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
a new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan
at Warwick Arts Centre, Tuesday 15th October 2013
After the house lights flare up (“It was a bright cold day in April…”) and gongs chime through the auditorium (“…and the clocks were striking thirteen”), Headlong’s production of 1984 starts with a provocation. Sat at a desk, a dishevelled figure (who will turn out to be Winston Smith) writes onto a page, which is then projected onto a screen. He scribbles the date (15th October), crosses it out, then writes a year followed by a question mark: 1984? This simple punctuation mark then throws the whole of Orwell’s novel into flux, forcing us to question its validity and its accuracy whilst cheekily willing us to argue this isn’t Orwell’s work.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is, fairly unoriginally, one of my all-time favourite books, Continue reading “1984” by George Orwell
at Warwick Arts Centre, Friday 14th June 2013
Aakash Odedra’s Rising is made up of four completely separate solo dance pieces choreographed by four different practitioners which, though they make up a satisfying whole, ought to be considered separately. Though they all feature powerful lighting designs, emotive music and varying levels of engagement with Odedra’s background in Kathak, they each raise important questions as stand-alone pieces.
Nritta – Choreographed by Aakash Odedra
A contemporary take on classical Kathak, ‘Nritta’ has a semi-epic feel within the small space, as Odedra moves around with stunning fluidity. Continue reading “Rising” by Aakash Odedra
at Warwick Arts Centre, Tuesday 11th June 2013
When I was in middle school studying Shakespeare for the first time, our English teacher used to organise a visit from a man called Anthony Glenn, who came along to create one-man versions of the Bard’s plays by getting us kids to play some of the characters and at certain moments getting the whole audience involved. They are some of my most vivid memories of those plays and I’m pretty sure they contributed fairly heftily to my ongoing obsession with Shakespeare in performance. And yesterday, as I sat on a chair and wielded guns whilst playing the roles of Anna and Hawkins in a recreation of the 1987 action film Predator, I was a child again, although this time the classic was of a rather different nature.
Andy Roberts’ show – the full title of which is Predator (Finishing off what I started when I was five) – is technically a solo affair. Continue reading “Predator (Finishing off what I started when I was five)”
at Warwick Arts Centre, Thursday 6th June 2013
I first experienced Daniel Bye’s The Price of Everything via the Northern Stage at St Stephens live stream during the Edinburgh Fringe last year. Rather than trek for an hour across the city early(ish) in the morning and pay a tenner to sit in a small dark room drinking milk, I instead sat in my own small dark room drinking coffee and watching the show for free. I know I enjoyed the piece because I’ve been talking about it all year and using it as a reference point for some of my own projects, but for some reason I didn’t write about it. And now, after rewatching it live at Warwick Arts Centre as part of the (L)one Festival and chatting to Bye as part of a pre-show discussion, it feels as good a time as any to have a bit of a think about it.
The Price of Everything is marketed as a “performance lecture”, which I’m told was decided upon in order to give the show a sense of “mock-seriousness” Continue reading “The Price of Everything” by Daniel Bye
at Warwick Arts Centre, Tuesday 21st May 2013
Big actions change the course of history. But as those of us with an interest in theatre know, so too can words. And though theatre is probably seen as the lesser cousin to the big speech in terms of political debate, there is no doubt an inherant theatricality in speechifying. The People (i.e. the audience) watch or listen to The Politician (i.e. the performer) and within that time they are either won or lost. Recently, a tutor of mine suggested that all speeches in Shakespeare could essentially be boiled down to one person persuading someone else. And it’s not much different in all the other places we look.
In BigMouth, SKaGeN theatre from Belgium have created something which speaks to the small scale of the theatre auditorium and the large scale of historical world events. Continue reading “BigMouth”
at Warwick Arts Centre, Tuesday 8th May 2013
Around a third of the way through Caroline Horton’s Mess, I realised I’d seen the show during a Triggered scratch night at Warwick Arts Centre last year. The form, tone and set-up had felt familiar since the show started, but I just put that down to both seeing Horton’s You’re Not Like the Other Girl Chrissy two years back and the style just being, well, familiar. Then, however, it clicked, as I figured out that I had seen it before, albeit in a more basic form. Instantly, I remembered loving it back in early 2012. Which perhaps goes some way to explaining why I couldn’t bring myself to love it this time.
Similarly, I’d heard a lot of talk about Mess at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Continue reading “Mess” by Caroline Horton