In Souliloquy: Shakespeare Shaken-Up! @ Grosvenor and Hilbert Park, Tunbridge Wells.

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In association with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council we are presenting Shakespeare Shaken-Up at The Hub, Grosvenor and Hilbert Park, 7pm, Tuesday the 24th October.

The presentation/performance/discussion will include screenings of a selection of souliloquies, a live performance and facilitated discussion on our practice and this project as well as how digital/live theatre stages interact and how we as artists interact and engage with source Shakespeare texts.

We would love to see you there!

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On Jessica and the Other.

As a writer tackling classical work and characters I’ve not had a problem feeling a contemporary resonance in the words, performance, character, form of anything we have produced. Yet, with Jessica In Spring I specifically wanted to address the tone, vitriol and horrendous narrative that has become a part of our politics, our media and our life over the past few years.

Brexit, Trump – 2016 was a year that apart from anything else legitimised voices that Othered. ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ – let’s blame poor people, people with a disability, different gender, immigrants, those who do not look like us. Let us not turn in and look at ourselves, let us not look to work together; let us point fingers and be rude, because that is Presidential, isn’t it?*

So Jessica came out of this place, of giving a voice to this Other – to someone who is Othered by circumstances, birth and also in her choices. Her choice to convert and marry out of her religion gives her some level of acceptance in society but she can never truly become part of the world she has made the choice to ‘join’ because she knows it for the sham it is.  Like those of us who are Othered, she knows much more of the world and her place in it than someone who has never been in that situation. I wanted her to articulate the fierceness that comes with this knowledge.

The concept of privilege is interesting to me because awareness has some bearing upon it but also those who are resolutely unaware often have the most. Jessica is privileged in some ways but she’s also Jewish and a woman in a time where she was legally a chattel of first her father and then her husband. It her experience as the Other experience that rounds her person into who her husband fell in love with – she dares the listener and him to accept her for all she is, shadows and all – rather than a beautiful construct of a good little wife. Ultimately that’s who we all are. People. I think Jessica speaks of that.

In Spring too, we have all these connotations of ‘new life’ and ‘rebirth’ of the year but this can be sad too. She is someone (in our version) who actively embraces this duality. I think her words in voiceover over the moving images works really nicely to communicate this. There are layers to her that she won’t deny.

Jessica In Soulilouqy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

 

So please watch AND listen – both, together, separately. She has something other to say.

 

x Tilly

 

*FFS. No it’s not and I know Orange McOrangeFace won’t read this but omg, ew, what an awful excuse for a human.

Jessica In Spring.

Jessica In Soulilouqy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Know your own shadows.

Performed by Diana Kessler
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

In Souliloquy is devised and produced by V&T
Jessica In Soulilouquy is a Seasonal Soliloquy.

Music:
Ever Mindful by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Introducing: Diana Kessler as Jessica.

Jessica In Spring is our seasonal souliloquy for the spring months of 2017 – and we are delighted to welcome Diana Kessler into the role. We have recently filmed this lovely piece and it is due to be released before we hit Summer solstice!

Diana Kessler Headshot

After stints in Berlin and the US, Diana is delighted to now be based in London. She’s performed and produced plays at the English Theatre Berlin, BATS Theatre in Wellington, and the Tristan Bates and Cockpit theatres in London. She trained with Dominic Kelly at the salon:collective and with Mary Docherty in The Actors Class, and is honing her directing skills in The Directors Cut. Diana is excited to be putting her German language skills to use in her current job, where she’s the voice of main character Roshni in the German version of “Jamai Raja”, a popular Indian TV show.

We are delighted to have Diana as part of our In Souliloquy family!

The Ides! The Ides! The Continuing Relevance of The Soothsayer.

Don’t want to stress you out but this it’s the Ides of March and you’d better beware of your besties and their swords if you’re a general with eyes on a greater throne. Listen to your people.

The Soothsayer In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

And then reflect.

Does this piece have more meaning at this time of year? Has our shifting political context given new understanding to these words? Where does this voice sit in our collection?

The continuing relevance of your work is something we writers of theatre think a lot about. There is a tendency in the ‘New Writing’ scene (particularly in London) to write contemporary, immediate and responsive work to the world we are currently experience – which is great. But the cute satirical short play ‘Flood’ I wrote a couple of Australian Prime Ministers Ago doesn’t really belong on a 2017 stage.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had the same work performed more than once and it’s fantastic. I LOVE IT. ‘Fresh Legs’ was produced in both 2015 and 2016 and was an absolute joy to watch develop with both production teams. I think a writer should embrace the form and part of the form is for a work to exist in many different ways.

Theatre is also is about revisiting texts. It’s about rediscovering the new in performance and about interpretations. Nothing is fixed and it can and should exist in many forms. We are looking to explore how this can manifest digitally (see Snout!).

With Shakespeare we get a lot of productions of a lot of texts. This of course means we get snooty critics getting hot under the collar about casting or people getting political about the use of lighting in a traditional space – but it also means we can do ALL of this and more. There are post-colonial versions, queer reinterpretations, puppetry – we might be celebrating 401 years this year but these texts are so alive.

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So are ours. We hope. Not just on the Ides.

This year alongside making new work well be revisiting some of our existing texts #InSouliloquyRevisited and continuing to play and develop what Digital Theatre can mean.

Meantime rewatch Chris Rogers’ great performance as the Soothsayer and think about that lost Empire and what we live now.

x Tilly x

 

 

Snout In Souliloquy @ Where Do We Go From Here?

We are very excited to announce Snout In Souliloquy is being read at Goblin Baby Theatre Company’s Where Do We Go From Here? – performances responding to Brexit and Trump.

Across two evenings there will be script in hand/scratch performances of new work in response to the political upheaval the world is in. Snout will be performed on the first night – Sunday he 12th March – this Sunday! – At the Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham.

We are delighted to announce Fran Burgoyne will be reading for us. You might recognise her as our delicious Lady Macbeth from all the way back in Cycle One of In Souliloquy. She’s part of the project family and a wonderful performer. The monologue is written by Tilly Lunken and directed by Victorine Pontillon.

We will be filming Snout in performance and adding another brick into our #GobalStage #WallForAll international collaborative digital theatre project. A further exploration of Digital stages and how we interact online with theatre.

All proceeds from Where Do We Go From Here? will be donated to Women for Refugee Women – so come on down, have a listen, put your cash to a good cause and see a lovely live version of our terrifically endearing Snout baby.

BOOK YOUR TICKET’S HERE NOW!

 

Four Cycles Down!

For the past few months I’ve been re-releasing our Souliloquies on my personal blog with some notes on the writing, performance, process etc. It’s nice to take the time to not only share a bit more of the process but also think back and reflect on the intensity of production and how far we came across the four cycles.

Today I shared Don John our final souliloquy from the 4 2016 Cycles – it feels appropriate to mark the occasion with a reflective blog because it is pretty momentous. We produced 24 original new pieces of writing in 6 months! From the idea right through the writing, casting, direction, filming, editing, release and all the associated social media and admin – that is a lot of work. It’s quite satisfying as a writer!

You can check out the blog about Don John here  – and click on through for other insights about the other characters across our 4 cycles – they’re all there!

Interestingly, Don John was a character I had expressed an interest in writing way back in Cycle 1 but he kept getting bumped down our spreadsheet. He doesn’t say much and the productions I had seen pitted him as a very panto villain but we were determined to do him at some point and this was last chance saloon.

Boy does he kick down those doors and hold you up!

Thanks to everyone who has watched our 2016 Cycles – here’s another chance to dive in and sample a few more – discover new sides to loved characters or find out about someone you didn’t know existed.

Tilly x