What to expect at Room 2016: Mixed Bill 2

| Mon 17 Oct 2016

Room, our festival of ideas is back with three nights of new work by established and emerging artists. On Friday 18 November we welcome Daniel Hills with BRAIN., Theatre Illuminate with Cleats, Drunken Chorus with Love and then Lighthouses, Lucy Grace with These Terrors are of Older Standing and Robert Beck with Miss Mimi Martini wants her Ex-Boyfriend Back 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.

Daniel Hills: BRAIN.

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

Hello, my name is Dan! I'm a solo performer who likes to look at the darker sides of the human subconscious in order to question and find humour within. I like to make work that is visually stimulating, sporadic and testing. I really enjoy creating performances that push my body in order to answer questions.

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

This performance stems from a personal tragedy that happened to my family. It's inspired by my Dad and how he's currently recovering from brain damage and how he's having to re-learn many things we take for granted. My Dad has always been one of my heroes and this show comes from a place of wanting to understand what he's going through and also how I can help him in his recovery.

What can we expect from the show?

You can expect to see myself embarrassingly trying to re-learn many hobbies that I used to take part in when I was very little. You can expect a singing, roller skating fiasco.

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

That I really can't roller skate and that re-learning things is a lot harder than you think!

www.danielhillstheatre.com
@danyallhills

Theatre Illuminate: Cleats

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

So overloaded with TV, gizmos and technology in this Western world sometimes we forget to breath, to feel, to think for ourselves. We spend so much of our time updating our Facebook status that we forget to really live. Staring from computer screen to TV screen to Iphone we observe our lives pass us by from a safe distance, but do we ever really live it? Feel it? Illuminate want to break through the screens and touch people with real theatre. Theatre that makes you laugh, theatre that makes you cry, ultimately theatre that makes you feel.

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

This performance is semi-autobiographical and inspired by a true story of a couple who decided to cycle to China on a whim just to challenge themselves. They had no idea the pressure it would put on their relationship, and despite being ready for a challenge; nothing prepared them for the physical and mental pressure they'd find themselves under.

What can we expect from the show?

Sweat, heat, pressure and a whole lot of peddling!

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

It’s been really interesting to discover the change in us as actors when putting ourselves under such physical pressure, how our conversation reverts to very very basic subjects, how we become all consumed by the task at hand, and how our ability to improvise changes, and, surprisingly, how restrictive being on a bicycle can be. When we started the process, we all talked about the sense of freedom cycling gives you, but for the most part, it's actually the complete opposite which has been a revelation. It's also made us all very aware of our fitness levels, or lack of!

www.theatreilluminate.com
@IlluminateTC

Drunken Chorus: Love and then Lighthouses

Can you tell us about Drunken Chorus and the work you create?

Hi we are Chris and Sheena also known as Drunken Chorus! We are from East Yorkshire, we like drinking real ale, wearing animal masks and watching Father Ted. Drunken Chorus is contemporary performance company, and last year we became a registered charity. We have three main strands of work: we create contemporary performance; we support and produce work by emerging artists, (through our project DRUNKEN NIGHTS); we create projects to widen engagement and accessibility. Our performances often change dramatically from one project to the next but what they have in common is that they experiment with theatrical form and audience expectation and are very visual.

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

The idea for this show started out as a love letter to Jarvis Cocker, the lead singer of Pulp who has been Sheena’s hero since she was a teenager. We wanted to make something to celebrate the love you feel as a teenager for a particular band, the feeling that for the first time someone understands you and the comfort and acceptance this brings. But we couldn’t do that without also addressing the isolation that goes along with being a young person who doesn’t ‘fit in’. Teenagers have a lot to deal with and process in their lives and are not always equipped with the skills to do it very well so growing up can be a very dark time for some young people.   

What can we expect from the show?

Pink sequins, brown corduroy and a 90’s indie disco where Pulp is played none stop!

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

Sheena never throws anything away! Which has proved very useful for this project! Recently Sheena went back home to Yorkshire, sat in her childhood bedroom and went through boxes of old belongings finding photographs, notes, newspaper clippings and lots of Pulp memorabilia. The most exciting part of this was finding and going through her ‘Pulp Scrapbook’ complied from issues of NME and Smash Hits and rewatching a ‘Pulp VHS’ which was anything she could record off the TV that had Pulp in it!

www.drunkenchorus.co.uk
@DrunkenChorus #LoveAndThenLighthouses

Lucy Grace: These Terrors are of Older Standing

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

I am a London based solo theatre maker making work that combines the personal, and every day with the fantastical and transcendent. My work directly addresses the audience and aims to be honest, expansive and dynamic. I have had a busy few months, completing my Edinburgh run of my newest show Lucy, Lucy and Lucy Barfield then heading off on tour with Garden. These Terrors Are of Older Standing is a departure for me in terms of its tone and I suspect my relationship with the audience.

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

These Terrors Are of Older Standing is a collision of moments, interests, characters and obsessions, including:

  • A dark cold February night in Basingstoke where I attempted to cross the ring road to get from the Premier Inn to Aldi.
  • HP Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos
  • My not entirely explainable obsession with serial killers
  • String Theory & M Theory
  • Our physical and emotional relationship with terror

What can we expect from the show?

An intimate and unnerving solo show with multi narratives, timelines and characters blending horror, quantum physics and a salesman's stay at Premier Inn Basingstoke.

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

The theories of the 11th dimension; the idea that there could be a universe imperceivable to us that exists parallel to ours, that exists on top of ours, sitting closer to our skin than our clothes.

www.lucygrace.co.uk
@lucygrrrace

Robert Beck: Miss Mimi Martini wants her Ex-Boyfriend Back

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

My actual name is Robert Beck but my character name is Miss Mimi Martini (emphasis on the "Miss" so people know she's available!). I'm a director and drag performer based in London. My story starts when I was six years old and I put on an old dress of my mum's that I'd found and performed a routine to Cher's song Believe and the rest was history! Drag explores ideas around beauty and gender and how we present ourselves to the world. Every day we chose to wear certain clothes, certain hairstyles, and act in certain ways. We're all in drag all the time!! My drag is just a little bit more obvious is all.

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

This show is about love, right, and I suppose was inspired, largely, by my own car-crash of a love life!! While the show is called Mimi Martini Wants her Ex-Boyfriend Back it's really about the messed up things I've done when on the hunt for relationships or when I'm in one and discover the bloke I'm dating is as crazy as I am!! I think we can all relate to the idea that looking for love, especially in 2016, is tough and that can make us a bit loopy sometimes. I draw a lot of inspiration from comedians and drag queens - both contemporary and historic - who recognise the importance of poking fun at yourself and not taking life too seriously. Life, love; it's all one, big, crazy ride and none of us is getting out alive so let's all have a bit of a laugh while we're at it.

What can we expect from the show?

Hopefully some entertainment!! Seriously though, I hope the show makes you laugh, makes you think, and might bring an emotion or two to the surface. Love's something we can all relate to even if we've never been "in love". Whether you're old or young, straight or gay; we all need love and affection from those around us and that's what unites us even if we're totally different.

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

The most interesting thing I've found about this show so far is how different audiences in different places have responded to it. Some people find Mimi's stories tragic while others find them totally laugh-out-loud hysterical. Clearly, love affects people in different ways and I don't think that one response is right or wrong. Certainly though, it's been interesting to see the differences in the people I meet and perform to. I'm really excited to see how the audience at Room Festival will take to Mimi's stories. And who knows... maybe she'll meet someone special while she's there!!

@robertjamesbeck

See BRAIN. by Daniel Hills, Cleats by Theatre Illuminate, Love and then Lighthouses by Drunken Chorus, These Terrors are of Older Standing by Lucy Grace and Miss Mimi Martini wants her Ex-Boyfriend Back by Robert Beck at artsdepot on Friday 18 November.

Read What to expect from Room 2016: Double Bill

Read What to expect from Room 2016: Mixed Bill 1

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