lundi 8 décembre 2008

moving on...

Last night was the final night of our run at the Camden People's Theatre. We would like to thank everyone who came, and even more those who told people about it afterwards. We sold way beyond our expectations, which has encouraged us to try and tour the play around the UK and beyond...! Dancing Brick is returning in the new year with a new show Ice Skates (working title) which she will be developing at the Battersea Arts Centre in January as part of the New Year, New Spaces festival. She hopes to see you all there.

vendredi 5 décembre 2008

Sold out

Just a warning to say that the first three nights of 21:13 hve all sold out, without any tickets left to buy on the door, so if you are still thinking of coming, try to book ahead. 

21:13 at CPT

Thanks to everyone who's already come to see 21:13 this week. We've been really enjoying performing the show again, having tried to rework bits of it, and tighten up the ending. We've been rehearsing over the last two weeks with Tamsin Clarke giving us the external eye and we think we've definitely got somewhere. Even if it's not 100% successful, we feel that we're at least trying to push the chaos, the haphazard style that was there in the original run to a more climactic conclusion. 

mardi 25 novembre 2008

At the November Fletton Shuffle...

Little Bulb Theatre performed their latest piece, Help; Sasha Milavic Davies and Lucy Railton played and moved 2 pieces to cello, by Matt Shlomowitz; Luke and Nadia were The Behemoth; Remote Control got badly Burnt; Aitherios ran their Rat Race; Tiani Ghosh and Raph Shirley performed Stockbroker; Wig Industry went Back to Old Kent Road, and Theo Bard sang. 
Dancing Brick would like to thank all the artist who participated. She hopes to give you more Fletton Shuffles, more opportunities to show-off your latest work, and be inspired to do more. The first shuffle at the Museum in Docklands was a lovely evening of entertainment which perhaps started too late and ended too soon. But there will be more, so watch this space!

jeudi 16 octobre 2008

Thursday 'Late' at the Museum in Docklands

Dancing Brick are curating the first of our Fletton Shuffles, an evening of haphazard gatherings of sketchy theatre, theatrical sketches, music and comedy. The Fletton Shuffles will provide a platform for young theatre makers to try out new work in front of an informed, informal audience.

Each night will be loosely themed around something that's interesting us at that moment and seeing as how the first is at the Museum in Docklands, in the heart of the city, we're putting on work that deals with commerce, crashes and the city. It's on the 6th November from 6-9pm at the Museum in Docklands, part of the Museum of London, right by Canary Wharf DLR.


Dancing Brick and her Friends present an evening of theatrical upstarts crunching the problems of the city in the jaws of the Docklands. Enjoy some sketchy theatre, some theatrical sketches, some music and some comedy from the best of London’s new theatre makers.

mercredi 8 octobre 2008

21:13 in London

Good news for those of you who missed 21:13 in Edinburgh (or for those who saw 21:13 in Edinburgh but want even more): we will be performing the show for six nights in London, from 2nd - 7th December at the Camden People's Theatre. We'll put up more details soon. We're really looking forward to performing it again and hope that lots of you can make it down.

dimanche 5 octobre 2008


Our website is now up and running. The design is temporary until the proper site is finalised but all the information about the company, our shows and what we're working on is up there. We will be updating the website regularly leaving the blog free for comments, notes and thoughts on what we've been up to. Have a look:

vendredi 26 septembre 2008

Last Night's Scratch

Thanks to everyone who came yesterday and especially for any feedback given. It was really interesting to perform some ideas at such an early stage of development. If you do have any other thoughts on last night's Scratch please do email us or message the blog, we'd love to hear them.

We now plan to develop the piece further around the central ideas we tried out last night:

The idea is an image: two people in ice skates trying to perform a graceful number in a space but failing on account of the skates. Eventually we realise that, in fact, they are failing not because they are wearing skates but because the room has no ice. We like the ridiculousness of this image and the pathos that might come afterwards. We are interested by the immediacy of the performers’ need for ice and the inability of the room, the theatre, they are in to provide it at that moment. How can the ‘show go on’ and what might this say about the environment on a bigger scale and of people’s ability to adapt, to create, to continue?

We are interested in the double act – in sport, in performance, in life – and the dynamics of dependency inherent in them. A figure skater depends on their partner and both depend wholly on their environment. The image of the skaters without ice inspires themes of loss, of endings (global warming, melting ice), of grace and beauty, of enormous spaces and of triumph in the face of adversity.

We feel that theatre, as an art form of the immediate, is an ideal forum for debate about environmental change and are interested by the three-pronged approach our central moment inspires:

Nostalgia and the past: Ice dancing, the music, Torvill and Dean and the 80s, the kitch-ness, the changing of the sport over the years, reflection, the interviews and analysis of the past performances.

The Present moment: The struggle the skaters have to perform for the audience they have now, in the room they are in now, in the environmental circumstances they find themselves in now.

The future and how to adapt: How do the skaters cope? Do they cope?

dimanche 7 septembre 2008

Freshly Scratched at BAC

Dancing Brick’s newest show will be ‘Scratched’ at the BAC on the 25th September. It will be a ten-minute try out of the initial ideas we have for the show. At the moment those ideas amount to an image: two figure skaters in a room without ice.


Thanks to everyone who came to our workshops at C Venues. For those that didn’t we gave two (due to popular demand an extra one was added) workshops entitled ‘Meaning from Movement’ which explored the themes in 21:13. The workshop highlights the partitions of the body and how the actor can use the isolation of these partitions as a starting point for developing characters and stories. We have since been asked by a number of Universities to come and run workshops.

If you’d like more information about the workshops or would like to inquire about the kinds of workshops Dancing Brick runs please write to

A taster of the workshop is here:

Some sketchy highlights of the last night

Here is an edit of some moments from the last night of the Edinburgh run. If you would like to get hold of a DVD of the full play (it runs just short of an hour) please email The full edit was filmed halfway through the run on two cameras and is of higher quality than these homemade highlights.

End of Edinburgh and the future of 21:13

The Fringe has been a really positive experience for Dancing Brick this year. What Edinburgh gives, which is invaluable, is a space to perform and a huge public (when they can buy tickets) who are there to see shows. Of course it can be hard to get any of this public in but that is true anywhere not just Edinburgh and we have felt that it has given us a good opportunity this year to bring up a show which, still unfinished in many ways, has found an audience and been given a chance to be seen by people who can help it continue. Valentina and I now plan to go back to the rehearsal room to rework parts of the show in anticipation of performing it again in the future; we have been offered a place at next years Arena festival in Germany and have been in contact with a number of theatres in Italy about the possibility of a tour there. We are also hoping to arrange a London run in the near future.

Total Theatre Award

We have been nominated for a Total Theatre Award. Only about 15 shows from the whole of the fringe have been nominated and we are obviously delighted to have made it onto the list. To be recognised by Total Theatre Magazine seems to us a real achievement as it has been judged by people with a great deal of experience actually in the industry, moreover for 21:13, which has been pretty hastily put together and is still very much a work in progress, to get nominated is a real compliment. We have been nominated in the ‘Graduate Company’ category.

Reviews etc.

The reviews of the show have been really positive, both from the press

and more importantly individuals who have come and spoken to us afterwards. Both Valentina and I have been really touched by the personal responses people have had about the show. In fact, this is the first year I’ve ever enjoyed flyering on the Mile because of the amount of people who have come up and spoken to me about the show.

Up at the Fringe

We have now started at the Edinburgh Fringe and the audiences have already started to build. There’s no doubt that the major reason for this is word of mouth running through C Venues and we’d like to thank all the hard working volunteers at C who are supporting the show. Some pictures of the show are viewable at

And below:


Dancing Brick would like to thank all the people who worked so hard on 21:13. Most importantly, Jane Gauntlett, Andrew Sommerville, Chloe Courtney and Natalie Jones.

The Sound and Soundtrack

We knew from an early stage that we wanted sound to play a really important part in the show, not just as a filler between scenes but to take on a space of its own and to really give the audience a taste of how richly diverse the sound of different languages can be. For the initial material we recorded our friends at school, and compiled a library of languages including Spanish, French, Persian, Ivrit, Portuguese, German, Finnish, Mandarin and Russian. Our composer, Ross Blake used these recordings (and many more of his own) to concoct the different sounds we used in the show itself. Ross created the soundtrack completely from samples of the human voice, the idea being that everything heard in the show was, in some form, a human attempt at communication.

If you liked the soundtrack and want to know more about Ross’ work visit
or email him directly at

Rehearsals for 21:13

After the end of term in Paris Valentina and I threw ourselves into rehearsals for 21:13 almost without a pause. Because we had been thinking about the subject for such a long time and knew that we had our first performance in little over a month we made quick progress, writing and rehearsing the whole show in about four weeks. We started with images, both ones that we imagined and ones we found; in magazines, museums, on the street. It was from these images that we started to construct the feel of the play and from there we improvised ways of transposing the images onto the stage. At no point did either of us say ‘here we need a mask piece’ or ‘here we need something with geste’ but we found that each idea quite quickly proposed a style of transposition. We didn’t have a director or an ‘exterior eye’ on 21:13 but found that we could tell quite quickly (and usually agreed) on what was working, or could work, and what wasn’t. Importantly, both of us trusted the other with ideas and images, and had confidence that, with time, all of the separate components would come together to make something richer precisely because we didn’t always stop to think about how, for instance, swimming linked to two mobiles moving in space.

dimanche 20 avril 2008

21:13 production photos

21:13 rehearsal video

Here is some footage of an early 21:13 rehearsal. The ideas in this film are preliminary attempts at finding physical transpositions of the struggle we have to connect with others when we don't share the same language.

The beginning of 21:13

Valentina Ceschi and Thomas Eccleshare, the co-writers and performers of 21:13 are Italian and English, living in Paris, and have spent the last two years at the Jacques Lecoq school, training with people from France, Spain, Japan, Finland and Taiwan (to name just a few). Bubbling in this cauldron of internationality was the question that forms the basis of 21:13:

How do you communicate without a common language?

The writing of the show itself is ultimately an exploration into ways of answering this question. Experimenting with mime, gesture, music, masks, gobbledygook, dance, puppetry and languages from Norwegian to Japanese, 21:13 in its final form will be a distillation of a sea of research into how people communicate with one another.


Valentina Ceschi e Thomas Eccleshare, attori e autori di 21:13 sono rispettivamente di nazionalità Italiana e Inglese. Vivono a Parigi e hanno appena finito i due anni di studio alla scuola Internazionale di Teatro Jacques Lecoq. Lavorando con artisti provenienti da paesi diversi come Francia, Spagna, Portogallo, Israele, Giappone, Finlandia, Norvegia, Taiwan (per nominarne alcuni), l'impegno per farsi capire non parlando la stessa lingua è per gli studenti della scuola, una sfida quotidiana.
Da quest' esperienza unica risulta il lavoro che Valentina e Thomas hanno intrapreso scrivendo insieme lo spettacolo 21:13, chiedendosi appunto: “come fai a comunicare se non parli la stessa lingua?”

Il risultato e’ un'esplorazione dei vari modi di rispondere a questa domanda.

Sperimentando con il mimo, la gestualità, il linguaggio dei segni, le marionette, oggetti, parole in lingue diverse (dal Norvegese al Giapponese!), e trasposizioni nello spazio, 21:13 condensa in attimi concreti, il mare immenso e complesso della comunicazione umana.

samedi 19 avril 2008

La Commedia Dell’Arte e Dario Fo

Lezioni di sesso…

In un caffe’ cittadino, Meredith e Mme Spencer, sono due signore di una certa classe, tutte e due pazzamente innamorate del giovane e ingenuo cameriere Bernard. Cosa non farebbero per la sua attenzione ?

Queste due signore 'Pantalone' si confrontano in una cruenta battaglia per l’oggetto della loro ossessione sessuale; un tiro alla fune che finisce per spogliarle dei loro beni e della loro dignità.

"Ladies" è un corto sketch con maschere (fabbricate dagli attori stessi) che mette i personaggi - tratti direttamente dalla Commedia dell’Arte, in posizioni ridicole, comiche, oscene. Spinti dalle passioni umane, i personaggi si ritrovano vittime di tic violenti, lazzi, e scurrilità.

Questo piccolo spettacolo di maschere tratta i temi di possessione, amore e sesso, e si lega dunque con facilità al discorso sul sesso di Franca Rame e Dario Fo, "Un peu de Sexe? Merci, juste pour vous etre agreable", recitato da Félicie Fabre sotto la regia di Luciano Travaglino, al piccolo e adorabile Théâtre de la Girandole.

"Un peu de sexe..." è una tenera e divertente conferenza sull’amore che sembra quasi perdonare le due strampalate signore assetate di sesso, quali Meredith e Madame Spencer, rendendo loro l’umanità e la simpatia che meritano tutti i personaggi della Commedie Humaine.

L’espace tragique et Francis Bacon

En travaillant sur les chœurs tragiques en deuxième année, je me souviens du travail, sur la peinture, effectué l’an précédent. Ce travail apprivoisait déjà notre sensibilité au drame des couleurs, des tensions dans l’espace; l’effet dramatique de la ligne, du point, de la surface. Mon group en particulier se concentrait sur l’œuvre de Francis Bacon, et sans tout à fait s’en apercevoir, nous habitions déjà un espace tragique. Souvent dans sa peinture, Bacon nous présente des paysages intérieurs, des espaces clos, pour la plupart démarqués par des chapiteaux sinistres, ou par des hauts murs aux couleurs foncées, angoissants. Jamais équilibrés, ces espaces nous déstabilisent encore plus que les personnages déformes qui les habitent, et au fur et à mesure, ce déséquilibre, comme sur le plateau, nous pousse à la folie du cri vertical, tendu, tragique, tel le cri baconien.

samedi 12 avril 2008

Les Jeudis

In February 2008, we performed as part of the Pompidou Centre's 'Les Jeudis', in the Musee D'Art Moderne. The idea behind the project was to try to take something from the works, be it the colours, the dynamic, the themes, the space, and transpose them into a short passage of movement. We then performed them in the rooms of the museum, in front of the works themselves.

The first is 'Punctuation', based on the works of Christian Boltanksi. It is concerned with memory, loss and the effort to pin down a 'true' self.

The second is a rehearsal of our work 'Court Metrage', based on 60s French Pop-Art. The room is filled with images of espionage, bright colours and grand attitudes, all of which we took as inspiration.


Here is a sample of some experiments we did while working on the LEM end of term show. This is Valentina Ceschi a Santa Croce and Thomas Eccleshare with a work-in-progress of Trimalchio, a character from Petron's Satiricon. The idea was to reflect the character's pride and vanity by reacting lines in space, as well as a touch of the 'personage' with the mask-like structures.

Since Brick Walls

Since 'Brick Walls' Dan Mansell and Thomas Eccleshare, the original Dancing Brick team, have been split by the channel, so work on a follow up has had to wait. Thomas has been training at L'École Internationale De Théatre Jacques Lecoq and Dan has been studying and performing in London.

Brick Walls Highlights

Brick Walls was met with a fantastic reception at the Fringe and by the end had turned a significant profit - a testament to the quality and hard work of all the Brick Walls team, Thomas Eccleshare, Dan Mansell and Tom Powell.

Brick Walls Reviews

At the Edinburgh Fringe 2006, 'Brick Walls' was met with unanimously fantastic reviews. Here are some selections:

Scotsman (Zoe Green) **** 'Pick of the Week'
Although this is the first show they've written and performed together, Dan Mansell and Thomas Eccleshare could be destined to become one of those legendary comic duos. Mansell and Eccleshare have faces designed for comedy: a flicker of Eccleshare's eyebrow and the audience is reduced to helpless laughter. A mixture of artful dialogue, impeccable choreography and exquisite comic timing make it a pleasure to spend an hour with these guys. The script is a thing of beauty, vacillating between fantastical dream images and surreal, Pinteresque dialogue...The silences are as powerful and eloquent as the dialogue - full of movement, mime and clowning. So impeccable is their choreography that they can do joint routines with buckets over their heads. For two actors who haven't been to drama school (yet), the show is incredibly professional. Tom and Dan have only just graduated from Cambridge: let's hope they forget the milk round and collaborate with each other instead. (Pete Shaw) ****
Mansell and Eccleshare together give a perfectly synchronised performance, flowing between powerful drama and physical theatre with the fluidity of mercury...With clever writing and strong performances, this makes for a definitive Fringe show.

Writers Guild (Eiriona Jackson)
The exchanges between the characters are witty, carefully constructed and illuminate the writers’ ability to demark differences in character with enough subtlety to avoid presenting them as polarised archetypes...This piece is engaging, well structured and displays signs of genuine originality.

Edinburgh Evening News (Simon Neville)
Slightly bizarre, and the acting was fantastic and I left feeling content.

ThreeWeeks ****
Possibly one of the most wonderful descents into madness in a confined space ever.

Compelling bouts of silence and slapstick paranoia lead the two into their own stories, and before long the tiny space is jam packed with fictitious characters. Beautifully inspiring the audience’s imagination, the duo’s madness escalates until their delusions become as real to the watchers as they are to the trapped comrades. Both clever and engrossing, it makes incarceration look like a whole world of fun.

The Stage
Funny and poignant.

Festival Radio ****
Innovative and imaginative.

Brick Walls Trailers

In 2006, Dancing Brick took our first show, 'Brick Walls' up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Before the Fringe started we began our publicity campaign by putting teaser trailers and a full trailer on Myspace and Youtube. By the time we arrived in Edinburgh, there was already talk about the show on the Edfringe website.


Full Trailer:

mardi 8 avril 2008


Welcome to the Dancing Brick blog. Check here for news of shows, rehearsals and videos from your old chum, the Dancing Brick.