Category Archives: Community

A Nice Cup of Tea – refreshed

Just a little mutual love and back scratch to artist “Darcy Isla” for her lovely feedback on her recent blog about a piece of work I made in 2008 … almost made me think of bringing it back to life.

A girl I met at university, while we were there, created this piece of theatre, centering around the making and drinking of tea in.Britain. It was fantastic. Themes I took from it were: therapy, catharsis, feminism, housewives, facade, honesty, comfort and vulnerability. It made me laugh, cry and ponder. All that from a little cup of tea. But the thing is, that little cup of tea (because she made one for each attendee, which was lots, and laid them all out on the ground) was made just how we wanted it, with such delicacy and careful detail that it became a fascinating and rewarding experience that each of us invested in. Aside from developing a probably lifelong envy for her creative genius, (Why couldn’t I have thought of that?) I took from it a newfound interest in tea – the drink, the social aspect, the history, the geography. I suppose, “How do you take it?” is only as open a question as tea drinking deserves.

You can read the full post and her blog here: http://darcyeleanorfox.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/how-do-you-take-it/

Out of Character: Reception

Reception

Directed by Gemma Alldred
October 2011: Holgate Reception, York St. John University
 reception-poster_final1

A site-specific intervention in the Holgate building’s reception at York St. John University. Commissioned as part of the well-being initiative for World Mental Health Day.

The space was invaded by suspicious men with suitcases, gentlemen/women exchanging top hats and newspapers, the world’s most miserable party, Mr.Hat and Mr. Bucket, two chatting cleaners, a group of camp cleaners, aliens intrigued by suitcases, a Greek Chorus, and people being manipulated by the person beside them.

 
 

 
 

Out of Character: Speaking Ourselves

Directed by Gemma Alldred
Subsequent additional direction by Gina Vickers
2011 / 2013 Create 13, York St. John University
2013 ongoing performances
speakingourselves_create13-poster_final_lq 
Speaking Ourselves is Out of Character’s second mental health themed show. This performance has gone through various permutations and developments since work began on it in 2011 with founding director Gemma Alldred. It’s progression to a final show has been the least linear due to alternate projects arising (including Henry IV with York Theatre Royal) and changes within the company, most notably Gemma leaving to pastures new and Gina Vickers arriving to take on the director mantle.By the time of Create 13 at York St. John University, the company had a more finalised performance, although audiences may have been aware that some of the material had been performed in various guises and progressions previously.

Live Art Therapy

Live Art Therapy | An Exploration of Fear | An Exploration of Exclusion

Live Art Therapy is a durational, interactive installation which asks if we can find an answer to the question, ‘what is live art?’.

Participants are invited to view materials, contribute to discussion and to create for camera their own stills and write description for work they might make and call ‘live art’.
Live Art Therapy becomes a show all of its own in which it becomes less clear who is artist; an effort to make Live Art the sort of work anyone can feel part of.

‘The Meloncholy of Van Gogh in the Shadow of Gauguin’s Nosferatu’

Performance created and documented by audience participants

A performance work looking at the little known episode of how Van Gogh lost his ear whilst working under the vampiric Gauguin.
A meditation on the fall out between two well known impressionist painters.

Out of Character: Homespun

Homespun

Directed by Gemma Alldred
May 2011: Create 11, York St. John University
 

Homespun was a performance on the theme of ‘home’, and was a collaboration between Out of Character and the Converge students from the Working Towards Performance course.

More information and performance photos can be found on the blog that was created during the process:

homeandaplay.wordpress.com

 
 

Out of Character: Tales from Kafka

Adapted and Directed by Juliet Forster
July 2010: York Theatre Royal

“I think you cope quite sensibly with the difficulty of living…We tremble in the balance, we don’t fall, we flutter even though we may be uglier than bats”

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Franz Kafka. Drawing on a rich vein of early writing and less well-known short stories, this entirely new play presents a layering and interweaving of eerie dreamscapes. It is shot through with Kafka’s hallmark foreboding and alienation, absurdist humour and struggling humanity.

-York Theatre Royal publicity leaflet-

Tales from Kafka was our first collaboration with Juliet Forster from York Theatre Royal. The play was based on a collection of short stories by Franz Kafka.  Juliet directed us through a  combination of adaptation and group devised work based on the source material.

The show was a surprise success for the company. All three nights at York Theatre Royal’s Studio sold out.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Out of Character: Episodes

Directed by Gemma Alldred
Various ongoing educational performances including –
March 2010: Mental Health in Higher Education Conference, Lancaster
October 2010: World Mental Health Day, The Carriage Works, Leeds
episodes_front_oct2010_jpegEpisodes was our specifically made mental health show.

It came as a response to an increasing number of requests for the company to perform as part of the education of health professionals, students and those interested in the link between arts and health. We undertook a period of development to create and focus work with these audiences in mind.

Episodes is a series of fragmented works, developed to be performed by any number of the company in a variety of locations and differing audiences.

Two distinct themes instigated this work: an interrogation of the stories within, and the performative aspects of mental ill health experiences through the investigation of blurred boundaries between audience and performer in an attempt to break, rather than reinforce, stigma and assumption.

Out of Character : Reality and Better Nightmares

Directed by Gemma Alldred
January 2009: Hidden Histories, York
reality and better nightmaresA short performance for a Hidden Histories seminar event held at York St. John University. This performance focused on things we wanted to remember and things we’d prefer to forget.

This was our first devised performance as a then un-named theatre company. Having completed the introductory theatre course provided by York St. John University to mental health service users, those of us who wished to continue were given the opportunity to create a company. We must have put this piece together in approximately four or five sessions.

It was created by using the techniques and methods learnt on the introductory course, and employed the themes of remembering and forgetting, the work of artist Dave McKean and an extract from a sketch by the comedy writer/director Christopher Morris. The show came entirely from our responses to the material,  and choices made during the rehearsal process.