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I set up the Inspiration Exchange at Derby Theatre and In Good Company’s Departure Lounge festival, with our friends at S.H.E.D. The SHED was set up outside in ‘Derbados’, behind the theatre itself, near the entrance to the Studio.

We varied the format for this run of the Exchange, and people could book in to half-hour slots, as well as just dropping in, with the plan for me to do five of these 30 minute cycles, with a 15 minute Story Of The Day summing-up performance at the end.

We set up the table with ten official, book-able chairs for audience members, plus another layer of SHED-provided tyre-stools and benches. This meant the Exchange ran more as a show for a small audience, rather than as a one-to-one as it sometimes does, and this felt entirely right for the day.

We even had some intro music.

Although it was only a short Exchange, it was one of the busiest and we swapped some great stories. My initial temptation was just to write up all of the stories I was told in as much detail as I can remember and post them here as the Story of the Day.

But that’s not the deal. 

I know from experience that some people tell a particular story in the Inspiration Exchange because it is not recorded – because it is oral history. It is conversation. They tell the story to me, and other audience members, knowing it might get re-told that day or another day. But that is different to putting a full written version online. So when I’ve done that previously I’ve tried to check with the story-sharers that that’s okay.

Occasionally people ask me what I’m going to do with all the stories collected – will there be a publication…? I understand this question – many of our projects have collected stories towards a ‘final’ show. But for me the Inspiration Exchange is a growing collection of stories that are re-told in conversation. At the same time, I like there to be a trace, a record of each day, an acknowledgement of the generosity of the people who shared stories with me. So, here is an attempt to strike a balance.

This first swap seemed to establish one of the themes for the day – looking back at chapters of our lives, realising that something good can come from not always great experiences. In this case, a disastrous outdoor dance performance, cancelled at the last minute, meant that two of the audience of 700 who were sent away, went back to their hotel room and made a baby!

Also, however stressful it was at the time, in the immediate aftermath of the cancellation, a friend of one of the organisers pointed out to him that eventually it would be a good story to tell: “One day you’ll write a blogpost about this.” 

Continuing the chapters theme,
A story about a new job and a new chapter. And about definitions. 

A new chapter deserves a new car. A silver VW Golf GTTDI Red Eye. A great car, by all accounts. But the job? Not so great. 70 hour weeks, hard work. After three years it was time to move on again, start a new chapter, sell the Golf, buy a Camper Van, hit the road.

Selling the Golf was more drawn out than expected, and culminated with the Golf and the would-be buyer’s beat up Honda Civic lined up on a stretch of disused road ready for an an illegal race – sorry, a ‘test to see which was fastest’.

A story of discovery. Sometimes your travel agents aren’t quite as Shit At Travel Arrangements as they appear. Sometimes it might be the lack of a forwarding address that means your tickets haven’t arrived.

But sometimes, lying on the floor and crying means they will let you on the plane. In fact, this is so effective, you might use it more than once.

A story that begins with the end of another chapter, and introduced a run of stories about parents.

A Dad passes away leaving a Mum, a Brother and a Sister. Mum decides that she will try to find the positive in this, try to treat it as a new beginning. She will start doing some things she has never done before. 

She takes the children travelling around Vietnam. Whilst on this trip, the Brother and Sister, young adults, both notice a shift. They both notice themselves becoming the parents, their Mum becoming the child.

They get home from Vietnam. Life carries on. Mum continues to try new things.

Because of his work, the Brother is used to being asked about the effects of psychedelic substances on the brain. What actually happens physiologically when you take X? What would happen if you took Y and Z at the same time? But he is still surprised when he gets a message from Mum asking how she would go about taking ecstasy?

He acquires some for her, and she and a friend give it a try. They have a great time. This becomes Mum’s thing. Taking the occasional e with friends.

Recently to the telling of this story, the Mum, Brother and Sister all went to see a concert by The Jacksons, one of Dad’s favourite bands. Dad’s name was Mahtab, which means ‘moonlight’, or ‘full moon’. The Jacksons concert was outdoors, on the night of a full moon. The Mum, the Brother, the Sister all took an e, and they danced to Dad’s favourite music beneath the full moon, and it was joyous.

But L. needed a bit longer to think about it before she gave me a story back.

The weird experience of getting to the pub at 7am in order to watch England play in the Rugby World Cup, taking place on the other side of the world.

The tension when it was still a draw after 80 minutes.

The feeling when Johnny Wilkinson scored that drop kick in the final moments.

L. decided to tell me one of her Dad’s stories. 

A bunch of lads doing up a rural shed*. An old one, big enough to fit a few bunk beds in. Some laddish pranks involving A Spider As Big As A Fist**. But the prank backfires slightly when the lads realise they have lost track of the enormous spider, and so have to retreat to the pub.

*Back in the 70s it was not unknown to ask a farmer if you could build a shed in the corner of one of their fields, to use as a base for your outdoor activities – trekking, rambling, scouting and so on.

**L. admits that her Dad may have exaggerated this detail.

A story in the wrong time. Spooky noises from the attic, a mystery unsolved. But it doesn’t happen at night, having just moved in to the house, it happens in the middle of the afternoon, two years later.

In the Exchange we talk about the things you say in these weird situations, when you are (almost definitely) alone, but call out to people who (almost definitely) aren’t there. 

A story of surprising generosity, set in the almost mythical New York of the mid-1990s. The Bronx. Queens. Harlem. Central Park. Lexington Avenue. A story that includes lessons on the need to ‘look hard’ and how we can mis-judge the times we need to do that.

On the day that the only non-American team taking part in the ‘World Series, the Toronto Bluejays, had indeed won the ‘World’ Series, two Brits win a lot of money from their new American friends at a Poker Party.

Unsure how they’re going to get home after the trains have stopped – a stranger offers them his car. More adventures lost in night-time New York… but eventually they get home safe. Drop the car off, leave the keys, never see their benefactor again.

A story about a Mum swapped for a story about a Dad, and about a Mum.

A skiing accident leaves S.’s Dad more accident prone and clumsy. A second visit to the hospital back home reveals that he had been having a slow brain haemorrhage since the accident.

The hospital kept him in, and what S. now knows, but didn’t at the time, was that the hospital told her Mum that her Dad wouldn’t make it. Her Mum protected her from this.

They waited. And the hospital were wrong. Her Dad made it. And he came round as a new person, with a new perspective on what was important. “S.,” he would say, “you do you.” And if she was ever having boy trouble, for example, his advice would be, “Just get rid.” Be yourself, he seemed to understand now, and don’t waste time on stuff that causes you stress.

I swapped YOU DO YOU
A story about being in a bad situation. A situation where you are under-trained, and under-prepared. Where you don’t know what the ‘correct’ thing to do is, and you have to make an instinctive choice of what action to take. A story about choosing to help.

A story of how making a good choice in a bad situation can stay with you and how you can continue to learn from that choice and that experience, years later.

I swapped FULL MOON
A story with its own special dance.

The story of a 10th birthday adventure, out on bikes at night, speeding along winding country lanes. Fun-scary. The thrill of your Mum and Dad not knowing – everyone told their parents they were going to someone else’s house. And at the top of the hill, a lovely view.

Yes, you get caught. Yes, everyone is in trouble. Yes, your Mum is furious. But, bundled into the car on the way home you realise: if there’s something you really want to do, if you’re clever enough, you can find a way of doing it.

Years ago now. Talking to a friend, a few months after the events in question, you both realise that you wore very similar tops on the nights you lost your virginity. Tops that you had thought about, had chosen specially. But the boys didn’t seem very interested in those tops. They just wanted to get them off.

A revenge ritual is decided upon. You take the tops out with you, and go to the houses that each boy lives in with their parents. You hang the tops on their garden gates, entwined with the bars, arms outstretched. Making them see the tops.

What, you wonder later, did their parents think?

A pub crawl around Liverpool with your Mum. In the Cavern Club she volunteers to sing Let It Be onstage. It isn’t good. In fact, it’s bad.

But it’s the first time you realise that she is brave, she has courage. She wanted to get up and sing - so she did.

And this moment changes her, too. She quits her job as a Carer and becomes a Hairdresser, like she’s always wanted to do. She’s still doing it. You get her some business cards made for her birthday.

At the end of the afternoon, during the Story of the Day performance, I ran out of time. So I didn’t get to tell the last five stories. But I did show everyone the I’m Still Standing dance.

Thanks to everyone at Derby Theatre, In Good Company and the S.H.E.D. team for their support, and of course special thanks to the brilliant audiences and story-tellers - here’s hoping I got the balance right.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Mechanisms for Storytelling

This month I’m taking the Inspiration Exchange to Derby, to be part of the brilliant Departure Lounge, in the pretty amazing looking S.H.E.D. I’m already thinking about what stories I might select to tell on the day, and looking forward to discovering what stories I will be told in return. One of the things I love about Inspiration Exchange is that usually people do not know what story they are going to tell in advance. They choose in the moment, and often I have the privilege of watching people remember the story as they tell it.

[If you’re coming to Departure Lounge, you can book a slot for Inspiration Exchange, or just drop in on the day – details here, and, er, later in this blogpost.]

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the third annual conference of the Memory Studies Association in Madrid, through my role at Leeds Beckett University. The conference was probably the biggest I’ve been to, with over 1,500 delegates – demonstrating how interest in the field of Memory Studies has grown massively in recent years.

I was there to run a workshop that I called Mechanisms For Remembering, as part of the Performance & Memory Working Group, and to attend other panels and sessions. It was really interesting to be at a conference that was not primarily concerned with performance, and I got to hear papers about research into how memory works for live translators, how humans ‘attach’ memories to objects and the distinctions between individual and societal memory and the political implications of this – which inevitably made me think about what The Department of Distractions are up to. 

Of course there was a lot about story-telling, too. Indeed, the overriding thought I came away with was about how human beings/societies spend a lot of time, energy and intellect just trying to understand what we have done/built… but our knowledge of what we’ve done - the civilisations and societies and cultures we have constructed – our knowledge is all from imperfect and contradictory memories. Which might make it sound like the conference was rather bleak, but it didn’t feel like it. It was a few days of really interesting conversations and connections. 

In my workshop I ran two exercises that might be familiar to you if you’ve been taught by Rachael or I over the last few years: ‘Eyes-closed Room Drawing’ which we developed to make both Senseless and Where From Here, and ‘The Chapters Game’ which was the main making-engine for The Lad Lit Project. Sometimes it feels like you have exactly the right people in a workshop and this was one of those occasions – with everyone picking up the prompts of the exercises in their own way and the conversations flowing. 

Whilst running the session, I was reminded how creating workshop exercises is very similar to devising and creating shows. Through repeated delivery of exercises/games, I find that I hone the way I phrase the instructions, refine what order to give the participants the information they need, at what point I hand the game over to them. Many exercises have specific phrases I always use, or stories that always accompany them, as I have discovered that these help people to understand the invitation of the game – or where the material it generates might go in terms of telling a story or making a show. 

In Third Angel’s interactive/conversational work, the distinction between performance or workshop exercise can often feel blurred. This is partly because when we’re making a new show we will often come up with new games to help us generate stories/material for it – and then we take those exercises out of the rehearsal room and into public contexts. I’ve said/written before that in these projects what we’re usually trying to find is a mechanism that will allow people (participants and/or performers) to discover that there is a story they would like to tell, in that moment. These devising exercises aim to give people prompts to remember a story that they want to tell, and then to give them a format to fit the story into (if they like): following the rules of the game, telling the story in a prescribed way - just answering the question - takes the pressure off having to ‘make it good’ or ‘interesting’. And, apart from the very rare exception, people always find that they do have (at least one) interesting story to tell.

Inspiration Exchange worked the opposite way round. It was originally devised as a workshop exercise for a Café Scientifique event about where ideas come from. The brief was to come up with an activity that people could drop in on, rather than having to attend an hour long session. Since that first incarnation, different versions of the Inspiration Exchange have been presented across the UK and internationally – usually as a show, but sometimes as a sharing mechanism for artists/companies. But the essential exchange is always the same. We have a collection of story titles – stories of things, people, ideas, events, that have inspired someone. You choose a story title that you like the sound of, and then after hearing it, you offer a story back to the Exchange to swap in.

As mentioned earlier, and in keeping with the evolving nature of the project, we’re varying the format slightly at Departure Lounge. Firstly the Exchange will be part of the programme in The S.H.E.D. – an innovative new multi-purpose mobile arts and performance space led by our friend and collaborator Rhiannon Jones of In Dialogue. (The S.H.E.D. will also host Jake Bowen’s remarkable Plea Bargain the next day – a must see).

Secondly, you can book a slot in to Inspiration Exchange in advance. The show is free to Festival-pass-holders, and you can book in to a particular half hour slot when you get your pass, or you can just drop in on the day. Hopefully this will even the audience out across the duration of the Exchange (sometimes the first hour can be a bit quiet). If you’re going to be at Departure Lounge, I hope you can drop in.


Thanks to Kirsty Surgey for letting me photograph her room drawing.

Friday, 21 June 2019

To the Moon, to Mars and Beyond

**UPDATE** 600 People continues to tour in autumn 2019: Bedford, Harrogate, Huddersfield and Colchester. Tour dates here.


I’ve just finished listening to Episode 5 of 13 Minutes to the Moon: The Fourth Astronaut. It’s all about the development of the Apollo Spacecraft’s Command and Service Module’s on-board computer – and the software that it ran in order to be able to land on the moon.

In our show 600 People, I recall talking to astrophycisist Dr Simon Goodwin about whether or not he thinks human beings “will ever get to Mars?” In his response  - back in 2006 - Simon talked about the cost of space exploration, and how it always pays for itself through the boost that it gives the economy, and also about the benefit of “technological trickle down”. I use this as an opportunity to make a gag about spaceships and frying pans, but The Fourth Astronaut really demonstrates Simon’s point – explaining that the Apollo 11 mission saw in the dawn of digital/domestic computing, with the need for much lighter weight integrated circuits.

One of the things I’m most enjoying about 13 Minutes to the Moon is the way it frames the importance of the Apollo missions as being more than just Apollo 11, achieved by more than just the men who got to walk on the moon. A whole bunch of people, many of them in their early 20s, “these kids”, taking on this huge ambition and responsibility. At one point someone says (something like), “We didn’t know we couldn’t do it, so we just went ahead and did it.”

There are loads of new interviews with these team members, and in The Fourth Astronaut it is particularly great to hear Elaine Denniston and Margaret Hamilton talking about their roles. At one point Hamilton is talking about the difference between knowing a code language, and actually being able to write code that works. Just because you can write English, she observes, doesn’t mean they’d give you a job writing novels.

I’m guessing that 13 Minutes to the Moon is timed to conclude in the week of the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landings themselves, and of course there’s a lot of of other anniversary-related stuff out there at the moment – indeed, we’re performing 600 People at A Future Fantastic Festival and Latitude Festival as tie-in events.

If you’re interested in this area, my two top recommendations are Andrew Smith’s Moondust and Jed Mercurio’s Ascent. Smith’s Moondust is a telling of his own quest to meet all of the surviving humans who had walked on the moon. Formally, of course, this reportage/documentary approach, interweaving the story of the research task with the story he uncovered, is right up my street. But added to that it is surprising, insightful, entertaining and moving. Mercurio’s Ascent is the other side of the coin, a fictional exploration of the idea of the ‘phantom cosmonaut’. Written with relentless, elegantly spare prose, it manages to evoke the power of  the human desire to get up, get away, get out there. I found it incredibly moving. Both highly recommended.

Our friend and board member Adrian Friedli has been keeping his eye out for this stuff for us, too. He’s leant me the current issue of Frieze which has nice space-related articles by artist Katie Paterson and novelist Lucy Ives, along with Gil Scott-Heron’s (brilliant) debut album, Small Talk at 125th & Lenox, that includes the poem Whitey On The Moon; recorded in 1970, Heron eloquently questions just who is benefiting from investment in space exploration.

What I got most excited about, though, was Adrian’s copy of the December 1969 National Geographic, which is a Moon Landings special. It includes loads of beautiful photographs, articles which of course are ‘look what we just did’, rather than retrospective: the events described don’t yet have the wider cultural significance they will go on to achieve. But to me, looking at it now, and perhaps this is partly down to the 1960s colour saturation of the photographs, partly because many of the images are so familiar, and maybe because it includes a flexidisc (a flexidisc!) of Sounds Of The Space Age: From Sputnik To Lunar Landing – it still feels nostalgic. As with 13 Minutes to the Moon, it’s the human aspect that I’m drawn to. The fact that these remarkable things are being done by ordinary people. (Of course, as you might have heard us say before, everything is done by ordinary people).

One article, called Man Walks On Another World, includes a transcript of the recording that is the basis for 13 Minutes to the Moon, but continues it to follow Armstrong and Aldrin on to the moon’s surface. I love the moment when, after he steps down, the second human being on the lunar surface, Aldrin turns to close the Command & Service Module door:

    ALDRIN: Now I want to back up and partially close the hatch. Making sure not to lock it.

Is he making a gag here, or just thinking aloud? It’s hard to tell from a transcript. Either way, his companion replies:

    ARMSTRONG: A particularly good thought.

As someone who regularly pops back to check that the front door is locked, I love the practicality of this moment.

When I told ex-spacecraft engineer Katie Sparks that I was writing this blogpost, she sent me a link to this video, saying, “I think you’ll enjoy the humanity”:

One of the things I love about touring 600 People is the conversations it inspires afterwards. I met Katie after she came to see the show in York a couple of years ago. If you’ve seen 600 People, you’ll know that whilst I might be fascinated by the Apollo Missions, the space programme that captured my heart is Voyager. The Voyager programme forms forms the narrative ‘brackets’ around 600 People, and was also the inspiration for our earlier show 9 Billion Miles From Home (the making of which is detailed in this lecture/blogpost, Testing The Hypothesis).

Katie introduced herself after the show, saying that she ‘used to work in the space industry’. As we talked, it became apparent that she was actually part of the team who built the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Spacecraft(!). Again, if you’ve seen the show, you’ll know that the Rosetta’s Philae Lander touching down on Comet 67/P Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2014 is a turning point in the narrative. What was really gratifying for me was that Katie said that one of the things she liked about the show was that it captured the enthusiasm and passion of people who work in space science.

Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to talk at a ‘TaPRA Performance & Science Working Group Interim Event’ at Jodrell Bank. It was a thrill just to be there and see the scale of the Lovell telescope for a start. It was a day of fascinating conversation about science-related performance, with a focus, inevitably, on space exploration. There were people there who knew much more about the territory than me. The specific theme of the day was Seeing the Unseen – and the discussion was about how (performance in collaboration with) science can enable us to see things at a scale, or distance, or time, that we can’t “see” everyday. But we also talked about what it allows us to see on an emotional level.

My provocation was called Performing science: how does it make you feel?

In Third Angel we’ve always said that we make work about the things that fascinate us or bother us. The stuff your brain returns to when its meant to be thinking about something else. That might be personal relationships and domestic details, or it might be circadian rhythms, timezones, cartography or the fact that the Voyager spacecraft are, you know, actually out there, right now, almost incomprehensible distances from the human beings who built them. We explore these ideas through conversations and collaborations with specialists and experts in their fields: psychologists, cartographers, astrophysicists. Our aim with these projects is to make something that responds to the emotional, human impact that their research has. 

One of the things I mentioned was something Prof. Simon Goodwin (he’s Dr Simon Goodwin in 600 People because he wasn’t a Professor when I first met him) said to me that has stayed with me. I think maybe it was in an after-show discussion after an early performance of the first version of the show. He said that it had struck him that scientists, on the whole, go into their field of study because they are passionate about it. Fascinated, curious, inquisitive… and they care about it too. But the more they train and study their field, the more they are encouraged (or at least can feel like they are) to be dispassionate about their findings – to appear to be more objective. I have to say, in our conversations Simon always seems passionate and enthusiastic about whatever he’s explaining to me.

I had also written to Katie to ask if she could expand on what she had said to me after the show. She wrote back:

Until July last year, I worked as an engineer - my only job in this field was in the space industry.
Which sounds amazingly glamorous, until you realise that the technicians are the folk in the awesome clean room suits who are actually seeing the things, and that being an engineer means attending meetings and writing reports - so much like 99% of any other “professional” job.
It may be surprising to find out that designing spacecraft is hard. And I mean, really hard. Not just because of the tech and what we’re trying to do, but actually, because of timescales and budgets and getting all the right people together from all of everywhere. Somewhere in all of that, it can be easy to lose sight of the bit where you’re working on something that’s going to space. I need to say that again, because that’s the bit that’s magic: you’re working on something that’s going to space.
If you’re lucky, you’ll work on telecommunications and satellite navigation systems, which means your sentence ends up as:
    “I’m working on something that’s going to space and it will change the lives of millions of people across the whole world.”
(But even this is actually not my favourite version).
If you’re lucky, you’ll work on something that’s going to do things that can’t be done on Earth, chasing dreams of where it all began, what else is out there and how does it all work?  In that case, your sentence ends up as:
     “I’m working on something that’s going to space and it’s going to help us understand a little bit more and see all of everything else in some other new way.”
As a sciency type, this is my favourite.


I’m looking forward to taking 600 People out again in July. It’s a treat to get to be part of this conversation. In Sheffield A Future Fantastic Festival at Theatre Deli is all about imagining where we (homo sapiens) go next. At Latitude I’m looking forward to catching up with Unlimited Theatre’s Space Shed, Footprint’s Signals and checking out this whole host of space themed activity. If you’re coming along to any of these gigs, please do say hello afterwards.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Mechanisms For Remembering

Jerry Killick in WHERE FROM HERE (2000). Photo: Rob Hardy

Next week I’ll be attending the Memory Studies Association’s Annual Conference in Madrid, as part of the Performance and Memory Working Group. Memory as a theme and tool has been woven into Third Angel’s work from the start, so I’m looking forward to hearing wider thematic discussion of this area.

I’ll be running a workshop there on Tuesday 25th June, titled Mechanisms For Remembering. This is how we’ve described it:

How do we remember? How do we find and tell memories? How might memories become performance?
A workshop demonstrating techniques designed to allow participants to access memories, and draw on those memories to tell their own stories, in a safe space, and without feeling the pressure of coming up with ‘good material.’ Exercises that allow participants to be both an expert in their own experience, and also be ‘put on the spot’ and so re-discover memories that are not just the stories we always tell.
The workshop draws on exercises developed for the creation of a number of Third Angel shows, in particular Senseless (1998), Where From Here (2000), The Lad Lit Project (2005). These performances all draw on personal memories and, to a greater or lesser extent, reflect on the nature of memory, and how we re-tell memories of the past as a way of constructing our identities in the present. 

If you’re at the Conference, the workshop is free to attend. You don’t need to have any performance experience - it will be very much conversation led.
Mechanisms For Remembering
1-3pm, 25 June
Complutense University
Building A, Hall, Floor 2. 

You can just turn up on the day, or contact me to reserve a place.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

BOOST: Our new mentoring scheme

We’ve just launched BOOST, our funded mentoring scheme for 2019, offering time, space, money and expertise for artists and companies making contemporary theatre and live art. There are two main strands: Artistic Practice and Producing Your Own Work.

Some of you might have applied to TAMS (Third Angel’s Mentoring Scheme) in previous years; BOOST is replacing this and one major difference this year is that there are two separate application forms for the Artistic Practice and Producing. You can apply for both, but to make the schemes as bespoke as possible we need to ask you different questions for each.

For BOOST Your Artistic Practice we are looking for four artists or companies who devise their own work and create theatre or live art. We can support you through three days of Rachael or Alex’s time as a mentor, be that as an outside eye, dramaturg or co-deviser, a week’s rehearsal space with our partners Sheffield Theatres in either the Lyceum Theatre or the Crucible rehearsal rooms, and a fee. 

Yolanda Mercy, 2017 Mentee

Yolanda Mercy, 2016 Mentee

We want to support artists to make the work they want to make, and we want to work with them to find the best way of doing this on an individual basis. However, we’ve also been doing this a while now, so we also want to support projects that can make use of our experience and expertise. So, over the last few years, this is what we’ve learned about applying to the scheme:

  • Apply with the show or project you really want to make next - don’t try to come up with something to ‘fit’ the scheme.
  • We are looking for projects that are created primarily through devising. That isn’t to say the shows can’t have text or can’t be written.
  • We’re looking for projects that are ready to use a rehearsal room, to try out writing with performers, to start to improvise text, or to start to find the physical score of the work or the frame of the show.
  • We’re interested in supporting projects at any stage of their development, except the very start. If you still need to go and do the research (interview members of the community, meet a scientist, spend a week in the library/on the internet), then you’re not quite ready to apply this year.
  • We are looking for work that we feel we can contribute to in some way and be useful; work where a meaningful dialogue can take place between us and the mentee.
  • We’re interested in fiction, autobiography, documentary, verbatim, task-based, visually-led performance and live art. We run devising processes that utilise rule-based exercises to enable performers to create material for shows so they have ownership of, and investment in, that material in performance. Processes that involve devising, task-based improvisation, discussion, writing, making more material than will be used in the final show and editing. We would like to share this approach with you, but also remix and refine it so that it works for your project.
  • We can’t provide extra performers or actors, although we can sometimes help you find workshop participants if that would be useful.
  • If you would like to share some of your work at the end of the week we can facilitate that, but it is not a requirement of the scheme.

To apply for BOOST Your Artistic Practice, click here for the application pack

Callum Berridge, 2018 mentee

BOOST Your Producing is a free two-day workshop providing production and career-focused information and support, including company structures, financial management and budgeting, funding, working with venues, professional development opportunities. It aims to support artists and companies who find themselves needing, or desiring, to produce their own shows, projects, tours. This is where our expertise and experience lies – all of our work is produced in-house. We have an Executive Producer, Hilary Foster, who leads on this, and all members of the team are involved in producing projects to a greater or lesser extent. So these two days are aimed at artists/companies in a similar position, rather than freelance producers who want to work with multiple artists (though they might find them interesting and useful). BOOST Your Producing is designed primarily, but not exclusively, at those at the beginning of their theatre making professional lives.

If you’d like to BOOST Your Producing, here’s the application form.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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