****ORANGES & ELEPHANTS

There is so much in this unique blend of Victorian violent vaudeville where Celtic and Jewish rhythms blend in an incredible kaleidoscope of history, or rather Herstory in this noisy, beautiful balletic riot of poverty and petticoats.

Inspired by the real Forty Elephants gang in Southwark in the nineteenth century East End writer, Lil Warren gets down and dirty bringing tribal terror to the Music Hall. Whilst Warren’s excavation, celebration and reinvention of this East End language would make a Londoner proud, it speaks with a unique humanity to the hurt and hope of the ghetto beyond: “What you are born is ne’er your fault, You are a soul in your body you caught.”
She captures the underworld of the underworld, the underclass of the working class, where we find the slaves of slaves – woman. Yet this matriarchal world is a full of power and cruelty, predators and romantics, love and lust. Where gallows humour is a permanent fixture and the unsung voices of female poverty, historical and contemporary are finally, and beautifully, sung.

Framed in the gorgeous gin-soaked walls of Hoxton Hall, we the audience are perfectly, perched between past and present, as guests of now and then. Our glad eyed go-betweens of yesterday and today, our Madame of Ceremonies and her perky pianist are the perfect psychopomps journeying us with light into the darkness and back again.
You can feel the ghosts everywhere yet the past ignites the present, most powerfully in a glorious ending that unites us all as one at the end of time. Funny, rousing, horrifying and powerful, this all-female affair is utterly superb. Tremendous performances from the actors, singers and musicians with plenty of comic turns thrown in. The world(s) created by the designer are wonderful, a stroke of genius making the curtain a Booth’s Map of Poverty. In the true spirit of Music Hall and Vaudeville, this is an eclectic mix of styles and culture, as fluid as gender identity itself. Poignant and provocative. Catch it before your time is up!

Pauline Goldsmith

Assoc Artist Vanishing Point, Creator of Bright Colours Only

ORANGES & ELEPHANTS at Hoxton Hall until 10 February

Cast & Creatives info and tickets available on their website

HOXTON HALL

 

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WOEFUL PUPPET TOWER OF LONDON 12 FEBRUARY

We are preparing for our last installation at The New Armouries at The Tower of London on 12 February from 1230-400.

This is a FREE event and you can order your tickets here.

WOEFUL PUPPET Tower of London

Please print and bring with you. Once you have attended you have FREE access to the rest of The Tower of London.

There will be art, historical research, film and live installations, Tudor food tasting, music from Hackney community choir, Silver Song Birds with a new composition by Gina Fergione and the dramatisation of Lady Jane Grey’s own words.

The Live Events start at 130pm and  will include the talk by expert Dr Zoe Hudson called Everyday Life in the Tudor Prison.Exploring the theme of daily life for prisoners in the sixteenth century. Lady Jane Grey was imprisoned from July 1553 until her execution in February 1554, and in her talk Zoe will question what daily life was like for Jane at this time.

 

 

****BRAZIL at The Hope Theatre

Brazil is a thoroughly entertaining one man show, that holds the audiences focus from start to finish.

This marvellous play by Ronan O’Donnell is set in Scotland some time in the near future where America is at war with Europe. Doddy (Angus Chisholm) strives for hope of a better place, amongst the depressing day to day life that he finds himself living in.

Chisholm’s performance (directed by Alex Crampton) is fantastic! He keeps the attention of everyone in the theatre, laughing at the characters working class wit, and keeping them in absolute silence for the more intense moments. Doddy does impressions throughout the piece of his Mum, Dad and friend, Cockroach. Chisholm does an incredible job of distinguishing these characters from Doddy, but also inhabiting them in a way that you still believe it’s coming from his character, rather than the actor himself. You often forget you’re watching a one man show.

The lighting remained simple throughout the piece, with a few little surprises. The set made of just of beer crates was used to great effect as sofa, TV and even a bush and Doddy’s layered, scruffy and muddy costume helped in transporting the audience to a council estate.

The prominent use of Scottish slang, meant that you sometimes missed things that Doddy said. However, it was a performance full of clarity so that you always understood what was implied, and could continue to follow the story.

This piece would do well anywhere due to it’s energy and humour, but I’d especially love to be in an audience anywhere is Scotland, because I’d imagine the laughter would be loud and constant for the whole hour!

Daniel Furlonger

BRAZIL will be part of the Solo Show Festival in New York

Image by Michael Cheetham @MicahelCheets

For more info @ProduseTheatre

THE CHANGELING Abney Park Sept 2017

Theatre company ‘09 Lives’ production of ‘The Changeling’ is as mysterious and gripping as it is dark and brooding. A Jacobean tragedy written by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley in 1622, all the actors seemed to relish the roles they played, embracing the seventeenth century language, and beautiful poetry of the play. Telling a tale of love and revenge, Beatrice, performed by Sarah J Warren, desiring an escape from an unwanted marriage with Ryan Brannon’s Alonzo de Piracquo, finds herself tangled in a poisonous relationship with sinister Deflores, embroiled in a plot of murder and deceit. The acting is confident and convincing from all the characters, from cheeky and cheerful Ashleigh Taylor’s Diaphanta, to cockney king Vermandero, performed by Billy Colvill, to Angus Chisolm’s unwitting and trusting Alsermero. Warren’s Beatrice is both manipulated by the men around her, and manipulative, scheming, intelligent and clever, and the transformation of the character is brilliantly depicted. Giorgio Galassi’s performance as villain Deflores is superb. He is perfectly sinister and repulsive, yet strangely pleasing to watch, in his attempts to gain Beatrice as his own.
The production is a promenade play, with the audience following the action of the characters through the eerie yet beautiful pathways of Abney Park. Through performing outdoors (brave considering the September weather!) in Abney cemetery we find ourselves in an enchanting setting and we are transported by the fantastic acting, poetry, and plot, into the world of the play.

Dorothy Wright-Spinks

Runs until 24 September (Weds-Suns)

Tickets available https://thechangelingabney.eventbrite.co.uk

SEPTEMBER IN SUTTON HOUSE

We have been invited to exhibit our young team’s work at Sutton House 6-8 September. Some examples here:

As part of this installation a Live Event DECONSTRUCT has been created. A Tudor Fashion show with a modern twist. Created by a small team of young women and designed by Nellie Noodle.

Limited spaces. Order your FREE tickets here!

DECONSTRUCT Live Event

BARRED by Dean Stalham – ON TOUR

I saw this exciting yet deeply moving play (tour details below)  at a pop up arts space in Forest Gate, East London. The perfect place for it. Bare room with some experimental art on the wall and rows of chairs facing the set, which had the same dimensions as a cell – only 12×8. Barred shows us a mostly secret and hidden world behind bang-up.
Any that make decisions about the fate of prisoners should experience just a day in a room as small as this. It is suffocating. This, for me, was a powerful, powerful choice by Dean Stalham (who also directed) to use of the lack of physical space prisoners endure and the constant need to lift water-filled weights contributed to the intensity of the insightful and authentic exploration of a pair of cell mates’ relationship and how they survive their stretch.
Barred is a play that explores the true complexities of life inside. Two men in a box forced to struggle with their demons and the system that holds them captive. Set in Strangeways in 1994 cell mates, Salford born Danny (Nigel Travis) and Liverpool born Ali (Thomas Jan Johnston) go head to head, fighting for survival. Danny believing that he can find salvation and redemption through art and education, Ali believing the only way to do a prison sentence is by doing it the hard way.
I cannot begin to describe the brilliance of this piece. Dean Stalham, himself a former prisoner, writes with brutal elegance but also there are nonsensical flourishes “crazy nights – fantastical days – end up doing time – in Strangeways…”
In Barred he has, with the skill and total commitment from his actors produced a work that leaves you stunned and yet enlightened. Nigel Travis shows a heart breaking sensitivity as Danny, especially concerning the loss of his relationship with his daughter. Thomas Jan Johnston’s hilarious turn as Ali can switch from all northern bonhomie and warmth to a cold, dead eyed snake loathing his cell mate, the system and himself. Whatever his mood, Ali rages against the world.
Having had some experience with the system myself I cannot recommend Barred highly enough. For its searing honesty, understanding of the human condition and the redemptive possibilities of artistic endeavours. Oh and by the way, it is VERY funny. Theatre doing its job for a change and doing it extremely well.
I would like to leave with a quote from Dean Stalham as I cannot say it better.
“But once art’s in your life the world’s a better place. With art you can communicate, and if you communicate you share and the whole world opens up to you. I know that it does work because I’m living proof of it.”

Review by Oscar Ciros

Barred is produced by the charity Stretch STRETCH CHARITY who promote change through cultural education and are always looking for creative ways to reach those marginalised by society.

Next showing at The Baltic Social 25-29 Parliament Street, L8 5RN Liverpool. thebalticsocial@gmail.com

The play has received Arts Council funding to tour England and deliver FREE events.

 

 

Geffrye Museum Review

The outside of the Museum had a well cared for garden, good for picnics. It was nicely kept as was the beautiful herb garden. As you walk into the herb garden many of the plants were clearly labelled and carried a short description.

As you walk into the building you are immediately greeted by friendly and helpful staff at the Reception.

The Exhibition is housed in a long corridor with different rooms of houses from different eras and different parts of the world. The information displayed was clear, simple and would be easy for children to understand.

Throughout these rooms there were displays for people of all ages to interact with. There is a guessing game for children where children can guess the country of origin which is revealed by removing the flap.

The café was visited and as soon as you walk in there are brownies and other cakes on display. The staff seemed friendly and welcoming although it did seem they were understaffed which made the service slow, but still a nice environment.

The facilities for the men were clean and tidy whereas the women’s facility were not so good.
The stock in the shop catered for all ages.

Leon W.G – 13 Years

29 June Lady Jane Grey, The Woeful Puppet

Get your FREE tickets here for our St Katharine Cree LIVE EVENT

29 June FREE ticket

You will find research panels, artwork, food and some films all created with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The evening will start with a talk from Anne Askew expert Mike Stuchbery.


Following the talk there will be a break when you can visit the exhibition and sample some Tudor fare.

After the break we will be given a dramatised presentation using Lady Jane Grey’s own words by Sarah J Warren.

 

DIGITAL OUTPUT TEAM Produce Shorts for Installation

The Digital Output Team have produced two short films for our installations and they can also be downloaded.

Shot in Hackney following Heritage Filmmaking Workshops earlier this year.

First showings at St Katharine Cree WOEFUL PUPPET installation.

Lady Jane Grey Psalm 51

Mary I The Roman Catholic Nicene Creed

Excerpts will also be included along with interviews with experts, still and moving images and a community scripted voiceover in our Documentary.