• The Cosmos, The Cosmetics at Oxford Playhouse

    I had a wonderful time performing The Cosmos, The Cosmetics at Oxford Playhouse earlier this year. It was the last stop on the tour and a great way to finish off. I found a few photos recently, including one of the guestbook which had great feedback from the audience. 'Original and exciting'. Why thankyou.

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  • Mauve New World

    I've been working for the last couple of weeks on a commission for Ovalhouse and Pink Fringe called Mauve New World. Three artists have been asked to produce a performance piece in response to a brief to create an alternative vision of the future. In my piece 'Midsummer' we find a reimagining of Britain where Christianity never happened, and instead the pagan religions have prevailed and developed. Within this queer people are the only ones allowed to be spiritual leaders. But if they choose to reject 'The Service' then the options are not very pretty...

    Mixing autobiography with fiction in a world where Kylie tribute acts sit comfortably alongside animal sacrifice and a wooden rabbit tells it like it is in no uncertain terms, 'Midsummer' work in progress is at Ovalhouse June 21-23.

    Here are some more production shots from the show.

    Photos by Holly McGlyn

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  • 'The Cosmos, The Cosmetics': the tour

    ‘The Cosmos, The Cosmetics’ has been my biggest solo project to date, a culmination of all my previous work. I’ve drawn on my formative experiences as a playwright and my work with some of the most eminent theatre practitioners to structure it, and the performance spurs I’ve earned and polished from the last four years or so working the Spoken Word stages of Britain and beyond to play it. The result is a hybrid of different forms and styles; performance poetry, spoken word art, performance art, storytelling, all pulled together by a dramatic impulse inspired by my fascination with bold, experimental theatre.

    Making the show has been my greatest creative challenge. I took risks in the writing and how I was writing it, but a belief in the story I wanted to tell pulled me through the moments of doubt. The decision to strip back the performance, so that it is about a connection with me and the audience, a journey I take them on that relies principally on the power of spoken words to conjure a world out of nothing, was at first a terrifying one. But as I worked with this more and more it became clear it was the right decision, removing all the things it’s possible to hide behind on stage; multimedia, elaborate sets, lots of prop business, somehow made the essential elements; the flow of the language, the story, my performance, more powerful. However, my fundamental obsession with make-up prevailed, I do slap on and wipe off quite a lot of it during the show, it punctuates the performance throughout as well as lending an aesthetic quality.

    The story is a personal one, it’s honest and intimate. It tells of a journey of discovery, navigated through attempts at breaking into various sub-cultures. I’ve been through them all, from goth to techno-new age raver, I’ve been there and then tried to get a refund on the t-shirt. It veers from poignant to funny- sometimes it’s poignafunny, and has a kick you won’t see coming. But most of all, everyone sees something of themselves in the central struggle to work out where and how to find a place in the world. I opened the show at Brighton Fringe Festival last year and since then it's gone international, with performances including Stockholm Fringe Festival. Next week I bring the show to Ovalhouse in London before taking it back to Brighton and then Oxford. I never feel like it’s just me performing it, the audience is so present in their reactions and in the connection that develops through the show, so I can’t wait to get more of that going.

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  • Folkpoet

    So, I've put together a new spoken word and music event called Folkpoet. I'm vastly excited about it, mainly because all of the wishlist artists I approached said yes, much to my amazement and delight, so it's a stellar lineup of strong and unique talent. We've got:

    FIONA BEVAN whose oddball pop songs are inflected with jazz and folk, and her lyrics pry into the dark, obsessive corners of love, with a cast of stumbling party-girls, fickle sailors, bored bubble-gum shop-girls, and forlorn lovers sleeping out in trees.

    JASMINE COORAY who writes with soul and precision, transforming intimate everyday relationships and painting the world into something you want to look at twice. Her performances are warm, animated and affecting.

    EMER O'CONNOR a magical storyteller of incredible scope and passion who weaves intricate, spellbinding tales with wit and versatility.

    SUPERBARD a unique and exciting spoken word artist who has been performing his gloriously surreal multimedia shows since 2010. His debut show 'Superbard and the Sexy Quantum Stories' played at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, and he has run up some impressive media credits.

    HANNAH JANE WALKER who is an innovative and beguiling poet and theatre maker whose show 'The Oh Fuck Moment' was a huge success at Edinburgh Fringe this year, and will be playing across the UK. Hannah also writes with Poetry Takeaway and has been published by Nasty Little Press.

    As you can see, darn impressive with a capital DARN.

    I'm also very excited to be working on this with the lovely poet and general champion of the spoken word Paul 'Shez ' Sherreard who is helping me make it possible and the folks at Island Arts Studio in Herne Hill where it will be happening, who have created a flexible arts space and are committed to facilitating arts in the local community.

    Folkpoet has been twinkling away in the back of my mind for a while. I've wanted to do something in Herne Hill, my lovely homestead, because it's the perfect place to develop something a little different, with an artistic sensibility in the area and a general sense of community engagement, plus it's a destination in its own right with some of the most delightful places to hang-out in London. My aim is to create something that is not just a night of people reading and performing their work, but is also about engagement and experimentation. I think there's space in the spoken word scene for a regular event that explores the artistic fringes and brings together artists who are driven by the craft and its possibilities. I also want to be able to give the opportunity to emerging artists who have an alternative voice or stylistic approach to try their work out, get feedback and have more experience of working with an audience without the kind of point-scoring demands they often have to face. I was very lucky that I was able to avoid the route of going through slams and competitions, which though useful for many artists, isn't always conducive to more subtle, explorative or experimental work (not that slam artists can't be or aren't any of those things of course.) So we will be featuring open(ish) mike spots, (ish) because they'll be by invitation only, but will be very much about nurturing and encouraging rather than featuring. We will have a competative gimick of the month though, just because it seems rude not to.

    So come a long and find something a bit different, a bit eccentric, but most of all brimming with amazing and exciting talent.

    1st December, 7.30pm, at Island Arts Studio, 278 Milkwood Road, Herne Hill.

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  • The Cosmos, The Cosmetics at The Albany

    I'm really delighted that The Albany in Deptford have invited me to perform The Cosmos, The Cosmetics on November 24th.

    This will be a particularly special performance for me because The Albany was where it all began. The Cosmos, The Cosmetics started life as a 20 minute scratch show that was commisioned by Apples and Snakes and was played at The Albany, so it will be really great to take it back there as a completed and developed full length show.

    Here are details of the performance: http://www.thealbany.org.uk/event_detail/695/Spoken-Word/The-Cosmos,-The-Cosmetics

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Nick Field

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