Saturday, 28 November 2015

600 People Programme Note

Third Angel presents
600 People
Northern Stage, Newcastle, UK
malavoadora.porto, Portugal
November 2015

This story has grown in the telling.

The conversation with Dr. Simon Goodwin that started it all off actually happened during the process of making another show, 9 Billion Miles From Home. That show was also partly inspired by the Voyager space programme, and grew to be about wider issues of distance and time. In the end, only one thing Simon had said to me - about the speed of light and falling through space - made it into that show. Not long afterwards his explanation of light clocks made it, somewhat unexpectedly, into the short film Technology. But the bulk of what we talked about had just stayed in my head, sometimes coming out in conversations with friends when another space exploration story hit the news.

Then in 2013 we got a commission to make a short spoken word piece for ARC’s Northern Elements project. One of the themes for the commission was ‘a moment when something had changed’. The conversation with Simon back in 2006 suddenly came back to me – and I realised this was a story I still wanted to tell.

This first version toured as a 20 or 30 minute ‘performance lecture’ for a couple of years, for spoken word nights, festivals, art/science events and as one of the ballads in Northern Stage’s The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project at the Edinburgh Fringe. This year, though, it began to grow, new details creeping in, new areas opening up to be explored. We’re grateful to our good friends at Northern Stage and malavoadora.porto for giving us a chance to try out telling this longer version of the story.

Given the astrophysics-lecture nature of the show, it feels appropriate to share some Further Reading. As well as the conversations with Simon, other influences on the ideas in this piece include the books Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens...Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life by Stephen Webb, along with several episodes of the brilliant RadioLab podcast, especially the one about CRISPR.

Thanks very much for coming to see the work – we’d love to talk to you about it after the show.

Devised & Created by the Company

Written and performed by Alexander Kelly
Inspired by conversations, and in collaboration, with Dr Simon Goodwin
Directed by Rachael Walton

Daniel Fletcher · Print design and show visuals
Nathaniel Warnes · Animation

Craig Davidson, Richard Flood, Michael Gooch, Daniel Oliviera, Emanuel Rinaldi · Technicians

Hilary Foster · General Manager
Liz Johnson · Administration & Production Trainee

Big thanks to all the staff at Northern Stage and mala voadora for their support, and to the Northern Elements team for their original belief in the project.

600 People will tour in 2016. [Get in touch if you'd like to book it]. ·
#600People · @thirdangeluk · @AlexanderKelly

Originally commissioned for Northern Elements, a development programme funded by Arts Council England & managed by ARC, Stockton Arts Centre.

Third Angel is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and a Resident Company at Sheffield Theatres.