Q&A with Not Like That
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Q&A with Not Like That
Triple Threat, a trash-step dub-punk morality play for the modern age, stormed the Edinburgh Festival last year, smashed a sell-out month’s run at Soho Theatre in February, and is now heading to the Brighton Festival for one night only at the Marlborough, Brighton this Saturday 6 May. This hilarious, anarchic retelling of the new testament swipes at Christianity, celebrity, and morality via a full-throttle, sexy hot mess of comedy, cabaret, chaos and Nutella.
Lucy herself is a genuine triple threat. Her triumvirate of talents - singing, dancing and acting - are on full show throughout, alongside various body parts. It’s hard to find theatre with such fierce and fearless performances, with a soundtrack to match.
VFD cannot recommend this highly enough if you happen to be in the area.
Sat 6 May
Calling all dancers, shout out for Barbican's open auditions, applications must be submitted by Thursday 2 March. As part of Trajal Harrell's exhibition, we are calling out for all London-based dancers and performers of all ages and genders. Dancers from a contemporary background is preferred and/or those with experience and interest in conceptual dance, improvisation, minimalist or similar practices.
There will be a number of choreographies and performances to learn – Harrell’s first solo embodying the dynamic relationship between postmodern dance and voguing; Showpony; excerpts from Antigone Jr. of The Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church Series; Untitled Still Life Collection made in collaboration with visual artist Sarah Sze; and others to be announced.
Role description Dancers and performers must be highly committed and be experienced in performing in an Art Gallery context. You must be able to perform in front of members of the public and be comfortable with press and visitors filming and photographing during the performance. Please note that this will be approximately four hours of performing per day broken up into blocks of time.
To apply Email email@example.com with a recent CV and any video footage or photographic material of you dancing or performing and use 'Trajal Harrell' as your email subject.
The deadline for applications is Thursday 2 March 2017.
Salary This position will be paid on a weekly competitive rate and you will be paid for rehearsals.
Audition process The auditions will be organized as a workshop and will take place over two days on 20 and 21 March at the Barbican with Trajal Harrell and the Barbican Curator. All invited performers will participate on the first day and only a portion will be invited for the second day. Please expect to stay 3–4 hours each day and you do not have to prepare anything.
Appropriate clothing for free movement should be worn. Please note that the floor of the space will not be a professional dance floor. The floor is made of cement covered with carpet.
Rehearsals and production dates and locations Dancers and performers must attend all rehearsals with both Trajal Harrell and the Rehearsal Director a week prior to the exhibition opening. Rehearsals are likely to take place from the 13–15 July and 17–18 July in the Barbican Art Gallery, Level 3. Performers will be required to work on a weekly rota basis.
Gallery opening hours The performances will take place on Thursdays through to Sundays from 20 July–13 August and performed during gallery opening hours:
Thursdays and Fridays: 2–9pm Saturdays and Sundays: 12–6pm
Media view and Private view We will require performances for the day prior to opening on Wednesday 19 July during the Media View from 10am–1pm as well as the Private View from 6.30–8.30pm.
About Trajal Harrell Find out more about Harell's work developed during his two-year residency at MoMA, New York
Tonight! Tune into NTS Radio from 8 - 10pm and hear VFD's very own head witch, Lyall Hakaraia's, QUEER WITCH programme. 'I have long been fascinated with and affected by rites and rituals across all cultures, and the creativity and energy created from them that we call ‘magic’. Being queer I am also interested in the representation of my community in this world.'
Turn on, tune in, witch out http://www.nts.live/schedule/2
Donna Huanca's Scar Cymbals closes at Zabludowicz Collection this week. Learn more about her latest multi-sensory artwork - which references ayahuasca and anal beads - in this piece by The Guardian. Donna is an Bolivian-American artist from Chicago, and this is her first UK commission at the Collection's former chapel (Scar Cymbals is also the first performance-led commission for the space itself).
Scar Cymbals closes on the 18th, so try and experience it for yourselves before it's too late.
The official afterparty will be held at VFD on on Saturday 17th 10pm, with writer Reba Maybury and Emman Debattista (one of Scar Cymbals performers) DJing.
If you can't attend either of our Christmas Cracker parties, you can still bid in the auction by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org - email bids will be announced the day before. FRIDAY 2 DEC AUCTION:
*** A LAP DANCE FROM CHRISTEENE. The magnificent cultural commentator with one foot in heaven and the other in hell, Christeene, will give a lap dance to the hapless winner of this prize. Christeene will give an up-close and personal Lap Dance to you via your Lap Top. Prize also includes signed CD and t-shirt.
*** THE PALE BLUE DOOR - 2 x TICKETS. As the most extraordinary immersive dining experience in London the Pale Blue Door cannot be beaten. Get your hands on a pair of tickets for the most sought after drag diner in town.
*** IN HER GLORY FLORAL ART Kitsch light-up flowers, letters and signs by Nicola Bell.
SATURDAY 3 DEC AUCTION:
*** EXCLUSIVE: BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR OF CORONATION STREET - 4 x TICKETS . This prize has not been offered to the public before. Spot a few of your favourite actors as and get to pull a pint at the Rovers. An unforgettable experience for any Street fan and perfect for the Corrie lover in your life. (*Travel to and from the cobbled streets of Media City is not included*).
*** A PAIR OF JEFFERY WEST LEATHER SPANKERS. From the home of beautiful hand-crafted shoes and leather accessories, a pair of leather spankers.
*** STRUTT ARCHIVES - £200.00 GIFT VOUCHER to be spent at the East End's favourite pre-owned designer store and style emporium.
Event decor sponsored by Habitat, Paper Chase and DZD. Installed by Alun Davies Production.
London collective The Fedz have just dropped the new video for forthcoming single, The Best I Ever Had, a slick, slow-jam, slice of sexy, city sultriness. Filmed over a series of street takeovers, the clip captures an array of beautiful Londoners at their finest and sunniest - guards down and grooving on the hot summer streets to Fedz' drive-by sound stack.
The Fedz have earned a reputation for reinventing the rules when it comes to impromptu gatherings, and the collective will be descending on VFD for one of their famous happenings in December... More to follow - watch this space!
In the meantime:
Visit their Facebook page for a free download and a chance to win a place at a forthcoming secret party, and connect with their work here:
http://thefedzmusic.com/ Pre-order on iTunes https://goo.gl/d6K9MR | Listen on Spotify https://goo.gl/th2lpM Released 13/01/17 on Mi7 Records https://twitter.com/thefedzmusic https://facebook.com/thefedzmusic https://instagram.com/thefedzmusic https://soundcloud.com/the-fedz Snapchat - @TheFedzMusic
DO YOUR SH!T Matthew Glamorre is one of UK Nightlife’s most persistent innovators, he has explored every form of club imaginable – from classical chamber music to industrial noise experiments. Now he uses the remaining weeks of his VFD residency to dissect every aspect of the club idea – the DJs, the dancing the socialising and shows.
**What is a club? **What meaning / relevance does the form hold for the present? **What - if any - challenges does it pose / boundaries does it push?
To this end, he is opening the sound system, the projectors, the stage, the mics – the entire space – to anyone to do anything they want in a search of finding new meaning in an old form.
Anyone and everyone is offered a 15min slot to do, say, project or play anything they want!
(Most tech needs supported ☺)
Is It A Space? A Workshop? A Rehearsal? A Free for All?
Bring your ANGER - bring your MOST mental music (any genre) Bring your WRINTING - bring your show - bring your movement Bring your IDEAS - bring you psychosis
No appointment needed – just show up and play - we have UNSAFE space to explore !
Burn Punk London's just published a piece by Phillip Salon, some considered insight into what did - and does - define 'punk' by one of the original scene's innovators. Phillip Sallon was a special guest recently during VFD's takeover of NTS radio, you can check out the programme here.
Devised and hosted by Jeremy Goldstein with special guests Truth to Power banner by Ed Hall
Over 4 nights 24 Londoner’s of all ages and backgrounds respond to the question:
WHO HAS POWER OVER YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY TO THEM?
Speaking truth to power has its origins in anti-war pacifism, and is widely accepted to mean saying something to those in authority or position of trust don’t want to hear.
Is what they have to say an act of love, or act of war, will it bring us together or tear us apart? Is it to their parents, a sibling, politician, lover, landlord, neighbour, religious leader, boss, banker or simply their best friend, – it’s time to tell them the truth before it’s too late.
Speakers include and for their bios click here:
Wednesday 21st September: Ash Kotak Alex Craddock Tim Redfern aka Timberlina Franco Milazzo Kerrise Stewart
Thursday 22nd September: Lois Keidan Imogen Butler-Cole Clare Farrell Tamsin Omond Phoebe Thomas-Weeks Chantel C
Friday 23rd September: Shaun Levin Vera Chok Georgia Bondy Matthew Todd Mathilde Hawkins Lyall Hakaraia
Saturday 24th September: Dan Glass Patrick Cash Paula Varjack Peter Tatchell Tamsyn Kelly
Running Time: 45 mins Age Recommendation: All ages welcome
Ever come home from a night's clubbing at VFD, to awaken the next morning and find that most of the people you were dancing with were in your house? In the Sunday Papers?! Click here to visit the Times website
Friends of ours, Opera Sustains the World (OSTW), is an opera and orchestral event highlighting our most sustainable resource, Love. This unique charity event will be performed on London’s first sustainable Polynesian stage: A replica of a Samoan Fale or house. It will house Polynesia's finest operatic and musical talents and the 'GAFASamoa orchestra of the future' sharing Nessun Dorma, the Làkme Duet and more.
Bring something comfy to sit on, sample the refreshments available onsite and enjoy
Chloe Isadora will be channelling the divine feminine at her inaugural evening at VFD; her Full Moon Fire Ceremony is a ritualised release of energy, of things that are no longer serving us by offering them into the fire. This is an opportunity to let go and call in what we would like to receive for ourselves and the planet. Advance tickets available here.
Those of you who were so proud and out marching and partying during Pride may have missed VFD's Pride takeover of NTS radio: here's our whole day of programming, PunkMyQueer, The series celebrates diversities of gender, race, sexuality, anti-capitalism and of course, the DIY ethic. Listen back to music and interviews from David Hoyle, a PVC-clad Wild Daughter, Max Allen and many more.
Catch it all on podcast here.
VFD creative director Lyall Hakaraia: Reviews Fancy Chance: Flights of Fancy
Last Tuesday I went to see the scratch performance of Fancy Chance's Flights of Fancy as part of a two night run with the support of the Soho theatre. The vehicle for the night was a flight across the world from London to the US to Korea with Fancy as our stewardess, inflight movie and cultural tour guide, played to great effect with a mixture of video messages and live performance.
The mixture of autobiographical material with revelations her adoption and search for her American and Korean identity and trying to find and where she ‘fits in,’ combined with a strip tease and lack of technical fluidity gave the production a raw edge. There were laughs a plenty and Fancy is a natural comedian with great timing and an effortless ability to include her audience. Laughs with an edge make for an interesting evening and I look forward to seeing where she takes the production from here. Soho Theatre have just booked a longer run so if you missed it first time round, check out her Twitter feed here for more information.
On the the day of the EU referendum I traveled out of the my East End comfort zone and headed to a decidedly damp Balham and the Theatre N16 to catch the performance of KAVA GIRLS.
The unfolding story picks apart the lives of three aspiring actresses who are all on the verge of getting their next big break that will provide them with the fame, financial stability and the recognition that they all desire.
The story is set backstage and the 3 are all understudies for 1 part. This promotes a distinct pecking order. Debra is the first understudy and is happy that for 3 years she has never been called on stage; the emotional stability of being in that position suits her lack of ambition and faded talent well. Salma is much more ambitious and is constantly seeking to find her self new roles only to be ’heavily penciled ‘ for parts that never come through, she wishes for a life on stage under the lights. Sinalei is a young Fa’afafine from Samoa who is assuring herself and everyone else (including her mother via the phone) that everything is going well for her and that she is street smart even though she is ‘green’ to London and the stage.
The staging of the play is ingenious and with a few simple props an expanse of vision is achieved and sustained through out the piece. There is much singing as befits a story told backstage of a West End musical and the lyrics fall somewhere between Tim Rice and an episode of Glee. There is an audience for this work and the story line, while not unexpected, is never the less pleasing and makes for an enjoyable evening.
Good luck to the KAVA GIRLS as they journey around the UK on their PRIDE TOUR. The all female cast is refreshing and the inclusion of a Fa’afafine (a word that describes men who live as women in the pacific) character adds another dimension to a well acted and sung piece of work.
I was delighted to be invited as one of this year's Absolute Mix designers, alongside greats like Sibling and Gareth Pugh. You can see my collaboration with artist Tino Seubert here. The bottle went to auction and raised £550 for Stonewall which is fantastic!
VFD has always been a pulsing hotbed of creativity, and we're super delighted that this month some of our dear friends' work is playing in various venues across the capital. Check out the links below: Fancy Chance, Flights of Fancy at Soho Theatre
Fancy Chance invites you aboard her debut solo show: a globe-trotting, time-travelling mini-spectacle – with turbulent polemics and unexpectedly poignant stop-offs – taking you from her humble origins as Korean refugee to darling of the London cabaret scene. In-flight entertainment will include offbeat comedy, original song, and outrageous film. Directed by Nathan Evans. (21 and 22 June only).
“A riotous carnival through the pop music, masculinity and drag of the London gay scene” $UPER£ICIAL is the latest play by Pat Cash (The Clinic, Queers, Chemsex Monologues, and Spoken Word London at VFD!) and follows muscly bar man Sam, Kylie fanatic JJ, alternative drag queen ‘Ibiza Chilltape’ and bar owner Benjamin as their lives entwine on Pride night. (20 June - 1 July).
Sinalei a young Fa’afafine (A cis -gender Samoan male who lives as a female) has just landed her first job in a West End show. She shares the understudying twilight with the gutsy Salma and the unflappable Debra. Three performers, three lives, one role. Funny, candid and with an original score that will speak directly to your heart, Kava Girls is the play you need to see. With Ninotchka Tingleff, Melissa Veszi & Sani Muliaumaseali'i as Sinale *PICK OF THE FRINGE* Edinburgh 2014. (22 and 23 June only).
Buy your tickets now and support these artists!
This Saturday from 2pm onwards VFD is taking over the airways at NTS radio to present our unique PRIDE message. We will be looking at the links between the Punk and Queer movements, and how they share the core values of DIY. Both celebrate equality of gender, race and sexuality as well as being anti-capitalist.
We've lined up a selection of guests who are super-passionate about the topics they will be speaking about including the empowerment of young women, proportional representation of race in the media, the importance of creating DIY spaces, the creation of self through fashion and of course anarchy in the UK!
These lively discussions will be interspersed with live bands and performances and, of course, a musical selection of Punk and Queer anthems.
Featured guests include:
David Hoyle CHRISTEENE Wild Daughter Reba Maybury Ione Gamble Max Allen DIY Thursdays Bentfest 100% Beefcock and the Titburster
VFD Creative Director Lyall Hakaraia reviews Lift Festival's play, Stella, and invites reflections from contemporary queer performers Kevin Le Grand Bailor and Lewis G. Burton: What makes a great play, performance, theatrical experience? Is it timing, delivery, words and rhythm, glorious settings or lack thereof? All of these elements in measure help to create a magic that can rivet an audience and submerge them in emotion, this balance has been beautifully achieved in the new Neil Bartlett play, Stella, at Hoxton Hall.
The play centres on the life of notorious late 19th Century female impersonator Stella and is performed in two strands; one by the young Stella who is giddily readying herself to celebrate her 21st birthday, and the other by an older Stella in her fifties who has resigned herself to treatment for the cancer that she expects to be the final chapter of her life.
The play opens with the older Stella (forcefully played by the exemplary Richard Cant) in a heightened emotional state as she twitches between lamentation of her youth and loves, her terror of going to hospital, and haughty recollections of the downward spiral of her life. Cant’s venerable and conflicted Stella is delivered in an all-too-believable manner as she emotionally recounts events in her life that have brought her to teeter on the precipice.
The young Stella (inhabited by Oscar Batterham) has youth on her side and is a far more flippant creature who has no worries of tomorrow or cares what others think, she is naive and reckless. Stella’s mother is an off-stage presence that is supportive of her son’s lifestyle giving practical advice, encouragement and living vicariously through Stella’s exploits. There is also the lover, Arthur, who is expected on this night to present Stella with a ring (wedding) to be worn with her new cerise pink ballgown. Arthur sends a note to say he will be late, which Stella sees as a dark omen and she sees their relationship as a tenuous and tortured thing.
So, yes, this is not a play to lighten your way, and in many ways, it plays to the tragic ending expected from a story about those who transgress society. But the truthful and powerful telling of Stella’s story is rewarding for an audience who are drawn in to sigh, breath and cry with our heroine. The sad and ignominious ending of Stella’s life for me is one that is thankfully in contrast to the fulfilled and rewarding lives that are lived by trans artists today. No longer does a Queer artist have to adopt a gender or personality to be accepted by society, their stories and journeys can now flow into the public consciousness, their humanity shared and appreciated.
Neil Barlett work reaches out across time and as he has said the presence of Stella haunted, possessed and urged him into writing this piece. Stella’s deft and adept manipulation of the Georgian society echoes the finding of ‘place’ for a new generation, as the plays timely examination of transgression echoes our era of trans people finding their political voice.
I invited two of VFD's favourite young Queer performers along to see their reactions to the play's theme, click here to watch Kevin Le Grand Bailor and Lewis G. Burton interview.
Stella runs until 18 June at Hoxton Hall.