In the second part of my interview with the disabled-led theatre company Vital Xposure I talked to the company’s founder, Julie McNamara and its new director Simon Startin about all the exciting shows it has researched and put on, its importance for marginalised people, and the unique qualities of inclusive drama. Continue reading VITAL XPOSURE – DISABILITY LEADS THE WAY, Part 2
Vital Xposure describe themselves as, “a disabled-led touring theatre company that promotes hidden voices with extraordinary stories to tell… All our work presents an inclusive experience where access issues do not intrude upon the aesthetic of the productions.”
I was lucky enough to interview the company’s founder, Julie McNamara, who led the company’s creative work for the its first 10 years and its new director actor, playwright and activist, Simon Startin.
I interviewed Caitlin Davies, author of several books about powerful women, as well as a teacher, social historian, and ambassador for the Thames Baths project. A former investigative journalist in Botswana (during which she was twice arrested), Caitlin‘s human rights work included coverage of the removal of the Basarwa people from the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve, and research into violence against women in Botswana’s North West. In 2000 she received an award from the Media Institute for Southern Africa, in ‘recognition of consistent and outstanding journalist work.’
Leslie: You’re a cultural activist in many fields. Where do you think your creativity, adaptability and tendency to work in diverse fields comes from? What are your core skills and how have you nurtured them? Continue reading CAITLIN DAVIES – AUTHOR AND CULTURAL ACTIVIST
Interview with visionary sculptor Clare Ferguson-Walker, who says about her work: “I find making sculptures incredibly hard work, requiring an enormous amount of patience, but they haunt me in visions almost constantly and the only thing I can do to relieve the pressure of that is to make them.” Clare has a home-based workshop in Wales where she lives with her two children.
Leslie: If I came across your sculptures in a gallery, what would they look like and be made of? What would be their general themes and areas of interest? Continue reading A VISIONARY’S SCULPTURES
I interviewed artist Sarah Bays about her drypoint Intaglio prints, monotypes and lino cuts. Sarah says about herself, “I am a printmaker living in Norwich producing prints from a small etching press on a tea trolley in the corner of my dining room… I am often inspired by my morning dog walks, the pattern of light through the trees and the shadows cast by the morning sun.” Continue reading SARAH BAYS PRINTMAKER
Interview with Sue Hampton about her latest book Rebelling for Life, endorsed by Emma Thompson, who said: “If you want to read words from the heart of a true activist, understand the real connection between depression and climate crisis and connect with the natural human instinct to rebel, read this beautiful and moving book.”
Leslie: As a reader, what am I going to carry away with me from your new book, Rebelling for Life?
Sue: I hope my poems and prose place you on the road, at the vigil, in a lock-on tube, a police cell and a courtroom, but I aim to share insights as well as experience. I hope readers will carry away the truth that the climate and ecological crisis is so huge and pressing that we can’t leave it to others to fix. Continue reading REBELLING FOR LIFE
In part two of my interview with theatre/circus director Catrin Osborne, we talked about her stilt walking, her portraits of menopausal women, her creativity, neuro-diversity and winter swimming. In addition, as director of Osborne and What, Catrin has produced some spectacular stage adaptations of groundbreaking books.
Leslie: What are the other notable Osborne and What projects (for instance stilt walking and menopausal women)? How do you begin, grow and develop ideas as an individual and as a company?
Catlin: Walkabout stilt gigs in costume were something I started to do in circus. There are events and festivals and all sorts of street theatre stuff you can do and get paid for as a freelance performer. I love my Miss Havisham stilt costume – made by designer Ilona Karas – because I get to be old and weird! Continue reading CATRIN OSBORNE: DIRECTING THEATRE/CIRCUS, Part 2
I interviewed theatre/circus director Catrin Osborne of Osborne and What about her spectacular stage adaptations of groundbreaking books. Catrin describes herself as a: “Neuro-diverse artist & writer, winter swimmer and dog lover.”
Leslie: Why do you call your theatre/circus company Osborne and What?
Catrin: I wanted to use my surname and I like the idea of “What” like whatever, or what? So it leaves possibilities open for the kind of work the company can make. As my MA was in performance design in the loosest sense of the word, I trained with visual artists, choreographers, writers, set designers, and directors. Continue reading CATRIN OSBORNE: DIRECTING THEATRE/CIRCUS, Part 1