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Derby Theatre, Sarah Brigham Interview: “It’s vital that every young person is given access to high quality arts experiences and able to realise their own creativity.”

Sarah

Sarah Brigham  is Artistic Director and Chief Executive at Derby Theatre. Sarah is a powerhouse. Previously the Artistic Director at The Point, Eastleigh, and The Berry Theatre, where she  developed a unique programme of support for established and emerging artists. Amazing. 

We had a discussion about life in general and more. See below.
Hello! You are a hard-working person. If you were to draw a graph of the last ten years, how would it look?
Hello, that question made me smile – my graph is probably like everyone who works in the arts – pretty crazy most of the time but high on fulfilment and enjoyment and a high peak in feeling very lucky to do a job I am passionate about.

You are currently in Tech week for Look Back in Anger. What’s going on?
Well its an interesting tech week as we are actually in tech for 2 shows at once – yes we are mad – Its going to be a full on week!  Alongside Look Back in Anger we have commissioned a response piece from the female perspective.  Its called Jinny and its the third in our RETOLD series which sees us cracking opening the classics from the female perspective.  Whilst working on Look Back in Anger I began to wonder when do we ever hear the working class voice on stage now?  And when is that voice ever female. So we decided to commission another writer who has lived and worked in Derbyshire (as Osborne did) to bring this voice alive for 2016 – Jane Wainwright was born in Chesterfield and spent a research and development period meeting women aged 25 (Jimmy Porter’s age) across Derby asking them for their take on class, feminism, love, dreams, ambitions and what they were angry about now.  Interestingly many felt similar to Jimmy there was no an open door to a good job no matter how talented you were, they felt frustrated by the life plan they felt society still imposed onto them and they were frustrated that the voices they heard on their stages, in newspapers and in films didn’t represent their experience.  Jane has taken their wit, their fears, their ambitions and created a female Jimmy Porter for 2016.

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So right now we are in a lighting plotting session for both shows !  Lighting Designer Arnim Freiss is working wonders and Neil Irish’s set is looking fabulous.  We’ve built further into the auditorium than usual so I’m  constantly checking sight lines  as its changed the dynamic of the space in an exciting way.

Look Back in Anger induced a step-change in British Theatre didn’t it.
In many ways yes although sometimes this is overplayed a little as there was lots going on then ,  Waiting for Godot opened a year earlier for instance but you are right it is often heralded as the play which changed the face of British Theatre, it is studied by students of theatre across the UK, it helped put The Royal Court on the map and often the industry talks about plays prior to 1956 (the year the play premièred) and post as two distinct eras.

It certainly put on stage a voice which had not been heard before; the voice of the working man and he had a lot to say, heralding the movement of “angry young men”.  I don’t think we would be in the same theatre landscape if Look Back in Anger had never been produced.  Its a great play – full of complexities but great none the less.

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Brassed Off, Derby Theatre. 2015.

You’ve been a pioneer for artist development locally. What is the next corner to be turned?That’s very kind of you.  Gosh I’m not sure – there are lots of challenges ahead I think we all  know that – the latest settlement for ACE was great but its not a time to rest on our laurels – we need to keep making the case for the arts.  One area that really worries me is the destruction of arts in education.  It’s vital that every young person is given access to high quality arts experiences and able to realise their own creativity. At the moment that seems hugely under threat and if we don’t do something about it then we will be all the poorer not only in 20 years when we are looking for the next generation of artists but also straight away as our children and ultimately our society will suffer.

We also need to turn a corner on diversity – its not good enough that our creative leaders, our artists and our audiences don’t represent the world we live in.

On a more positive note there are so many exciting things happening in the industry at the moment – everyday I meet new artists, new companies who are making work in new ways and thinking about how to take new audiences on a journey so on that score I feel pretty chipper about our future.  I guess my role is to ensure those artists are nourished and supported.

Regional theatre appears to be in mighty shape. What are the biggest challenges to sustain this?
That’s so nice to hear as often the regions get treated like the naughty child and told they aren’t good enough.  Yes there is great work coming from the regions – I’ve had some of my best theatre experiences in Manchester, Edinburgh, and a small village hall in Leicestershire.  Of course funding is a challenge as always and the disparity of funding I think is an issue which needs solving.  Maxine Peake made a great speech recently where she pointed out that the (brilliant ) work she makes in Manchester is judged on the same platform as work from london which has three times the resources to rehearse and make the work.  I totally agree with her – give any director or theatre 3 times the funding and I’m pretty sure you’ll see bolder choices being made and a more consistent product produced.

There is disparity within the regions too. The Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine idea is great but we need to remember the cities on the edges of that also.   Putting a show on in Derby costs the same as putting on a show in a big city although the distribution of funding doesn’t always recognise this. The smaller cities also often don’t have access to the same level of possible philanthropy or audiences.  Having said all of that I absolutely recognise that it would be mad to just drain London or the bigger cities, these are our jewels … It is a conundrum but one we need to crack.

What is your least favourite emoji?
I’m probably not cool enough to be able to answer this question but just looking at them on my phone now I’m not very keen on the angry one and there’s one with dollar signs in its eyes which looks vile!  generally my rule is if you’re really bothered by something say it to the persons face to face , don’t text it or Facebook it and if you daren’t say it directly then be quiet!

MONEY

And what else do you have coming up?
Lots of projects but immediate things I’m excited by are The Departure Lounge festival which will be held at Derby Theatre again this year in July – curated by Ruby Glaskin it allows us to turn our stage into a Glastonbury (we astro turf it and the audience sit on deck chairs and picnic blankets)  and we programme the most exciting work going up to Edinburgh.

I’m also excited about putting Look Back in Anger and Jinny in front of an audience – we open on Friday for 3 weeks then transfer to Bolton octagon.

To conclude, then, is there anything you would like to say to the people (plural) reading this?
Just if you work in the arts keep up the good fight and if you’re an audience member go to your local theatre today and see what’s on.

Thanks for chatting to me, Carl.

Byeeeeeeee, ducky!

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Brian Logan, Camden People’s Theatre Interview: “it seems the stars are aligning nicely for people who make performance in unexpected ways.”

Camden People’s Theatre is a performance space in a former pub, with a dynamic programme supporting new writing and innovative productions.

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I had a chat-slash-interview with Brian Logan, CTP’s Artistic Director.

Here’s how it unfolded…

Hello Brian. Camden’s People Theatre is very good isn’t it.
Hello Carl. Thanks for saying so. We try to be very good: I’m glad to hear you think we’re succeeding.

With the way the industry’s changing, do you worry about the future for unconventional theatre makers?
I don’t worry too much about the future of unconventional theatre-makers. I think today’s unconventional theatre-makers are tomorrow’s influential and often (by then) mainstream artists. I look around CPT at a generation of playful but dedicated innovators who’re more resourceful than my generation ever seemed to be, and they fill me mainly with hope. And delight.
I also think one of the most significant changes in the industry, or the culture, over the last decade has been the mainstream’s adoption of what used to feel like unconventional ways of doing things. The kind of leftfield, hyper-creative, non-hierarchical, bloody-minded theatre-making habits that CPT has always championed are now commonplace in organisations that used to be the sole preserve of, ahem, new writing and Oxbridge-educated directors. So to me it seems the stars are aligning nicely for people who make performance in unexpected ways.
I do worry, it’s true, about where in London these artists are going to live. I do worry about how they’ll support themselves – although we’re here to help with that in whatever way we can. But I also see plenty to be optimistic about.

Tell us about SPRINT Festival?
It’s London’s biggest and best established carnival of new and unusual theatre. It started in 1997 and this is its twentieth incarnation, which I think is pretty extraordinary. Unlike the other festivals we present at CPT, there’s no theme. It’s just a concentrated, adrenaline-charged shot of what we do year-round, which is support and present the most imaginative, provoking and unpredictable new theatre we can find, usually made by artists at the start of their careers, often engaged with critical questions about how we live now. The Sprint festival is always lively. It’s programmed as democratically as possible – we invite applications from as wide a range of artists as we can. Its shows burst out of our theatre space and into other nooks of our building, and beyond. Visit on any night and we hope you’ll leave with a quickened pulse and a vivid sense of what’s happening right now on theatre’s cutting edge.

As for this year’s Sprint in particular, it’s got a satisfying mix of CPT rookies, old friends, hard-hitting shows, playful diversions and lots else besides. We’ve got the award-winning Atresbandes with their new show Locus Amoenus, the cult Kings of England maverick Simon Bowes with Ding and Sich, and Conrad Murray – star of last year’s CPT hit No Milk for the Foxes – with his council estate-set hiphop theatre piece DenMarked. We’ve got the first ever performance of the winner of our inaugural People’s Theatre Award, Emily Lim and Gameshow’s Grown Up, we’ve got the five brand new projects emerging from our unique Starting Blocks artist support scheme and we have a whole new Sprint strand, called Freshers, showcasing new student and graduate work. So: it’s exciting, and way too sprawling to encapsulate here.

Joe Boylan and Gemma Rowan in This Is Private Property @ Camden People's Theatre. (Opening 15-01-16) ©Tristram Kenton 01/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com

Joe Boylan and Gemma Rowan in This Is Private Property

How would you describe your perspective on life?
I’ve never been asked nor ever considered an answer to that before. I think I have lots of different perspectives depending what aspect of life I’m currently engaging with. I hope I’m good-humoured, optimistic and egalitarian, but my family, colleagues and arch-enemies may well say otherwise.

Bloody hell. Your ambitious devised production ‘This Is Private Property’ was a bit of a fiasco. What are your thoughts on how it was received by critics?
I’m curious to know why you consider it a fiasco, Carl. Did you see it? It handsomely outstripped its box-office targets, engaged an audience who hadn’t been to CPT before, and – judging by our feedback forms and the cast’s conversations with those audiences – was very much appreciated by many of the people who saw it.

As for the reviews, I thought – as usual – that some of them were on the money, and with some of them, I strongly disagreed. Politically and in terms of their aesthetic assumptions. Obviously, we’d have loved everyone to like the show. But it wasn’t made to appeal to the cultural cognoscenti, it was made to engage with a wider audience, including those living at the sharp end of the housing crisis. Those are different constituencies with sometimes contrasting values and tastes. So – while nobody enjoys getting bad reviews – we were happy to get good reviews as well, and very pleased in general with how the production was received.

I didn’t see it sadly… What is your advice for emerging artists in their late 20s and early 30s?
It depends where they’re at in their career, what they’re working on, what kind of help (if any) they’re asking CPT for. We definitely don’t have a one-size-fits-all artist support thing happening here. Supporting artists is the most important thing we do here, and it’s very important to us that we tailor that support to what any given artist or company needs at a particular time.

What’s the best part of your job?
There’s lots that’s good about my job. Seeing great theatre (for free!). Being in a position to help super-smart and talented artists make their work – and being personally inspired & refreshed by their fearlessness and their new ways of seeing and doing things. Not having to travel at rush hour. Working with my fab colleagues Amber and Anna. The single best thing is the feeling of being at CPT on one of our buzzy festival nights, when the whole place crackles and hums with artists meeting audiences meeting artists, all having new conversations about significant things. And drinking, and feeling alive. It’s a thrill to feel that in some way we’ve helped make that happen.

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Is there anything that you’d like redacted?
D’you mean from the answers above? Nope. Publish and be damned.

Bye bye (!)

And that, ladies and gents, is where our chat ended.
Sprint Festival features adventurous theatre from across the UK and beyond and runs from Tuesday 2 – Saturday 26 March. 

 

 

Critics’ choice: University course to coach new generation of theatre critics

THE art of becoming an international theatre critic is the subject of a new undergraduate programme at the University of Chichester.

Musical Theatre Critique and Arts Journalism, launched at the institution this year, is the first of its kind in the UK to feature guest lectures from the industry’s leading writers.

The innovative module, which is part of a wider joint honours degree in Musical Theatre, has been backed by renowned critic Mark Shenton,  an associate editor of national publication The Stage who will feature for the series.

Read more about this innovative here:

Critics’ choice: University course to coach new generation of theatre critics

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Labels, Joe Sellman-Leava Interview: “There needs to be greater diversity in the arts – in all senses of the word.”

Worklight Theatre’s award winning show, Labels is going on a UK Tour. The show draws on writer and performer, Joe Sellman-Leava’s mixed heritage to explore racism, immigration and displacement.

I had a chat with Joe. See below.

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What’s the point of this UK Tour of Labels?
We want to engage more people with the show and the discussions around it. The issues that it covers are, unfortunately, not going away any time soon, and we feel it’s important that people feel empowered to continue shaping the discussion

Which event in your life made you the person you are today?
It’s hard to pin down one event, but I had a few brilliant teachers in my late teens who challenged and encouraged me in equal measure. I would say this is where the passion and determination for the work I do comes from.

What are the consequences of trivialising racism?
The consequences are that people suffer. In some cases this might be bullying in school or at work, but in other extremes it can mean we see people as less than human, and then treat them as such.

What would you do if you were banned from making theatre?
I’d try to find other ways to ask similar questions, through writing, film or visual art.

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What’s wrong with the industry today?
It’s incredibly challenging for people in the early stages of their careers, and concerning that this may not change even as you become more experienced. I personally think there needs to be greater diversity in the arts – in all senses of the word.

Time and time again we are reminded that diversity is key to creativity. What more needs to be done?
Perhaps thinking about it in a more joined up way? Trying to use the arts as a way of engaging young people from diverse social, ethnic and financial backgrounds. Ensuring that people aren’t shut out from training opportunities because of their school or their parents income. Thinking about more ways for emerging artists to develop their skills and showcase their work. Thinking about ways regions and the UK as a whole can retain, rather than drain talent, as artists become more experienced. Thinking about the wider value of the arts and greater diversity within it; consider how all of these things link together.

Is there anything else we need to discuss?
No.

That’s that then. Ciao, Joe!

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New Diorama Theatre, David Byrne interview: “Everything we’re offering is directly set up to meet a need that our artists have.”

The New Diorama Theatre is an 80 seat theatre just off Regent’s Park in London. NDT is champion for the development and support of emerging and established theatre companies. The Artistic & Executive Director at New Diorama Theatre is a man named David Byrne.

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He has just launched an pioneering Artist Development Programme which includes a cash-fund that is funded by booking fees (currently 40p a ticket). The fund is aimed at companies that the theatre has previously worked with, and aims to help them take their work to festivals such as Edinburgh or larger venues around the UK. New Diorama Theatre is one of London’s best Theatres, we’re talking Grade A excellence; so well done NDT.

I had a chat with him about this exciting scheme…

What three things should every amazing artist development scheme have?
If a theatre or organisation is truly serious about artist development their programme should be:

a) Take the lion’s share of the risk away from the artists they are supporting. Too many organisations are risk averse while saying they are supporting theatre-makers who are, often literally, risking everything to make their art. Venues need to ask themselves – is this providing enough money and resource for these artists to make this work viable and can the artists pay themselves?

b) There are NPO theatres out there offering 50/50 box office splits with early-career groups – which they’re marketing as equal risk with their artists. It isn’t. These venues have funding and support that artists at the start of their career can only dream of. For an artist development programme to be really brilliant venues have got to stick their necks out.

Devising new ideas that really tackle problems – rather than just ‘artist development by numbers’. When we at New Diorama are looking at new ways we can support theatre companies, we start with the problems that we want to help overcome: identifying the hurdles our groups are facing time and time again. And then we find creative, new ways to help our theatre companies overcome these obstacles. Over the last year, I’ve read pretty much every Artist Development Programme in the whole country. And, on the whole, it was a pretty drab read. Most of packages boil down to a bit of free rehearsal space and a small opportunity to “scratch” work. Of course, theatre companies do need rehearsal space – but as an industry we need to be providing so much more.

While researching, I came across schemes aimed at start-ups in other industries and, wow, a lot of them offer whole comprehensive toolkits of support for entrepreneurial people starting up new ventures. Yet here in the creative industries, ironically, we seem to be low on new ideas. So to be really exceptional at artist development I think you’ve got to be listening to your theatre-makers and finding new ways to make their visions and ambitions a reality.

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c) Really clear what they’re actually developing artists for. When I’ve been touring the country and on my travels in London talking to other Artistic Directors and Artist Development Producers I always ask one question about their programmes: “what are you developing artists for?”

Once we knew our goal, everything else was clear. But it’s essential that these conversations be had. How else can you focus your attentions and resources? How else can you be sure what you want as an organisation for your artists actually matches the ambitions artists your working with? Surprisingly, there are many that seem to have no clear goal. To run a really effective programme you need to know what you’re endgame is. For example, at New Diorama, it’s about making each group sustainable and securing a long-term future for their work. So we work on their organisational skills which, when taught, will stay with them for a lifetime. We’re investing in leadership skills alongside helping with the artistic. We’re building audiences for each group – whose tickets sales will be the basis of their income for years to come.

Wow. Tell me more about the ND Artist Development programme. Where did it come from?
Our Artist Development programme has come from years of listening to the groups we support. All theatre companies are different – they make art in unique ways and they often have a intricate relationship with each other – so they all do things in their own ways. However, many of them find themselves facing the same problems. When you read through the offer we’re making to early-career theatre companies you’ll notice we always start by talking about the problem we’re overcoming. Everything we’re offering is directly set up to meet a need that our artists have.

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There are a few strands of work that aren’t just targeting at fixing things for our supported artists but are there to solve problems we have as an industry as a whole. For example our new Female leadership Fund and our 30 weeks of free BAMER rehearsal space is our contribution towards two of the big issues the arts is currently facing. But most of all, it came from the love of the work our supported companies produce. I feel like I’m both the Artistic Director of a venue championing these groups while also being their biggest fan. Everything we do to help them is selfish on my part – as I get to see more and more of their inspiring theatre.

Some people take issue with the fact that female artists speak words written by men. How do you feel about that?
Some of the best performances I’ve seen from female artists have been in production of Shakespeare and some of the best performances by men in plays by Caryl Churchill or Timberlake Wertenbaker or Lucy Prebble. I don’t think the argument holds water. It’s not who has written a play that matters – it’s what the characters are saying.

Do you think good theatre people should be following trends or trying to establish them?
Depends on the trend! There are movements in theatre, and it’s great when we, as an industry, come together to push in a certain direction to improve things and get things done. I wish it happened more. It’s also fun to create new ideas and be at the top of the agenda. The best people do both.

The commitment to emerging talent via Incoming Festival is extraordinary. It must have been planned months in advance.
Yes, it is. Working with Eleanor and Jake is one of the highlights of my year.
I love what INCOMING does for artists – paying them for their performances with a proper fee AND giving them half of their box office.
I love what the festival offers for audiences – with all tickets just £5 it means they can take a risk and they do: in previous years over 70% have never seen work by the company they booked for.
And for the for the sector as a whole – the free workshops are great, it has a truly nationwide programme – with many groups performing in London for the very first time – and a huge number of regional programmers and artistic directors come and see the work. It’s a chaotic, creative and wonderful ten days.

What’s the best emoji?
Is there a wizard one? That. Or the cheese one.

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Cheese emoji

What do you see at the moment, theatre wise, that excites you?
Right now I’m looking at the programme for 2016’s National Student Drama Festival. The last few years they’ve been really punching above their weight. I can’t wait to see what this years group do.
I’ve been standing back with pride at Rhum and Clay’s latest show, HARDBOILED, directed by Beth Flintoff that’s been performing at NDT to such enthusiastic audiences (and a great five star review in Time Out).

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Rhum and Clay, HARDBOILED

And I’m excited at not just delivering the Artist Development Programme we’ve just launched but growing it – we’ve already got ideas of how to make it even better and more exciting.

BYE DAVE. :-)

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (Review)

The Mayflower

So, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…

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The stage version of the iconic 1968 British film is not awful. The much-loved songs by Sherman Brothers and the sensational sets coupled with stunning special effects make for an entertaining experience. Oh, and there is a flying car.

The whole thing is efficiently directed by James Brining, Simon Higlett’s design evokes the charming spirit of the original film and some of the acting is good.  Special mention must go to the Simon Wainwright’s innovative video designs, that graphically recreate the high seas escape.

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The wheels start to come off once frankly terrible Michelle Collins and Phillip Jupitus appear as Baron and Baroness Bomburst. Their relentless jokes and hammy performances strain for a laugh. The biggest frustration is the pace. However, just revving up seems to take 50 minutes and when it does it sounds like a volcanic eruption. It goes on a bit. The sluggish first act drags along at a peristaltic pace before we finally get to see the car fly.

The final result is a musical that has all the motorised competence one expects of a show but very little feeling. The best performance comes from Jason Manford. It is Manford as Caractacus Potts, who provides the show with what it mostly lacks: heart and soul. There is, however, laughter to be had from Vulgarian spies Sam Harrison as Boris and Scott Page as Goran. Their physical comedy is well timed and genuinely entertaining. The biggest disappointment for me was Martin Kemp as the not-so sinister Childcatcher. His performance is top-to-bottom rubbish in terms of characterisation and villainy.?

The second act is a fiasco; a sloppy samba section and a reprise that runs like a Ford KA and corners like a Robin Reliant. The car flying is quite something but I was left feeling uninspired by Manford sauntering in and out of the vehicle as if he’d driven a milkfloat, yet this spirited production rarely takes itself too seriously.

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Movie-musicals are not usually a good idea. Let’s hope and pray we come across again someday a new musical based on an original idea. It’s probably somewhere approaching fun. The five year old in front of me seemed to be enjoying himself. Not great, not awful. Good at times in fact. I admire Chitty’s temperament. Maybe we could all learn from Chitty. Overall I’d give it a cautious thumbs-up.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang runs until Sunday February 21. Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or visit mayflower.org.uk

Search for Meaning and the endeavour to create issue based theatre

The occasion

The Bournemouth and Poole Holocaust a Memorial Day Committee hosted it’s annual Commemoration at the Bournemouth International Centre on Sunday 31 January. The committee gave me an opportunity to stage a short devised performance piece through drama workshops with students from St.Peter’s School. Given the context of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, we were determined to put together something that would linger in the minds of the audience. We wanted to create a piece that would be a gentle reminder about what humanity should mean so we can learn the lessons of the murky past but look forward to a brighter future.

The inspiration

My chief inspiration for the performance was a 1972 lecture by Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl had given about man’s search for meaning. His speech has been a source of inspiration for me. I was keen to share Mr Frankl’s thoughts in his own words to bring alive its relevance to a modern context. The end result that you see is experiment with form and content of a traditional act of drama.

The experimentation

The stage set up can be seen as convergence of two different generations, two different periods, one taking inspiration from the other, and through movement both bringing alive the meaning of life.

Creating issue-based theatre with young people is a very rewarding process. The performance is a result of three, two hour rehearsals that took place throughout January. Working collaboratively with the group allowed the young people to be in control of the product they created. Supported by myself as facilitator with a holistic approach to the work we were making, offering not just drama skills, but linking this training to personal development, and group work. There is a strong sense of empowerment. The message that Viktor has for discovering the meaning of life is brought to life without use of any props, set or costume.

More than one visual narrative is at play, so a challenge to comprehend, but the richness in storytelling and the harmony in contrast that’s played out is very engaging. Having Viktor Frankl deliver his “Meaning of life” lecture from 40 years ago opens the door for several intriguing possibilities of time travel – a cohesive journey that tells a story of its own merit. The performance was met by receptive and supporting audience of 700 people.

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Masterclass Launch ‘In Your Hands’ Campaign

Masterclass want you to write your passion/profession on your hand and upload it to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram using the hashtag #InYourHands

Right then. Here’s a Q&A with Josh Brown (Press and Marketing Manager at Masterclass and Theatre Royal Haymarket).
To kick things off I asked Josh some questions. Josh is good at talking about Masterclass’ place in the Theatre cosmos, and how the ‘industry’ works in 2016.

Here’s how the chat went.

Hello! What are you doing at the moment?

Well, it’s been pretty hectic. We’ve just launched our new In Your Hands campaign and have been redesigning all of our marketing material to fit in with the rebrand!

Please tell me a bit about the #InYourHands Campaign.

Creating career opportunities in theatre is challenging, but I think a far greater challenge is instilling the confidence and self-belief in young people to actually put themselves forward for such opportunities. In a nutshell, that’s exactly what Masterclass’ In Your Hands campaign aims to address. We want to empower emerging theatre makers and to foreground the diverse range of career routes available within the Arts.

HI YA! Josh Brown, ladies and gentlemen.

Whether you’re working as an Actor, Stage Manager, Journalist, Director, Technician, Producer, Reviewer, Marketer etc (the list is endless!), be proud of what you do and never shy away from an opportunity because you feel under qualified or intimidated by the sheer volume of other creatives out there. Instead, rest safely in the knowledge that everything you work to achieve, really is the future of our industry.

So basically you’ve rebranded Masterclass, launched a campaign and continue to schedule some brilliant schemes and opportunities for young people and it’s not even March?

Haha! Well the rebrand has been in the pipeline for about a year now and I think all of us knew we were going to hit the ground running for 2016! It’s a really exciting time to be involved with Masterclass. The whole team work incredibly hard to ensure that the programme can offer these unique opportunities to people aged 16 – 30. This year alone we’ve offered out 3 paid apprenticeships in Design, Directing and Stage Management to work on Breakfast at Tiffany’s and, as you say, we’re just launched a new campaign – It’s relentless! I love it.

Photo credit Alex Rumford

Do you feel that too much power in the industry is held by people with little to no taste in Theatre?

Well, I think that’s probably dependant on the definition of taste. There are some wonderfully original, thought-provoking pieces of theatre being created, particularly in fringe venues, and it’s just a case of shining a spotlight onto this work for a mainstream audience.  Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of those working in theatre today to empower and inspire emerging theatre makers of tomorrow. The future of our industry really is in their hands!

 And what else do you have coming up?

On Tuesday 9th Feb, we’ve got a Masterclass with Indhu Rubasingham, Artistic Director at the Tricycle Theatre, and she’ll focus on new writing, which should be really exciting! Then on 1st March we have Ruth Sheen coming in to work on characterisation and improvisation – again, another really exciting session to be involved with!

Indhu Rubasingham (above)

We also have some really big announcements and plans for later on in the year so make sure you keep an eye on our website across the next few weeks and sign up to our mailing list!

One thing is for sure, the future of Theatre is definitely safe in the hands of these people.

N.B. Please use a solvent free and non-toxic pen!

Candles lit to remember millions of Holocaust victims

 

As Vice Chair of the Bournemouth and Poole Holocaust Memorial Day committee, its been a huge honor and privilege for me to contribute and co-organise the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration.  This year, once again hundreds of people gathered at Bournemouth International Centre to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Around 500 members of the community looked on as seven candles were lit in memory of seven million people murdered in atrocities across the world. It was a solemn moment as they watched the candles being lit as the theme song from the emotive Schindler’s List played over the sound system. You can read more about this event here Candles lit to remember millions of Holocaust victims