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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Quinn’

  
Following the success of our production of the Hound of the Baskervilles at The Garrick Studio theatre last weekend, Fired Up Theatre are pleased to announce that today we have agreed two further shows for Holmes and Watson and the Hound at Cannock Chase Mining Museum next Summer on the 19th and 20th of August 2016.

These two shows are be outdoor productions that will draw on our expertise in delivering theatre productions in unusual spaces.

Joint artistic directors, Simon Quinn and Mal Dewhirst today viewed the site at the museum and will start planning how to turn the production into pop-up theatre. 

Simon said “we are really excited to be able to stage our production of the Hound of the Baskervilles in the open air and are looking forward to working with the team at the Cannock Chase Mining Museum”

More details will be provided in the near future as we begin our planning.

Simon Quinn views the Cannock Chase site of our soon to be pop-up theatre 

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Today is  so much slower paced following  the successful production of Fired Up Theatre’s Hound of the Baskervilles, which not only sold out but also received a great review from one of the Midlands foremost theatre critics, Gary Longden.

https://garylongden.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles-lichfield-garrick-studio-theatre/

You can also read my pre-production interview with Gary at:

https://garylongden.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/hound-of-the-baskervilles-coming-to-the-lichfield-garrick-on-friday-18thsat-17th-october-2015/

It was really satisfying to see our minimalist approach to theatre deliver an uncompromising version of this classic tale. 

Fired Up Theatre prides itself on delivering high quality professional productions that rely upon good scripts performed with great acting, we can only measure this through the response from our audiences and I was pleased to see that Gary Longden’s review recognised our achievement.

I am beginning to feel that we now have enough work, with six major productions in our portfolio with The Wall, Quadrophenia, Enigma, at the Crossroads, The Fell Walker and now the Hound of the Baskervilles, that we can start to consider widening our ambitions, whilst at the same time maintaining our commitment to working with a mix of community and professional actors.

Simon and I are already talking to other venues about future performances of both The Fell Walker and The Hound of the Baskervilles for next year and the same time planning new projects that will explore more contemporary themes with our unique uncompromising approach to theatre.

Progress on all our work will be discussed through this blog and the Fired Up Theatre website at http://www.fireduptheatre.co.uk  or our Facebook page, please follow us to become part of our development.

Photographs Neil Thorne (c) 2015.   
    
 

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It has been some time since my last blog post and a lot has happened in my role as an artistic director and writer.

During the summer  I took the opportunity to take on my artistic endeavours full time, leaving my role in industry to focus my mind on developing new theatre and poetry.

I have been part time Joint artistic Director with Fired Up Theatre since our performance of Quadrophenia in 2013, my role is to develop Literature, through new writing, workshops creating the production on the page which is then transferred to the stage by  my fellow artistic director Simon Quinn.  In reality Simon and I share the writing  and the transfer to the stage, working with the company of actors to create outside of the box productions that we hope both delight and challenge our audiences.

Our current productions include a new interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles, paying homage to the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films of the 1930’s , with comedy, tragedy, projections, live action and shadow theatre. This brand new script brings new twists and perils to the stage. The production is at the Lichfield Garrick Studio on Friday and Saturday 16th/17th October.

For more information check out our website at http://www.fireduptheatre.co.uk 

  
  
Some of the cast of Fired Up Theatre’s  Hound of the Baskervilles suspects all.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Packaged False Agendas.

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

The Sunshine.

LISTENING TO:

Frontiers – Black Maple.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

Fired Up
After two successful sell out performances, the dust of Quadrophenia has settled back onto the beaches of Brighton, Clacton, Margate….. Leaving a very motivated cast eager to do more and to explore new themes and theatrical experiences.

Fired Up Theatre with Artistic Director Simon Quinn has developed over the past seven years to produce many successful shows and workshops, including the three with which I have been involved. The Wall, Colin Grazier Enigma and now Quadrophenia.

Simon and I have been talking about what to do next with an enthusiastic cast and crew wanting us to provide more opportunities to produce some gritty, challenging productions which will stretch the actors, revisiting and revitalising the traditional, innovating and developing new approaches. At the same time as entertaining and provoking thoughts.

I have joined Simon at Fired Up Theatre as Joint Artistic Director to develop a range of productions in all arena’s of dramatic arts, Theatre, Film, Radio, Dance, Music and Literature.

We will be developing our own projects as well as seeking commissions that provide for excellence in all aspects of what we choose to do. We believe that there is a real opportunity to take our productions on tour to capture the minds of wider audiences to the themes of the FUTure.

Not to let Quadrophenia pass without a comment or two from the audience.

CastQuad

“IT WAS AN AMAZING PERFORMANCE AND WE ALL THOUGHLY ENJOYED
IT, IT WAS VERY CLEVERLY DONE, AND THE STORY CAME ACROSS REALLY WELL.
THEY ARE A VERY TALENTED CAST”
Dawn Jenkins.

“It really captured the spirit of the time, believe me I know, I lived through it.”
Dave Butcher.

“Loved the poetry, the interpretation, the music and acting. What a commendable collection and performance.”
Helena Gates

A very big thank you to everyone who came along and supported the show.

You can read Gary Longden’s review at GarysWordz
http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/quadrophenia-tamworth-rep-cotamworth-assembly-rooms/

From me,” Yet another wonderful experience to work with a bright, energetic and dynamic cast and crew to bring the realisation of this wonderful exploration of the concept to the stage.” I loved every minute of it.

A Wonderful Workshop. – Tamworth Library Saturday 8th June 2013 – 10:00am to 2:00pm

The 8th June sees my contribution to the 40th Birthday celebrations at Tamworth Library. The Library moved into its current building in 1973 and has seen many changes in the last 40 years which we will discover with this wonderful opportunity.

The library was built in a churchyard and architecturally is very much of its day.
This free poetry workshop will explore some unusual, quirky features of the library collections and its building as selected by the Library Staff.

It could be the least borrowed book, the oldest book, a feature of the building, something that is under appreciated or hard to like, I have left it for the staff to decide and to present to the participant the reasons for its selection.

Anything could be selected here and it will beg the question if Tamworth Library has these items then what do other libraries have that defines them.

Through exercises we will develop poems for a reading in the Library at the end of the workshop.
The workshop is sponsored by Poetry on Loan whose support and promotion of Poetry events in Libraries is much applauded and appreciated.

I am really looking forward to seeing the things that have chosen as defining Tamworth Library.
If you want to book a place then please contact the library

Email: tamworth.library@staffordshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01827 475646

Library 40th Anniversary Poster

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS
Up and Coming Workshops and Readings.

4th June – Night Blue Fruit – Coventry.
8th June – Laureate Saturday Workshop – Tamworth Library.
11th June – Kings Head Lichfield – with the Lichfield Poets.
20th June – Workshop – Entrust – Reading Poetry – Teachers Conference.
21st June – Spoken Worlds – Burton on Trent.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Imposed Limitations

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

Quadrophenia – Tamworth

LISTENING TO:

Rodrigo y Gabriela – Live Manchester and Dublin.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

This week I want to promote a few events that are taking place over the coming weeks and involve some of my good friends.

FLOYDIAN SLIP.

floydianslip1

26th January – Tamworth Assembly Rooms sees the return of Floydian Slip who provided the excellent sound for our production of the Wall last June.

This gig promises and evening of Pink Floyd beyond the Wall and includes the complete Dark Side of the Moon album.

Tickets are available from Tamworth Information Centre.

http://www.floydianslip.org.uk/
https://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/whats-on/icalrepeat.detail/2013/01/26/10734/-/floydian-slip

THE BEATLES IN TAMWORTH

BeatlesTamworth

1st February sees the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles performance at the Tamworth Assembly rooms and to mark this event a weekend of Beatles themed performances.

The 1st Feb sees the Counterfeit Beatles playing on the very same stage, followed by on 2nd Feb Tamworth Music Scene does the Beatles, which includes a performance from Poetry Trail Singer and Guitarist Barry Hunt with his daughter Chloe, along with performances from Colin Brown and Friends, Daniel Thompson and Friends, Structures, The Ganders and Pressure Kids plus DJ Malys with a set of 60’s classics.

The performers will be delivering their takes on Beatles Classics.

Promises to be another great night of music.

https://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/whats-on/icalrepeat.detail/2013/02/01/10736/-/the-counterfeit-beatles

https://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/whats-on/icalrepeat.detail/2013/02/02/10737/-/local-with-the-beatles

QUADROPHENIA COMES TO TAMWORTH.

TRC BW

Tamworth Repertory Theatre is to stage a new version of Quadrophenia.

Simon Quinn the Director has received permission from Pete Townsend of the Who to stage a new scripted version which delivers a roller coaster theatrical, musical and multi arts exploration of the counter culture, fashion and identity, gender, anti-social behaviour, intergenerational timeline, drug misuse and mental health illness and attitudes.

The project launch is on Saturday 12th January between 11:00 and 3:00pm at the Assembly Rooms.

We are inviting you to become part of this Community Arts project. If you are an individual, a community group or a school/college that is interested in acting, dance, music, visual art, photography, textiles etc and wish to express an interest in becoming involved in this project, please e-mail: fireduptheatre@aol.com or call Arts and Events team, Tamworth on 01827 709314.

http://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/arts-activities/tamworth-repertory-company

Posters

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Up and Coming Readings.

18th Jan – Spoken Worlds – Burton-on-Trent.
19th Feb – Poetry Alight – Spark Café – Lichfield.

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Empty Spaces

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

THE WALL – TAMWORTH

CAST, BAND AND CREW

LISTENING TO:

THE WALL – FLOYDIAN SLIP

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

Silence and Darkness fell upon the stage
Where kindred souls had danced and played
The story was told of the Desolate “Pink”
To leave the outside world to Think !
Mark Peterson
Lead Singer Floydian Slip

Mark Peterson

Mark’s words capture the real essence of what we did last week and now find ourselves trying to navigate those Empty Spaces that now surround us.

The Wall at Tamworth Assembly Rooms ran for three performances last week to sell out audiences, audiences that were taken by surprise and left with a lasting memory of a performance that captured the spirit of the times and made people think. One of the placards in the show read OCCUPY YOUR MIND; I think we have occupied many people’s minds not only with the themes, but also with what a small group of enthusiastic, committed talents in our communities can achieve.

Several quotes from the people who saw the show left us realising that we had done something special, something that had made a difference.

“Wow, I did not expect that, a cracking night”

“Epic”

“This should be playing to bigger audiences, on bigger stages”

“I have seen shows in the West End, that were not as good as that”

“beaming with pride and respect for your accomplishment of the Pink Floyd show what a visceral experience. Luke as Pink began so oppressed and ended up like a Shakespearean tragedy. The transformation was affecting”

“.if Orwell was at the Pink Floyd show in Tamworth Assembly Rooms he would have shook the organisers hands and said good job”

“Roger Waters would be proud of what was performed tonight”

“This was a brave thing to attempt and how well it worked”

“I want to be part of the next show you do, I wish I had been in this one”

“You have set the bar for community arts projects; people are going to have to up their game”

SIMON’S VISION.
Simon Quinn’s version of THE WALL differs from Roger Waters original as Simon explores both the Darkside and the Lightside of lives in today’s communities.

ACT 1
Set on a fictitious housing estate somewhere in the West Midlands, The opening sees The Tramp (Played by Steve Jones), as the drunken wise man who tells it as it is, but then gets lost in his own demons that means no one listens to him.
We find Pink (played by Luke Comley and his gang The Dark Side terrorising the estate with antisocial behaviour racism and violence. The first act explains why Pink) has taken this path. He lost his Father in the War in Afghanistan, he has two Mothers in his head, and either would have caused him to lose his way. The first is the over-protective mother, lost in her own mourning and keeping her husbands heroism alive. The Second with her string of boyfriends who sees Pink as blighting her life. Then there is the Education System, represented by the teacher (Played by Gareth Pugh), a system that failed him, tied up with League tables that leave no place for teachers to deal with individual needs and creativity. We see Pink in dysfunctional relationships which the community, the gang and his lovers. All these become the metaphoric bricks from which Pink builds the wall.

Pink with Two Gates Primary School

 

ACT 2
The second act starts with a tableau of voices that haunt Pink’s head, picking up the themes of the first act. The story then proceeds with the Gangs attempts to bring Pink back, they bring him gifts that are important to him, they show their respect, but they get no response. They then inspect him like the media pulling apart a celebrity finding nothing in the darkness; they try to explore his mind with flashlights only to have them reflected back as Pink tries to defend his self imposed isolation. The gang finally see they have lost him and call for the doctor who tranquilises him. Pink slumped in an almost comatic state as the Band play Comfortably Numb which saw a seminal moment at the Friday performance when Mark Peterson came forward to rest his arms over Luke’s shoulders as the voice and body of Pink melded in an empathetic show of subdued pain. As Pink revives he finds a final revitalisation leading to the uprising of the Darkside, underpinned by the footage of the riots of last year, followed by the challenge of the residents as Pink becomes not just a disaffected youth, but represents bankers and financers whose actions ruined the world economy. As Pink realises the vile error of his ways and is found guilty as charged when put on trial. So the Wall is torn down.

Pink the Voice and Pink the body meld in an empathy of subdued pain

Themes of feigned disability, corrupt practices, failure of governments and the obsession with Celebrity culture interspersed with the Cult of Me are all explored to show how society disintegrates and our young people create their own futures as disaffected individuals with cracked values and no ambition, find their way into the world.

Rage

The scenes are built through physical theatre at its very best. Choreographed by Ami Radcliffe, who drove the dancers from the stunningly brilliant Tamworth Youth Dance Company and The Wall Contemporary Dance Group along with the cast from the community, to push themselves, to create uncompromising action sculptures in her relentless dedication to achieving perfection. Her toughness and constant assertion that they could achieve the highest standards paid off as the cast took ownership of the piece. This was matched by the equal toughness of Simon’s direction of the actors in the hours of rehearsals and workshops. Simon had the vision in the first place, he knew what this represented and how it should be delivered. No excuses were acceptable, both Ami and Simon could deliver the parts themselves and so raised the level of expectation. I have much respect for them as masters of their individual crafts and in the process of developing this production I have gained so much knowledge and experience from working along side them.

Mixed in with the theatre and the music was my contribution of poems and films, often expressing the lightside, with the good Mums of Tamworth, or reinforcing the messages with the poems of Antony Owen and my own Thin Ice.

FLOYDIAN SLIP

Floydian Slip

Floydian Slip delivered the Pink Floyd sound, nailing every riff, melody and vocal with accomplished precision. Very tight and accurate in their performance, that saw fantastic drive rhythm section of Simon Hall on Bass and Wayne Bolland on Drums providing the foundation for the brilliance of Gaz Bedford on Keys and the Guitars of Andy Ashley and Phil Wright. Mark Peterson’s wonderful vocal performance telling this austere tale with all the expression of a true storyteller.

Floydian Slip are not only the UK’s no 1 Pink Floyd tribute act they are in my eyes the best anywhere, sure there are others out there, some who play arena’s, they can all I am sure create the authentic sound of the Floyd. But would any of the others have taken six months out from gigging to focus on delivering the excellence of THE WALL that they did. Would any of the others have become a cohesive part of a team of creative people who invested sweat and graft, physical effort and creative thought and a total belief in what we were doing, that this meant something special and would make people think, this really would make a difference. I am not sure they would. Floydian Slip did, they are now part of the Tamworth Community, part of its history.

OTHER GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS.
I should mention also the contributions of Two Gates Primary School who delivered Brick in the Wall pt2 with a natural talent to charm. Luke, Steve and Gareth all of whom had never acted before took to their roles with an enthusiasm to challenge themselves to deliver performances that would have been the pride of professional actors with many years experience.

It is true that Luke has lived the role of Pink since he got it in March, often being seen around town in his signature great coat.

Also Tamworth Voices, ten of whom joined the production for the Thursday and Friday performances adding an extra dimension to the sound filling the Assembly rooms with a rich blend of melodic beauty.

Tamworth Voices

Full credit must also be given to the tech crew of Jem McCauley, Jock Ross, Ron Pyle and Andy Palmer whose control of sound and light was perfect and to Rachel and Emma Smith who managed the props and costumes ensuring everything was in the right place at the right time.

The other film maker Sean Miller produced some stunning footage of the National Memorial Arboretum and Lichfield Day Care Centres as the jury at the trial.

South Staffordshire College made the giant puppet of the Teacher and the large hypodermic needle along with the two backdrops of the graffitied wall, all too fantastic effect.

AN ARTS TEAM WITH BOTTLE.
I will finish with praise for the Arts Team as Tamworth Borough Council, Elanor Thompson, Laura Hastilow and Hannah McKenzie who produced the production. Firstly for sharing the vision and being brave enough to take up Simon’s idea. Secondly for trusting us to deliver even though at time I am not sure they saw how all of the parts would come together. Finally for their support and encouragement.

This was an uncompromised, gritty piece of real theatre, although it did have a good outcome, it did not suggest a happy ending. The plight of the characters remains unexplained as does Roger Waters characters. Lives were portrayed within a framework of real and relevant themes. The audience were not left with a feel good factor, but with something to think about, which is where I came in with Mark’s quote.

FINAL BRICK
I tweeted on Wednesday night that Tamworth had rocked like no town ever had before, that something really special had happened and that the world was a better place for it, I genuinely believe that that is true.

PHOTOCREDITS – Floydian Slip and Andy Palmer.

If you missed the show then you can get a flavour here
http://www.facebook.com/ajax/flash/expand_inline.php?v=4113778368655&target_div=uock4v_59&playertype=centerstage&max_width=843&max_height=475&context=timelineDouble

For reviews and interview on the Production use the following links.
Interview with Simon
http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/pink-floyds-the-wall-comes-to-tamworth/
Interview with Mal
http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/pink-floyds-the-wall-at-tamworth-exclusive-interview/

First Night Review from Gary Longden
http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/the-wall-the-assembly-rooms-tamworth/
First Night Review from James Longden
http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-wall-assembly-rooms-tamworth-from-a-different-perspective/
Last Night Review from Rae Gee
http://veetu-industries.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/bring-down-wall.html

Floydian Slip can be found at:
http://www.floydianslip.org.uk/

THE TRIAL

Dance Sculpture

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WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.

What is ANNOYING me this week?

Drudge

What is DELIGHTING me this week?

THE FIZZ with Margaret Torr

LISTENING TO:

THE WALL – PINK FLOYD.

SOME OF MY DOINGS:

Gary Longden is reviewing the Wall and started by catching up with Simon for an Interview which I have re published below.

Simon Quinn, Director of the Fired Up Theatre Company, with the help of local poet and film maker Mal Dewhirst as associate artistic director, has embarked on producing a stage version of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” which will play at Tamworth Assembly Rooms in early June. Revisiting and re-imagining classic album material from past decades appeals to me and is something I suspect we will be hearing more of from various artistic quarters.

I managed to steal some time from Simon’s busy schedule to secure an exclusive interview with the man responsible for bringing this epic show to the Tamworth stage, as well as securing all the vital production information:

Q. What attracted you to “The Wall” in the first place?

Total self indulgence to be honest, or at least years ago that was the main reason, since then a recognition of how The Wall can resonate individual and group social issues has become more important . I used to deliver drama sessions for disabled learners at The Mac in Birmingham and we would get a half hour coffee break, so I used that time to go wandering around the foyer looking at the publicity flyers dotted around. I was a bit shocked to spot a programme for The Wall which had been, I think, a production encompassing all youth theatre’s across the city. This was about 2004/5, but the production was either early 90′s or late 80′s. I vowed that one day I was going to somehow produce a version of the show, what I didn’t know at the time was how to go about it. I started to experiment with other youth theatre shows that I had written and deliberately slotted in Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 as part of that particular narrative
within the performance.

Q. “The Wall” was released as an album in 1979. Three decades later how well do you think it has worn?

I think it is more relevant now then back in ’79. There are some simple clues as to why. I think the Floyd reunion for Live 8 captured a new audience and therefore created a clamour for their recorded work, in addition the fact that Roger Waters is still touring it , albeit a more political version and has been since 2010, has identified that new and older audiences still demand Floyd/Waters live performance. The crucial aspect however is that the album, film, live performance can so easily be reconstructed to something that can be recognised within each and everyone of us-where back in ’79 it was about the break up of The Floyd, Syd’s break down, the division between band and audience, loss of a loved one and greed- because that is what it was. Without sounding too pompous, it’s exactly the same remit as Shakespeare being designed in a contemporary vein for new audiences.

Q. Is there any new material in the production? How rigid were the demands of the Rights Holders?

This is the interesting one. The script is brand new-it is designed to be more localised ,in other words to fit the identity of the people of Tamworth. That is not mean’t in a derogatory way, it merely means this is a show by the people of Tamworth for Tamworth. It is very dance orientated and contains a lot of symbolism and metaphor’s, but crucially it also pays respect and testimony to Roger Waters work, so it is a bit of a balancing act. Strangely enough the demands regarding copyright have not been too rigid. I went through all the correct channels. Since last July I have been e-mailing ‘Matt’ at the fanzine web site Brain Damage asking questions of how , why and what, and he has been very helpful and courteous in passing on my requests to Mark Fenwick who is Roger’s manager, and eventually I received a very short e-mail granting permission-it was all a bit surreal. Brain Damage have also publicised the event which was terrific of them to do. The one thing I had to do was send a synopsis of ‘our’ creation so that we had a original slant on the existing work.

Q. What influence did the film version of 1982 have on this production?

To begin with it probably had more influence on certain cast members than myself. We used it as a template-certainly on the launch day, but to be honest I wanted to move away from the film-because we have our original script and we were more than keen in creating new practical and textual works-within the work-if that sounds ok.

Q. Who is performing the music and what challenges did recreating Pink Floyd’s sound create?

The music is being provided by Floydian Slip-a Pink Floyd tribute band from Chesterfield. They are the oldest or second oldest Floyd tribute act-so creating the Floyd sound is their ‘bag’. That was crucial to the project. If I am going to be honest, in an ideal world we would have wanted a group of musicians that we could have put together ourselves, but time and funding prohibited this course of action and in any case Floydian Slip are pretty accurate to the Floyd sound.

Q. Pink Floyd have a fan base dawn from their heyday in the 1970’s, how did the younger members of
the cast respond to the material?

This was very curious. We had primary schoolchildren belting out We don’t need no educshun!!! like second nature, and their parents would then play the album or the film to them at home. The cast is very mixed-our actor who plays Pink has morphed into Pink…..I mean worryingly so!.. but he is fab….other cast members had no idea about The Wall but rock n’ roll and performance drew them in. The real cool aspect is the mixture of ages taking part, or who have contributed in some other way to the project. I could get into grumpy old git mode and say can’t imagine this happening with artists today, but it is the longevity and kudos of certain works that draws ‘em in!

Q. What does “The Wall” have to say to a 21st Century audience?

The Wall , I think resonates more as a political and social vehicle today. We have added the themes of ageism, religion, anti-social behaviour, disability, domestic violence, contemporary war fare, greed, lack of respect , intergenerational apathy to the tried and tested formula. They are kind of little photographic snippets pocketed throughout the show-blink and you’ll miss them. This was the appeal to our backers, they could see that a work over 30 odd years old could be adapted to and involve people and groups into a piece of musical theatre that had contemporary ideologies running throughout.

Q.“The Wall” is one of the great popular music shows, what were the challenges of producing it for theatre rather than rock arena/amphitheatre?

It’s not just about the show. We are trying to use The Wall to encourage arts development for minority groups who can interact with Tamworth Arts development in order to improve the well being of all participants; so the show is only one aspect of The Wall. However as you asked about the challenges of the live show…how long have you got.? Rehearsing peripatetically, in other words visiting different, groups making sure they are on the ball with what they are doing. Liaising with the band, the real difficulty has been this. We made a point that we would all rehearse to the live album, Is There Anybody Out There? and not the studio album so the authenticity of the live performance could be felt by all parties, throughout. Also the synchronicity and cohesion is a major problem, because musically, the tracks generally segue from one into another. Our version is different because at different moments, the piece is broken up by poetry or acting or both then by dance and acting-so it is a headache-but that is the originality of the work. I don’t think it matters whether it is a theatre or a amphitheatre-it is still a performance arena-in fact I think the intimacy of our space makes the atmosphere a lot closer, alot more intensified, plus in true Floydian spirit we’ve maintained the lasers, lights, the back projection and the dry ice!

Q. What audience are you aiming for, is this a nostalgia show?

No it is not a nostalgia show! If it was intended that way we might just as well delivered it as a tribute act. This is one of the largest intergenerational community arts events that Tamworth has ever staged. We are aiming to enhance our arts development programme for people and places through this project. This is about increasing arts awareness for groups and individuals who otherwise are unaware of what is happening in the borough. This is our offering for the Cultural Olympiad. If on the other hand people just want to come and enjoy an evening of Pink Floyd-that is fine-but hopefully they will gain a greater insight into other artistic strategies and techniques also.

Q. Are there any other classic concept albums which you would like to bring to the stage?

In my view -and it is only my view-there are only three classic rock theatre concepts that ever demonstrate originality. One is The Wall, the other two are both by The Who, namely Tommy and Quadrophenia. I have actually enquired about performing Quadrophenia with a spoken narrative-as it did actually tour a couple of years ago with dialogue-but to date I have heard nothing. Two other concepts that would interest me would be staging a play by Patrick Jones, which I saw in Cardiff a few years ago, Everything Must Go, which has various songs by the Manic Street Preachers running throughout ( Jones is the brother of Nicky Wire), and on a more localised angle , I would like to do an original musical based on the life and work of Julian Cope from Tamworth, who of course fronted Teardrop Explodes.

The huge demand for tickets for one of the biggest community arts projects ever staged in Tamworth has prompted organisers to encourage prospective audience members to snap up tickets quickly – before they sell out.

The Wall is a contemporary re-imagining of the Pink Floyd rock opus. It is being staged at Tamworth Assembly Rooms on June 6, 7 and 8 by Arts Connects and Fired Up Theatre, by kind permission of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Mark Fenwick Management.

Using Pink Floyd’s classic music, with a new narrative brought bang up to date by Simon Quinn, The Wall is set on a fictitious housing estate somewhere in the West Midlands and explores contemporary themes including anti-social behaviour, poverty, unemployment, social deprivation, peer pressure and racism.

The project is Tamworth’s Cultural Olympiad offering for 2012 and is already bringing together and involving people from all ages and communities across Tamworth, including groups of people who would not normally work together.

People from all across Tamworth with skills including acting, mime, storytelling, dance, poetry, rapping, graffiti art, puppetry, music, stage fighting, film, projection, costumes, set design and props are already hard at work putting the production together.

They will be joined by top professional Pink Floyd tribute band Floydian Slip who will be performing throughout the production to create a polished performance, not only for Pink Floyd fans but for anyone with an interest in music and theatre.

Tickets for The Wall are available from the Tourist Information Centre in Corporation Street or by calling the box office on 01827 709618.

A short video explaining more about The Wall project can be viewed on Tamworth Borough Council’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YPtPGKcxLU

The project is being funded and supported by Fired Up Theatre, Arts Connects, Staffordshire Community Wellbeing Fund, Tamworth Arts Grants Scheme, Tamworth Community Safety Partnership, Staffordshire Local Community Fund and Staffordshire County Council’s Arts Grants Scheme.

Gary Longden – from http://garylongden.wordpress.com/

GARY WILL BE WRITING FURTHER ARTICLES DURING THE RUN UP and AFTER THE FIRST NIGHT.

THE FIZZ

Gary also reviewed THE FIZZ last week where Margaret Torr gave us a wonderful reading you can see Gary’s review here.

http://garylongden.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/fizz-polesworth-abbey-polesworth/

RADIO WILDFIRE – THE LOOP.

There’s a brand new 2 hour mix of material in The Loop on Radio Wildfire – AND DON’T FORGET to join us for Listening to Leamington on Saturday 2nd June 10am – 4pm (see website for details).

Now playing 24/7 a completely new selection of stories, satires, poetry, spoken word, music and interview @ www.radiowildfire.com  – another two hours of live literature and chat.

In this edition …
The Loop brings you – A Tribute to the late Geoff Stevens by fellow poet and collaborator Brendan Hawthorne.

The Loop brings you Jonathan Davidson talking about Being Human the stage show he is producing in collaboration with Bloodaxe Books and Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, ahead of its national tour.

The Loop brings you new work from cds: Bananas From The Heart by Heather Wastie; From The Bunny ‘ill t’ Puddin’ Rock by Billy & Lozz; and Larry Stanley’s The Rain, from …Like A Diamond In The Sky.

The Loop brings you tracks uploaded to the Radio Wildfire ‘Submit’ page: the story of The Ghost of Charnes Hall from Stephen Harvey; Michael W.Thomas goes country with Cheryl’s Been A Mess (since you went away); Matthew Clegg’s field recording of his poem Chalk; and Mark Goodwin with the sound poem Growls and Miaows, and the wonderfully titled Open Mic as Cellar Door.

The Loop brings you the latest part of Mal Dewhirst’s series The Lost Poets. Episode 4: John Taylor, the water poet.

PLUS: Irons In The Fire: Jan Watts’ Laureate’s Diary – the monthly diary from Birmingham’s Poet Laureate

AND there’s Gary Longden’s Listings – check it out your gig might just be featured!

So join us and listen by going to www.radiowildfire.com  and clicking on The Loop

(And don’t forget, you can upload soundfiles of your own work to the ‘Submit’ page of the Radio Wildfire website. Mp3s are our preferred format. You can also ensure you always get reminders of upcoming shows on Radio Wildfire by following us on Twitter.)

The Loop is curated by Vaughn Reeves and will play online continuously for the next month, except during our Outside Broadcast Listening To Leamington on Saturday 2nd June from 10.00am and duringour live broadcast on Monday 4th June starting at 8.00pm UK time with a full programme of pre-recorded tracks, live studio guests and conversation.
We hope you enjoy it.
Best wishes from the folk at Radio Wildfire.

WHAT IS RADIO WILDFIRE?
Radio Wildfire is an independent online radio station which blends spoken word, poetry, performance literature, comedy, storytelling, short stories and more with a novel selection of word/music fusion and an eclectic mix of musical styles. http://www.radiowildfire.com currently broadcasts live 8.00-10.00pm (UK time) on the first Monday of every month.

SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS

Readings in June

June 6th, 7th and 8th – THE WALL – Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

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