On Friday I got some news of the variety that makes me do ridiculous dances in my living room (it’s a good job we don’t have neighbours opposite to watch me do this), both of which will allow me to add some new exciting things (or, as is my capitalisation penchant NEW EXCITING THINGS) to the Theatre41 programme.
First up, I found out that Theatre41 had been selected by the IdeasTap panel as one of the winners of the latest round of their Top-Up fund. I’ve been a member of IdeasTap since its very early days (and indeed was interviewed by them about making work for empty shops back in 2010) and I don’t even hold against them the fact that they are responsible for me no longer being able to say ‘I have never given a PowerPoint Presentation’*. Basically if you’re at all creative – in any of the ways it might be possible to be creative – and you aren’t a member then you should stop reading this and sign up immediately. This time the Top Up Fund has given £500 to 20 projects (and it’s a diverse and genuinely interesting bunch we’re part of). What the Top-Up Fund means to Theatre41 is that not only will we be able to film all of the pieces created for and premiered in the shop but we’ll actually be able to create a ‘Making of Theatre41’ record of the theatre, filming the process as we make the shop (and then unmake) it into a theatre. Beautifully transitory as a pop-up venue might be having a record of process is one of the ways the work becomes permanent – not just for us to learn from but also for anyone else who might be interested in undertaking such endeavours. And, in keeping with this, we’ll be putting the resulting film online (most likely in mid June), if only so you can undoubtedly get to laugh at how high and occasionally shrill my voice is.
That piece of news on its own would have been enough to have me do a dance worthy (or not) of Strictly round my living room but then, under sixty seconds later, I received an email to say that we’d been chosen to take part in National Theatre of Scotland’s ‘Five Minute Theatre‘. Now, it’s not exactly an understatement to say that both myself and Charlie WBN are hopelessly in love with the National Theatre of Scotland. It’s actually a little embarrassing if you get us on to the subject (I mean, it was they who led us to discover the TEAM and, crikey, do we hero-worship them). So to be making a piece of theatre for an NTS project? Just a little bit bloody brilliant. I’m going to be writing a blog post that goes into what we’ve got planned for our contribution to Five Minute Theatre (and its theme of ‘Protest’) in more detail in the next few days, along with when we’ll be filming the piece in Theatre41. But for now I will say we’ll be creating, rehearsing and filming the piece in Theatre41 – and, because I want to add another level of terror to my day, we’ll be live blogging the process too.
*In Autumn 2010 I was shortlisted for a project with IdeasTap and the Old Vic Tunnels and as well as doing a workshop (though we didn’t have to play odd workshop games that spring terror into my writerly heart) I had to give a presentation in IdeasTap Towers. But then, if I were to flip this, maybe I should be thanking them for being the reason that I taught myself how to use PowerPoint.