Birds of Paradise Theatre Company in association with the Beacon presents
Mon 11 - Wed 13 Feb 2013 | 7pm (1 hr 20 mins) | Mon 11th: £9/£6 | Tues 12th and Wed 13th: £11/£7
Written by Danny Start
Director Julie Ellen
Designer Kenny Miller
Composer Ross Brown
Lighting Designer Sergey Jakovsky
Video Designer Neil Bettles for ThickSkin Theatre
Cast: Paul Cunningham, Morag Stark, David Toole
Albie was an ordinary man until a “a scuffle with death” unleashed a creativity he had never before known: since emerging from a coma, he just can’t stop painting. The extraordinary chaos of Albie’s life, as well as the sound of a continuous rushing white noise in his head, drives his compulsion to paint. What is happening to him? With his past still haunting him, there’s no escaping who he was – but what lies ahead?
This hilarious play is based on the true story of Liverpool builder-turned-artist Tommy McHugh, who astounded medical and art world alike when he became a prolific and compulsive painter following a brain haemorrhage in 2001. Using dark humour and irony, it enters the world of brain injury, consciousness, identity and creativity.
N.B. On Tuesday 12th Feb, the performance will be BSL interpreted and followed by a post show discussion. All shows will be surtitled, meaning the dialogue is projected onto a screen above the live action taking place on stage. This allows hearing impaired patrons, or audience members whose first language is not English, to fully enjoy the show.
Birds of Paradise is a Scottish-based theatre company dedicated to promoting the work of disabled artists in partnership with non-disabled artists and mainstream theatre venues and companies. The company has recently appointed a new creative team, with Garry Robson and Robert Softley Gale as Artistic Directors and Shona Rattray as Creative Producer.
Danny Start is an award-winning Liverpool-based writer with a focus on disablity arts; past involvements have included DaDa 2008, Liverpool’s Festival of Disability and Deaf Arts, the Soho Theatre Writer’s festival and BBC Radio 4, amongst others. When not writing, Danny has worked at Disability Arts as well as charities supporting people with neurological conditions.
Julie Ellen is the previous Creative Director of Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland. Recent directing includes Nicola McCartney’s Miracle, Sandy Nelson’s Baltimire and Glimmering Nymph for A Play, Pie & a Pint. She was Assistant Director for the 2008/9 tour of Dundee Rep’s hit musical Sunshine on Leith, and Kieran Lynn’s Stranger from the Sea.
Paul Cunningham has worked extensively throughout the UK, USA and Canada, with companies as diverse as The Citizens’ Theatre, Lookout Theatre, NTS, Catherine Wheels, Vanishing Point, 7:84, Oran Mor’s A Play Pie and a Pint, Bard in the Botanics and most recently in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh. His film and TV credits include Taggart, Rebus, Still Game, Red Rose and River City as well as appearing in several radio plays and writing for the BBC Comedy Unit.
Morag Stark is a graduate of RCS and has performed in a wide variety of theatre, TV and radio. A regular performer with The Arches Theatre Company for 16 years, other more recent work includes: New Voices, Too Clever by Half and Meeting Matthew (Oran Mor), David Leddy’s Untitled Love Story (Fire Exit), The Venus Labyrinth (Cantabile 2), House of Bernarda Alba (National Theatre of Scotland), Suddenly Last Summer (Tron), Talking Heads (Glasgay) and Charlotte’s Web (Citizens). Recent TV credits include Rab C Nesbitt and Gary Tank Commander.
David Toole is a freelance dancer, actor and workshop leader with vast international experience. After extensive touring with CandoCo Dance Company, David moved into the world of theatre in 1995, playing Puck in Benjamin Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since then he has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Graeae Theatre Company, Leeds-based company Slung Low and, most recently, with Cape Town-based Remix Dance Company, Lucy Hind and Dom Coyote to create a new work for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad as well as performing in the Opening Ceremony for the Paralympics.
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“Where can you see tomorrow’s work today? The answer is The Arches.”
Producing and presenting risk-taking work from local and international artists and companies, the building has boasted performances over the past two years from Derevo, The TEAM and Taylor Mac, hosted the National Review of Live Art and New Territories festivals and seen blistering performances from boundary-pushing artists and companies such as John Moran, Adrian Howells, Ontroerend Goed and Quarantine as part of 2010’s BEHAVIOUR festival, our annual celebration of the live experience.
The Arches is also Scotland’s leading provider of support for emergent artists and performance practitioners, providing a year-long programme of opportunities including Artist in Residence programmes and our two annual awards, Platform 18: New Directions and the Brick Award, as well as showcasing raw work from homegrown talent such as Nic Green and Rob Drummond in Arches LIVE, our annual festival of brave new work.
Our dedicated Creative Learning programme offers even further-reaching opportunities for development across a broad range of social groups, with events ranging from urban music production course Tigerstyle and the newly launched Arches Community Choir, to mentoring schemes, professional development projects and off-site performance work with diverse social groups.
Words from Jackie Wylie, The Arches’ Artistic Director, following the tragic death of Adrian Howells:
“All at The Arches are devastated by the loss of Adrian Howells this week. He was our Artist in Residence and The Arches was his creative home. But more than that, he was a dear friend and companion in life to many of us here.
So many would say that there truly was no one like him, who personified love, generosity and the deepest type of empathy and desire to understand those lucky enough to have met him. With great humour he was able to create an instant connection with anyone he encountered. He was able to translate this desire to nurture and connect into his performance practice and in doing so leaves behind not only an incredible and influential body of work but a multitude of audience members across the world who have in some way been transformed by these encounters.
He supported, encouraged and was at the heart of an entire community of artists in Glasgow who will miss him terribly.”