Kindred Spirits is ArtSpeak's Theatre Group led by Artistic Director Tanya Myers with Artistic support from Stephen Lowe
The Kindred Spirits Story
The group established in November 2019 where they came together on a weekly basis at the Arts Theatre in Hockley to begin exploring a theatre language, they could all engage with.
In March 2020 the indoor sessions were forced to stop due to the global pandemic, however, the enthusiasm and desire to stay connected whilst continuing to experiment and improvise, remained. The group found emails to be the best form of communication and each week were presented with a new missive to respond to. These improvisational tasks involved working in the mediums of poetry, creative writing, film and photography. To see a compilation of this work click here to view their digital book. This work was then taken online via zoom where conversations could continue, and the work that was beginning to take shape could be questioned and further developed. As lockdown eased, the group regrouped outdoors and throughout the summer months they have been using the canopy of the trees at Wollaton Park as their Theatre space to move, and play in.
“After this last challenging year these gentle connections have been wondrous; the freedom and joy of playing, breathing together with trees, fresh air, drizzle or sun, birdsong. The discovery of audience finding us on each occasion playing incidentally amongst the trees has also been terrific. Witnessing their wonder at finding us playing amongst the trees, has been a cherry on the cake. I don’t think some of you have always been aware of being observed!”
JOIN THE GROUP:
New ideas, voices and characters are wanted as our theatre group enter a new phase of creative development.
Sessions are a safe space to have fun, be explorative and share ideas. They’re always thought provoking, supportive and reflective.
Kindred Spirits meet at The Neville Studio at Nottingham Playhouse, Wellington Circus, NG1 5AF
The group meet on Thursday afternoons at 15:30 - 17:30
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Tanya at email@example.com
Devised theatre - frequently called collective creation - is a method of theatre-making in which the script or performance score originates from collaborative, often improvisatory work by a performing ensemble.
“During this next phase we will very gently revisit personal material and stories from over the last year or so. Looking at personal material and seeing how it changes as we repeat and play with it…” Tanya Myers
Building the Kindred House –
*Task and explanation written by Tanya Myers*
The Kindred House of Spirits will be different for each one of us, in our imagined hearts and souls. Inspired by Deane’s Dolls House; our house need not make realistic sense architecturally.
There is no limit to the size of the house, to the number of rooms. The house can be as tall and as small as we dare. To one, it may be a mansion, whilst a hut, to someone else.
The important quest - (building on existing work) is to create & develop characters to inhabit the House & its outlying lands, eventually seeing the crazy jigsaw fit together.
Verbs: Who LIVES, RESIDES, HIDES, HAUNTS, OWNS, VISITS this house. A character may reside in a tea caddy, or in a wall painting, be a maintenance worker, or the woman sitting in the shadows behind a curtain. The point is - what does Life inside this House look like, from this or that characters POV….. eventually we'll step outside to look back in.
Kindred House may embrace everyday realism - whist remaining surreal as a dream. (Influence Angela Carter, Garcia Marquez; Magical Realism)
It can be as autobiographical, or far removed from the familiar, as humorous and/or as sad as we wish.
Stepping in and out of different worlds will become even more interesting when characters finally interact.
For example, scenes that bring characters to a floating Table to Eat Supper or into a cosmic shared moment, frozen in time.
Currently we conceive working with episodic filmic perspective. The front of a Dolls House being the starting frame. Entering and exiting at will.
In the future, inviting Design and Creative Technical support. The kindred creative group may expand as the work naturally requires new influences and support, including actors.
Live theatre remains our passion: We don’t need to limit our imaginations: with theatre anything is possible.
MEET THE CHARACTERS SO FAR...
RADIO BARRY –
I’m not sure about the house, I go along with it. It's ok. I get along fine with the others in the house. We have to get along the best we can don’t we? I switch on and I can switch off. If house was a theatre, I’d like to be on the main stage. Spent most of my life back stage. I'd like to be out front for a change. Moon River is my favourite song, sung by Danny Williams. This is the song I’d sing. We see you like dancing I’ve always danced you see. I have a Westminster chiming clock. The show in this house is 'The war of The Worlds’.
The character of Radio Barry has been created by Kindred Spirit member Barry.
“I am 81. Born one of 10 children. I love singing when I get the chance. And Drama when I can. I want to improve my confidence. I love my son and grandchildren. I want everything to be alright for them." Barry
I am strong…with callouses on feet and hands. I wear bandages on my hands…. Coloured ribbons disguise ugliness …. I have stood in water too long, my left leg has shrunk. I have weight firmly mounted around my belly. I walk with a gally roll, like a ship riding the waves…. others might call it a limp.
I think of myself as hearty. I drink rum. More than I should… eat violets to smother the smell…. Sleep doesn’t come easy – I don’t know why… morphine helps with aches and pains. I have early starts and late stops… never stop working. Not really. Have powers in my thoughts, that’s for sure… I can think someone into being… if I stare long enough – there they are. Sometimes I can tell you where an object is, if an object is lost… I see it my mind’s eye. And I can bring it out. I can make things appear, you see, that thought they were lost... nothings ever really lost. That’s my motto.
The character of Betty has been created by Kindred Spirit Director Tanya.
"I love making theatre. I am privileged to have lived my work all my life! We have two wonderful grown daughters who keep our feet rooted on planet earth while our hearts fly with the angels. Now a grandmother and full time carer, I’ve recently discovered Wild Swimming and Walking. I will be walking the Camino to Cop 26 to Glasgow making theatre for our Planet." Tanya Myers.
I am an old lady who does everything too quickly.
I have an annoying habit of organising & tidying things. I hate clutter. I have the urge to clean out the cupboards and fill them again with good memories. I like to straighten the pictures, clocks, photos & mirrors on the walls (Sometimes the photos & pictures come alive and talk to me)
I need to keep checking myself in the mirrors. I see myself as a TIMEKEEPER in the Kindred house **
I like punctuality. I am always checking my watch. I am always in a hurry... too fast, too fast ... I am always aware of TIME, of time passing and things that need to be done. No time to lose... (2 steps forward, 3 steps back, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back)
The character of Flux has been created by Kindred Spirit member Pat.
"I’m an Essex girl. I am a grandmother and a stand up comedian. 80 years old! I love keeping fit and am a bit obsessed with it. I’m incredibly proud of my son. I do everything too quickly. ( I often speak before I act!)" Pat
I am a few months old; can roll and reach, beginning to move head. Full of energy; full of early months’ strength; eyes find it hard to focus, co-ordination is still an experiment, but I am curious; ‘getting it wrong’ and tumbling don’t matter because I’m flat anyway and I don’t know what ‘wrong’ means. I am excited and cross; frustrated sometimes sour; I have night-time terrors, and no one comes. No one comes. I wait, in a cold sweat, sleeping fitfully till the light starts, then I struggle with that part of me that wants to sleep – and can now it’s light – and the part that craves connection and physical warmth. When she comes, I am ecstatic to hear her, smell her, see her: something blue/grey shines at me, and feel her holding me close. And then I am cross. And then I am ecstatic.
The character of Maisie has been created by Kindred Spirit member Carrie.
I am 32, walk like a ballerina (without the turn out) with a very straight back; good gait and head held high. Very good co-ordination. Can sometimes appear that I’m gliding along the floor. Very slim-only eat when hungry.
Self-possessed; appear sometimes to be aloof and diffident. Need little sleep. Psychic powers are obvious to all whom I meet. No ailments except the occasional headache from too many spirits trying to gain my attention. I like the feeling of power, I hold the keys to every room in the house even to the forbidden quarters. Single and a loner even when living with others- people confide in me -share their most inner dark secrets.
The character of Tatiana has been created by Kindred Spirit member Julie.
I am ‘a magnificent creature, a tiny faery who may cause flowers to bloom yet who may also deliver a surprisingly fierce bite when threatened.’
I am indeed a magnificent creature, because, after all, I am here. And of course this is enough to qualify for magnificence. We all know that, don’t we? I do know that. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of really knowing that. But mostly I forget. So I have to work on it, give it very regular, very very good attention.
The character of Sprite has been created by Kindred Spirit member Jude.
It is easy to mistake me for a log. That’s all I ever wanted to do and then suddenly, my jaws open wide inviting and snap. All will be warm inside the belly of a crocodile-a part I’ve played successfully for millenniums. A boy enters with a shadow following along behind him. Tired, he sits on the log. The jaws open, snap, and the terrified boy realizes he has lost his shadow inside the stomach of the monster. Crocodile admires the boy’s performance only to discover it is for real.
The character of Croc has been created by Kindred Spirit member Stephen.
"I’m a Sneinton Boy 74 years old. I want to keep writing. I like being with my family. I wish I could play the piano. I have a tram named after me!" Stephen Lowe
If you're intrigued by what the group are doing and would like more information before signing up, get in touch with Tanya - firstname.lastname@example.org