I’m embarrassed, I must confess, at the difference between my last blog post and this current one. Where I’ve been in the last year and 1/2 has been an experience of how time can morph, slip, deepen, twist and speed up, all at the same time. I’m a new mom, a freelance working mom in the arts. With an acquired brain injury. So fatigue has taken on a whole new reality, as has this concept of sleep and rest (or lack of it). But in attempts to give a quick flick to this blog to keep its plate spinning, here is an update of what’s been up otherwise:
- Reassembled, Slightly Askew whisked me off maternity leave with its Southern Irish debut in Sept 17 at the Dublin Fringe Festival, where it was lovingly housed at the fantastic multidisciplinary space at The Complex, led by Vanessa Fielding. It was nominated for 3 awards: Judges’ Choice, Best Design (Paul Stapleton) and First Fortnight. This led to it being programmed into three festivals in Canada: SummerWorks Performance Festival (Aug 2017, made possible with support from Culture Ireland and The MAC Belfast), High-Performance Rodeo, run by One Yellow Rabbit in Calgary, and the PuSh Festival in Vancouver, both for Jan 2018. I was also invited to represent Ireland at the PuSh assembly event in Jan 2017, pitching to international presenters (made possible by support from Culture Ireland and Irish Theatre Institute).
- At this summer’s SummerWorks Performance Festival, Reassembled…. won the Contra Guys Award for New Performance Text
- I’m thrilled that after many years planning, Reassembled…. will be at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital this month as in-house training for its multidisciplinary staff teams. I’ve piloted this model during Reassembled….’ s five year development period here in Northern Ireland in the various health trusts and in partnership with Community brain injury support organisations.
- I have been commissioned to work with The Rainbow Project and TheatreofplucK to write an audio based walking tour of Belfast in which audiences hear the hidden stories of ethnic minority LGBT individuals in Northern Ireland, many of whom are refugees/asylum seekers. We piloted it at this year’s East Side Arts Festival and Belfast Pride and it will have its official premiere next year.
- The ever–resilient, always-visionary, Accidental Theatre company has commissioned me for their second Rapid Response play series. I’m writing a piece about Donald Trump, which is interesting, being an ex-pat.
- Starf*cker, which has been quietly under development since 2016 (with the support of Battersea Arts Centre in London and the MAC Belfast) , is going public at its first Scratch performance at the end of October at Battersea during the final week of a 3 week artist residency. It’s been such a joy to continue to collaborate with movement & music company Assault Events, as we began our relationship in 2010 working with text, movement & music. Like Reassembled… , Starf*cker is based in interdisciplinary collaborative creation, with a bit of the tech being unknown, but exciting–this time we’re looking at performance technology (video projection mapping, also with the reputable Dan Shorten) and social media to tell the live stories of stellar autopsy… more soon!
- While Reassembled…was on tour for 8 weeks around England with Battersea Arts Centre’s Collaborative Touring Network (Mar-Apr 16) , I had the pleasure of meeting Caroline & Jade at Darlington’s Jabberwocky Market, from which I’ve been able to provide mentoring to Jade on her new show about having Type 1 Diabetes.
- I’ve been invited to work with the lovely Jamie Starboisky, founder and queer visionary of Queer Media UK and its festival, and photographer Therese Frare on an amazing VR project looking at the full picture of the story behind this iconic photo Therese took of David Kirby and his family, published by LIFE magazine & used by Benetton to raise AIDS awareness. We’ve secured a residency week at the National Theatre (London) to begin our research and development process.
- I’ve had the great honour to be Artist in Residence at the MAC Belfast in Apr/May, and will return in Nov/Dec (this time with more childcare support during the week!) to be creating and collaborating furiously.
(as well as the usual funding applications, funders’ reports, producer-related emails, marketing bumpf and social media shtuff– all the time obsessing about my baby’s sleep-not-sleep patterns)
I hope not to be quicksanded by time & my good intentions before this next post…