This is traditionally the time of year to give thanks - generally because at this time of year we are all a little bit drunk all of the time and this allows us to be lower our guard and gush. Well, that is certainly true for me - I may have had a Bailey's while writing this!
I have had an extraordinary year of making work with brilliant people in brilliant spaces and I want to take this opportunity to thank them.
I had the pleasure of working on the Barbican Box project again this year where I worked with Toeneelgroep Amsterdam led by Ivo van Hove. This project continues to be an inspiration to many young people and teachers across East London. I had a great time working with Mossborne School (Hackney), Buxton School (Leytonstone) and Sydney Russel School (Dagenham).
I got introduced into a raucous, rude and riotous world of sexiness by the empress of blag Vanessa Kisuule. It has been a humbling, powerful and crunchy time making this important show and I am proud to say I have been involved in its evolution. Huge thanks to Vanessa for taking me on as he confidant, provocateur and general irritant. This show would not have been possible for it not for the wizardry of the brilliant Liz Counsell and sublime movement of Lucy Bairstow. SEXY will be coming to a venue near you in 2018...
It's always a brilliant thing when the seed of an idea blooms. Throughout 2017 I worked with the word magician Francesa Beard to create a show that explored our new “post-truth” world that's had enough of experts and asks what is the global cost of make-believe? By working with the dedicated and exceptional Tom McAndrew we were able to bring a group of brilliant creatives to realise this complex and beautiful show. Huge thanks go out to Charlie Morgan Jones for his gorgeous lighting design, Jethro Cooke for his haunting sound design, Shawn Soh for his epic video and costume design, Matt Mifsud for the poster design, the Arts Council for believing in us and giving us money! Full touring information coming soon...
Over the last year, I have worked with an inspiring writer, four awesome directors, four brave theatres and four distinct community groups in the first phase of Headlong Future before it starts proper next year. So huge thanks to; Stef Smith, Jon Randall, Tricia Gordon, Julia Head, Lucy Hunt, Jayne Williams, Lee Hart, Faith Collinwood, Brewery Arts Centre, Bristol Old Vic, New Perspectives, Theatre Royal Plymouth.
A Wild World
In the Summer I worked with a group of extraordinary young people with a variety of needs and made a show about holding onto childhood. This show would not have been possible if it were not for the following people: Immediate Theatre, Jo Paul, Jo Carter, Charmian Humphrey, Jerome Boothe, Gary Horseman.
For the second year running, I had the opportunity of directing a show at the Institute of the Arts Barcelona. Huge thanks to Drew Mulligan, Valentina Ricci, Amadeus Solernou, Emma Groves-Raines, Pedro Vaz, Olivia Owens. As well as the cast: Samantha Atkin, Olivia Atkinson, Juan Callirgos, Vegard Eliassen, Rebecca Fixemer, Annamad Hjortass, Sina Klinski, Patrizia Maio, Rafaela Nicolay, Paula Ortiz, Riccardo Portone, Antonio Rob, Lisa Ullrich, Kimberley Van Der Leeuw
In November I was reminded why I make theatre, why telling stories is so powerful and how theatre can be truly a democratic experience. I was a co-director with the hugely talented Segun Olaiya and we worked with 10 extraordinary young people and a brilliant team to make a show that explored the idea of fame, freedom and what you would give up to get back the things you have lost. Huge thanks go to Lyric Hammersmith, Catherine Nicholson, Charlie Farrant, Cass Conteh.
I also worked with a lot of other brilliant people who I would like to thank:
- Ian Bonar for being a constant source of inspiration. We are bringing back Be Prepared back to the Vault Festival in 2018
- Ross Sutherland for bringing me on to help refine his brilliant Missing Episode for the BBC
- For the group of second years at ALRA who made me laugh out lous when making There is a War by Tom Basden
- To all the students who I taught on the Applied Theatre courses at Central School of Speech and Drama
- To all the applicants who auditioned for the National Youth Theatre, the young people who attended a directing workshop at Chickenshed and the writers who attended my workshops writing at City University.
This year has been truly fantastic. So many people enabled me to make the work I wanted to. It is likely I have missed people (mainly due to the Baileys!) so please get in touch if I have.
Have a fabulous 2018...