For the last few months I have been quietly researching my new performance entitled The Secret Listener, a show that looks at the hidden work of voluntary interceptors during WW2 – the VIs would set themselves up in their spare bedrooms, attics or garages/garden sheds and they would listen in on homemade radios that most had been using as amateur radio hams.
home built radio receiver seen at Porthcurno Museum’s I Spy: the Secret Listeners exhibition
It was a brainwave of an idea, to use those people who already had the equipment, armed with the knowledge of morse code, to listen in to given specific frequencies for encoded messages being sent from Germany. Every voluntary interceptor signed the Official Secrets Act and so many took their wartime work with them to the grave.
We have partnered with the National Radio Centre, who work out of Bletchley Park, to make this theatre performance that will also have an accompanying podcast associated with it. I will be collecting other people’s stories as I travel around with the show and these stories will be included on the podcast highlighting the war effort of thousands of ordinary people.
creating sound with Ed Jobling and Derek Frood at the Forkbeard Fantasy barn in mid Devon
The intriguing part of the research is trying to find answers to the stories and the mysteries they present but as we have gone on it has become clear that that is what is drawing us into the telling of them, and who knows, by bringing the story of the voluntary interceptors to light we may start to find some answers.
The Secret Listener is in The Lab at The Theatre Royal on 24/25th July at 8pm
and will return in the Autumn
- Dramaturgy David Lane
- Sound design Ed Jobling
- Audio vocals Derek Frood
- Set Design Fiona Chivers
- Producer Fiona Fraser Smith
with original recordings by Phil Innes
My first solo show is making a trip to Cornwall, to Bodmin to be precise. Last year I played Millicent Fawcett in Dreadnought South West’s production of The Cause and we opened the tour in Bodmin. The Old Library there has been turned into an arts centre by that south west creative entrepreneur Fin Irwin and his CIC company, intoBodmin and in a few weeks I am going to perform Coffee with Vera there. Why? Because the space is perfect – the auditorium has both a performance area and a cafe and as Vera is a show in the form of a coffee morning, it fits perfectly.
I shall be getting out and dusting off my Grandma Doralee Patinkin’s Holiday Cookbook [mother of Mandy Patinkin] for my cake recipes and taking along a selection of brownies and blondies, I mean what’s not to like there. Past audience members have been known to order the book straight after the performance!!!
Coffee with Vera The Old Library Bodmin
Thursday 7th February @ 3pm
Tickets £7 [includes coffee and cake!]
Autumn Tour schedule for Dreadnought South West’s The Cause
For a review of the show click here
- South Devon College 19th September, 1.30pm (schools) & 7.30pm (BSL Interpreted)
- Tacchi Morris Arts Centre 25th September, 7.30pm (BSL Interpreted)
- www.tacchi-morris.com / 01823 414141
- Teignmouth Pavilions 26th September, 2.30pm & 7.30pm
- Community Arts Theatre, Tiverton 28th September, 7.30pm
- tivertontheatre.com / 07443 502523
- Dartington Live 12th October, 7.30pm (BSL Interpreted) & Post-Show discussion
- 13th October, 2pm and 6pm email@example.com / 01803 847070
- Salford Arts Theatre 16th Oct, 2.30pm & 7.30pm
- salfordartstheatre.com / 0161 925011
- Gladstone Theatre, Liverpool 17th Oct, 7.30pm
- gladstonetheatre.org.uk / 0151 643 8757
- 53two, Manchester 19th Oct, 2.30pm & 7.30pm
- The Plough, Torrington 6th November, 8pm (BSL Interpreted)
- theploughartscentre.org.uk / 01805 624624
- Torquay Museum 9th November, 7.30pm 10th November 2.30pm & 7.30pm
- www.torquaymuseum.org / 01803 293975
- The House, University of Plymouth 14th, Nov, 7.30pm
- https://the-arts-institute.cloudvenue.co.uk / 01752 585050
- The Regal Theatre, Minehead 20th November, 7.30pm
- regaltheatre.co.uk / 01643 706430
- The Assembly Rooms of Glastonbury 22nd November, 7.30pm
- assembly rooms.org.uk
- Exeter Phoenix 14th December, 7.45pm
- exeterphoenix.org.uk / 01392 667080
(14th December is the centenary day when women over the age of 30 with a property qualification voted for the very first time. There will be a range of events and activates around this date)
At the 2017 Edinburgh festival we saw Middle Child’s All We Ever Wanted was Everything late one night at Summerhall, in a circular tent and it was packed. Gig theatre, (a mash up of theatre [new writing] and an [original] music gig) as it is termed has brought new young audiences into the theatre and you can see why, there’s an energy that goes beyond the norm and it’s infectious.
Last night we headed to the Lost Gardens of Heligan to another circular tent for the start of Kneehigh’s Asylum summer season which started with Ubu Karaoke. This was a retelling of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry and modern classic songs that aid the telling of the story to a twenty-first century audience. The title may imply that people have to get onstage and sing along but that is a false assumption, the cast always lead the songs, which are surtitled and the audience sings along as one. In fact from the start, the usual rules of theatre are left aside. Gone was the 15-20 minute interval and we were told there was a 5 minute breather, we could come and go throughout the show, the doors of the tent were always open and the bar alongside the stage was available throughout the performance. The audience were sitting, standing and dancing; even partaking of games during the Ubu Olympics but never was anyone asked to do anything they didn’t want to do. The whole event was relaxed for everyone and the audience loved it. The analogy of Ubu, who gets to be king by a devious route, wan’t lost on anyone in the audience and nothing had to be spelt out for us to see the modern day equivalents. The fact that it was so relevant to what is happening now made people sing louder, sing like no-one was watching because no-one was watching, we were all partaking. When Ubu was first produced in 1896 it caused a riot and last night the riot was contained within the audience as they formed armies to follow their leaders. If you are on holiday in Cornwall or live in the south west GO. This isn’t gig theatre, its not even karaoke theatre, Knee-high call it ‘promenade musical’ but its something deeper and at this moment in time its obvious that people need it.
Ubu Karaoke is on at the Lost Gardens of Heligan from now until Saturday 25th August
More info here http://www.kneehigh.co.uk/show/UBU-Karaoke.php
Re blogged from https://seafieldview.wordpress.com
Hot weather is coming, or more accurately, has arrived but before the summer break Dreadnought SW‘s The Cause will be heading out for four more dates before we can hit the beach. Really looking forward to visiting new theatres in places I love, particularly looking forward to re-visiting the Lyric which is beyond charming and reminds me of the film The Smallest Show on Earth, if you’ve been, and more importantly know the film, you will understand what I mean.
Friday July 6th :: The Redgrave Theatre Clifton, Bristol https://redgravetheatre.com/event/2018/07/the-cause/368/
Saturday July 7th :: The Guildhall Barnstaple, Note tickets available via Exeter Phoenix https://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/the-cause-barnstaple/
Tuesday July 10th :: The Lyric Bridport [a 2.30 matinee here as well as an evening show] https://bridportandwestbay.co.uk/events/the-lyric-theatre-the-cause-230pm/
Thursday July 12th :: The Blackmore Theatre Exmouth http://blackmoretheatre.co.uk/production/the-cause/
From September we will be back on the road, check out the Autumn Tour here
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]