Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Stories title new font_web

I worked as sound designer on this new piece of theatre written and performed by Francesca Millican-Slater. The show is “A live late night radio show for those that can’t sleep, aren’t asleep. Instead of records, this DJ is spinning stories that exist between dusk and morning. Small stories, odd, true, funny and familiar, reflecting the night hours themselves”.

Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night is playing at The Door, Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 9th – 18th February 2017. Please visit the REP website to book tickets.

If you’d like a free taster of what’s in store, Francesca will be telling some of her stories in the REP basement until 7th Feb 2017. You can find out more info and book here.

Look out for Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night at various venues around the West Midlands as, thanks to the Barry Jackson Trust, it will be touring until March 2017.

For more information on this project, reviews and a video trailer visit my project page.

Commissioned by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and produced by Pippa Frith.

Looking For John – Birmingham REP

Monday, January 30th, 2017

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I created the sound design for Looking For John, written and performed by Tony Timberlake and directed by Tessa Walker.  The show was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Homotopia and SHOUT festival. It tells the fascinating and somewhat tragic story of champion figure skater John Curry who, despite redefining men’s skating and winning Olympic Gold in 1976, has been largely forgotten. I’m happy to say that this show was well received and went some way to bringing John and his artistic achievements back into people’s lives.

You can find out more about the project and read some reviews on my ‘Looking For John’ page.

Heartbeats & Algorithms – On Tour

Monday, January 30th, 2017

heartbeats and algorithms poster

Does your computer know about your embarrassing web searches? Does it know that, despite your claim to be fluent in German, you use Google Translate? Does it know about your casual relationship with porn? Does it know you better than your friends? Does it know you better than you know yourself?

A woman designs an algorithm that will predict the decisions of people in seemingly unpredictable predicaments. In the process of perfecting the algorithm she ends up creating a programme that gets to know her better than she knows herself, and discovers her most intimate secret. As a result, it predicts that she will soon find herself in an unpredictable predicament…

Jenny Lee’s Heartbeats & Algorithms is a dark, heart-achingly funny story that conjures up a seductive, inescapable world of information use and abuse and examines the leading role our technology plays in our lives. The play has the feel of a psychological, techno – thriller reflected in the ominous, cinematic approach to elements of the sound design that I created.

Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 Heartbeats & Algorithms has been touring recently with performances at Soho Theatre, London, Derby Theatre and Oxford Playhouse’s Burton Taylor Studio.

There’s more info and links to reviews on my Heartbeats & Algorithms project page.

 

A Journey Round My Theatre

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

AJRMT

‘A Journey Round My Theatre’ is now available online to download for you to enjoy at your leisure in the foyer spaces of Birmingham Repertory Theatre. You can also borrow mp3 players and headphones from the box office or stream over their free wi-fi. I was commissioned by KILN Ensemble to work with Olivia Winteringham to realise her concept for this architectural soundwalk featuring her grandfather Graham Winteringham, the architect of the REP.

There is further information on the flyer, plus a helpful map to guide you around. Download the PDF flyer and map here.

For more information about this project visit the project page.

Heartbeats & Algorithms

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

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I’ve recently completed work on the sound design for a piece of new theatre Heartbeats & Algorithms. Written and performed by Jenny Lee, this one woman play tells the story of Banks, a programmer who develops an algorithm that can predict the decisions people will make.

A woman designs an algorithm that will predict the decisions of people in seemingly unpredictable predicaments. In the process of perfecting the algorithm she ends up creating a programme that gets to know her better than she knows herself, and discovers her most intimate secret. As a result, it predicts that she will soon find herself in an unpredictable predicament…

Heartbeats & Algorithms is a dark, heart-achingly funny story that conjures up a seductive, inescapable world of information use and abuse and examines the leading role our technology plays in our lives.

Director Valentina Ceschi (Dancing Brick) has opted for very minimal staging with no set and simple lighting that focuses attention on the character, her story and the sound which plays a significant role in supporting the narrative. The sound design consists of ambient sounds signifying the various settings in the story both literal, such as and office and a tube station, and the abstract, virtual space of an online forum. I also created a sonic representation of the algorithm that haunts the narrator using coil pick up recordings of computers and other electronic devices.

Following a successful preview at the Kings Head Theatre in Islington on 27.07.15 the show will run for the month of August at Pleasance This at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Find out more on the Heartbeats & Algorithms website where you can book tickets and follow Banks on Instagram.

 

A Journey Round My Skull – Spring 2015

Sunday, January 4th, 2015
A journey round my skull production shot

Photographs © Jonathan Blackford 2014

 

KILN’s production of A Journey Round My Skull has a few performance dates in the next couple of months.

Thurs 22nd Jan: Havant, Hampshire, The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, 7:30pm

Tues 3rd Feb: Exeter Phoenix, 8pm

Thurs 5th Feb: Ormskirk, The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University, 7:30pm

Wed 25th Feb: Lancaster, The Dukes, 7:30pm

I produced the sound design for the production which had a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer. You can read more about the show, hear some sound and watch a trailer here.

The Tell-Tale Heart Autumn Tour

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

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The 2014 Autumn tour of Little Earthquake’s The Tell-Tale Heart begins in October. Laurence Saunders gives a brilliant performance as Poe’s tormented narrator Simon and I join him on stage as his Doctor, revealing the sonic details of Simon’s murderous tale with an array of props and vegetables.

Have you ever envisaged the sound a dismembered human body might make? Well in Little Earthquake’s adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s gruesome short story The Tell Tale Heart, sound is the play’s third character…

As Simon retells the story, Iain provides the sounds from a table of strange and fascinating props. In fact, the audience are in awe of what prop will be used next… This is a great way to retell a Gothic classic and Saunders creation of the mad nurse is worth the ticket price alone.

- Matt Jarram, Loughborough Echo

With support from several Rural Touring promoters we’ll be playing the following dates:

 

TTHboth04/10/14 Smethwick, Black Country Touring

22/10/14 Chester, Cheshire Rural Touring Arts

25/10/14 Malvern, Live and Local

31/10/14 Bromyard, Arts Alive

01/11/14 Tattenhall, Cheshire Rural Touring Arts

14/11/14 Caistor, Lincolnshire Rural & Community Touring

15/11/14 Wickenby, Lincolnshire Rural & Community Touring

30/11/14 Matlock, Live and Local

 

 

For full details and booking info visit the Little Earthquake website.

Women Box – Training Is The Opposite

Saturday, August 16th, 2014
laura bowler boxing

Photo: Claire Shovelton

Women Box is a a music-theatre event produced by Size Zero Opera in celebration of the inclusion of women’s boxing in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the rise of the female conductor. The performance features two new chamber opera commissions; Training Is the Opposite by Jennifer Walshe and Women Conduct by Laura Bowler, both for string quartet and mezzo soprano. (more…)

A Journey Round My Skull – Teaser

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A Journey Round My Skull (TEASER) from Mathew Beckett on Vimeo.

KILN Ensemble’s A Journey Round My Skull  will be showing at Latitude Festival on 19/07/14 and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 01-24/08/14 at Summerhall. This great teaser was made by Mathew Beckett.

The show’s been getting some great reviews at the fringe. I’ve posted some links on the project page.

A Journey Round My Skull

Friday, February 28th, 2014
A journey round my skull production shot

Photographs © Jonathan Blackford 2014

I recently finished work on the sound design for A Journey Round My Skull by Kindle Theatre. This project has been in development for the last year and is inspired by the extraordinary medical memoir written by Hungarian satirist Frigyes Karinthy. The memoir presents the author’s account of his diagnosis with a brain tumour and its subsequent removal during awake brain surgery.

A journey round my skull production shot

Photographs © Jonathan Blackford 2014

In collaboration with writer Nick Walker, Olivia Winteringham has adapted this memoir into a one woman show in which the tumour and its surgical removal become a metaphor for the lengths one might go to to eradicate painful or embarrassing memories. Frigyes experienced aural hallucinations as a symptom of his condition and we have developed this as a central idea in the work. We also used sound as the medium through which to recreate the experience of brain surgery. This involved research and sound recording inside hospital operating theatres and the use of binaural sound, delivered via headphones, to create an intimate and personal experience for each audience member.

The show opened in the Studio at Bristol Old Vic in February and will be touring in March and May to venues in Cambridge, Manchester, Birmingham, Norwich, Wolverhampton and London. Full details are available on the Kindle website.