Festival Pathways

Thu 01 Jan 1970


Robert Pacitti, SPILL Festival Artistic Director and Curator, asks the SPILL Team what type of work they’re most looking forward to in this year’s Festival.

 

Julia Devonshire

Think Tank Producer

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL? 

Work that gets you thinking

Why is that?

I find intrigue in the making processes. Not just the craft of how work is physically executed (which is also fascinating), but how ideas are conceived in relation to the cultural conditions from which they are born. I think about the decisions that artists have made in developing the finished piece (and their successes and failures) and then form my response around what has been put into play for [me] the audience. It’s not really about ‘getting it’ but more about experiencing how it relates to the context that frames it – in this instance SPILL festival (it’s people, it’s places …. it’s timing!)

What works are you most looking forward to in that area?

Think Tank Events. 

SPILL Folk Academy (Tuesday 9th & Wednesday 10th April, Toynbee Studios). Of all the Think Tank events it’s probably one of the most critical. Asking the urgent question ‘How might we weather the coming storm together?’, these 2 days are a really valuable opportunity to share experiences and collectivise thoughts. We want it to be mutually constructive in emerging some fresh intelligence in how artists and cultural workers support each other effectively t hrough these economically (and politically?) turbulent times. You can read Robert’s announcement here.

SPILL Congregation (Sunday 14th April, Whitechapel Gallery). After an action packed 10 days of being immersed in the work and absorbing the energy of SPILL it’s really great to bring artists and audiences together to decompress around a conversation. Here, a panel including Kira O’Reilly, Dominic Johnson and jamie lewis hadley will join Canadian artist Heather Casslis in discussing her work (Heather is performing the at the National Theatre Studios, Saturday 13th April – also not to be missed). The Congregation will be a key point in punctuating the end of the programme, less of a full stop, more of an ‘and ?’.

Keep an eye out too for  this year’s SPILL Thinker in Residence Tim Etchells who will be experiencing the festival through a series of daily correspondences with other people. These layered writings will be made public – online and to pick up at Toynbee Studios. 

Connecting people. SPILL is a really great opportunity to get groups together alongside the work. I’m looking forward to meeting the Arts Admin Youth Board again and making the introduction to Fierce Festival’s Press Gang and the New Wolsey Young Associates. It’s a chance to spark ideas around their different experiences and form new relationships for future work.

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Get to know the programme and get stuck in. The curatorial theme ‘On Contact’ is a really useful idea to carry with you through the experience. SPILL is a warm and social environment to meet new people and become familiar with artists and territories within a concentrated proximity of time and space. Seeing the work and knowing a little of the shared discussions taking place in Think Tank Salons and Q&As etc is a great way to activate informal side conversations and make new personal connections with people and ideas. Some of which are quite fleeting others stay with you forever.

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

A tough one… Entertainment Island (Oblivia). I’ve a feeling that this will appeal to my more cynical appreciation of the entertainment industry and popular culture. Unlike shouting at the TV on a Saturday night I’ll be listening and watching intently – on mute!

 

Caroline Lawson

Development Manager

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL? 

I’m looking forward to seeing the ambition and vision for SPILL take form on a huge scale, thanks to the diligence of all our artists, partners and team members, and experiencing the intricacies and details that will be found within. I’m really excited by the costumes in many of the shows too. And of course moments when we can come together to collectively reflect.

Why is that?

The events and performances in the programme have been worked on for quite some time, I’m sure with twists and turns along the way. As Development Manager I perhaps work less closely with the artists involved in our programme than other members of the team (whilst focused on how we can raise funds to make this amazing work happen), and I’m looking forward to the details and surprises that I may not yet know being revealed. I’m also keen to connect with our artists and audiences and to share their response to SPILL.

What works are you most looking forward to in that area?

I can’t wait for The Salon Project, having supplied measurements some time ago I’m intrigued by the costumes that are being intricately made for each and every audience member so that together we become part of the performance. My fascination with the costumes also stems from growing up with a tailor in the house, so I’m excited as much as what has gone on behind the scenes ahead of SPILL. With this in mind and having had the pleasure of seeing Empress Stah in Space during SPILL in Ipswich I know that her bespoke costumes will wow audiences at the Soho Theatre, they’re an unforgettable element.

Captivatingly beautiful I’m sure that Wendy Bevan will present a stunning performance with Temper Temper too.

In terms of the Think Tank, which contextualises the SPILL programme, I’m particularly looking forward to the SPILL Folk Academy, which aims to collectively harness shared energy and ambition, think differently and openly exchange ideas.

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Plan ahead and leave room for a few suprises. Think ahead and decide what can’t be missed but pepper your schedule with opportunities to reflect too (and of course social moments) which may lead you to experiencing something new.

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

analogue to a blunt trauma – jamie lewis hadley

I haven’t attended a performance by jamie before and I’m intrigued by what I’ve heard and read and can’t wait to absorb the aesthetic of this new performance. jamie has worked extensively with experts in their field and I’m sure that this work is not to be missed.

Don’t miss the chance to see Pacitti Company’s On Landguard Point screened for the first time in London too.

 

Sally Rose

National Platform and Showcase Project Manager & Administrator

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL? 

SPILL offers a chance to see a carefully curated selection of artists and companies from a broad spectrum of experience that are making work that crosses art form boundaries. There is a really great balance of artists that are younger and those that are more established. I’m really looking forward to seeing works that are a smorgasbord of disciplines across multiple spaces but in the same venues: so National Showcase artists at Toynbee Studios alongside, Julia Bardsely, Qasim Riza Shaheen and Wendy Bevan and at National Theatre Studio alongside Julie Vulcan and Heather Cassils.

Why is that?

For me, experiencing a wide variety of work in one hit is an unbeatable way to get in to the groove of a festival and to really appreciate different types of work. I am interested in installation based works, as places to interact with artists and materials within the space, and also loud and striking actions alongside moments of quiet and intimacy.

What works are you most looking forward to in that area?

I have been working closely with the 10 National Showcase artists Elena Molinaro, Jo Hellier, Lucy Hutson, Madeleine Botet de Lacaze, Paul Easterbrook, Rosana Cade, Ruth Flynn, Season Butler, Selina Thompson, Tim Bromage. I am hotly anticipating each of their works! These artists are presenting an eclectic mix of durational work, technological wizardry, intimate moments, installations, stage performances and artist’s presence. 6, 7 and 13 April are chock full of work by these makers who are relatively early on in their artistic practices, and who have been developing their work since they presented it in SPILL 2012 in Ipswich.

Also having worked with jamie lewis hadley, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein and Martin O’Brien in a previous National Platform (2011) I can’t wait to experience each of their new works.

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Start by deciding what you want to see: scan the entire programme and note what catches your eye and work through days, times and prices. Create groups by day to form one or two bumper hits and then you should be left with any other works that you just can’t miss.

Then:
–          Get in the zone
–          Relax, have fun and don’t go home too early
–          Don’t cling to expectations
–          Revel in your reactions and then share them with others
–          Carry snacks

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

SPILL Tuck. In 2009 some friends took me on a surprise birthday treat to a SPILL Feast. It was my introduction to SPILL properly, a wonderful and unusual experience that allowed me to speak to a variety of different people and enjoy a meal on the Artsadmin theatre stage! SPILL Tuck is taking the SPILL Feast formula; to come together amidst the Festival, for audiences, artists, volunteers, festival team and all involved to share a meal and connect on the same level; and adding a new DIY twist for even further contact!

 

Kate Madden

Producer

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL? 

So much! I’m really looking forward to work which responds to the 2013 curatorial festival theme of ‘On Contact’ in physical, visceral, bold and unexpected ways.
Work which pushes the limits of the body, smashes materials and interacts with flesh and skin.

Why is that?

I’m excited about works which establish a shared energy as new ideas and senses collide. Uncompromising works which create reactions, moments and memories.
Experiences where there’s an exhilarating feeling of ‘liveness’ in the space, that something is very much at stake.

What works are you most looking forward to in that area? 

Splat!The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein
I saw the early stages of Splat! late last year and have been thinking about the ideas and artistry ever since. It’s a smart, wild, accomplished new show from a former National Platform artist (SPILL 2011).

Becoming An ImageHeather Cassils
Heather Cassils’ European premiere of Becoming An Image is an event not to be missed. A multidisciplinary artist and trained stunt practitioner; Becoming An Image sees Heather Cassils pounding a clay sculpture viewed only through the flashing lights of Manuel Vason’s performance photography.  

analogue to a blunt trauma jamie lewis hadley
Medicine, performance and cinema collide in this radical world premiere from Jamie Lewis Hadley. A former National Platform artist (SPILL 2011) making ambitious work on his own terms.

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Start the day with a good breakfast, strike up conversations (you never know who you might meet) and take the opportunity to watch something you may not typically see.  

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

Last(ing)Martin O’Brien
I recommend Martin’s world premiere of Last(ing); a physical and committed endurance work which sees Martin experimenting with a new, shorter time format (45 mins).

 

Bernd Fauler

Production Manager

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL? 

European works like Verk’s Eternal Smile and Oblivia’s Entertainment Island

Why is that?

There is something really beautiful about the visual approach in European productions

What technically challenging and exciting works are you most looking forward to?

Wendy Bevan & Temper Temper at Arts Admin will be stunning – both visually and acoustically.
Then there is Jamie Hadley’s work at Netil House – as promised on his marketing shot, you’ll get blood and guns. Sounds dangerous!

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Get a push bike to beat traffic when moving between all of our exiting venues.

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

My wild card is Qasim Riza Shaheen – moving between an artist’s studio and a 5* environment. How these two extremes meet?

 

Jen Walke

General Manager

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL? 

I’m really excited about seeing the interface this year between some key things which we’ve worked hard to particularly grow in the past year or so, including:

  • New works which have been in further development since SPILL Ipswich
  • Our ever-evolving Think Tank programme this year, and in particular the SPILL Folk Academy
  • Events in new spaces where we’ve not presented SPILL before: including the Whitechapel Gallery, Netil House, and offsite locations to be revealed for Paul Easterbrook and for Qasim Riza Shaheen!
  • Pacitti Company’s first feature film: On Landguard Point, in the new Barbican cinema.

Why is that?

The Festival has always been strategic: to be in service to artists and improve opportunities for making, creating and sustaining radical new work, for the long-term.

But this year’s London festival is the first one which has taken place following our first ever Ipswich festival. It’s meant that we’ve been able to offer longer term development opportunities to artists who made new work in Ipswich last November: such as National Showcase artists (who were in the National Platform in Ipswich) and our SPILL Commission: Empress Stah.  To properly support this we’ve set up a critical pathway for our Showcase artists in partnership with some fantastic mentors, the Live Art Development Agency and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

In the past year, we also set up our first permanent Pacitti Company Think Tank space in Ipswich. The evolution of our research and Think Tank work in the space has generated some exciting new Think Tank activity in SPILL London this year, including the SPILL Folk Academy. We’ve set this up to seriously look at the financial challenges that every organisation, artist and independent creative organiser is currently facing, in an open space to all across 2 days at Artsadmin. The response we’ve had to this has been huge so we anticipate that it’s going to be really exciting.  

I’m also excited to see what SPILL feels like in those new London spaces I mentioned above. And most of all, I’m incredibly proud to see our first ever Pacitti Company feature film (a project which involved over 20,000 for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad) on the big screen at the fantastic new Barbican cinema. It feels fitting that this is seen now in SPILL, in London, before we unveil it to the rest of the world. It is the biggest project Pacitti Company ever made.

What works are you most looking forward to in that area?

Of the National Showcase, I’m particularly excited to see Tim Bromage on Saturday 6th April at 6pm at Artsadmin, who is currently working with a magician Jonathan Allen as his mentor. At SPILL Ipswich, Tim’s performance was fantastic and I can’t wait to see how it’s developed since then. I’m also really excited to see Rosana Cade’s Walking: Holding (on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April, starting at Artsadmin), which got such a good response in Ipswich, where I unfortunately didn’t get to see it due to being in other places! I’m also really keen to see the work of International artists Heather Cassils and Julie Vulcan, alongside our Showcase artists at the National Theatre Studio, on Saturday 13th April 2013.

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Sleep well, miss as little as possible, and introduce yourself to as many people as possible: don’t be shy. We have people coming to SPILL from all over the world – and you never know who you’re going to meet, or where it’ll end up taking you…

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

Verk Produksjoner are a Norwegian company we’re presenting in partnership with the Barbican, who’ve never performed in the UK before. In Eternal Smile, which you can see in the Silk Street Theatre at the Barbican on the 6th and 7th April, they will literally tear the theatre apart!


Charlene Katuwawala

Marketing and Communications Manager

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL?

Work involving sound or music!

Why is that?

SPILL has a panache for serving a plethora of cutting edge experimental live work – there’s something for everyone! As someone who creates and performs music, I’m fascinated with works that involve sound. There’s something very special about how music in theatre can breathe life into performance in unconventional ways.

What works are you most looking forward to in that area?

Without a doubt I can’t wait for Empress Stah in Space (Soho Theatre, 10-13 April)  – not only am I expecting a titillating performance by one of Torture Garden’s finest all-stars, but the show also features the work of two of legendary female music makers;  the unstoppable Peaches has written a song specifically for this performance, and my No Wave heroine Lydia Lunch narrates too. To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement!

Splat! by The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein (Barbican, 3-4 April) is going to be fierce. The self-titled ‘witch, womaniser, childbearer, superstar’ explodes notions of desire, domestication and victimisation. Whilst theres a strong chance The Famous will use the likes of Leona Lewis as part of her soundtrack, this is going to be the one occasion where that’s going to be just fine with me.

The past two years have been very busy for Pacitti Company. SPILL Festival went to Ipswich, Suffolk for the first time and we produced On Landguard Point – a multi-platform mass engagement project, culminating in a film inspired by the histories and culture of the east of England.  The film is Robert Pacitti’s triumphant directorial debut  – it’s a gorgeous feast for the eyes and ears; notably because it features original music by Michael Nyman.  I’ve seen the film many times and it’s going to be a real treat to see it at the newly refurbished Barbican Cinema 2 (London premiere of On Landguard Point, 6 April). 

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Eat, drink (that means water too) and be merry – preferably with your best buds in tow.  Don’t forget to step out of your comfort zone…some of my best festival experiences have taken place when I really wasn’t expecting it.

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

The Pain of Desire by Wendy Bevan and Temper Temper (Toynbee Studios, 5-6 April).  Think beautiful silent movie star meets Edith Piaf…in a David Lynch movie.  It’s a stunningly surreal show with a big nod to contemporary opera, theatre and art.  Wendy’s visual understanding of the theatre of music is simply bewitching and should not be missed.

 

Lauren Davis

Administration Assistant

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL?

Experimental and radical theatre 

Why is that?

SPILL is really the only festival in the UK that allows experimental and alternative performers to take over the biggest and best stages in London, playing with the conventions of the stage and producing huge spectacle and wonder.

What works are you most looking forward to in that area? 

Medea_DARK I ROOM (Toynbee Studios, 6-7 April), weird, erotic and unsettling in the best way! Part of her ongoing research project into the Medea myth, I’m really looking to being in the room for the performance experiments happening throughout this durational performance.

Entertainment Island (Soho Theatre, 6-7 April), Finnish performance company Oblivia are mixing together high and low culture in a performance that spans genres and nationalities and combines tension with humour. It’s a great opportunity to see an exciting European theatre company.

The Woman Who Walks on Knives (National Theatre Studio, 13 April) takes a story we all know, The Little Sea-Maid, and combines it with Season Butler’s experience as a woman and artist. It’ll be a fantastic combination of the grittiness of Live Art and the theatrical form of adaptation.

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Get stuck in and talk about it!

This is my second SPILL festival as a member of staff, but this will be my fourth SPILL experience all together. I have always seen the Festival as a holiday – a chance to getaway from it all and delve into a wide and varied programme. Make the most of everything SPILL has to offer and don’t forget to talk about it. Go and see shows with friends, ask questions and be sure to engage with the discussions, writing and documentation both during and after the festival. You will be surprised, intrigued and challenged and your reactions are as much a part of the festival as the work itself!

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

Becoming An Image (National Theatre Studio, 13 April) is a super rare London appearance of an artist whose work I’ve wanted to see for ages. You absolutely shouldn’t miss this legend of the North American performance scene!

 

Natalie Cringle

Volunteer Coordinator

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL?

I am looking forward to the work that involves the community and non-performers.

Why is that?

This area of work has a strong sense of unity and trust that is intriguing. Involving community and non-performers is a great way to bring people together to share an experience either on the performance or audience side.

What works are you most looking forward to in that area? 

Walking: Holding (Toynbee Studios, 6-7 April) will be a great personal experience that brings you on a journey through London. This piece engages with the community, and creates new perspectives on attitudes and insights. It combines performers and non-performers in a unique way, which in turn breaks down certain barriers and forms a common ground to share.

The Salon Project (Barbican, 4-14 April (no performance on 13 April)) lets you step back in time and interact with one another by exchanging ideas of philosophy, fashion, art, and technology. What a lovely way to make a community atmosphere, to dress up non-performers and put on a show.

I Stand In (National Theatre Studio, 13 April) is a durational piece that brings together a diverse cast of volunteers, that share a trust with the audience by showing vulnerability and evoking a mixture of feelings by representing the forgotten and misplaced. This should be an interesting exchange, both for the performers and audience.

SPILL Folk Academy (Toynbee Studios, 9-10 April), a Think Tank event that will bring together new thoughts on a sustainable future for the world of arts. A brilliant way to create a new/build on existing ideas of community amongst a variety of people from all walks of life.

What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Always arrive with an open mind; having the ability to adapt and appreciate the present is a good way to enjoy yourself.

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

Empress Stah in Space (Soho Theatre, 10-13 April) would be my wild card, because it sounds completely outside the box. With music from Peaches and spoken word by Lydia Lunch, it just sounds too interesting to pass down.

 

James Gorry

Marketing and Think Tank Assistant

 

 

What type of work are you looking forward to in SPILL?

As one of the newest members of Pacitti Company, I probably have the least experience of live art and experimental theatre. Because of this, preparing for the Festival has been a voyage of discovery!
I’ve been raised on more conventional theatre, so am excited for the works that blend this with more challenging themes and content.

Why is that?

I’m excited about this kind of work because when I was younger it was hard to find a SPILL, or Fierce, or In Between Time, so my experience of performance was through large scale touring shows at the local theatre. The Festival has a lot of work that, whilst in a ‘traditional’ theatre setting, is still hugely uncompromising and challenging.  

What works are you most looking forward to in that area? 

I cannot wait for the UK premiere of Verk Produksjoner’s The Eternal Smile (Barbican, 6-7 April) – it examines complex ideas surrounding death and the afterlife with tons of theatricality.

Untitled, Tim Bromage (Toynbee Studios, 6 April) is a blend of stage magic, spoken word and video – the craftsmanship of the work, coupled with the subject matter of myth and folklore makes it compellingly nostalgic.

 What’s your insider tip on how to have a good festival?

Planning and pacing.
At festivals I always (try to) make sure I know exactly what I’m going to see, and make sure I stop for breaks throughout the day: to reflect, decompress and caffeinate. I’ll be on hand at SPILL Central in Toynbee Studios most days to help with programme recommendations.
No matter how prepared you are, if, as an audience member, you’re not completely physically exhausted by the end of it you’re doing something wrong!

And what’s your wild card suggestion for audiences to go see, and why?

Splat! by The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein (Barbican, 3-4 April) – I’m ridiculously excited for this. Ranging from the soundtrack, to the use of movement, to the images The Famous creates, this is going to be amazing.