Blog from QMUL's School of English and Drama (SED)
Author: All Things SED Editor
I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website (www.sed.qmul.ac.uk) and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.
Conducting conversation / Connecting Creatively / Creating Courageously / Courageously Carrying On / and Cabaret! / Come on and join us!
Peopling the Palace is a yearly festival of performance, workshops and events that showcases the work of Queen Mary academics, artists, current students and alumni.
This year’s theme is care and features over 25 events from outrageous cabaret nights to a day exploring the rituals of care. In times of global unrest and pandemic, Peopling the Palace Festival, creates a space to explore how important caring about each other is. The festival tackles important contemporary issues of racial inequality, mental health, care provision, neurodivergence, art in a crisis, climate justice and aging.
All events are free to attend and open to all. Advanced booking required for all events.
I am Leah (13 June) A vital new play inspired by the stories of survivors of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Dadders (19 June): Escape to the Meadowdrome with acclaimed artists Daniel Oliver and Frauke Requardt (The Place, Latitude Festival) to delve into their experiences of neurodivergent parent.
Last Gasp WFH (19 June):Playing with the fragility of technology, particularly the unpredictability of Zoom, the team found new avenues to the classic Split Britches (Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw) aesthetic of broken down theatrical conventions, exposing the self on stage.
The Tempest in English and Spanish (17 June):This interactive experience explores how the arts can break the stigma around autism.
The Possibility of Colour (12 June):Dystopian play about a new miracle cure and explores themes around mental health voice hearing, synaesthesia, neuro-diversity, Artificial Intelligence, privatised health and the illusion of choice.
Cabaret & Showcases
Alumni and Current Student Performance Showcase Nights (10,15 & 17 June): Be shocked, surprised and inspired when you support new artists and performers as they show their latest works.
Her-Pees (9 June) a comfortable, inclusive, and questioning performance night ahead of their Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club Debut.
Friday Night In (Film Night) (11 June): A small screen celebration of work from QMUL students, alumni, staff and other exciting filmmakers.
Cossy Fanny Tooty Cabaret (16 June): A cheeky performance cabaret curated by Vivian Harris.
Workshops, Conferences & Conversations
A Queer Climate Justice Workshop (16 June)by Queen Mary Theatre Company in the lead up to a new show, The Cabaret at the End of the World.
Free Creative Skills Workshops (14-15 June) to help QMUL students and the community get into the creative industries with Creative Skills Academy.
Workshop on Writing Race (16 June) for sixth-form students with acclaimed artist Vanessa MacAulay.
Enlightening Conversations and Conferences: ‘Women, Theatre, Criminal Justice’ with Clean Break, ‘Making During States of Emergency’, ‘Cults, Conspiracy and Pseudoscience’, ‘Mental Health and the arts’ and ‘How do Universities Care for Students Learning’.
Performance, Possession & Automation – a collaborative research project led by Nick Ridout and Orlagh Woods, in collaboration with Dhanveer Singh Brar – invites you to two online conversations.
Possession & Modern Acting | Friday 4th June, 6-8pm (BST) | Online | Shonni Enelow, Julia Jarcho and Nicholas Ridout
Possession: an actor seems to have been taken over by someone else.
Automation: an actor is someone whose actions are not their own.
In this public conversation, Shonni Enelow, Julia Jarcho and Nicholas Ridout explore ideas about possession and automation in relation to 20th and 21st century experiences of acting, theatre and the movies. Do they hold clues to the roles that both possession and automation play in contemporary life, and to how we might think and feel about them.
Click here, to book your place and for further information.
I was born a loser | Friday 11 June, 6-8 pm (BST) | Online | Edward George and Dhanveer Singh Brar
What occurs when “lose her” is recast as “loser”, and covered over once more to become “winner”? And why in each reversioning does “pride” persist, but never in the same guise? These are questions which arise from listening to the Jamaican essayist of the song form, Alton Ellis.
By losing ourselves in Alton Ellis’s losses and revisions, Edward George and Dhanveer Singh Brar believe it is possible to begin to open up an auditory dimension to the question of spirit in Jamaica, the Caribbean, the diaspora, and in turn, modernity itself, as it was being rendered towards the end of the twentieth century.
Click here, to book your place and for further information.
Performance, Possession & Automation is a research project exploring automation and possession as two ways of thinking about what happens to human subjects who act in ways that they do not themselves fully control. How can making and thinking about performance contribute to thinking about these ideas?
In partnership with Fierce Festival, performingborders and Transform Festival
This project is supported by:
Collaborations Fund of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), The Centre for Public Engagement, QMUL & Strategic Research Initiative, School of English and Drama, QMUL
Creative Workshop: Calling University Students! What do you think of your hometown? Why do you want to leave? Why do you want to stay?
Join Botch Job for an online creative workshop, focusing on exploring the question of what home means, and how identity can be shaped by the place you grew up in. We want to hear about your love/hate relationships with your hometowns, why you have chosen to stay or leave and what this means for the places left behind. The workshop will be a mixture of group discussion and informal writing tasks based around these themes, and used as research in devising a new piece of theatre about hometowns. No tools or preparation will be required.
Botch Job are an emerging company, formed in January 2019 by Jack Tricker and Tom Chamberlain as part of Camden People’s Theatre’s Starting Block artist development scheme. Botch Job have an interdisciplinary approach to theatre making, involving video and live art practices and create entertaining work engaging in wider social and political discussions. They make theatre driven by questions about the world that they have yet to answer.
If you’re interested in supporting Botch Job, then please register here https://forms.gle/H3vUTPVEJuw4XNCR8 . Attendees will receive a £10 Dominos Voucher or £10 Book token voucher. Please respond by 23rd May at 5pm.
Monday 24th May, 6pm-7pm
Tuesday 25th May 6.30pm-7.30pm
Wednesday 26th May 7pm-8pm
Creative Youth Worker Job at Spotlight “We are seeking amazing, creative, inspiring people to join our team at Spotlight. The role will support our young people to access and thrive within our creative programme and support our teams of expert facilitators and delivery partners. This is a perfect opportunity for freelance artists; people wanting to gain experience in the arts and youth work; anyone passionate about the arts looking for a rewarding and exciting experience! We are looking to expand our pool of agency staff so this is a flexible role that will be managed by Hays agency.”
To apply email a short cover letter (addressing shortlisting criteria) and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 23rd May
The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Genesis Foundation invite you to join them for the fourth in the series of Cultural Conversations: ‘Culture, Technology and Innovation’ taking place online at 5-6:30pm on 24 May 2021. The Cultural Conversations series is a sequence of focused debates around Arts and Culture in the City of London. This fourth Conversation, the first of our renewed 2021 season, will be a conversation between: Javaad Alipoor, Artistic Director, Javaad Alipoor Company; Daniel Birnbaum, Artistic Director, Acute Art; Sarah Ellis, Director Digital Development, Royal Shakespeare Company; Suhair Khan, Strategic Projects, Google; Rich Waterworth, General Manager UK & EU, TikTok.
Season for Ex-Change returns with free events addressing the climate crisis
Ahead of COP26 this November, Season for Change aims to showcase the leadership of the cultural sector on the biggest issue of our time, through 15 artistic commissions and an open programme calling on artists and arts organisations to host events, artworks and actions across the UK to declare their commitment to the climate crisis.
After a successful programme in 2020, Season for Ex-Change is back with an 8-week online programme of free talks, events and workshops every Thursday about artists, activism and the arts sector’s role in the climate movement. Find out what’s up next, with more to be announced shortly.
Season for Change is led by Artsadmin and Julie’s Bicycle, supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Having previously read Let Them Eat Chaos by Kae Tempest before watching this performance I arrived already appreciating their skill and talent. However watching them perform this live in front of a receptive audience with music to accompany gave new life to these words. Kae explores many contemporary issues in this 60 minute set through a continuous spoken word poem which weaves the lives of 6 strangers living on the same street.
Kae’s passion is tangible. They observe the world so astutely and are able to convey the feelings, worries and routine that we have become too used to living through. It would be an honour to watch Kae perform live however this filmed performance did well to capture the electricity they produced in the room.
Some excerpts below:
“The people are dead in their lifetimes Dazed in the shine of the streets But look how the traffic’s still moving System’s too slick to stop working Business is good, and there’s bands every night in the pubs And there’s two for one drinks in the clubs And we scrubbed up well Washed off the work and the stress And now all we want’s some excess Better yet, a night to remember that we’ll soon forget All of the blood that was bled for these cities to grow All of the bodies that fell The roots that were dug from the earth So these games could be played I see it tonight in the stains on my hands
In glamourous magazines, who’s dating who? Politico cash in an envelope Caught sniffing lines off a prostitutes prosthetic tits Now it’s back to the House of Lords with slapped wrists They abduct kids who fuck the heads of dead pigs But him in a hoodie with a couple of spliffs Jail him, he’s the criminal”
 Kae Tempest, Europe is Lost, Let Them Eat Chaos
A Small Gathering, created by Charli Dubery, Deborah Pugh, George Mann, Nir Paldi & Sam Halmarack, is described as ‘A triptych of shorts served 2m apart’.
The character we meet in the first short is Mr Pink, whose performance is nothing short of utterly bizarre. Illumined by dramatic lighting, he makes peculiarly comical facial expressions and gestures. After a sequence of shaving and applying lipstick, he attempts to go outside but due to COVID, he cannot. His nemesis (one more threatening than a global pandemic,apparently) is a small cupboard, which threatens him throughout an obscene dance he performs on his sofa. It reflects the madness that comes as a side effect of quarantine. It’s worth watching just for its humorous aspect alone.
The second short, titled Rewilding was undoubtedly inspired by the nation’s, and in-fact the world’s, phase of hoarding toilet paper and panic buying. A woman trying to muster up the courage to leave her canal boat to go food shopping. Humour is also at the forefront of this short, at one point she tapes up her window excessively, adding various ´keep away´ notes,finally settling on ‘just fuck off’. She also battles a toilet paper monster so there’s that. Cynthia’s party is the last of the three shorts and definitely wins the prize for being the creepiest of the three. If you don’t like porcelain dolls with missing eyeballs you might want to skip this one. It depicts a quarantine tea party where only one of the guests is human. That doesn’t last for long, as we see a horrifying, though well edited sequence of a woman slowly turning into a doll. What a fun tea party.
These shorts are highly entertaining and a vividly portrayal of descending into madness – a state I think we can all relate to in some capacity, due to the times we are currently living in.
Cirque du Soleil: Spotlight on “Amaluna” Thoughts on the Recording Blogpost by Lucinda Saufley
Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing Cirque du Soleil live can agree that it is nothing short of a spectacle. Cirque’s initiative to bring some of its one-of-a-kind performances to YouTube in a series of “spotlights” allows audiences far and wide to experience the magic from the comfort of their own homes. However, comfort might not be on the wish list of someone wanting to see Cirque perform. This spotlight on Amaluna is filled with death-defying circus tricks, live music, and breathtaking choreography. However, it’s just not the same – it’s hard to be brought to the edge of your seat when you’re sitting on a couch.
Some aspects of the show are augmented by the recording: the camera captures details like lighting effects and artful makeup you might not fully appreciate from the pit. The recording also enables you to better tune into the original soundtrack, which might fall second to the visuals if you were at the live show. Despite these positives, there are far more drawbacks in my opinion. For one, the energy and urgency intrinsic of a show like Amaluna are lost. Watching a human bend into impossible shapes while balancing on a tiny pole is still impressive, but the adrenaline isn’t pumping as it might if that human was right in front of you. When watching a recording, you know the aerialist won’t plummet from the rafters. You know the juggler’s balls of flame won’t end in fiery tragedy. Additionally, some of the magic is lost when the many camera angles reveal aspects of the set that audience members aren’t meant to be privy to. In one acrobatic number, a platform that appears impossibly narrow from the front is revealed to be comfortably wide – and other such little let-downs. It’s a bit like ripping the trench coat off a giant and finding it was really two people stacked upon one another all along.
The Old Vic is hosting a four-part series of monologues in recognition of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, curated by actor Maxine Peake and directed by Annabel Bolton. Under the umbrella title One Hand Tied Behind Us, the series began on Monday 1 March with Betsy by Ella Hickson, performed by Jill Halfpenny. On Tuesday 2 March, Contactless by Maxine Peake, performed by Siobhan McSweeney premiered, followed by Imagine That by Kit de Waal, performed by Flo Wilson on Wednesday 3 March and finally Mother’s Little Helper 1963 by Jeanette Winterson, performed by Celia Imrie on Thursday 4 March.
A comedic quality came with the honesty of self-reflection and admission of the failures in a relationship during lockdown. The self-empowering monologue by Susan Wokoma highlights prevalent issues of gaslighting from a partner in an intense period of claustrophobia and forced closeness. “It’s not like he hits me” is a summary of the excuse’s women give to defend their maltreatment, with the form of gratitude often imprisoning us to an alternative of escape. She is punished questioning her situation, blamed as a product of her family who must have ‘planted’ the seeds of doubt within her. The three-part monologue, told intimate and charismatic at a dressing table surrounded by products of femininity on International Women’s Day, marks the stages of a toxic relationship, revealing her loss of self as she gives her womanhood to a man. She is seen applying makeup, getting ready whilst telling herself ‘I’m hard to love’. Her own insecurities are echoed by the voices of society, with the doctor naming her to be a cause of her husband’s depression, to which she masks with a chuckle of backhanded approval ‘I’d love to fuck off and let him be happy”. Her own voice is echoed by the lies told to her that make feel inadequate, and the audience are left to question how much of their own voice, their personal internal narrative, is truly theirs.
Amidst the angst, anxiety and abrupt drought of motivation provided by the summer that we will, unfortunately, never forget, a new group of voices emerged to share their side of the story. The Coronavirus Time Capsule has given an outlet and voice to those who were most impacted by the pandemic, – young people! Company 3’s pandemic project is a compilation of weekly work created by teenagers around the world, giving insight into their new lives as everything they know moves inside and online.
The project is led in collaboration with multiple youth theatre and community groups, meaning there are varying levels of performance from video to video; yet a sense of optimism, creativity and eagerness to express is apparent throughout. Comprised of skits, stop-motion animations, baking tutorials, dances and unfiltered opinions, the videos resemble those of early YouTube – there is no need to perform for the audience, and though aspects of popular youth culture and vloggers have definitely influenced these creators, it is simply innocent creativity and expression.
Beyond highlighting we are living in future history, and these creators having some great footage to show their grandchildren, the Time Capsule emulates a true glimpse of hope for the future, both near and far. Young people are often told to get outside and make the most of their youth, for that freedom is short lived, yet here is proof that they are still able to make the most of their young, creative spirits whilst unable to truly live their lives. If they can pull together good spirits through this, then there’s hope for the rest of us still.
London is one of Europe’s most exciting theatrical cities, with a variety of live performances on offer at any given time. In 2020-21, the challenges to the theatre and performance industry have been widespread.
Despite these difficulties, a range of innovative and exciting work continues to be made while the industry prepares to make potentially difficult, challenging, and exciting changes that may well affect the theatre and performance ecology in London – and beyond – for years to come.
To take advantage of this moment in London’s performance history, this semester students on London Performance Now have been exploring a range of performances and different performance modes to examine how we read and analyse performance events both live and online. As part of this, we’ve been developing strategies for reading performance in ways that recognise the importance of how and where these performances take place, who they are for and how it relates to the times we are living in.
These short blog posts were developed in response to shows that the authors chose to view and provide a snapshot into different kinds of work that’s available online. From circus to poetry, monologues, applied performance and online festivals, there’s still a great range of work out there to watch and enjoy!
Thawra (online publication started by our English with Creative Writing graduate Asia Khatun) is open for submissions! Are you interested in writing about politics, society, culture, identity etc. or want to showcase your work? Open to the BAME community only. We publish:
You are warmly invited to our next Quorum seminar with David Atencio entitled ‘Abstraction and Repetition: Procedures to Observe Reality’ which will take place on Thursday 6th May. We are really looking forward to (virtually) seeing you there.
Please feel free to join the event from 7:30pm, where we can hang out, chat, and introduce each other and our speaker before David’s presentation at 8pm. After David’s presentation there will be a Q&A facilitated by one of the members of the Quorum committee, before opening up to questions from everyone else.
A week of workshops, conversations, and readings on writing as remembrance, catharsis, and renewal. All events are free to attend.
In December 2020, Wasafiri launched issue 104: Human Rights Cultures. This special issue explored writing in the wake of political crisis and opened up conversations and connections between literatures, writers, and creatives from four countries: Rwanda, Kenya, Colombia, and Argentina.
Transformative Testimonies will build on this special issue with a multi-country, multilingual, digital programme this May. It will unite writers from South America and East Africa in eight events that affirm the power of writing for those responding to, remembering, and healing from collective catastrophe.
The Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2021- ‘Imperial Sexual Economies’ – Hazel Carby
Hazel Carby, Charles C. And Dorathea S. Dilley Professor Emeritus of African American Studies, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, Yale University
Wednesday 16th June 2021, 6.00 – 7.30pm BST | Online | Places are free but booking is essential
Drawn from her new book Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands the lecture will examine the workings of patriarchal, racialized and gendered power through the entangled lives of free women of colour and enslaved women on a Jamaican coffee plantation. For information contact Katy (email@example.com)
Paid artist development opportunity called Stuck In The Lift . Our goal is to create a playground for artists using any performance practice – theatre, live art, spoken word, multidisciplinary work (and beyond!) who have experiments, ideas or material to test and play.
ELEVATE EAST ARE OFFERING:
£100 fee, contributing to your creative practice
1-1 in depth conversation + consultation to gauge your needs and wants as an artist
Access to a robust and ever growing east London based and focussed artist network
Opportunities to test work or share ideas and feedback in the form of our ‘Basement Chatter’ sessions (Fri 4 June, Fri 30 July)
Access to three days of free rehearsal space at Rich Mix (June + start of July)
Opportunity to perform 15 minute of your work-in-progress at the Stuck In The Lift scratch night at Rich Mix on Fri 23 July.
WORK FOR ART NIGHT 2021 – Paid opportunities: apply to be an Art Night Guide or Production Assistant We’ve partnered with Art Night 2021 to bring you the chance to apply for two paid roles working with the festival team this summer. As an Art Night Guide you’ll receive training to engage visitors with works of art and performances in selected locations across the UK. Or, if you prefer being behind the scenes, apply for a Production Assistant role – you’ll support the London-based curatorial team on tasks ranging from film shoots to rehearsals. If you have a passion for contemporary art, are looking to develop new skills and would love to gain experience supporting a large-scale event – apply today.
POPLARISM – A DIGITAL ARTS FESTIVAL CELEBRATING THE CENTENARY OF THE POPLAR RATES REBELLION OF 1921 This weekend we launch the debut Poplarism! Digital Arts Festival with Finborough Theatre! 10 submissions have been selected from an open call which will be streamed on our YouTube channels over the 1-2 May, followed by a live online Q&A at 7pm with the contributing artists from each day (both will be BSL interpreted and all videos will be captioned). This is the perfect injection of culture into your bank holiday weekend, and of particular interest to anyone keen on local history. All commissioned digital performances respond to the historical milestone of the Poplar Rates Rebellion of 1921. Never heard of it? Learn more about it here.
Adeola, When We Speak participant and founder of @uplifttng has launched the Your Career Development online course that was developed whilst a part of the programme!
Up Lift The Next Generation have been working behind the scenes since 2019 and it’s finally here! For young people aged 13+ who want to development themselves in every way! Learn how to develop your leadership skills, boost your self-confidence, master the art of communication, learn about financing and meet the professionals!
11 May: Building Back Better On the eve of the re-opening of the nation’s theatres, leading freelance theatre makers from Freelancers Make Theatre Work discuss the challenges faced by the theatre’s workforce and the future of our theatre ecology.
17 May: Theatre Scratch Night A rich collection of new short-form sound and video works from students in Birkbeck’s School of Arts, encompassing terrific solo pieces, poetry, rehearsed readings, adaptations, and audio performances.
17 May: Invisible Ink Interactive online life drawing event and panel discussion responding to Invisible Ink, a theatre project exploring isolation and alienation, inspired by film noir.
18 May: Circles of Hell Live streamed from Sitges, Barcelona, in association with Museus de Sitges, Theatre North presents a new solo performance piece based on Salvador Dali’s paintings of Dante’s Inferno.
20 May: Belarus Free Theatre’s Burning Doors A screening and Q&A about Belarus Free Theatre’s film Burning Doors, drawn from the real-life stories of iconoclastic Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina. ——- GRiT is our termly research seminar, featuring presentations by visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students.
Monday 24 May 2021, 4-5pm, Andy Smith (Theatre Maker / University of Manchester), ‘Plays by Committee’ This talk will explore Andy’s current project plays for the people. These works are short pieces that are written to be read and discussed by a group meeting for that purpose, rather than performed by actors for an audience. The form is influenced in part by the lehrstücke (learning plays) of Bertolt Brecht, but also (and perhaps more importantly) by the theatrical and socio-political context in which they are emerging. Book your free place here.
For regular news and events, keep an eye on our website or follow us on Twitter @BirkbeckCCT
The BBC is excited to bring you the virtual comedy and writing Upload Festival for a second year running! Upload will be taking place this weekend, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of May.
Upload is the front door to the BBC for creators of all kinds across the UK. We want to support you if you’re a new or developing writer or comedian by giving you the chance to join free online workshops with expert advice from successful writers and comedians.
All you need to do is sign-up, it’s as simple as that. Places are limited and given on a first-come, first-served basis, so sign up ASAP! Saturday 1st May 12 noon – 1pmGenerating and Structuring Ideas Plus special Q&A – Insights From a Commissioning Editor Author James Harris, winner of the Hachette Children’s Novel Award, will share tips and advice on how to generate your best creative ideas and bring them to life on the page. Plus insights from James’ Commissioning Editor, Rachel Wade, in a special Q&A.
Saturday 1st May 1.30pm – 2.30pmBBC Writersroom: Who we are and how we can help you Development Executive Simon Nelson from BBC Writersroom will share insight and tips on opportunities and support for new writers in the BBC.
Sign up to the BBC Writers Room workshop Sunday 2nd May 1pm – 2pmWriting Beyond Stereotypes: Developing Complex Characters Yvonne Battle-Felton is the author of Remembered, winner of the Northern Writers Award and a lecturer in Creative Writing. In this session Yvonne will share techniques that you can use to create vivid and compelling characters, to bring your stories alive and to write as advocacy.
Sign up to the Writing Beyond Stereotypes workshopSunday 2nd May 2.30pm – 3.30pm Upload: Getting Your Work on the BBC Fancy hearing or seeing your work on Upload? Our team of BBC Upload presenters from England and Scotland are here to help with insight, tips and advice on easy ways to turn your writing into audio or video, how to get your content ready to upload and giving yourself the best shot of getting it on air.
Each night at 9pm content uploaded from across England, Scotland and Wales will be streamed on the Festival Stage and broadcast on BBC Sounds as well as across all 39 local radio stations in England and the Channel Islands. The shows will also be available to watch afterwards on BBC iPlayer. BBC Radio Scotland will also broadcast an Upload Festival Special in the build-up to the weekend, on Wednesday 28th April.
Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…
In addition to regular support from your advisor, module tutors and support staff we are offering Writing Retreats, Writing Support and Resit Support appointments in both English and Drama. Slots will be added and updated regularly from next week. To book an appointment/a place please log in to QMplus and visit this link.
QM’s brilliant gardener - Dimi Sopisz (@dimi_the_gardener) - is currently cultivating a vegetable garden on campus and has invited any students who are around to join him in in transferring seedlings to the grounds. He has other initiatives to involve students in growing our green campus. Students should email Dimi to be added to a rota to ensure a safe, socially distanced experience.
Apply to take part in SCP Sprint and gain experience working on a real-life consultancy project with other QM students. Taking part will strengthen future applications and help build your professional network! Apply here
Two online events from the Women/Theatre/Justice Research Project
Women-Only Organisations – Managing Differently?
Thursday 22 April 11.00-13.00 This online seminar is aimed at practitioners and researchers interested in understanding more how Clean Break works as an organisation, run by women for women, with distinctive organisational practices characterised by learning through listening to the voices of those involved in its work and the implications of these practices for management and leadership more widely. Speakers Erin Gavaghan, Executive Director, Clean Break and Professor Gill Kirton, Queen Mary, University of London. Erin Gavaghan will reflect on the advantages and challenges of how shared leadership has manifest at Clean Break over the past two years. Gill Kirton will respond drawing on her academic expertise and practitioner experience in the field of women-only organising. Register for free by 21st April 2pm at: https://women-only-organisations-managing-differently.eventbrite.co.uk
Clean Break – Working Differently? Thursday 22 April 16.00-18.00This online public-facing in-conversation event is aimed at practitioners and researchers interested in understanding more how Clean Break works in collaboration with its partners in the theatre sector. What is involved in a Clean Break collaboration? Róisín McBrinn, Joint Artistic Director, Clean Break and Phil McCormack, Head of Participation, Donmar Warehouse reflect on the experience of recent co-commissioned work between their two organisations and the impact that Clean Break practices have on the wider theatre sector. Shona Babayemi, Member of Clean Break and cast member of [BLANK] joins the conversation with personal reflections. Register for free by 21st April 2pm at: https://clean-break-working-differently.eventbrite.co.uk
Women/Theatre/Justice. W/T/J is a two-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council led by academics in theatre and performance studies (Prof Caoimhe McAvinchey and Dr Sarah Bartley) and work and employment relations (Prof Anne-marie Greene and Dr Deborah Dean) to develop new understandings about the women-only theatre company Clean Break and its forty years working with women with experience of the criminal justice system.
Next Thursday (22nd April) is Earth Day and we at Phakama will be celebrating this day with one of our zoom Creative Get Togethers, which you’re all very welcome to join!
During this relaxed, hour-long, workshop we will explore the Earth through different creative exercises, such as drawing, writing and music. We will reflect on our personal connections, how we ground ourselves coming out of this lockdown, finding new ways to make decisions around our safety, and the roots we have grown to create our place in the world.
The workshop will run from 4:30 – 5:30pm on Thursday the 22nd April, and, of course, it’s free to join! If you’d like to take part please email Bibi.
Creative Access & Penguin Books have partnered once again on a mentoring programme for those from underrepresented backgrounds ready to take the next step in their publishing career!📚
Located in Notting Hill, Al Saqi Books is Europe’s largest Middle Eastern specialist bookshop, with the most comprehensive stock of books on the region in English, as well as books on all subjects in Arabic. Since opening in 1978, the bookshop has become a centre of Middle Eastern life in London, catering for Middle Eastern residents in the UK as well as for travellers keen to obtain books banned in their own countries.
Join Live Art Development Agency on Saturday 24 April, 6pm for ‘Playing With Fire’ Live Reading of peer to peer survivor writing organised by Jet Moon and featuring commissioned contributions read by Jet, Dolly Sen, Elinor Rowlands, Ayotomi IF, & Andie Macario.
Free Online Workshops ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ from Jackson’s Lane
Clowning Around, Wednesday 21 April, 7.30pm As we start to pop our heads out of our respective foxholes after the last few months, we need to find ways to reconnect again. This workshop will focus on waking ourselves up to play and just having fun. Nothing is required other than a willingness to have a go. Aimed at everyone and anyone. Sean Kempton is an international clown and has been performing, directing, and teaching for nearly 30 years for companies such as Dragone and Cirque Du Soleil, with productions including Quidam, Varekai, Kooza and Le Reve. Sean’s currently a performance teacher at the National Centre of Circus Arts. www.seankempton.comTo book, please register via this Zoom link
Empower Play, Wednesday 28 April, 7.30pm
Unleash your most playful and wonderfully unique self. In this workshop, you’ll explore the benefits of playing through creative exercises and improvisations, to help you find openness and confidence within yourself, and connection with others. All you need is clothes you can move in, something to write with, and a sense of humour! Ladylikes are a sketch duo formed by actor-comedians, Phoebe Batteson-Brown and Miztli Rose. Through weird and wacky characters, outlandish situations and a pitch of satire, Ladylikes interrogates and plays with gender expectations and female relationships. 2019 Leicester Square Theatre Sketch Off semi-finalists, nominated for Funny Women’s Best Comedy Short for Millennial and an official selection at London Worldwide Short Film Festival 2019, Film Bath Festival 2019, and New Orleans Comedy Film Festival 2020. www.ladylikescomedy.wixsite.comTo book, please register via this Zoom link
#FuckCovidGetMoving, Wednesday 5 May, 7.30pm Covering the topics of community, courage, connection, and care. All you need is a playful attitude. You’ll be working quite physically, so be prepared to sweat and have lots of fun. The PappyShow are a playful, physical, and visual ensemble theatre company who believe that having a space to play, devise and fail improves us as people. Community cohesion and working together is key to the company’s ensemble ethos and are our way of expanding the conversations on diversity. www.thepappyshow.co.ukTo book, please register via this Zoom link
The Way of an Idiot, Wednesday 12 May, 7.30pm Join Told by an Idiot for a practical, physical workshop that will give you a taste of their playful, anarchic approach to making theatre, as well as a chance to connect with other participants in creative and surprising ways, with lots of laughter! To book, please register via this Zoom link
Improve your Public Speaking
Free workshop by Roundhouse: Self-Made Series: Presenting with Confidence Subtle shifts in the way we communicate can effect fundamental changes in the way we are perceived. By learning how to manage the impression we make, we become more influential, more confident, and establish relationships that create greater impact across the board. Facilitated by Imogen Butler-Cole, this session enables participants to power up their performance, increasing personal presence and impact in a variety of communication scenarios. Participants will learn that subtle changes in behaviour can deliver fundamental shifts in the way we are perceived in presentations, meetings and day-to-day communication.
The workshop will cover:
– Clarity: practising precise articulation of thought, word and message – Managing nerves: harnessing and settling the energy that adrenaline can bring – Tools and techniques: body language, breath and voice work – The power of the pause: making space for thought and breath – Entry and exit: transmitting gravitas by learning to hold your ground
The Mansion is recruiting for an Events Assistant This full time entry-level role will be focussed on developing our classes and workshops, whilst assisting the team with larger events. The role is a mix of desk and event-based work, where you will have the opportunity to make your mark. The application deadline is Monday 19th April.
Please find the job description and how to apply here.
The Mansion Bar & Cafe is recruiting Duty Manager
The Mansion Bar & Cafe is looking for a driven and capable manager to help lead the team with gusto in service and help evolve their indoor and outdoor dining operations. As Duty Manager, the right candidate will drive bookings and ensure guest experience is always on point. You will be well versed in social media, leading busy shifts and managing stock. Commis Chef With a brand new food offering and big plans for cosy indoor dining on the horizon, the Mansion Bar & Cafe is looking for an energetic and passionate CDP/Commis Chef. Duties will be far ranging to start with, so we’re looking for someone who loves rolling up their sleeves to pitch in on big shifts as well as provide input on new dishes and service styles. This is an exciting new role in a business with developing opportunities.
Free Theatre Skills Courses for British East and South East Asians 18+
New Earth Theatre are running FREE writers, performers and technical theatre courses. Open to British East and South East Asians, aged 18+ who have an interest in theatre and want to develop new skills. Apply here bit.ly/AcademyNE
Applications are open for BAFTA’s UK Scholarship Programme! Open to British citizens in need of financial assistance to take eligible undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK. Each BAFTA Scholar receives between £5,000 and £12,000 towards their annual course fees. Info here
In the next event in our Leaders in SHAPE series, bestselling writer and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project Laura Bates joins Professor Conor Gearty FBA to discuss her life and career. BOOK NOW, FREE
Leaders in SHAPE: Tristram Hunt Monday 10 May 2021, 17:00 – 17:45 Online event In the next event in our Leaders in SHAPE series, Director of the V&A and former Labour MP Dr Tristram Hunt joins Professor Conor Gearty FBA to discuss his life and career. BOOK NOW, FREE
Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…
On Remembering Bangladesh: A Conversation on the War of Independence. Wednesday 14 April
The panel will include Shahidul Alam (named one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2018), whose photography has captured major events in contemporary Bangladeshi history, Showmi Das, a Kathak dancer (who will perform a commissioned work in response to the anniversary), and Asma Khan, the chef and owner of Darjeeling Express restaurant and star of Netflix’s Emmy nominated Chef’s Table, who will discuss how food can keep memories alive. Dr Clelia Clini, Research Associate with the Migrant Memory and the Postcolonial Imagination research project at Loughborough University, will discuss the ways in which the memories of the war circulate within migrant communities. The panel will be chaired by Dr Ashvin Devasundaram, Senior Lecturer in Film at QMUL. This panel has been commissioned in collaboration with Tower Hamlets Council
The Cambridge Humanities Review is looking to appoint a Digital Editor. Duties would principally involve commissioning original essays and articles for digital publication; overseeing the CHR’s social media presence; and developing a new podcast in collaboration with the editors.
Experience in editorial work is highly desirable as well as experience of digital publication, overseeing social media platforms and podcasting. Applications should include a CV and covering letter and be sent to the Editor or Deputy Editor (https://cambridgereview.cargo.site/Editorial-Team). The deadline for applications is Friday 30th April; interviews will be held in due course via Zoom.
Informal inquiries are warmly encouraged! Our submissions are also open for digital publication at the moment; we would be happy to discuss any pitches over email.
Sky Arts RSL Writers Awards invite applications for a new set of Awards in partnership with Sky Arts to celebrate and nurture British writers of colour at the beginnings of their careers. Five Awards are available, providing each winner with ten free mentoring sessions over the course of 12 months with an RSL Fellow writing in their form, as well as two sessions with Awards Ambassador Bernardine Evaristo. Thanks to funding from Sky Arts, mentorships are fully funded. Find out more and apply.
Annual Creative Future Writers’ Awards 2021 The UK’s only national competition features over £10,000 in cash and writer development prizes. The award is open to all writers whose stories are underrepresented in mainstream publishing. Writers can submit via the website, post, or in person. The theme of the award this year is ‘essential’. Closes 6 Jun | More info
Poetry for Social Justice Are you passionate about human rights? Do you want to lend your voice to the social justice movement? Enter this competition for a chance to win amazing prizes, and join the voices of many of our activists worldwide. Closes 23 Apr | More info
Fringe Futures Festival: A brand new festival of LIVE work-in-progress shows from leading independent performance makers, presented by the Pleasance & VAULT Creative Arts. #FFF21. Find out more and apply to be part of it.
An Artist Development course for queer and non-binary people Led by Tylor Deyn
8, 15 & 22 April. First session tomorrow. £15. Bursary places available, please get in touch. This course explores the connection queerness can enable through shared movement practice. We will ask: what is (your) queerness? who do you move (queerly)? and explore permutations of these questions as they leak into auto-choreographic potential. This course is structured in three sections, two over zoom and one in your own time. Footage collected from the module will be developed into a filmic documentation exploring what is queer dance and how do we queer it. Participants are not required to have their material included. Participants should attend all three sessions.
LAST CALL: PAID OPPORTUNITY FOR BLACK STUDENTS: The Mending Room: We’re looking for four students who share a Black British, Caribbean or African Heritage, to support and document a unique project – part of 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance (humanifesto pictured above) – with the legendary theatre arts activist Tony Cealy.
Led by Tony, you will work over ten Saturday mornings starting 10 April and culminating in a share event on 5 June. If you are in Second/Third Year or are a postgraduate, please contact Ali Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) ASAP to get involved, or see this blog post.
2021 UNDERGRADUATE OFFER HOLDER DAY LAST ONE OF THE YEAR
Nisha Ramayya (English/Creative Writing) is taking part in lots of events this month: Wednesday 7 April – Nisha is giving a keynote talk on multivocal poetics at ‘Un/crossing language cracks: exophonic practices and realities’, organised by the University of Montreal. Also Wednesday 7 April – Nisha is participating on a roundtable on ‘radical inclusivity, diaspora, and poetry’, hosted by Camden Arts Centre in collaboration with The 87 Press. More infoThursday 8 April – Nisha is presenting new work on mathematical romance, underwater listening, and speculative frequencies at the ‘audiograft festival of experimental music and sound art’. More infoFor more events happening across the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences see the HSS events newsletter.
Celebrating 50 years of Bangladeshi Independence – Alumni story In this special blog post, alumna Sabiya Khatun (English BA, 2011) talks about a new exhibition in collaboration with Tower Hamlets Archives and the National Portrait Gallery, Bangladesh 50, which will explore the impact of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, and the experience of the Bangladeshi community, many of whom came to settle in Tower Hamlets. In the post, Sabiya talks about how getting involved with the exhibition as a Citizen Researcher resonated with the topics she was interested in during her degree, and why members of the Queen Mary community should go and see it.
Costanza Casati In this profile, writer and screenwriter Costanza Casati (English and Film Studies BA, 2017) talks about her debut novel, The President Show, which follows Iris, a nineteen-year-old thief who is captured and forced to take part in the state-run President Show, a reality programme where ‘Lovers’ have to entertain politicians in a bid to win their freedom. Described as Vox meets The Hunger Games, The President Show is a story of resilience, abuse, betrayal and hope. Costanza also shares details of her “bookstagram” page @youngpeopleread, where she interviews acclaimed debut writers. Read the profile.
Miranda Burns In this profile, Radio Presenter at Capital and Capital South Coast and Ambassador for Endometriosis UK, Miranda Burns (Drama BA, 2015), reflects on how her weekly slot on QMSU’s Quest Radio allowed her to develop the skills and confidence needed for her successful career in radio, on some of her career highlights to date and how she has had to adapt her shows in response to the pandemic, and shares how she uses her social media as a safe space to talk about women’s health and her own infertility struggles. Read the profile.
Since 2013, AirSupply has offered a bridge between graduation and a professional arts career to young artists and QMUL alumni by providing them with a creative platform, networking opportunities and spaces for skill sharing and work experience.
Starting Wednesday 31 March we will be opening up the AirSupply Boarding Lounge from 6-7pm every Wednesday.
The Boarding Lounge is an easy going hang out session on Zoom. Aside from a general check-in conversation, we will share thoughts and concerns about our lives and livelihoods and flag any opportunities, events, or performances that we find interesting.
We will also start planning and talking about QMUL’s upcoming Peopling the Palaces Festival, 9-19 June 2021.
Join a student team and help a business or charity, solve a real-life business challenge The Student Consultancy Project Sprint (SCP Sprint) offers you the opportunity to collaborate in a team and tackle a real-life business challenge over one week. Whilst on the programme, you will benefit from training, coaching and the opportunity to interact with a business who will act as your client.
We will support you during the programme to develop work-related skills such as; – Commercial awareness – Problem solving – Project planning – Collaboration and teamwork – Presentation skills
Why take part? – Gain experience of working with a client on a real-life consultancy project. – Receive support, training and advice on a range of work-related skills. – Add the SCP to your digital transcript, the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).
Who can get involved? The programme is also open to all QMUL undergraduates from any academic school.
“It was quite invigorating and a refreshing experience because it helped me see into a profession that I didn’t previously know about thus having no experience in that field. Now, it has helped me to apply to several consultancy companies and secure a few places.” English and Drama, Autumn 2019
Find out more about The Student Consultancy Project here!
For further information and to apply, please click here. The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 25 April 2021.
To book an appointment to get your application checked before you apply, call 020 7882 8533 or visit the Careers & Enterprise Centre in the Queens’ Building, Room WG3.
A lunchtime celebration of William Shakespeare’s 457th birthday
Join us for an online celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday by joining a discussion with theatre practitioners and theatre historians.
Black Queer History events from University of Westminster
21 April 6pm, Chocolate Babies (dir. Stephen Winter, 1997) screening, introduced by filmmaker Rabz Lansiquot. Details and booking: https://bit.ly/30fItJW
29 April 5pm, ‘Black Queer Fictions and Selves’, a panel discussion with Paul Mendez (Rainbow Milk, 2020) and Michael Donkor (Hold, 2018). Details and booking for that event here: https://bit.ly/2OpaU5g.
Event Recommendations from our very own Cathie Kayakumar-Hazra
“I have a position to teach English for an excellent independent school in South Korea. The position would entail teaching English (Language and Literature) from Year 3 to Year 9.
Essential: An excellent academic background including an undergraduate degree in English.
Desired: A postgraduate degree in English or related discipline (or in the midst of completing one), a background tutoring, or any experience working with children would be a bonus, however, this is certainly not essential.
The successful candidate will be able to convey his/her own enthusiasm, encourage self-motivation, and a genuine love of learning and enquiry to students of all ages. The school is set on stunning surroundings with cutting edge, state of the art facilities available . A lucrative package is on offer for the chosen candidate including a very competitive salary (£30K-£45K, depending on experience), free flights, and free, furnished accommodation.
If you are enthusiastic about English and would like the opportunity to teach academic pupils overseas , please forward your CV asap to email@example.com or please ask for Devra for an informal chat on: 020 7820 7308 or Mob: 07795 221266.” www.harrishill.co.uk
Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…
The Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London is honoured to announce the inaugural Annual Catherine Silverstone Lecture, held in memory of our dear friend and colleague, the late Professor Catherine Silverstone, who passed away on 4 October 2020.
The lecture will be presented by Professor Joshua Chambers-Letson. Prof Chambers-Letson will give a lecture titled Love Will Never Do: Black and Brown Love in a Queer Rhythm Nation.
The event will take place online on Wednesday 26 May 2021 at 6pm (GMT/UK).
All are welcome. Tickets are free and booking is essential.
As a part of Asian heratige month, Diaspora speaks are hosting an event open to all QM students from any department on the 31/03.
It is a show and tell event where students can showcase their culture, perform or share interesting artefacts or objects. At the end of the event there will even be a quiz to test their knowledge on Asia. Even if they do not participate in to perform or showcase they can till sign up.
It’ll be a great way to immerse themselves within the Asian culture and expand their their knowledge.
The Orion Publishing Group have re-opened applications for paid, remote work experience placements from June 2021. The scheme, which launched in September 2020 and designed to remove boundaries to access, has hosted six candidates and reached thousands more via Orion on Tour’s virtual events.
Over 1400 people applied for the scheme in 2020 and, in a bid to offer additional support and guidance to the 400 long-longlisted candidates, Orion staff provided a webinar session to share advice and guidance on the application process. In addition, Orion on Tour went virtual in November 2020 and offered webinars designed to demystify the publishing industry reaching over 500 people.
Whitney Southern, the inaugural work experience candidate said: ‘I think the scheme did a really good job of combining work experience and an internship. I got a great insight into publishing processes, Orion and Hachette and I also got to do substantial work. I had numerous opportunities to contribute and I truly -believe that my time at Orion has set me up well for applying to traineeships and entry-level positions in the industry.’
Open for applications via the Orionwebsite, the company will have the next placement active in June with pro-rata pay in line with the Hachette starting salary of £24,000 per annum and will run the monthly programme virtually until the end of 2021. The placement offers the chance to attend a variety of company meetings, as well as meet staff across the company and receive informal mentoring or career guidance.
Sarah Benton, Deputy Managing Director said: ‘Orion are committed to ensuring that every voice is heard and it’s this that drives our desire to make real change in what we offer and contribute to the future of publishing. We have loved meeting the six candidates who have worked with us so far and are ready to meet more brilliant colleagues. Orion on Tour’s virtual events are an excellent and effective way to reach far beyond the number of candidates we can host each year and continue to smash all boundaries to access publishing.’
Applications are welcome and close on 1st April 2021. All information, including an overview of the departments within the company, is available on the Orion website: www.hachette.co.uk/careers
Enni-Kukka Tuomala Solo Exhibition, Nunnery Gallery, Bow 21 May – 8 August 2021 | bowarts.org/nunnery
In March 2021 artist and designer Enni-Kukka Tuomala opens the world’s first “Empathy HQ” at 26 Bromley High Street in Bow, London. The Empathy HQ is a new creative space dedicated to empathy, acting as both a working art studio for Tuomala, as well as an open community space for local people, groups and organisations in the surrounding E3 area.
Taking over an old disused shop front on Bromley High Street, Tuomala has transformed the former beauty salon into a light and airy space filled with art and creativity. The facade of the Empathy HQ is a mirror, reflecting its surrounding environment and people. The mirror plays on the core principle of empathy to adopt different perspectives and points-of-view to better understand one another, and ourselves. By both blending into its context, and standing out and shining brightly in the ever changing London weather, the front to the Empathy HQ captures the attention of everyone passing by. Designed by Tuomala, and produced and installed by local East London Puck Studio, the facade invites passers by to consider their relationship to empathy by asking them “What does empathy mean to you?”. Enni-Kukka Tuomala has said:
“I have been dreaming of opening an HQ dedicated to Empathy for years. Today, it feels more relevant than ever. As an artist my empathy practice is built on collaboration, conversation and exchange, that’s why I want to explore what a creative studio space rooted in its surrounding environment and community could be. To launch a dedicated space for empathy in London, hopefully the first of many around the world, at a time when we are redefining what physical closeness means, how we can create meaningfulconnections with one another in a post-Covid world, and what public and private space stands for feels important. In the first few months of renovating the space I have already met so many friendly, curious and generous local people. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to work together and get to know one another.”
The Empathy HQ project is generously supported by Bow Arts, the Connecting People & Places Fund by the Foundation for Future London and City of London, as well as Poplar HARCA. On 21 May 2021 Bow Arts will also open Tuomala’s first solo art exhibition in their Nunnery Gallery, located across the road from the Empathy HQ on Bow Road. Sophie Hill, Director of Arts & Events, Bow Arts, has said:
“Enni-Kukka Tuomala’s empathy-centred practice is more relevant now than ever; her unique approach of exploring and inspiring empathy through the open-reaching arms of art has proven transformative in previous projects – and right now is sorely needed. The pandemic has left many feeling isolated and scared; empathy will be key in bringing communities together once again. Art has a huge role to play – the World Health Organisation just announced a $15m initiative to support artist-led projects to improve mental, social and environmental health in the wake of the pandemic. After a four-month long closure, we can’t wait to reopen the Nunnery Gallery with Tuomala’s exhibition, inviting our audiences to experience a physical installation of empathy after many months of feeling apart.”
Enni-Kukka Tuomala will be running free empathy related activities and creative workshops throughout the spring and summer. Respecting Government Covid-19 guidelines, all initial activities will take place remotely, and / or outdoors. Please follow #empathyHQ on Twitter and Instagram, as well as www.empathyheadquarters.com for updates.
This programme is honour of British Bengali heritage, the impact and legacy of the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence. Whilst inspired by and honouring this heritage, the programme has been design for ALL communities and people living in East London (with focus on Tower Hamlets & City Of London)
To honour this heritage, we are accepting story submissions that explore the general theme of ‘life in 1971, liberation, resistance and home.’ Your story can be rooted in memory, history or completely fictional.
We are accepting written stories (up to 750 words) and spoken word (up to 3 minutes long). We also welcome stories in other languages such as Sylheti, Bangla, Somali, Arabic, Spanish and many more….
Submitted stories will be judged on how original, interesting and engaging they are. We are looking for stories that capture the reader and hold their attention.
The stories will be judged anonymously with 3 selected to win a £100 voucher. The winning pieces will be included in a Story & Musical walking tour that will be developed with the local communities later on in the year.
All submitted stories will be published in a digital anthology.