So as you know, we’ve taken a little break from Stage Door Live for a few weeks which means…no live news! So in the interest of keeping this blog going in some form or another, for the next few weeks I’ll be presenting you with news that wouldn’t have made it into the live show. So without further ado, I present you with a selection of weird, wild, and wonderful headlines from the arts and culture world.
So. I think ‘celebrates’ might be a strong word choice for what is, at its core, a publicity stunt. HOWEVER. As far as publicity stunts go, this is a pretty wholesome one and I do not hate it. In an effort to promote the new Netflix original film Enola Holmes, the streaming service has installed a number of statues around the U.K. drawing attention to the often overlooked sisters of celebrated men.
Now obviously Sherlock and Enola are both fictional, but the other ladies being highlighted are most certainly not; they include Frances Dickens, Mary Hardy, and Maria Anna Mozart, all extraordinary women in their own right. Of course it’s an advertising ploy but, hey, if it means a few more people go down a Google rabbit hole reading about how awesome Princess Helena Victoria was, that’s great!
Also, I watched the movie with my housemate this week and I have to say, it is thoroughly enjoyable. Not perfect, but absolutely worth two hours of switch-your-brain-off time.
This sounds COOL. Art Houses is a new initiative that pairs up theatre makers with families and households in Philadephia to create original performances. Developed by Theatre Horizon’s Artistic Director Nell Bang-Jensen, the programme aims ‘to help households develop and share their own family stories with their community’.
“Art Houses will create theatre for the era of quarantine, tell the untold stories of households struggling to survive and thrive during a worldwide pandemic, and create community when people are most in need of connection” said Bang-Jensen in a statement. “We hope to expand the idea of ‘who is in a family’ and explore the sensation moments that can be found within the familiar every day: how do we create new rituals, celebrate, and grieve when we are separated from our broader friends and family?”https://www.americantheatre.org/2020/09/28/theatre-horizon-announces-art-houses-initiative/
Rehearsals will take place online with each family committing about 40 hours over 2-3 months to the development process; they’ll be selected via an interview process. And good news for those of us not in Philadelphia: performances will take place online as well! More info here.
If you haven’t experienced Darkfield’s work yet, this is your chance. At my first Edinburgh Festival Fringe back when life was normal, all my friends went to see ‘Flights’ and raved about it. Of course, I missed out on getting a ticket; but the following year, I managed to snag a ticket for ‘Coma’.
Artistic directors Glen Neath and David Rosenberg said: “While we live in a world where many are not able to see or hug friends and family members, we feel the themes within Visitors are a poignant response to the experience of longing for connection. […] As an audience member, you will be asked to sit three metres apart from a partner, and to be mindful of the characters you invite into the space between you.”https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/immersive-audio-drama-visitors-to-offer-shared-experience-to-audiences-globally
Darkfield is best known for making immersive audio theatre, usually in shipping containers, which inevitably leads to an increased sense of claustrophobia and uncertainty. Sounds scary but…well, it kind of is. But in a good way! They are masters of using binaural soundscapes to create extremely visceral and mind-bending experiences that stick with you long after it ends.
And to leave you with some news that may make you extremely envious. You may have noticed that there has been an extraordinary amount of back-and-forth surrounding The Abbey Theatre’s production of ‘The Great Hunger’ (through no fault of their own, I might add). Finally, a few days ago, they announced that with revised performance schedules and reduced audience capacity, the adaptation of Patrick Kavanagh’s epic poem would be able to go ahead BUT unfortunately some ticket holders would be impacted.
Well, readers. Let me tell you something. I snapped up my ticket as soon as they went on sale and was over the moon that I was able to nab one before they disappeared. So when I saw that some ticket holders would have their tickets affected, I braced for the worst. But guess what?
I’M GOING! TONIGHT!
Tonight I am going to the theatre. It will look and feel and sound very different to what I’m used to but I haven’t been this excited about anything since I submitted a job application to sell books in the Maldives (true story).
So this is where I leave you. I will now go spend the rest of the afternoon mentally and emotionally preparing myself for this evening’s event. I’m having a lot of feelings.
See you next week!
For those of you following this portion of the blog, you’ll know that for the last few months I’ve been including links to resources that I’ve found personally useful or interesting in my quest to become a better accomplice to marginalised people. I’ve learned so much and there is so much still left to learn. And in an effort to give my attention more deeply and effectively to the resources I’ve been sharing (and those I have not), I’m going to take a little break from my Appendix.