Work in progress: Freaks of Nature. Circus-inspired clown street theatre show about extinction and rarity value. Development has included a durational performance on Brighton seafront, short film by Lilian Simonsson, performing in the woods at Carrying the Fire 2014, and a devising residency in March 2014 at Jacksons Lane as part of Transmit. Directed by Marisa Carnesky.
July 2015 – December 2015: Futurecoast Youth – a collaboration between Feral Theatre, University of Brighton, ONCA and Dorothy Stringer School, whose aim was to empower young people to imagine and explore responses to climate change, through participatory storytelling, play and performance. FutureCoast Youth extends the FutureCoast project developed by US games designer, Ken Eklund: a game which asks audiences to create voicemails from climatically changed futures. FutureCoast Youth culminated in a Young People’s Climate Conference at the Onca Gallery, to coincide with the COP21 UN climate convention (Paris, December 2015). More here.
Autumn 2015 onwards: Madam Balwn. Wales-based co-director Emily is developing a new clown piece featuring balloon puppets and a live musical accompaniment. This was first aired at BAC’s Freshly Scratched in October.
September – November 2014: Martha’s Flock. This participatory online project elicited a broad range of events and tributes to the passenger pigeon, and contributed to the growth in engagement with Remembrance Day for Lost Species.
May 2014: With support from IdeasTap, ONCA, the Nightingale Theatre and the Pebble Trust, we brought Invisible Giant to the Warren, Brighton Fringe’s acclaimed venue. Original new work from Feral, commissioned and co-produced by ONCA as part of the INorganic season on waste. Read reviews here, here, here and here.
March 2014: Live Orca Show! Commissioned by WhaleFest, this short humorous piece featuring an orca in a bathtub and her trainer was made to support the Free Morgan campaign. Featuring Jennifer Haufek and directed by David Tutton and Brenda Bishop.
November 2013: Arth, Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Emily Laurens led on this ACW-funded R&D project produced by Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
April 2013: White Bear River. Two days’ R&D on the extraordinary story of 18th century explorer/ colonialist George Cartwright hosted by ONCA and culminating in a scratch performance in the gallery space as part of the Our Time in Ice exhibition. See clips and a review here.
January 2013: Last of the Curlews at TEDx, Whitechapel and at ONCA. Company in residence at ONCA Gallery, Brighton.
November 2011-2014 (ongoing, annual): Remembrance Day for Lost Species (ongoing participatory project). Previous Remembrance Days have seen a wide range of species and places remembered through art and participant-driven memorial events – ranging from a Day of the Dead procession for the Caribbean Monk Seal to a hunt for the Stephens Island Wren, funerals for the Great Auk, and mask-making for the Western Black Rhino. 2013 saw a lost species ritual and storytelling event at the community allotment in Whitehawk, Brighton, and many other gatherings and rituals in other places.
August 2012: Funeral for the Rodrigues Solitaire. A participatory project on the Southbank for the National Theatre’s Take the Space/ HomeLiveArt’s Alternative Village Fete.
August 2012: Homage to Rachel Carson. Non-verbal promenade piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring.
August 2012: Funeral for the Caspian Tiger. A promenade show commissioned by Dark Mountain’s Uncivilisation Festival.
May 2012 and 2013: Triptych premiered at Brighton Fringe 2012 and won Best New Play (New Writing South award). Returned to the Fringe 2013. Triptych tells three interwoven stories of loss: the extinction of the Eskimo Curlew, the first published female Roma poet, and the road protests of the 1990s. With haunting shadow puppetry, original live music by Tom Cook and exquisite aerial theatre. The stories continue to be performed individually and as a triptych at festivals and theatres.
January 2012: Funeral for the Javan Tiger. Commissioned by the Southbank Centre for DeathFest 2012. A collaboration with the RFH Gamelan, performed in the Clore Ballroom. This event blended shadow puppetry, clown and ritual with a giant tiger skeleton puppet, original compositions and ancient folk tales to tell a tragic extinction story.
Halloween 2011: Wolfish Tales at Preston Manor. A spooky site-specific piece made with actors and community volunteers in one of Brighton’s finest historic buildings. The pet cemetery revealed its darkest secrets amid tales of werewolves and transformation.
August 2011: Funeral for the Bali Tiger. A participatory project at The Green Man festival. Festival-goers co-created a large tiger sculpture which was paraded and finally burned on a huge pyre. Inspired by the funerals of Balinese royalty.
Spring 2011 onwards: A Funeral for Lost Species. Winner of the TippingPoint commission 2011, funded by the Arts Council of England. An large-scale ongoing project including theatre with a site specific graveyard installation for Brighton Fringe 2011 (see http://vimeo.com/25260994); making and performing workshops with adults and young people; staging funerals for extinct animals in unusual places and spaces.
Halloween 2010: The Cabinet of Curiosities at Brighton Museum. Commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council. A participatory art project using paper-cuts and shadow puppetry to create a spooky all-night wunderkammer. Attended by 2000+ participants.
July 2010: Fox Tale. Puppetry piece commissioned by Brook Meadow Conservation Group, Hampshire.
November 2009: The Witch of the North. A promenade collaboration with Creative Partnerships featuring tree-top aerial and live gamelan in the woods of Ninfield, Sussex.
September 2008 onwards: Songs for Waiting. A studio piece created for one. A study of waiting through the art of physical storytelling. Performed in derelict houses in Belgium and the UK.
September 2007- November 2008: Sabbat Project. A number of experimental site-specific outdoor productions. These included King of the Seeds and The Lost Child at Whitehawk Community Food Project, Brighton; Dignity on Brighton beach; The Butterfly Prince at Andy’s Cafe, Camden.