Making work during lockdown

17 Jul

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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

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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.

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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

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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 

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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

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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.

One Response to “Making work during lockdown”

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  1. Welcome to my work and world | Marcus Romer's work & blog - August 12, 2020

    […] 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. […]

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