Ellie Dubois and Kim Donohoe discuss their R&D Residency

| Thu 11 May 2017

Ellie Dubois and Kim Donohoe talk to us about their individual practices and new collaboration on Little Top, a circus event for toddlers and the focus of their Creation Space R&D residency.

Could you tell us about yourselves?
Kim is a Scottish theatre maker, performer and facilitator. Her work is based in devised contemporary theatre and performance experiences, most often for children.
Ellie is an award-winning performer and maker of contemporary theatre and circus, based on the West Coast of Scotland.
We met on the Contemporary Performance Practice course at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Our first collaboration was I hope you never love anyone as much as I love you, a show about country music, female friendship and problematic love. It toured to and was supported by The Arches, Buzzcut, Forest Fringe, BAC, Camden People’s Theatre and Beacons Festival.
How would you describe the work you create?
Ellie makes work that combines her two practices of contemporary performance and circus. She creates devised circus shows that aim to be thoughtful and that showcase much more than just tricks. Ellie’s circus show for one audience member at a time, Ringside, has toured the UK and is now touring internationally. Her most recent work No Show starring five female circus performers will be at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.
Kim creates shows and workshops, and also performs in her own and others work. Recently, as part of Thimble Collective, she created All Night, Tonight for Juice Festival, an interactive TV studio for children who can’t (or won’t) sleep, which was presented in schools and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Kim is a co-director of KOR! Records, a music label that runs experimental music projects for young people with additional support needs and releases their output. She is also a member of Sprog Rock, a band that performs live gigs for 0-5 year olds. They will be touring nurseries in Autumn 2017.
Using our shared skill set we hope to create a unique and exciting piece of early years performance that immerses both a baby and adult audience in the world of circus.
What will you be working on during your residency at artsdepot?
We will be working on Little Top, a circus show for Early Years audiences (ages 0-2). We believe that babies can and should get pleasure and enjoyment from experiencing circus in a way that is tailored to them and the adults who care for them. With Little Top we aim to mix spectacular moments with intimate engagement to create a magical first circus experience.

Which elements of the project will you be developing while you’re here?
We are going to be investigating which circus skills fit best into Little Top, and will focus particularly on the ground based acrobatics and juggling. We’re also using this time to think about the design of the work, how many performers will be involved and what their skill set will be, and the other people we will collaborate with further down the line. We will also use this time to work with some excellent London based circus performers, and to investigate the age the show is most interesting for.
What the most useful thing to have with you in the rehearsal room?
We can’t make a show without post-it notes! We’ll also have lots of juggling balls, ribbons, and some brilliant circus performers in the room.

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