Sunday 21 September 2008

Postcards From the Road - Derby

We presented a revived and (as is the way at the moment) slightly revised version of The Lad Lit Project at Déda in Derby last week.  It was a particularly gratifying booking because Stephen Munn, the Director of Déda, had originally programmed The Lad Lit Project in to Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight as part of the original tour in 2005.  Having moved on to Derby he got in touch to find out if the show was still in repertoire.

It was a pleasure to be back there (we were last there in 2001 with the first version of Believe The Worst), with a stress free get in (thanks Mark, thanks Martin), and a warm and appreciative audience.  And then we went to The Flower Pot.  Was there ever a more appropriate pub for an after show drink?

That's the lounge.  This is the back room:

A great pub - live music upstairs, no jukebox downstairs, good food (order at the kitchen door) and well kept beer and wine.  Customers good mix of ages, too.

Next stop for The Lad Lit Project is the Pazz Festival in Oldenburg, 23 & 24 October.

Monday 15 September 2008

Ghost Writing For Performance: The Lad Lit Project

A great couple of days at the Writing Encounters symposium in York this weekend.  It felt more like a performance festival than a conference, with some inspirational presentations, notably Barbara Campbell talking about her extraordinary 1001 Nights Cast project.

I gave a performance/paper exploring the idea of The Lad Lit Project as an act of Ghost Writing - moving, I realise, from a literary genre to literary practice.  Here's an extract elaborating on that:

After seeing the show my friend and colleague Annie says: “What I like about it most is that I can see the ghosts of the other men on stage - the men who aren’t in it.”

My first guess is that she means the performers who aren’t in the show.  But on further reflection, I think she is also referring to the men who’s stories are told, but who aren’t physically present.  The men who inhabit the empty chairs lined across the stage.  The men who the audience are invited to imagine themselves in the position of.

This puts in my mind the idea that I am a ghostwriter for these men.  I interviewed A. and then retold his story in much the same way as a ghostwriter would when researching an ‘auto’biography.  So in one sense, I am his theatrical ghostwriter.

But I didn’t go to him for his story.  I went looking for our shared stories.  I knew I wanted this particular chapter, a chapter about being excluded.  I didn’t know it would be his.

The paper felt like it went well (giving the audience beer as they come in obviously helps in this respect), and got some really good feedback.  So I'm looking forward to presenting the whole show later this week at Déda (formerly Derby Dance) and next month at the Pazz Festival in Oldenburg.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Autumn Schedule

Lucy Ellinson in Presumption
Photo by Mark Cohen

Our autumn programme is pretty much confirmed, with the possible addition of a trip to High Fest in Armenia next month.  The Lad Lit Project, 9 Billion Miles From Home and Presumption are all out on the road, and full the details are on the Third Angel home page.

No doubt these projects will all get more discussion on this blog individually as they loom closer.  However, I wanted to give a special mention to Presumption at Southwark Playhouse.  We're delighted to be doing a three week run there (17 November - 6 December) at the behest of our friend Ellie Jones.  It looks like a great season lined up there, including Ellie's own production of How To Disappear And Never Be Found and Unlimited Theatre's The Ethics of Progress (co-written by Chris Thorpe who, of course, performs and co-wrote Presumption), followed by a world premiere of the stage version of Philip Pullman's The Scarecrow and His Servant.  

It's a really exciting season to be a part of, but that's not the reason for mentioning it now.  The reason is Southwark Playhouse's 'airline ticket' style booking system, which basically means the earlier you book, the more likely you are to get a cheaper ticket.  So book now, and you can see the show for £8.  Tell your friends!