London Performance Now: Athena at The Yard Theatre 2021 by Ana Rosales – Review

Athena | The Yard Theatre

I’d been wary, coming in. Of course, visiting a new place alone is almost inevitably nerve-racking, and this is certainly the case during my visit to The Yard Theatre, where I’m set to watch Athena, a story by American playwright Gracie Gardner. But there’s more to my hesitancy than the simple novelty of The Yard, for all its gentrified millennial aesthetics. 

As an American student in the UK, I was curious to see British theatre-makers handle the Americanisms embedded in Athena’s text. Upon arrival I wasn’t sure what to make of the company, but I’m happy to report this production has successfully snuck into my heart. 

Starring Millicent Wong as titular Athena and Grace Saif as friendly rival Mary Wallace, the show pushes audiences right into the deep end of American teenage girlhood, with the added edge of high school sports—in this case, fencing.  

The story unfolds mostly through the girls’ training sessions, and while they seem to have little in common outside the sport, Athena and Mary Wallace manage to build a steady rhythm toward friendship. Featuring the most realistic teenage girl dialogue I’ve heard in a long time—brava to Wong and Saif’s delivery, and special compliments to voice coach Rachel Coffey for honing some impressive American accents from the performers—it became easy to lose myself in the show’s pleasant authenticity. 

The production’s staging is effective, for all its no-frills dramaturgical choices. Taking place on a mostly bare stage, our only clue to any concrete environment is a long blue rectangle painted diagonally through the stage floor—the piste, fencing strip—and most scene changes are signaled with lighting cues. The choreography is thrilling to watch, too. Fight director Claire Llewellyn does a brilliant job molding the physicality of fencing into rich and meaningful movement that is reflective of the characters. 

The play culminates in an epic, real-time fencing match between the two girls, a wordless 12-minute face-off. But this grand finale is quiet—eerily so. With no dialogue (save for an occasional disembodied ‘en garde!’), all we hear are the shuffling of feet and the clanking of sabres. Part of me wishes there had been something to underscore this: music, or maybe muted cheers from spectators. But on the other hand, the quiet makes for a thoroughly tense experience. It’s a deliberate risk, but one I’m still not sure is entirely worth it. 

Athena also tentatively approaches themes of class. Although this is not explored much further than mentions of suburban morning routines and the woes of commuting, I find the subtle scratching of these topics a poignant reflection of adolescence itself—at this age, you’re wary of showing off those most vulnerable parts of yourself, including the intricacies of class. For two young fencers, letting your “garde” down is the bravest thing you can do. 

If you’re the kind of theatregoer who finds value in the mundane, and value in even the most ephemeral relationships, watch Athena. It really is a gem. 

Read more about London Performance Now module

SED Opportunity Digest – 22 October 2021

Welcome to our digest full of interesting events, opportunities and schemes that may help you meet collaborators, improve their career prospects or simply broaden your horizons.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next edition via sed-web@qmul.ac.uk

From QMUL, Partners & Friends

New Black History Month alumni profile – Tomiwa Owolade (English BA, 2018)

news image

I’m excited to share my latest profile for Black History Month, featuring freelance writer and critic, Tomiwa Owolade (English BA, 2018). (Thank you to Suzanne, who bumped into Tomiwa at a book signing recently and told me about him!)

In his profile, Tomiwa explores the idea of ‘pride’ and talks about how his degree helped to develop his skills as a writer, how lucky he feels to have a job that aligns so much with his interests, and why he’s been inspired to begin writing a book about black British identity. 

“[My book] is a critique of a tendency to conflate the experiences and cultures of the black British population with the black American population. Obviously, there are instances when comparisons are valid, but the assumption, which I found pervasive after the Black Lives Matter protests last year, that we can analyse black Britain through an American lens, is reductive.”

For the full interview, visit: https://bit.ly/TomiwaOwolade.

Please like and share the social media posts if you can:

Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn / Facebook.

Craft Podcast

Calling all lovers of reading and literature! Join Wasafiri’s Malachi McIntosh and your favourite international writers including Daniel Mella, Chen Chen, Bernadine Evaristo, and Raymond Antrobus to take you on a journey behind the scenes and unpack the often-hidden side of how their work was created.

New Learning Resources

  • Digital Theatre + (digital recordings of theatre productions).  This is in addition to Drama Online (digital recordings of theatre productions and play scripts), which we started subscribing to last year.
  • Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Literature (dynamically updated key reference work on literature)
  • Alexander Street Academic Video Online (documentaries and films across all subject areas)

Read more here

Diversity QMUL Diversity Speaks Coaching

We have the opportunity for you to engage with some specialist mentoring.

Unlock your Talent, build confidence and tackle any difficulties you are facing whilst being at university and identifying from a Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Background.

If you are interested please sign up here or via the QR code in the email.

Outside QMUL

A Free Inclusive Festival of Theatre, Dance and Cabaret

White text in capital letters spell out the words 'A Bit Of A Do' the words are stacked on top of each other. From the words wavy lines in blue, pink and purple move diagonally across the image. In the background there is a picture of a disco ball that is reflecting blue, purple and pink lights.

18th – 28th November 2021 At Stanley Arts & Online A Bit Of A Do, our annual festival of theatre, dance and cabaret, featuring work by disabled and non-disabled artists is back!  Everyone is invited! We will be returning to Stanley Arts – a community arts venue in South Norwood, from the 18th to 28th of November. This year there will be two ways to experience the festival: this can be in person or online, so you can choose which you prefer. All events include British Sign Language interpretation and some events include enhanced access for visually impaired audiences. We have a range of amazing performances and digital experiences including work from Bert & Nasi, Forced Entertainment, Moxie Brawl, GymJam, Ellen Renton, Jack Dean & Company and Aby Watson. As well as an evening of Cabaret Performance, an inclusive club night and a Scratch Night that will showcase brand new performance ideas from disabled artists. As always all events are Free to attend – you just need to book a ticket so that we know how many people will be with us! You can find all of the festival information and book tickets by following the link below. We can’t wait to have ‘A Bit Of A Do’ with You! Learn More

Friday Late: remake with gal-dem

Friday Late takeover, this month gal-dem and friends are back for a night of live performances, workshops, installations, talks and screenings.   As we enter the Roaring Twenties, this Friday Late, we’re asking you to remake with us, using your hands, minds and imagination to radically change the times we live in.   29 October, 18.30 – 22.00

FIND OUT MORE GO TO gal-dem

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Rough Trade Books presents an evening curated by Musa Okwonga at The Social

Featuring live readings from two of the UK’s most exciting literary voices, Inua Ellams and Nikesh Shukla, a long-overdue Social performance from the incredible 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE and finally, Musa himself in conversation with Ian Wright (can’t believe we’ve actually just written that…

We’ll also have music from DJ Pierre Nedd, and the usual array of Rough Trade Books merchandise for sale. So get down to the best bar in town for what promises to be a classic night.

Calling all avid readers! Enrich your CV with a portfolio of book reviews on our independent review site Reedsy Discovery.

We spotlights gems of the indie publishing world — great books that are often overshadowed by big bestsellers. As a reviewer, you can contribute as much or as little as you like, and great reviews will be featured in our newsletter, sent weekly to 300k readers.

What do you need to apply? At least 1-2 book review examples.

Interested students can apply here: https://reedsy.com/discovery/reviewers/apply?source=uni

If you have any further questions, you can drop me an email at victoria@reedsy.com and check out our FAQ here: https://reedsy.com/discovery/reviewers-faq

May be an image of text that says 'DID YOU KNOW ? That the average person now spends almost 10 hours a day online WE SPEND MORE TIME H ON THE And Learn INTERNET online THANWEDO SLEEPING! WebCrafters'

WebCrafters

WebCrafters is a student-led project aiming to enable students to access the hidden job market through the power of the personal website. Whether you are a student, a graduate, or looking to have a change of career, we are here to help you promote your personality and achievements in the best possible light. How? By teaching you to code your own personal portfolio website and showing you how to interface that site with LinkedIn and other key employability sites to maximise your online presence. These will enable you to gravitate towards the hidden job market and showcase yourself in the best possible light to prospective employers.

Computacenter roles are now open and they have some awesome opportunities for both placement years and graduate programs. 

What do Computacenter do? In simple terms, you’d be joining a company who delivers digital tech solutions to some of the biggest organisations in the world. They have opportunities across Business Management, Project Management, Technical Consultancy, and Sales.

Placement Years – £17k, Locations across the UK, Add real value from Day 1, Hands on experience and the opportunity to learn and work on innovative solutions for our customers.

Graduates – £30k starting salary, Locations across the UK, Structured support programme designed to fast track your learning and development in a business that really cares about it’s employees.

Interested? Follow the link below to their Future Careers page to find out more.

http://ocply.co/am-computacenter21

The Uni Bubble regarding our free weekly careers newsletters where we’re equipping students to move into industries of the future after university. We’ll be guiding you on the opportunities available to you, the free skills and qualifications you can gain to increase your employability and other specific advice on each industry weekly.

Our 7 industry-specific newsletters you can choose from are: Digital, Technology, Creative, Business, Green Jobs, Entrepreneurship and Exploring Opportunities.

It can be overwhelming navigating the career paths available to you so we’re here to guide and prepare you to find work in an industry you’re interested in, regardless of your degree background.

Find out more about us on our website or sign up now using this registration form – it’ll take 5 minutes and you won’t regret it!

Journeys: 150 Years of ImmigrationRoyal Albert Hall – 29 October – 6 November 2021 

Next week sees an all-new festival taking place at the Royal Albert Hall, celebrating 150 years of immigration via a series of inspiring talks, performances, and interactive events, featuring an array of artists, musicians and speakers from immigrant backgrounds.

Part of the Hall’s 150th anniversary programme, Journeys is curated by prolific musician, producer and broadcaster Nitin Sawhney, who will headline the festival with a concert in the main auditorium on Friday 29 October.

Nitin will also be on hand to lead panel discussions covering the relationship between diversity and creativity, and evaluating the meaning of being an immigrant in society today. He will be joined by such names as Andy Serkis, Sonita Gale and YolanDa Brown. Limited £5 tickets for these talks are available for students, under 26s and unemployed.

Find out more and book tickets at: royalalberthall.com/journeys.

Warburg Institute Director’s Seminar – a conversation with Rivka Galchen about her new novel, Everyone Knows your Mother is a Witch, with Ulinka Rublack

Wednesday 27 October 2021: 5.00-6.00pm UK time (BST)

Online via zoom

Rivka Galchen’s novel, published this summer, about the witchcraft trial of Katharina Kepler was described by the Wall Street Journal as “a very beautiful work of fiction” and the LA Times as “a smart book that investigates the power of narrative… while being funny and deceptively easy to read.” Galchen re-imagines the world of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years War, concentrating on the herbal remedies, troubled friendships, and worldly tribulations of the mother of the astronomer Johannes Kepler. To discuss the book and the case, as well as the challenges of rendering difficult histories in artistic forms, Galchen will be joined by Professor Ulinka Rublack of Cambridge University, whose book on the trial and its implications for the history of science and magic, the Reformation, and women’s lives, was an important source. Rublack also created an opera, Kepler’s Trial, on the subject.

Rivka Galchen is the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances, the short-story collection American Innovations, the essay Little Labors, and the children’s book Rat Rule 79. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and is a regular contributor of essays, reviews, and fiction to The London Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker. She lives in New York and Montreal and teaches in the writing program at Columbia University.

Ulinka Rublack, FBA, is a professor in early modern European history and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. She is editor of The Oxford Handbook of the Protestant Reformations; her other books include Dürer in the Age of Wonder and The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for His Mother, which won the Deutsche Historikerpreis. Her current project, The Triumph of Fashion, charts the rise of fashion in different parts of the globe from 1300 onwards. During the academic year 2021-2 she is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin.

Free to attend. All welcome. For booking see: https://warburg.sas.ac.uk/events/directors-galchen-rublack

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The Amplify Project – Black Writers In Their Own Words

Recently launched podcast series called The Amplify Project is committed to supporting Black British writers and amplifying the Black British literary cannon. We’ve invited writers for the stage, page and screen to tell us about themselves, their work, what inspires them and why they write.

You can find our website here which also has links to our social media handles.

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | Lectures.London | MediaBeans (media jobs) | QMUL Careers | Presspad | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

Applications for Leverhulme Trust’s Early Career Fellowship Scheme Open [Deadline 12 pm 5 January 2022]

Early career researchers seeking support for their application to the Leverhulme Trust’s Early Career Fellowship scheme are invited to get in contact with us from now [deadline 12 noon, 5 January 2022].

The School of English and Drama invites early career researchers seeking support for their application to the Leverhulme Trust’s Early Career Fellowship Scheme to submit to us:

  • An academic CV of not more than 2 pages to demonstrate your research stature.
  • An outline research proposal including title, abstract (100 words), details of past and current research (250 words), a 2-page (A4) project outline, and a statement detailing relevant research being carried out in the School of English and Drama and your reasons for choosing Queen Mary (200 words).

Please send the above to Dr Huw Marsh, Research Manager, at: sed-research@qmul.ac.uk by no later than 12 pm on 5 January 2022.

Full scheme details including eligibility criteria can be found on the Leverhulme Trust’s website: https://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/funding/grant-schemes/early-career-fellowships

All outline proposals will be considered by a School committee and applicants will be notified of the shortlisting outcome in the week of Monday 24 January 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be put forward for approval by the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Executive, who will report their decisions by 27 January. Decisions will then be communicated to candidates, and the School will work with successful applicants to finalise their applications. The final deadline for submission of approved applications is 4pm on 24 February 2022.

The School recommends that applicants make clear the following in applications (CVs and proposals):

  • the strength of your academic record (e.g. classifications, awards, time taken to complete your PhD, etc.)
  • the strength of your research record (e.g. publications (including their length; and if forthcoming, where they are at in the process); presentations; research leadership; if you make practice as research, indicate how it is research; etc.)
  • what research you will publish/disseminate through the fellowship
  • the importance of doing your fellowship in the School of English and Drama at QMUL (e.g. synergies with staff and research centres)
  • your proposal’s importance, originality, methods, critical contexts, resources, structure and outputs.

London Performance Now: Pink Lemonade at Bush Theatre 2021 by Lola Ellenberg – Review

Pink Lemonade | Bush Theatre

There are few things as uniquely special as a live theatre performance that educates, inspires, and leaves you in awe. In Pink Lemonade, a one-person show playing at the Bush Theatre, writer and actor Mika Onyx Johnson does exactly that, and we are all better for it.

Pink Lemonade follows Mika on their journey navigating romantic relationships and living as a trans masculine person. Whether it is because trans stories often go unheard or due to the fact that this is an entirely innovative piece of theater, I was left with the powerful impression that this was unlike anything I had seen before. Mika combines movement with monologue, utilizing rap and spoken word to tell their profound story. It is a testament to Mika’s storytelling skills that this incredibly personal narrative is so natural to empathize and connect with. The plot, like many other aspects of the show, is unconventional. In lieu of a traditional three-act structure, Mika instead floats through time and space, taking us back to life pre-transition and breaking the fourth wall to tell us directly their experience through the lens of memory. This experimental mode of storytelling so closely reflected Mika’s lived experience, and I found myself entirely caught up in Mika’s world and words from start to finish.

When my friends asked me what Pink Lemonade was about, I had a hard time articulating the magic that I saw. “It’s about sexuality, identity, life…” and they looked at me with curiosity and confusion. Though there is a plot – the show is essentially told through the parallel romantic experiences Mika had with two women, respectively – the show transcends the limitations of a traditional plot-driven play. As Mika raps, moves, or speaks, we are left with the feeling that this isn’t just dialogue, but is philosophy. There is something so enlightening about the way Mika tells their stories, and it also speaks to the power of live theater in general. I attempt to do so here, but it would be impossible to perfectly generate through words what we as a joint audience saw take place in the Bush Theater.

Pink Lemonade takes place in the black box studio, and the glowing, colorful lights illuminate not just Mika but also the audience members that surround the stage. I had the feeling that this was a communal experience, and it was absolutely fitting that this was live theater, because the show, space, and most significantly, Mika, were just teeming with life.

I can understand how Pink Lemonade may not be for ‘everyone’ – it is bold and liberated and empowered, and though in my opinion those are amazing qualities, I wouldn’t be surprised if some disagreed. However, I would urge anyone with the opportunity to see Mika’s work to do so. The one note I wrote down in my notebook immediately after the play was, “Mika is an artist in every sense of the word.” Artistry like this is rare, and when it does present itself, we would be remiss in missing it.

Read more about London Performance Now module

New Learning Resources in the School of English and Drama

The School of English and Drama is delighted to announce new resources are available:

  1. Digital Theatre+ (digital recordings of theatre productions).  This is in addition to Drama Online (digital recordings of theatre productions and play scripts), which we started subscribing to last year.
  2. Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Literature (dynamically updated key reference work on literature)
  3. Alexander Street Academic Video Online (documentaries and films across all subject areas)

Don’t forget you also get access to the following resources:

  1. Linkedin Learning – (courses on key skills including video editing)
  2. Box of Broadcasts – (recordings from TV – thousands of films and shows)
  3. Financial Times – (arts and culture coverage)

New Book ‘P’ from English Creative Writing Graduate David Mitchell

QMUL English and Creative Writing Graduate David Mitchell has a novella available for pre-order from The Plastic Brain Press under the pseudonym D Rudd-Mitchell. The Novella is called P and explores themes of enviroment, intolerence, history, information and status.

David was a member of the first English with Creative Writing cohort at QMUL  Details of his book are available from  https://www.plastic-brain-press.com/listing/1089686426/pre-order-for-p-by-drudd-mitchell  

Since studying at QMUL David has also published poetry in magazines, a shared chapbook and the anthology Poems from a Green Blue Planet, which was A GUARDIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019.  

London Performance Now: Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe 2021 by Joseph Gallagher

Romeo & Juliet | Shakespeare’s Globe | Until 17 Oct 2021 | Tickets from £5

I walked into the globe theatre with a certain expectation of what performance I was going to be watching. I did not see that performance. The setting of the show was within modern day and the dress matched it. Vans, Nike tracksuits and neck tattoos among other features set the play very much in the 21st century, mixed in with modern day slang and drug abuse. Ola Ince overall, created a modern day version of Shakespeare’s most well known play, but it is not without its flaws.

Ince decided to focus on the mental health aspect within Romeo & Juliet, which I for one, had never really appreciated nor noticed if truth be told. The need for this message in todays society is extremely needed. With how much mental health is spoken about recently and especially with under 25’s, Ince made the correct decision to focus on this element of the play.

However, this did have some major fallbacks, Will Edgerton’s ‘Tybalt’ had very little time onstage so much so that when Romeo kills him, the weight of the moment did not strike a single nerve as I was left wondering why I should care for this person and therefore why should Juliet care enough to try and convince her parents to postpone her marriage to Paris.

Within the play too were multiple moments when the actors would break the fourth wall and directly address the audience with some quite eye opening statistics. The statements made had a lot of prevalence within the story and where a good addition to the action. However, the way they were delivered, in a very jarring pause of the performance and a preachy tone created an uncomfortable feature in the performance that didn’t work a single bit.

Alfred Enoch’s ‘Romeo’ and Rebekah Murrell’s ‘Juliet’ were fantastic within the performance. Both had a lovely frantic energy to them that could only be given to youth. An organised chaos with Romeo often on a BMX just lingering in the street and Juliet running around her bedroom throughout. The infamous balcony unfortunately lends itself to have Murrell on the actual balcony of the Globe but Enoch running through the audience (with a mask) and swinging on ladders placed in the pit added a new element to what can be a cliché scene. Sirine Saba as the nurse was a personal highlight. Even when not the main focus of a scene, she constantly stole the show with her exaggerated expressions and a comic relief with the second half of the show. Zoe West and Adam Gillen shined as the loveable rogues of Benvolio and Mercutio respectively. The cast as a whole was brilliant but they were my standouts. The run finished on October 17th as the Globe shall begin its run into the Christmas season with ‘The Fir Tree’ starting on December 20th.

Photo credit: Alfred Enoch as Romeo, Sirine Saba as Nurse and Zoe West as Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet, Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, 2021. Photographer: Marc Brennert, Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, 2021. Photographer: Marc Brenner

Read more about London Performance Now

SED Opportunity Digest – 15 October 2021

Welcome to our digest full of interesting events, opportunities and schemes that may help you meet collaborators, improve their career prospects or simply broaden your horizons.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next edition via sed-web@qmul.ac.uk

From QMUL, Partners & Friends

Winners Announced for the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Find out the winners here

There Are Plenty of Businesses like Show Business: Launch Event for ‘Marxist Keywords for Performance’ — 20 October 2021, 7:30 PM (BST) with a soft start at 7 PM

This year we return to QUORUM with a research group Performance and Political Economy. 

This year, we will be hosting events both online and in person whenever possible. Tickets are free but please RSVP. 

For in person ticket, click here.

For online ticket, click here.


Queen Mary Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2021 – Tuesday 19 October 2021

Nicole Aljoe (Northeastern): Racing the Rise of the Novel: Black Lives and the Development of the English Novel from 1688-1832 

This talk comes from a larger study that aims to analyze the complex relationships between the development of the novel and narratives of Black lives in Britain during the long 18th-century (1688-1837), as well as contribute to conversations about the impact of notions of race and empire on the development of the novel in Europe during this time. Tracking the representations of Black lives across novels and other texts throughout the century highlights the ways in which Black and White writers used these representations to engage particular questions not only about the aesthetics and form of the new genre, but also important attendant questions about notions of subjectivity and human rights. The appearance of a range of black characters and protagonists in early European writings over the course of the century provides a useful framework for revealing an/Other story of the development of the novel that complicates the often nativist and frequently exclusive narratives of the “rise” of the genre that continue to dominate in the field. In essence, this talk aims to explore what happens when Watt’s “rise of the novel” model is “recast” with a focus on Black texts. 
Chair: Markman Ellis

All welcome

Time: 17:15–18.30pm. GMT.
 
Venue: Online via ZOOM and IN PERSON.

If you wish to join this seminar ONLINE Please register here —
https://qmul-ac-uk.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsfumsqj8sGNcqEGKDDlbL9nA8hFNgjfT3

If you wish to join this seminar IN PERSON please come to the Francis Bancroft Building, Room 109, Queen Mary University of London, E1 4NS (no. 31 on this map https://ph.qmul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Article/Mile-End-campus-map.pdf). If you are attending in person, please e-mail w.bowers@qmul.ac.uk to confirm this, so we can keep track of numbers for social distancing and refreshments. 

All About Inclusion: In Conversation with Black Alumni on Wed, 20 Oct 2021, 17:30 – 19:00 

At this event, a panel of Black alumni will speak about their journey as a Black person looking for work and their personal experiences in the workplace. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about our speakers. 

Click here to self enroll to our QMPlus module, which you will need access to to view the event. If you are a graduate, please contact careers-events@qmul.ac.uk 

If you require captioning for online events, we recommend using the Google Chrome extension. Find out how to do this by clicking here.

English Postgraduate Research Seminar – Thursday 21 October

“Shakespeare and Dickinson at the White Heat

Prof. Ivy Schweitzer (Dartmouth College)

Get Zoom Link Here (Registration Needed)

The Last Gasp: A Recalibration by Split Britches – Tue 19—Sat 23 Oct 2021, The Pit at Barbican

Equipped with some know-how and a touch of irony, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver (Queen Mary Drama) use spoken word and movement to respond to a world turned upside down. How do you survive a loss? First you recalibrate…

Little Wimmin by Figs in Wigs at Battersea Arts Centre – 20-28 October

Drama Grads Figs in Wigs are coming out of isolation and this time they’ve got their period
(dresses)

Presenting a live art, feminist ‘adaptation’ of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women. Wild, irreverent and cosmically comical, this production dismantles the traditional canon to make way for the doomed future of humankind.

Freedom and Independence Theatre Festival – From 5 November

For many years, Tower Hamlets Council and Queen Mary University of London have been proud to support A Season of Bangla Drama, an annual festival which brings the borough’s communities together each November to celebrate the magic of theatre as well as the arts and cultural traditions of Bangladesh.

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Independence of Bangladesh, this has been renamed the Freedom and Independence Theatre Festival.

The themes in the title have inspired the plays and events that make up this year’s programme. We are delighted that we are continuing to profile British Bangladeshi theatre as an important way to spotlight key events of 1971, tell untold stories, and reach out to new audiences.

The variety of plays on offer cover topics including the plight of women, the tales of freedom fighters, the journeys of refugees such as the Rohingya and Vietnamese, as well as the power of protest. 

There will be a fringe programme of events including a Bengali heritage walk, film screenings, an international youth writing project, talks and exhibitions.

The festival will also provide opportunities for audiences to participate through Q&As, and to be immersed in the richness of poetry, music and dance.

This is a fantastic way to learn about the history, legacy and impact of what unfolded half a century ago.

For the full programme listings, please visit our What’s On page.

Outside QMUL

Roots at Wilton’s Music Hall – Until 30 October

1927’s Roots is a medley of these rarely-told stories, an anthology of ancient folk tales by anonymous authors. Tales of tyrannical ogres, magic bird’s hearts and very, very fat cats are brought to life with 1927’s signature fusion of handcrafted animation and storytelling.

Flairbox – Performing Arts Pro Workshops

I wanted to let you know about FlairBox’s Workshop Week, an exciting opportunity for your students to learn from industry Professionals through online masterclasses, at a discounted price.
Places are going rapidly, but we want to do everything we can this year to support graduating and recently graduated students by giving them as much support as possible in entering the industry. 

I’m delighted to be able to offer the students of Queen Mary University a 20% discount on all of our workshops! (including masterclasses with Casting Director Nancy Bishop, United Agents’ Olivia Jones, and viral comedy sensation Jonny Weldon). All your students need to do is apply the discount code: DramaSchoolRef  when purchasing a workshop space through our website FlairBox.

(RE)CONNECT WORKSHOPS

For young people aged 16+

Thu 28 – Sat 30 Oct; 11.30am – 1pm; £4.50 each + Booking Fee

Want to start your own podcast, write your own music or create your own solo show? We’ve got a series of workshops this month from amazing artists to help get your creative juices flowing. 

MAKE YOUR OWN SOLO WORK
Apphia Campbell
Thursday 28 October
BOOK NOW
MAKE YOUR OWN PODCAST
Cherise Hamilton-Stephenson
Friday 29 October
BOOK NOW
MAKE YOUR OWN KIND OF MUSIC
Lilly Pollard
Saturday 29 October
BOOK NOW

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | Lectures.London | MediaBeans (media jobs) | QMUL Careers | Presspad | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

London Performance Now: Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe 2021 by Morgan Tuttle

Romeo & Juliet | Shakespeare’s Globe | Until 17 Oct 2021 | Tickets from £5

Many people have expectations or ideas when they hear Romeo and Juliet. It could be grand ideas of Elizabethan costumes or a tragic teen romance, but the recent production at the Globe likely had many reassessing these ideas.

An extraordinary cast, led by Alfred Enoch of How to Get Away with Murder fame in the titular role of Romeo, comes on at the beginning with everyone dressed in red and black colored contemporary clothes. One by one, all of them introduce themselves, and the band, while Mercutio recites the famous opening. The show then kicks off not with dramatic Shakespearean language but a statistic. Throughout the entire production, this sharing continues with several actors breaking their character to share a fact or statement about teen mental health, the effects of a damaged home, or societal dangers. These facts are repeated on an LED screen at the top of the stage like an ominous foretelling of the scene below. From this, it becomes very clear that this is no longer a story of love.

The play itself has had cuts made, like many productions of Shakespeare’s works. Those who know Romeo and Juliet like the back of their hands might find themselves thinking this production lacking in romance. While many of the romantic soliloquies that are well known are cut, a different and rougher version of this beloved play arises.

This interpretation emphasizes the tragedy at the heart of this show and the actions that cause it. This is a stage that is rarely still with actors riding BMX bikes and violent fights and encounters happening often. Music can be heard in the background, loud, brassy, and percussive, bringing greater levels of tension to the story. This choice in keeping actions over romance coupled with the statistics give a darker story.

Romeo and Juliet are no longer two love-struck teenagers who are driven by their passions. They are two teens who find comfort in each other in a world where violence finds them both at home and in society. The choices of the director and company give a production that finds itself aimed at a younger audience. It creates a story that many can relate to or see themselves in and then follows up the action with resources to get help if they related to any content.

While this is may not be a production for the Shakespeare purist, it is well worth the time to go and see it.  

Photo credit: Rebekah Murrell as Juliet and Alfred Enoch as Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, 2021. Photographer: Marc Brenner

Read more about London Performance Now

Solitudes Project Podcast on Award Shortlist – Vote Now!

One of the podcasts produced by Natalie Steed for the Solitudes project has been shortlisted for an award. It’s an episode on ‘The Mind’ in our podcast series, ‘Spaces of Solitude’.

It was curated by Akshi Singh and features the psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips, the poet Denise Riley, and the neuroscientist Sarah Garfinkel. It’s a terrific podcast, and of course we’re delighted that it’s been shortlisted.

If you listen to it and like it, you can vote for it! There’s a ‘people’s vote’ – link below. But please do it soon, as the results will be made public next month.

https://vote.lovieawards.com/PublicVoting#/2021/podcasts/features/best-individual-episode

QUORUM Drama Research Seminar 20 Oct: There Are Plenty of Businesses like Show Business: Launch Event for ‘Marxist Keywords for Performance’

There Are Plenty of Businesses like Show Business: Launch Event for ‘Marxist Keywords for Performance’

by Performance and Political Economy research group (Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal, Shane Boyle, Ash Dilks, Caoimhe Mader McGuinness, Olive Mckeon, Lisa Moravec, Alessandro Simari, Clio Unger, Martin Young).

20 Oct, 7PM (BST) on Zoom or in person at ArtsOne

How to book: Free tickets but RSVP, please. In person booking: bit.ly/qm2010ip Online booking: bit.ly/qm2010o

Theatre and performance studies is awash with scholarship that examines performance in relation to its labour processes, modes of management, financial infrastructures, and so forth. But there lacks shared critical understanding of what terms such as “value” or “capital” mean and how they can be applied when studying performance forms like theatre, dance, or live art. The range of meanings that performance scholars attach to the word “commodity” or even the seemingly obvious entities of “class” and “the state,” for example, reveals more than a slight degree of imprecision or disagreement. It indicates a lack of systematic thought and, consequently, a need to interrogate the categories used for discussing performance’s political economy. 

Collectively written by nine people, “Marxist Keywords for Performance” (2021) contributes to growing critical attention within theatre and performance studies towards political economy by defining key Marxist concepts and exploring how they can be applied to study performance. Ahead of our project’s publication in a joint issue of The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and Global Performance Studies: GPS, this presentation introduces our aims in writing the keywords and reflects on the collective research, carried out in the midst of the pandemic, that went into them. As Tithi Bhattacharya (2017) reminds us, the aim of any critique of political economy should be to “restore to the ‘economic’ process its messy, sensuous, gendered, raced, and unruly component: living human beings capable of following orders—as well as of flouting them.” A critique of the political economy of performance, as we understand it, should have this same goal.

Thank you for your help!

Best

Hanife Schulte, Carolyn Naish, Gill Lamden, Tobi Poster-Su, Souradeep Roy, and Sam Čermák

QUORUM Committee
Drama Department; Queen Mary, University of London
queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk
https://quorumqmul.wordpress.com/

@QuorumQMUL

Drama Study Support for 2021 First Years

Drama pass scheme

Hello I am Emma a drama student and student organiser for the PASS scheme. Please see above for a flyer and short desciption of the scheme. Our first session is this week Thursday so we hope to see you there!

The PASS Scheme is a nationally accredited scheme, working to guide students into further understanding subject content and improving academic performance. We hold mentor-led discussions around topics and modueles of your choice; a friendly community and a motivating environment, open for all students studying Drama.

We are running in person every week Thursday 3-4pm in Bancroft room 3.15 (25), and online 3-4pm, every last Thursday of the month. 

We look forward to seeing you this Thursday the 14th in Bancroft for a great first session!

Link to our online sessions (Thursday 28th Oct):

https://teams.microsoft.com/l/team/19%3aK4YtsI5p66RBbvIIjn-sJofrkmiI9g2bvRfPxQZjWBM1%40thread.tacv2/conversations?groupId=739c27ef-ef4e-407e-8c6c-a2d1056ef74c&tenantId=569df091-b013-40e3-86ee-bd9cb9e25814

SED Opportunity Digest – 8 October 2021

Welcome to our digest full of interesting events, opportunities and schemes that may help you meet collaborators, improve their career prospects or simply broaden your horizons.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next edition via sed-web@qmul.ac.uk

From QMUL, Partners & Friends

EXCLUSIVE THEATRE PREVIEW TONIGHT IN PINTER STUDIO, ARTSONE

Sign up here: https://forms.office.com/r/ZKGEDdWv4g or turn up at 7.30pm

The Death of King Arthur by Seth Kriebel explodes the legend we all think we know and asks:
What story do you want to believe?

The Death Of King Arthur is a new version of a very old story, an interactive twist on the enduringly popular tales of Arthur and his knights.

Choose which parts of the story you want to hear: The bit about the sword in the stone? Lancelot & Guinevere? How Arthur dies?

Or the other version of how Arthur dies? …or the other other version?

Sit back and enjoy or actively take part in the decisions that guide the story. Each show is unique, depending on the audience’s choices… bringing a lost Britain back to life and asking what the old tales can tell us in these complicated times.

Learn more about Seth here: http://www.sethkriebel.com/arthur

The Queen Mary Postgraduate Research committee is delighted to invite you to our schedule of seminars this autumn (see poster).

We have put together a fantastic line-up of speakers from across the UK and America, who will be sharing their work with us, ranging from seventeenth-century skin colour to twenty-first century music videos.

This semester, we will be hosting seminars on Zoom on Thursdays, beginning 14th October. The seminar begins at 17:00 (UK time) and follows the format of a paper of up to 45 minutes and a question session of 15 minutes. All QMUL staff and students are warmly invited to attend, and to share with anyone else who might be interested at other universities or elsewhere.

We hope the seminars inspire you and spark new discussions, especially at a time when we are rediscovering the strength of our QM English community after a long time apart. It is our belief that the PGRS seminar exemplifies all that is best about QM English – innovative, supportive, and led by learning from each other. We are so looking forward to seeing you all there this autumn as we reconnect with our community here at SED. 

Zoom registration for our very first talk, ‘Citizenship in an Erotic Mode in the work of Beyonce Knowles and Warsan Shire in Lemonade (2016)’ on 14th October, is open now! Follow this link to sign up: 

https://queenmaryenglish.wordpress.com/autu/

Temporary Before Permanent is a contemporary art exhibition curated by Drama graduate Rebecca Sangs showcasing prints from Ann Chang which were collected and archived over the artists’ time here in the UK. These prints were primarily stencils used for the practice of           . Each of the stencil prints exhibited represents a person, an interaction and the connection between the artist and the person that was            .

Stencils are often used right before the start of a            session for the artist to find the best position for the design to permanently live on someone. It could often take multiple tries of applying and wiping to eventually find the best location. Stencils act as temporary guidelines and will be wiped off completely from the skin by the end of the session. As a sentimental act, the artist collected all the stencil prints used in every          session.

Originally from a small town based in Taiwan, Ann Chang takes inspiration from the origins of her parents’ home where rain and wet weather are a common phenomenon. Through connections from back home, as well as friendships built within East London, interactions of culture form many aspects of the artist’s work which are delicately showcased within the amalgamation of this exhibition.

Chang has an obsession with vases, where it took her a long time to figure out what it meant to her. She explains, “Vases are like people, they are in all shapes and colors and it’s up to you what you’d like to put inside of it. The vases I draw are often covered in a rain texture, which represents the melancholic rainy cities and small towns I live in now and  have lived in before”. 

As well as representing a collection of experiences found through human connection, Chang’s            practice aims to present a discovery of peace within all aspects of art-making. Seen as a form of therapeutic experience, there is power in the artwork not only for the            artist, but also the people who connect and participate with it, as well as the clients who get           . Framed as a non-aggressive approach to active creation, these prints represent the idea of continuously being able to find joy in a time of challenges and hardships.

Ann Chang is a            artist, printmaker, illustrator and painter.            makes up a large part of her original work. As the kind of art form that Chang practices is not only unsupported but also red taped by the government, she is applying for a visa as a printmaker and illustrator to continue living her life in London. The word            has to be erased and kept secret. By marking the word in the color of the stencils the artist believes that the art form is not completely disowned but highlighted with a distinctive shadow.

If you would like to know more about why certain words are removed from the texts above, please write to us at temporary.before.permanent@gmail.com and we will send you a personal letter written by the artist to tell you more about the story as the artist would still like to keep the focus of the exhibition on the artwork. You can also follow Ann on Instagram @she_shan_yu to see more of her fantastic work.

Location: Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT

Exhibition period: 10am- 6pm, 11 – 17 of October 2021

Stepney Words 50 Years On

An event at the People’s Palace reflecting on the significance and legacy of the publication of Stepney Words & the Stepney Schools Strike with Chris Searle, historians, activists & poets.

Free

20 years since 9/11. Panel Discussion on Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism

On Wednesday 13th October at 14.00, Suzanne Schneider (Brooklyn Institute for Social Research) will launch her new book: 

The Apocalypse and the End of History: Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism 

(Verso, 2021)  

Ahmed Dailami (Exeter), Martyn Frampton (QMUL) and Julie Norman (UCL) will offer comments before opening up to Q+A. 

This is a blended event which will take place both online and in person at Queen Mary University of London

To register please follow this link: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/ihss/whats-on/items/20-years-since-911-panel-discussion-on-modern-jihad-and-the-crisis-of-liberalism-.html

The book’s blurb is as follows: 

In this authoritative, accessible study, historian Suzanne Schneider examines the politics and ideology of the Islamic State (better known as ISIS). Schneider argues that today’s jihad is not the residue from a less enlightened time, nor does it have much in common with its classical or medieval form, but it does bear a striking resemblance to the reactionary political formations and acts of spectacular violence that are upending life in Western democracies. From authoritarian populism to mass shootings, xenophobic nationalism, and the allure of conspiratorial thinking, Schneider argues that modern jihad is not the antithesis to western neoliberalism, but rather a dark reflection of its inner logic.

About the speaker:

Dr Suzanne Schneider is Deputy Director and Core Faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, working in the fields of history, religious studies, and political theory. She is the author of Mandatory Separation: Religion, Education, and Mass Politics in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2018), and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Mother Jones, N+1, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other outlets.

*This event is a part of our “Aftermaths” series

Outside QMUL

Online Lecture: In Conversation: That Other British Asian Theatre: British East Asian and Southeast Asian Performance

British East Asian and Southeast Asian theatre and performance are perhaps less well-known than theatre and performance created by British South Asian companies and artists. How are British East Asia and Southeast Asia represented by theatre-makers? So, how has Asia been represented on the contemporary British stage? Increasingly more plays about Asians and on Asian themes have been produced at the National Theatre, the Arcola, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court and more. There are a wealth of stories, histories and voices that are yet to be explored and told. Theatre artists Kumiko Mendl and Kwong Loke join us in conversation.

https://i2.wp.com/www.str.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Miss-Julie_Square-Crop-2-no-billing.png?w=660&ssl=1

WEBINAR: Making Feminist Theatre (and Making Theatre Feminist) – Thursday 28th October, 8am PST | 11am EST

Digital Theatre+ and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education are delighted to invite you to our latest free webinar Making Feminist Theatre (and Making Theatre Feminist)

Join leading practitioners for a roundtable discussion about the practical strategies, approaches and exercises that enable them to practice feminism in their work. We’ll be asking them about the politics of their work, how they experience power in the theatre, and how they have navigated it in their careers.

Exploring both process and product, this unmissable event aims to inspire and to further understanding for those interested in both creativity and social justice.

Click here to sign up now

Click here to learn more about Digital Theatre+ webinars

Job: Student Recruitment Content Coordinator

University of the Arts London (UAL) is a vibrant world centre for innovation and top 2 in the world for Art and Design (QS World University Rankings 2021). UAL draws together six Colleges with international reputations in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts.

Student Marketing and Recruitment is a forward thinking department. We deliver market intelligence, marketing campaigns, prospective student communications and guidance. 

Registration for the free virtual ‘Books on Screen’ symposium is now open!

Join us for part or all of 3 November 2021 to explore how books are represented on screens. All welcome, please share widely.

Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/books-on-screen-symposium-tickets-185791636787

Bestselling author Candice Carty-Williams will be in conversation with Jamelia at The Ritzy cinema next Monday 11 October at 4.30pm about her new book, Empress & Aniya – South London’s answer to ‘Freaky Friday’.

Tickets are only £5 + booking fee, and attendees will have the chance to ask Candice questions, buy a copy of the book and get it signed. Monday 11th October is also International Day of the Girl, so this event which will focus on female friendship should be particularly relevant and inspiring! The ticket purchase link is here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/candice-carty-williams-introduces-empress-aniya-tickets-172357384577.

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | Lectures.London | MediaBeans (media jobs) | QMUL Careers | Presspad | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

English Research Seminar Speakers Announced

The Queen Mary Postgraduate Research committee is delighted to invite you to our schedule of seminars this autumn (see poster above). We have put together a fantastic line-up of speakers from across the UK and America, who will be sharing their work with us, ranging from seventeenth-century skin colour to twenty-first century music videos.

This semester, we will be hosting seminars on Zoom on Thursdays, beginning 14th October. The seminar begins at 17:00 (UK time) and follows the format of a paper of up to 45 minutes and a question session of 15 minutes. All QMUL staff and students are warmly invited to attend, and to share with anyone else who might be interested at other universities or elsewhere.

We hope the seminars inspire you and spark new discussions, especially at a time when we are rediscovering the strength of our QM English community after a long time apart. It is our belief that the PGRS seminar exemplifies all that is best about QM English – innovative, supportive, and led by learning from each other. We are so looking forward to seeing you all there this autumn as we reconnect with our community here at SED. 

Zoom registration for our very first talk, ‘Citizenship in an Erotic Mode in the work of Beyonce Knowles and Warsan Shire in Lemonade (2016)’ on 14th October, is open now! Follow this link to sign up: https://queenmaryenglish.wordpress.com/autu/

Isabel Waidner (Creative Writing) shortlisted for Goldsmiths Prize 2021

Isabel Waidner from our creative writing team has been shortlisted for the illustrious Goldsmiths prize for their novel ‘Sterling Karat Gold’.

The book is described as ‘Kafka’s The Trial written for the era of gaslighting – a surreal inquiry into the real effects of state violence on gender-nonconforming, working-class and black bodies.’.

The Goldsmiths Prize was established in 2013 to celebrate the qualities of creative daring associated with the College and to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form. The annual prize of £10,000 is awarded to a book that is deemed genuinely novel and which embodies the spirit of invention that characterizes the genre at its best.

About Isabel

Isabel Waidner is the author of three novels: ‘Sterling Karat Gold’ (2021), ‘We Are Made of Diamond Stuff’ (2019) and ‘Gaudy Bauble’ (2017). They were shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize (twice), and won the Internationale Literaturpreis. They are a co-founder of the event series Queers Read This at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and the programmer and presenter of This Isn’t a Dream, a fortnightly literary talk show, also hosted by the ICA via Instagram live. Waidner is an academic at Queen Mary University of London.