Archive | March, 2011

ACE National Portfolio Announcement by @pilot_theatre #NPO #artsfunding

30 Mar


Pilot Theatre are delighted to announce that we will be part of the National Portfolio of organisations funded by Arts Council England. We received information that will be receiving a 20% uplift in our funding and this will continue up to 2015.

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all our team who have worked with us on this bid, and to Arts Council England for supporting our new programme of activity in these difficult financial times.

Our programme of work will include a new commission by Roy Williams of  ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ which will hit the ground running and tour nationally in the Olympic year of 2012. Other work will include a brand new ‘Drama on Demand’ programme of work in venues with a new App that allows audiences to interact with new drama work via an ipad.  A completely new ‘Digital Amplification’ programme across a range of online platforms which will include livestreamed readings and performances on our Pilot-Theatre.TV channel, as well as a fully interactive drama on the Twitter network.

This will enable us to extend the reach of our work and create new two way engagement opportunities with our audiences as part of our National Touring programme of work

Collaborations will continue with our partner venue York Theatre Royal, as well as new works with SlungLow, Paines Plough, Watershed, HideandSeek, Contact and Theatre UPB in Buenos Aires. Our International work will further be developed with a new commission for our EU Platform 11 project across 12 countries that will tour in 2012.

We will continue to develop our Shift Happens Conferences and training programme which focuses on developing the online and digital engagement with artists and audiences. This is further supported with a Grants for the Arts Award for 2011/12 of £40,000 which will enable us to create a new post for a Digital Content Producer. This will mean we can roll out a three year programme of work that will also include TEDxYork, Shift Happens and a programme for Shift for Young People and the Education sector nationally.

We look forward to creating this new work and being part of the portfolio making and delivering Great Art for Everyone.

Whilst this is unbdoubtedly a positive result for Pilot Theatre, this is not a time for any organisation to feel triumphant, as the country will be a poorer place as a result of these cuts. We also recognise the difficult position that ACE has been put in with the settlement they received from Government. So it is important to remind ourselves where the cuts and the imperative for them stems from.

It is vital that all organisations and the sector remain strong at this time and that we find ways of collectively nurturing artistic talent, skils and audiences during these coming months and years. As part of this we will be extending the site to become a site for collaboration, ideas and future development.

Marcus Romer  – Artistic Director – Pilot Theatre – March 30th 2011

For further information please contact Marcus Romer – 

Our vision plan is below. And the image at the top of the page is a word cloud of our NPO application

Bench made of recycled phones and Solar charge pump #SXSW #TED #Nokia

20 Mar


A recharge stop for your phones, computers, and mobile devices at South by Southwest. Solar powered retro styled gas pump, and benches made from recycled phones. Put up by Nokia and with the chargers for all phones and devices attached to it.

A great idea worth spreading – as it just worked, and was a social space where people gathered.

Can we have some more please. Anyone else want to help get hold of some of these? Place them in public spaces, at public events.

I would like us to get hold of one for TEDxYork on July 7th.

Any help Nokia?


Trying out a new QR code for @pilot_theatre #kissbythebook tour thanks to #sxswace

19 Mar


try scanning it with your phone using a free iphone app like i-nigma4 or qr reader and let me know if it works thanks


Wheels Down NYC

17 Mar


Landed from Austin after an almost 4 hour flight. Just grabbing some food before the red eye flight to Manchester

How to survive #SXSW – a guide – #sxswace blogpost

16 Mar

1 – Use Jedi Mind powers when you cross the road. Use the force. Failing that wear a T-Shirt with Yoda on. Like this. It will get you cred points like you wouldn’t believe. Trust me, it was the right T-shirt for this event. ‘It done got good traction’…and that, my friends is a verbatim quote. Hmmm lie to you would I?


2 – Wear Good shoes. Comfortable shoes. Good comfortable shoes. Preferably ones that can give you cred too. Preferably ones that fit into the lone star state. With style. And they ‘will done get you good traction – as this is a help. You end up walking miles. 10 campuses. Texas is large. So is Austin. And public transport is at best hidden. Wear good shoes.


3 – Wear sunscreen. This is a given. Especially when you have more target to aim at like me. And you are follically challenged. There are many of us here. I know this. As this is the first time the queue – or standing in line for the gent’s restroom – is about three times the length of the womens’ toilet queue. I know this they took photos of us. The laughed at us. At the follically challenged men with red heads. Wear sunscreen. That is all. It is hot here.


4 – Make sure you eat breakfast. It is going to be a long day and night. And you can’t live off tacos 24/7. They are not part of your five a day. Neither are Margaritas a food group. Get your daily staples. Get supplies. Get curiosities.


5 – Get your schedule sorted. Make notes. Take notes. Then be prepared to go to different sessions. There are over 7,000 events in 5 days. Check with your group. Who is going to what. Use the hashtag #sxswace to keep track of changes and events. Above all keep Grouped in.


6 – In terms of what to go for with sessions – sometimes take a risk and if the keynote sessions are covered go to a smaller group discussion. You may get asked back to do a live podcast the following day and be on a panel. Worked for me. So as Humphrey Bogart said – Sometimes a hot-dog at the ballgame is better than a steak at the Ritz…


7 – Take time to discover new things. That may take you away from the Convention Centre. That is good. Get some space. Take pictures. See More of Austin. Talk to new people. Take your badge off. Go for lunch away from the festival. It refreshes you. It recharges you. See some Art.


8 – See things in a new light. From a different perspective. Reflect on what you have seen and heard. Look at familiar things from a new place.


9 – Read the notice boards. Stuck to the clingfilmed pillars are some surprises. The stuff that happens isn’t just in the sessions. It is with the people and the place.


10 – The Creative Producers team have wide ranging and diverse skills. Make connections and scan QR codes. You never know what you might unlock.


11 – Austin is an inspring City. It has contrasts and craziness. it has people and more space than you can imagine


12 – Remember to unwind and download the info. Preferably round a table. Outside. With new friends




Keep moving #onwards…











Support #sxswace blogpost

16 Mar


I spent some time at the desk here today, there is a live feed up to the Japanese newsrooms and there is direct translation and information coming in from the ground from colleagues and friends connecting with sxsw. Just talking to people and listening to their stories. It was heartbreaking. The global community witnessing and sharing this tragedy and with support from participants here in Austin. Without doubt this has shocked our world here and the connections are felt around the community here in Texas. Here is one of the many reports from around the web from sxsw

Japan update

Donation site

Even though it is the last night I have headed back to the hotel. I have to put some things in order, and to get ready to head back home. Thinking how fragile our lives are and how powerless we are in the face on nature’s onslaughts, my thoughts have reconnected back with family, home and loved ones.

Being away for two and a half weeks now I am ready to get back. I recognise that this has been the most amazing opportunity, and I have met some incredibly inspiring and fabulous people, and now I want to put together a sort of summing up blog post. Which I will work on tonight and go through all the photos taken here whilst in Austin. For some reason, and I don’t know why all the prints from here have been in black and white. It just worked out that way, and all the ones from California are all in colour. I will work on a guide to survive at sxsw and some top tips from being in Texas – and post next on here…

Google has us covered and we saw Mike Tyson #sxswace

14 Mar


One of the Google Street cars passes the Convention Centre in Downtown Austin. People behaved appropriately…

A good day, back on form and recharged and ready to go. I am currently backing up power from the carbon neutral solar pump here on the ‘grassy knoll’ as it has become named.

And I have been asked to speak at a Transmedia panel tomorrow on new platforms for story and narrative dissemination – so that’s a #win and I am looking forward to that.

I also hooked up and went for a meal with the #2amt theatre community yesterday. Travis Bedard got six of us together on Twitter and we met in the soco area (south of congress) for dinner. I met artists from Austin, New York and Washington DC. – Good times

Couple of strange or ‘weird’ things that have happened? We saw Mike Tyson in a boxing ring and I got a free lip balm.

Good lunch today at IronWorks and we are all meeting up with all the Producers delegation tonight at Perry’s Steak House

Good panel from Rohan Gunatillake this morning on festivals and potential micro social networks

Til later

At the #edfest talk with a good carpet #sxswace

14 Mar


Here with @Rohan_21awake and Kath Mainland discussing the future of festivals – looking at sxsw and Edinburgh Fringe.

Where open access is something you have to commit to. You can’t have a halfway house in this.

Great red star carpet too

Recharge day and Branding #sxswace blogpost

13 Mar


Orange Juice. Coffee. Power. Recharge batteries both personal and digital severely needed today. We were hosted to a great evening by WM UKTI last night, and it was great to hook with some old mates and meet some new colleagues from the UK. The whole Creative Producers team were there as well as @documentally and we were really able to try and unpick and feedback and more importantly filter the stuff we have seen, heard and done.

The schedule here is very busy, and I know for those reading this back home will have little sympathy with our situation. And quite rightly so. It is a great opportunity and an immense privilege to be out here. And the great thing is that with so many of us here we are able to cover a great breadth of the talks and feed them back to each other and share that info. That gets the conversations and ideas flowing which is what this is really all about.

Some of the talk about branding and brand specialists here is beginning to grate. For example I went to the talk entitled how to build a responsible and creative online community – only to find out it was sponsored by and and run by AT&T and was basically a pitch about their new Facebook site. it certainly wasn’t addressing the crazy roaming fees for using our phones over here, and was basically a sales and marketing pitch. End of. So I used the openspace rule of the law of two feet, and left to find a better session. But my point is that with 7,000 sessions in 5 days some are hit and some are miss. Which is why we are able to hit the target more frequently with our team and network here.

We are in the home of branding here. It is where it started. On cattle with a hot iron. That is where it stems from. Making a mark on your property so if it strayed into another field – you could identify it. Branding. That is all.

In other news – a sustainable ipad stand – made in the Netherlands  – a simple and beautiful design.


So coffee. Recharge and writing this here in the Convention Centre reminds me of being back at university. Old school for me. Except without the laptop. The paper posters pasted on the pillars, the endless flyers on the table. Only this time the have QR scan codes on them – and even those are old school now.


And a word of advice. If someone tells you to try a bacon infused waffle cone filled with scrambled eggs. Just eat it. But never ever photograph it. As afterwards you too will need a little sit down and recharge…


Til later


The Game Layer to shift changes in Education #sxswace

12 Mar

An interesting day so far. A live link up from Austin to the Roundhouse via skype. It wasn’t the performance, more the talk and presentation about the work. Hailed as a potential first meant that I had to make a couple of points about our previous work. But an early morning session at the Convention Centre and meeting some great new people.

A great session keynote by 22 year old Seth Priebatsch about game theory and the next decade called the Game Layer.

Looking at how education could be recalibrated in terms of how incentives and grading should work. As school is a poorly designed ‘game’

So all students start from zero and gain experience points – as they gain skills. So it is always progressing forward, rather than getting a C grade or a D grade and a sense of failure.

The thing is how long it takes you to progress. But there is never any going back. Using the gaming ideas to increase engagement and decrease boredom, and hence increase loyalty.

He also talked about how cheating is an in game hazard, and how at Princeton it has been eliminated. By having no teachers or invigilators in exams – at all.

At the end of the time of the test the students leave their papers in a box at the front. This is monitored by the group, who sign an honour code, where complicity is part of the crime

So the enemy shifts from the admin and the system to the test itself. He also suggested that tax forms should be run in the same way. Again fascinating food for thought. An amazing day, great weather and lots of chat, connections and updates about the current global events and how we can and what we can do to help in the most effective way

Seth is from and

He wears red sunglasses on his head. He talks like rapid gunfire – he fired up 3000 people in a room and got us to collectively play a game that has the ability for countries to think differently about how to tackle global issues.

Recharge time!