lundi 8 novembre 2010

We're Jammin'....

We are thrilled to be performing next week at the Jam, an evening of work-in-progress performances at the Junction, in Cambridge.

Nest Wednesday, 17th of November, we'll be scratching some ideas of our latest work Captain Ko and the Planet of Rice. We are very excited about the piece, and have been doing some brainstorming about what the difference between memory (a remembered thing) and fiction is. We also found some exceptional old footage of our family's life, taken a very long time ago. In black and white and brilliant technicolor. All beautifully silent still, of course.

Set in Space, in an imagined future, on a planet of rice, the play follows two astronauts as they are attacked by a mysterious force. The piece is inspired by 1960s Science Fiction, using the genre and breaking out of it, to talk about memory and our fear of forgetting, it reflects our anxiety towards aging and a nostalgic longing for a generation that is currently disappearing.

For more information about the Jam event, please visit:
We hope you can make it and give us lots of useful feedback!!

lundi 11 octobre 2010

'...Ko' concerns

Today we had a meeting about the development process of our most recent project "Captain Ko and the Planet of Rice". Originally conceived during a SITE Residency at Tobacco Factory and Theatre Bristol this summer, the piece wants to tackle the themes of ageing, memory (and in particular memory loss) and identity. The piece is set in outer space, in a distant future, on an austere planet of rice, and we follow two characters, as they discover what the mysterious planet beholds.

In the last month, however, we've found many other companies and projects dealing with these themes,(in very, very similar ways!) and are struggling to work out how to reconcile our belief in our authenticity with the inevitable likeness to these other works. After all, we all know the fear of the artist, the utter frustration at, and ultimate need of, Comparison (to quote Taylor Mac!).

How to know what to do with an original idea, after you've seen it perfectly executed by someone else? Remarkably Fevered Sleep's On Ageing ( at the Young Vic, which we thought was an extraordinary, and beautifully formed, contemplative piece on the subject. The use of mics, the simplicity in design, the delicate treatment of transcript and/ as text, the gaps between speaker, text and memory, the use of objects (accumulation on stage), object in a jar, are all elements present in the material we've already created for Ko.

Similarly Unlimited Theatre's latest piece "Mission to Mars" a co-production with Polka Theatre ( is set - obviously - in space, and seems to be inspired, even indirectly by classic Science Fiction stories. Not to mention Stan's Cafe's touching and evocative use of rice by the tonne, in their durational piece

Can we, in all seriousness, present our story of two spacemen (surrounded by bucket-fulls of rice, uncovering the objects of memory-past, whilst speaking transcripts of interviews through microphones around the stage), to a knowing audience without them reading 'pastiche' - or indeed plagiarism ! - in our every move?

Where can we take our material now? How can we move forward knowing that what we've got has just been tried and tested, successfully, by others? How can we re-invent it, so that when people see the finished product they're struck by its originality?


for more thoughts on this see Richard Dedomenici's clever and witty piece titled 'Plagiarismo' (

mardi 28 septembre 2010

Finding time for meetings whilst on tour...

Today we had a very successful summit meeting, during which plans for the next 10 months were broadly outlined. So expect 'Ko to develop further, with a scratch performance at The Junction on November 17th (, discussions for ALICE under way, plans for Heap and Pebble in the Spring and lots more!

In the meantime we're going to see On Ageing this Saturday. It's a Young Vic co-Production with Fevered Sleep, in association with our old favourites, FUEL!

We're hoping it might serve as inspiration for Captain Ko - who knows?
Also looking forward to Black Watch at the Barbican and booking a trip to Paris for theatre festival in November (Peter Book's latest at the Bouffes du Nord is on the cards and Les Naufrages du Fol Espoir by Theatre du Soleil - not to be missed!).

Things are shaping up nicely!

lundi 6 septembre 2010

Beginning of tour

Back on the road for the much awaited tour of 6.0: How Heap and Pebble took on the World and Won. The full list is here:

The show has changed quite a bit since its edinburgh incarnation, with a new ending and a satisfying growth to the show. We're really looking forward to showing it to lots of people over the coming months.

See you there!

jeudi 19 août 2010

Notes for work-in-progress showing of Ko

These are the notes we'll be giving out as a handout for the scratch of Ko tomorrow, which explains a bit what our process and thinking has been so far:

For this play, we set out to write something that grappled with the ideas of legacy, posterity and memory: ‘what’, we wanted to ask ‘would survive of our grandparents- or our memories of them- a thousand years in the future?’

From the outset we have seen this play as a science fiction. There’s something about the space you find in… space that we hoped would allow us to get a real distance from things that are very close to us in order to perhaps see them with fresh, or impartial eyes.

Beyond that, we love the naivety and bravery of classic science fiction astronauts and wanted to tell a story of two of these characters coming up against an enemy even more dangerous than a mutant spider or an atomic blob… memory. Those Sci-Fi films, we think, have always been about beautifully simplifying our most profound fears, in order to overcome them (or at least pretend for a while that you can) - so why not place our anxiety of forgetting into a malevolent planet that our intrepid explorers can overcome too?

What you are going to see today is the end of our very first explorations of these ideas (and a few more besides), and what will, we hope, form the basis of the rest of the development of the play.

lundi 16 août 2010

Captain Ko

Deep in rehearsals for (what's currently being called) 'Captain Ko and the Planet of Rice' at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, as part of the SITE residency. SITE has been a fantastic way of getting started on the show, as we've been able to work with a dramaturge (Lu Kemp) and a designer (Katie Sykes) right from the beginning. We're doing a showing on friday at the brewery (not public though unfortunately) and hoping to pull together about 20 mins worth of ideas around the subjects of memory, amnesia, and deep space.

mercredi 11 août 2010


Over the last six months we spent over a grand on van hire. A grand! That's basically more than we each got paid. So, in preparation for the autumn tour we've taken the plunge and bought a lovely little three-seat citroen dispatch. And spent basically a grand (a grand!) on insuring it.

Incidentally, if you are ever insuring a van, be advised that the word 'theatre' anywhere near the word 'profession' causes the insurance broker to hang up pretty much instantly.

samedi 31 juillet 2010

mercredi 28 juillet 2010

Spinning pics

Some more photos of Spinning at MKIF on our facebook page (, but couldn't resist putting this one up here too, courtesy of chief Spinner Laura Power's iPhone...

Starting Ko

We're in Bristol at the moment starting, just starting, work on a whole new show.

We arrived on Sunday and installed ourselves in an amazing flat (see pics) literally above the tobacco factory.

On monday we watched The Green Slime, Journey to the Seventh Planet, Rocketship X-M and The First Men in the Moon to get us in the mood. We want to try to use the style of b-movie science fiction to get us to a place where we can talk about 'big' things like memory and reality. By moving way into the future, or an imagined future, we hope to look back to the recent past, and give these events a real... space.

Standing at the start of a whole new show is overwhelming. There are so many ideas, so many grand ambitions that today we just had to take a deep breath and make some space suits (overalls, wellies and silver duck tape). In many ways though, this is the most exciting part of making a show: when it can still go anywhere, when everything is still possible. And we both agree that with this one...

We want to make something big.
Something complex
Something bold and beautiful and stark and austere
Something where one of us can say: "Nothing on this planet is real. Someone has brought them to life. Some alien being we don't yet understand"

jeudi 22 juillet 2010

Spinning at MKIF

We've been performing Spinning at the Milton Keynes International Festival all week to lovely crowds. Here are some quick pictures. Hope to put some more up soon.

vendredi 2 juillet 2010

Kraftweek Day 4

One, two, three. Spinning.

Kraftweek Day 3

The mighty vulcano!

mercredi 30 juin 2010

mardi 29 juin 2010

lundi 28 juin 2010

We Begin to Spin - Design Week

This week Dancing Brick will be working with illustrator Serge Seidlitz ( on their new commission 'Spinning' for the International Festival MK. Canvas, felt loop, wood, paints, pens and brushes on the ready - Serge will draw, we shall paint and slowly the whole mechanism - with the help of Fred Rigby ( - will come to life. A magical landscape - a celebration of the beauty of the black line - an adventure around the world, a bicycle, a love-story perhaps. Watch this space and see the journey of the piece, the characters in it, and the artists behind it, unfold.

vendredi 23 avril 2010

A L I C E @ BAC 5th and 6th of May 2010

It's nearly time for A L I C E our latest work-in-progress, which we'll be sharing at BAC during their Scratch Festival in May.

A L I C E is a highly visual and aesthetic response to the demise of analogue technology; a nostalgic celebration of an era of expectation and potential, and a final goodbye to childhood as the future approaches.

Dancing Brick, in collaboration with Justin Beardsell (VJ Meno), Caroline Devine and Wig Industry are presenting a scratch performance of ALICE.

Please check out our invited artists below:

Justin Beardsell

Caroline Devine

Wig Industry

ALICE is also the first time we've used other performers so if you've ever wondered what a DB play would be like with better actors now's your chance to see. To book go to the BAC website:

jeudi 22 avril 2010

Spinning at Milton Keynes International Festival

Great news. Dancing Brick have been commissioned to make a piece for the Milton Keynes International Festival in July. It's going to be a 10 minute play inspired by the festival's theme of 'bicycles'. We're yet to really start work on it but the initial premise is that age old trick of a stationary actor in front of a moving backdrop. But we've got a trick up our sleeve: our backdrop is going to be designed by internationally acclaimed illustrator Serge Seidlitz. We're so excited about this collaboration, and hopefully will make something bold and touching along the lines of Hanna and Ike.

For a little taster of how it might work (imagine a backdrop not drawn by a five year old) see below...

mercredi 21 avril 2010

Sports Relief Grant

We're delighted to have been awarded a Sports Relief grant to help us provide a mask workshop to children in Milton Keynes. Thanks Sports Relief!

vendredi 5 mars 2010

Heap and Pebble Spring Tour...2010!

What better season for a come back, for our ice-less ice dancers, than Spring! That's right, your favourite ice-couple are sharpening their blades and polishing their smiles for performances throughout the coming months. Starting with...

25th & 26th March, Ustinov @ Theatre Royal Bath

10th - 13th May, May Fest Bristol

18th & 19th May, Arches Glasgow

11th June, PULSE Fringe Festival, New Wolsey Theatre

and finishing in Dorset for the Devizes Festival 2010!

We've re-worked the show, making it even better, with the help of our lovely dramaturge Lu Kemp ("If that' all there is" - Inspector Sands) and our fantastic New York set designer Adrian Jones (
We are very excited about the new version, and are sure you'll love it too!!

lundi 1 mars 2010


Hold tight! Dancing brick are working on a new project....

Everyone remembers, in some way or another, waking up as a child at six o'clock in the morning, to go downstairs while everyone else is sleeping, to switch the TV on to watch their favourite cartoon and....Bam! There she was. The little girl playing naughts and crosses with her somewhat scary doll. Did she ever move? Was she trapped in the TV? How long had she been there ?

The project, so far, is called A L I C E and is a creative response to the demise of analogue technology, a nostalgic celebration of an era of expectation and potential, and a cheerful goodbye to childhood. We want to explore video, test cards, 1980s technology, betamax, cassettes, synths and 8-bit computer graphics, and much much more!

We spent two weeks last month workshopping initial ideas at BAC with a group of actors and are now looking to collaborate with a video artist / video technician and composer for the next stages of the process.

We are very please to announce that the project has been commissioned by BAC for a Scratch performance in May 2010.

So watch this space....!

Scratch performances 5th and 6th of May