower (below) and its use in Damon Albarn’s music videos. Do click here for the full article, and keep your eyes peeled for Trellick in the three music videos below. In its short lifetime, the Tower has been held up as an example of modernism’s beauty and aesthetic abhorrence. It’s been synonymous...
We’re knee-deep in research this week, for our new show Machines For Living. Our copy of new independent film Utopia London was hand-delivered yesterday and we’re looking forward to cracking open to popcorn and watching it this afternoon! Trailer looks fantastic. Can’t wait to meet film-maker Tom Cordell for an interview later this week. Find out more about his project here. ...
Introducing our newest cast member
A couple of weeks ago, we were delighted to welcome Nicole Pschetz into our ensemble. Nicole moved to the UK from Brazil in 2003 and trained at the International School of Corporeal Mime in London (see their excellent website here). Since then she’s toured shows all over Europe, with Theatre de L’Ange Fou and her own company Energinmotion (Facebook group here). She’s a fantastic presence in the...
God bless the internet. This weekend I discovered Azonto, a style of music and dancing from Ghana. I love the music. And I’m fascinating by the dancing. There’s very little information online but apparently this is a modern take on an old form of Ghanian dancing, in which the movements are based on household chores like ironing and washing. Which made me think, there’s an...
After I posted the video for William Kentridge’s take on The Nose, my friend George at Clout Theatre showed me this short film by Andrei Khrzhanovsky, with music by Alfred Schnittke. It’s like Magritte meeting those Letterland videos I watched as a child. Clout have been working on a piece inspired by Daniil Kharms’ short stories, called How A Man Crumbled. ...
A few years ago, I saw an unforgettable exhibition of paintings, drawings and films by South African artist William Kentridge at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. But I hadn’t realised how involved he is in theatre and today I discovered that he studied at the Lecoq School! Enjoy the videos below. I think the scenography and multimedia, for his production of The Magic Flute, in the first...
hisblushingbride asked: Hello, I searched the tag 'Lecoq' and found your work labelled 'work at L’École Jacques Lecoq'. I'm doing a presentation on Lecoq in school on Monday and I was wondering if I could use your photo as an example. Also, any information that you have on your experience with the school would be brilliant. Please reply, Hayley!
Very Important Article
Three cheers for this article on ‘devised theatre’ in today’s Guardian!
MACHINES FOR LIVING
Very soon, we’ll be announcing London dates for our brand new show Machines For Living! Inspired by the architects who believed tower blocks would create urban utopias, Machines For Living tells the story of a couple who believe they can design life. The piece was first commissioned as a scratch peformance by The Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell. Since then, the company has grown and...
Not long until Trunkated: a night of work-in-progress performances at the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell, London, on Tuesday October 25th. I’ll be performing alongside India Banks, who helped me make my last show, Hamster Town. We’ve spent the last few weeks researching and developing ideas about architecture and town planning. (There is functional and efficient performance he claims...
I am looking to meet. A mermaid. Of any age, with a range of interests which include chess, pass the parcel and tuna. I have been fishing for seventeen years now, since my wife died. I live with my mother. I think she could use the company too. I worry that I bore her. My mother’s hands are old and wrinkled now. They are the thing I find most difficult to recognise as hers because I remember when...
A huge thank you to everyone who came to see Hamster Town. I had a great time and really hope to be able to take the show out on tour, in the future. Click here for full credits for the show, including all the people who came into rehearsals with me and were so generous with their ideas and my long list of thanks to people without whom the show wouldn’t have made it onstage. Most memorable...
Only three performances of Hamster Town to go! Don’t miss this mega-awesome chance to see theatre described thus: “a character of literary worth by a theatre maker I’ll be looking out for in the future” Spoonfed “ability to take the quaint and turn it into something almost Lynchian is wonderful… oddly compelling… very enjoyable” Exeunt Magazine ...
Morning all. Hamster Town is steaming ahead. Click here to read Spoonfed’s brilliant review. The show is on every night at 7.30pm until 17th August. Please come along! Once you’ve made it as far as Hamster Town, you should stick around for Simon Kane’s superb show Jonah Non Grata, straight after mine at Camden People’s Theatre. And for your daytimes… I’ve already hyped the Miro exhibition...
a character of literary worth… a great portrait of a lonely, well-meaning...– Review by Naima Khan at Spoonfed. Read the whole thing here.
Ralfe’s ability to take the quaint and make it something almost Lynchian...– Review from Exeunt magazine, read the whole thing here.
Strange doing a show about locking the door and ignoring the hostile world outside whilst police sirens scream past the theatre windows. Massive love to everyone who came last night, despite the turbulence. I particularly enjoyed it yesterday. Some lovely people said lovely things on Twitter (scroll down). David x
… managed to see Hamster Town at the CPT. It was wonky, lovely aceness....– Simon Kane on Twitter, last night. Be sure to catch his show Jonah Non Grata at Camden People’s Theatre, 9pm each night, straight after Hamster Town.
An interesting take on the male psyche. Or maybe it’s not gender specific...– said the Spoonfed reviewer on Twitter, last night.
Just enjoyed a quietly domestic day off. Now, to dream of entertaining you lovely people for another nine performances. Book your tickets now! “a gem of a show… thoroughly delightful” Snipe Magazine “a powerful story” On The Fringe Paper Night night xx
Another lovely review
Kind words over at The Snipe. Click here to read. “Ralfe is so adorable I wanted to slap him” “a fine little hairy gem of a show” Brighten up your Sunday night with Hamster Town, Camden People’s Theatre, 7.30pm.