So I went up to Mayfest on Saturday.
I’ve been meaning to visit my brother for a while now. He’s studying creative writing at Bath Spa and for one reason or another I haven’t had a chance to pop up for a jolly in the past couple of years. A weekend freed up, however, and I decided to book some train tickets. At which point I realised it was at the same time as Mayfest. And, well, Bristol’s only down the road, isn’t it? Continue reading Mayfest 2014
at Warwick Arts Centre, Wednesday 21st March 2014
“Be hard on your beliefs; take them out onto the veranda and hit them with a cricket bat” – Tim Minchin
I’ve just finished reading Kathryn Schultz’s Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error which, for someone as frequently dogmatic as myself was both a painful and illuminating read. In it, Schultz discusses how our belief in our own rightness can hinder genuine dialogue and education, citing research which shows that we frequently stop listening when faced with an oppositional argument, which Schultz cites in order to demonstrate our lack of openness when faced with differing viewpoints. She suggests, rather, that being open to being ‘wrong’ in any scenario is both liberating and invigorating, with the potential to teach us more than righteous belief. Continue reading “Confirmation” by Chris Thorpe
at Camden People’s Theatre, Saturday 18th January 2014
#TORYCORE is, put simply, Conservative Party policy underscored “with the sound of pure evil”.
To get an idea, play the following two YouTube videos at the same time:
That’s tame in comparison. Continue reading #TORYCORE
by Clare Duffy, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe
at Northern Stage, Friday 11th October 2013
Unlimited Theatre’s The Noise makes a good companion piece to Fine Chisel’s Dumbstruck. Well, I say “makes a good companion piece”, but what I really mean is “ends up doing pretty much exactly the same things as”. Extraordinarily, the two companies have hit on pretty much exactly the same ideas about sound, control and the human spirit without (as far as I’m aware) ever crossing paths during the making process. Sure, the shows have slightly different aesthetics and tell their stories in different ways, but ultimately but Unlimited and Fine Chisel delve into similar territory. Both pieces are set in a remote location, consider the relationship between sound and space, place underwater sounds at the heart of their narratives and seek to open up discussion about how we ‘hear’ the world.
Directed by Jon Spooner, The Noise is a multi-authored “sci-conspiracy thriller” set on the Island of Whitley, Continue reading “The Noise”
*Originally written with Catherine Love for Exeunt*
Dan: In the opening address to audiences of The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project, Lorne Campbell attempts to convey his own internal struggle when considering the question of the referendum of Scottish independence next year. He initially began as leaning towards being anti-independence, but after talking to other artists and friends, he realised it wasn’t as simple as he thought, causing him to enter a state of confusion about the whole thing. Now, a few months down the line, as this massive, knotty, crazy idea gains traction, he realises he is just as confused. But it’s “a higher quality of confusion”.
And, to me, this is what makes The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project so special, inhabiting a position far more interesting and exciting than Tim Price’s I’m With the Band. Continue reading “The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project” – A Conversation
at Northern Stage, St Stephens, Thursday 8th August 2013
*Originally written for A Younger Theatre*
How best do we fight against something which we don’t agree with? Who decides who is a hero and who is a villain? What compromises do we have to make if we are to change anything? Chris Thorpe’s There Has Possibly Been An Incident doesn’t answer any of these questions, and it’s all the better for it. Rather, it throws them out into the open for debate, acting as a springboard for discussion, using a quasi-documentary tone and aesthetic in order to force an interrogation of truth.
The stage in Sam Pritchard’s production isn’t ready as we enter the auditorium. Three actors – Gemma Brockis, Nigel Barrett and Yusra Warsama – are in the process of setting up a number of microphones, Continue reading “There Has Possibly Been An Incident” by Chris Thorpe
at Northern Stage, St Stephens on Thursday 8th August 2013
*Originally written for A Younger Theatre*
I’m so glad The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project exists. With the independence referendum looming and the possibility of an independent Scotland and (perhaps) independent England at some point in the future, it is important that we think about national identities and what it means to be a member of either country. In creating this project, Lorne Campbell (Artistic Director of Northern Stage) has found a way of bringing people together in an attempt to understand who we are. It’s a mad, huge idea, and it makes for a great evening out.
Six artists (Cora Bissett, Daniel Bye, Lucy Ellinson, Kieran Hurley, Alex Kelly and Chris Thorpe) Continue reading “The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project”