Earlier this year we were successful in our application to become part of the new National Portfolio of arts organisations that will be supported by Arts Council for the period 2012-15. With confirmation of the level of funding we’ll receive, we’ve been able to commit to what we hope you’ll agree is a great programme of work going forwards.
We’ll continue to collaborate with a vast range of people to make an expanding range of awesome things in the future. Some of those projects and people we’ve already committed to/with, some of whom we’re still sorting details out with and some we don’t even know exist yet. At this point now though, we wanted to share as much as we know about the awesome things we’ve definitely confirmed for the next couple of years. Welcome to the new shows…
The Giant & The Bear
a collaboration between Unlimited, Hide&Seek & Layla Rosa (Shunt)
with support from the West Yorkshire Playhouse
New Versions of Old-Fashioned Games! Guided Mystery Tours! Mass Hula Hooping Frenzies! Pyramids of stunt performing cheerleaders! Acrobats! Tightrope Walkers! Roller Skating Bears, Angry Giants and Flying Ballerinas! All wrapped up in a story of love, courage and (hopefully!) escape.
This will also be our first collaboration with the Playhouse (who we’ll be moving in with from January 2012) through their new Furnace programme:
“Furnace wants to discover new ways of joining forces and collaborating with theatre makers from Leeds and beyond. Artists will work with us to trial and test new projects; taking seeds of ideas or work at the earlier stages of development into full realisation.”
Amy Letman, Associate Producer West Yorkshire Playhouse
Furnace kicks off in October 2011 supporting development of both The Giant & The Bear and a new show by our good friends Slung Low – exciting times and we’d like to invite you to help us make the show. We’ll be running open workshops and playtesting sessions at the Playhouse, trying out some early ideas. Come along, make/play some games, feed back on stories we’re starting to imagine and help The Bear escape from The Giant.
Playtest sessions will run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse
@530pm on Weds 12, Thurs 13 and Fri 14 October 2011
More details here
The full adventure will be ready to play in June 2012 in and around the West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Quarry Hill area of Leeds, supported by some other, brilliant partners who we’re not able to publicly announce for a just a wee while longer.
We’re massively excited about working with Layla, Hide&Seek, the Playhouse and you to make our most ambitious show to date.
In November 2011 we’ll start making another new show provisionally titled “The Noise”.
At the moment it’s possibly/probably about sound/noise and its physical/psychological/emotional/other effects on human beings. That’s as much as we now about its content right now.
Other things we know about it are:
We’ll be working in collaboration with Northern Stage in Newcastle to make it, launching it there in Autumn 2013. We’ve a long standing relationship with Northern Stage and they’re one of our absolute favourite companies to work with so we’re HUGELY excited to be working with them on this. The first stage of our partnership will happen in January 2012 when we’ll spend a week in their building making some noise and, hopefully, inviting you in to make some too. We’ll also be collaborating with Sheffield Theatres in the development stage.
We’ll be working with some scientists to research/understand those effects but we’re not intending this to be a “science show”. Initial conversations have been about making a noisy, sci-detective, love story, psycho thriller. That’s a genre, right?
Some of the noise we make will be made with long term collaborator David Edwards – a musician, producer and remixer who also records as Minotaur Shock.
We’ve all recently read Greg Milner’s brilliant book “Perfecting Sound Forever: the story of recorded music.” We think this will probably influence/inform the show.
The show will tour throughout the UK from Autumn 2013.
“Money – the game show”
In April 2011 Clare wrote and directed “Money – the game show” after winning The Arches/Traverse Platform 18 award…
Casino and Queenie used to be hedge fund managers. Before the financial crisis of 2008, that is. Now, in an inspired – or desperate – career move, they’ve turned to performance art in an attempt to discover the value of money.
Playing with £6000 in actual pound coins – in fact, the money awarded to Clare on winning the Platform 18 award – the audience (that’s you) must hedge your bets and take a side as our two protagonists guide you through their life stories and a series of participatory games, posing two surprisingly haunting questions for our times: What is money? What do I really think it’s worth?
“A one-hour journey through the madness of the global financial system hosted with terrific flair by a pair of ex-hedge-fund managers introducing us to their craft, in a journey that involves a promenade through the Arches building, followed by a hilarious and tragic game-show finale involving plenty of audience participation… The writing glitters with an unexpected brilliance. There are flashes of real drama and poetry in the interaction between the characters; and the final message, when it comes, is as serious as it is damning, and alarming.”
Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman
Sounds good, doesn’t it? And it is. And so we’re taking it to Edinburgh for the 2012 Festival. See you there?
North will be a major new show for theatres that we’ll start making in 2012 that will be produced in 2014/15.
The seed idea at this stage is to research, explore and play with the dramatic effects and affects of extreme light environments. To make a show about living on the edge of the boundary of night and day.
North of 60 degrees latitude people live in winter days of 24 hours of darkness and summer days full of light. This is about 3 days in the Shetland Islands and more, the further north you go. Endocrinologists have been studying these extreme light environments, showing how deprivation from and excessive exposure to light affects every aspect of an organisms’ being… appetite, sleep patterns and vital organs. People’s moods can be dramatically different because of the amount of light they experience and therefore the way they live.
Our particular interest for North is in proposing an alternative way of constructing personal and/or national identity that is defined by light. We’re intending that the creative process will be a truly international collaboration with the nations and communities that live far enough North to experience extreme light environments.
The above projects will make up our core programme for the next three years. In amongst them will be loads of other, new stuff that we’re hoping to develop and create. Including…
The Astronautical Challenge
In 2010/11 we made and delivered The Astronautical Challenge with our good friends Coney and Radiowaves– an extraordinary adventure for schools designed to inspire children in space and science. The project was a big part of our being awarded the National Charity Award in the Arts, Culture & Heritage category and we’re hoping/intending to develop the project further – significantly increasing the number of children that play it both in the classroom and at home through online/digital platforms. Watch this space…
The Unlimited Space Agency has been established to inspire and train the Poet-Scientists and Space Explorers of the future. Our space simulation mission “Space Camp” will be played in 2011 at the Green Man Festival in Wales and The Science Museum in London and we’re in the process of developing a story-driven, mission based, online home for UNSA and its agents where you can sign up, play games, lead missions, team up with other agents, compete against other agencies, follow the stories of star recruits and graduate (level up) through the Agency. It’s Hogwarts for geeks. In space.
This is a hugely exciting time for us and we’re looking forward to the future with the most amount of optimism we can muster. And that’s a lot. There’ll be lots of other shows, projects and adventures that we make and go on along the way – we’re really looking forward to doing that with you.
Welcome to the new shows. We hope you can join us.
JON, CLARE, CHRIS xxx