‘eating a meal shoes’

1 Nov

img_4632

My dad, who died almost 10 years ago now, left – as one of his legacies – the term ‘eating a meal shoes’

It stemmed from when we were round at my brother’s house for a family Sunday lunch. The whole family were there, it may have been an Easter Sunday but it was a long time ago and I can’t be sure. That information has all but faded – But what remains and what we all remember is that this was where we first heard the words ‘eating a meal shoes’

It was Christy, my son who was about 9 or 10 at the time, who was football mad and was kicking a ball outside up and down the grass. He shouted across to us through the window

“Come on Grandpa, why don’t you come and play?”

At this my dad called back

“Don’t be daft, I can’t – I’m wearing my eating a meal shoes”

At this Christy burst out laughing and shouted back

“What kind of shoes are those then?”

Indignantly my dad responded

“Shoes you eat a meal in – what do you think?”

At this point we of course had to look at the aforementioned footwear. A rather unflattering pair of white leather tasselled slip ons. He always wore ‘slip ons’ again a term which also caused much mirth.

And so it was – that the concept of ‘eating a meal shoes’ was born. We still refer to shoes in this way – always with a tongue pressed firmly in cheek. As a sometimes excuse for why we can’t empty the bin, take the dog out or nip to the shop.

“I can’t I’m wearing my eating a meal shoes”

I have to say that white leather tasselled slip ons are not our choice anymore. But we have discovered the brand that sounds like our surname ‘Roamers’ so a few pairs of these have been purchased over the years.

So once more as we enter lockdown – it is something I will continue to do. When working from home I will wear my ‘working from home shoes’. Which are basically ‘eating a meal shoes’ So not big boots but smart Roamers…here are mine from the old shoe box

Smart Romers…

img_4633

The Knife That Killed Me

4 Oct

The 2014 Feature Film released by Universal Pictures. 

Written and Directed by

Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman

from the novel by Anthony McGowan

The Trailer and reviews are below 

Stream the movie on Amazon Prime and Apple TV

IMDb rating 7/10

e88dfe56583acf191930149c_rw_1200

2014-12-22-knife

Mutiny Projects – meet the mutineers

22 Sep

These are some of the amazing artists we have been working with as part of our Mutiny Projects programme of work. These have included ‘Justice 39’, ‘Covid19 Threads‘, ‘Locus Solus‘ – and our upcoming new projects – ‘Future and Form’ and ‘Flip The Museum’ More info will be available about these on the Mutiny website soon…Mutiny.org.uk

 

A #FriendofDom tells stories from Dominic Cummings’ School life…

16 Sep

The series so far…following a call out on Twitter to find a real #friendofDom we managed to track down an old school mate of Dominic Cummings who spills the beans on his old Durham ‘pal’

Stories from an insider about Dominic Cummings…

Mutiny’s latest breakthrough project creating Digital Theatre / Gaming / Audience Engagement

24 Aug

With their Locus Solus project – Mutiny have created a real breakthrough in the development of interactive theatre, live performance with a specially designed and built environment in the Roblox game engine.

“Mutiny is a cross artform organisation that creates and develops new projects. Our work tells stories by combining performance, theatre and digital.”

Using live actors – Suzann McLean, Oliver Alvin Wilson and Simon Munnery the audience who were in the world as avatars were able to interact and move through this shifting landscapes and connect with the story as well as each other. 

Using the 1914 Raymond Roussel novel “Locus Solus’ (Solitary Place) as a guide new text and words were added including a new section by leading writer Roy Williams.

Check the video below that gives you a taster of what to expect in the new Locus Solus project.

You can see from the video – this gives an insight into the world and the interaction and engagement from the audience as players too.

For more information about this and our work with Mutiny  

Mutiny are Simon Poulter, Sophie Mellor and Marcus Romer

Welcome to my work and world

12 Aug
Sing-Yer-Heart-Out-Gallery-1Sally Orrock in Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads – photo by Simon Warner

Welcome to my website and growing archive of my work. Here you will find stuff about my current work as well as past projects.

I am a theatre and filmmaker and have also taught and spoken at conferences around the world.

Recently I have been making work online – with our new company Mutiny – and have been working with artists and creative practitioners to develop new projects during the lockdown period of 2020.

On the site there are over 600 blogposts dating back to 2008 – which cover most projects and aspects of my career so far. Use the search function to have a dig around in the archive –  or look at the word cloud and see what takes your fancy!

There are also photos and videos from current and previous projects to have a look at, as well as reviews and testimonials

If you want to get in contact with me just have a click here and choose how you would like to drop me a line.

or you can email me here marcusromeruk@gmail.com

Application and Consultancy for Arts Organisations.

29 Jul

Marcus Romer's work & blog

Make2

In these shifting times we all have to rethink our approach to making work and how we can maintain and develop our connections with our audiences and communities. With the new ACE Cultural Recovery funding announced on July 29th – I can come on board and help you and the team get the application in for the first deadline.

Let me help you – I am an Arts and Digital specialist with over 25 years of leadership experience both in delivering and making work. I have run an NPO for over 20 years as AD and CEO (Pilot Theatre) and have worked in leadership positions across a range of arts organisations (Theatre Royal Stratford East, Harrogate Theatre and Theatre Royal BSE)

I have also pioneered Live to Digital delivery projects for the last ten years for a number of different organisations. I can work with you to help you deliver the…

View original post 177 more words

Making work during lockdown

17 Jul

locus-solus-map-v2-01-724x1024

I have been working from home since March 16th. During that time I have been keeping myself pretty busy. The picture above is from our Mutiny project called Locus Solus – which means ‘Solitary Place’ – pretty apt for the lockdown period spent in my work shed.

March was spent pretty much ‘unprogramming’ all the work I had programmed for 2020 for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. I had been working as interim Artistic Director and had just finished the programme until January 2021. It was a difficult time contacting all the artists an companies week by week and breaking the news that we were unable to bring their work to the theatre. Also realising the the two productions I was scheduled to direct – Big Skies, a new play written by James McDermott and Atiha Sen Gupta, and Animal Farm as the large scale summer production – were also not going to happen. My contract was tapering out as the new AD took up their post – so work had to be made out of thin air. Which is what ended up happening…

Zoom Theatre in Norway – War of The Worlds

IMG_2896

March was spent making a piece of Zoom Theatre with the Harstad FHS team who were now scattered all across Norway. This was a first and a really interesting project working with the actors and the Theatre Director Hege Fjeld to make a new version of War of the Worlds. This was an exciting discovery and we worked with green screens and backgrounds and really developed a set of strong performances from the young actors who had been dispersed from their training back to their home towns across Norway. There is a blogpost about this here

Covid 19 Threads – Telling the stories of the pandemic – one tweet at a time.

dr-ankvar-PPE-v2-01

April and May was spent making #Covid19Threads – this time with Mutiny – our new company with Simon Poulter and Sophie Mellor – Here we took tweets written by people who had been directly affected by the pandemic and we voiced these with a group of brilliant actors. Simon and Sophie put together the short animated films and we made a series of 6 episodes. On episode every week.

Here is  a story from a Doctor in Canada – and the rest are on the link above.

 

SHEDx – Bill Thompson

IMG_3050

Also in May I started the first of a series of talks with people who Zoomed into my Shed. The first guest was Bill Thompson, journalist and in his words a hacker nd a pundit – who also heads up digital development at The BBC.

 

Locus Solus – A solitary Place – our ACE R&D project with Mutiny 

Screen Shot 2020-06-19 at 21.43.31

This was our project with Mutiny that we started in February at Watershed in Bristol. We  were invited to run our test at the Pervasive Media Studio there – and of course at the end of February it was clear that we would need to pivot to a digital platform – and here we created the world of Locus Solus in the game platform – Roblox. One of the key benefits of this time has been the ability to develop our new company – Mutiny with Simon Poulter and Sophie Mellor.

The project was based on the 1914 novel by Raymond Roussel and we created a series of worlds in the game platform which you can visit. We commissioned Roy Williams to write a new section of the script and we had three actors live in the world operating their avatars. Suzann McLean, Oliver Alvin-Wilson and Simon Munnery.

This is a real breakthrough in immersive digital platform. We managed to get sound and audio into the game world – so we created an online theatre space where anything can happen. There is a fuller description on the blogpost here.

Training and working with artists and companies.

As part of my work across digital and the arts I have also been able to work with key organisations and artists online doing this time. Here I have been working as a mentor for the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, The European Theatre Convention CEO and leadership team, as well as Artists and actors with help with their digital skills and performance pieces. Again some more info here if you are interested in contacting me

Website update of shows I have directed

Picture 19

Another key project has been to draw my work archive together of shows that I have made– and all to move my website within this blog. Where you can find out about my work – as well as latest projects and previous work too.

Breakthrough in new #DigitalTheatre immersive concept with online participation for audiences – developed by @Mutinyprojects

9 Jul

On June 19th there was a theatrical world premiere. It included a newly commissioned piece written by Roy Williams. It was performed live by three actors – Suzann McLean, Oliver Alvin Wilson and Simon Munnery. It had an original sound score specially composed by Sandy Nuttgens – and it was performed live in a brand new theatre space that we had built on the game platform called Roblox.

Screen Shot 2020-06-19 at 21.41.10Suzann McLean performing on the stage in Roblox

Mutiny is a new Arts organisation founded by Simon Poulter, Sophie Mellor and Marcus Romer. It was set up in November 2019 and received Arts Council Funding to develop our new project – Locus Solus – which means Solitary Space. Our work started in February at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol with their support. This was pre-lockdown and we were developing the project and building the world for the narrative in the software development side of Roblox.

Roblox is is an online game platform and game creation system that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. At present there are over 100 million active monthly users.

IMG_3278The audience setting off to the start the story and to be part of the project

On the platform we built the entire world – over several locations and areas, including, rivers, frozen lakes and one of the spaces with a bespoke theatre.

locus-solus-map-v2-01-724x1024

The Theatre space can house many audience members – as of course to be part of the show you will need to have developed an avatar to enter the world. As part of the process as a director we ran a full rehearsal schedule, including a technical and dress rehearsal prior to the premiere.

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 12.51.58The Theatre space with room for several hundred seats

The key area of development was the integration of live HD sound for the actors and live mixed soundtrack.We achieved this by laying another program into the Roblox world – so we were able to live mix and integrate the sound and actors’ voices as they moved their avatars around the environment. The real breakthrough was the ability to have active participation and engagement from the audience as we all moved through this immersive environment together – and they too were able to use their voices and talk back at key times too.

Screen Shot 2020-06-19 at 21.43.31Suzann McLean and Oliver Alvin Wilson’s avatars performing the new text by Roy Williams for the audience.

There are several locations in the Locus Solus world and we performed new text across them all. The worlds all interconnect and can allow for multiple immersive experiences at the same time for audiences. This is a truly interactive space and experience for both audience and performers. It lends itself to bespoke design and development of new performance pieces

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 13.17.47The ice plateau area of Locus Solus

As Mutiny we are keen to develop this concept and build partners who would like to join us in this project as we move forward. We are looking to build the next iteration and series of commissions as we continue with this project and we will be looking to fund this.

If you are interested and want to get involved then – drop us a message marcus@artsbeacon.uk or info@mutinyprojects.org.uk

 

Application and Consultancy for Arts Organisations.

22 Jun

Make2

In these shifting times we all have to rethink our approach to making work and how we can maintain and develop our connections with our audiences and communities. With the new ACE Cultural Recovery funding announced on July 29th – I can come on board and help you and the team get the application in for the first deadline.

Let me help you – I am an Arts and Digital specialist with over 25 years of leadership experience both in delivering and making work. I have run an NPO for over 20 years as AD and CEO (Pilot Theatre) and have worked in leadership positions across a range of arts organisations (Theatre Royal Stratford East, Harrogate Theatre and Theatre Royal BSE)

I know how hard the Senior Management teams of organisations have been working over the last 4 months – so if you need another pair of hands on deck who can help to draw the application together just drop me a line.

I have also pioneered Live to Digital delivery projects for the last ten years for a number of different organisations. I can work with you to help you deliver the right plan for you and your organisation.

If you are interested in having an initial conversation where we can chat all these things through – just drop me an email marcus@artsbeacon.uk

My recent article for ArtsProfessional about the Pivot to Digital in the Arts Sector.

Marcus Romer was CEO and Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre from 1994 – 2016. He was interim Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from July 2019 – June 2020. He is now a freelance Director, Writer and Filmmaker and Creative Director of Artsbeacon UK. He has been an Associate Artist for Theatre Royal Stratford East, Harrogate Theatre, National Theatre Wales, and Collusion. He has delivered Digital Consultancy work for SOLT and UK Theatre, Home, Manchester, Arts Council England, Creative England, The British Council, The European Theatre Convention, Chichester Festival Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, Stephen Joseph Theatre, New Norske Theatre, Oslo, Innovation Norway, LIPA, Barclays UK, Norwich City Council, Cambridge City Council. He created Shift Happens Conferences, and helped to produce No Boundaries in 2014 and 2015 with Arts Council England.