5 September 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SMITH dancetheatre are proud to present At Trestle Arts Base:
Agnes & Walter: a little love story
Crossing boundaries of dance and theatre, the work combines physical and visual performance styles including dance, physical theatre, clowning and live music.
Featuring an exceptional cast that spans the generations, aged 28-80 and their credits include DV8, Kneehigh, Punchdrunk, Fabulous Beast, Roy Hart Theatre.
A love story of long-term commitment, secret wishes, suppressed desires and a garden shed inspired by ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Poignant and compelling with ‘wonderful comic moments’ (EDP), Agnes and Walter dance, sing and breathe life into their private worlds of daydream and fantasy to ensure their relationship survives.
Set to a soundtrack of cinematic scores and popular songs, a company spanning three generations reveal that not far beyond the ordinary lies the extraordinary.
Saturday 6 October, 7.30pm
Trestle Arts Base, Russet Drive, St Albans AL4 0JQ
Tickets: £12 / £10 / ‘Family’ £40 (4 Tickets)
Box Office: 01727 850950 / www.allaboutstalbans.com
Genre Dance, musical, drama
Length 70 minutes (no interval)
Themes Mature love, relationships
Style / feeling Moving, Romantic
Target audiences Ages 14+,
For further information, images or to arrange interviews contact Paresh M. Patel, Marketing Manager on 01727 738401 or at email@example.com
NOTES FOR EDITOR
About Trestle Arts Base
Based in St Albans, Trestle Arts Base is a 100-year-old chapel beautifully converted into a unique performing arts centre. It is also home to Trestle, one of the country’s longest-standing and most innovative theatre companies, offering workshops, performances, hires, exhibitions, physical theatre, mask making, storytelling, education-training and youth theatre.
About Agnes & Walter: a little love story
Produced by Turtle Key Arts
Artistic Director: Neil Paris
Created and performed by: Dan Canham, Sarah Lewis, Ronnie Beecham, Elizabeth Taylor and Margaret Pikes.
Music arranged by Gianluca Pezzino.
Lighting design: Aideen Malone
Costumes: Bicat & Rigby
Born in Norfolk; Neil trained at Dartington College of Arts and Laban, London. From 2003-2010 he was a core member of Ireland’s Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, associate company at the Barbican, London. Directed by Michael Keegan-Dolan, their award-winning work has toured the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
As a creative educator and workshop leader Neil has extensive experience working in educational and community settings with people ranging from the very young to the over 60’s. Neil is currently based in Norwich and is developing his own company Smith dancetheatre and their debut show Agnes & Walter.
“I first came across the character Walter Mitty as a child through the short story by James Thurber and the film starring Danny Kaye. It struck a chord and I have wanted to do something with it for many years.
Walter Mitty is a daydreamer, which is often seen as a negative activity – but this is a vital ingredient of creativity, aspiration, and development. I liked the idea that this attribute keeps Agnes and Walter together, I am also interested in the idea that what appears mundane is not necessarily so…”
Dan works as a performer and practitioner. His performing credits include To Be Straight with you for DV8 Physical Theatre, A Matter of Life and Death for the National Theatre, Brief Encounter, Tristan and Yseult and The Bacchae for Kneehigh Theatre, The Rite of Spring for Fabulous Beast, the title role in Faust for Punchdrunk and the National Theatre and Mother Savage for Travelling Light Theatre Company. His is the co-creator of West of Nowhere, a site-specific piece devised with Laura Dannequin for Theatre Bristol’s Why Do You Practice On The Outside? Festival and Bristol Old Vic’s Mayfest and 30 Cecil Street, a short dance film and piece of dance-theatre originally made in Limerick, Ireland. As a teacher, Dan has taught at the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, Battersea Arts Centre, Daghdha Dance Company, the University of Limerick and Limerick Youth Theatre.
Born in Ipswich, Sarah graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2007. She joined Verve08, the graduate dance company at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, touring venues in England, Scotland, Ireland and Finland, winning best international performance at the ITS Festival Amsterdam. Currently as a Dance Artist for Norfolk Dance, Sarah manages, teaches and choreographs dance projects across Norfolk. She also collaborates with Steve Johnstone in choreographing work, which has been performed at the Robin Howard Dance Theatre as part of Resolution! and in Norwich.
Ron, 68 born in Bethnal Green, London, has two grown up children and three grandchildren. He enjoys music, woodturning and keep fit. Ron is part of the local choir and started dancing as a way to stay fit and healthy. It is his love of a challenge and for creative expressions of movement and music that got him on the stage, despite having no previous professional dance experience. He has performed in the Out There festival in Sweden and in his hometown of Great Yarmouth. His love for people, his positive outlook on life and energy is infectious, showing that age is just a number. Ron’s motto is “Even if you think you can’t do it, go for it, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!”
Elizabeth was born and raised in Norwich. After leaving school in 1950, she trained for three years at Bedford College of Physical Education, which included dance. She then taught for four years in Portsmouth before returning to Norwich to teach at her old school. She married in 1959 and had three children following which she returned to full-time teaching. In late 2008, two years after her husband’s death, she began contemporary and creative dance classes for over 50’s at Norfolk Dance. In spring of this year, she successfully auditioned for the role of Agnes and is making her professional debut.
Margaret began training with Roy Hart in the ‘60’s and participated in many of his group’s experimental performances. She began using this radical approach to freeing the human voice to develop a career as a professional singer and was regularly invited to sing as the female soloist in the oratorio ‘Canto General’ (Mikis Theodorakis and Pablo Neruda). She has been a vocalist in many other performances of a wide variety of genres, from jazz and contemporary music to chanson Française. She currently also leads intensive vocal training workshops in London and runs the Roy Hartstimme in Cologne, Germany.
Gianluca Pezzino (Italy) is a musician, composer, and performer. He has worked in dancetheatre, opera, theatre, and film and he explores the relationship between music and theatre. From 2000-2005 he worked with renowned Italian musicologist Roberto Di Simone, and from 2005-2008 with Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre in The Bull. An author and comedian in his own musical and theatrical experimentations, he is a member of BlucinQue Theatre Company from Turin and collaborates with Margaret Pikes as pianist during her workshops at Roy Hart Centre, France.