Feature in Issue 24-2 | Summer 2012

Ahoy there my hearties!

The Summer 2012 edition of Total Theatre Magazine has something of a nautical theme. We feature the third and final part of Living Structures’ Work in Progress, in which the company reflect on the making of their new work Leviathan, a physical and visual theatrical exploration of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Also featuring not only Moby Dick but also Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, WB Yeats’ The Caged Souls, and Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner – along with verbatim reportage from the loss of the Titanic (1912) and Costa Concordia (2012) – comes the award-winning Dip Your Toe commission Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter, an outdoor peepshow set in a facsimile Edwardian Bathing Machine, mixing puppetry, animation with spoken text, multi-instrumental music, and sampled seafront soundscape. The show, by Grist to the Mill, is the subject of this issue’s Being There feature. A very different sort of mermaid can be found at on the review pages in Thomas Wilson’s reflection on Ann Liv Young’s Mermaid Show, amongst many other interesting new performance works seen at this year’s Fierce Festival in Birmingham.

Back on dry land, we have reviews from the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Sprint, Forest Fringe at the Gate, and CircusFest 2012. Brighton Festival gets a look in too, in the form of a reflection on festival favourites (and supported artists) dreamthinkspeak, who are the subject of The Works – their most recent work, The Rest is Silence, commissioned for Brighton Festival 2012, is a re-imagining of Hamlet set in the round (or more precisely in the square) in a shoreline warehouse (ah, we seem to be back on a sea theme again!).

Also in this issue you’ll find an inside-eye view of Periplum’s The Art of Demonstration, which explores the relationship between protest and performance, and a reflection on prisons as both subject of and site of contemporary theatre. Elsewhere you’ll see reports on the Juncture festival in Leeds, a dance-theatre event curated by Charlotte Vincent; and the Terra LUME month of performances and events in Campinas, Brazil.

Another of our regular features, Voices, takes as its subject the legendary Penny Arcade – Warhol starlet, New York-based performance artist, writer, and flag-flyer for a queer theatre that challenges conventional heterosexual (and homosexual!) views on sexuality and sexual identity. Her seminal work Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! is, this summer, playing the Arcola Theatre in London. Penny has plenty to say about her quite extraordinary life and work.

And talking of summer shows, we couldn’t really get by without more than a mention of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This August sees the Bootworks boys on a performative journey, walking from Sussex to Scotland – read all about it in 30 Days to Edinburgh. We also have a substantial round-up of the Edinburgh Fringe and other summer festivals – including Milton Keynes’ IF Festival and the Stockton International – in our Out There section.

Finally, it brings me to say that this will be the last print edition of Total Theatre Magazine – at least in the current format, at the current time. Who knows what the future may hold? But for now, we are switching to a wholly online format. It is sad to be leaving print behind, but the editorial team (Deputy Editor John Ellingsworth, Reviews Editor Beccy Smith, and myself) are excited to be working with our publishers University of Winchester in the development of our online presence and the amalgamation of www.totaltheatre.org.uk and www.totaltheatrereview. com into one very wonderful new website that will run features and other new content, in addition to the current very successful menu of reviews, news and blogs. Go to either of those URLs this summer and beyond to find reviews and reports from the Edinburgh Fringe and from many other festivals and events across the country, and from further afield.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all their generosity and hard work over the years to the editorial team and the editorial forum; to our writers, photographers and other contributors; to Professor Anthony Dean, Christian Francis and Richard Cuming (our new Associate Editor) at University of Winchester; to Pippa Bailey and the Total Theatre board; to our loyal advertisers and subscribers; and to all of you reading this for your support of Total Theatre Magazine throughout the years.

Please do look out for Total Theatre Magazine online which will continue to fly the flag – as the print edition has for more than a quarter of a century – for physical, visual, and total theatre!

This article in the magazine

Issue 24-2
p. 4