At the Edinburgh fringe this year I was enchanted to meet performance artist Ethereal Andy. Together we conceived of Roads - an improvised performance that takes inspiration from the noise of the everyday and asks people to retune to their surroundings. Born on a bench on Edinburgh's Grassmarket, we have since performed the piece at Mystika Glamoor's Kweer Kabaret, and Our Night at Arch 504 in Brixton. Now in development, we plan to take Roads back to public spaces and see where it leads us.
One of the best and worst things about making your own work, is that you end up having to do everything and be everybody, I mean, until you're Beyonce. While I am sometimes able to outsource some of the more expert jobs, for the most part I am my own costume designer, sound designer, set designer, make up artist, producer and videographer, to name just a few. Last week I added another string to my bow, and bought a remote for my camera, which means I can now take photos of myself. *I FEEL SO ALONE*
Here are some of the best shots, promoting my show The Adventures of the Bearded Lady which was at Camden People's Theatre last week. Click on them to scroll through.
It's always a pleasure to work with Studio Yes (who run the Yes It's Funny Youtube channel). This time was especially great because as well as researching and throwing around ideas for the script, I helped with the shoot - whipping up this delicious recipe.
A while ago I got asked to help a mate out with some dog walking, and I thought it was a bit odd but I agreed. Little did I know he was filming the whole thing!
What a great result, thanks Kyle Shephard for capturing the entire baffling encounter...
I few weeks ago I had the pleasure of performing in the incredible music video for Strong Asian Mothers. Not only that, but I fulfilled a lifetime dream of flying a space ship. Sadly I wasn't very good and I got shot down.
A while back Adam Morley, Dulcimer Cowling and I concocted the brand Ham Paradiso. Adam and I then filmed this episode which we hoped to be the first of many. Despite not having made a second episode yet, 3 years later, we still believe Ham Paradiso has the potential to go global. Please enjoy.
Episode 1 - Deborah interviews Stephen: just another day at the office for the staff of Ham Paradiso.
Created by & Starring Adam Morley and Theodora van der Beek
Directed by Adam Morley
Music by Strong Asian Mothers
Hands and Arty Eye by Dulcimer Cowling
As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be an egg on legs.
I've got a couple more Egg dates in March (3rd and 4th) at Camden People's Theatre. Here is a trailer for the show, I hope you like it...
Bless the creative whirlwind that is Amer Chadha Patel, who rounded up some of his friends, gave us party hats and beer and then tried to direct us in his band's new music video, a cover of the En Vogue classic: Don't Let Go.
The lads at Shut Up & Sit Down are at it again with their review of an expansion pack for their favourite game of 2015: Mysterium. Set in the 1920s, a band of mystics gather together to try and solve several murders. Summoning up a ghost, who can only communicate to them through mysterious dream symbols, they must uncover the truth...
This time I was tasked with setting a chilling scene in my authentically accurate living room: I gathered together all the most appropriate artefacts, and painted Matt's hair with flour to transform him into the ghost...
I was incredibly honoured to have been asked by Raphael Panayi, who is studying Drama & Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, whether he could write an essay on my performance of Egg at Camden People's Theatre. Here is the final piece, which I'm pleased to say he got a first for. Thank you Raphael!
One hazy hungover Sunday I made my way over to a large warehouse in East London and had my face painted blue and joined a 50 strong choir for my favourite band Strong Asian Mothers.
We spent a very cold day in an almost uninhabited tower block in Stratford to make this video for Shelter. It would be a lot funnier if it weren't based on the experiences of real Londoners.
Telegraph Review of Erotic Cake Making Workshop presented by John Vagabond & me
The RSPLB had a very successful summer, matchmaking at Wilderness, Somersault and Citadel festivals. Here is our newly released film, courtesy of Joseph Wilson.
Raveyard returned for Halloween this year, but this time I wasn't a zombie...
As revellers arrived they were informed that they had just passed away and would meet St Peter who would make the final judgement call on where they were to be sent for their afterlife. Hell was the place to be, with a programme of appropriately loud and sinful music. Purgatory was an endless queue filled with so much smoke you couldn't see your feet, let alone an escape route.
Representing Heaven as Gwendolyn, a lovely old lady who died peacefully in her sleep some time ago, I was joined by Petunia and Esmerelda who were in the same age bracket. Surrounded by deck chairs and clouds, and Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights' on repeat, we welcomed in the newly dead with open arms and a plate of Custard Creams (which we'd made ourselves only that morning!) Some of them did not, sadly, adhere to the strict scent code, and were plastered in the fancy Lidl perfume 'Suddenly Madame Glamour'. We all had a wonderful time regaling them with tales of our misspent/uneventful youth, though many of them did seem rather keen to leave. Unfortunately no one stayed for the recorder recital or the lecture on the way of God. What a shame! The youth are so fickle these days *sigh*.
Last month I was excited to be one of the 16 in a show for babies - 16 Singers.
Dance Umbrella describe it as:
'A special experience, created by Katherine Morley for babies aged 0 – 18 months and their grownups, it cleverly captures the attention of tiny spectators using breath, rhythms and song, and by blending movement with an intricate, moving set.
Director Katherine Morley has brought together a team of artists passionate about creating work for children. Paul Rissmann, described by The Herald newspaper in Scotland as “the Pied Piper of classical music”, has written an uplifting score sung by the performers as they move amongst the babies. Choreographer Rosie Heafford, best known for her collaboration in the hit Dad Dancing, adds gentle patterns of movement in and around the delicately woven sculpture created by Sophia Clist, of Theatre-Rites fame.
With its very young audience at its heart, 16 Singers is a rare opportunity to share a beautifully crafted performance with your baby.'
Until the babies arrived in the audience it was hard to see how it would work, but I was surprised to find their level of engagement throughout was consistently high. There were certain moments in the show which were always completely silent, and it was exhilarating to be entertaining such a unique audience. There isn't much (if any) theatre for humans so young, and children's theatre in general often attempts to be interactive and force a reaction - Morley's idea is to treat the babies as spectators, producing a work that would develop their capacity BE entertained rather than engage in an activity. The theory behind the work was evident in the success of the show - a consistent comment from parents was that they had never seen their child sit so still for so long!