Thursday, 17 December 2015

Announcing PARTUS

Well, it's not really announcing, as its been on sale for a while. More like a major update...

Over the last two years we've been working on a number of projects about peoples' experiences of birth - as mums, dads, midwives, obstetricians and doulas. The main driver of this has been our experience of interviewing people, and the amazing stories they tell.

Early outputs from this process (Labour Intensive at Derby Theatre and Cause & Effect at Leeds Library) were simply staged, verbatim pieces. We're now working with a group of young mums in Sheffield, as well being in the process of making a bigger, more theatrical show, Partus... Here's what we're saying about that:
Third Angel and Sheffield Theatres present
Crucible Theatre Studio 15 - 20 January 2016 
Times and prices vary daily: 
performances at 10.30am, 2pm (daytime performances are baby-friendly) & 7.45 pm on different days.
BSL interpreted and Audio Described performance Monday 18th
Book here!                                 
Birth. It’s a massive life or death thing that happens every minute of every day in every country of the world.
The expectations, the exhaustion, the euphoria. The shock, the sadness, the stupidly long shifts. The joy, the pain, the mess. Oh, and that first cup of tea that tasted better than anything, ever. Third Angel delves into the myths, the statistics and the politics of birth, engaging with real people and real stories. 
There will be laughter, hand-gripping tension, dancing, tears, shouting, singing and love. Come and join us: you may never think about birth in the same way again.  
Third Angel has been making extraordinary, curious, funny and adventurous theatre for the last twenty years.
We are delighted to have assembled a brilliant and exciting team to make this show. As ever, precisely defining roles in such a collaborative process is tricky and all of the following people are part of the devising and creating of this show: 
> Co-Artistic Director Rachael Walton has been leading on the various incarnations of the project with Stacey Sampson (who is leading on the Young Mums Project): interviewing, editing and writing. 
> Rachael and Stacey will both perform in Partus, and we have been joined by deviser/performers Laura Lindsay, Denise Pitter and Selina Thompson, composer and sound designer Heather Fenoughty and stage designer Bethany Wells. Lighting designer James Harrison will join us in the new year. I'm in the room as a dramaturg. 
> Hilary Foster and Liz Johnson are in the office producing and assistant producing.

Updates from rehearsals will follow, no doubt, but for now I can say that it feels a real privilege to be in the room with this team, telling these stories.


Of course, there have already been numerous other people who have been part of the whole process. Professor Susan Hogan originally invited us to be part of The Birth Project conference at the University of Derby, and we were supported in that stage of the process by Paula McCloskey and Eve Wood; for Labour Intensive we were joined on stage by Liam GerrardThea Barnes and Luca Walton-Ryan; in Leeds Library we were joined by Malaika Cunningham as researcher, and supported by the library staff. And through all stages of the process we have been privileged to hear the amazing stories of mums, dads and medical professionals. Not all of those stories can be "in" the show, but all of them have influenced the work. Huge thanks to all of them.


> Labour Intensive was commissioned by the University of Derby as part of The Birth Project, a two year research project looking at how various art forms can explore the experiences of birth and mutual recovery.
> Cause & Effect was commissioned by Leeds Library as part of the WordPlay Project.
> The 'Young Mums project' is supported by Lloyds Bank Community Fund.