Incubator Sharing 12
Weston Studio, WMC
3rd May 2012
A forum for new and innovative companies or artists to develop their work and receive instant audience feedback – Incubator is an unmissable opportunity to work in partnership with Wales Millennium Centre. So what was on the programme for the spring season sharing?
Buddug James Jones: Hiraeth
Hiraeth is one of those Welsh words that have no literal translation. Possibly the closest in English is a nostalgic longing or homesickness combined with grief and a desire for the Wales of the past.
In this quirky look at her eventful life so far 22 year old Bud introduces us to members of the James Jones family starting 300 years ago. This extensive history and amusing whistle stop tour around all the farms in her local area shows how much Bud is struggling to escape from her small town upbringing. She loves these hills and these people but she longs for different life. Milking cows and picking potatoes is not for her so she decides to go to university in London. Her mother’s reaction is not good – “Why have you decided to ruin my life Buddug?!!”
With the help of the classically trained Max Mackintosh, who we are informed IS Welsh despite his lack of accent, the duo sing their way through Bud’s many misadventures in the big smoke. Experiencing true heartbreak courtesy of the Portuguese love god Carlos, discovering that throwing paint at the walls is ‘art’ and powering through homesickness with the help of some homemade Welsh cakes.
This was a truly off the wall and heart-warming autobiographical production from Buddug. Certainly two performers to keep your eye on as they are sure to pop up in the Cardiff arts scene time and again. Although it is difficult to imagine this production in any other forum or performance space it was a well crafted and laugh out loud piece that celebrated Wales whilst looking at its flaws.
Performed by Buddug James Jones and Max Mackintosh
Directed by Jesse Briton
Produced by Lindsay Fraser Ltd
George Orange: Man on the Moon
The best way to describe George Orange as an absolutely lovable eccentric. A slack rope walker, clown and all round entertainer.
In his latest adventure we see George attempt a series of failed missions on the moon assisted by musician and collaborator Gareth Jones. Using George’s specially designed moon rig - a huge, unique alloy structure - the pair haplessly attempt their mission.
Created with a young audience in mind this piece was comic and creative. Seemingly plagued by bad luck in real life too, it was unclear which disasters were part of the performance and which were genuine mistakes. With live, daring circus tricks it’s a risk that is always present but the two worked through the kinks and still managed to deliver the laughs.
The music for this piece just as inventive as the concept. There was an incredible combination of live and pre-recorded music and inspired use of a loop pedal. The music added so much to this performance and offered something that parents could really appreciate whilst their kids got up and offered a helping, zero-gravity hand.
With possibly the most creative use of bin bags as a prop George found out what was on the other side of a black hole. And like all good stories the good guys complete their mission and perform some genuinely incredible physical feats along the way.
Once polished up a bit this is sure to be a big hit that could be performed in theatres, school halls and even outdoors. Mission: Success!
Performed by George Orange
Directed by Mathilde Lopez
Collaborator and Musician: Gareth Jones
Composer: Rob Lee
Comedy Writer: Richard Garaghty
After yet another entertaining evening in the Weston Studio the audience had the chance to leave feedback and even talk to the artists face to face. Certainly both groups deserved huge congratulations for their hard work with the centre. None of this incredible work would be possible without associate producer Simon Coates, read on for an exclusive interview....
1. Simon, in your opinion what is the most important thing that Incubator can offer new companies?
Incubator helps companies to do a number of things: to make new work and share it with an audience; to access support, advice and targeted mentoring from industry professionals to develop their practice; and garner assistance in producing their work ready for touring at a later stage.
Companies do receive a small amount of money to help enable the projects to take place but I don’t think anyone would say this was the most important part of an Incubator package.
Its hard to say what is most valuable as each company I work with is at a different stage in their development and as such I will tailor the level of support to suit them. Without any one of the above points, it would be that much more difficult to make the work they do.
2. What has been the biggest success to come out of Incubator?
I believe that every company working with Incubator has succeeded. It’s not everybody’s intention to tour the work that they have created as part of Incubator but rather spend time picking up skills to make it easier to take all of their future work forward. When a company leaves Incubator feeling that they have achieved everything they set out to, then that is a true success. (If not, then I think that’s ok too.)
3. What has been your favourite project or company to work with?
One of the reasons I love my job is that I get to make really brilliant relationships with all the companies who take part in Incubator. But my favourite companies are probably those who take risks and aren’t afraid to fail, that’s when work really becomes exciting.
4. In the last few sharings the variety of performances has been huge, from dance, to circus to two person shows. What is it like getting to work with such a varied group of people?
It certainly keeps me entertained! It can certainly be difficult to accommodate such variety within one project, let alone the demands on space when working with circus or dance companies, but Incubator has a part to play in developing performance work being made in Wales and I believe it should do this in the broadest sense. I have always been interested in work that engages multiple artforms. I can’t imagine an Incubator that wouldn’t work in this way.
5. Can you give any hints about what may be coming up in the November sharing?
Sorry but no, I haven’t made any decisions yet about which companies will be part of the November sharing. Applications are open all year round…
To find out how to apply to incubator please visit the page at the WMC website: www.wmc.org.uk/Incubator
For more reviews please visit: www.hypercriticreviews.blogspot.com
Thank you to Simon Coates for the exclusive interview and WMC for their continued commitment to new work in Wales.
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