It is the time of year when I reflect on where I have been and what I have done, which shows have toured and how they went, which projects are beginning, which are ending and which are a dot dot dot not a full stop. Last year led to three new performances and several appearances at conferences and symposia. I showed work on park benches, in galleries, recital halls and theatres, from the new Adelphi building in Salford to the listed theatre at The Lawn in Lincoln. I received my doctorate from Loughborough University and became a Principal Lecturer (Professional Practice) at the University of Lincoln where I am joint MA Theatre Programme Leader. 2017 was a landmark year and there are exciting projects in the pipeline for 2018.
I premiered Concerto at Axis Arts Centre in February working with Ryan O’Shea, Katt Perry and concert pianist, Nicholas McCarthy. Since then, we have toured the studio version of the piece to Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton and The House, Plymouth, where Mark Hawkhead joined the cast to replace Ryan and myself in future iterations. This year we will take it to York, Lincoln and studiobuhnekoln in Cologne. You can see the promotional trailer for this version here.
This year I was awarded Arts Council England funding to develop Concerto 2.0 with a full orchestra. We premiered this at Attenborough Arts Centre in October with the University of Leicester Symphony Orchestra and the Knighton Chamber Orchestra. This year we will work with orchestras nationally to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. There is a tour pack for both versions here. You can see the promotional trailer for this version here.
In October 2017, I was commissioned by Frequency Festival and Lincoln Performing Arts Centre to make a new show with long-term collaborator, Ollie Smith. Solo was inspired by Tzigane by Maurice Ravel. An immersive experience for two people at a time, it lasted the same length as the music and told the story of how the composer and the violinist met. It was designed as a site-specific performance for the newly renovated The Blue Room at The Lawn in Lincoln. We will revisit the show this year. You can read the programme note for the show here.
Sit with me for a moment and remember
Over the summer, I showed a bench piece I originally devised as a one-to-one performance as an installation in two exhibitions, We Share Residency at Nottingham’s Lace Market Gallery and at the TaPRA Gallery at the University of Salford. The audience is invited to sit on a wooden bench and listen to a text about memory delivered by my father and two of my children. I spoke about the project at TaPRA and have written an article about it for an issue of Performance Research: On Children. You can read a blog post about the project here.
A Fortunate Man
This year I was invited to lead the New Perspectives EP Project with a group of emerging artists to make a show in response to A Fortunate Man – the 1967 book by John Berger and Jean Mohr. The piece was shown as a work-in-progress at the National Rural Touring Convention at Nottingham Lakeside Arts in June. We are now planning to turn it into a full length touring show to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS. You can read an interview about it here.
My work features in the forthcoming Routledge publication, Twenty First Century Performance Reader. I am currently working on Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration for Palgrave Macmillan. Co-edited with Andrew Westerside this volume will feature a chapter on my recent project, Bolero (2014). Intellect have invited me to contribute a publication to their Playtext Series entitled The Trilogy: Acts of Dramaturgy featuring the texts of The Beginning, The Middle and The End and a series of critical essays by invited authors. I have co-written an article on Reckless Sleepers’ Last Supper with Andrew Westerside for Performance Research: On Taste. Finally, I have written a chapter for Chloe Dechery on dramaturgy for her forthcoming book for the Intellect Playtext Series, Performing collaboration in solo performance: A Duet Without You and practice-as-research. Look forward to more writing, editing, making and touring in 2018.