In May 2017, brand new production Out of This World is coming to Gulbenkian, Canterbury. The production has been commissioned by ART31 and created by acclaimed writer and director Mark Murphy. Set within a world of projected film and animation, Out of This World combines his signature mix of ground breaking aerial choreography, explosive special effects and emotionally raw storytelling in a show that is both intense psychological thriller and heart-rending medical drama.
Following on from our interview with Mark Murphy about creating the show, as well as others with Set Designer Becky and Sound Designer Nathaniel, check out our next interview in the series with Associate Director, EJ, below.
What is your role in Out Of this World?
I am Associate Director.
What has led you to this point?
A training in dance, followed by a career in performance, and then a move into choreography which led me to meet and work with Mark Murphy as his choreographer on the Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and a few more collaborations later, to here on Out Of This World.
Where did you study/train?
I trained in classical ballet at the Dance School of Scotland and Senior Associates of The Royal Ballet School, and then in contemporary and jazz at London Studio Centre and in New York with Suzi Taylor.
Who else have you worked with?
As a performer I have worked with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and with Rufus Norris on his West End production of Cabaret.
As a Choreographer I have worked extensively at the Citizens Theatre, Dundee Rep, the Royal Lyceum and the Edinburgh International Festival, and most recently with Stephen Daldry on The Netflix series ‘The Crown’.
Why are you excited about working on Out Of This World?
Where to start. Collaborating with the brilliant creative team and cast.
Getting inside Mark Murphy’s head and being inspired and challenged (and slightly scared).
Spending time making theatre with dear friends and calling it work.
What do you think will be one of the main challenges of this process?
I think having limited time to explore the many avenues we could go down in terms of ways of telling the story will be a challenge and a helpful restraint!
What do you think will be one of the key highlights of this process?
Making a new, multi-disciplinary, unusual and exciting piece of theatre.
Who have been the most influential people in your career so far, and why?
Suzi Taylor for teaching me, among many things, how to connect technique and emotion as a dancer. Stephen Mear for demonstrating how important humanity and work ethic are alongside talent. Andrew Panton and Philip Howard for having faith in me creatively long before I did.
What live productions have inspired you most, and why?
‘The Strange UnDoing of Prudencia Hart’ by National Theatre of Scotland, ‘Sleep No More’ by Punchdrunk, ‘Enron’ by Headlong. All of which used physical ways of telling stories that at the time of seeing them were incredibly different to anything I had seen before.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to pursue a similar career to yours?
Work incredibly hard at learning your craft and deciding what kind of artist and colleague you want to be. Then go and learn about life and come back to the art stuff later.
All interviews are credited to Hannah Osmond, and can also be found, along with more behind-the-scenes information, in the Out Of This World resource pack here.
Catch Out of This World at Gulbenkian, Canterbury, on Friday 5 May at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 full, £8.50 for students.
Out of This World has been commissioned by Macrobert Arts Centre, Sadler’s Wells London, Dance Touring Partnership, ART31 KENT, Warwick Arts Centre and Triggered at Warwick. Supported by Cold Mountain Kit, Bluman Associates, tube, Cuerda Producciones, All or Nothing and Beaconhurst School. Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Creative Scotland, and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.