Spring Tour dates for The Cause

In just over two weeks we open The Cause in Bodmin and will continue to tour the south west of England throughout the spring. Here are the first set of dates.

For the full tour schedule with links to the venues box offices etc. go to http://dreadnoughtsouthwest.org.uk/the-cause-tour-schedule/

25th & 26th April Callywith College Bodmin  @ 7.30pm  [2.30pm matinee on the 26th]

27th April Crediton Arts Centre @ 7.30pm

3rd May Acorn Penzance @ 2.30 & 7.30pm

10/11/12th May the Barbican Theatre Plymouth @ 7.30pm

21st & 22nd May  Phoenix Arts Centre Exeter @ 8pm [10.30 on 21st & 1.30pm on the 22nd]

31st May the Rondo Theatre Bath @ 7.30pm

7th June Ivor Potter Hall Bude @ 7.30pm

8th June St Austell Arts Centre @ 7.30pm

9th June Heartlands Pool Camborne @ 7.30pm

15th & 16th June Yeld Hall Chippenham @ 7.30pm [2.30pm on the 16th]

 

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Spring news

After two years of developing a script with Dreadnought South West we will be taking it on tour, from April we will be travelling around the south west of England then, after a summer break, we will continue further afield. All tour dates will be posted here when they are confirmed.

A Conversation between a pacifist and a militant. How far would you go for a cause, would you protest peacefully or would you build a bomb?

For the time being here’s the image for The Cause by Natalie McGrath,                         photo by Matt Austin

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List of this weeks Hidden Stories:Hidden Places audio trails

I’ve been working with my ripple colleague Derek Frood to make audio trails for some Heritage open days, the national event is this coming weekend.

It is also the first week of the Jewish Heritage Days 2017 and here are three events where our cemetery audio trails can be heard.

Thursday 7 September Plymouth Cemetery Audio Trail.

2pm. Listen to the audios in the synagogue vestry and then take a walk up to the cemetery to see the graves. Free event but booking advised for numbers. Contact Jerry Sibley 07753 267616 or 01752 263162

Thursday 7th September Phonic FM Exeter

6-8pm. I will be appearing on Phonic FM’s first Culture Club.  Listen live on Phonic FM: 106.8FM in Exeter; phonic.fmworldwide. Listen again at www.mixcloud.com/phoniccr.

Sunday 9th September Exeter Audio Trail

Synagogue open 11-3 have a tour of the synagogue and listen to our audios with your refreshments. There will also be a film running to illustrate one of our stories.

Sunday 9th September Falmouth Presentation

12.30pm. Derek and I will be talking about how we unearthed stories from the Plymouth cemetery and how they turned into a project called Hidden Stories: Hidden Places. Places are free but we are asking people to sign up here http://thepoly.org/whats-on/event/491/hidden-stories-hidden-places

Sunday 9th September Falmouth Audio Trail

2-4pm in the Ponsharden Cemetery our audio trail will be part of a talk and walk in both the Jewish cemetery and it’s neighbour, the Dissenter’s burial ground. Derek and I will be there in person to hand out the headphones.

#ripple’s Hidden Stories: Hidden Places @PolyFalmouth

On Sunday September 10th I will be giving a presentation with my ripple colleague Derek Frood about our Hidden Stories: Hidden Places project. This grew out of our Plymouth Cemetery Audio trail, which took place in a hidden Jewish cemetery on Plymouth Hoe in 2016. After the unexpected success of the trail within the Plymouth Art Weekender we continued the research into Exeter and Falmouth and the outcome are two audio trails one for each place. On the 10th of September there will be a chance to hear them within the Jewish Heritage week and the Heritage Open Days. In Exeter you can hear the audio stories within the Synagogue which is open on the Sunday afternoon and in Falmouth you can walk around the Ponsharden burial ground between 2-4pm.

Before the cemetery opens we will be chatting about our research at the Falmouth Poly, how the three trails have cultural connections but how we’ve tried to make them creatively different; from spoken biographies in Plymouth to a more in depth story telling for Falmouth. The talk starts at 12.30 and should last roughly 50 minutes to an hour which will give people time to then head to the Ponsharden burial ground for the tour. This is a FREE event but we ask that people sign up so we can monitor numbers. Thanks

http://thepoly.org/whats-on/event/491/hidden-stories-hidden-places

http://www.dissenters.moonfruit.com/open-day/4587242113

Hidden Stories: Hidden Places is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England , Exeter City Council small grants scheme and  Feast Cornwall a programme that makes great art happen across Cornwall.

Let Me Look At you Edinburgh [preview]

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I’ve been working with a good friend and amazing performer Mark Pinkosh, it’s been interesting partly because he lives in Los Angeles for most of the year. So far we have had three weeks face to face split up over 2017 and months of distance dramaturgy in-between without seeing one another. This, in hindsight, has been a rather good way of working because coming back to the text with space in between makes you see it with fresh eyes, and work that’s created in the heat of the moment can sometimes look somewhat cooler after the initial creative splurge. It’s made the job of dramaturgy much easier and everyone has had a hand in the development. We started by sitting down and recording anecdotes of Mark and his husband Godfrey’s years of the ‘gay movement’ which celebrates this year with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act. Then we sifted through them alongside historical factoids and Godfrey would write them up in his cabin in LA and in his own inimitable way. Mark would then travel back over to Plymouth and we would look at what we had and play with the text adding and cutting when needed. We noted though that in the current climate, on both sides of the pond, things haven’t changed that much and in some places like the middle east, it has taken a backwards step and therefore it feels very relevant. The show called Let Me Look At You opens at the Edinburgh Festival at the Pleasance, Bunker 2 at 11.15 am August 2nd – 28th but we are previewing one show only at the Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol on Wednesday 26th July at 5pm. Please come along and give us some feedback either to the Wardrobe or at the Pleasance, you won’t be disappointed. Mark and Godfrey work on stage as Starving Artists and are double Fringe First winners. When they started taking their work to Edinburgh over twenty years ago Mark was the first recipient of The Stage’s Award for Acting Excellence and in those days it was just the one award. So its going to be a bit of a homecoming but I am very excited about being part of this show and am looking forward to seeing it on its feet in Bristol on the 26th.

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Starting to find our Hidden stories:Hidden places

Last year, with my colleague Derek Frood, we made an audio trail within a hidden Jewish cemetery in Plymouth but what we thought would be a quiet weekend, with a handful of curious people, turned into a kind of marathon. Around 120 people turned up each day and those who didn’t have smart phones or headphones waited patiently for one of the 15 MP3s to become available.

Knowing there was the potential for further trails and realising now there was a thirst for hidden stories in hidden places we put a bid into the Arts Council to research and develop more stories across the south west. This will include working with the Exeter synagogue and their family history group for their cemetery  off Magadalen Road and Kehillat Kernow, (the Jewish Council of Cornwall) with the Friends of Ponsharden Cemetery, to research the Jewish & Dissenters cemetery in Falmouth (see above, images taken by Derek Frood on our site visit there last week).

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Once we have collected our stories we will go into a studio with sound technicians, the wonderful people at Stage Technical Services in Exeter and investigate different ways of recording them to make our finished trails.

Currently the Plymouth audio trail is uploaded onto an MP3 and each story is a different track meaning  you can be in charge of your own wanderings and move to whatever part of the graveyard you want to go to. Alternatively you can listen on a smartphone via Soundcloud; operating the trail on your own phone makes it easier to navigate for a lot of people.

The idea that people could wander around listening to a soundtrack meant that the peace and stillness of the site remained which is something we felt was important. As people waited they could take in the site, see people making the tour but at the same time remain oblivious to the audio they were watching them listen to. This had a particular powerful affect on one audience member in Plymouth last year…

“The music and voices really made the people ‘come alive’ the particular reference about the physicality of the Stonehouse police suddenly jolted me into the realisation that I was standing on the remains of that particular body and I found that a very powerful moment. The other thing that impacted on me was noticing the other listeners. They were randomly dotted around the cemetery, solemn statues, heads bent down like they were watching over the dead; every so often they would slowly move to a new grave and take up their positions again. It’s difficult to put into words, but it felt like a strange transposition, the dead being brought to life by the stories while the living had become immobile listening to them”.

“… difficult to put into words”, they managed to do so very eloquently.

Over the next few months we will be collecting our stories and will update our findings on our website here.

With thanks to Arts Council South West, Exeter City Council and Feast Cornwall for funding to develop Hidden Stories: Hidden Places.

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The old Jewish cemetery in Plymouth will be open for audio trails during the Plymouth History Festival, every Sunday between 11-3pm and booking is essential, so we can keep those waiting times down.  All details are here and below.

OLD JEWISH CEMETERY AUDIO TRAIL
The Old Jewish Cemetery, Lambhay Hill, Plymouth PL1 2NP
Sunday 7, 14, 21 and 28 May and 4 June, 11am-4pm (last entry at 3pm)
Tours take place at quarter past, half past, quarter to and on the hour
Located on Plymouth’s historic Hoe, in the shadow of The Citadel, lies a hidden secret: The Old Jewish Cemetery. Contained within high stone walls it has always remained hidden from public view. The only clue to its existence is an insignificant door. With the aid of funding from Vital Sparks and Drakes Foundation, recorded with Stage Technical Services and hosted by the Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, an audio trail has been created in the garden cemetery by Ruth Mitchell and Derek Frood, aka Ripple. It brings to life the lives of those buried within this hidden gem. In 1740 this plot was a family garden; today it is a calm oasis that hides a wealth of history and culture.

If you are coming please bring your smart phone and headphones (its by far the best way to hear them downloadable at https://soundcloud.com/ripple-theatre) or use the MP3 players that will be available on the day. Please note: The Cemetery includes entry and exit steps with uneven terrain throughout and therefore is not suitable for those with limited mobility. For those unable to attend the Cemetery, an opportunity to hear the audio trail at the Synagogue Vestry is available on Tuesday 23 May.
Free / Donations very welcome / Booking essential due to limited spaces via 07753 267616 or phccaretaker@yahoo.co.uk

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The Hidden Histories Seminar at Plymouth University 29-30 November

 

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I will be giving a presentation on Wednesday 30th November for a Hidden Histories Seminar organised by the Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery, (a Major Partner Museum in partnership with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter) hosted in conjunction with Plymouth University and funded by Arts Council England. I will be talking about creating an audio trail for a Hidden Jewish Cemetery, how one starts to make a performance for a graveyard and the stories we eventually found. This is a project that I worked on with Derek Frood, together we are a.k.a ripple and you can find out more here or come along to the seminar, find out about our project and hear about the other diverse histories for Plymouth.

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/hidden-histories-2016