Crow Business

The weeks go by and we keep accumulating more material for our Blueprint project. There are now poems, music – compositions and arrangements, visual tricks and illusions and even a storyboard, but as yet, no face to face meetings. In some ways (many) this is an extreme frustration, it can take a week to resolve a small point that would have taken minutes if we were together as people breathing the same air. But in other ways the process points to how we will all have to consider our working practises in the future. Some of the emerging themes speak of lockdown without ever setting out to. I feel we will end up somewhere new, somewhere the company has never been and thats the point of R&D, isn’t it?

 

Here is an arrangement I did to help with insomnia!

 

 

Without Walls Blueprint 2020

We are pleased to announce that we have been selected for the Without Walls Blueprint 2020 Programme alongside 9 other UK artists and companies. This is a great opportunity to begin the R&D process albeit in challenging circumstances. As well as creating material and thinking about ideas and actions, for the first time we are thinking seriously about the carbon impact of what we do. Avanti have always taken shows overseas and not always in a sensible way, we have been guilty of long distance travel for very short tours, but this R&D has been conceived as a piece of action research where we will try out some new ways to collaborate, rehearse and test out material. You can find more info on our Up & Coming page HERE

The Chair Snatch

Below is a clip filmed by Ian Cassidy in 1999 at a Street Ahead day in the centre of Manchester it shows James Macpherson, Mike Lister and Bill Palmer doing an old vaudeville routine known as the Chair Snatch. We learned the routine from Emil Wolk, who directed, Crash Cabaret and he learned it from Johnny Hutch the legendary acrobat. The full show is here. Hard to believe it’s not been speeded up and that we could once actually move this fast.

 

 

Life in Lockdown

Whilst moving some archive boxes in the office to investigate a damp patch I came across these photographs. I am guessing they are from the eighties and feature myself, Stuart Mitchell and Julie Ward. We had a street theatre company, the predecessor to Avanti, called Street level and were commissioned by North West Arts to create scenarios advertising their arts newspaper ‘The Artful Reporter’. The shtick was the girl was ‘in the know’ reading the fascinating paper whilst various ‘characters’ peered over her shoulder to get a peek. We hoofed around Manchester for a morning and improvised these shots. Interestingly they were taken by Martin Parr now photography royalty. Julie also did OK and was until 2020 an MEP for the North West.

 

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Somewhere in France – Let’s Make the Water Turn Black

The final gig of the summer and it could not be in a more lovely place we are in the Loire valley for five days, its unseasonably warm and the crowds are out. The festival is well organised both in terms of production and artist support, let’s not even mention the catering least it sounds like we were on holiday. There is also a lot to see including Cie Bivouac show – À corps perdus which is a spectacular piece of acrobatic story telling with a brilliant musical score, some triggered stems and some live cello, played on an amazing two tier mechanical rig with a full sized trampoline built high above the revolving stage! My personal highlight was probably Farfare Jo Bitume playing an impromptu version of Frank Zappa’s ‘Let’s Make the Water Turn Black’ in the dressing room. Here’s a link if you don’t know it.