After a challanging drive up from Rastatt, it rained pretty much none stop all the way from Strausberg to Stoke. Reliquary’s very complicated machinery worked perfectly even after 600 miles of shaking and the performers, nourished by Alsace wine and some lovely local dishs, did OK as well thanks to Peter Finegan for some excellent work with rice we left about five kilos on the marketplatz! We enjoyed a vintage, in more ways than one, performance by Leo Bassi and the show Pelat from the exceptional Joan Catala. If only Rastatt was closer!

Unintended Poetry

Ypres City Of Wings

Back from Ypres where we were showcasing Reliquary and Bees! the two outdoor parts of our 6-Impossible Things collaboration with Artizani. The festival went well for us with both pieces warmly recieved. There were 63 companies participating and many bookers and agents. We were well looked after and the festival staff have an impressive ‘can do’ attitude, they even whistled up a scuba diver who could re-fill our air tanks. James took this excellent photo of the audience ‘raining’ around two kilos of rice onto Reliquary from all around the atrium.

Re-Furbishing The Fountain machine

The Fountain Machine is coming out of retirement and I have been re painting and generally checking everything is working. The machine was made by Jonathan Wolfenden and was one of the first water shows we made. You can see this lovely clanking black machine at Stockton Riverside and Mouth Of The Tyne festival.

The Stuff We Work With

A Sporran, a diving regulator, Gaffa (of course), a scalpel, wire cutters, a seive and a small pan and tilt mechanism. These are the things on my bench today. Its no different to many studio benches. Bits and pieces from the world that are in the process of being repurposed for inclusion in some prop, costume or performance. I once met an industrial designer who described a lecture he gave to his students on what he called, ‘product abuse’. He defined this as when an object, designed for one purpose, is put into the hands of the ever creative public where it will often be ‘abused’, that is used for something other than the designers original intension. Examples of this might be a plate used as a percussion instrument in carnival or a screwdriver used to open a tin of paint. Many Avanti shows contain a bit of repurposing or product abuse. The example he, the designer, liked was our use of a Hoselock water snap connector being used for comedic effect as it was inserted up The Spurting Mans arse. It turned out he had been on the design team that developed the mechanism.\