23 Sep 2009

Sean Gets Physical...

Sean plays the role of the King in our new production The Glass Mountain, which starts its UK tour tomorrow. Of course we knew he was a great actor but had no idea he could pull such fine aerobics moves.


If you want to see more of him... check out the tour schedule for a theatre near you.

By Gemma

11 Sep 2009

What would you do if you had your time on the Fourth Plinth?

One performed the Time Warp, another dreAdd Imagessed as a giant turd and one graduate even scored himself a job for his efforts. What do these people have in common? They have all had their one hour up on the Forth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Since 6 July 2009, every hour, 24 hours a day, people from across the UK have been performing, demonstrating or simply just, well, standing there. The brainchild of sculptor Anthony Gormley, One and Other has turned the usually empty Fourth Plinth into a living monument and ‘a representation of the whole of humanity’. While some critics have debated its merit as a work of art, One and Other has certainly captured the publics imagination with 500,000 people having watched the live web stream and countless newspaper column inches been dedicated to the project.

This Sunday 13 September between 10 and 11am, Caroline McCarthy will have her hour up on the Plinth. Caroline has Systemic Lupus (lupus), which is an autoimmune disease. Like me you might not have not heard of lupus (apparently it has very similar side affects to ME and MS), which is I guess the very reason why Caroline is using her time up on the plinth to create awareness around this debilitating condition.

Caroline is 23 years old. She was diagnosed with lupus when she was at university doing a drama degree. It was during a university lecture that she had a blood clot caused by a secondary condition triggered by lupus. Unfortunately she had to pull out of her degree while she recovered but did manage to graduate some years later. Today, Caroline runs a successful drama school in Birmingham.

Up on the plinth, Caroline will be using the aid of masks (Trestle masks, in fact) to convey the emotions and feelings that she and fellow sufferers of lupus regularly endure. The masks, she told me, would 'allow her to demonstrate in a very visual way what lupus does to a person'.

If you can’t get down to Trafalgar Square you can watch the live web stream or follow the Plinthwatch Twitter feed.

By Gemma

10 Sep 2009

We may have only just packed up Lola’s bloomers, castanets and whip but rehearsals have already begun for our next production.

The Glass Mountain tells the story of Olek, a Polish baker who boards a bus for England only to find himself on a much bigger journey than he bargained.

The impetus for the show came from Emily Gray, our Artistic Director's interest in finding a meeting point between the enormously respected theatre made by Grotowski influenced theatre companies in Poland (such as Song of the Goat and Gardzienice) and the struggles experienced by recent Polish immigrants to England.

Trestle is based in St Albans, Hertfordshire where there is a large Polish community. During the shows development we held a series of hertbatkas (Polish tea parties). While not based on any one persons account, the stories shared at these events helped inform the characterisation of Olek and gave us a greater understanding of the migrant experience.

Featuring a cast of four, The Glass Mountain fuses traditional Polish theatre techniques and Eastern European traditions of singing stories with Trestle's process of devising physical storytelling theatre. Traditionally, Polish theatre is an intensely dramatic theatrical experience, however we hope to balance this with the humour, empathy and playfulness that Trestle has become renowned.

The Glass Mountain is touring the UK from 24 September - 14 November including the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, Hat Factory in Luton, Unity Theatre in Liverpool and Theatre Royal Wakefield. Click here for the full tour schedule.

By Gemma