New 2017 In Souliloquy Trailer!

Why hello there – we have a gorgeous new trailer pulled together by Victorine to celebrate both our body of work (go on check out our portfolio) and in anticipation of what is to come.

It features familiar faces from our talented collaborators – especially the wonderful voice of Lydia Lane as Marina. An edited down version of her monologue voices over the footage of our work.

As always all directed by Victorine and written by Tilly (Orlando and Margaret of Anjou written by Victorine).

In development at the moment

  • The rest of our ET TU series
  • Summer Seasonal Souliloquy
  • Autumn Seasonal Soulilouuy
  • Mechanicals’ Macbeth!

 

Please enjoy this reminder and stay tuned for more new work soon!

In Souliloquy – 2016 by Numbers!

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When people ask us about 2016 and what we achieved it’s often quite overwhelming to communicate the scale of In Souliloquy and the amount of work we actually did across the year. This started as a little project and has evolved into anything but that – although at it’s core it remains essentially what we set out to do. To celebrate Shakespeare, his work and to reclaim the voices of characters lost in the plays and time since.

We’ve grown too, as producers and artists. Our vision has opened up and we are very excited to bring new creations to you in 2017.

Thank you to everyone who has collaborated with us this year, your time, talent and work has been essential to the ongoing success of this project. Thank you to those who voted on that terrible website, supported by viewing our videos and put up with us talking Shakespeare all the time. We are pretty chuffed with your support and confident we can reward it by continuing to make good art (hat tip Neil Gaiman) this new year.

Big love and a whole lot of gratitude,

Tilly and Victorine xx
(V&T)

 

Happy Halloween from the In Souliloquy Team!

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Happy Halloween/ All Hallows/ Whatever pagan ritual you might be celebrating this evening. Here we share our production meeting funtimes and also a little selection of some creepy characters for you to indulge your inner scaredy cat!

“A dark tale of blood in the night” indeed!

Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Richard III

Richard III In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Lady Macduff

Lady Macduff In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Yorick

Yorick In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Abhorsen

Abhorsen In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Cassandra

Cassandra In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Enjoy your fear responsibly dearest audience!

In Souliloquy Blooper Reel Cycle 2-4!

In Souliloquy Bloopers – Cycle 2-4 from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

We are delighted to share a little of the behind the scenes work (fun) that has gone into this project! Please come and share a laugh at the various antics edited together for your viewing pleasure from our resident wonder Victorine.

 

 

The AWARD WINNING Ophelia In Souliloquy.

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We are very excited to announce that our Ophelia In Souliloquy has been given an award as part of #ShakespeareLives shorts festival run by the British Council.

We are very chuffed and super grateful to anyone and everyone who voted (it seems our videos because they were submitted on the same day were actually competing against each other which we didn’t know but DESPITE this and DESPITE the excruciating glitchyness of the website we are really happy).

We love our Ophelia. She was written from a place of rage, but is so defiant and beautiful in performance she transcends that anger into something much, much more. Victorine’s brainwave to film it in a bathroom also works really nicely. There is nothing more than stripped back honesty to this piece.

You can read about writing it here. Our talented actress Lilian Schiffer’s biography and links are here. You can watch the video here.

Thank you again! We shall keep you posted if anything further comes from it – apparently there is a continuing process…

 

 

 

 

 

A Little on Feminist Writing and Representation for In Souliloquy.

I recently submitted a play to an organisation that strongly recommended the writer adding in a #DiversityPledge to the script – explicitly encouraging producers to think of a diverse and representative cast. It’s an interesting idea to get the writer engaged in this and it got me thinking again about our responsibilities as artists to reflect the world and challenge perceived norms of representation.

In Souliloquy is at the heart about re-representation. It is about the selective voices we get to hear in a text, it is about giving forgotten characters a stage and it is about entering a dialogue with classic Shakespearean texts and deepening our understanding of them. Our tagline:

A question, a consequence, a soul seeking an audience.

Is an unrelenting promise. These are voices that have something to say and they are going to say it, however confronting it might become.

Much of this engagement is explicitly feminist -the majority of the characters we have produced so far are women, for the majority of the female characters in Shakespeare’s play have little agency or have time and presence when it suits the plot and are then discarded. Characters such as Lady Macbeth (one of the most feared and reviled women) and Ophelia (the most fetishized) are so much a part of our collective culture but are silent in response. They both die offstage, their deaths only registering in brief reactions of their male love interests.

Undersung or misrepresented are the two words we chose to help shape the project early on and they have guided us through curating the characters we have chosen. It is not surprising that most are women.

Characters such as Viola and Marina are rarely taken seriously – are dismissed as silly women in silly situations. But at their core both of these women are incredibly strong, take initiative and control of their life and situation and it is them that drive the action of the plot of their plays. These pieces give them a chance to express this, a platform to share directly with an audience.

Those with a traditional happily ever after are too given chance speak beyond that. Our Titania surprises both herself and her husband and Miranda dreams of the sea. These are complicated people, who exist beyond their titles and roles in society.

Our work also addresses the graphic violence towards women in a very different way to the source texts – where it is often used as little more than a plot device (Emilia’s murder in Othello) or as a way to illustrate a man’s character development (Lady Macduff and her family’s murder in Macbeth). Lavinia of course is so brutally treated – there are no words – but to not listen is far worse.

Our other characters (female and otherwise) fall into similar patterns of reclaiming their words (Cassandra), their position in society (Doll Tearsheet), their death (Cleopatra)…

…their love (Helena) and (Katherina) and their humanity (Margaret of Anjou).

And then of course, there is Juliet – our first released video from all the way back in Cycle 1 – unpacking the meaning of her final choice.

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There is so much there in all of these words and experiences and characters – we felt the need to share these. I felt the need to write them. Because at the end of it all what is a Souliloquy? It is a testimony that we are forced to listen to.

Our Lavinia speaks of a truth that we shall one day listen.  This blog is about the truths of women in Shakespeare’s works (we have a fair few blokes given new voices and truths too) and how they might address an audience directly as so many of them are denied. The female voice and experienced is so often viewed and distorted through a male pen, lens and direction we hoped to do something a little different.

Across our four cycles of In Souliloquy we have 16 new monologues written for female characters – classical characters redefined, re-imagined – angry, wistful, playful, heartbroken, strident and defiant they exist. They address their words to you, without waiting for permission or for another to speak. This is quite an unusual feat and we feel a pretty successful realisation of how we wanted to represent these characters.

However, we had an interesting experience as a team recently that made me feel the need to justify this project in terms of feminist representation and contemporary relevance. Sometimes I think people can be a little dismissive about revisiting and engaging with classical texts. Anyway, I started this post irritated at having to explain ourselves again but I don’t feel that anymore – writing this and revisiting the performances, words, direction and our production – I know.

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Although there is always room for better, more diverse representation and we will strive for that in our developing project – In Souliloquy is proudly feminist – every step of the way.

#DiversityPledge

 

 

 

 

New In Souliloquy Project Trailer!

In Souliloquy Trailer from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Check out our brand-spanking-new-beautiful-and-shiny project trailer – featuring performances from all four cycles of In Souliloquy.

Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon

(Orlando In Souliloquy written by Victorine Pontillon)

Performers/Characters: Tessa Hart (Miranda), Eliza Power (Titania), Fern McCauley (Juliet), Fran Burgoyne (Lady Macbeth), Joanna May (Lavinia), Victorine Pontillon (Margaret), Michael Bagewell (The Fool), John Last (Yorick), Kaiden du Bois (Orlando), Chris Rogers (The Soothsayer), Lydia Lane (Marina), Richard Listor (Abhorsen), Peyvand Sadeghian (Viola), Tracey Pickup (Lady Macduff), Christine Leigh Milburn (Helena), Angharad Price (Doll Tearsheet), Julia Harari (Cassandra), Shannon Howes (Emilia), Jonathan Edward Cobb (Don John), Owen Clarke (Tybalt), Neil Gordon (Cleopatra), Annie McKenzie (Katherina).

It’s exciting to see everything coming together to tell a different story – one that reflects the project and how far everything has come across the 24 monologues.

Also – please remember to vote for us for the #ShakespeareLives Shorts Competition!

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#ShakespeareLives Nominations – vote for us please!

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We have had five of our Souliloquies nominated for the British Council’s #ShakespeareLives Shakespeare Shorts Competition! Once nominated these videos are voted on by a team of judges and the general public – we would love you to register and vote for us*

You get one vote (four categories) per video – so please do vote for all our 5 nominated ones:

This is a a great platform for our project and we have already had a nice little bump in views for the featured videos but we need more votes (lots of lovely round 10s) to raise our average scores and get us shortlisted as winners.

Getting nominated and being a part of this competition is really exciting for us and a wonderful acknowledgement of these great performances.

Thank you!
Tilly and Victorine x

 

*It’s a little annoying to register using an email address as it apparently won’t work unless your password is exactly 8 characters total and has a capital letter, a number and another character (#$£%!). This feature is not explicitly stated on the website and it will just block you and say there is an error with the password. We suggest choosing a six letter word – capitalising the first letter and putting the symbol and number after ie. Juliet#5 – otherwise logging in through social media is apparently easier.

 

 

 

 

Cycle 3 Character Recap!

Today marks the day we start our casting announcements for Cycle 4 – but before we move onto that. Here is a mini recap of who we heard from in Cycle 3.

 

kate

Katherina In Souliloquy.

tybalt

Tybalt In Souliloquy.

cleo

Cleopatra In Souliloquy.

abhorsen

Abhorsen In Souliloquy.

ophelia

Ophelia In Souliloquy.

titania

Titania In Souliloquy.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this varied collection of voices as much as we have!

Why Ophelia?

One of my good friends loves art in the way I do – she becomes emotionally attached to it and it informs her own creative process and writing. One such piece is Ophelia – Millais. She loves it. We had dinner last week with two other friends and I had such a violent reaction to her raptures it led to an interesting discussion. She and one other emphasising how beautiful it is with the other side of the table not disputing the beauty but saying it’s also really, really horrible.

milliaisOphelia

I just can’t bear this fetishising of death. Ophelia is not a lost love-lorn princess asleep in a river – she is a person who made the choice, the final choice to kill herself in a horrible way. Her death is not about flowers floating in dark water, it’s about sinking away from the light. It is such classical male gaze – to take a decision made by a girl and strip it of any meaning beyond aesthetics. I actually didn’t realised how angry about this until a) I wrote Ophelia and b) how surprised everyone was to my visceral disgust at seeing a postcard.

Ophelia In Souliloquy deals with this directly. She is at once accepting and embracing the she has chosen and also quietly furious at how it has been memorialised.

She doesn’t care if we do not understand why, but there is a why far beyond the absence we get in the play and the famous images of her death that litter our art history. In truth the images of her lying back forever half submerged make her skin crawl. Ophelia is honest, she does not care for beauty.

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As you watch this performance, watch the lovely and talented Lilian Schiffer work her way through the shifts in the text as she rises above her grave. At some key moments her eyes focus on you watching and she won’t let you look away. Don’t paint over her pain, she says – I am far more than written. Listen to what I am saying and hear my grief, my anger, my despair and finally my salvation.

I think as artists we have responsibilities to engage with what has come before. There is no doubt that Hamlet is an incredible piece of writing and that Millais’ Ophelia is an exquisite rendering of a pre-Raphelite aesthetic – but think on this. The girl whose death is reduced to how it effects another and is only remembered as beauty? The female voice is so often removed or silenced from history. Ophelia is so much more than that. We are all more than that.

Ophelia In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Perhaps one of the most important gifts we have as writers is that we can give others a voice. Think of how much richer our understanding can become by listening.