Edinburgh Festival Feed

Edinburgh Fringe - Gather for iMelania

Gather… Melania is the next show in town. This was signposted for me by Imitating The Dog who as a theatre company Explore the boundaries between theatre and technology. A recommendation from these guys certainly got my attention.

 

IMelania_-_Summerhall__Edinburgh

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Edinburgh Fringe LIVE(streamed) from New York City - Planet of the Grapes

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Planet of the Grapes - A retelling of the film classic Planet of the Apes. Yes! Following on for my Twitter request for shows. (Blog Post PT1) Planet of the Grapes performer Peter Michael Marino https://twitter.com/blackoutpete signposted his show to me. It was akin to walking down the Edinburgh Royal Mile picking up leaflets for shows to select.

It's not about finding shows, the annual fringe program is jammed packed. What to chose? picking up a flyer is a way to narrow the field. Yesterday's tweet did just that.

POTA

Live digital theatre with an after-show chit chat. It was a delight to go backstage and meet Peter. Get a guided tour of the stage to see behind the scenes, as well glimpse into the performers green room! Such magnetic personalities ;)

Corking performances, Grape acting… and wonderful imagination. A treat for those who are well versed in the original film and a few treats for those who have read the book.

I loved the pre-show arrival with live mini ghost light with the Livestream scrolling ticker and audience noise. The mini interval was complete with a grape pianist. It was digital bijou. I loved it. It had for me the spirit of fringe in buckets. The close-up and personal of the tabletop stage leaning well into the digital medium where you’d not get that view in a physical venue. It made me want to see puppet theatre again.

Peter is a master at playing with that sense of scale. It was wonderful.

Thank you Peter for sharing with me your process. Your aspirations for the future of the show and the 'what went to plan' and the 'things that didn’t' making the liveness so magical. And is a perfect example of digital theatre.

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It started with a tweet

This morning I Tweeted... Recommendation for a digital theatre, online live performance or immersive #XR remote access experience to attend this weekend or next week, please. @CITheatre @ImitatingtheDog @KillTheCatCo Other digital innovating tweeters welcomed. #DYCP

First, stop https://electricmedway.co.uk/about/

I attended Chronic Insanity Theatre’s Puncture the Screen festival during the first week of my holiday on the Isle of Mull at the end of July. The holiday location is super remote. I love it. Attending a festival of super interest to me combining the 2. I loved it. A mixture of on-demand pieces, performance, workshops and live expert panels was just what I needed to truly be rested and reset for when I returned home.

This is my first Saturday home and I have vowed to make Saturdays culturally enriching. Seeing shows, reading books and checking out VR, XR and immersive experiences.

Replying to @pcmcreative

@ImitatingtheDog We have Means of Production on at  @ElectricMedway

and There’s Something Among Us on at @ththeatrespace at the moment :) plus loads of other work from throughout the year on our website.

First show of the day. It feels like my own mini-festival! There’s Something Among Us by Chronic Insanity Theatre

https://electricmedway.co.uk/events-2021/means-of-production-by-chronic-insanity-theatre/

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There is a commitment to a piece of digital theatre. It is not a piece of scrolled to content. Just as you actively attend a venue so your activity navigates to the digital theatre piece be live or on-demand. The holding page is the digital foyer. The copy on screen the programme. If it is a paid experience this is also the box office.

For my first piece, 4 factory workers in a split-screen setup a-la securing cam stacking where I was an observer asked to review the footage that led to an incident.

“Based on the conditions in a number of smartphone factories around the world, Means of Production blurs the line between digital theatre and found footage, asking questions about corporate behemoths, global supply chains, and the murky ethics behind the 21st century’s need for new technology.”

A poignant monologue to the camera makes this most certainly theatre. Conscious of its 4th wall and in a suitably digital setting used that device to share its message.

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At Chronic Insanity’s Puncture the Screen Festival https://bit.ly/citheatre-pts a platform Glitch.me was used to deliver the interactive story THE NEXT BEST THING by Emily Holyoake. Here it is again. As I emirs myself in the audience experience of immersive theatre, immersive performance and extended experience its platforms, access and set up expectations on the audience member are of deep interest as I contemplate this especial as part of my own practice since being awarded a CYPD grant from the Arts Council to develop my own immersive extended experience work.

Below the 2D digital experience was this

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My first multi-screen extended digital theatre experience.

https://meansofproduction.glitch.me/

Following the prompts to configure 4 devised and place them at cardinal points around me East, South, West and North as the primary device the split-screen security monitor stacked surveillance footage surrounded me.

How here is the experience bearing in mind it was my first time and you will have your first time with these kinds of experiences. I would have needed a 3 set up to get it working seamlessly and I’d seen the 2D performance and enjoyed it. Not wanting to make the attendance of the performance about the fumbling with my tech I let it go. I know there will be another opportunity perhaps even from Chronic Insanity. I love this frontier.

So… I confess I struggled to get set up after 2 attempts. The simple instruction was perhaps a little too simple and wasn’t entirely clear to me. I worked it out. I decided to save the figuring it out for the next piece offering this extended experience.

My issues?

  1. The extending devices being my iMac, two iPads and my iPhone the control screen landing pages were not responsive so they didn’t fit on my devices. I fumbled to get the buttons. iPads OK, iMac no probs, iPhone no responsive adaptation problematic. Next time I will use a second laptop. Once the piece began the video sizing was fine.
  2. The primary device buffered making the sync affecting the other 3 devised which worked great. I wonder is that may have been my wifi as I wasn’t on a hard wire.
  3. There wasn’t a single audio feed and as I was listening on headphones I couldn’t get audio from 4 devices into one set of headphones.
  4. The first time round I didn’t see the room code generated for me.

 

From my Tweet, I had several recommendations.

A second suggestion from Chronic Insanity Theatre “Something Among Us” on at @ththeatrespace

https://www.tickettailor.com/events/chronicinsanity/483337

‘HEAR. SPEAK. SEE.’ a new immersive, digital drama by an all-female absurdist theatre company from EXPiAL ATROCiOUS @ExpiAtro An #EdFringe digital, on-demand and filmed in first-person POV (point of view) show.

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/hear-speak-see

A dance piece "The Story of the Tower" with chroma-key tech and projection-mapping originally streamed live from Tokyo during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games which was on-demand at the Edinburgh Fringe shared by @comitu

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/story-of-the-tower

and from Imitating The Dog “I, Melania” on the program of @Summerhallery festival (Summerhall, a vibrant cultural village in the heart of Edinburgh. A place where things happen, all kinds of interesting, wonderful and downright inspiring things.) and I quote “totally brilliant” from @paulavarjack & @ChuckBlueLowry

An extension to the Edinburgh Fringe it seems. I love the EdFringe.

I, Melina being a live experience next showing on Tuesday 24 Aug at 7:30 PM - 8:30 pm taking place in GatherTown. How cool is that!

https://www.summerhall.co.uk/sh-event/imelania/2021-08-24/

So it looks like I’m off to Edinburgh with my consciousness if not my physical body.

I, Melina next Tuesday. Anyone want to join me after in a PCM video chat room let me know. Happy to accommodate the ‘in the bar’ experience!

Chronic Insanity Theatre “Something Among Us” programmed at Thornhill Theatre Space 𝘈 𝘋𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘎𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘦 

My request for digital shows took me on a wonderful trip. Before covid I struggled to locate digital work I knew it was out there but I couldn’t find it. Now it’s like the Edinburgh Fringe every day! Overwhelm Overload excess of choice, a digital kid in a virtual candy store!

The final recommendation of the day is another EdFringe  - PLANET OF THE GRAPES - LIVE FROM NYC is a programmed live event tomorrow.

https://www.planetgrapeshow.com/

6 shows.

There is a world of digital wonder out there. So much digital augmenting talent.


Equity@Edinburgh 2009: Your voice, Your chance

Equity@EdinburghEquity is in Edinburgh from Aug 24 - 29...The Facebook group

The most important session for practitioners to influence their sector is on 27/08/09 Working in Independent Theatre – the Essentials - 1400-1600 Free (ticketed) at Festival Theatre, 13-19 Nicholson Street (venue 244).


Sadly it will be the least well attended. Social Media has no visibility in the ITC (Independent Theatre Council) contract or the Fringe contract at present I would like to see that change.

For example
  • Enabling audiences to share and promote our productions with targeted material.
  • Payments for Live Streamed performances.
  • Guidelines to protect copyright using more flexible CC creative commons licenses
  • Guidelines for online conduct within social media for company members

Please find time to fit this one in your diary. You do not have to be an equity member or working or ever worked on an ITC contract. Come and share your concerns, experiences and needs for a theatre contract for digital age.

I will be there.
Caron

Equity@Edinburgh - pt 2

Equity@Edinburgh

With the workshop completed I had a clear head to take in some shows. The amount of shows available is some what over whelming. It’s never going to be possible to see every show you want to see especially when like me you only have 3 days. So I took the flash card approach. When I arrived at the Festival last night the Edinburgh program awaited me on my bed. The Fringe program is divided in to sections Children's Shows, Comedy, Dance & Physical Theatre, Events, Exhibitions, Music, Musicals & Opera and Theatre. The sections I focused on was Theatre and Dance & Physical Theatre. Plays and Shows with multimedia, visual and auditory spectacle, experiences. I then skim read those sections, marking with a star the ones that caught my eye and marked with 2 stars the ones I definitely had to see. Last year (my first visit to the Fringe) I discovered Social Media theatre seeing MySpace the musical. This year I found productions telling cautionary tales of the evolving on line world, the absurdity of the working world and how converging technology injects humor and surreal abstraction to daily life. Reflecting on the modern world theatre is a powerful and as relevant medium for social commentary as it ever was. Politically dogmatic plays synonymous with the fringe movements roots in the 60’s and 70’s have given way to the observation of the changing world. May be my interest in IT makes those shows stand out.

I decided to experiment with the N95 media phone, QIK, Flixwagon and live streaming. I love the notion of maintaining a dynamic fresh web presence using services and tool that free the blogger from the desktop PC, live bogging… doing stuff rather that I did stuff. Here are the “to camera” pieces I did daily to capture for myself and invite viewers to my join my journey. I am no film maker and hate appearing in camera so its also a cathartic process of pushing past the discomfort I feel doing them. Not sure I will ever get over it but the ends justify the means. It’s a great way to engage and being such a visual person I want to show and share.


Equity@Edinburgh - pt 1

During the second week of 2008’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival two members of Equity staff, Louise Grainger and Matt Clarke plus two Equity members, Peter Warnock and Me, Caron Lyon championed the trade union running workshops and a daily drop-in centre under the Equity@Edinburgh banner. We also saw around 30 shows and talked to performers and production staff during our week.

My primary purpose for me being selected by the Equity Independent Theatre Arts Committee was to deliver a workshop “Social Media, Networking and making the web work for you”. Peter delivered the Voice workshops "Make your voice heard" and due to popular demand a second voice workshop was added.There was also "Speed Networking", "How to get ahead in acting", "Movement for actors", "How to get ahead as a theatre director" and "Equity - What's it all about?" More than 150 people took part in the workshops and many made use of the free advice available in the drop in zone.

It has been my ambition since withdrawing from full time stagemanagement and becoming a web designer to be in a position to pass on the astonishing findings of Social Media development over the past few years and help creatives make the web work for them in an industry where money is so tight. My approach to Web 2.0 and Social Media enables solo practitioners and small companies to develop rich dynamic, easy to maintain and control web presences at little financial cost.

My workshop lasted 2 hrs at The Roman Eagle Lodge and was attended by around 25 delegates. The session content was divided in to 3 sections recapping as the workshop progressed. I covered a lot of ground introducing them to many new sites and services. The aim of all the presentations I have done over the past few months is to ignite creative thinking around how these services and sites can be used to Get Noticed, Get Connected, and Get Work.

Two services featured as practical demonstrations with the audience using their mobile phones to experience social media in action. I like a bit of hands-on stuff.

SpinVox, a voice to text service enabling voice to text updates for Blogs, Social Networks, memos to email and mass voice to text message distribution called Blasting. Try it they provide a nifty demo. Call this number 0845 040 6699 follow the instructions, leave a short voice message and in a short time, normally less that a minute it pops up as in inbound text message. Brilliant. Signing up for the service is easy too, and…. FREE. Hurrah.

The other live demo was with Swarm, a private mass texting platform for team communication, little trickier to explain but potentially very powerful for company communication and audience engagement. Check it out.

Take a look at the workshops structure. Here is the Slide Show embedded from Slideshare an on line archive of slideshow presentation.

Through out my time in Edinburgh I used QIK to stream video content to the web ready for embedding in to my blog posts on my return. I demoed this to the delegates too. Here they are!


Unlimited Theatre

Edinburgh and beyond

I first blogged about Unlimited Theatre in my article Whirlwind Edinburgh pt 4. Well mentioned really. All I had time to do was embed a YouTube video, include a link to the Edinburgh Festival online program and a link to their website. Jon Spooner the Artistic Director and the Unlimited Theatre company are producing some fantastic work and his performed presentation about Quantum Physics, superpositioning and teleportation. Genius. Take a look at their YouTube archive and go see them. I can't wait for them to come to Nottingham one day. Or I'll track them down in Edinburgh this year. This YouTube collection gives you a glimpse in to the astonishing concepts Unlimited are tackling to make ground breaking and engaging theatre... The Ethic of Progress.


Facebook People Power

Image001_3Happy New Year! Or not so happy if you're working for one of the nearly 200 regularly funded organisations who were told just before Christmas that their funding was going to be withdrawn from April 2008.

Equity have organised a meeting on Wednesday 9th January, 11 am, at the Young Vic which Peter Hewitt, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, will attend to explain the underlying rationale of the proposed cuts and to hear from Equity members what disquiet their proposals are causing. Read article in The Stage

I guess part of the reason behind this meeting - and what makes it worthwhile - is that the decisions haven't been absolutely taken and it seems that those who create enough of a (public) fuss might possibly be saved from the chop when ACE finally decides at the end of Jan.

Amongst those proposed for a total or major grant withdrawal are London Bubble, Exeter Northcott, Yvonne Arnaud, Pop-Up Theatre, Drill Hall, National Student Drama Festival, Interchange Legal Studios, Brighton's Komedia, 3 chamber orchestras and Eastern Angles.

There's no full list anywhere, but various publications are collecting the info they receive from companies, so you could look at http://www.thestage.co.uk for news or at http://www.artsprofessional.co.uk

I have collected many Save our Theatre Facebook groups.

Links to them all are in the Saving Theatre in the UK meta facebook group. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6587973954

Links are included for Theatres, Funding cuts objections and other related arts fund cuts and causes.

Many have links to petitions and surveys to document support for these enterprises. Check them out and show your support. Especially if you aren't in London to attend the meeting.

And finally... tell people to about this meta group. Saving Theatre in the UK http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6587973954


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 www.sstc-online.org.uk