Another in the occasional series from my slight obsession with artists cases. This one is Eric Morecambe’s makeup case. I like the fact its on old cigar case, presumably one owned by the man himself and that he never felt the need to replace it with some swanky bit of kit. Seems to speak of the post war sense of ‘make do and mend’. “A touch of carmine on the nose to de-note comedy” as an actor friend would quote into the mirror just before going on.
During October, along with Dave Southall, we designed and built a bandstand/royal box, which revolves to become a train carriage. This along with some other interesting objects was for People Show 137 ‘Back in Ten Minutes’. Dave’s structure took on board the need for lightness and ease of assembly and one of it’s remarkable features is that it can be assembled without tools and splits in such a way as it will go through a standard door. Other bits of creative shed work were remote controlled tennis ball drops and deluge (120) and a mysterious smoking croissant. Maureen our animatronic ventriloquist doll also made her London debut. (As her agent I had been looking for an opportunity for her all last year!) She became a kind of narrator and opened the show with this wonderful line from Mark. ‘and so the audience experiences that wonderful feeling that this might just be the best theatrical experience of their entire lives, cue lights, cue sound…..’
It was a treat for me to work with Emil Wolk again (For those not familiar with Avanti history Emil directed The Spurting Man and co-devised Crash Cabaret with us, back in the nineties.) and to meet and work with Mark Long and George Khan both legendary figures in the history of this company, which has more than fifty years of experimental theatre work. We were together for a month rehearsing and devising then played three preview performances at Toynbee Hall in December. People Show 137 will be touring in 2019.
We were in Newcastle under Lyme last weekend performing Full Circle as part of the circus 250 Homecoming celebrations. We had a short residency at The New Vic Theatre in 2017 when we were devising this piece and have had great support from Appetite both then making the first try out performance and in 2018 we were lucky to be back, again supported by Appetite, with the (nearly) complete (are they ever really finished?) show. This kind of support is unusual for us and much appreciated. It was a treat to be back on such a lovely day and be a small part of The Homecoming very much a homecoming for us.
The dust or should it be the damp has settled back here at Avanti Towers after an exciting time in Kortrijk where we made our Hydromania show at Sinksen Festival on the 19th May. I am so lucky to work with a team of amazing freelance performers and technicians who understand the nature of this odd site responsive show. Once again there were new elements, a synchronised team of spurting men who arrived in great style down the river, an extra layer of large scale fireworks plus everything we learned last year with The World Beaters, who were once again very much as we say ‘on it’. The music was by the amazing Seaming To. Thanks to Ruth and Clare for their choreographic work with the Belgian dance team, Jon for calmly mending anything with nothing, Dominic Cook and Dominic Coffey, Pete for really well judged and sensitive Pyro (not too much smoke!) Performers Marc, Adam and James for their experience and sheer bottle and of course Adam P. now called Adam ‘three comms’ Povey for running the show. Alex and the Sinksen team for your professional attitude to getting everything as we wanted it and for the amazing hospitality. Thanks to Joey and Karl for excellent boat verk! and deDingen who officially serve the best coffee in Belgium and that is a FACT.
We are pleased to report that Full circle has been supported by the arts council. This year the show will play strategic showcase festivals with a view to touring in 2019. Last week we were at 101 where the group created an instagram page with a ‘rehearsal to performance’ theme. Its HERE The feed will run up to September and perhaps beyond!