theatre

SELECTED PRODUCTIONS

24 HOURS OF PEACE
ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE / MANCHESTER / 10-11 NOV 2019
produced by Polly Thomas

Neil Bartlett‘s most ambitious work to date, exploring Peace in the 21st century at a key moment — 10 November 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the first Armistice Day. What does Peace mean today?

24 Hours of Peace was a live 24-hour broadcast of an extraordinary one-off performance, mixing new-form drama with an ancient form: public vigil. What does Peace look like? And especially, What does Peace sound like?

The text is composed of the words of 100 modern peacemakers interviewed by Neil, across the UK and beyond — an eclectic mix of people, from a 99 year old conscientious objector in Lincolnshire to a 19 year old Scottish anti-militarism activist; a trans sexual health worker to a London gang member worker; a Cornish women’s peace campaigner to Small Steps, the anti-right wing extremist group, staffed entirely by former right wing extremists.

Over 150 hours of audio, from which Neil created a 237,000 word script, performed by 48 professional and community performers, for 24 hours non stop on the stage at Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, with a simultaneous live stream on national radio station Resonance FM, that was broadcast on 10-11 November 2019.

www.24hoursofpeace.co.uk
@24hoursofpeace

A Thomas Carter project for Royal Exchange Theatre and Resonance FM

ONE OF TWO STORIES, OR BOTH
MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL / 30 Jun – 4 JUL 2017
directed by Polly Thomas

Fresh from representing Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale, brilliant young artist Samson Young premiered a major new work at the MIF17. Inspired by mythic tales of 17th-century Chinese travellers making their way to Europe on foot, the multi-layered piece asked: how are journeys remembered and retold? What of the aching feet that carry the bodies, the bumpy ride, the incidental mountains? How do stories lend meanings to places left behind?

One of Two Stories, or Both (Field Bagatelles) began with an MIF first: a five-part radio series, performed by a cast of actors, artists and musicians. Broadcast live from Low Four in Old Granada Studios, this tapestry of sound, oral histories, songs and poetry could be heard throughout Manchester on Unity Radio 92.8 FM and online at Unityradio.fm.

Following the radio series, a multichannel sound and visual installation at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art brought another intriguing perspective to these stories, while also marking the 20th anniversary of the UK’s handover of Hong Kong to China.

STELLA
BRIGHTON FESTIVAL MAY 2016 (Theatre Royal) | LIFT JUN 2016 (Hoxton Hall) | AMSTERDAM FESTIVAL 2016
produced by Polly Thomas

A “one man show for two bodies” and intimate meditation on the art of courage — by Neil Bartlett, inspired by the strange life and lonely death of Victorian cross-dresser Ernest Boulton.

HUSH ….? / ADAM’S APPLE
VARIOUS VENUES / INCL. LIFT 2016, HOXTON HALL
directed by Polly Thomas

Songs of gender identity and voice. Lyrics and story by Alex Bulmer with music by Errollyn Wallen.

The songs were workshopped and performed by a range of choirs in various venues, including Hyndburn Carers Chorus (Accrington), Revoevution Choir (Blackpool), Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, and a performance during LIFT in Hoxton Hall, London.

Watch video >

Presented by Thomas Carter Projects, with support from Wellcome Trust Small Arts Awards, Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation, and LIFT

HUNGER FOR TRADE
ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE / MANCHESTER / 24 APR – 3 MAY 2014
directed by Polly Thomas and Alexander Summers

Four new plays produced as part of Hunger For Trade — an international performing arts response to the global food crisis, created in collaboration with nine theatres across four continents. The Royal Exchange represented the UK. The response comes against a backdrop of global food supplies facing crisis conditions as climate change, population growth and diminishing resources contribute to catastrophic outcomes around the world.

Cast included: Shobna Gulati, Will Ash, Chris Jack, David Crellin and Olwen May.