Tricycle

Scott Graham, Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly on The Believers…

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Tricycle

 

 The Believers rehearsalsThe Believers rehearsals

Initially all that existed was a title, The Believers, and the briefest synopsis – it is about belief systems. Apart from that, I was starting from scratch.

The first research and development we did was driven by the book Religion Explained, a fascinating insight into belief and anthropology, I then decided to look at horror films, as they inspire us to believe in the absurd and I was interested in how far our belief systems might bend and alter when presented with different situations. That might be fear and terror, or it might be the promise of great reward.

These were early directions but many of them are still applicable in what became The Believers. When you set out to make a show, it can take at least two years and in that time you can change direction, take wrong turnings, get lost, or meet sudden inspiration – something that came to Eddie and I in the early hours of the morning after our first preview as it struck us that what we had all just watched was a beautiful painting. It was crafted to within an inch of its life but it remained two-dimensional. It was not leaping out and embracing or shaking us, which led us to spending the next day giving the production a bit more oomph. By 21:00 that night, it had become clear that our hard work was well worth it – it had leapt out at us, gripped us for 70 minutes and then released us feeling shaken and very proud.

I think The Believers illustrates why I cast actors and then get them to move. The four performers were cast on their acting ability and their potential to give their best physically. Eddie and I were confident we could introduce them to the physical world and get them strong and confident physically. When we had achieved that, we knew that their acting skills would then come to the fore – and, of course, they did. 

You can find out more about The Believers on our website here


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Blog Takeover: OVER!

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Tricycle
Yolanda (right) performing in The Kilburn Passion

Yolanda (right) performing in The Kilburn Passion

We’re all still recovering from the mental week of theatre, film, music and workshops that was the first ever Tricycle Takeover Festival, which finished last week. What better way to round off an unbelievable festival than with one of our first Young Company bloggers, Yolanda, returning to give us her final outlook on the events…

I don’t have any children, and I’ve never been pregnant, but stepping off The Tricycle stage felt like I’d just given birth; that I had brought into the world this thing/being/creation that we have been working on and anticipating for months. It’s amazing because after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I can definitely say hard work pays off. Our first night of The Kilburn Passion felt like a beautiful dream that I didn’t want to awake from. Everything seemed to go perfectly- there probably were minor mistakes, but I believe this helped us to solidify and depict the story that Suhayala wrote.

One of the best things about this experience has to be the cast.  It feels so weird to say, but I genuinely felt like I was on stage with a group of friends: telling a story, sharing a dance and other intimate moments from our characters’ journeys in front of an audience. As we did more shows, the FUN heightened and I felt like I could explore my character “Steph” more, and I discovered a variety of dimensions to her sassy yet emotional demeanour. I think that, as a whole, the cast all seemed to be exploring their characters during the shows and by the last show I felt that we had evolved as an ensemble and individuals, and really made The Kilburn Passion “HD”.

Being a part of The Kilburn Passion has been a remarkable experience, and I can’t wait to see where my Tricycle Young Company journey takes me.

You can find out more about the Tricycle Young Company on our website here.


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Lyrical Fireworks Competition Winner

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Tricycle
Winner: Tom Gill

Winner: Tom Gill

To celebrate the London premiere of Kate Tempest’s newest play Hopelessly Devoted at the Tricycle Theatre, we recently launched a competition in collaboration with Paines Plough and Ideastap to scour the country for the freshest young spoken word artists.

The inspiration – Ted Hughes award-winning poet and critically acclaimed playwright and recording artist, Kate Tempest. The prize- the chance to perform the winning poem after a performance of Hopelessly Devoted, tickets to see the show and a signed Kate Tempest playscript.

The Tricycle Theatre endeavours to support emerging artists and we were seriously impressed with the level of lyrical talent displayed by all the young poets who entered – we had over 70 entries into the competition and the winners were picked by Hopelessly Devoted directors Stef O’Driscoll and James Grieve.

We are very pleased to announce the winner of Lyrical Fireworks is… (drum roll please!)…

Tom Gill!

Tom is a spoken word artist and actor who lives in London and won the competition with his recording of 4 Minute Fix. This poem had us cracking up as well as marveling at Tom’s way with words and his bang on social commentary. Click the link below to view Tom’s winning poem (please note this poem contains swearing):

Lyrical Fireworks winning poem: 4 Minute Fix by Tom Gill

Also massive congrats to the two runners up in the competition- Mia Antonia with her poem The Mirror and Paddy Hughes with his poem Nokia. Both Mia and Paddy will be receiving signed Kate Tempest playscripts and Hopelessly Devoted posters.

Hopelessly Devoted by Kate Tempest is playing until 19 April- click here for more info and to book.


Tricycle

Blog Takeover: Toy Kangaroos, Group Birthing & Opening Night Nerves

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by Tricycle
KP2 small

The Kilburn Passion in rehearsal

Today we have a blog from Tricycle Young Company Member Luke, who is acting in The Kilburn Passion which is opening tonight as part of the Takeover Festival! We’re really rooting for all the Young Company actors gearing up to open to a packed house of Kilburn locals and theatre lovers. As the age old saying goes, break a leg guys!

It seems any blog about my experiences working on The Kilburn Passion would need to start with a bit of background first. Starting anything with “at last week’s rehearsals, after introducing ourselves to a toy kangaroo called Kennedy, we began to plot out the chorus’ baby birthing scene and the cream doughnut fight” definitely needs a bit of context and explanation.
 
My journey with the Tricycle’s Young Company starts back in Summer 2013 when Mark Londesborough, the Creative Learning Director at the Tricycle Theatre, came to do a talk for a youth project I was involved with about the Tricycle’s plans for the Takeover Festival. I left that Q&A with one note: “Tricycle Theatre Young Company – SIGN UP”. A few weeks later, with an audition booked in, I made my way to Kilburn and sat nervously on the tube, wondering what to expect. And so ensued one of the most relaxed and enjoyable auditions I’ve ever had. I was put in a room with 20 other young people with a passion for theatre and we were allowed to simply play, explore, and have fun with our own interpretations of various scenes and situations that we were given. I left that audition even more resolved that this project at this theatre was something that I just had to be involved with in whatever way I could.
 
Luckily, two weeks later I received ‘The Email’. As any actor will know the first step to opening such emails involves desperately scanning with fingers over the eyes for the words ‘unfortunately’, ‘however’ or ‘the standard was particularly high’. Thankfully, it included neither and it was inviting me to join the Young Company for 2013/14. Needless to say I was ecstatic; primarily because, based on my audition, the standard was indeed very high. From my short time spent amongst them, The Tricycle seems to draw in tirelessly passionate, driven and talented people that make it a genuinely enjoyable place to just hang out; whether you are working there or not and that was certainly reflected in the people who came to audition for the Young Company.
 
And of course, that is not more palpable than in the young people who made up the final company and those working with us. Not only are we led by the wonderful Emily Lim, who is one of the most dynamic and endlessly energetic people I have ever had the pleasure to be around, let alone be directed by. We are also enormously blessed to be working alongside playwright Suhayla El-Bushra.  Suhayla’s insights into us as individuals, as a company and into society at large have resulted in a truly original and unique play that not only expresses what we as a young company have to say but that feels uniquely ‘of us’.

The Kilburn Passion in rehearsals

The Kilburn Passion in rehearsals

 
The ‘us’ in question of course being the collection of 18 young people that form the Young Company. One rehearsal spent with this company and it becomes evidently clear why a theatre piece is called a play. And at first glance you could be forgiven for assuming that is all we do. However, if anything I have written previously feels like sentimental cheese then prepare for the overripe, matured stilton of it all because this has to be one of the most united, talented and determined bunches of people I’ve ever worked with. Determined in their passion for theatre making; determined in their demand for a ‘voice’ and determined to have fun. Tuesday evenings have come to be one of my most looked forward to times of the week.
 
And the culmination of all of this hard work, passion and determination? A new play, written beautifully by Suhayla; directed effortedly (or whatever the opposite of effortlessly is, because it has sure as hell involved one hell of a lot of effort) by Emily Lim and staged spectacularly by the technical and design team, Elena Peña, Chris Gylee, Jack Knowles, Shannon Foster and Georgina Brazier. Now, as we inch ever terrifyingly close to opening night, the camaraderie and group dynamics come into full effect as we come to terms with the set (all 9 raised platforms of it) and the furiously relentless transitions, choral scenes and prop-journey madnesses! And amidst all this madness, introducing ourselves to toy kangaroos, group birthing scenes and cream doughnuts have well and truly cemented themselves into the norm… and that is slightly worrying, and beautiful at the same time!
 
The Kilburn Passion opens on the 3rd of April as part of the Tricycle’s young people Takeover Festival and I’d like to finally thank Mark Londesborough, Anna Myers and all the other wonderful people behind the scenes at the Tricycle for whom youth engagement in their theatre work is clearly at the heart of what they do. This is not just a youth project, it is a Youth Takeover and I am immensely proud to be even a small part of it.

Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday performances of The Kilburn Passion- click here to book. And there’s still loads of workshops and events you can take part in until 5 April- click here for more info and to see what’s on.


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Blog Takeover: Cake, Crisps and Kilburn High Road

Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Tricycle

Rob

Kicking us off on day two of the Takeover Festival we have a cracking blog from Young Company member, Rob. Rob is part of the 19 – 25 group performing The Kilburn Passion- opening on Thursday!

Hi everyone, my names Rob and I’m playing the character Gareth in The Kilburn Passion.

A friend asked me recently  – So, did your start rehearsals in March?  It suddenly reminded me this project didn’t start 4 weeks ago, The Kilburn Passion’s been 6 months of weekly sessions culminating with Suhayla El-Bushra’s piece about sacrifice, companionship, and yes, the time-old problem of dried Weetabix. 

Now it’s March 31st, and show time is days away! Rehearsals have been fantastic with director Emily Lim’s mum feeding us homemade cake*, and I’ve had a personal supply of crisps from stage manager Georgina** as my character eats in one of his scenes. I’m always willing to re-rehearse the crisp scene, practice makes perfect (or inevitably in my case, fat!)  

I’m nervous – but not that much. Emily’s reminded us to be absolutely clear on not only our personal entrances and props, but where exactly we are offstage, and to remember the lines in the scene before ours to be certain of our entrance timing. Having all this distracts you from being nervous, which is nice. 

The Kilburn Passion explores the daily lives of young adults on Kilburn High Road – but young adults who’re frustrated with their lives, have an inability to communicate how they’re really feeling, or who desire to do good but are let down. Watch the scenes with characters Ed and Abi: their crumbling relationship, with their son caught in the middle, is heart breaking.

During our penultimate rehearsal on Saturday, the young company took to the Kilburn High Road to find matching destinations for our characters and scenes; such as the clothes shop that characters Dominique, Lindsey and Aiden inhabit, or Gareth’s local pub. This gave the scenes a sense of reality, and it was interesting to exist as Gareth on the street.  

With the music and dance pieces in the play, it’ll blow your socks off! So you have to see it.

Rob.

*Which I hope she will again (Emily can you ask?)

**The supply of which will hopefully continue after the show is over (Doritos, please!)

The Takeover Festival is happening this whole week at the Tricycle with plenty of theatre, film and workshops to keep you busy. For more info and to book, click here. Join the in conversation with #TYCtakeover.


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Blog Takeover: A word from Rachael with 1 week to go!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by Tricycle
No rest for the wicked! The Kilburn Passion Company members note changes on their script during lunch break.

No rest for the wicked! The Kilburn Passion Company members note changes on their script during lunch break.

Today we have a blog from Tricycle Young Company member Rachael, who is part of the group performing The Kilburn Passion in the Takeover Festival opening on Sunday. With less than a week to go till the start of the Takeover, it’s all systems go!

Hey guys and gals, Rachael here!

I play Eva in The Kilburn Passion and thought I’d give you all an update on how rehearsals are going. Well it has been a very exciting few weeks here at the Tricycle…

Last weekend we ran through the play with the sound cues. Elena, our Sound Designer, has located and remixed some brilliant tracks which really capture the heart of Suhayla’s play. Then on Saturday afternoon we did our first run through in full costume with the creative team in the theatre. There are some bright clothing choices on display, be warned! 

On Tuesday we were all interviewed for a small documentary on the Takeover Festival before Suhayla dropped in to watch a full costume run. It was lovely to catch up with Suhayla and show her the progress we’ve been making, as well as hearing about all the exciting things she is doing too.

photo 3 upright

Then, finally, this Saturday we got to see the set for the first time. Dun, dun, dunnnnnn!!! Chris, our Set Designer, and his assistant Charlie have managed to make us a set that is so bold and beautiful I can’t wait for you all to see it. It really is amazing. The past two days have consisted of us sitting, walking, jumping, dancing and generally taking over the structure. The play is a logistically complicated piece and with so many cast members it’s crucial we all feel comfortable and know exactly where we are going in scene changes. We also have a few dance numbers so the last thing we want is someone pirouetting off the balcony (don’t worry Stage Managers, I’m only joking…)

In all it’s really starting to come together now. I can’t wait for the play to open in just over a week but I’m equally sad that also means it’s nearly over. I feel very privileged to be part of such a wonderful, funny and, it’s got to be said, slightly eccentric company.

Last of all we would like to give a big shout out to our Director’s mam who baked us two cakes and brought in general goodies over the weekend to keep us going. Thanks Dianne, you’re a star!

Well that’s enough of me and my over enthusiastic exclamation marks.

Over and out

Rach x

Visit the Takeover Festival web page for more information on the theatre, film and workshops taking place from 31 March – 5 April. Join in the conversation with #TYCtakeover.