We were delighted to be invited by Spraoi, Waterford, to be part of their first Street Theatre ensemble tour, Lunchfest, of the South East of Ireland. The three day tour visited the towns of Wexford, Dungarvan and Waterford City and comprised of 10 unique acts that could remain interactive and yet socially distant & safety conscious.
In this regard, the Stilt Walking character of The Ice Queen, by Dee Tierney was perfectly adapted to be socially distant and yet interactive. Likewise, my own character, The Collector, is naturally introverted and purposely avoids crowds. This aspect of his character can make for a lot of interesting actions & reactions since he stands out like a sore thumb on the street and yet is trying to be incognito at the same time.
Personally, it was a great opportunity to explore this character in an alien environment. He was originally conceived as someone that inhabits the shadows and alleyways of night-time cityscapes & appears for 5mins max at any one time. Yet here he was being presented in the full light of day, as part of a circus troupe and for up to an hour at a time. Since he is a physical character it provided me with a lot of scope for experimentation with the tempo of his movement, his expression and rhythm of his action. Finding new, interesting and playful mannerisms for him was also an aspect of the weekend and one that will inform his development over time.
We are delighted to announce that we have been granted a Bursary Award by the Arts Council of Ireland. The aim of this Bursary Award is to develop a deeper understanding of Theatrical Techniques, Lighting Design and Digital Media as well as providing an opportunity for self-directed research into the reinterpretation of objects. The intention is to gain a deeper understanding of these techniques, to develop a clearer sense of personal aesthetic and to look at how they can inform our own practice in contemporary circus and street theatre.
We will be working with Maurice Supple of Blue Shed productions (with whom we worked on the recent production The Presence), on techniques for integrating digital media into live performance and how live performance can be capture and presented through digital media.
We will also work with director and performer, Nick Kavanagh of Curious State Theatre company in A Little Room, the Theatre Development Centre, Waterford on theatrical techniques that can enhance and compliment street theatre aesthetics.
There will also be a short internship with Lighting Designer and director Hannan Sheedy in the Rossmore Theatre, Co. Cork. With Hannan we will look at the methodology and the practicalities of lighting design with a fixed rig and an additional free standing rig supplied by Rogu.
The Bursary will be completed with a two week residency in Corks' Circus Factory where it is intended to present a showcase of work in progress before the development of a full scale production in 2021/22.
Many thanks to the Arts Council of Ireland, the Cork County Arts Office, UCC Theatre Department and The National Circus Festival of Ireland for their continued support.
We were delighted to be invited to launch the International Literary Festival in Dublin this week. One of the photos made it onto the front page of the Irish Times!
Photos by Crispin Rodwell & Julien Behal
We are delighted to have been commissioned by Spleodar, the Nenagh Arts Festival to create a new circus and theatre production for their upcoming festival. Trick or Treat Theatre will see us work with two of Ireland's best comic / circus actors - Damien Punch and Angelica Santander to create a show that will be brought direct to the residents of Nenagh, door to door, in a socially safe and conscientious way.
The production will look to Irish folk stories and local history for inspiration and the 30min. production will be presented in 5min. scenes, each at a different door.
The production will also be filmed in the Nenagh Arts Centre as part of their arts programme. In this way we will ensure that it gets made and gets seen even if current restrictions limit the door to door aspirations.
The story from Episode Three of The Presence. Written by Will Flanagan:
This is the story of a boy and a girl who were taken away and had to grow up in a mean old factory with mean old grumpy people and a big old dog that didn’t want to be friends with anyone. Everyday they had to scrub the floors and wash their noses and sometimes they had to eat their own trousers because the food was so mean and old and looked so grumpy. But one thing they did have was their secret – and nobody could have that, or take it, or use it to make them old or grumpy or do all the things they had to do when they didn’t want to do the things they had to do.
Their secret was the only thing that kept them inside out – and nobody knew that except for them. Because they were happy, even though they weren’t supposed to be, and didn’t look it, and did everything that they were told to do, everything that was supposed to make them old and grumpy and mean. That was their outside, looking grumpy and mean and not wanting to be friends with anyone, but inside was a secret, they were happy and that’s cause they had their secret and that was the secret that they had that they shared, together.
So, as always, grumpy mean old people have a way of looking at the rain when there’s a rainbow and thinking that everything’s proper when it’s a faded shade of slate clean grey, and eventually they also managed to make the rainbows cloudy and the sunset drizzly, so the boy and girl made a plan.
They decided to escape, in a boat, in the night time, in a silent shhhh sounding kind of way before everyone would decide to stop snoring and wake up and put cold water on their face and wear their grey cloud faded brown trousers and moody shoes that made them grumpy.
So that’s what they did, they met during the night and shhh’d the whole way down to the stony cold pier and unknotted the unsteady boat, put up the salt grey sail and tried to figure in the dark and the rain and the wind and the moon shine cloudy spot-light sky how to go away…
But their plan was working, even if the water was up and down and uppppp and dowwwn and then the girl wasn’t there. And the boy didn’t know where she was in the up and the down and the cloudy grey spot-light rain, and he couldn’t find her, and the wet water was shivering and the salty grey sail was swinging over and back until it hit him on the head and he woke up achy, and he had gotten to get away, but that wasn’t their plan.
And he couldn’t figure out how to find her and he didn’t get found by her, and so he had to go and be escaped and make things up on his own with no secrets, but the ones he could tell no-one and he had to carry it all around like a big old story about the rain instead of a secret about a rainbow that nobody else had known about but the two of them, together.
The new production is finally edited, uploaded, test run & is due to premiere tomorrow evening as part of Culture Night. We have released a short teaser / promo video this eve as part of the process.
We decided that the entire Playlist will be available for people to watch. While each video prompts the viewer to make a choice about what the character does next, when viewed thru the Playlist a video will automatically play if now hasn't been chosen manually...
Working with a Camera:
I have been intending to explore the ways and means of incorporating a camera & digital media into a live production, and also how to go about capturing a live production within the frame of a camera & digital media. This production, The Presence, is giving me an initial introduction into some of these processes.
It is our first time working with digital media, that is to say it is our first time making what is essentially a short film. So far, practically speaking, I've found that the benefits of this include being able control the viewers' perspective much more than a live production. The camera can become, essentially, the ideal audience member - one that catches every nuance, every mannerism that you intended during the rehearsal / creation process. It also allows you to play with time, condensing set up's to a minimum, elongating pauses, holding perspectives or moving from one to another in quick succession. Likewise, it's exposure allows you to play with lighting effects.
It does, however, condense what is the multi-sensory experience of a live production into something that appeals to two senses only, and in this regard you have to do a lot more to insinuate mood and the feelings that an actors breath & intention that might be picked up on in a live format.
We are delighted to say that we have been commissioned by the Cork County Arts office & the Arts Council of Ireland to create a digital production for Culture Night on 18th Sept. 2020.
The production, called The Presence, aims to take a fantastical look at the life of an eccentric busker. It will be presented online in the style of a graphic novel, and allow the viewer to choose where the character goes by selecting from a series of linking videos, each tracing a different narrative thread.
Filming has already begun in & around Clonakilty and the West Cork countryside.
The story will integrate elements of circus skills, theatrical design and comic characterisation. It aims to capture the feel of a live street show and provide the audience with the opportunity to interact with the character in a digital format.