Regional Room - Lydia Cottrell / Uncanny Theatre

What to expect at Regional Room: Lydia Cottrell / Uncanny Theatre

| Tue 29 Mar 2016

Our festival of ideas is back with two nights of work by established and emerging artists across art forms. Regional Room will be focusing on artists from outside London, as part of A Nation's Theatre, which celebrates theatre from around the UK. On Friday 13 May we welcome Lydia Cottrell with Atlantis and Uncanny Theatre with You Had To Be There to our Creation Space. We caught up with them to find out more about what inspired the work, what to expect on the night and more about the creation process.

Lydia Cottrell creates bold and brave multi-disciplinary performance that challenges institutional status quo and presents new ideas and questions to audiences in engaging and interesting ways.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?
In 2014, in October I went on my last ever holiday with my family we spent two weeks in Florida. When I was there I spent 3 days alone in Disney World the happiest place on earth. I also visited the Kennedy Space Centre. The whole experience made me think about a lot about the human race.

What can we expect from the show?
Popcorn, hotdogs, ballet and a bleep test.

What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve come across in the creation process?
I learnt how to train for failure.

Uncanny Theatre is the creative partnership of Total Theatre Award-winner Matt Rogers and comedy practitioner Natalie Bellingham, they make comedy theatre that is playfully absurd, visually arresting and gloriously low-tech.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?
To be honest we had a bit of a moment where we really started to think about why it is that we make live performance. What is it that's so special about it that you just can't do with a film for example. So we dove into really exploring everything that is unique about the shared experience and in a world where we experience a lot of things vicariously through social media, what it actually means to "be there".

What can we expect from the show?
It really is a celebration of being in the here and now, sharing a moment with the people around you. We try to lean into what makes up one of those stories that means everything to the people who were there, but are just incoherent nonsense to anyone else. It's funny, it's irreverent and it's constantly surprising, even to us. So much of what makes this show so great comes from the people who are there, and we wouldn't want it any other way. One of our audience members, who is clearly better with words than us, described it as being "like a glass of bubbly in austerity times. Like a brilliant party.", and we're happy to take that.

What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve come across in the creation process?
That we'd have a lot fewer regrets if we just turned up to "that thing" more often. And not wanting to sound like a ridiculous hippy, but maybe that community is the answer to pretty much everything (slight pause for Matt to be a little bit sick in his mouth), I suppose the key thing is that it always seems like more effort than you want to put in... but it's always worth it. Oh yeah, and you can do a shitload more with a disco ball than you'd think.

See Atlantis by Lydia Cottrell and You Had To Be There by Uncanny Theatre at artsdepot Friday 13 May.

Read about What to expect from Regional Room: ThisEgg / Luke Wright

More about Regional Room Festival.

More about A Nation's Theatre Festival.

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