All posts by Leslie Tate

STAGING CHANGE: ECO-THEATRE & FELT KNOWLEDGE

Alice Body – Sustainable Fringe

I interviewed Alice Boyd who works on improving environmental sustainability in the theatre/entertainment industry though the arts organisation Staging Change. Besides founding and co-directing Staging Change, Alice is also a theatre maker and sound designer with Poltergeist Theatre. She believes in reducing the carbon footprint of performances and bringing people together in a positive, sometimes humorous way, to face the truth about climate breakdown and bio-diversity loss.

The arts is the difference between knowing knowledge and feeling knowledgeAlison Tickell. Continue reading STAGING CHANGE: ECO-THEATRE & FELT KNOWLEDGE

HAYLEY SLEIGH – MARKETING, CREATIVE WRITING, CHARITY WORK & END THE STIGMA

Hayley Sleigh

Hayley Sleigh is unusual in embracing the worlds of marketing, creative writing, charitable action and #endthestigma. I asked Hayley about her MA in Creative Writing, her compositional methods, her work with the voluntary sector and her experience of anxiety/depression.

Hayley has helped major corporations with their branding and marketing while raising money for people who are homeless or affected by cancer. She has also had articles published in The Fiction Pool, The Riff Raff, Dear Damsels and Time to Change. Continue reading HAYLEY SLEIGH – MARKETING, CREATIVE WRITING, CHARITY WORK & END THE STIGMA

MATTHEW SCHMOLLE: CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH THEATRE

The Ugly One by Marius Von Mayenburg – by Buckland Theatre, produced by Matthew Schmolle.

I interviewed theatre producer Matthew Schmolle, who specialises in producing and staging co-created community performance, new writing, street theatre and agitprop. Matthew has put on shows for his own companies The Working Party and Matthew Schmolle Productions as well as producing projects for The Old Vic, Old Vic New Voices, ice&fire, The Big House, Blackboard Theatre, The Spectators Guild, Finborough, Park Theatre, Tobacco Factory Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Emergency Exit Arts and Apples and Snakes. He also works as a consultant for the charity Open Door, who are fighting to level the playing field in access to training in theatre arts, and for theatre company Not Too Tame. Continue reading MATTHEW SCHMOLLE: CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH THEATRE

EXTRAORDINARY THEATRE IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

Three Georgian women in bonnets in the toilet is from Polly’s show ‘Manchester Sound’. Photo by Kevin Cummins..

I interviewed radical actor, playwright and director Polly Wiseman about her work with her company Fireraisers that produces ‘extraordinary theatre in unexpected places’. Polly uses equal numbers of female and male actors, with the women playing central roles, and often stages her plays in the ‘real world’ at venues suited to the subject matter – for instance in bars, galleries and cinemas. Polly’s work is also multi-media and cross-genre involving live music and choirs, film, sculpture, verbatim accounts and direct audience address.

Leslie: What first led you to choose a career in theatre? How did it begin, grow and develop? Continue reading EXTRAORDINARY THEATRE IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

THE ART OF SHORT STORIES

I interviewed radical author Sue Hampton, about her new collection of short stories, Instead. With titles for adults and children, Sue is a prolific storyteller. Instead is her third collection. It follows Ravelled and Woken, making a total of 29 short stories Sue has brought out with TSL Publications.

Leslie: Firstly, a declaration of interest, as I’m interviewing my wife! Having said that, can I ask you, Sue, what’s the attraction of the short form? Continue reading THE ART OF SHORT STORIES

HELEN MEISSNER: GIVING BACK & FOLKSTOCK RECORDS

Helen Meissner

I interviewed Helen Meissner, who runs Folkstock Records: ‘A joyous fusion of contemporary and traditional acoustic folk and roots music’. With her daughter Lauren, Helen has championed female musicians and self-funded many mainstream opportunities for emerging artists. Folkstock Records, which began as a result of Helen’s recovery from cancer, has featured in many national newspapers and radio shows. As a former Businesswoman of the Year for Herts, Helen ‘gives back’ energetically to all her remarkable acts. Continue reading HELEN MEISSNER: GIVING BACK & FOLKSTOCK RECORDS

BUSKING, RECORDING AND WINNING PRIZES… ZOE WREN

Zoe Wren playing at The Shard

I interviewed campaigning busker Zoe Wren, whose latest EP Gold and Smoke, released on Folkstock Records, retells traditional folk stories in a contemporary way. I asked Zoe, who was shortlisted for Best Female Solo at the NMG Awards, about the reality of licensed busking. I also asked Zoe about her musical career that includes winning the PRS Lynsey de Paul Award, being named Laurel Canyon UK‘s Favourite New Artist of 2018, and opening for acts such as Chris Leslie of Fairport Convention and Ralph McTell at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. Continue reading BUSKING, RECORDING AND WINNING PRIZES… ZOE WREN

WATFORD WOMEN’S CENTRE – A SAFE SPACE FOR 30 YEARS!

Fiona Miller

I interviewed Fiona Miller, the new CEO of Watford Women’s Centre, about its history, what happens at the centre and the upcoming celebrations of the centre’s 30th anniversary.

Leslie: When did the centre start and what have been the main developments since then?

Fiona: Watford Women’s Centre (WWC) was set up in 1989 by a radical feminist consciousness-raising group who were part of the feminist peace movement at the time that had links to the longest feminist protest in British history: Greenham Common. Their political activity in the community was focused on women’s rights and particularly women who were victims of sexual and physical abuse as an outcome of patriarchal power relations. They set out to ensure that women’s concerns and voices were heard in local decision-making, and campaigned to establish the first ever Women’s Centre in Watford. Continue reading WATFORD WOMEN’S CENTRE – A SAFE SPACE FOR 30 YEARS!