Introducing: Tilly Lunken as writer of Mechanicals’ Macbeth!

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Reintroducing our writer for Mechanicals’ Macbeth – Tilly Lunken.

Tilly studied Creative Writing/Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne (First Class Honours) and has an MA in Creative Writing: Scriptwriting at the University of East Anglia (Distinction) (Skillset Approved) where she was the recipient of the Malcolm Bradbury Development Award. She is a graduate of both the Royal Court and Menagerie YWPs and has been mentored through the Little Angel Theatre and Norwich Puppet Theatre.

She is the co Artstic Director and writer of In Souliloquy. She completed the Criterion Writing Program under the tutelage of Greg Mosse where Mechanicals’ Macbeth is being performed in November and is writing a Christmas Show Fran and the Littlest Reindeer. Tilly also teaches masterclasses in writing, devising and dramaturgy for visual theatre and puppetry. She is a member of feminist writing collective Nevertheless She and is co-writing The People’s Rock with them for Vaults Festival 2018.

Website
Twitter: @theatreofwords

Mechanicals’ Macbeth is being performed at the Criterion Theatre as part of a New Writing Showcase on the 20th November, from 2pm. All free and all welcome, just rsvp for doorlist!

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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!

Updates on Writing, R&D, supportive frameworks and spreadsheets.

A lot of writing involves things other than writing – there is a lot of thinking, a lot of dreaming, a lot of procrastinating doing other things. There is also, depending on the project a lot of planning and working out the scaffolding of everything and how it works (the dramaturgy) and other research.

If you are lucky much of stuff that surrounds actual writing can be collaborative, especially in theatre. For Mechanicals’ Macbeth we have done some R&D with the concept and idea and also performers playing around with situations. It is a work of intricate layers and structures and is actually very complicated. Once written and in production it will hopefully not feel complicated – but the depth that supports what you will see on stage will be strong and supportive and allow the comedy to entertain. It was in recognition of this that we made the decision to not write it in isolation but to open out the consultation around the writing and engage with other perspectives. (You can still do our R&D survey here)!

It’s also worth mentioning here that having a supportive and involved director is the best thing ever! It’s so important to creativity to surround yourself with other artists that you connect with – especially when embarking on such a big project.

So, onto some Behind The Scenes/ Process:

Source and Structure.

In the case of much of In Souliloquy work we have a source text and character. With Mechancials’ Macbeth there are two source texts – Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth – the whole plays as well- not just one through-line/character journey. There needs to be a lot of deep interrogation of the source material for a show such as this and it has been a delight to rediscover these texts in constantly new and different ways. We are consciously using the structural layers of these works in Mechanicals’ – to underscore our new narrative journey.

Story.

From this, together we have knocked out the structure and story and timeline of the play. In some ways this is quite similar to devising/making a show – because you are building it in a different way to just writing it. This isn’t about writing to particular beats or hitting particular points at particular times – more so managing a lot of characters and a lot of action and knocking that into something that makes narrative sense and is fun to watch.

Characters.

We have six Mechanicals’ characters (Quince, Snout, Bottom, Snug, Flute and Starveling) – these characters from Midsummer are then of course cast in Macbeth. Them dipping in and out of these is super fun but needs to be precise in the writing, direction and performance. We also have a new original character that interacts with the others in a puckish role and brings our ensemble to seven. It is key to us that no character let’s lost in the mayhem and it doesn’t become “the Bottom show.”

As part of our character work we have been exploring the physical aspects of the group and are working with Shelley Knowles-Dixon as a movement director. This is really exciting in terms of fleshing out characters!

Spreadsheets.

This is the first play I have written that I have felt compelled to put structures etc. into a spreadsheet. With seven characters and lots of action it is going to prove super useful once the first draft is written to check in with. Hopefully it will also prove useful with directing choices and scene transitions and all the other times when everything is confusing and your brain is like “you know what would be really useful at this point? A spreadsheet.” Looking at the structure like this as well as in dot points is also useful as you can fill out extra character columns, and crucially also running time.

It’s a beautiful thing.

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Consultation/Collaboration.

We’ve been doing wider R&D!

Thank you to: Jackson, Kate, Emma, Shelley,Jeannie, Ivana, Jodi, Nicole for your in person participation and everyone who so far has completed our survey. It’s actually super useful and has already helped inform what goes into the show or how we approach mashing Midsummer into Macbeth more that we initially thought we might.

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We have lots of lovely big roles of paper for mapping out big ideas – and it’s been just fabulous to work with such a lot of people giving time and thoughts to the project.

So there you are, stuff is moving, things are happening and in exciting news out of all this actual proper writing is happening. The script is pulling together! It is moving – we are on the way. Honestly, writing is at times isolating. But it helps to know, just as our dramaturgy of Mechanicals’ Macbeth holds up the story – my director, R&D participants, performers we have cast and our In Soulilouqy team hold up me.

Much Mecanicals’ love.

Tilly x

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.

In Souliloquy in Parkland Walk Pop-Up Shakespeare – June 2017!

We are very excited to announce we have a short extract of a longer piece in development as part of Attila Theatre’s Parkland Walk Pop-Up Shakespeare in the Crouch End Festival!

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Our piece is called Mechanicals’ Macbeth – Witches Extract and is a scene from a very exciting full-length piece currently in development! This performance is part of our R&D period on the project and we are delighted to share it with you.

Our cast – we shall be sharing more details of our team shortly!

  • Snout/ First Witch – Kate Sketchley
  • Flute/ Second Witch – Jonathan Edward Cobb
  • Starveling/ Third Witch – Yvan Karlsson

Details for this free event are here.

  • Sun, 11th June 2017 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Tue, 13th June 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Introducing: George Turner as Petruchio. #EtTu

We are very excited to announce for Et Tu – George Turner playing the first of our very fine characters joining the expanding In Souliloquy family – Petruchio from Taming of the Shrew.

George is playing Petruchio both for our digital theatre piece and also live on stage for Briefs (Wednesday, April 5th, Waterloo East Theatre). We are chuffed to have such a great energy in the room!

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Theatre: Barrett, A WEDDING TOO FAR, Platform Theatre. Mercutio, ROMEO & JULIET, The Hawth Ampitheatre. Mercutio, ROMEO & JULIET, Brighton Open Air Theatre. Eilert Lovborg, HEDDA GABLER, Gatehouse Theatre. Adam, SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME, The Bridewell Theatre. Steve, PINNING BUTTERFLIES, Central Saint Martins, The Royal Albert Hall. Peter, AFTER THE DANCE, Gatehouse Theatre. Tom, THE ACCRINGTON PALS, The Bridewell Theatre. Short Film: Eustace, WINKING IN THE GARDENS AT SUNSET, British Film Festival.

George plays a Petruchio who is a little bit lost, but his drunken meeting with Sebastian might just wake him up to what he has.

(Meanwhile if you are interested check out our Katherina – we reckon these two probably make a pretty fine pair).

Introducing… ET TU.

In super exciting news we are announcing a brand new series: ET TU.

Our first year was focused on writing and producing monologues – the form being ideal to explore what digital theatre means to us, but also a way we could ease into a world and build it up brick by brick. It makes then sense to announce as we enter our second year of production a new series of new pieces – six dualogues, each with two characters from different plays, curated into a new situation.

There are funny ones and serious ones (and yes drunk ones) but we can assure you you will recognise both the language, rhythms and voices of these characters even out of context!

Working in this slightly expanded form means we are pushing and exploring our medium, we are playing with what digital theatre can be and we are also expanding our world (yes, think Marvel, we are so there) to bigger stages bit by bit.

The first we are filming is ET TU: Sebastian & Petruchio where these two very quick-to-wed gents discuss the small matters of love and marriage. After Twelfth Night and Taming of the Shrew these men are married and have happy wives at their feet – which explains why they are both out getting drunk on their own in the middle of the night.

This script is also debuting LIVE, next Wednesday the 5th April at BRIEFS – a short play night at the Waterloo East Theatre. Tickets available here. Come join our loving husbands as they work out what it just might mean to have married the love of their life.

We will be announcing both our digital and live casts very soon!