Inspired by the so called ‘Women’s Films’ of 1930/40s Hollywood and the body of academic writing surrounding female transformation on English speaking film, we worked with two male dancers and two actresses to make TRANSFORMER.
‘TRANSFORMER celebrates female transformation on film, through a sensuous combination of live drama and dance. Stream-Lyric presents Norma and Eddie, actors trapped in an unusual mother-daughter relationship that spans decades, memories and iconic moments.’
The writing/research process included screenings of the stimuli films in partnership with FRAME Film Club based at Metal. These were widely attended by diverse audiences whose contributions to the two-way Q&As unveiled a wealth of cultural expectations and individual responses to genre and the roles of women within/without the frame.
This development period culminated in ‘Work In Progress’ showings in the main house at Cambridge Junction as part of Hotbed Festival of New Writing in July. Cambridge TV (‘A Channel for Bright and Curious People’) subsequently broadcast one of the sharings in September with an accompanying interview. This mixing of mediums suited the show’s aesthetic and reached out to a larger audience.
We will be developing the show further in 2017.
Writer/Director – Tamsin Flower
Associate Producer – Tessa Howell
Filmmaker – Marc Price
Lighting/Sound – David Salter
Research Associates – University of Kent (Network of Researchers: Movies, magazines & Audiences)/ NORMMA
MENTAL Play is a dark comedy about three twenty-somethings in a pilot mental health support group. Three twenty-somethings; one mental journey. Inspired by the socio-political move towards ‘parity of esteem’, MENTAL Play uses sensory stimuli to present private worlds and wicked social commentary.
The show was originally developed in partnership with OMNIA House, Mind*, Writers Centre Norwich and Norwich Arts Centre. In 2015, MENTAL Play toured to – Camden People’s Theatre, Brighton Emporium, Peterborough Key Black-Box and The Abbey Centre, Westminster, where simultaneous giggles were heard from both young and senior audience alike. As a company, we were happy to welcome markedly diverse audiences of theatre goers, public service workers, mental health patients and many who identified as disabled or marginalised. Particularly heartening were the ‘thank yous’ offered to members of the tech’ and creative team following shows and Q&As, no more so than at The Abbey Centre. Some quotes from MENTAL feedback post-cards and industry representatives:
Mark Richards (Producer – METAL) –
‘A multi-sensory exploration of the challenges of maintaining a positive mental attitude whilst undertaking group therapy! Sensitive but with a critical and sometimes comic eye, the show explores our desire to create a ‘care-full’ community in the 21stcentury, and the various mechanisms employed by individuals to support their personal healing ‘journey.’
‘Excellent and thought-provoking! Really enjoyed!’ – audience member
Niamh De Valera (AD, Blue Elephant Theatre) –
‘A thoughtful look at the complexities of mental health issues and treatment’.
‘An important show about an important subject…thank you!’ – audience member
David Dominic Lindsay
Emma Sophie Ormond
Petr Cal Jones
Marion Alison Mead
David Simon J. White
Emma Rebecca Finch
Petr Cal Jones
Marion Bev’ Bishop