Updated 8 February 2024
Presented by Word of Warning + Contact in the second half of Emergency 23
— an Evening full of short shows from 4pm
Saturday 30 September 2023, 4pm-10pm.
Alex Billingham · Chris Brown · Egan & Pinchbeck · Gillian Dyson · Gisou Golshani · Heather Alice · Jana Aizupe & Company · Kellie Colbert · Laurie Bayley-Higgins · new func · Orla Collier · Raz & Khan
Participating artists subject to change.
Evening Programme Notes
Age Advisory: 16+ (aimed at adults, parent/guardian/carer discretion).
Content Warnings: some works may disturb, please click here.
NB with some Evening works having a limited capacity on a first-come first-served basis, you may not get a chance to see everything.
Gillian Dyson · Nerve in the Bone
A meditative and uncanny performance where object and body communicate the real felt tensions of feminine aging.
Working on a floor of broken crockery, Dyson’s performance brings together slow Butoh dance movement with body-based performance art.
Costume development: Phillipa Jackson · Sound composition: Eilon Morris
Development of this work has been enabled with support from Arts Council England and Leeds Beckett University.
Gillian Dyson is an artist, academic, and researcher based in Leeds. She makes live performance, video, and visual art works that explore identity, site, memory. Her work has been exhibited and performed in national & international festivals, galleries, and theatres, most recently: Konsthallen (Gothenberg, Sweden), Baltic (Gateshead), The Tetley (Leeds), the Whitworth.
Gisou Golshani · che mishod
Through movement and chants, Gisou interprets a Persian song’s wish for the universe to resolve current entanglements. Guttural and ethereal live vocals are layered onto industrial doom and drone elements. The Persian lyrics call for freedom, and a release from the trap of doomed fate.
This work is an exploration of renowned Iranian singer Marzieh’s song from the 50s, through the lens of the present. Its poetic and allegorical lyrics demand change, both on a universal and personal level. The projection of the voice becomes a manifestation of the wishes, reifying them through repetition.
Gisou Golshani is a London-based, multidisciplinary Iranian artist whose ritualistic performances use sound as a medium for multilayered storytelling, and weave together themes around ecology, Persian mythology, sexuality, and mental health. She blends fictional tales with real events to reflect on socio-political issues, and seeks to offer spaces for introspection and collective emancipation.
new func · A THE Thing is moving
A movement to narrate and connect to all that is (all that is, in this moment, this space, in your perception).
A participatory performance in which disparate narration of what exists to you, explodes into communal song of everything that interweaves through us, and brings us closer to our selves, others, and environment.
new func is a series of events exploring new ways of being:
Through participatory performances we experiment with the actions necessary to life; questioning how we live and how to feel alive. We breathe, drink, eat, greet, walk, think, clean, sleep, and trade… in greater connection with self, other, and environment.
Laurie Bayley-Higgins · The Santa Ana
“On nights like that,” Raymond Chandler once wrote about the Santa Ana, “every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.” That was the kind of wind it was. — Joan Didion, Slouching towards Bethlehem
A live multimedia exploration of Didion’s 1968 essay on the Santa Ana, the piece offers snapshots of scenes exploring the lives thrown into turmoil during these winds, as suicide rates increase and neighbours roam their front gardens with machetes. The piece interrogates the simultaneous decay of the environment and our mental health, questioning whether a strong wind is all it takes to tip people over the edge.
Performers: Dan Regan & Stella Cohen · Musicians: Flynn McHardy & Rory Greig · Director/Writer: Laurie Bayley-Higgins · Assistant Director: Laura May Brunk · Producer: PJ Cunningham · Stage Designer: Amy Townsend-Lowcock
Laurie Bayley-Higgins is a Manchester-based theatre-maker, director, and writer; he engages a multidisciplinary approach, weaving sound and image alongside dramatic action to create work committed to an openness of interpretation, whilst simultaneously holding a visceral emotional weight. Recent work Handle with Care was shown at Contact in 2022.
Raz & Khan · The Addiction Cabaret: My body is a temple, My body is a latrine.
What is Addiction? What are we addicted to and why?
What are our and your stories of Addiction?
A show that explores the reasons for personal and cultural addiction to all things: around and about what we feel, what we need just to get us through the day (and night), and the stories we tell ourselves about it to make it alright.
Avital Raz & Sohail Khan are two diverse artists working in the spheres of music, theatre, Live Art, and community settings, who met during lockdown through a creative writing peer-support group.
Huddersfield-based Sohail Khan makes work around heritage, the impacts of British colonialism on the contemporary landscape. He’s made work for SPILL and National Review of Live Art, and is currently touring Men’s Talk: a devised show exploring men’s mental ill health.
Sheffield-based Avital Raz studied visual theatre in Jerusalem, before embarking on a 20-year career as a singer-songwriter and musician. She created her first solo theatre show My Jerusalem in 2018, followed by Unnatural Cycles — A Ghost Story in 2021.
Alex Billingham · Salting the Wound
A show about how Crip and Trans identities collide and intermingle.
Skittering between Live Art, Disabled dance, and experimental theatre, this work allows space for the audience to consider their own access needs.
Our bodies are fluid and ever-changing, this is natural, this is part of the world we live in. You are enough.
Alex Billingham’s work explores what survival might mean going into an uncertain future, pulling from their lived experience of being Disabled, Trans, and Neurodiverse. They have performed nationally for Tate St Ives, Curious Arts Festival, Fierce Festival, ]performance s p a c e [, Camden People’s Theatre. Currently developing new work for The New Art Gallery Walsall in 2024.
Heather Alice · I, The Girl.
A personal reclamation of the ‘hysterical’ woman, and a reflection on the paradoxes created when society has gendered madness.
A fragmented journey through lived experience and complex representation: contemporary movement practices and transmedia storytelling offer an insight into how medical misogyny shapes our archetypes, and how these depictions in pop culture influence neurodiverse young women.
Thanks to director Joshua Allen. · Videography by Chloe Holford & Joshua Allen.
Heather Alice is a multidisciplinary artist, currently creating immersive transmedia theatre. Her practice is rooted in feminism and she has a background in acting for screen, devising contemporary movement, poetry, and film-making. More recently she has become an aerialist and trained Epic Stages with National Youth Theatre.
Chris Brown · you cannot choose the things that bind you
A durational performance that explores the relationship between care and masculinity, inspired by Butoh dance.
Chris Brown & Jordan Skelly have collaborated for many years. Their collaborations have explored how dance and poetry intertwine. At the centre of their work has always been a discussion of masculinity. This most recent work explores the theme with a new context of care, inspired by changes in their lives.
Egan & Pinchbeck · Matchstalks Remastered
Egan & Pinchbeck apply their original approach of devising contemporary performance from musical stimuli to the 1978 hit, Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs (Lowry’s Song).
They translate the track, inspired by the paintings of L. S. Lowry, into a series of theatrical motifs. Following the song’s structure, the piece is broken down into scenes exploring the visual language of Lowry’s paintings and the song’s lyrical poetry. Egan & Pinchbeck question how painting becomes music, music becomes theatre, people become performers.
The project draws on the history of Lowry, with access to Special Collections, Manchester School of Art, where he studied painting.
Kevin Egan is a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Performance at Manchester Metropolitan University and member of the internationally-renowned theatre company Reckless Sleepers.
Michael Pinchbeck is a writer, director, theatre-maker, and Reader in Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has created work for parked cars, park benches, sheds, Roman walls, recital halls — and theatres — having been commissioned for a trio of plays by Nottingham Playhouse.
Kellie Colbert · Daydream Believer
People and plants come in lots of shapes and sizes, and grow in lots of different places. If we want them to grow well they need some of the same things: air, water, guidance, light, love, the right temperature, air. Without enough of these things, people and plants may not thrive, they may wilt and consider death.
Daydream Believer is about nurturing and nappies and my dad.
Project Mentor: Peader Kirk · Supported by 53two.
Kellie Colbert is a Greater Manchester-based performance maker. She would describe herself as an autobiographical artist, who creates work that is honest, relatable, and at times self-critical. Kellie uses spoken word and symbolism to explore memories, often focusing on themes of mental health and feminism. She aims to create performance that is both self-exposing and empathetic. She has worked closely with Eggs Collective, (in)sane Mcr, Breakdown Bolton, hÅb.
Orla Collier · Endormore Pt2
A solo physical theatre performance piece which explores Orla’s experience of growing up in a small village in Cumbria. In this second half of the work, the audience will be taken on a raw and intimate journey through parts of growing up which are messy, emotional, and might not make sense.
Choreographed & performed by Orla Collier · Music composed by Mologan
Commissioned by Great Place: Lakes & Dales; The Dukes. Supported by Brewery Arts; Theatre by The Lake.
Orla Collier is a freelance dance artist based in Cumbria. A performer, choreographer, and teacher, she is inspired by the capacity that dance and theatre has for emotional expression, and how sharing honest feelings & experiences can have huge impacts.
Rory Lee aka Molagon is an independent music producer and artist based in Manchester. He uses a mixture of guitar, synth, and samples to create unique instrumentation full of interesting texture and ambience.
Jana Aizupe & Company · get me out of here
Two crisp packet beings trying to get past the line to complete the task and escape the space. There is a time pressure and they are not allowed to make any noise. This proves to be seemingly impossible, as crisps churn with every move they make. Will they do it in time?
There is optional audience participation, allowing you to give advice and help the beings achieve the success they crave.
Created in collaboration with Gi Vasey, Caroline O’Mahoney, Dara Hughes.
Jana Aizupe is a working-class theatre artist based in the West Midlands, primarily working through devising, movement, and film. She is a trained street dancer, therefore values non-verbal connections through shared movements in space. She is also very passionate about applied theatre, putting emphasis on the process of co-creation. Her devised work 1001 won the Warwick University Research Prize 2021, and was performed at Omnibus Theatre and Camden People’s Theatre SPRINT Festival in 2022.