Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Utter Thanet - guest blog by Clive Holland

Utter Thanet

The Isle of Thanet is changing. There’s a lot more going on for a start. More events; cultural, arty, sporty and many other weird and wonderful happenings across the Isle. You can hardly turn a corner without some organised encounter jumping up and down and trying to draw you in. Many events are free; open air and in public spaces. You can stand and stare, join in or pass them by. There are many though where you have to cross the threshold; book a ticket, pay a fee, make a commitment to be there. There are farmer’s markets, May Fairs, carnivals, commemorations, celebrations, exhibitions, heritage events, political events, motorbikes, cars, sea themed events, musical events, dance and … well, to be honest, events that cover just about anything and everything that you could possibly produce an event for. The Thanet calendar is getting fuller each year.


Bands on stages, operas on screens and whales on beaches

How do all of these events and happenings sit with the people of Thanet? Is everyone pleased and excited to see things going on, do some people loathe what’s happening to their Thanet, do some take them or leave them?


Some years ago, in Ramsgate, we had a kinetic sculpture. This was an all singing, dinging, twirling, mass of colour and noise built onto the back of an old electric milk float. A wide-eyed young boy, maybe eight or nine years old, was walking past the float with his dad. “Wow. What’s that dad?”, said the boy. The father, grabbing the boys arm, said, “Its art son, come on!” and dragged the boy away, as if art was somehow dangerous or maybe ‘not for the likes of us’. This, and other similar occurrences, has made me wonder about the people who call Thanet their home. What do they think about the changes that are happening here on the Isle? Not just more events but the changes that are bringing many new and different people to Thanet? Is there any animosity towards change and the people that are causing it? Do they wish it could stay the same? Do they embrace the changes? Do they feel as though they are losing control of their own town or village? Is there an amount of envy or distaste or disapproval of the changes? Do people feel that they are being forgotten?

The influx of people to the area from London and other parts of the world is changing the balance of the area. House prices and rents are increasing. There are new businesses, shops, cafes and bars; some more expensive than the establishments that they have replaced. There are more people looking for work. More people from different backgrounds and situations living cheek by jowl. It is these changes that have prompted Mischievous Theatre’s new project “Utter Thanet”. We aim to talk to 1000 people who live in Thanet. We are asking them what they think about where they live, what they love, what they hate. What do people think about the changes that are happening here in Thanet and nationally and globally. Have they had any bad experiences? Do they feel worried? What do they hope for the future?

Mischievous Theatre will be out and about over the next five weeks; come and say hello and tell us what you think. Once we have spoken to 1000 people, we will create a piece of theatre based on their words. We will share the first draft of the script in a script in hand performance around the area. Then, next year, we will produce a piece of professional theatre that will be seen here and will then tour further afield.

You can e mail us at the address below with your thoughts, or let us know that you would like to be interviewed, or, if you are a part of a club, society or association, you could invite us to one of your sessions and we can all sit around and over a cup of tea and an iced fancy, natter about Thanet and the ‘goods and bads' of change.

Clive Holland
Director
Mischievous Theatre CIC

Twitter: @UtterThanet
E: utterthanet@yahoo.com



Thursday, 14 April 2016

Until You Hear That Bell

Until You Hear That Bell
Sean Mahoney

Thursday 28th April, 2pm
Hornets Boxing Club, Ramsgate 
Friday 29th April, 7.30pm
Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate

Friday Theatre Club Post-Show upstairs in the Finn Bar.

Told through spoken word and within timed boxing rounds, 'Until You Hear That Bell' is a story about amateur boxing and family. It's about doing something for ten years, and slowly getting good at it. Written and performed by Sean Mahoney, commissioned by and developed with Battersea Arts Centre.

Three minutes. Bell. One minute break.
Three minutes. Bell. Try to impress dad.
Three minutes. Bell. Play Sega Dreamcast.
Three minutes. Bell. Parents break up.
Three minutes. Bell. Fail your GCSEs.
Three minutes. Bell. Sing in a car.
Three minutes. Bell. Break.

“A winning performance from a skilled storyteller.” ★★★★ The Stage

“...an extraordinary piece of work; funny, tragic and poignant, it turns an hour of monologue into an evening of poetic revelation.” ★★★★ Everything Theatre

A mention of this show also popped up in the email I get from Daniel Kitson - an incredibly good storyteller/comedian who was on at the Theatre Royal last winter.

"There is a show on tour at the moment that I saw last year at the Battersea Arts Centre and absolutely bloody loved. It’s by a man called Sean Mahoney and it was one of those things that I was so keen to tell people about. It’s really impressive and funny and moving and fascinating. I really liked it. I had so much time for it in more than a few ways."

The Joke


 The Joke




Theatre Club Post-Show in The London Tavern on the 21st April (Thursday)

Call box office for tickets 01843 292795

Three men are trapped in a joke. But they don’t know how it goes...

This show - some kind of absurdist escape movie - is based on an Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman joke gone wrong and explores our fascination with jokes; their structures, their prejudices and why we tell them in the first place. 

Will Adamsdale won the perrier award for comedy, and has had very successful and funny shows at the Edinburgh fringe. Stewart Lee is a big fan of his, and comedy fans will know what a big deal that is! This is the first run of his new show, The Joke. 

We'd love to see you there, and for Theatre Club afterwards, come and join us in the bar!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

I Am Not Myself These Days - Fuel and Tom Stuart

I Am Not Myself These Days - Fuel and Tom Stuart
Written by Anna Bod
This was written in August/September 2015, after I went to Edinburgh as part of the Fuel, New Theatre in Your Neighbourhood project. This was one of the plays we were taken to see. Margate Theatre Club would love other people to write about what they thought. 
Last month I was swamped by fabulous theatre and fascinating discussions. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what I love about theatre but a big part of it is the transportation to other worlds, other ways of being and perspectives.
I Am Not Myself These Days showed me a world very different from my own, with the glamorous and fragile Aqua taking us on a tour through the world of a successful drag queen in New York, with all the booze, drugs and hogtied businessmen that that entails.
Despite how alien it was from my own experience, I was struck by the universality of love and relationships. The triangle of Josh (who works as Aqua at nights, whilst working in an office by day), Aqua  and Jack (their partner) was shown to us in heartbreaking detail with all its messiness. As Josh navigates his, and Aqua’s, places in the world and in love, I was captivated and moved by their story, and laughed and cried (well, wept, if I’m honest) along with it.
I could see devastating  similarities between Aqua’s spiral into despair and alcohol and that of friends, family and people I have worked with as a psychologist. At times I just wanted to give her a hug, and protect her from the world.
In our discussion group afterwards, it made us think about what we have to leave behind of ourselves in order to grow up, to be safe, to be happy. We talked about vulnerability and making mistakes, we talked about what mistakes shape us, and we wondered whether experiences that we don’t regret can even be counted as mistakes.

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Sissy's Progress



The Sissy's Progress

The Sissy's Progress is on the 20th of Febuary at The Tom Thumb Theatre
Nando Messias was beaten up on the street in an act of homophobic hatred. After years of dreaming up his response, he presents The Sissy’s Progress, a spectacle of provocation, celebration and hyperflamboyance.
Part dance-theatre, part walking performance, The Sissy’s Progress leads its audience out onto the streets with a live marching band playing original music composed by Jordan Hunt. The Sissy’s Progress confronts the harsh contradictions of gender and violence of city life, standing up for sissies everywhere.
 ‘Queer promenade brilliance’
Ben Walters, www.nottelevision.net

‘A brave and brilliantly performed meditation on identity politics and the dynamics of power’
La JohnJoseph, boyfriendrobotique.blogspot.co.uk
Nando Messias is a Dance Art Foundation Associate Artist: Choreography. The Sissy’s Progress is produced by Dance Art Foundation and funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council England, developed with the support of Movingeast and Artsadmin.
  
‘Full of powerful ambiguities, The Sissy’s Progress will always be remembered and treasured’
Phil Smith, Associate Professor, Plymouth University

‘Stylish subversive… winning over the audience with his dangerous and dandy sketches’
Simon Casson, Duckie 
BIOGRAPHY:
Nando Messias’ work straddles performance art, dance and theatre. Informed by queer ideology, his performances combine beautiful images with a fierce critique of gender, visibility and violence. He has performed at V&A, Hayward Gallery, Tate Tanks, Gate Theatre, Toynbee Studios, Riverside Studios, Roundhouse, Royal Vauxhall Tavern and ICA, among other spaces in Britain. He has worked internationally in France, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Japan.
With BiƱo Sauitzvy, his long-term collaborator, Nando has developed critically acclaimed dance-theatre pieces (Grand Genet: Our Lady of the Flowers, Sissy! and OH!). Nando’s solo work has been curated by the Live Art Development Agency as part of the programme Just Like a Woman (Ljubljana, New York and London). He has appeared numerous times at Duckie, having had a whole evening dedicated to his work in 2012. Nando performed in Bruce LaBruce’s theatrical production, The Bad Breast. As well as a practitioner, Nando is a movement director, choreographer and an academic of queer theory and performance.

I Am Not Myself These Days



 At the Theatre Royal on the 12 of February with a Theatre Club after
Fuel presents
I Am Not Myself These Days
Written and performed by Tom Stuart
Adapted from the autobiography by Josh Kilmer-Purcell 
Directed by Nick Bagnall
Designed by Ti Green 
Lighting Design by Guy Hoare.
A shockingly direct and heartbreakingly funny new play about love and self-discovery in the flashy, trashy New York of the 1990s.
Tom Stuart delivers a tour-de-force performance in this mesmerising one man show. Ad man by day and drag queen by night, Josh battles his own alcoholism while desperately trying to make his relationship work with Jack, a high-class rent boy addicted to crack. 
I Am Not Myself These Days is the story of one man's unconventional journey to self-acceptance that resonates far beyond the confines of the story. 
#NotMyself
Funded by Arts Council England. Supported by Shoreditch Town Hall
Reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe 2015
"A brutal story told with energy and compassion." THE STAGE ☆☆☆☆
"A mesmerising show which will smack you in the face and demand your attention." MUMBLE THEATRE ☆☆☆☆☆
"an astonishing, all-consuming performance." FEST
"Stuart is a charismatic presence and a fine actor and storyteller" THE SCOTSMAN