Thursday, 12 December 2013

Seen The Show? Let Us Know!

Have you seen Hidden Spire this week?

If so, we'd love it if you could fill out the short questionnaire by clicking on the link below to let us know your thoughts. Many thanks in advance!

Do the Questionnaire here.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Still Not Seen The Trailer Yet?

Still not seen the trailer yet? Well then here's a little refresher for you!


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

It's all about the experience

One of the participants of Hidden Spire, Tricia McKenna gives the low down on her experience of Hidden Spire...

It started with a group of people getting together in the theatre to improvise movement, prose and artistic concepts for a production based around the theme of "chance".

Since the play days back in September, we’ve all been busy.

Some have been closely linked with the evolution of the characters and spent a couple of busy Saturday mornings outlining the story and certain scenes. The original themes were developed, given names, back stories and purpose in the show providing the actors with a deeper understanding of their characters. Somehow these started to meld and the story and script were born.

Others have taken the concepts of time and chance to design incredible sets, costumes and masks. Now we are starting to see these brought together and interact with them. The imagination, artistry and construction has been fantastic. The media teams too have been creating wonderful graphics to add an additional perspective to the action on stage.

The stage manager has been handed ever growing lists of props required and asked to co-ordinate just how to make scene changes smooth and “instantaneous”.

The performers and technical professionals have tried different ways to interpret the characters, movement sequences and musical interjections. Getting us to sing in tune let alone unison has been no mean task as we each discovered just how high or low we could sing! Many of the lyrics were the result of collective brainstorming and the basic tunes devised have been harmonised and had variations added to complement the mood at any given point in the story.

Choreography was a limited concept for many of us so adding the movement aspects has been an additional challenge for the coaches and directors, but gives the production a lift (literally in some cases) and makes use of the performance space.

Six weeks later and we are about to go into the theatre for our “intensive” week of rehearsals. Everyone is primed to build the sets, try out costumes, act, ‘dance’ and sing our socks off. I, for one. can’t wait to see it all come together. There’s still lots of work to do on staging, technical co-ordination – not to mention learning the scripts - but I’m sure we’ll have a lot more laughs and fun along the way.

"It'll be alright on the night"!

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Hidden Spire Cast on Christmas Light Night

On the 22nd November with fires ablaze in the background and people posting wishes and letters into the fire tower, the Hidden Spire cast went out into Gloucester Green to spread the word about our Christmas show.

Armed with Hidden Spire tarot cards (which will also play a part in the performance) the cast tempted onlookers with musical and theatrical snippets!
Don't forget to book your tickets soon! 

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Set is Taking Shape...

We caught up with Lisa Thomas, set designer for Hidden Spire to see what we can expect when we watch the show next month.

"As Set and Costume Designer for Hidden Spire my challenge is to create an interesting set, source and customise costumes and then work with Crisis members to create it all! The setting for the Hidden Spire is an old, dated, run down clock shop which is stuck in the past even though the world has moved on. I wanted the design to be slightly quirky, with interesting angles and circles to reflect the clocks. The focus of the set will be the back wall of the shop which will be covered in clocks of all shapes and sizes. If you have any old clocks you'd like to donate then please bring then along to the Old Fire Station by the 9th December. Any will be appreciated!" 

Here's a taster of what you can expect...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

How To Create A Story

How do you create a play? We had a chat with Peter Spafford, writer for Hidden Spire 2013 to see how one goes about putting a story together.

Hidden Spire is a devised piece so when the project started in September, we essentially had no idea what would be produced at the end. The only starting point we had was that the theme of 'chance' seemed to resonate with many involved - Crisis Members and professionals alike. Here's what Peter had to say...

"After early discussions and swapping of stories, it soon became apparent that our different attitudes to luck/fate represent quite fundamental approaches to life itself. In this regard, the journey of creating the play has been an ongoing joint enquiry into the biggest question of all: how best to approach change in our lives?"

So how do these ideas and discussions turn into a script?

"Some of the most productive time was undoubtedly spent in the three writing sessions in which the writing group hammered out the basics of the characters and the story. But many different factors have formed the final version of the play: discussions in rehearsals; improvisations in movement, song, and dialogue; chats in corridors or over coffee upstairs half-way through rehearsals."

Want to know more? Come along to the show to see the finished article!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Rehearsals Begin

This Monday just gone, actors, singers, dancers and performers be they professionals, Crisis members and amateurs alike, came together for the first rehearsal of Hidden Spire 2013.

Throughout the whole process of forming Hidden Spire through workshops and Play Days, Crisis members and professionals have had equal input. Seeing people's creativity flourish has been a wonderful thing but another element of the project has also been incredibly rewarding; commitment.  
"The lives of many people we have been working with are unpredictable and liable to change and day, at a moments notice" Lizzy McBain, Creative Director, comments. So while all of these workshops, session and rehearsals have been open and accessible and people have thoroughly enjoyed themselves, seeing members who are involved in the project show such strong commitment has been wonderful in itself.

As the project is nearing it's show date (it's 12th -13th in case it's not already in your diary!), those who have committed to the project are now learning their lines and forming the show. It was tentative and shy at stages and bold and confident the next, and good fun was had by all!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

We now know the story!

It's been a tense wait, but after many Play Days, workshops, discussions, writing sessions and late nights, Hidden Spire 2013 now has its story. Peter Spafford, writer for Hidden Spire 2013 gives us a teaser...

The Clock Shop is the oldest business in town. Calvin is a master craftsman, inheriting the shop through four generations. But things are changing. These days customers would rather buy a new clock than pay to have it mended. Added to that, an even bigger quandary faces Calvin. His step-mother has died leaving the business jointly to himself and his half-brother. Happy-go-lucky Alwyn and the meticulous Calvin have never got on. Can Calvin find a way of buying Alwyn out? Or will he have to sell his precious livelihood?

But it isn't just Calvin whose future hangs on a thread. Frances has been working on the books for twenty years; she has been engaged to Cal for as long. Edwina, the loyal neighbour, spends most of her time at the shop. And Ricky, supplier of parts and good humour, looks up to Calvin as a kind of father. Will their lives together be swept away like so many loose cogs and wheels off a worktable?

When Calvin demands their advice, each of the characters must put themselves on the line. Consult the fates, throw the dice, see the crisis as a business opportunity, or sit tight and wait out the storm?

The decision must be made – tonight, before Mr.Gumm the solicitor arrives in the morning.

Now if you we're tempted before, surely you are now?

Tickets are still available - just click on the link to the right. 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hidden Spire Play Day No.2

We showed you the pictures from the first Hidden Spire Play Day and now here is the second. The story and ideas are developing and you can even begin to see some set design taking place.

Crisis Skylight members and professional artists sang, danced, acted and crafted all afternoon. Once again, every element focused on the theme of chance with the idea of building up the story.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Trailer...

Here it is, the Hidden Spire 2013 trailer... Enjoy!

Hidden Spire 2013: How Lucky Are You? from Arts at the Old Fire Station on Vimeo.

Over the last few weeks, we've been working with Oxford based film maker, Sam Hamper, to produce a teaser for Hidden Spire. Get a feel for what you can expect, and see what happens in this tardis of a building!

Let us know what you think! 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Hidden Spire Play Day

Hidden Spire 2013 is now in full swing with what we term, "Play Days" taking place one a month and workshops have begun between artists and Crisis members to start devising the piece to perform in December.

Play Days are open days that bring in all art forms (music, dance, drama and craft to name a few!) where artists and Crisis members can dip in and out and 'play' while exploring the theme of chance. Participants can try out movement, do a voice workshop, or try our different crafts, sing and try out film.

Over the last month, workshops have also been happening to start devising the piece. These also happen between artists and Crisis members and will lead up to a show being formed at the beginning of November - so keep your eyes peeled!

Check out what happened at the last Play Day...

Friday, 4 October 2013

Hidden Spire 2013: How Lucky Are You?

Over the next week, a large number of our teaser Hidden Spire posters will be going out around Oxford. Keep your eyes peeled and let us know what you think...

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Beginnings: Hidden Spire 2013

Hidden Spire returns bigger and better than last year and this time, open to the public.

Born out of the relationship between the two charities sharing the Old Fire Station - Arts at the Old Fire Station and Crisis Skylight Oxford - the project sees professional artists working with homeless people to put together a performance.

The project supports the professional development of artists from various practices including drama, production, music, visual arts and dance, and provides homeless people with the opportunity to develop new skills and gain confidence.

For 2013, we have secured funding from Arts Council England, will be involving more artists and homeless people and there will be a four show run in December.

This year the theme is chance and we'll be asking you - How Lucky Are You?