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Near Gone touring: spring 2015

We’re delighted to be visiting nine more venues with the award-winning Near Gone in spring 2015 — look out for us at:

Alister on haystacks - photo by Alma Haser

Manpower premiere

We’re delighted that the World Premiere of our new performance, Manpower, will take place in ICIA University of Bath‘s new theatre building on 6th February 2015.

After developing the work in London, Eastleigh, Salisbury and Ipswich in 2014, early 2015 sees our final rehearsals before the opening of our first new work since winning a Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form at 2014’s Edinburgh Festival. We’re sure you’ll see hints of men you’ve loved, hated and wanted to be in the new show. More about Manpower…

Mark making in Dusty Feet

That’s all folks — until next year!

Our last performance of the year is done, and the leaves, pink balls and potted plants have settled after FLINT2014. What a year it’s been!

It’s fantastic to be on the home stretch of a year in which it feels we’ve accomplished so much — winning the Total Theatre Award was probably the highlight, but audiences have been really vocal about loving Near Gone, and we’re delighted to be taking it on another UK tour next spring.

Previews of Manpower were really useful, helping us to identify the strands to develop before our premiere at ICIA University of Bath on 6th February, and looking back at all the organisations that have come together to support the piece is fantastic.

We made Dusty Feet happen with Salisbury Library, its users and help from teenagers in Bradford-on-Avon. That involved some fascinating conversations with people about their own communications with friends and family –the coded messages they share, and the things they can’t say too.

It’s been a year in which the centrality of our audiences as people with whom we’re having a conversation has been really clear in everything we do.

It’s left us excited, looking forward to sharing existing work and two new projects in a very busy first half of 2015…so we’re busy planning, booking vans and hotels, rehearsal spaces and collaborators, projectors and flags. It’s going to be great!

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FLINT 2014 line-up announced

We’re really pleased to announce the line-up for FLINT on 22 November.

Taking place at Salisbury Arts Centre, the event features

  • 70/30 Split with WHICH
  • Chris Dobrowolski with All Roads Lead To Rome
  • Karen Christopher with Small Trees in Leaf
  • Search Party with My Son & Heir
  • Project O with O

Read more about FLINT 2014 here!

Photo by Tamsin Drury

Near Gone autumn dates

Following our successful run in Edinburgh, there are chances to see Near Gone in a few more places this autumn:

  • Lakeside Theatre, Colchester on 2 October – BOOK
  • Pavilion Dance as part of Bournemouth Arts By the Sea Festival, 8 October – BOOK
  • Derelict in Preston on 22nd October – BOOK
  • Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin on 27 October – BOOK
  • Radar Festival at the Bush Theatre in London on 20-21 November – BOOK

We’re also speaking to further venues about more potential dates, so keep your eye out for more news!

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Manpower Ahead

We’re delighted to announce that Manpower has received funding from Arts Council England to enable us to proceed immediately with full production. We’re rehearsing this month in Salisbury and Ipswich, previewing the work in both places.

After that, we’ll be premiering the completed piece in Bath next February — look out for more details soon.

You can see our previews at:

  • New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich on 25 September – BOOK
  • Salisbury Arts Centre on 3 October – BOOK

Near Gone wins Total Theatre Award

Near Gone has won a 2014 Total Theatre Award, for Innovation, Experimentation and Playing With Form. The award was presented this afternoon, and we’re absolutely delighted to have been selected, especially given the strength of the other work on the shortlist.

We’d like to thank all those who worked with us on the piece, and especially Charlotte Vincent whose keen eye and vast experience were really valuable in our making process. We’d also like to thank those who supported the making of the work — Anthony Roberts and Colchester Arts Centre, Sarah Brigham, The Point Eastleigh, Salisbury Arts Centre, Tanya Steinhauser, Nick Sweeting, Orla Flanagan and programmers and staff at those venues who supported the work by taking a risk and booking it early on.

The making of Near Gone was made possible by the support of all these people and organisations, and by funding from Arts Council England.

We’d also like to thank those closest to us, our families, for their support.

Edinburgh Reviews for Near Gone ★★★★★ and Total Theatre Award nomination

Audiences in Edinburgh have been really supportive of Near Gone, and so have the critics who’ve been in.  Here are some of the quotes and links to the full articles…

Fabulously, the show has been shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award in the Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form category!

Jenny Williams gave the show ★★★★★ for BroadwayBaby:

Radeva and Lownie’s harrowing story is told with great beauty, sensitivity and humour, creating art that is truly affecting, memorable and life-affirming.

Total Theatre Magazine‘s Dorothy Max Prior says

Near Gone is a near-perfect show. Wonderful performances by both actors. A beautifully crafted story told expertly through many means and forms – verbal, visual, physical. Spot-on dramaturgy (choreographer Charlotte Vincent name-checked here). A lovely sound design by Tim Blazdell.

In The Scotsman, David Pollock gave the piece ★★★★, saying it goes

beyond the limits of mere language.

With another ★★★★, Edinburgh Evening News‘ Ed Frankl called it

a brilliantly captured performance

TVbomb says:

The precise and subtle performances from both Radeva and Lownie are as fascinating as they are compelling. ★★★

Alecia Mashall in The Skinny says:

Thoughtful and understated – with an unexpectedly hopeful conclusion – this is well worth an hour of your fringe time. ★★★

fest mag‘s Alice Saville calls it

a moving performance with the language-crossing power of a ritual […] this intensely personal performance crafts a bridge of floral delicacy. ★★★

DarkChat gave it 10/10, saying

This isn’t just one of the best shows I’ve seen in 25 years of visiting the Fringe. It’s one of the most powerful and moving pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen.

In the Guardian, Lyn Gardner recommended the piece in her Essential Theatre Picks blog in advance, her Hot Tickets article at the start of the Fringe, in tips for the final week with

a winning heartfelt intensity

and in her Fringe roundup at the end of August as

A boon to the flower trade and to audiences too with its passionate, dance-filled look at the gulfs we cannot bridge.

Her review calls it

a brave show that confronts how we can sometimes become locked in grief, and unreachable even to those who love us most, and which uses many different kinds of language to explore the emotional gulfs between us, and the ways we can reach out and connect.

Finally, audience members interviewed by STV gave their views here.

First preview at Summerhall

Our first Edinburgh Fringe preview at Summerhall this afternoon got a couple of lovely responses on Twitter, and we just wanted to share them:

…come along and experience it!

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Dusty Feet

The bread is baked. The doors are framed. The archive photographs are mounted. The blackboards are clean. The china is encased. Dusty Feet is ready.

It’s a strange moment, this exhibition opening. Not because, as with any exhibition, the opening is when the engagement begins, and that’s exciting and a little bit frightening too. Our engagement began long ago, with the designing of street signs, and bread stamps, and handkerchief embroidering. We’ve already had a couple of hundred people work with us on this project. So this is like a half-way point instead. The beginning of a new phase, where we’re showing things and inviting responses.

We’ve curated an opportunity to leave marks. To write on a door, to draw on cards, to mark blackboards. To type. To stamp.

We don’t know what people will give us back. And that’s really pleasing: to shape an experience, but to give control to each visitor, allowing them to contribute to the experiences of those who come after them.

Leave marks behind.

collaborative performance from Katherina Radeva and Alister Lownie