Currently in development, Here Massive Troposphere is inspired by the natural world, digital culture, and spending too much time alone.
As an indroduction to the piece, I made a short interactive online trailer using Twine. You can play with it, here: bit.ly/troposphere
In collaboration with Lucy Ellinson, Lewis Gibson, Jane Packman, Jess Parfitt, andRich Warburton, I presented work-in-progress performances at Theatre in the Mill, Bradford, and mac, Birmingham in 2014; and at Camden Peoples Theatre in 2015.
The image is collaged from Creative Commons licensed images.
As an artist who collaborates with – and sometimes represents – Coney, I travelled to Denmark in April this year, with co-director Tassos Stevens, and theatre producer Roz Wyn, to meet and network with Danish artists. In this blog – originally posted on Coney’s blog – I reflect upon the trip…
In July I spent a day in my hometown, Preston.
I’d been invited to do so by Fuel, as part of their New Theatre In Your Neighbourhood project.
I’m not going to write much about the day here (follow the link below for the full account). Just to say that it felt great to revisit the town where I grew up, and to attempt to look at it with fresh eyes. It was inspiring to be able to dedicate a few hours to imagining what I might make there, without worrying about scale or practicality!
Here’s my account of the day, on Fuel’s NTIYN blog: http://newtheatreiyn.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/artist-mission-ben-pacey-in-preston/
Midsummer Night’s Dreaming (aka #dream40) was an experiment in digital storytelling by the RSC and Google Creative Labs. Playing out in real time over midsummer weekend (21-23 June 2013) a cast of actors performed the play live, accompanied online by a host of new characters.
As part of the core creative team, I wrote and made original text and visual content for this unique online performance.
Jane Packman Company‘s The Wake is a celebration of the passing year, for an audience of around thirty people.
I worked with Jane and Lucy Ellinson to conceive, create and develop the initial concept for the performance.
To support the live performances of A Thousand Shards of Glass, we shot a short trailer, over the course of one intense day in July 2012.
“Lucy? Are you there? Are you ready? We need to get you out of there…”
The trailer was used extensively on the internet, and was also shown in the cinema at mac Birmingham, prior to our performances there. It was pretty amazing to see the trailer on the big screen, and brilliant that the quality totally stood-up in that context.
I scripted the trailer, based on excerpts from my original performance text. Jane Packman and I co-directed. Camera is by Chris Keenan and it’s performed by Lucy Ellinson.
Here it is on vimeo:
A Thousand Shards of Glass is a performance narrative which I wrote for Jane Packman Company in 2012.
“The rhythmn of the text alternates between rhapsodic chanting and the feeling of bullets breaking a shop window…” – TOTAL THEATRE
I’d been thinking about agency: our ability to take action to change the the world, and the frustrations of feeling like taking such action is impossible, or pointless.
I wanted to share my article It’s Not Feasible, It’s Vital which was published recently on the mid*point website. It’s a continuation of, and a response to, a conversation from an open space event in June 2011.
Last April I wrote Not What I Had In Mind, a short story which was read aloud at a White Rabbit event at Toynbee Hall in London.
People seemed to like it.
And as I wanted to contribute something to Birmingham Zine Fest, I thought I’d make a little chapbook version of my story… and here they are, hot off the photocopier.
They’re A6, and printed black and white onto some really pleasing recycled paper. You can get one of these for yourself via BigCartel, or you could just ask me for one, if you know me in real life!
Created by the company, with direction and facilitation by Jane Packman, Treasured – A Secret Journey is a unique performance experience for one person at a time.
The piece has the feeling of a gift. It places each audience member at the centre of the performance: they become the protagonist in a narrative which they chose. It’s a rich, powerful experience, yet also extremely gentle… almost passive. The company worked hard to make sure that people felt comfortable and enjoyed themselves. Audiences are not under pressure to “perform” or “interact”.
There are three short narratives – each inspired by one of three beautiful pieces of sculptural jewellery which were commissioned for the project from three West Midlands-based makers – which audiences can chose.
On this project I wrote one of the three stories (inspired the “ivy” – a dark grasping PVC piece made by Louise Bryan), collaborated/devised, designed lighting, and production managed.
Photo by Chris Keenan, 2010.
A Small Town Anywhere originated from a challenge to Coney to make a piece of theatre from an existing narrative, and present it with no performers. We worked from Henri-Georges Clouzot’s film Le Corbeau, and cast our audience as the citizens of a small French-ish town, faced with external political turmoil and a troublesome and poisonous ‘Raven’ within.
I worked as a co-author on this project, along with Tassos Stevens, Melanie Wilson, Gary Campbell, Annette Mees, Tracky Crombie and Tom Bowtell. We were joined along the way by many other brilliant collaborators who were involved for one or other section of the project.
The piece was developed over a couple of years, including development time at the National Theatre Studio and BAC, and we showed the “full theatrical release” version at BAC in the autumn of 2009.
A Small Town Anywhere was particularly exciting for me, as it was one of the first visible (or at least relatively high profile) projects in which I was actively shifting my practice from ‘collaborative lighting designer’ to collaborative artist/maker/writer.
Here’s a lovely little film documenting the BAC performances, filmed by Greg McLaren:
I collaborated as an artist, writer and lighting designer on this site-specific performance installation, which was created in an empty shop unit within Birmingham’s Mailbox shopping centre.
Photo © Chris Keenan 2006