A JOLLY LITTLE NEW SHOW WITH SONGS
In March 2017 I was diagnosed with Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia (SCA17), an incurable degenerative neurological condition that has disrupted my sense of balance, voice and co-ordination. In March 2018, and again in May 2018 at the October Gallery I made a WIP performance about my diagnosis and the psychology of disability. The performance centred around two walking sticks telling the story of my diagnosis and coming to terms with it and ability to still perform and make music.
Jack Klaff has been an outside eye, sounding board, friend and help in making this happen and Ekki Maas in Köln in Germany has recorder some of the songs in his studio
Now while I still have control of my movement, voice and mind want to expand that performance into an 70 minute theatre show that combines the intimacy, simplicity and directness of a story being told in a living room, and also uses well produced film, image and soundtrack to communicate its storytelling and song to a wider audience.
In the performance I will look at how to be proactive and optimistic in the face of a horrible diagnosis, and how my mood swung from feeling undermined and depressed to a find ways of coping and surviving. The reaction of those around me to my condition (from” I don’t believe it! its all in your head” to ‘ Don’t you want to sit down. Are you ok?) and how my reliance and use of different walking sticks helped me adapt.
Often Ataxics and other ‘disabled’ people have to show their condition in order to get the help they need- but if we show resilience and develop the strength to cope, there can be a desire to exaggerate one’s condition and we are seen as not in need of help.
The show comes from a belief that acceptance of one’s condition is important, a sense of humour and a belief in the power of music and the ability to live an active and proactive life in the face of depressing realities are the key to a healthy life and longevity.
The performance builds on my long experience, making and performing physical theatre with Ralf Ralf, video making in Facedances and writing music for Ralf Ralf, composition commissions for Dance Umbrella and others, Hot Mouth in NYC
JOLLY is an audience friendly show, currently a solo show, light, economically and easy to tour nationally and internationally.
I am currently looking at venues and avenues of funding to develop the show
THE BIG REMEMBERING
A performance piece by and for communities, groups, families, companies and collective memory.
Like my piece, Facedances, this is a piece that can be made and remade in different situations.
Take a big local event, something celebratory like an election, a sports team winning a championship, starting business, a carnival or an anniversary, a birth
Anyone can participate who has some memory or association with the event.
Encourage all ages to be involved, so best to choose an event not too old ( within the last 20 years). Whatever it is, an important event memorable and celebratory.
In an age where there is increasing distrust of human memory,
where our experience and communication is increasingly digitally mediated, THE BIG REMEMBERING is a piece that makes an event of the act of remembering, an event that brings people together.
Currently as an imaginary performance, the theatre course at Dartington in the long distant yesterdays is the current focus of THE BIG REMEMBERING. See the forthcoming edition of Training Grounds OUT NOW https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2018.1523524?scroll=top&needAccess=true
A lecture with video and slides telling the story of Facedances, my video project that was made and remade 11 times in seven different European countries of people dancing with their face to their favourite music and how I assembled library of over 1000 Facedances.