Sharing Stages is Chickenshed’s way of celebrating our many creative partners of the past, present and future by bringing to the stage a range of collaborative pieces which together form a truly beautiful, moving and entertaining production.
We have always considered ‘collaboration’ to be crucial to the work we produce. We are committed to the idea that every individual we meet as part of our processes will change and impact on our methods and philosophy.
Rather than calling these individuals ‘partners’ we more frequently have called them ‘friends’ and they remain part of our picture. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work with many likeminded creatives and organizations who have added their vision and dreams to ours.
Sharing Stages is a production that is built on valuing the contribution of each individual towards a collective whole. Featuring a cast of approximately 400, made up of our professional actors, membership and students alongside our creative partners, this production will epitomise our ethos. It will clearly show our ambition to reach far beyond our walls to work with others in our desire to create a better world.
Below is a short synopsis of our fourteen collaborative pieces which together create a powerful and memorable production valuing diversity and inspiring positive change.
The Plays and partnerships:
A True Fairy Tale – in partnership with Adam Long
Based on a true Dick Whittington style story, how through an act of heroism, a Lord Mayor of London is made. Adam Long is an American actor, writer, and the founding member of The Reduced Shakespeare Company. He has worked extensively in animation, writing for CBBC, Cbeebies, Disney, Nickelodeon and Sprout. He is the voice of Mr. Small in series two of the BAFTA and Emmy Award winning The Amazing World of Gumball.
Dreams of Freedom – in partnership with Amnesty International
Inspired by Amnesty’s children’s book, Dreams of Freedom, this piece explores thoughts and feelings about freedom expressed through movement, play and in conversation. This is the beginning of a creative journey that will culminate in a large scale performance in partnership with Amnesty at The Royal Albert Hall in 2017.
A House on Sand – in partnership with Barnardo’s
All sorts of factors can make the foundations in a child’s life shift about like a house on sand, but in order to grow into adults that can function in society, children need secure, loving homes and stable relationships. The more placements a child has to go through to find a long term loving family, the more cracks can sometimes appear.
This analogy was a starting point in our workshops and using interview with people connected to living in care as our soundscape – we started the beginning of an idea.
The Red Balloon – in partnership with Border Crossings
The Red Balloon is a play about the dreams, nightmares and harsh facts of the contemporary teenage experience. Michael Walling, founder of Border Crossings feels that the great thing about theatre as an art form is that you don’t just get one person’s view – it is about dialogue – it is made when people who are distinct from one another, perhaps very different in many ways are together in the same space. This partnership is about theatre as an attribute of our democracy.
In Pursuit of Love – in partnership with Elaine Simpson
Music is a force for good, an energy that is created amongst people and the excitement and results from concentrated effort. Your brain releases feel good chemicals including endorphins which, when harnessed can help to alleviate stress, build confidence, build a team and self-belief. This project has resulted in a piece that shows a breath of skill and energy, whilst demonstrating that “Love is to be pursued”
The Gift – in partnership with Haringey Shed
Working with Haringey Shed has provided an enlivening opportunity to collaborate and share creative practices and experiences. Taking the idea of a ‘gift’ we have explored questions through movement/visual language, discussion and workshops – that question the value of a gift in an increasingly commoditised world that puts pressure on young people to conform to notions of materialistic and competitive success.
A Collaborated Object – in partnership with Hippana Theatre, Riene Smith, Ben Stott and Daniel Wrighton
When an artist’s memory is full, the images start to fade, until a dream sews the seeds of extended memory. Oli from Canada and Tia from Finland are founder members of Hippana Theatre Company and their partnership work with Chickenshed has grown over the past two years with them finding time to perform with Tales from the Shed. They both have deep and extensive knowledge and performance skills in Comedia, mask and other physical styles of acting. Daniel has drawn brilliant and evocative live images of Tales, Ben is an award winning BBC Editor and Riene is a photography lecturer. With Ben, Daniel and Riene’s input this piece explores objects in different mediums and is at the forefront in both technique and recording of media.
April – in partnership with James Finnemore
A piece of dance journeying through a cycle of life where communities scattered and devastated by a chaos are re-connecting, re-envisioning and moving forward, inspiring the essence of humanity. James is a professional dancer and choreographer who has worked extensively with the Hofesh Shetchter Dance Company. Hofesh’s work has a synergy with Chickenshed’s impassioned creative processes and commitment to transforming theatrical experiences for its audiences. James is sharing his creative processes in a piece which takes the cast as a starting point for development of theme and vision – alluding to communities where chaos is emphasising and bring out the essence of humanity because it is being tested and challenged.
Entries from the Diaries of D-503 – in partnership with Lou Stein
Creating a story from the material which inspired George Orwells 1984, Lou adapts and directs thirty Chickenshed performers in an exciting new piece of drama. Entries from the Diaries of D-503 glimpses into a sterile apocalyptic future 1000 years from now where there is no freedom of thought, personal feeling or expression – simply blind allegiance to ‘One State’ and a supreme belief in the infallibility of the science of mathematics. Lou is working with songs from the award-winning Deirdre Gribbin, and Chickenshed’s Creative Director and composer, Dave Carey, with lyrics drawn from poet John Keats and Russian expressionist writers Zamyatin and Mayakovsk, to transform an iconic dystopian tale into a classic romance. Harnessing the power of song, dance, technology and poetic text, this production presents an immediate and strongly visual environment.
Golden Moment – in partnership with Northumberland Park School
This piece was developed through the experience of people who have touched this company all real life experiences, all real life people. You may find yourself on a journey of no escape, hard decisions to make, you may feel a part of your life is playing out before your own very eyes, or it may be a similar situation where you have taken the high road away from and out of the way of danger. We have all been there – that dark place where we have to make a decision – a life changing choice – this is the Golden Moment! The staff and students of Northumberland Park School have so much to share and this story has been enriched by the people we have also met at Warren Hill Prison.
The Art of Hygge – in partnership with the community of Enfield
Hygge is the art of building sanctuary and community – of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open-hearted and alive. In this piece we explore the different faces and feelings that lie within the hyggelit moments of each of us, and leave the narrative to catch us up. Hygge is all about committing to the simplicity of the present and being bold enough to share that with those around us.
Worldview – in partnership with The Brit School.
Worldview is the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. A person’s worldview is affected by many factors – by inherited characteristics, background experiences and life situations, the values, attitudes and habits developed and more. Even though some parts of a worldview are shared by many people in a community, other parts differ for individuals. Chickenshed and The Brit School aim to develop the performance skills of their students within an atmosphere of support and respect, giving them a view of theatre from inside out so that they can go on to achieve their ambitions within performing arts and their broader society, acting as the best ambassadors for the work.
Absolute – in partnership with The British DJ and MC Academy
Absolute is a fleeting perspective on love in its beautiful, introspective, consuming, sometimes horrific and always addictive nature. Through conversations and workshops with the cast, it became evident that they all have their own unique angle on the subject and were willing to share it. Former Youth Theatre members who have moved on to university and work have also contributed and the creative process has been hugely influenced by the work and opinions of the artist Erkut Terliksiz in Istanbul. The British DJ and MC Academy have been working with some of our Young Creators in the creation of our soundscape. This collaborative exploration has at the heart of it our cast – whose energy and enthusiasm have driven the creation and direction of this ensemble piece of physical theatre.
Our Young Minds – in partnership with Young Minds
No Work, Relationship Pressures, Education Stresses and No Help. We follow the journey of people through four of the major challenging factors they find themselves up against on a daily basis in these times. Chickenshed originally partnered with Young Minds when we were creating our anti knife and gang violence piece, Crime of the Century. At that time Lucie Russell, Young Minds Director of Campaigns and Media shared her views on factors which impact on young people’s mental health issues and this featured as part of the performance. Subsequently, Young Minds commissioned Chickenshed to create a short performance for a House of Commons event based around their campaign YOUNGMINDVS. Our Young Minds is a piece combining the thoughts of our students and their Young Activists providing a voice to themes which are often ignored in the hope that together we can further our influence on social change.
Venue: Chickenshed Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE
Dates: Thursday 3 March – Sunday 20 March
Times: Evenings at 7pm. Matinees at 1.30pm, 3pm or 5.30pm
Prices: £10 | £8 concessions. £5 to 13-25yrs
Sign Interpreted: Friday 4 March at 7pm
Audio Described: Sunday 13 March at 1.30pm
Captioned: Saturday 19 March at 3pm