Articles for January, 2015


On set in Bradford #Multitudes

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 by Tricycle

In preparation for the Tricycle’s next World Premiere Multitudes, Director Indhu Rubasingham, Designer Richard Kent, Writer John Hollingworth and Assistant Director Harry Mackrill recently embarked on a research trip to Bradford. Once considered the wool capital of the world, Bradford is now the proud owner of the world’s first UNESCO City of Film title. The Multitudes team spent a busy day exploring the city’s best loved sites and perhaps less well explored backstreets, seeking inspiration and insight into this vibrant city that is the setting of our upcoming show Multitudes. Designer Richard Kent took the atmospheric photos you see here.

For more information about Multitudes and to book click here.


Violet Fox ‘How To’ guide no.2

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 by Tricycle

Today we continue our series of ‘How To’ guides that will make your life better, with live and visual spoken word vegan solo performance artist, Violet Fox.

Ever on the cusp of modern technology, Violet’s second ‘how to’ guide in the Happy Birthday Without You series attempts to teach viewers how to create a vlog – in silence. (Shh!)

Happy Birthday Without You is on stage at the Tricycle from 21 – 24 January at 9.15pm. Find out more, watch the trailer and book here.


Cast just announced – Multitudes

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 by Tricycle


We are thrilled to announce the cast of our next world premiere, Multitudes by John Hollingworth, directed by Indhu Rubasingham (Red Velvet, Handbagged, The House That Will Not Stand).

Clare Calbraith plays Natalie. For theatre, her work includes Last Days of Troy (Royal Exchange & Shakespeare’s Globe), Neighbors (HighTide), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange), Humble Boy (New Victoria Theatre) and A Doll’s House (Northcott Exeter). Her television work includes Home Fires, Silent Witness, Vera (series regular), Downton Abbey (series regular), The Shadow Line, Coronation Street (series regular), 55 Degrees North and Heartbeat (series regular); and for film, Mindscape and Behind the Wall.

Navin Chowdhry plays Kash. His theatre work includes The Night Before Christmas (Soho Theatre), Shades, Behind the Image (Royal Court Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Night Sky (The Old Vic). For television, his credits include Babylon, A Touch of Cloth, The Job Lot, Body Farm, Reunited, Five Days, NY-Lon, Doctor Who and Teachers; and for film, Happy New Year, Skellig, Red Mercury, The Seventh Coin and King of the Wind.

Salma Hoque plays Khadira. Her theatre credits include Drawing The Line (Hampstead Theatre) and Sick Rooms (NYT). For television, her work includes FAM and Holby City.

Asif Khan plays Julian/ Shabir/ Shafiq. His theatre work includes The Nutcracker, The Snow Queen (Unicorn Theatre), Queen of the Nile (Hull Truck), Snookered (Bush Theatre) and Twelfth Night (National Theatre). For television, his credits include The Dumping Ground, Dark Matters, Spooks, The Liquid Bomb Plot and Postal; and for film, Dumpee.

Jacqueline King plays Lyn. Her theatre credits include Life for Beginners (Theatre 503), Beyond the Horizon / Spring Storm (National Theatre / Royal and Derngate, Northampton), Larkin with Women, Major Barbara, Press Cuttings, The Madras House (Orange Tree Theatre), Damsel in Distress (Duchess Theatre) and Comic Potential (Lyric Theatre). For television, her work includes Silk, Give Out Girls, George Gently, Doctor Who, Missing, House of Saddam and 55 Degrees North; and for film, Writers’ Retreat and The Prince of Hearts.

Maya Sondhi plays Rukhsana/ Sam/ Harpreet. Her theatre credits include There (Royal Court), Yerma (Arcola Theatre), Bollywood Cinderella (Tara Arts), A Bold Stroke For A Husband (Bridewell) and The Massacre (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds). For television, her work includes Citizen Khan, Silent Witness, Judge John Deed, Collision, Doctors, Family Affairs, Brum and Fair City.

Multitudes is on stage at the Tricycle from 19 Feb – 21 Mar. Click here for more information and to book.


How to create an impossible show – Joel Horwood

Friday, January 9th, 2015 by Tricycle

Lyric Hammersmith Secret Theatre Show 5

Today we welcome A Series Of Increasingly Impossible Acts dramaturg Joel Horwood as a guest on the Tricycle blog:

Making A Series Of Increasingly Impossible Acts involved a lot of failure, blind faith and guess work. You can hear Leo Bill and Nadia Albina expand on the process here. So I figured I would write a practical ‘how to’ for a specific part of the process. Steps 1 – 4 should be completed in less than an hour.


Step 1: Select an ‘impossible’ text.

For us ’impossible’ meant Shakespeare.  Shakespeare is impossible for so many reasons; it’s impossible to write as well as he did; impossible to act as well as all those famous actors have acted those words; it’s impossible to even say some of those lines!  ‘To be or not to be’, ‘Out damned spot’, ‘lend me your ears’ they’re impossible because almost every English-speaking person in the world will have heard those lines elsewhere. But also Shakespeare’s characters believably achieve the impossible. They fall in love in an instant, feed dead children to their enemies, and sometimes they even forgive each other.

So, find the most impossible page of the most impossible piece of text and make sure you’ve got it in a format that you can write directly.


Step 2: Edit it.

Having read, re-read and agonised over your text, start editing it. Deface it, reword it, change the font, do anything but be led by your instinct. If a word doesn’t make sense to you, change it. If a character doesn’t make sense to you, make them your own. The aim of Step 2 is to expose your relationship with this material ­ not to improve the scene. Keep track of any and all images, tensions or themes that this process throws up for you as you go.


Step 3: Write your version.

Now, write your version of the same scene. Maybe in your version of Iago gulling Othello, Iago doesn’t speak? Maybe your Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with their murderous plan in public, negotiating purely in subtext. Write your own impossible scene. Quickly. Now. Go.

Lyric Hammersmith Secret Theatre Show 5

Step 4: Create tasks.

Now, rewrite your scene from Step 3 as a list of instructions or tasks. Using the examples I gave above, perhaps you could task Actor 1 (Iago) with making Actor 2 (Othello) do something that’s entirely achievable, but unpleasant, to a member of the audience. Perhaps Actor 1 (Lady Macbeth) is tasked with convincing Actor 2 (Macbeth) that her love for Actor 2 is entirely conditional on Actor 2’s ability to eat as much as possible. These may seem completely stupid as you write them (mine do to me) but they come from an instinctual understanding of the themes of the source material. They are born out of the same foundations so should – hopefully – contain a similar but different negotiation. So perhaps your impossible act at this point is to suspend your inner critic and just write, no matter how bad it seems, just in case it’s useful in Step 5.


Step 5.

Try it all. Try to leave your ego elsewhere and accept that you wrote all of these in less than an hour. They are pure instinct and demand the right to be crap; if any of them are better than bad, you’ve won. Accept that and press print.

I had the luxury of being able to pass my ‘written improvisations’ to the brilliant actors in The Secret Theatre ensemble; people I had grown to know and trust. They would work first on the original ‘impossible text’, then on my edit, then on my version of the scenes before finally improvising around the tasks I had set them. Inevitably, Sean Holmes (director) and the company would be able to spot the nuggets of gold that the actors would create and enabled the company to unflinchingly pursue the scent of whatever we were beginning to find.

It’s a tough process because you inevitably create much, much more than you will ever use and also, because you inevitably create some of the worst writing you will ever, ever write. But even if this process leads you to entirely unusable and awful work, it remains incredibly rewarding to feel even the vaguest sense of collaborating with the playwright who wrote your impossibly good text in Step 1.


A Series Of Increasingly Impossible Acts is on at the Tricycle from 12 – 31 January, click here for more information and to watch the trailer.


Violet Fox ‘How To’ guide no.1

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 by Tricycle

Meet Violet Fox – an ‘award winning’ live and visual spoken word vegan solo artist and occasional collaborator, seen here on New Year’s Eve 2014.

Violet is celebrating every birthday. And you’re invited. No birthday is complete without the traditional rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ – so impress your friends at your next birthday party with this complete ‘how to’ guide for playing Happy Birthday on the recorder.

This vlog gives you an insight into the wonderful and sometimes strange world of Violet Fox – check back soon for more ‘how to’ guides you simply won’t be able to live without.


Happy Birthday Without You is on stage at the Tricycle from 21 – 24 January at 9.15pm, after A Series Of Increasingly Impossible Acts. Make a night of it and get tickets to both shows for £20 when you book in the same transaction.