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.

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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.

Behind the Scenes Cycle 3!

A little selection of the work behind the scenes of shooting Cycle 3 and how fun at times it can be. Thanks again to everyone involved!

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Titania In Souliloquy.

Titania In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

Queen of more than she ever imagined.

Performed by Eliza Power
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Special thanks to Steven M. Levy & Charing Cross Theatre.

In Souliloquy is devised and produced by V&T.
Titania In Souliloquy is part of Cycle 3 of this project

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

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Ophelia In Souliloquy.

Ophelia In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

She chose her own end. Don’t forget that.

Performed by Lilian Schiffer
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Special thanks to Steven M. Levy and the Charing Cross Theatre.

In Souliloquy is devised and produced by V&T.
Ophelia In Souliloquy is part of Cycle 3 of this project.

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

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Abhorsen In Souliloquy.

Abhorsen In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

In the quiet before dawn, speaks the man who brings death.

Performed by Richard Listor
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

Special thanks to Tony Lunken.

In Souliloquy is devised and produced by V&T
Abhorsen In Souliloquy is part of Cycle 3 of this project

Music:
Pale Rider
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Cleopatra In Souliloquy.

Cleopatra In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

A Queen. Always.

Performed by Neil Gordon
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra.

Special thanks to Steven M. Levy and the Charing Cross Theatre.
In Souliloquy is devised and produced by Victorine Pontillon and Tilly Lunken. Cleopatra In Souliloquy is part of Cycle 3 of this project.

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Tybalt In Souliloquy.

Tybalt In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

A boy that will be forever nothing more than that.

Performed by Owen Clark
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

In Souliloquy is devised and produced by V&T
Tybalt In Souliloquy is part of the Cycle 3 of this project.

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

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Katherina In Souliloquy.

Katherina In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

This Kate knows well the value of her kisses.

Performed by Annie McKenzie
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

In Souliloquy is devised and produced by  Victorine Pontillon and Tilly Lunken.
Katherina In Souliloquy is part of Cycle 3 of In Souliloquy

Music:
Court of the Queen by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Introducing: Neil Gordon.

We are so excited to have Neil Gordon join us for In Souliloquy Cycle 3.

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After studying Theatre at the University of Glasgow, Neil completed a HND in Musical Theatre at Stow College, Glasgow and a post-graduate in Musical Theatre at Guilford School of Acting, receiving the MA Musical Theatre Award.

Neil has appeared in numerous productions, recent credits include Our Town at The King’s Head Theatre, as well as the one man musical Toulouse Lautrec at the Edinburgh Fringe. In addition, he is a freelance costume designer having designed for a number of productions across the UK, receiving a Broadwayworld.com nomination in 2014. He is currently working on the a new drag-action musical Heels of Glory for cabaret artist Tricity Vogue  and composer Richard Link, at The Chelsea Theatre premiering June 2016.

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Neil is collaborating with the In Souliloquy team for character you shall have to wait for the reveal to discover…

Introducing: Eliza Power as Titania.

We are so excited that Eliza Power has joined us to play Titania (after A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Cycle 3 of In Souliloquy. This Queen is ready to meet what her husband brings next.

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Eliza is an actress, playwright and screenwriter. She has been working on stage and screen since graduating from Rada. She has just completed filming Irish feature film Lineage for Blinder. Recent stage work in 2016 includes the plays Boil (The Hen and Chickens), The Vagina Monologues (Goblin Baby) and Another Girl (Theatre 76: Death and Glory). As a playwright, her plays have been produced at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, Workshop Theatre New York, The Hen and Chickens Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre, Etcetera Theatre, Bike Shed Theatre and White Bear Theatre. She is currently developing two television comedy pilots and a full length screenplay.
Eliza is thrilled to be working with the the In Souliloquy team as Titania and we are delighted to be collaborating with her with such a great character.