Every May since 2011, we People Show artists have devised and performed ten glorious shows with Roehampton University third-year students and sometimes ALRA students.We have performed in Battersea Park, The Ram Brewery (Wandsworth) , Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), The Crypt (Paddington), Putney Library, the splendid Cinema Museum (Kennington), and last year all the students made "LAST DAY"with us (in a disused factory in East London) - a short film which will premier after this crisis is over.
Each show is co-created by us and the students. It is always inspired by the location we are performing in first of all. Sometimes we have three weeks to make it, but most of the time we have two. It's a quick turn around but I am deeply proud of all 10 performances we have made.
This year we would have been ready to start next week on our latest show in a shopping unit in Putney Shopping Centre, then the lockdown started and everything changed. Now, as we all know, the only thing hanging out in shopping centers are re-wilded gangs of sheep.
But we won't let the little problem of not being able to meet together with 34 performers in a room to make a show in two weeks and then not be able to show it to a live audience stop us. Why would we? The performance venue this time is each one of the artist's houses, across many different countries and many different locations.
We want to make a show like we normally do. So from next Monday, we will meet ( online) for the first day of rehearsals. We will try out ideas, discover and edit material as we go, and aim to make a final product at the end of May. Already from the small bit of homework, we gave the students over Easter, early results have proved poignant, beautiful, and very funny.
Whatever happens, we'll endeavor to create something purely original and stunning. A document of this strange and worrying time, filled with sadness and hope. Filled with dance and laughter. Filled with cats, rabbits, and strange music.
I can't wait to begin and I can't wait to introduce an audience to a new generation of artists.