Friday, 11 September 2015

Tell Me Anything

We've been working on our new show Tell Me Anything for most of the summer, finishing up with work in progress performances at Shoreditch Town Hall.  Thanks to all our audiences, your support and feedback is invaluable!

The show is about David's experiences of caring for his teenage girlfriend, who was anorexic and bulimic, when he was fifteen.  We're indebted to Charlotte Rhind for her fantastic insights throughout our rehearsals, as well as the many other eating disorder experts we've spoken to over the past few months.

It's also been a pleasure to collaborate with musician Lilly Neubauer and our old friend Emma Tompkins.  Finally, a big thank you to Alex Brenner for these fantastic rehearsal photos.

We plan to open the show next year, so stay tuned for updates!

Development of Tell Me Anything has been kindly supported by Camden People's Theatre, The North Wall, Shoreditch Town Hall and Arts Council, England.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Tompkins Top Five

So It Goes heads to the Edinburgh Fringe from 24 to 30 August.  (Book ahead here.)  It's been excruciating following all the reviews and tweets from the festival, whilst we're stuck in London!

However, our Associate Artist Emma Tompkins has been at the festival all week, having designed Daniel Bye's show Going Viral, which is on at Northern Stage at Summer Hall at 2.10pm.

She's spent the week gorging herself on theatre, naturally, and we asked her to choose her favourite five shows.


I've tried to pick the shows that really stuck with me and not just to name the shows I know because I've worked on them or my mates are in them. Which is tough because I'm proud of the hugely talented companies and individuals I've worked with this year and a lot of my friends are in some really fantastic work! (Check out my twitter @emmatompkins if you’re curious about those) 

But without further ado, my top five (and a half) picks of the Fringe are as follows.

1. Pole by Bent Theatre

Underbelly, Cowgate; midnight
A really arresting performance piece blending strikingly different verbatim stories of women who pole dance. From sports enthusiasts to a woman who uses her skills undercover to help victims of sex trafficking, all blended with beautifully poignant physical theatre and dance.

2. Here is the news from over there (Over there is the news from here) 

by The Bloody Great Border Ballard team
Northern stage at Summer Hall, 11.10pm 
A different collection of writers, performers and artists from the UK and Middle East come together each night to weave bespoke stories and yarns (literally). Funny, moving, slightly anarchic political theatre on the hoof and, true to any middle eastern gathering, there's tea.

3. Portraits in Motion by Volker Gerling in association with Aurora Nova

Summer Hall, 12 noon.

Volker Gerling decided to walk the lengths and breadth of Germany looking for people he wouldn't normally meet, and catching a fleeting 12 seconds of them on film. This show is a flick book mega mix of the stories from humanity that you wouldn't normally hear but are so glad you have, the most absolutely charming way to spend an hour.

4. The Solid Life of Sugar Water by Graeae

Pleasance Dome, 4pm
An old fashioned play this time.  A very well crafted piece of theatre and intensely engaging collection of writing, performance, direction and design. The company also display a model of the set outside so partially sighted and blind audience members can feel and understand what the actors are moving on. Such a brilliant idea I wonder why we aren't all doing more for access to our shows.

5. The Christians by Gate Theatre 
Traverse, various times
I hate jumping on trendy theatre band wagons and The Gate certainly don't need me to get bums on seats but I was really surprised by the critics' responses on this one. Sometimes when I'm watching shows I'll compose the review tweet in my head; when I watched this show, I started deeply interrogating my own feelings on religion and realising just how relevant this show is at a time when our own regional theatres are renting themselves out to churches. I'll still be talking about this show weeks later.

This is not advertising stunt for The Christians, it's just religion doing a very good attempt at theatre.

5.5 Abacus by Early Morning Opera
Summerhall, 6.10pm 
I don't understand this show. I don't think I'm supposed to. Or maybe I am, or maybe that's the point. Wildly complex pastiche, or a genuine blend of Kony 2012 graphics meets final year central st martins TedX lecture this is definitely one for the curious. I'm mainly recommending it so you can go, then explain to me what the hell happened.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Edinburgh Fringe 2015

We had THE BEST time at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, when we emerged starry-eyed into the world and premiered our debut show So It Goes. (Relive the good times here.)

This year, So It Goes returns to Edinburgh for the last week of the festival: 
24-30 August, 1.55pm at Underbelly, Cowgate.  Book ahead here.

But with the fun kicking off this week, here are a few recommendations...

Shows by our Lecoq brethren
Feast by Clout (15.55, Zoo)
64 Squares by Rhum and Clay (19.30, Underbelly)
Jurassic Park by Superbolt (18.50, Roxy)
I'm Not Here Right Now by Dancing Brick & Soho Theatre (18.25, Summer Hall)

Shows we've already seen and loved
Islands by Caroline Horton (14.05, Summer Hall, from 22 August)
Women's Hour by Shit Theatre (14.00, Summer Hall, alternate days)

Shows we think will be brilliant
Going Viral by Daniel Bye, designed by our Associate Artist, Emma Tompkins (14.10, Summer Hall)
Hug by Verity Standen (15.30, Forest Fringe, from 24 August)
Backstage In Biscuit Land by Touretteshero (17.00, Pleasance, from August 24)
You're Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy by Caroline Horton (11.20, Pleasance, from 22 August)
God Are Fallen And All Safety Gone (20.05, Summer Hall, from 17 August)
Blind Man's Song by Theatre Re (15.30, Pleasance)
This Much by Moving Dust (19.45, Zoo)

Other shows by our Producers Show And Tell (they have impeccable taste)
Duchess of Canvey by Diane Chorley (10.30pm, Underbelly)
Fylm School by Simon Munnery (19.40, The Hive)
And Nothing But by Simon Munnery (15.30, The Stand)
Lie Collector by Yve Blake (5.20pm, Pleasance)
A Gambler's Guide To Dying by Gary McNair (Various, Traverse)

The guy me and my sister see every single year because he's a total comic genius
Paul Foot (19.20, Underbelly)

Finally, check out the other shows in this year's fantastic British Council Edinburgh Showcase here.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Rehearsal Room Video Diary 1

Over the summer, we'll be spending several weeks working on our new show.  We'll be announcing details of public work-in-progress performances soon. In the meantime, enjoy this sneaky peek behind the scenes.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

British Council film

With our UK tour over, we're looking ahead to the Edinburgh Fringe.  So It Goes will return for a limited run from 24 to 30 August, back at Underbelly, Cowgate where we premiered the show last year.

This time, we're part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase.  The British Council have made this fantastic film, featuring an interview with Hannah and footage from the show.

Tickets for Edinburgh are on sale now!

Monday, 11 May 2015

More Brighton buzz

Still mopping up tweets from Brighton Fringe!  Thanks to all our audiences over the weekend, we had a fantastic time.  The show heads to The Lowry in Manchester next, on Friday 15 May.  Click here for all our tour dates.

Postcards from tour

We've been having a fantastic time on tour and seeing some wonderful parts of the UK. From a performance in the gorgeous Cotswalds countryside, to chips on the beach in Margate.

Here are some photos and some of our Twitter reaction from this weekend's Brighton Fringe.


Syde Barn, Cotswolds

On the beach in Margate

Margate Theatre Royal

The beach in Brighton

A note someone left for us in Brighton
Twitter buzz from Brighton Fringe

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Extra show announced for Shoreditch Town Hall

Possibly the best review we've ever had.  Certainly the most creative!

We're having a fantastic time performing So It Goes at Shoreditch Town Hall, in London. The final week has completely sold out and we've just announced an extra matinee performance at 4pm on Saturday 18th.  Tickets are going fast, so book ahead now!

The Times' Chief Theatre Critic, Dominic Maxwell, made us his Top Pick of the Week in Saturday's paper.  We were also a pick of the week in Metro and Time Out.

Since then, we've also had a 4 star review from Time Out and our second 5 star review from The Times!

Today, Metro put us in their Top 5 shows to see in London:

Here's a round-up of what our audiences have been saying on Twitter:

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

So It Goes come to London

Not long until So It Goes reaches London!  We're on at Shoreditch Town Hall for two weeks, from Wednesday 8 April to Saturday 18 April (not including Sunday 12 but yes including all the other days, including Monday 13).

We're very excited.  Home crowd!  In fact, we've been singing "So It Goes is coming home" to the tune of "Football's coming home" for over a week now.

Tickets available here.

David & Hannah x

Starting Blocks at Camden People's Theatre... it's over, sadface

On Sunday, we performed about 30 minutes of brand new material at Camden People’s Theatre.  We’ve been developing new ideas there since January, as part of CPT’s Starting Blocks scheme.  We’ve also been meeting with the other artists on the scheme every Monday, to share our experiences of making work and to find out more about each other’s creative processes.

It was fun to perform and we’re excited about how the show might develop from here.  There are some big creative questions to answer, in terms of how we tell this story.  But we’re confident that it’s a good story to be telling and we have a clearer idea of why we’re telling it and the shape of it.  

(I’m being deliberately non-specific here because I don’t like saying too much about a show before it’s finished!)

A heartfelt thanks to Camden People’s Theatre and our fellow Starting Blockers. 

Starting Blocks Class of 2015: Cape Theatre, Will Drew aka Venice As A Dolphin, Sh!t Theatre’s Rebecca Biscuit, Owl Young and Caretaker Ministry.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Thoughts on Battersea Arts Centre

The outpouring of grief and affection following the fire at Battersea Arts Centre has been extremely touching.  Much has been said about BAC’s importance; these pieces by Dan Rebellato and Catherine Love are particularly eloquent.

My first visit to BAC was to see 1927’s debut show Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea.   I didn’t live in London and travelling alone, with no understanding of London’s geography, meant the tube and bus journey required to get from King’s Cross to Battersea was quite an undertaking.  But that simply added to the sense of adventure and overwhelming excitement when I finally arrived.  I was wide-eyed as I entered that stunning building.  What a building and what a show.  I came back a week later to see it again.

When I put on my first proper show, Machines For Living, less than a year after leaving drama school, I invited every single theatre in London and beyond.  Only one replied.  BAC sent someone to see it.  When Hannah and I did a work in progress performance of So It Goes, we invited everyone we could think of.  BAC were the only people who came. For years, I knew that it was a place where people a few years older than me had got their first gigs.  I’d known it was a place who wouldn’t turn me away because my process didn’t start with a script. When that place sent someone to see my work, it meant the world.  And they were the only ones who did.

BAC are fundraising to allow them to rebuild and keep doing what they do so well.  You can donate here.

Meanwhile, the show goes on and I’m looking forward to seeing Caroline Horton’s show at BAC tomorrow.


Friday, 13 March 2015

A busy week

It’s been a busy week for On The Run.  Our tour of So It Goes began with performances in Ormskirk and Canterbury.  We had a fantastic time, thanks to lovely audiences and very friendly staff at both venues. We’re having a great time on the road and it’s a real pleasure to be performing the show again, after a six month hiatus.  We’ve got a week off now, before we head to Halifax, Leeds and Ipswich on 25, 26 and 27 of March. 


I’ve just come back from a fascinating Q&A with Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett, held at Camden People’s Theatre and attended by artists and producers keen to hear more about Green Party policy on the arts.  I sensed, amongst the audience, a desire to be idealistic, to imagine what the arts could be and the role they could play in a different kind of society, but also a difficulty in imagining any world in which our post-1980s economic consensus could be overturned. 

In an age of austerity, it seems that the national conversation is never about the best public services, or arts policy, only the cheapest.  Amber, from CPT, pointed out that this means conversations amongst artists often descend into panic over already meagre funding levels going up or down by a few percent, which can prevent us from thinking big.  One person summed it up brilliantly: “When financiers get together, they talk about art; when artists get together they talk about money”. 

I felt a little sad that we couldn’t allow ourselves to think big and be idealistic, in a conversation about Green arts policy.  What are the Greens for, if not idealism?   But some of the best suggestions for policy changes were small but significant ways in which government could grease the wheels of arts organisations, for example by offering to tax breaks to philanthropists willing to fund the arts or cutting business rates for arts organisations.  My own plea was for government funding bodies to stop asking arts organisations to single-handedly cure all social ills through arts participation, in return for their funding.  On this, the Greens cannot be accused of not thinking big as their Universal Basic Income would automatically create a fairer society and one in which more people had time to enjoy the arts.  Whether or not that’s realistic is another question.


In the context of this discussion, the announcement this week that IdeasTap will be closing seems particularly depressing.  It was not financially sustainable and didn’t manage to find a way it could be (not for lack of trying, I’m absolutely sure) but it did give us a vision of how young artists could be helped along in their careers.  In a different world, IdeasTap would be an extension of the Arts Council and publically funded.

Hannah and I ran two workshops for IdeasTap members and got a huge amount out of both of them.  We met new people, we shared approaches and skills we’d developed in our creative practice and we had chance to tell people about our work.  We’ve also run workshop in conjunction with our friends Rhum and Clay Theatre Company and the money we’ve been paid to do this has partly funded our regular night of short form work, No SuchThing. 

Our Designer Emma Tompkins once told me that when she runs skills or career workshops outside London, often in places where young people with bags of talent feel geographically isolated or just don’t know how to get a career moving, her biggest piece of advice was, “Join IdeasTap.”  IdeasTap funded projects but more than that, it was a way of people connecting and it was full of helpful advice which, crucially, you could access whoever you were, wherever you were.  I’m sad to see it go.


On a happier note, Incoming Festival announced its line-up this afternoon and we’re on it!  We’ve been sitting on this news for a while so it’s great to be able to start shouting about it.  It’s a festival we’re really excited to be part of and it’s always nice to be back at the New Diorama Theatre, home of No Such Thing.  We’re performing alongside some good friends, including Little Soldier, Rhum and Clay, Remote Control and Sh!t Theatre.  We’ll see as much as we can, so I’m sure we’ll discover some new favourite artists there too.

Incoming Festival runs from 1-10 June and we’re performing So It Goes on 2 June.  Full festival line-up and tickets here.  Head to our website for all the So It Goes tour dates.