The Full Story
In This Place - Wed's & Sat's in Sept
In This Place
Wednesdays and Saturdays in September
Starting at the Bog Mine Visitor Centre, Shropshire
A unique audio theatre experience in the landscape.
Working with a playwright, an archivist, a sound designer and an installation artist, Pentabus has come up with a visionary piece about land and legacy, using the real stories of women who work on the land, alongside a specially created installation trail.
More information shortly.
Productions in development
Freaks of Nature
Descend. Come on down. Trawl the murky depths with us.
The audience is ushered into a shadowy, dilapidated wunderkammer full of strange sounds and hidden forms. Here at the bottom of the pile, amongst the ooze, we find a cabinet of curiosities presided over by three shabby, ageing showgirls. Three clowns, each trapped in their own despair, clinging to their once-glitzy costumes and once-daring dance routines. They live for their show – Freaks of Nature.
A neglected, moldering collection of animals (embodied by exquisitely grotesque puppets), all endangered in the wild and here subjugated and humiliated, turning tricks for our entertainment.
Freaks of Nature is a new outdoor/ indoor theatre project in development by Feral Theatre, working in collaboration with musician Tom Cook.
touring Spring 2014
A group of diverse Londoners struggle to leave a city transformed by climate change and the rise of religious extremism in this new play by Gurpreet Kaur Batti, directed by Janet Steel. AD2050 is their first collaboration since the controversial production of Bhezti at the Birmingham Rep.
In AD2050, London has become a terrifying and savage place. The rise of neo-conservatism and religious extremism has formed a society of judgment and violence where surveillance and repression are considered legitimate means of protecting people. Catastrophic rises in sea levels has left a new geography of independent continents. London is now an island, run as a feudal kingdom, like the rest of Europe.
The new patriarchal establishment is based on mediaeval and Shariah law and encompasses all social functions including trade, and so has replaced capitalism across Europe. China and India are the new world superpowers while Istanbul, is a place of relative freedom where liberals congregate. It is to here that the characters of the play set out to reach.
The idea of the fair will play an integral part in the characters' journey, representing everything that in this new world is repressed: imagination, theatre, magic, creativity and spirit; dark as well as light.
AD2050 will tour from Spring 2014.
See also our Directory listings for productions from 1893 to 2013.
The Price of Everything
touring 18 April - 21 July
How much is beauty worth? What will people pay for an air guitar on eBay? Can I have a glass of milk?
These urgent questions and others are answered in The Price of Everything, a performance lecture about value. Daniel Bye's tour of bizarre facts and impassioned arguments is occasionally shambolic and often misguided.Comic, provocative, and possibly a tiny bit sad, this show is for those who have wondered about the difference between the price of an object and its value.
tour schedule: here
Old Preston Church
30 May - 2 June 2013
Three stories. Three heroic ways of living and dying. Feral Theatre return to Brighton with their award-winning fusion of puppetry, physical theatre, music and aerial in a triptych exploring loss, freedom and transformation.
Hear a poet tell of liberty lost; glimpse love on the edge of extinction; witness metamorphosis among the trees.
Triptych was awarded Best New Play, Brighton Fringe 2012.
The HighTide Festival this year has a predominance of plays with environmental themes or connections. HighTide Festival Theatre is one of the UK’s leading producers of new plays, and the only professional theatre focused on the production of new playwrights.
written by Thomas Eccleshare
at HighTide Festival: 2- 12 May
at Soho Theatre, London: 15 May - 8 June
Moll thinks she’s going on holiday but something more sinister is afoot. As menacing cats and strutting voles advance, a dangerously fertile countryside just keeps on growing – humanity is on the brink.
"They first noticed it a few weeks ago, creeping round the war memorial and through the crack outside Subway. Just little weeds at first, little sprouts. Herbs and reeds and wild mushrooms. It’s amazing how quickly they’re growing."A darkly funny first play by Thomas Eccleshare, the winner of the Verity Bargate Award, Soho Theatre’s national competition for the best new play by an emerging writer.
written by Chris Dunkley
directed by Patrick Sandford
production company: Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
previews at Nuffield Theatre - 25 April - 4 May
at HighTide: 7 - 11 May
Andy and Jen have just moved on to a new farm, returning to the village they grew up in. The plan is to plant parsnips, breed pigs and live off the fat of the land. But escaping their shared demons was never going to be easy.
"She's got no business being a junkie… She had looks, brains... Everythin' goin' for her. Whereas you, Andy… You deserve addiction."While the couple try to make a fresh start, trust, responsibility and bio-dynamic farming challenge their rehabilitation in this darkly comic love story.
The Last Wild
written by Piers Torday
This is the story of a boy named Kester. He is extraordinary, but he doesn't know that yet. All he knows, at the moment is this:
1. There is a flock of excited pigeons in his bedroom.
In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he's told there's something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he's finally gone a bit mad. But the animals have something to say.
2. They are talking to him.
3. His life will never be the same again...
The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester's help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an over-enthusiastic wolf-cub, a spoilt show-cat, a dancing harvest mouse and a girl named Polly.
The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?
by Mark Borkowski
A theatre on the back of a bike, runaway taxmen turned circus performers, Hitler’s nephew, a human exhibit in London Zoo, Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and a man intent on eating a Cessna jet: roll up for Mark Borkowski’s rollercoaster ride through the weird and wonderful world of the Maverick.
An autobiographical performance lecture outlining the benefits of introducing the Maverick into your life, Adventure Capitalism is a celebration of risk takers, outliers and artists, and why they might be more essential now than ever before.
If Room Enough
withWings Theatre Company
11 - 12 May
If Room Enough transports the audience across an unknown sea into a world where a 400 year old play: Shakespeare's The Tempest, can be played with.
Prospero and Miranda live a confined existence in an unpredictable beach hut. The Island they call theirs is full of noises; it breathes live, original, infectious music. Those who love, fall in and out of cupboards; those who grieve, are suspended in sleep; those who made mistakes, are instructed to pedal incessantly to power electricity; and those who drink, will dance.
The Low Road
by Bruce Norris
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court, London
21 March - 11 May 2013
A fable of free market economics and cut-throat capitalism,a young entrepreneur sets out on a quest for wealth with priceless ambition and a purse of gold.
''Tis one thing to admit the inescapable cruelty of nature, friend, but quite a different one to encourage it'.
Arcola Theatre, London
27 March - 4 May 2013
A new play by simple8, adapted from Herman Melville’s novel.
Centre of a whaling industry that transformed blubber into the oils and candles that lit the world.
It’s there that a schoolmaster called Ishmael arrives to ship on a whale-boat. He enrolls under Ahab, Captain of the Pequod, a man bent on destroying the white whale that lost him his leg. Certain the destruction of his nemesis will slake his thirst, Ahab’s single-minded pursuit of Moby Dick consumes Ishmael, the crew and the Pequod itself.
"It's true. It's all true for Moby-Dick. He's a killer, he's a fury, he's an angel of hell. Why if the white whale could talk he'd talk like Ahab." photo: Idil Sukan at Draw HQ
Editors' note: simple8's sustainability policy and statements on climate change are here.
Terminal: A Miracle Play with Popular Music from the End of the World
Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB
19 April 2013
Terminal: A Miracle Play with Popular Music from the End of the World is a film and live performance project exploring the politics of post-apocalyptic fiction. A theatrical staging of a morality play for end times and future folk music, it recasts eschatology, or the study of the end of history, as a foundational myth for a future society.
Post-apocalyptic writing and cinema are grounded in an ethos of survivalism. Invoking Rousseau’s state of nature, or time before government, these fictions propose violent scenarios in which nuclear holocaust, environmental catastrophe and other disasters generate an individualistic politics of pure pragmatism, negating the possibility of democratic deliberation.
Terminal narrates this familiar scenario, but at the same time questions its validity. The film, shot on black and white VHS at Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbarn in Cumbria, dramatises a series of conversations between future-historical archetypes about the needs and pressures of the situation in which they find themselves at the end of the world. The performers then gather to play worshipful songs about acid rain, radiation sickness and eating the dog, using a mix of conventional, obscure and makeshift instruments.
Above Me The Wide Blue Sky
LICA, Lancaster - 22 - 23 February 2013
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry - 27 February - 2 March 2013
Young Vic, London - 7 - 28 March 2013
Staged within a multi-screen film installation, with a soundscape of birdsong, electronic music and a new score for string quartet, Above Me The Wide Blue Sky weaves together images, movement and sound with stories of love, loss and belonging from an ever changing world.
As part of the development of Above Me the Wide Blue Sky, Fevered Sleep gathered stories of people talking about their relationships with nature throughout Autumn 2012.
A man whose memories are carried by birds. A woman whose children have grown with the trees. A family whose garden is the fathomless ocean. If who we are and what we call home is inextricably linked with nature, what happens when everything starts to change? On 27 March, Fevered Sleep are running a discounted matinee performance at the Young Vic which will be followed by a discussion event exploring the themes in the piece.
In The Beginning Was The End
Somerset House, London
28 January - 30 March 2013
A new large-scale, site-responsive theatre production, inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, The Book of Revelation and the world of Mechatronics, In the Beginning Was The End is a journey through the maze-like underground passages and unseen spaces of King’s College and Somerset House into a world of calamitous accidents and divine revelations.
Mixing Leonardo-inspired hydraulics and modern mechanical engineering with dreamthinkspeak’s special blend of film, installation and live performance, it reveals a vision of the world either on the verge of collapse – or the brink of rebirth.
The production is co-commissioned by Somerset House Trust, King’s Cultural Institute and TippingPoint. Sponsored by Bloomberg.
Booking is through the National Theatre.
Sarah Hemming reviews it in the Financial Times, and Dominic Cavendish in the Telegraph.
Guardian theatre critic Lyn Gardner writes about the production and immersive theatre.
Museum of Water & Water Bar
corner of Broadwick Street and Poland stree, Soho Llndond W1F
13 - 16 March 2013
The first siting of the Museum of Water will take place on Broadwick Street alongside the Water Bar: a free pop-up outdoor lounge serving only water.
For the Museum, people are invited to offer water for exhibition and are encouraged to give the reasons behind their specific donation.
Accumulating through the week in lit cabinets along the street, Museum of Water is an invitation to ponder how water is used. The collection will then continue to accumulate at various sites around London and the UK.
Inspired by the pioneering work of medical detective John Snow, who traced the source of a deadly cholera outbreak in 1850's London to a water pump in Soho, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Artakt have commissioned the Museum of Water as part of an exhibition celebrating Snow’s work and legacy called Cartographies of Life & Death – John Snow and Disease Mapping which runs from 13 March to 17 April at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
If you don't let us dream, we won't let you sleep
by Anders Lustgarden
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court, London
15 February - 9 March 2013
As the financial world issues its shock treatment, what happens when the City’s agenda is taken to its ultimate conclusion?
Anders Lustgarten’s passionately argued new play explodes the ethos of austerity and offers an alternative. A production without décor.
Anders Lustgarten’s commission was supported by the Harold Pinter Playwright’s Award which is given annually by his widow Lady Antonia Fraser for new work. If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep is part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme.
I Love You But We Only Have Four Minutes To Save The Earth
28 Commercial Street London E1 6AB
21 February 2013
Nathan Evans invites artists to save the planet in just four minutes. Creative manifestos for a radical new world.
Contributing artists include Alexander Winfield, Charlotte Emily Corner, Christopher Green, Megan Garrett-Jones, Michael Twaits, Rasp Thorne, Tom Marshman, Vanessa Downie, Vera Chok.
Money, The Game Show
by Clare Duffy
The Bush, London
6 February - 2 March 2013
Editors' note: we're listing plays about money because of the overlaps between ecologies of the economy and ecologies of the natural world.
Casino and Queenie used to be hedge fund managers before the financial crisis of 2008. Now, in an inspired or desperate career move, they’ve turned to performance art to share their stories of how to make (and lose) billions from economic downturn.
Playing with £10,000 in real pound coins, the audience is invited to bet long, short and hedge, as game show hosts Casino and Queenie play a series of high stake games that demonstrate how the world’s economic system came to the brink of collapse.
The show is a playful and politically sharp look at the roots of the financial crisis and its ongoing impact, as well as tackling some bigger questions: What is money? What is it worth? And what happens when we stop believing in it?
Jane Shilling reviews it in the Telegraph.
The Last of the Curlews
ONCA Gallery, 14 St. George's Place, Brighton
10 & 11 January 2013
Feral Theatre performs the shadow puppet piece The Last of the Curlews, as part of the Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition at the ONCA Gallery.
They will also be performing the piece at the TEDx Whitechapel.
The Dark Earth and the Light Sky
by Nick Dear
Almeida Theatre, London
8 November 2012 - 12 January 2013
Deep in the Hampshire countryside Edward Thomas scrapes a living; disaffected husband, exhausted father and tormented writer. Then in 1913 he meets American poet Robert Frost and everything changes. As their friendship blossoms Edward writes, emerging from his cocoon of self-doubt into one of the most influential poets of the last century.
On the verge of success he makes the drastic decision to enlist, confounding his friends and family.
The Dark Earth and the Light Sky delves into the life of this enigmatic and complex character in an era of change and destruction.
Nick Dear recently adapted Frankenstein at the National Theatre. Richard Eyre directs.
Tate à Tate Audio Tour
Art Not Oil, Liberate Tate, PLATFORM
downloadable sound tracks: available from 23 March
Art Not Oil, Liberate Tate and PLATFORM have produced three audio downloads offering the listener alternative guided tours through the Tate galleries showing the effects of financial sponsorship by BP on those cultural institutions.
People can listen online or download the audio tours for free onto an MP3 player and listen through headphones while being guided through Tate Britain, the Tate Boat Thames taxi between Tate Britain and Tate Modern, and Tate Modern. The three soundtracks can be downloaded here.
The commissioned artists creating the tours are Ansuman Biswas (Tate Britain); Isa Suarez, Mae Martin and Mark McGowan (Tate Boat); and Phil England and Jim Welton (Tate Modern).
blog.platformlondon.org ... tate-soundscape-hijacked-by-artists...
Camille Hanson's Dust and Water
Cockpit Theatre, London
17 November 2012
Dust and Water focuses on social and ecological thinking. It is a contemplative dance and video performance that reflects on environmental justice and collective responsibility in a time of dramatic climate change.
The project is inspired by texts by biologist Roger Payne, and Catalan poet Xavier Bayle, with the collaboration of the Spanish visual artist Juan Carlos Arévalo.
'The experience of living in Spain,
the second country after Japan with the highest level of acoustic contamination, has created a visceral need to return to raw nature, not only to worship but to defend it'.
The project is produced by Spain NOW!.
Remembrances for lost species
Brighton, Glynde, anywhere
4, 10, 12 November 2012
Feral Theatre is inviting anyone to hold an extinction event on 12 November, to remember the species lost in the sixth mass extinction. They are asking those who do hold an event, or remember lost species, to contact them.
There is also a Day of the Dead Lost Birds Procession to the shrine of the Caribbean Monk Seal in Brighton on 4 November, and a gathering at the Life Cairn, Glynde, on 10 November.
created and performed by Adrian Howells
National Theatre of Scotland
Govan Baths, Glasgow
5 - 27 October 2012
Adrian Howells explores our complex and ambiguous relationship with water in this immersive theatrical experience.
In the intimate setting of the training pool at Govanhill Baths, Howells and actor/ dancer Ira Mandela Siobhan perform this new scripted piece, part devised from conversations with members of the local community.
Exploring the emotional and psychological effects of water, from its therapeutic qualities to our overwhelming fear of it, lifeguard re-evaluates the place of swimming in our lives as a health-promoting and life-saving activity.
Working collaboratively with Mike Brookes, Minty Donald, Rob Drummond, Jane Mason, Nick Millar and Nichola Scrutton, lifeguard offers a multi-sensory experience incorporating projection, sound and movement. Audience members will get wet.
performance installation by
Preston Road Roundabout Pedestrian Subway
adjacent to Blackwall DLR station, London E14 9QB
Saturdays and Sundays 15 September - 7 October
PRECAST is an exhibition structured as an hour-long performative event set in the environs of Robin Hood Gardens and Preston's Road roundabout in Blackwall, East London. The event draws on cinema, sculpture, music and performance, knotting material and immaterial circuits, replaying past and present 'signals' to create points of constructive and destructive interference.
At the edge of Canary Wharf, submerged in the concrete island of Preston Road roundabout, is a pedestrian thoroughfare fashioned as a semi-enclosed amphitheatre, criss-crossed, surrounded and given form by successive waves of spatial imaginings and re-imaginings. Docklands Light Railway line and the A13 motorway pass overhead, and the Blackwall Tunnel snakes through the earth under foot. In close proximity: a McDonald’s; a recently constructed apartment block; several hotels; Reuters' Data Centre, designed by Richard Rodgers Partnership; and the Brutalist Robin Hood Gardens Estate, designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, which was completed in 1972 and is currently scheduled for demolition in 2014.
Transportation and accommodation
Infrastructure and architecture
Silicon, copper, concrete and magnets
The Last Post
touring near Bath
5 - 13 October
editors' note: We're including The Last Post because Kilter is working towards lower carbon productions by bringing the performances to local audiences, rather than having audiences travel to a production, and this juxtaposes with the subject matter, of long-distance communication.
As the art of letter-writing becomes increasingly sidelined by modern communication technologies and rural Post Offices close down one by one, The Last Post shows a curious nostalgic world on the brink of extinction.
'Kilter Theatre will launch a fleet of specially crafted postboxes into the heart of their host communities, between the swings in the school playground, on the bar of the local pub, or sitting quietly in the pews of the church. Wherever you find one you are encouraged to write and post a special letter'.
The performances take place in the back of a converted library-van. Its sides roll open to reveal a rake of 20 seats looking onto a den. The audience is privy to the labours of a fastidious letter-writing fanatic in contact with multitudes of unexpected pen-pals across the world – foreign and exotic Kings and Emperors, prisoners in forgotten lands, street children, middle Americans – anyone the post can reach.
The dates and locations are:
5 October: Dolton, Devon (contact Beaford Arts)
6 October: Chulmleigh, Devon. (contact Beaford Arts)
11 & 12 October: University of Bath (contact Institute of Contemperorary and Interdisciplinary Arts (ICIA))
13 October: Bath City Farm (contact ICIA)
Kilter's Carbon Auditing research will be published in an academic paper in the spring. To receive a copy, email Kilter.
outdoor video projection
from St. Thomas' Hospital, central London
9 - 20 October 2012
Breathe is a major new animation by artist Dryden Goodwin exploring how air sustains us but also insidiously corrupts and damages our young.
The artwork will be projected from 9 October beginning at dusk from the roof of St Thomas' Hospital at the end of Westminster Bridge opposite the Houses of Parliament. Viewers will be able to view Breathe and record their own impressions on their mobile phones as they cross the bridge.
'Goodwin's series of expressive pencil drawings, when animated, will show a young boy progressing through fluctuating breathing patterns.
Breathe is part of Invisible Dust's 'Invisible Breath' series on air pollution supported by the Wellcome Trust, Guy's & St Thomas' Charity and Arts Council England.
Breath, animated by the vibrations of billions of airborne molecules, floating particles and fibers of the human body, is an elemental poetry: it is one of the most beautiful encounters between living bodies and the living world.
Historically, artists such as Monet and Turner painted the visible air pollution (previously from coal) from the same vista over the Thames. Modern air pollution is invisible and is produced mainly by vehicles. Goodwin’s work is also a reflection on the presence of air and atmosphere in the English creative tradition'.
image: © Dryden Goodwin, Breathe, first drawings, November 2011
by Benjamin Britten
18 October 2012: Gwyn Hall, Neath, Wales
In a project involving more than a thousand young people, Mid Wales Opera joins 5 venues across Wales to present a new interpretation of Benjamin Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde.
Mrs Noye has lost her way. She has got mixed up with ‘the wrong sort’ and has abandoned her husband and her children. Mr Noye has become increasingly obsessed with the effect of deforestation on the climate and is looking to save the planet and his marriage.
The production is supported by Size of Wales, a scheme to sustain an area of tropical rain forest the size of Wales as part of the national response to climate change.
Hundreds of young actors, singers, instrumentalists and dancers from every region of Wales work alongside Mid Wales Opera’s professional orchestra and principal singers, with choreography created by Ballet Cymru.
Noye’s Fludde was an early 15th Century mystery play. Britten's setting was first performed in 1957, and is his best known work for children.
Morecambe Bay, Lancashire-Cumbria
8, 10, 22, 24 September 2012
Sand Pilot is about the sands of Morecambe Bay and the lives entwined in it. The piece is a digital project, installation, a book and a walk.
Made in collaboration with Cedric Robinson, the Queen's official guide to the sands, the project uses the sands of Morecambe Bay and the cross bay walk as the backdrop to the work.
Created from the guide's history, the story of the bay and personal stories, Sand Pilot offers four special walks as part of Invisible Flock's project exploring how and why we walk.
The 8-mile walks from Arnside to Grange-over-Sands will be guided by Cedric Robinson.
25 July–9 September 2012
An Arctic island will journey south this summer to arrive for the UK's hosting of the Olympic Games as a visiting island nation. On its journey, the island passed through International Waters and was declared a new nation with citizenship open to all.
is conceived by artist Alex Hartley as a nomadic public artwork. It is one landscape moving through another and a symbolic territory representing thousands of citizens across the world.
The urge to seek out and possess the remote and unfamiliar landscapes at the 'edges' of the world has been an enduring creative impulse for artists and writers. Hartley discovered the island in the High Arctic in 2004. Accompanied by its mobile embassy, the island will voyage 500-nautical miles around England's southwest coast this summer, hosted by eight ports and harbours.
Nowhereisland has already gathered around it a growing constituency of citizens. Every week one of 52 resident thinkers, ranging from artist Yoko Ono, to Charlie Kronick of Greenpeace, to Alecky Blythe, playwright, have been tackling the question, 'If you were to start a new nation, where would you begin?'
Bristol on 7 September will be the final stop on the island's journey around the south west coast. A one-off musical performance from the Bristol Ensemble conducted by ‘Maestro’ mathematician Marcus du Sautoy begins 'The Last Days of Nowhereisland', a weekend programme of talks, performances and artist films that mark the final days of the island nation.
Other journey dates:
25 July - 2 August: Weymouth
4 - 5 August: Exmouth
6 - 7 August: Torquay
9 - 12 August: Plymouth
13 - 16 August: Mevagissey
23 - 27 August: Newquay
1 - 4 September: Ilfracombe
7 - 9 September: Bristol
Dates are weather-dependent.
image: Nowhereisland embassy and ambassadors
The Institute for Crazy Dancing (ICD)
touring to 15 September
The LIFE BOAT is a 6 metre long timber keel with four rib sections. It forms the skeleton of a small boat. Canvas hammocks are strung between each of the rib sections. The boat turns in very slow circles. It is a slow and contemplative ride destined to create a beautiful and engaging atmosphere in cities, festival settings and other locations.
LIFE BOAT at FUSE Festival
The installation is contained within a heavy rope circle. As potential participants approach the circle they are greeted by a member of the ICD crew and invited to get their bearings at stations to the North, South, East and West of the structure. At these stations there are provocations with regard to migration, ethics, trade and sustainability.
Once participants have visited each of the stations a second member of the ICD crew goes through a briefing with regard to taking care of oneself and fellow travellers in the Life Boat. Participants are then free to spend as long or as little time as they wish in a hammock – looking at the world from a different and slowly changing point of view. Participants are then welcome to feedback into the provocations, either there and then - or later via a website.
The installation aims to create a contemplative and active space: a place of exchanges between strangers, a place for people to meet each other, to talk and think.
The tour dates are:
7 & 8 July: London, National Theatre www.icdancing.com
14 July, Birmingham, Oozells Square - Six Summer Saturdays
20 - 22 July, Preston Guild 2012 - Riverside Festival
4 & 5 August, Stockton International Riverside Festival
25 - 27 August, Ramsgate Arts - beach front
15 September: Big Day Out - South Hill Park Arts Centre
walk and live art installation
Louise Ann Wilson
Trough of Bowland, Lancashire
15 & 16 September 2012
Ghost Bird is a walk and live art installation in an upland valley in the Trough of Bowland, a landscape that is internationally important for its heather moorland, blanket bog and rare birds.
Walking unguided and in silence, the audience / walkers will discover installations and inventions made from the materials of the moorland and valley inspired by the upland landscape and in particular the Hen Harrier.
Referring to the ghostly grey feathers of the male Harrier and the absence this year of nesting pairs in the Trough of Bowland, Ghost Bird celebrates the beauty of the birds and draws attention to their sometimes fragile existence within the North of England. In doing so, the work also becomes a means of reflecting on the journey taken 400 years ago over the Bowland Fells to Lancaster Castle by the Pendle Witches.
Ghost Bird is created and directed by Louise Ann Wilson with choreography by Nigel Stewart of Sap Dance. It is performed by dance artist Julia Griffin and a team of life-models.
The walk covers a 7-mile route with installations sited at the top end of the valley. The walk is free, but visitors need to register by email with
Ghost Bird is commissioned by Green Close Studios as part of the Lancashire Witches 400 Programme,
co-commissioned by Live at LICA. It has been made with the support of land-owners United Utilities Estates and their tenants, the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and Hen Harrier experts from the RSPB.
Theatre Square, outside the National Theatre, South Bank, London
25 - 27 August 2012
Over the August Bank Holiday, a huge sea-faring vessel stood in Theatre Square outside the National Theatre. Ark-ive was built in collaboration with National Theatre as part of the Inside Out Festival.
Ark-ive was a space to explore humans' complex relationships with the animal world, categorised into three areas: the animals in our homes, the animals in our heads and wild encounters with animals.
'Each evening we battened down the hatches and raised our sails. At night time, some of the findings and imagery from the day were projected onto the sail.'
Some questions asked by the Ark-ist and clerks in the Ark-ive were: Are there animals in your dreams? What do they do? If you were an animal what animal would you be? Have you ever met a wild creature? What happened?
Speed of Light
Authur's Seat, Edinburgh
9 August - 1 September 2012
Audience tickets are now available for NVA's Speed of Light.
This August, Arthur’s Seat will be the stage for a fusion of public art and sporting endeavour. The iconic peak will be brought to life in a mass choreographed act of walking and endurance running, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival and the London 2012 Festival.
A visual display will unfold each night on the ascent to the summit as hundreds of runners wearing specially designed light suits take to the intricate path networks. Members of the walking audience become part of the work, carrying portable light sources set against the dark features of the hill.
Each individual performance is created by collective action, landscape and weather, offering a rare perspective on the cityscape, night skies and the sea and hills beyond.
by Stephen Emmott and Katie Mitchell
Royal Court Theatre, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Sloane Square, London
12 - 18 July and 31 July - 11 August 2012
By the end of this century, the human population is likely to be over ten billion. Just twenty-five years ago, it was less than five billion. How are the choices we're making as a species impacting upon our environment? And how will the sheer force of numbers affect the way we live in the future?
Scientist Stephen Emmott and director Katie Mitchell deliver a new kind of scientific lecture, highlighting key issues being lost in translation in our discussion of the environment, and paint a vivid portrait of a species with its head in the sand.
Stephen Emmott is Head of Computational Science at Microsoft Research and Professor of Computational Science at University of Oxford. Katie Mitchell is an associate of the Royal National Theatre. Ten Billion is a Royal Court Theatre and Festival d'Avignon co-production.
Michael Billington in the Guardian
Dominic Cavendish in the Telegraph
Paul Taylor in the Independent
Matthew Tucker in the Huffington Post
What's On Stage review roundup
My Last Car
Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton le Hole, North Yorkshire
performances: 30 July - 5 August
exhibition: 14 July - 2 September
My Last Car is a road trip that looks at our complex relationship with the car. The piece is part exhibition, part live performance and part community celebration. It explores all that the car means at the end of a great transport era.
A Rover 316 Cabriolet has been dismantled and fills the gallery with thousands of car objects. From wipers and cogs, windows and springs to camshafts, pistons and filters.
Each part is labeled with messages and stories, facts and dreams about cars. The car becomes becomes the stage set for the performances.
Alison Lloyd from The Contemporary Art of Walking is producing two My Last Car walks on 15 July and 5 August, in addition to the gallery performances and community events.
The Just Price of Flowers
12 July 2012
Stans' Cafe play continues its Birmingham run with a production at the Latitude Festival.
The Just Price of Flowers is a play about the 2008 financial collapse, set in 17th Century Netherlands.
Tulips were imported into Europe in the early 17th Century at a time when merchants were generating wealth through trade. Collecting exotic items was a fashion. A passion developed for tulips, their price rose rapidly and created the possibility of making profit through speculative buying. For a brief time certain tulip bulbs were sold for prices equivalent to those of a house, or three years of a craftsman's wage. In 1637 this financial bubble burst.
Using Tulipmania as its inspiration, The Just Price of Flowers finds the Van Leasings buying a tulip from Van Eek, using money borrowed from Van Hire. It follows them as they chase their dream of wealth through the growing complexities of futures trading, credit ratings, sub-primes, credit default swaps, and the horror of short selling.
This is a simple, austerity production, based on real events, explains the complexities of high finance with humour, in a straightforward way. There is also heartbreak, two songs and an origami peacock.
Borough Hall at Greenwich Dance, Borough Hall, Royal Hill
London SE10 8RE
18 June - 7 July 2012
This adaptation of Ted Hughes' poem Crow, is the first production from Handspring's new London-based company, Handspring Puppet Company UK.
Crow witnesses God's creation in the Garden of Eden and adds his own trickery to the events. Droll, lonely, adaptable, laughing, watching, instinctive and curious, Crow is in all of us, and in these poems Hughes presents the songs he would sing.
Crow is presented by the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival and is co-commissed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London 2012 Festival.
Reviews and features in the: Telegraph, Guardian.
The Last Lunch
by Jonathan Brown
Something Underground Theatre Company
touring: June - July
editors' note: The Last Lunch won the Best New Play Award offered collaboratively by New Writing South and the Brighton Fringe.
Traditional British butcher Albert is enraged at having a tofu-weiner casserole for Sunday lunch. Coming to lunch are
Mark, a vegan, and his vegan spiritual-midwife girlfriend Julie. Mark's twin sister Maddy is on her way with her daughter, Hannah, who has an intense personal secret to share. Also coming are abattoir worker Dave, beef farmer Pete, and Albert's youngest son Sam, just back from fighting in Afghanistan. Also present are the spirits of some of the animals that Dave, Pete and Albert have, between them, been instrumental in dispatching.
Tour dates are:
15 June, Glastonbury Assembly Rooms
16 June, Bridgwater Arts Centre, Bridgwater, Somerset
21 - 24 June, Barnstaple Theatre Festival
touring 10 May - 16 June, and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2012
Thin Ice is set in Greenland, 1940. Cut off from civilisation and surrounded by ice, Daniel sits frozen to death in a tiny hut. As Richard and Laura arrive too late to rescue him, the body thaws and secrets surface threatening their marriage, beliefs and ultimately their survival.
A wartime thriller and polar love story, Thin Ice is a darkly comic exploration of people finding courage in the face of adversity. It is inspired by the true story of the 'weather war' when the British and the Germans fought over Arctic bases, allowing them to predict European weather patterns.
Tour dates and venues:
10 May: Artsdepot, London
15 & 16 May: South Street, Reading
23 May: Colchester Arts Centre
30 & 31: May Corn Exchange, Newbury
3 June: PULSE Festival, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
9 June: The Point, Eastleigh
16 June: Trestle Arts Space, St. Albans
photo: Pau Ros
actors: Esther McAuley, Calum Witney, Nicholas Underwood
The Last Polar Bears
National Theatre of Scotland
touring 8 May - 1 June
The Last Polar Bears tells the story of an old man and his dog, Roo, on a quest to the North Pole to see the polar bears before all the ice melts.
The production is an experiment in 'carbon-lite theatre.'
The Company is undertaking the four-week, 350-mile tour on bicycles, visiting primary schools in Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders, East Lothian and Edinburgh. The play is performed in the natural light of school halls using puppetry and live music. The cast and crew are cycling on custom-built bikes, made from reclaimed bikes by Glasgow’s Bike Station. The cast will carry all costumes, set, props and personal belongings on their bikes throughout the tour. The bespoke vinyl panniers are made from recycled National Theatre of Scotland banners.
The play is directed by Joe Douglas, who also adapted the novel by Harry Horse. Douglas writes, 'The idea is to tour a show across Scotland which, in its very form, engages with climate change'. Douglas is hoping to use the tour 'to take the temperature of how people are feeling about climate change.' Throughout the tour, he will be conducting interviews and research as well as holding workshops with children.
As part of the production’s legacy, the National Theatre of Scotland is 'adopting' 17 Svalbard Polar Bears with the World Wildlife Fund to give to each of the primary schools on the tour.
The Walk from the Garden
opera by Jonathan Dove
30 - 31 May 2012
Inspired by the theme of Paradise Lost as the allegory for our times, Jonathan Dove, in collaboration with Alasdair Middleton, has composed a new church opera, The Walk from the Garden, for the Salisbury Festival.
A soprano, tenor, string quartet, organ, timpani, the Salisbury Festival Chorus, and Salisbury Community Choir will perform, directed by Ben Wright. The opera follows Adam and Eve's journey out of the Garden of Eden.
ZSL London Zoo
to May 2012
Ant Ballet is a 2-year investigation by Ollie Palmer into the parallels between human and ant communication, culminating in the world’s first ballet to exclusively feature ants.
Through use of synthesised pheromones (Z9:16 Ald Hexadecenal), a robotic arm lays trails which cause ants to move in a different way to their natural foraging behaviour.
The Ant Ballet is installed in ZSL London Zoo’s B.U.G.S. (Biodiversity Underpinning Global Survival) Zone from November 2011 through May 2012, and will tour Brazil and the US.
A vimeo clip is here. The project is supported by, among others, Pestival and the The Interactive Architecture Workshop at the Bartlett School of Architecture.
Way of Water
Parry Williams Building, Foundry Theatre
22 April 2012, 6:00 pm
Pot of Thieves Theatre Company will perform a reading US playwright’s Caridad Svich’s The Way of Water.
The reading in Aberystwyth forms part of a multiple reading scheme that spans venues across the US and the globe as a way to mark the two-year anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and to raise awareness to the continued health and environmental issues plaguing the Gulf of Mexico region.
After Miss Julie
by Patrick Marber, adapted from August Strindberg's Miss Julie
Young Vic Theatre
66 The Cut, London SE1 8LZ
15 March - 14 April 2012
After Miss Julie, Strindberg's cruellest love story, is re-imagined by Patrick Marber.
The play does not have an ecological theme, but is part of the Young Vic's Classics for a New Climate, investigating approaches to making more ecologically sustainable theatre, in collaboration with Julie’s Bicycle. The goal is to reduce the amount of electricity used from the national grid by 50% in the production of the show.
After Miss Julie is set in England, July 1945, at the time of the Labour Party’s landslide election triumph, victory in the class struggle and celebrations in every street.
Miss Julie descends into the servants’ kitchen of her father’s country mansion in search of the chauffeur John. Over one long midsummer’s night, Miss Julie’s world is over turned.
After Miss Julie was written in 1995 for the BBC, and first performed onstage in 2003.
THE BOMB - A Partial History
Tricycle Theatre, London
9 February - 1 April 2012
The Tricycle Goes Nuclear is a season of two plays which can be seen on consecutive nights, or in one day over the week-ends.
photo: U.S. Gov't Navy/National Geographic Stock
The plays are:
The First Blast (1940 - 1992)
It is the first year of World War II, and in Whitehall two émigré Jewish scientists are waiting for a meeting to get the British establishment to take their nuclear research seriously. The play, by John Donnelly, Elena Gremina, Amit Gupta, Zinnie Harris, Ron Hutchinson, traces the history of the Labour party wrestling with the decision to build the Atomic Bomb, the Cuban missile crisis from a Russian perspective, China’s war with India and the subsequent development of India’s bomb, the break-up of the Soviet Union and the unilateral disarmament of Ukraine.
The Second Blast (1992 - 2012)
A contemporary take on the non-proliferation debate looking at Israel and Iran’s nuclear capability, the 'axis of evil' speech and its affect on North Korea, the U.K.’s continuing reliance on Trident in the post Cold War era, through to the current negotiations with Iran and weapons’ inspections, written by Lee Blessing, Ryan Craig, David Greig, Zinnie Harris, Diana Son, Colin Teevan.
touring 13 February - 31 March 2012
Fevered Sleep's The Forest is a piece of contemporary dance theatre that explores the landscape of the forest through music, dance, light and sound.
From Fevered Sleep:
The Forest is the first in a series of projects for children that explore different kinds of landscape. Forests are places of transformation and change; places where you encounter things that are not quite what they seem; places where you become lost; where scale, distance and time are confused; and places where we encounter animals and light and darkness and weather.
13 – 16 February: The Albany, Deptford
Inspired by the forests we know from myth and fairytale, by the real forests that pepper the UK, and by the forests of our imaginations, it plays with light and sound and combines things from the natural world (conkers, pine cones, leaves, birdsong, people, trees) with a set made of metal, mirror and glass.
22 - 25 February: DanceEast, Ipswich
29 February - 3 March: Live at LICA, Lancaster
7 - 11 March: mac, Birmingham
21 - 24 March: Sherman Cymru
29 - 31 March: Galeri, Caernarfon
by Nicky Singer
National Theatre, South Bank, London
15 - 25 February 2012
Island, a new play for young audiences by children's novelist Nicky Singer, is set on the remote Herschel Island in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and raises questions about the effects of climate change. The play centres on a London schoolboy, Cameron, forced to spend his school holiday without computer, phone or Facebook with his scientist mother on then island, where he encounters an indigenous girl whose stories open up this different world.
Island is a commission by the National Theatre's
Learning programme for primary schools and families, and will tour to primary schools in London throughout the spring term.
Remembering the Javan Tiger
Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre, London
29 January 2012, 1:00pm
Feral Theatre's next performance in their series on extinction is Remembering the Javan Tiger, performed once only on 29 January. The project is in collaboration with Winston’s Wish and the Southbank Centre’s Gamelan Orchestra. The performance will fuse shadow puppetry, sign language, live gamelan music and participatory ritual to tell the story of this lost species and to link the fate of the Javan Tiger to contemporary issues of habitat loss and ecological change.
The performance is part of Death: The Southbank's Festival of the Living.
The event is free.
24 & 25 September at Harting Down, near Chichester
8 & 9 October 2011 at Wolstonbury Hill, near Brighton
CHALK is a six-month exploration of the South Downs
by RED EARTH, with experiential walks, site-specific installations and performance journeys.
The performance journeys are in two parts. CHALK begins at Harting Down as RED EARTH leads a voyage deep into the subliminal world of prehistoric myth, and culminates in a final activation within the enigmatic Bronze Age enclosure on Wolstonbury Hill. The landscape becomes the protagonist, animated through performance, song, live sound, fire and pyrotechnics.
Artists include international guests Japanese butoh artist Atsushi Takenouchi and Mongolian Longsong singer Baadma (Badamkhorol Sandandamba). British artists include pyrotechnician/installation artist Mark Anderson and composer/musician Dirk Campbell.
Students from Chichester University, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, and Brighton City College are involved in the performances. There are two Chalk Choirs, open to the public, one in Brighton, one in Chichester.