15 January – 3 February 2013
PuSh and caravan have been exploring how we might strengthen the relationships between Canadian and English theatre makers. The first result of which was a visit to Canada in January 2013 by three English contemporary theatre companies, all of whom are interested in producing new work for new audiences.
Whilst in Canada these artists presented their work, spent time in residence to develop new projects, worked with local artists, shared practice, explored ideas and contacts in the hope that this would lead to on-going co-operation between English and Canadian artists.
Action Hero is the collaboration between Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse, based in Bristol, UK. They have been working together since 2005 and their performance work often has a sense of the epic, even though it is played out through a raw, DIY, lo-fi aesthetic. They think about performance as an event and enjoy using audiences as collaborators and co-conspirators.
‘A Western’ is Action Hero’s first piece, which began its life in 2005, and is a performance for a bar. Within the space they locate their valley, their saloon and their empty street. They find their audience and together they make ‘A Western’.
In 2009 Dan Canham made a film in a rotting, dilapidated theatre in Limerick, Ireland. Using that film as source material, he created ‘30 Cecil Street’, an original piece of dance-theatre and an eloquent, heartbreaking elegy for a lost and ruined theatre. ‘30 Cecil Street’ is a performance of fragmented memories, of wild nights and long-disappeared communities and asks what is left when a theatre closes its doors to the public?
Victoria Melody studied visual art at Chelsea College of Art. She now makes one-woman theatrical shows about England’s pastimes. She has a curiosity for other people’s passions and immerses herself into communities by becoming a participant. In the past she has become a pigeon racer, a beauty queen and learned northern soul dancing in stranger’s living rooms. Part artist, part ethnographer she gives audiences brief glimpses into the worlds of people they would not normally meet or experience.
‘Northern Soul’ is a show about Victoria’s attempts at joining in and celebrates Britain for all of its extraordinary, ordinariness.