Wednesday 22 October 2014

Monthly Film: Hang Up IRRITATIONS

So, I'm still calling these Monthly Films, even though they clearly run to their own calendar. This one is new piece. New as a short film at least. An extract from the FORTHCOMING DVD of our 1999/2000 show, Hang Up.

This section, the Irritations Section, uses a text originally written for our 1998 show Saved. But as the text for that show took focus as a semi-improvised daily diary, to fit it's varying length of 2 - 5 hours, a set-piece text like this didn't fit any more. We set it aside, thinking we'd like to do something with it. Often when that happens, we never find a way to do something with it.

In the show Hang Up, the four performers swap between characters from one section to the next. Some characters recur, like the lovers who can only use language from the 'Socialising' pages of a English/Spanish phrasebook, and others only appear once - Pizza Guy, for example. In the first two performances Rachael had a teenage prank call character, making annoying calls and calling people names. After two shows, we knew it wasn't working. It undermined the possibility that Pizza Guy was making a prank call (though I never thought he was), and it also seemed to weaken a much more sinister nuisance caller who appeared later. But mainly, it wasn't very funny.

I think by the end of that second performance Rachael already knew that she wanted to try the Irritations text instead. We put it into the next performance, and immediately it felt better, partly because it wasn't specifically about phone calls.

The documentation of Hang Up was shot at the start of the second tour, early 2000, in Forced Entertainment's studio in The Workstation. That process produced a short video piece (here), as well as full length show documentation, which will become available again as part of a new set of DVDs launching very soon.

Thanks as ever to Chris for creating this short video version.

Documentation extract from Third Angel's touring show, Hang Up (1999/2000)
Camera: Rob Hardy
Edit: Christopher Hall
Director: Rachael Walton

Devised and Performed by Juliet Ellis, Robert Hardy, John Rowley and Rachael Walton
Designed and Directed by Alexander Kelly and Rachael Walton
Soundtrack by Alex Bradley
Lighting Design by James Harrison
Video Mixing by Alexander Kelly
Set Construction by Vision Works
Administration by Phillippa Yates

Commissioned by Arnolfini Live and funded by The Arts Council of England, Yorkshire Arts and Sheffield City Council. Hang Up toured the UK in autumn 1999 and spring 2000.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Clive Egginton

We heard today the very sad news that the photographer Clive Egginton has died, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

We worked with Clive on a number of projects - he documented the rehearsal process for What I Heard About the World and The Life & Loves of a Nobody as well as taking some production shots for The Machine.

Clive originally approached us about documenting the making of a show for the great Archive Sheffield project. I've just been looking through the photos of that process on Clive's Flickr pages, trying to choose a photo to put with these words.

I chose the photo above because we're just getting on with it - it's a set production meeting - we were a bit behind by this stage, and we might even have forgotten Clive was there. Because that's how he did it. He was relaxed, good humoured - it was always a pleasure to see him when he turned up, and he was always happy to talk, always interested in what was going on. And then as our thoughts turned back to the job in hand, he would just slip into the background, unobtrusive, and get on with his work. And then he would produce all these great images.

There's a Just Giving page in Clive's memory here, raising funds for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

And there's more here about Clive himself and the remarkable Tactile Image project, an incredibly moving tribute for a photographer losing his sight, and a great example of something positive coming out of a terrible situation.

I only really knew Clive through work, but I will remember him fondly. He was good company, a pleasure to have in the room with us, always interested, and interesting. A generous man, who took a damn good photo. A story teller.