Caravan Market Place

On 15 May 2018, I was invited to present a stall for my current touring shows, Concerto and Solo, at the Caravan Market Place as part of Brighton Festival. This was the first time I have presented at a Market Place event and it really made me think about how best to present the work I have made. I went for a ‘DIY greengrocer aesthetic’ and thought of it as an installation rather than a stall. Theatre maker, writer and artist, Simon Persighetti, described the stall as a form of  ‘micro-scenography’.

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I wanted to give people who hadn’t seen the show a sense of the shows. We filled the apple crates we use in Concerto with props from the show, wine glasses, ripped up musical scores, the original manuscript to Concerto for the Left Hand, pencils and apples. We had laptops showing the promo videos for both shows on  a strip of greengrocer grass we used in Solo. Ryan O’Shea, deviser and performer of Concerto, joined me to set up the stall and we had fliers, programmes and tour packs for Concerto. Business cards for Concerto and Solo were hung from clothes pegs along the front.

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There were many conversations with promoters from around the world and the organisers from Farnham Maltings, Brighton Dome and the British Council. It would be great if we were able to tour Concerto or Solo to any of these venues and follow up the contacts I made. It also made me think about how I have become a company rather than an individual artist, Michael Pinchbeck Productions, making more shows now as a writer/director than a deviser/performer. Ever since I retired from the stage in The End as part of the Trilogy in 2016. For the first time, I used my own name as a logo, by printing out my signature onto foam board, and mounting it on a music stand.

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Moving forward I need to think of my work as falling under this umbrella or working with other companies as a writer/director as I have for New Perspectives on A Fortunate Man. How the work is framed is also something I have discussed with my mentor, Alex Kelly, from Third Angel. Billing work  as ‘Michael Pinchbeck Productions presents’ rather than ‘by Michael Pinchbeck’. Perhaps the less I am ‘in’ the work the more I need to frame it as by a company and not by an individual especially when it is devised. This is an ongoing conversation but it feels important to make this distinction.

Images: Rachel Henson