After finishing co-directing The Life After I went straight into running the summer school at Bristol Old Vic. The summer school is a course that happens every year and invites young people to come and work with the Outreach team to create a new piece of theatre in two weeks. There are places for technical team as well as performers and the course is a lively introduction to the world of theatre-making and performance. BOV says this about the course on their website.
Come and spend two weeks of your summer holidays working with a team of vibrant and professional young artists, creating and devising your own production which will take place in Bristol Old Vic's Studio. Open to all abilities and with the option of working either behind the scenes or taking centre stage, Summer School promises to be an exciting, fun packed fortnight.
My aim with summer school is always to get to know the ensemble and find out what they're interested in through training, games and workshops and allow them to form the piece of work and lead the research and development. The 2012 group were a political bunch and we created a piece about climate change featuring an imagined future exploring the effects of global warming. We spent five days learning skills and training together as an ensemble and then made the show in the last five days.
The story begins with a great flood and follows various stranded and disperate characters and their stories; a blind man on an island of rubbish, a scientist on a raft, a family torn apart by the waves. As flawed and struggling government officials try to keep control, characters are reunited and begin to rebuild their lives. The piece was told using ensemble movement and visual storytelling aided by larger than life characters and choral speech. Alistair Debling, who has made music for much of my theatre work, created an evocative score reminiscent of eastern music and performed using a loop pedal and various instruments. The eclectic design and costumes were created by Ruby Spencer and Harriet Hill-Payne and the show was beautifully lit by the young technical team.
Production photography by Paul Blakemore.