Earlier this year I was given a job at Le Pub in Newport working to develop their live performance and theatre programming (I know, perfect timing riiiight?!). So leaning into a job I really wanted, to fulfil a role I knew I'd have to work fast to understand I set about trying to figure out what we could do, how we could do it, who it could serve and what it could mean.
This process was led by me thinking about what I, as an artist, would want from an entity like Le Pub. The next thought was about what Newport might need. Now we're thinking about the state of the theatre industry as a whole and focusing on the promotion and creation of art as an action/act of rebellion, celebration and defiance.
RIGHT NOW Online Theatre Festival is a week long celebration of Welsh culture and talent. Hosting and profiling four artists, they will be sharing rough R&D work-in-progress performances during the week. Working with the support and mentorship of Dirty Protest we will also be offering other artists access to online workshops, webinars and other digital engagements in an attempt to reach artists who might benefit from some motivation, and activate work that has been drawn to a halt.
We also want to create and share work that an audience, and make sure they get something out of it, whether that's entertainment or a greater understand of something. Because as we move through this whole shit-storm, I am seeing a miscommunication between what theatre is and what people think it is. What it means and what people think it means. What our jobs are and what people think they are. By sharing insight to the working processes, thoughts, energies and creativity of theatre-making we hope people will garner a greater understanding of the form. By curating a festival of auto-biographical and solo performance, we wanted to offer something raw that lays the fiction of the world bare and allows us to reach more honestly forward. Hopefully, that's what this work will do. No pressure. Because if it doesn't and it fails, that's fine too. It's where we are. It's what this is for.
From the 23rd - 28th of Nov the work will be streamed live onto our password protected Youtube channel, and over the coming weeks we will be announcing the other opportunities such as Q&A's, workshops and webinars that will take place over Zoom and other group-talk sites/apps.
For now I wanted to give a huge shout out to Le Pub for going beyond to support this work, and also to Catherine Paskell at Dirty Protest for helping with everything and more.
If you want to keep informed as to what is happening and when then please, please, please, please sign up on the Le Public Space website. This is pretty crucial if you want access to the performances, webinars, workshops.