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  • New Directions Showcase Festival 2012: The Whale, outside all day!

    Talking Birds presents The Whale

    The Whale is a gentle giant made in metal which swallows audiences one (or two) at a time for an unforgettable 3 minute theatre performance. Prepare to dive!

    Suitable for all ages 6+ and fully accessible for wheelchair users.

    Enter the jaws of a giant silver whale to be serenaded by a lovesick submariner, and you might leave with a gift from the sea. A three-minute journey for one adventurer at a time (or two if you’re shy).

  • More performances revealed for the New Direction Showcase Festival 2012

    10:15 Group B and 12:15 Group A Studio 2 x 30 minute extracts

    Kid Carpet and the Noisy Animals – Kid Carpet (Extract: 30 min)


    A New Rock & Roll Musical For Kids (and adults)

    Ed Patrick – Creator, Writer and Performer
    Katie Sykes – Designer
    Chris Collier – Lighting and Sound
    Mike Akers – Dramaturg
    Will Bishop Stephens – Animation
    Co-creators – Hannah Broadway, Will Bishop, Lisa Yardley
    Oliver Postgate meets The Beastie Boys!
    Kid Carpet & The Noisy Animals take to the road to present a rock and roll, theatre extravaganza for children.
    Kid Carpet has garnered himself an international reputation as a pioneer of catchy, lo-fi electro-pop music for nearly 10 years. Having released 4 albums, toured with acts like Arcade Fire and worked with cult film director Alex Cox, the much-loved musician now turns his hand to live theatre.
    Kid Carpet & The Noisy Animals is a pop adventure that stretches across the nation. Join us in Bristol, Birmingham, London, Oxford and many more places to get on down. Follow, gorilla, bear, hedgehog and badger, as they make friends, cause mischief, contemplate the world and finally rock out at the grand dance contest. This lively and entertaining show contains a unique mix of live music, theatre, comedy and animation. The tracks include the addictive A Bear On A Boat In The Bath, Doing a Poo in the Forest, and Getting To The Good Bit (Really Good Bit).
    “I have a two-year old and have found myself quite naturally developing a range of songs about crossing the road, going up the stairs, eating yoghurt and going to sleep. I wanted to use these as a basis to try and put together some kind of performance / theatre / rock show / cinema amalgamation, which would be much more than just a music gig for kids.”

    Kid Carpet (Ed Patrick)
    “Kid Carpet has created a fresh, funny and engaging show that is quite unlike anything I have seen before. I loved the work-in-progress of The Noisy Animals and I can’t wait to see them again.”
    Ali Robertson, Artistic Director of Tobacco Factory Theatre
    Suitable for ages 3+
    Kid Carpet and the Noisy Animals is supported by Theatre Bristol and the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s SITE initiative.

  • New Directions Showcase Festival 2012

    This is one of 3 choices at 18:30 on Saturday 16th June

    Poland 3 Iran 2 – 30 Bird Productions (70 mins)
    30 Bird productions presents: Poland 3 Iran 2 a collaboration between Seyf and Dobrowolski

    In 1976, the best ever Polish football team played against the best ever Iranian football team in the Montreal Olympics. Such a clash of talent led to a memorable game with Poland edging to a 3-2 win.

    Join Seyf and Dobrowolski in the bar for a whistle stop tour of monumental historic events and bizarre personal confessions. Armed only with a Power Point they discuss football, revolution, swimming, love and Subbuteo aided by footage from the match and stills from their family photo albums.

    Grab a pint, sit back and enjoy.

    “A wry and charming slice of history, a must for anyone who’s ever traced back a family tree or idolised a footballer” Three weeks ****

    “A beautiful exploration of boyhood, of family eccentricities, of migration, of political resistance, and a father son relationship.” Total Theatre

    Next choice:

    The Oh Fuck Moment – Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe (70 mins)
    Here are several reasons why you might choose to see this show!

    Image by: Martin Figura
    You just fucked up. Now what? Sometimes, fuck-ups are so massive, there’s no way back.  In this Fringe First winning show, poet Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe examine the poetic guts of mistakes in a bundle of words and strip lighting. Fucking up is the truest, funniest, most terrifying moment you can experience. You will make a mistake, maybe you’ll learn from it. ‘The oh fuck moment’ is a conversation around a desk for brave souls to hold their hands up and admit they fucked up, or for people to laugh at us because we did.

    You should probably see ‘The oh fuck moment’ if you’ve ever stood on a rake.
    Or accidentally made your party cocktails with bleach.
    Or locked yourself in a shed.
    Or been caught cheating.
    Or followed your inclination to experiment and ended up in A+E with a traumatic wanking injury.
    Or crashed a plane.
    Or set fire to yourself.
    Or been responsible for someone’s death.
    Or watched someone die.
    Or fallen awkwardly.
    Or fallen awkwardly on a rake.
    Or fallen awkwardly while flying a plane.
    Or put your tongue in the wrong person’s mouth.
    Or put your tongue in what you thought was the right person’s mouth and it turned out to be the wrong person’s mouth.
    Or got really angry because someone told you a story about a horse.
    Or pressed the button that had the sign next to it saying:
    Even if that button was a metaphorical one, and the thing that blew up was your life.
    Or if you hit ‘reply all’ and told them all just what you thought of them.
    Or if you’ve ever been in charge of a nuclear power station. Or a room full of toddlers. Or a government.
    Or just come if it was absolutely, positively your fault, and there’s no point trying to explain, or apologise, or any of that stuff that usually makes it better. Or at least a bit less disastrous.
    Or if you’ve done none of these things. Because someone has. In fact, WE have. And we’d like to tell you about it, because one day, probably, you’ll do them too.

    Oh, and come if you like poems. And talking. Because the show has both of those things. And fucking up. Poems, talking and fucking up.

    And here’s the next one to choose from:

    It’s Like He’s Knocking – Leo Kay (60 mins)
    “Telling it how it is even when you don’t quite know how it was.”
    A stripped back performance incorporating story telling, dance theatre and Afro Brazilian percussion set in the intimacy of a bed-sit.  This new promenade adaptation for larger spaces transports you through a collage of moments from the lives of three generations of men, exploring ritual, ideas ancestry and the magic of coincidence.

    Drink a toast to loved ones, bet on some cards and close your eyes to remember you past.  As Leo’s story unfolds; so in turn does your own.
    “A slow-burning, uniquely intimate addition to the interactive theatre phenomenon sweeping this year’s festivals.” The List, Edinburgh (****)

    “An utterly engaging, original and moving performance.” Audience response (Manchester)

  • Announcing performances for the New Directions Showcase Festival 2012

    10:15 Group A and at 12:15 Group B HMS Studio 5 x 10 minute pitches

    Love Letters Straight From the Heart - Uninvited Guests and Fuel (Pitch: 10 min)
    Love Letters Straight From Your Heart is a moving participatory event that occupies a space between our theatre and durational works, which is collaboratively authored with its audience, who become a temporary community of close friends. It is an intimate performance for a limited audience of between 35-40 people (to be negotiated depending on space).

    Let’s raise our glasses to long lost loves and current lovers, to mums, to dads and to absent friends.

    Uninvited Guests stage an event that is somewhere between a wedding reception, a wake and a radio dedication show. We speak of our own and other’s loves – deep, passionate, ambivalent and unrequited – and dedicate songs to them.
    If you want to join us on this happy occasion, send a dedication to someone you love to Tell us what they mean to you and why you’ve chosen this piece of music. Your letters of love may become part of the show, romantic gestures or signs of friendship, shared publicly between us. Be our witnesses and we’ll be yours.
    ***** “You can’t help but fall in love with it.” Lyn Gardner, the Guardian
    A BAC Scratch and an Arnolfini We Live Here commission. Also commissioned by Leeds Met Studio Theatre.
    Bandstand – The Other Way Works (Pitch: 10 min)

    Twitter: @otherwayworks

    A new way to experience theatre: Bandstand is a collection of digital audio performances for Bandstands from The Other Way Works.

    The audio performances are located in the landscape, and can be discovered and experienced using your smartphone’s GPS in conjunction with our Bandstand App.

    We are currently developing this platform, and will be creating three new pieces of site-specific content for Bandstands in the Black Country, West Midlands in 2012 in collaboration with Black Country Touring. We will publish the App through the Apple and Android App Stores along with this new content in by the end of 2012.

    We are seeking further commissioning partnerships with Festivals, Venues and Promoters to extend and develop this digital platform in 2013-2015, through the commissioning of site-specific content for Bandstands around the UK and beyond.

    John Peel’s Shed – John Osborne(Pitch: 10 min)
    John Osborne performs an excerpt from his debut storytelling show, John Peel’s Shed. It was a complete sell-out show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 (receiving five-star reviews from The Independent and The Scotsman) and has since enjoyed a sell-out fifty-date UK tour in Spring 2012. John’s adaption of the live show for BBC Radio Four was a critical success – heavily praised by The Guardian and Pick Of The Day in the Radio Times, Time Out and The Telegraph. John is currently writing a book about British seasides for AA Publishing and will be premiering a new live show in 2013.

    “Shy and awkward but with a keen eye for a killer line and the significance of the trivia of daily life, Osborne sits somewhere between Tom Wrigglesworth and Daniel Kitson, which a very good place to sit. I could have listened for hours” – ***** The Independent, on John Peel’s Shed

    SHOP – Maison Foo(Pitch: 10 min)
    Maison Foo’s ‘SHOP’ is open for business…..
    Happy to exchange almost anything and everything with you for the right price!

    Drawing on influences from fairy tale ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ Maison Foo’s shopkeepers plan to take their customers on a journey into a dark and shameless retelling of this tale, fueled by greed and what people are prepared to do to get what they want.

    This new piece of mischievous visual theatre will be told with humour, intimacy and charm through Maison Foo’s inventive blend of storytelling, clowning and puppetry.

    Devised by Maison Foo
    Music Composed by Matt Marks
    Produced by Claire Summerfield
    Maison Foo exist to create mischievous new theatre that challenges audiences and tickles their imagination.  

    Birdhouse – Jammy Voo(Pitch: 10 min)
    Jammy Voo’s ‘Birdhouse’
    “I took off my hat and put it in the cage, and I left with a bird on my head” Jacques Prevert

    We always enjoyed watching the birds nesting outside the window, until one day we looked out and the birds were watching us. An anarchic adaptation of Hitchcock’s The Birds told through a theatrical lens of dark clowning, enthralling puppetry, and an original live music score.
    This new production from Jammy Voo is being developed specifically to be flexible enough to play both rural touring venues and traditional theatre spaces, and retains the same production quality and magical visual effects for a variety of spaces.
    Developed with Jos Houben, Omar Elerian and Peta Lily. Music by Greg Hall.
    Reviews for A Corner Of The Ocean:

    * * * * *  “Like taking a voyage of discovery into your own imagination” What’s On Stage.
    “Fizzes with inventiveness” Exeunt
    “A stunning, magical and thought-provoking piece of drama”  Ipswich Evening Star