Archive | January, 2021

Keeping going – making creative projects happen – the Mutiny way

31 Jan


This last 12 months has been tough for everyone. Keeping going has been the main thing for us all. Surviving and keeping yourself and family as safe as you can has been the main focus. It’s been tough. We all know people who have been affected by this disease, either losing a loved one or battling against the ravages of the virus. We have all had to develop a new resilience. We have had to do things in different ways. We have had to be creative in our ways of thinking and turn our our hands to new skills or re learn old ways of doing things.

We are creative beings by nature and we are discovering how to navigate this new space. I have been so grateful to have been able to keep a connection with new work and get support from my colleagues at Mutiny. We set the company back in November 2019 as a new arts organisation, little knowing how the world was about to change. So Simon Poulter, Sophie Mellor and myself met up last February in to launch our R&D process for our new project at Watershed in Bristol. We spent a great week together working up ideas for an online interactive piece of work. Then the pandemic struck, one of our colleagues was unable to travel from Italy, we moved the work online and returned to our respective bases of Cambridge, London and Plymouth. We haven’t met in person or been in the same physical room now for nearly 12 months.

Yet in that time we have kept ourselves going by making creative work happen. We have pulled together ideas and projects, sometimes on zero budget, sometimes as a new commission or two, or by tendering for new work. As a new organisation we were not eligible for any of the Cultural Recovery Funding, so we had to keep on making and producing our own work during this time.

We have worked with amazing writers to create new work for Mutiny – we have commissioned Inua Ellams (The Barber Shop Chronicles and the Three Sisters, National Theatre) Roy Williams (Death of England, Sing yer Heart out for the lads, Days of Significance, National Theatre and RSC) to create new pieces for us. Inua wrote Landrovers vs Minis for us and Roy developed a new piece for Locus Solus.

The team of mutineers who have worked with us during this period are amazing.

We have made 16 new short films since last March, these have included all ur #Covid19Threads pieces using original tweets from the pandemic, voicing them with actors and creating new drawings and animation for them. The most recent was this week when we shared the story that Lily Whiting posted.

This moving true story was voiced by actor Amy Johnson. The rest of the series of #Covid19Threads can be found on the Mutiny website.

The creative work we have made has ranged from #Covid19Threads through to a new series of animated poems created by young people under the guidance of writer James McDermott for Norfolk and Norwich Festival as part of their Common Ground project. For Flip the Museum we worked with the museum of Lowestoft and were able to develop a series of new works based on the objects in the museum and locate these in the gardens of the museum. Here is the poem about the Benjamin Britten commemorative 50p piece.

We are currently working with three writers, Mona Arshi, Ayobami Adebayo and Imogen Hermes Gowar as part of the Future and Form project for UEA. This is to celebrate 50 years of the creative writing faculty of the University and is also funded by Arts Council England. This project will culminate in new works in May this year which will include the integration of Film, Augmented Reality, Sound poetry and interactivty available on site and online.

This amazing picture of Mona Arshi was taken by Matthew Usher on our research trip to Cley Marshes in Norfolk last September.

We are going to continue to develop our interactive game world project Locus Solus – based on the novel by Raymond Roussel. This had great support from Arts Council England and Watershed last year and we will be developing this concept as we move through 2021. You can get a sense of the project here with the video we made of the R&D which also included the actors Suzann McLean, Oliver Alvin Wilson and Simon Munnery

As a final video this is Land Rovers vs Minis written by Inua Ellams.

Landrovers Vs. Minis was commissioned by MKIAC – Milton Keynes Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture – and features a new original script by playwright and poet Inua Ellams, with actors Cherrelle SkeeteFaisal Dacosta, Umera Fatima, Mia Nuttgens and Sam Thompson. Music by Sandy Nuttgens.

“Dee makes a Whatsapp Group adding Kay, Ishy, Emm and Hilz. Dee changes the group subject to: “Friday Protest” then, “Protest”, then “Resist”, then “Bun Babylon” then “Bun Babylon For Life” then “BBFL”. Dee makes the group icon a middle finger and begins typing…”

So keeping busy, keeping creative and making new projects happen is definitely the Mutiny way. It has sustained us and kept us focused and connected. Even though we are hundreds of miles apart this is our new way of working. Mutiny is Simon Pouter, Sophie Mellor and Marcus Romer three people remote and connected, with a team of mutineers working with us. We are looking forward to working with more mutineers in 2021.

Check out the Mutiny site for more details and contact details.