What to expect at Room 2016: Mixed Bill 1

| Mon 17 Oct 2016

Room, our festival of ideas is back with three nights of new work by established and emerging artists. On Wednesday 16 November we welcome Josie Dale Jone with Unconditional, Caitlin Griffiths with What is Socrates’ phone number?, Hyphen Theatre Company with The Soft Subject, HighRise Theatre with Big Foot and Lucy Crowe / Fly No Filter with Glorious-Mia 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.

Josie Dale Jones: Unconditional

Can you tell us about yourself and the work you create?

My name is Josie, and my mum’s name is Steffi - we are mother and daughter. My mum is swiss, which makes me half swiss. We are both theatre makers. We make our own theatre (I run ThisEgg and my mum co-founded Hoipolloi), and theatre with other companies. We wonder if we can make a piece of theatre together. We are both interested in telling intimate stories in a way that is accessible and encourages the audience to imagine beyond what they see in front of them. This is the first time we will work together so we can’t tell you much about the work we might create. We know that it will be devised. We think it will make you laugh and we hope it will make you think.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?

Prompted by other people, we have been joking around about doing a show together for a while. We are not sure when the joke stopped being a joke and something we started to think about in a more real way. Mothers, daughters, love, women and LIMITS. Is this ‘bond’ unbreakable?

What can we expect from the show?

The piece is just an idea. So far, there is nothing but a title. And we’re not even sure about that. We want to test where the word ‘unconditional’ will lead. We have many questions and not really any answers but we are really intrigued and hope you are too…

@JosieDaleJones @ThisEgg_

Caitlin Griffiths: What is Socrates’ phone number?

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the work you create?

I’m a visual artist based in London and Birmingham. I work mostly with video and text, but have recently been experimenting with performance. I feel I’m driven by a primary desire to understand myself and my place in the world, and do this by wanting to know more about other people. Who are you? How did you become this person? Are you the person you want to be? Where are you going next?

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?

Over the last 6 months I have been developing the live and performance aspect of my practice. What is Socrates Phone Number? was originally a 1-to-1 performance, but for Room festival I am really interested to see if I can open this up to a larger group of participants to experience together. The script has been built from conversations I had with an AI (www.cleverbot.com) during a period of emotional turmoil – the breakdown of a relationship. That experience definitely framed the interactions I had and with the subsequent choices I made about what questions and answers to leave in.

What can we expect from the show?

There will be a between 5 – 10 scripted parts for audience members to volunteer for, so they can participate in the performance with me, simply by picking up the script and reading straight from it.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve come across in the creation process?

People say the most poetic and insightful things to me. One person told me "I left as an act of love" which felt deeply profound and incredibly pertinent to my situation at that moment. Other phrases and secrets have stuck with me, some for sharing: "it felt like everything before was a story" and others I will be keeping to myself.

www.caitlingriffiths.com
@artist_caitlin

Hyphen Theatre Company: The Soft Subject

Can you tell us a little bit about Hyphen Theatre and the work you create?

In 2013 while training at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts I (Chris Woodley) met Esmé Patey-Ford and we formed Hyphen Theatre Company. We love collaborating with other artists and we are interested in making work that is brave, honest, playful and has heart. Last year we were lucky enough to get support in kind from Shoreditch Town Hall to work on our first full length play Next Lesson. The play explores Section 28 which is a policy that Margaret Thatcher introduced in 1988 that said teachers weren't allowed to 'promote' homosexuality in schools.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?

The Soft Subject is an autobiographical show about how I survived heartbreak when it threatened to break me. I began writing it last year, I was interested in exploring my relationship with being a secondary school teacher and my expectations of falling in love. I'd been in two serious long term relationships and found myself thinking about what we lose when a relationship ends. Homes, friendships, families. Some families never get to say goodbye to partners that may have been a part of their lives for years. Often in heartbreak we become very self centred about what we are going through.

What can we expect from the show?

You can expect a drama lesson. You can expect some nineties music. You can expect me to be brutally honest. I'm more interested in having a love party than a pity party. Drama Lesson + Camp + Love + Family + Boyfriend + Unknown = The Soft Subject.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve come across in the creation process?

The most interesting thing to come out of it is has been exploring my relationship with being an actor and a teacher. What are the similarities? As a teacher you stand in front of a class (audience) and deliver a lesson (show) even when internally you might be struggling with your personal life. Anna Beecher the Dramaturg on this project has really pushed me to lean into the challenging stuff we find hard to talk about. Anna and I spent a week in Reykjavik with Icelandic director Agnes Wild working on the script to see if we could find the heartbreak and humour in the show. Love is the theme. Life is the lesson.

www.hyphentheatre.com
@HyphenTC  @ImChrisWoodley

HighRise Theatre: Big Foot

Can you tell us about HighRise Theatre and the work you create?

HighRise Theatre is a collective of five collaborators with co-artistic directors Dominic Garfield and Joseph Barnes-Phillips at the helm. This bearded duo aim to create social and political work for urban audiences. HighRise believe that they are the father of this X box generation so it important for us to create bridges where the are social, cultural and political divides. We create vibrant energetic masterpieces mixed with Grime music, colloquial stories and rhythms that would blow your mind. We do all of this by keeping our ears to the streets and a foot in the theatre.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?

Bigfoot is a piece birthed from the tears of Co-artistic Dirctor Joseph Barnes Phillips. The story is inspired by factual events that he went through as a young carer growing up on the streets of south London doing his best to figure out how to become a man.

What can we expect from the show?

You can expect cultural folk tales from Guyana, intense grime music all the way from dirty south, a beautiful love story, a ridiculous amount of honesty and buckets energy. Let's not forget that the guyanese are famous for their food so there could be a cheeky treat in it for you.

What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve come across in the creation process?

The most interesting thing for Joe has been recreating the vibrant characters from his past. Remembering intensely emotional stories and making them visually interesting for an audience.

www.highrisetheatre.com
@HighRise_UK

Lucy Crowe / Fly No Filter: Glorious-Mia

Can you tell us about yourself and Fly No Filter and the work you create?

I like to tell stories and defy the concept of impossible. If I'm told something is unrealistic I enjoy colouring it in until its a reality. Fly No Filter was launched at the end of 2015 as an independent off-shoot to the Hip Hop Arts Organisation, SIN Cru. As a collaborative company, we go on adventures to create work which is personal and honest. 

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?

Our piece for Room is a theatrical exploration of the hip hop experimental novel, Venglorious. The dance-theatre work has a Woolworths pic'n'mix of influences, from director Dexter Fletcher's film Wild Bill, to 90's RnB slo jams, language, light, and the correct etiquette for eating spaghetti. Our movement is always deeply rooted in bboy technique which we twist and extend to communicate our narrative.

What can we expect from the show?

I would say - tears, jokes, confusions, a lesson in folding paper aeroplanes... but actually please leave your expectations outside.

What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve come across in the creation process?

“People call me Keith, but you can call me tonight” and the permanent crease.

www.sincru.co.uk/theatre
@sin_cru_

See Unconditional by Josie Dale Jone, What is Socrates’ phone number? by Caitlin Griffiths, The Soft Subject by Hyphen Theatre Company, Big Foot by HighRise Theatre and Glorious-Mia by Lucy Crowe / Fly No Filter at artsdepot Wednesday 16 November.

Read What to expect from Room 2016: Double Bill

Read What to expect from Room 2016: Mixed Bill 2

More about Room Festival

 

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