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Re:Stage Research and Development

Photo-by-Peter-Harrop-courtesy-of-Unfinished-Histories
Inter-Action's Dogg's Troupe 1970s. Photo by Peter Harrop, courtesy of Unfinished Histories

I am an artist living in Camden. My work is centred around folk culture, encompassing video, performance, sculpture and photography. The majority of my work is made collaboratively, involving other people's experiences and expertise. In the past, I have worked with Elvis impersonators, chainsaw carvers and medieval re-enactors. In this sense, my work is documentary and my role is as storyteller. My new film, The Load of a Man is his Coracle, tells the story of my recent voyage from Portsmouth to The Isle of Wight in a hollowed out giant pumpkin fitted with an outboard motor.

I have been researching radical theatre in Camden from the late nineteen sixties. The atmosphere of political and social turbulence at the time coupled with the end of theatre censorship in 1968, inspired a zeitgeist of progressive and radical performances that re-defined theatre. The majority of companies had their roots in Camden, which witnessed the beginnings of Black and Asian theatre, Gay and Lesbian productions, Feminist groups and Disability theatre. Their shared goal was to democratise the arts, away from a cultural elite. Inter-Action put on shows on the upper deck of a Routemaster bus while Action Space built large scale inflatable installations, which paved the way for the bouncy castle. Unfinished Histories is an organisation doing a fantastic job in documenting this theatre. Their website is full of amazing stuff: http://www.unfinishedhistories.com/