Tales From Ovid: More Press

Back at the start of The Brixton Project I did an interview for IdeasTap for an article about empty shops and it went live on Friday. If you don’t know IdeasTap it’s a website that has many, many goodies (including information, advice and even money) for people who are twenty five or under and interested in working in the arts. And now some of my “wisdom” graces the site. Currently (though this is changing) you can only read the  content if you’re a member so I’ve put my part of the article below. To give you some context, the article consists of some really cool people like Dan Thompson from the Empty Shops Network, Hannah Hooks from Space In Between, Emma Rice from Kneehigh (given that I wrote a study of Kneehigh for part of my Masters degree I’m quite happy to be in Ms Rice’s company) and, erm, me talking about the good, the interesting and the difficult about puting art/ performance into unsual spaces:

“Licensing issues can be a real pain,” says Corinne Furness, co-founder of Write by Numbers who last month staged Ovid Reworked in a disused shop in Brixton. “Very few empty shops will have a performance license so you’re in the position of either going through the paper-filled and expensive business of applying for a permanent license or using a temporary license which lasts for a maximum of four days. There can be a lot of administration that you don’t have to consider if you take a show to a traditional theatre.”

And then:

“For me, empty shops are quite literally a blank canvas,” says Corinne. “The only limit is your imagination. It makes you engage with the building, the area and the community. With shops it’s quite accepted that you can step through the door and have a peek, they’re inclusive spaces. There isn’t a barrier that says ‘this is a theatre, and this is how I must behave’.”

Over the course of Ovid Reworked I did end up talking to a number of people who were interested in the ‘how’ of the process and – though we’re taking baby steps compared to someone like Dan Thompson – in putting on our first production – or rather festival as it turned out – we had to learn a lot very, very quickly. I’ve got lots I want to say (and maybe help others to avoid some of the holes we fell face first into) so in the coming week’s I’m going to do a post/ article for either this blog or the WBN website talking about some of the practicalities of specifically putting theatre into an empty shop. As a warning I will most likely feel the need to excessively use capitalisation to display trauma levels.

Tales From Ovid: Press

Just over a week ago – during the day where I was asked lots of questions and I gave vaguely coherent answers to about 33% of them – I ended up being interviewed by Katharine Hibbet for an article about arts and empty shops. And obviously I’m being cool and nonchalent about this (and not shrieking – Write By Numbers is in the same article as Punchdrunk and The Royal Court!!!! Or, as Charlie pointed out to me, that I’m quoted in an article before Dominic Cooke is. Hi Dominic. ) but the article was in today’s Sunday Times Culture Magazine.

Obviously Ovid Reworked – The Brixton Project is Write By Numbers’s first production so we’re just a little bit (read: a lot) merry about this.

Tales From Ovid: Day Twelve 1

Yesterday I blogged about questions and today it seems only fair to provide some answers. In amongst the press interviews I did yesterday I had the rather fabulous experience of being interview by Vobes of Empty Shops Radio who not only called me a “lovely young lady” (ah, still young!) but who asked pertinent, thoughtful questions even though they were utterly spontaneous. Respect is due. For any of you who might want to hear my witterings you can now listen to the podcast here. [We’re ‘Theatre in an Empty Shop’ as you scroll down]

[Warning: My voice is both shrill and a little bit high. Plus I use the phrase ‘learning curve’. Above all I do not sound like I come from Yorkshire AT ALL. I hang my head in shame]