Author: Max Adams

‘Too Young For What?’: Talking Basquiat with Poet in the City, Paula Varjack, and Jacob Sam-La Rose

In conjunction with Boom for Real, their exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work on display until January, on Saturday 7th October the Barbican are hosting a day of free events, installations, and performances focusing on Basquiat’s creativity and encouraging young people’s interest in the arts. Titled Too Young for What?, the programme for the day is full of a variety of different events, from talks on graffiti and the enduring influence of Basquiat, to a polaroid manipulation workshop, to screenings of short films that juxtapose the New York of the 1980s against its present day reality. We here at culturised...

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Reasons to be Cheerful: In Conversation with Graeae’s John Kelly

John Kelly is the lead vocalist for the band in Graeae’s latest production, Reasons to be Cheerful, and has been in the show’s cast since its conception seven years ago. Taking the form of a musical constructed around the songbook of Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Reasons to be Cheerful first toured the UK in 2010, and two years later Kelly and other members of Graeae performed the controversial Ian Dury song, “Spasticus Autisticus” at London’s Paralympic opening ceremony, receiving rave reviews[1] (you can watch the performance here). The show is now set to take to the stage in...

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Stand-up Politics: In Conversation with Ahir Shah

Ahir Shah is an example of what it would be like if your politics professor was also a quick-witted stand-up comedian. In recent years he has been making a name for himself not just through his jokes, but also for the way in which he uses them to explore the political landscape and comment on the social issues facing us today. In 2014 Shah won the award for Best Show at the Leicester Comedy Festival, and since then his career has been rapidly progressing: touring to both Australia and Canada last year before returning to the Edinburgh Fringe with...

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Talking Cheek by Jowl: In Conversation with Declan Donnellan

In 1981 Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod founded Cheek by Jowl, a company that has since grown into one of the most well-known names in theatre production, a feat achieved through an unwavering commitment to staging innovative productions in a variety of languages all over the world. The pair’s successes on the stage were recognised earlier this year when both Donnellan and Ormerod received OBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, a welcome sight for any lovers of the arts. Most recently in the UK, Cheek by Jowl staged their new production of The Winter’s Tale (about which you can...

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Among Les Enfants Terribles: In Conversation with Oliver Lansley

Oliver Lansley is the Artistic Director of Les Enfants Terribles, a company he founded in 2001 and with which has been pushing the boundaries of inventive storytelling ever since. Their 2015 show, Alice’s Adventures Underground, saw Les Enfants venture into immersive theatre for the first time and they have subsequently continued to bring their own unique style to the genre with productions such as The Game’s Afoot (2016): an immersive Sherlock Holmes theatrical experience staged in Madame Tussauds. Given the success of these shows, Les Enfants Terribles have brought Alice’s Adventures Underground back to The Vaults Theatre in London...

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In Conversation with Frozen Light: Accessible Theatre for Audiences with Learning Disabilities

Frozen Light Theatre was founded in 2013 with the aim of producing multi-sensory theatre specifically for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Co-founders Lucy Garland and Amber Onat Gregory aim not only to increase the amount of accessible theatre on offer in the UK, but also to ensure that more accessible shows are produced in theatres, rather than travelling to their audiences by going into care homes or schools. We at culturised caught up with Lucy Garland to talk both about the work that Frozen Light have been doing for the past four years, and the on-going national...

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‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ in The Vaults: Immersive Nonsense

  “When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one”   This quote comes from Alice’s musings in the fourth chapter of Alice in Wonderland. It also finds a home on the opening page of the programme for Les Enfants Terribles’ current production of Alice’s Adventures Underground at London’s Vaults Theatre, and for good reason. Produced by ebp, Emma Brunjes Productions, this show has been revised and refined since its sell-out run in 2015 and continues to push the boundaries of immersive theatre: giving...

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Pushing Boundaries: in Conversation with Jazz Plus Productions

Founded in 2015, Jazz Plus Productions have an explicit “desire to uproot the UK jazz scene”.[1] To pursue this ambition, and in the process get a whole new younger generation experiencing and enjoying jazz music, Jazz Plus Productions both organise live gigs in London, and have their own record label – onto which they look to sign promising bands and thus distribute their music to a wider audience. In order to find out more about this young enterprise, culturised caught up with the two founders of Jazz Plus Productions, Charles Price and Chris Jones, so they could tell us...

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