This Perfect World.
Produced by Hive Theatre & Theatre Royal Bath.
Written by James Newton.
Directed by Jesse Jones & Jenny Davies.
Performers: Beth Alsbury, Sophie Cull, Lottie Elcoate, Holly Flower, Laura Knight, Frankie Lipman, Phoebe Mulcahy, Tasha Oliver-Cork, Rebbeca Weyers.
Opened at the The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath. July 2018.
Modern life’s tough. Get fit. Get a good job. Get some sex. Get sociable, get out there, get connected, get up, get on. With so much to juggle, we need all the help we can get.
In a brave new futureworld, where everything from healthcare to happiness is centrally controlled by the ubiquitous LifeWatch™, an automated technological revolution appears to hold the answers.
But what lies behind the black mirror? Can we ever construct the perfect life? Is a connected society necessarily a happier one? And what do we sacrifice in the pursuit of utopia?
Produced by New Model Theatre.
Written by Tom Nicolas.
Directed by Jo Newman.
Performers: Gabrielle Sheppard, Liam Salmon, Lloyd Notice, Rebecca Jade Hammond.
Opened at the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter. October 2017.
When video game designer Vi broke up with Becky, she used what she knew. She wrote herself a list. A list of the little things. The everyday things. The achievable things. She turned piecing herself back together into a game. Just for her.
When her rambunctious colleague Tyler begins to play along, however, he sees an opportunity. Not just to make money but perhaps to rid the world of clinical depression once and for all.
Happiness Ltd is the new play by Tom Nicholas. It asks prescient questions about depression, ambition and how one measures the success, or otherwise, of a life.
“The sound design creates fantastic ambiance and is incredibly well executed.” – Exeunt Magazine
“…a truly immersive experience (courtesy of Chris Menes).” – The PRSD
The Pixies’ Scarf.
Produced by Soap Soup Theatre.
Directed by Adam Fuller & Ed Rapley.
Performers: Gwen Scott, Tomasin Cuthbert.
Opened at The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol. April 2017
Inspired by the powerfully evocative tale of The Pixies’ Scarf by Alison Uttely, Soap Soup Theatre present a brand new theatrical treat for children and their families, set in the wet, craggy lands of Dartmoor.
While out picking whortleberries with Grandmother, Dicky Bundle finds a treasure that opens the door to a beautiful, fragile world. It is the world of The Wee Folk. But the moor hears Dicky listening, and watches Dicky looking, and tells the Pixies, who don’t want to share their precious secrets with a human child. Soon Dicky must strike a deal with the Queen of the Pixies, or loose the magical scarf forever.
Beneath the Blizzard.
Produced by Fine Chisel.
Directed by Tom Spencer.
Performers: Andy Kelly, George Williams, Megan Brooks.
Opened at The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter. Christmas 2016.
For a long time, nobody has ventured above ground. An icy wind screams and drifts of snowmen haunt the streets. But down in a secret bolthole, the music beats on… A band of survivors and misfits, chancers and outcasts, dance in the dark.
Electronic sound machines
I built two electronic sound machines for use on stage in the production; The portable ‘Snowman Detector’ and a larger machine for alarms and radio interference effects. The machines are based on simple analog oscillator circuits with basic controls for varying pitch and rhythms.
Produced by Theatre West.
Written by Marietta Kirkbride.
Directed by Chloe Masterton.
Performed by Rebecca Newman.
Opened at The Acta Centre, Bristol. September 2016.
Jenna helps people. No matter who you are or where you are in the world, when life strikes you a blow, Jenna is there for you. Because, like you, she has suffered – she’s lived with chronic fatigue for over 6 years now, and she runs this blog to help you cope.
Jenna’s also smart. She knows that opening up her life to the whole world has its dangers. But when Davids comment lands on her blog, the temptation to find out more is impossible to resist.
The Orator is a messily human thriller about the struggle of self-help and online identity.
Produced by Lady Strong’s Bonfire.
Performers: Tessa Bide, Liz Hart, Tomasin Cuthbert.
Opened at The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol. May 2016.
Our Bed knows us best of all. It is holder of our dreams, comforter of our tears. It soaks up our blood, our sweat, and caresses us in the heat of our passions. It confines us. Heals us. Welcomes us when we arrive, and is the last to say goodbye to us when we leave. Here we are all naked. The Bed sees through all our disguises.
The Bed is the journey of a woman and is a celebration of some of the most potent times in her life. The times of changeover. Her gateway times from One to Other.
Using mask, puppetry, clown, visceral physical performance and a hypnotic original sound-score, we delve into the dream world, the physical world and everything in between. The Bed is the first theatrical endeavour from Lady Strong’s Bonfire. Combining the talents of Tomasin Cuthbert (Soap Soup Theatre), Tessa Bide (Tessa Bide Productions) and Liz Hart (Bric a Brac Productions), with immersive sound and music by Chris Menes.
Produced by Lady Strong’s Bonfire.
Performer: Liz Hart.
Director: Sarah Corbett.
Performed in community centres and kitchens around Bristol.
In spring 2016 we completed a successful research and development period (R&D), for Mummy Monster supported by The Arts Council of England. Mummy Monster will be devised and performed by Liz Hart and will be a woman’s journey from a seeming state of balance into a monstrous state where she is no longer fully in control. It is an exploration of the times when you, as a parent “lose it,” and will be an honest look at the pressures of parenting. It will be frank, ferocious and playful and will raise questions about the responsibility individuals and society might have to support parents and raise children.
Sound Design Notes
The sound design for the climax of the show when Liz is turning into her monster involved a loop of kitchen sounds which gradually escalate in speed and intensity. Liz attempts to keep pace with the sounds at first and mimes the relevant action; buttering toast, washing up, mixing a cake etc. As she begins to lose control, ominous drones created from other mundane domestic appliances (a fridge, an extractor fan) start to be heard. Finally pulsing sub bass created with an analog synthesizer builds the tension to the show climax.
Produced by Lady Strong’s Bonfire & Soap Soup Theatre.
Performers: Tomasin Cuthbert & Liz Hart.
Director: Amy Rose.
This outdoor, walk-about show is inspired by the on-going human impact on the environment. The news is full of worrying stories of climate change, fracking, deforestation, over-fishing, air-pollution, sea-pollution…the list goes on and on. We have made a show that celebrates the diversity of nature, as well as a look at the relationship humans have with the natural world, from the point of view of future travellers, looking back on the time we live in now, while coping with the world they have been born into – the flooded earth of the future.
The set is a mobile installation/ship/time machine, manned by two puppeteers/performers who will bring to life the story of their journey from an alternate, flooded future earth. Expect physical comedy, puppetry, clown and talking underwater creatures as we combine the visual theatre expertise of Soup Soap and Lady Strong’s Bonfire with immersive sound design by Chris Menes. The Environs is a roaming and fixed site piece of outdoor theatre, with an environmental theme, for audiences of all ages.
Sound Design Notes
Most of the music for this show was based around rhythmic patterns built up from recordings of water. Waves, splashes, drips and drops were arranged into patterns which created a starting point for the rest of the music. The idea was to create the sound of a strange futuristic yet ramshackled sea craft. Shonky old fashioned mechanical noises were utilised, giving the sound-world a sort of steam-punk at sea aesthetic. The melodies are playful and cartoon like and were recorded using an analogue synthesiser. Ocean and ship sounds were used to add further ambiance.