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CARP Residency - Civic Barnsley.

We finished our CARP Residency at The Civic, Barnsley last week, exploring the music and some visuals for the production Under the Bed. It's been a brilliant and invaluable time. The residency had been structured with a combination of 'meet up' days, hosted by the Civic and 'remote collaboration' in which the artists involved develop ideas independently (based upon the meet up sessions) and share them online for others to contribute to or be inspired by, before developing them further still on the next meet up day.

 Muscians James Dey, Nick Lewis, artist Lou Sumray and 3 year old Archie setting up for the day. 

Muscians James Dey, Nick Lewis, artist Lou Sumray and 3 year old Archie setting up for the day. 

This process, we feel, gives everybody involved much more freedom in developing and exploring their work as it removes the pressure to 'produce' something by the end of the day and allows the artists to both reflect on what has been created and to work at varying paces to suit themselves without hindering others.

 Music conversations, sketched by Lou Sumray

Music conversations, sketched by Lou Sumray

As we're at the beginning of this production, much of the meet up days are filled with conversations about ideas and themes etc. both about the role of specific artforms and how they might cross with others. As artist Lou Sumray said "it's fantastic hearing the different conversations people are having about the show. You're working from a different place, so what at first seems to be an irrelevant conversation to what you're doing, can suddenly become hugely influential, just through hearing someone else describe it.  Just hearing other people's thoughts on a moment, like James and Nick talking about the music, is great and has an instant impact on the artwork I'm making".

 Lou Sumray drawing in sand. 

Lou Sumray drawing in sand. 

For the last day we were also extremely lucky to be joined by singer and musician Hayley Youell. Hayley has been developing her own show at the Civic as part of the CARP scheme and theatre programmer, Ian Morley, hooked us up with her after a discussion about us wanting to find a third musician - one of those happy and brilliant things that can happen during these residencies.

 Hayley, James and Nick. 

Hayley, James and Nick. 

Throughout our stay at The Civic, we've developed a ton of music, particularly focussing on character themes and a specific animated section of the production, as well as developed a strong design concept for some artwork that will also feature. The residency has also blossomed some new ideas for the show, particularly with regards to the role of the music and visual arts in the production - something that could only have happened, given the luxury of time for the artists to play. And it looks like we found our third musician too!

 Lou Sumray, working closely with 'Visual Director' Archie. 

Lou Sumray, working closely with 'Visual Director' Archie. 

The residency has been fantastic for us. Being giving the space, time and support that schemes such as CARP offer (especially without the pressure to 'produce' something by the end) is invaluable and like gold dust to get. We have made huge strides towards realising the production Under the Bed as a result (as well as finding another artist to work with), so thank you Civic for having us, and in particular Ian Morley, for the brilliant support. 
 Moody, serious artists working photo, ruined by the far too happy Nick Lewis.

Moody, serious artists working photo, ruined by the far too happy Nick Lewis.

CARP Residency. Day 1.

Today was the first day of our residency at The Civic, Barnsley as part of their CARP scheme which supports artists and companies to create new work. We are there over the next two weeks working on our new production Under the Bed (see previous posts for details), specifically focusing on the musical aspects of the show. 

 James Dey

James Dey

Today we were really excited to introduce singer/song writer James Dey to the project and share the work done so far; from the art exhibition and illustrated storybook to our ideas on how we plan to realise the production on stage. 

 Broken string

Broken string

We are planning to use music in a number of ways in the production; soundtracking and underscoring, creating a sense of atmosphere and even characters and to use lyrical songs to tell parts of the story and to compliment some of the other art forms that are being used as well.  

 Developing a script

Developing a script

Writer, Dan Mallaghan was also there today, working with James on how the music will influence the production and starting to develop a script from the short story he wrote with artist Fabric Lenny (and influenced by the lovely music James filled the room with). Later in the week we will also be joined by another musician, Nick Lewis (who will collaborate with James on the music) and painters Lou Sumray and Fabric Lenny to begin looking at visuals for specific scenes in the play.

Fingers crossed, we have a third musician and singer joining us during the week as well, but will have to wait before we can say for sure.

All in all, a cracking and exciting start to the residency.

 Plucking piano strings

Plucking piano strings

Under the Bed receives Arts Council Funding.

We are really delighted (and relieved) to announce that our new theatre production, as part of the Under the Bed project, has received full funding from the Arts Council, England.

Sitting alongside the art exhibition and the illustrated story book we have already made for project, the theatre production will put the story on stage; blending performance with live music and animations (as well as some other stuff we haven't quite worked out yet) to tell the dark and magical tale of Alice. See previous post here for story synopsis.

 

 Concept artwork. 

Concept artwork. 

The project as a whole is a partnership between ourselves and the ARC, Stockton and Theatre in the Mill, Bradford. It is also being supported by The Civic, Barnsley; Bradford Council; The Albany, Deptford and Leeds Central Library.

 Concept artwork.

Concept artwork.

With the first performance dates in November, the next stages of the project are a week in residence at The Civic, Barnsely as part of their CARP scheme – developing the music for the production - then from July – September the animation and film parts of the show will be created before cast rehearsals in October.

We’re so excited to be making this production and look forward to sharing our ideas and the story with you.

Keep checking this space for updates as the show progresses and for sneaky peeks at the work that’s being created.

 

 Concept artwork. 

Concept artwork. 

Under the Bed - Story Book

We were really excited last week to get delivery of the first hard copies of the Storybook we've created for our new theatre project Under the Bed. 

 Under the Bed -  Illustrated Storybook

Under the Bed -  Illustrated Storybook

After the Art Exhibition and research at Leeds Central Library, Artist Fabric Lenny and Writer Dan Mallaghan spent a week living in a cabin in the woods developing the final narrative for the story, writing the prose and creating the illustrations for the book. 

 Alice wearing her Wolfskin. 

Alice wearing her Wolfskin. 

The book is a short story told in the style of a fairytale and follows the adventures of a young girl called Alice as she is stolen away in the middle of the night to a strange house by her mother. Confused and scared, she argues with her mum during the day and at night hides from the strange noises that seem to fill the house. Then one night, a creature crawls out from under her bed and promises to take Alice to the world beneath her; whether she wants to go or not.

As well as the story and illustrations the book also contains footnotes on how we might turn it into a theatre production and a poem created at Leeds Central Library.

 Alice and Jack

Alice and Jack

The book will be used as an alternative to a script by the artists creating the theatre production, particularly when developing the musical, visual and animated aspects of the show. The idea beind this is that by presenting the work as a story, it will free the animators from the confines of a pre-structured script and allow them much more freedom in their ideas and final films. We can then develop a script that encompasses their work fully afterwards.

 Donkeyskin

Donkeyskin

After the book has been used to create the production we intend to publish it for sale as a storybook in its own right. 

We hope you like it, we think its a beautiful thing!