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September 2007

Whirlwind of Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Pt1

Edlogo07 Four days and 18 events taking in Steet Performance, Dance, Physical Theatre, Story Telling to Meditation and a dramatised reading of an online guest book. Theatre at its most exciting and diverse. The sector labelled so inacurately by the industry as Small Scale is magnificent and anything but small. Even small productions are emormous in spirit and conviction. Powerful in their intimate venues and sumbimely captured in the majority of cases, 1 hour performances. Attending curtesy of Equity representing the Small Scale Theatre Committee was a privalige.

EquityatworkThe Equity Staff Louise Grainger and Matt Clarke worked tirelessly packing their schedules with company visits, awards ceremonies, leading workshops and when they found time seeing shows. Where was I to start. Once I had over come the overwhelming enormity of choice spread before me I dusted down my Stagemanagement sharp and finely honed scheduling skills and dived in to the Fringe Programe to plan my extravaganza of theatre. Edinburgh in 4 days, shows to see, performers to talk to after all Fran and I were there for one purpose, to spread the Small Scale Theatre Committee are listening and need voices word. Our call to action as part of the ongoing "Mapping the Field" project running at the moment.

Hangman20_2 My first production was "Hangman" at Assembly Aurora Nova by a Russian physical theatre and dance company called DO-Theatre. Hypnoticly beautiful and performed exquisitly making performers and environment dance as one with swinging lights, magical illuminated books (see picture left) and the sounds of the sea. After realising the piece was not driven by a story narrative but the flow of movement and sound I quickly lost myself in the magic. Dark and melodic the performance made all the more fascinating for me to see the costumed technician intergrated as a performer caretaker droping set peices from the grid and performing live sound effect building the show and tying the flow of the dances together.

To see their fringe programe entry - Click here

To visit their website - Click here

To be continued... video links will be posted so you too can see some magic. If you can't wait check this out. Chicos Mambo performance online

Fran and Caron do the Edinburgh Fringe

Last minute rush to let everybody know what I am doing! Updating and publishing web site information before I leave on the 9.30 train from Nottingham and trundle up north to Edinburgh. I am up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Equity. Fran Rifkin (Chair of the committee) and I are spending 4 days at the festival representing the Small Scale Theatre Committee.

The landmark fringe contract rubber stamped and approved my Equity offers security and working structure to small creative companies to take the strain out of the working relationships that too often can come unravelled when working very very close to colleagues and friends. We will be talking to as many performers and stagemanagers as we can plus drinking much coffee and seeing some fine shows or not! depending on the risks we take.

Sstc_online_site_thumbTelling people about what we do and directing them to the committee's web site will be the greatest task and promoting our Mapping the Field exersice which is in full swing will be driving us on too. Oh we might find time to sleep a bit as well.

Go see the site

Caron's article in the Nottingham Evening Post


Caron2_2 A Desire to establish a home base and to stop touring with theatre companies was behind the launch of Caron-Jane Lyon's business PCM Creative. Nottinghamshire female entrepreneur Caron-Jane's (CJ) successful career as stage manager for some of the leading UK theatre companies led her to diversify into more creative ventures with arts practitioners and fine artists as a creative projects manager.

For her next career move CJ looked beyond the theatre industry for projects that would equally satisfy her creativity and enable her to keep in touch with her theatrical roots.

She said: "I enrolled on an internet service provider course with the National IT Learning College in Newark and began learning new skills to help me move into digital media.

"My aim was to offer website design and IT training to creatives who were unfamiliar with the business and corporate world."

Although a very successful freelance stage manager, CJ was keen to run a small business but knew that her knowledge in this area was limited so she contacted Business Link.

She said: "Contacting them enabled me to connect with the business world and fill the knowledge gaps that hindered me starting my own business. They have been a great help and do cater for the creative and cultural industries too. I wish I had contacted them sooner."

PCM got off to a strong start and the result is a growing business that focuses on new media and events organising.

Recently CJ has been establishing the business formally to provide services to the wider arts community and small businesses in Nottingham.

She said: "PCM's event launch package is designed to celebrate key landmarks in business ventures such as the launch of a web site.

"I am also exploring new digital platforms such as Type pad, PBwiki, Facebook, and Second Life to find ways of incorporating into web sites' existing web 2.0 channels to promote businesses and keep costs low.

"This means clients can maximise the potential offered by the rich array of new media facilities online."

Cj_in_second_life_2 CJ recently established a Second Life presence for a York based theatre company, Pilot Theatre.

She says Business Link helped her acquire the knowledge she needed to get PCM Creative off the ground.

"Through the regional Business Link service I have accessed workshops, been put in touch with specialists, gained information and received impartial, one to one advice. Thanks to this support I am now refining my unique selling point and targeting the client base I need to enable my business to flourish."

CJ advises artists or creative practitioners who are isolated, work alone, or work short contracts to contact Business Link (0845 058 6644) for guidance. She also suggests moving on to new ventures if the career you are doing no longer offers what you originally began it for.

Visit the Nottingham Evening Post article

Featured in the business section Tuesday 21 August 2007

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