It’s early October, 2018. It’s autumnal…leaves are beginning to turn, and fall…
I’ve just completed 9 months of (wonderfully) intensive creative/production work with Kaite O’Reilly as we developed, staged, and toured internationally with two major new world premiere productions of The Llanarth Group: AND SUDDENLY I DISAPPEAR—O’Reilly’s remarkable series of ‘d’ Monologues first staged at the Gallery Theatre (National Museum of Singapore, produced in association with Access Pathways in Singapore) in May with our Singaporean colleagues.
At work in Singapore last May on one of the Kaite O’Reilly’s monologues, ‘Red Scarf’ with the delightful Agnes (one of the ensemble members) toward the world premiere. Along with the world premiere performances in the Gallery Theatre at the National Museum of Singapore, we also gave a special ‘live-streamed’ performance (via the HowlRound platform at Emerson College, Boston, USA). Our videographer, James Khoo work with Associate Producer Nat Lim to organise and manage this herculean effort to share the performance with live audiences gathered in the Philippines, Taipei, and Hong Kong. It was a bit nerve wracking, but worked a treat!
We then re-staged AND SUDDENLY I DISAPPEAR with two completely new UK cast members who joined our core cast of four on stage for UK premiere performances as part of the Purcell Room Southbank Centre’s (London) UNLIMITED FESTIVAL (5-6 September) and on a limited UK tour to Oxford, Leicester, and Cardiff. Katie Bingham joined us as our UK stage manager and did a herculean job throughout! We had a wonderful response from audiences as well as reviewers.
With only two days rest after completing the AND SUDDENLY I DISAPPEAR UK tour, we were back into re-rehearsing richard III redux featuring the wonderful Sara Beer for an invited performance as part of the Grenzenlos Kultur Festival at the Mainz Stadt Kleines Theater in Germany. Thankfully, the wonderful Katie Bingham joined us for richard III redux in Mainz.
OCTOBER, 2018: Reflection/Reading/Writing/Talking
Now…time to breath, take stock away from the pressure of production work…and to focus this month on my writing as I continue to reflect on acting as a phenomenon and process in toward a phenomenology of acting. So all of October I am at ‘home/office/studio’ reading and writing. A luxury! Working on Chapter 5 today, ‘The voicing body and sonorous speech’ in which I focus on my work in 2017 on Beckett’s Footfalls with Costa Rican actresses, Milena Picado and Erika Rojas. HOPING to complete this as well as Chapter 6 on temporality this month, and HOPING to complete the entire manuscript by the end of December! Looking forward toward publication in 2019 or early 2020 at the latest.
I’ll be back to the Drama Department in Exeter on 17 October to give a talk based on Chapter 4 of my book: ‘Subjectivity, Self, Character, and Figure in Performance’. Look forward to interaction with colleagues there about this ongoing project.
NOVEMBER, 2018: ‘On the Road’ in Ireland and Norway
From November 4-10 Bernie Cronin at Gaitkrash in Cork, Ireland, and on the faculty at University College Cork have invited Kaite O’Reilly and I for a week-long intensive residency working with students on the new MA program there. I’ll be leading intensive training sessions, while Kaite will lead writing workshops. Kaite will give a major public lecture, and I’ll give a lecture as well from my new book (as noted above!). We’ll also be working on a staged read of Kaite’s COSY, hoping to attract full funding for a long hoped for production of COSY in Cork in 2019. Sara Beer who played the wonderfully quirky role of Maureen—the outsider to the family—in the world premiere at Wales Millennium Centre, will join us. We have a wonderful Cork-based cast playing the family. Fingers crossed the funding comes through.
The final two weeks of November I’m returning to the Norwegian Theatre Academy in Fredrickstadt for a two week intensive training, with application of the principles to structured improvisations and Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis. Jeungsook Yoo will fly in from Seoul to work with me. And Kaite and I will be part of a two day seminar organised by NTA on ‘Elders’…Looking forward to also seeing some of the students from NTA I’ve worked with in the past who have graduated!
Plans are afoot for a visit to Soledad Garry Rubio at RESAD in Madrid, hopefully late February/early March. The summer intensive is about to be scheduled for July, and other plans will be announced as/when confirmed!
Neither Victim or Villain: Presenting difference and disability with a renewed perspective
And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore/UK ‘d’ Monologues:
Visually stimulating, multilingual performance about difference and diversity from opposite sides of the world premieres on UK stage
05-06 September: Purcell Room Southbank Centre, London 7:45pm (www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/unlimited
08 September: Old Fire Station, Oxford 7:30p (www.oldfirestation.org.uk/whats-on)
09 September: Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester 7pm (www2.le.ac.uk/hosted/attenborougharts/whatson)
11-12 September: Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 8pm (www.chapter.org)
A new production by award-winning playwright Kaite O’Reilly will have its UK premierefollowing its triumphant world premiere at the National Museum of Singapore Gallery Theatre (May 2018). And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore/UK ‘d’ Monologues will be performed 5-6 September 2018 at the Unlimited Festival, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre (London: 7:45pm), with additional performances at The Old Fire Station (Oxford: 8 September, 7:30pm), Attenborough Centre (Leicester: 9 September, 7pm), and Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff: 11-12 September, 8pm).
Selected for the Unlimited International Commissions for 2017/18, And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore/UK ‘d’ Monologuesis an international theatrical dialogue of difference, disability, and what it is to be human, from opposite sides of the world. Kaite was compelled to write these monologues as an alternative to the clichéd, often problematic representation of Deaf and disabled characters on stage and screen. With her Unlimited international commission and talented cast of Deaf and disabled performers, And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore/UK ‘d’ Monologues seek to challenge prevailing negative or 'inspirational' images of disability with punch, poignancy, and a sly wit.
This work is innovative in its form, multilingual and intercultural in its nature, mingling spoken, projected and visual languages - interweaving English with some Mandarin, Welsh and British Sign Language sequences. The company consists of pioneering artists exploring new theatre languages and form, with the aesthetics of access – audio description, captioning, sign language – at the very heart of the work. Poignant, provocative, with passion and sly wit, stories of difference are told live and via video in unexpected ways, reveling in all the possibilities of human variety.
The show isn’t about access, it’s about the innovative use of theatre languages - mixing visual and spoken storytelling in dynamic form. There’s no static sign language interpreter in the corner of the stage, but live and pre-recorded sequences that tell little-known stories physically and visually in multiple languages, with creative captioning throughout.
Inspired by previously unrecorded lived experience in the UK and Singapore, this production sets an important precedent: the first multilingual, intercultural theatre project created between the UK and Singapore - led, created, written, directed and performed by Deaf and disabled artists.
Kaite began her explorations of the monologue form in 2008, on a Creative Wales Award, courtesy of Arts Council Wales. As part of the development, she had interactions with world class exponents of the form, including Eve Ensler, who immediately gave her ‘vagina envy’ with her monologues and V Day. Kaite has always loved the notion of disabled and D/deaf performers all over the world presenting with pride and political urgency texts which did not reduce them to parodies, metaphors, villains, or inspiration porn stars. Perhaps now, with the presentation of ‘And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore/UK ‘d’ Monologues’and the publication of these texts by Oberon, steps are being taken towards a ‘d’ day, celebrating difference, diversity, disability, and other delicious ‘d’s….
Award-winning playwright Kaite O’Reillyand internationally respected director Phillip Zarrillilead the team. The cast includes Singaporean collaborators Peter Sau and Grace Khoo, veteran disability arts practitioner Sara Beer (UK), Deaf UK-based Singaporean Visual Director Ramesh Meyyappan,performer Garry Robson(UK), a leading figure in disability arts and introducing Macsen McKay (UK). The performance aesthetic makes extensive use of pre-recorded video, featuring Sophie Stone(UK) in visual and spoken languages.
Kaite O’Reilly, Lead Artist, Playwright:
“I feel immensely privileged to lead this important exchange and theatrical dialogue between our two small nations: Wales and Singapore. Telling atypical stories about atypical people, this project sets an important precedent as the first piece of disability art to be made in Singapore, then touring to the UK. It celebrates what it is to be human - in all its diverse possibilities.
Jo Verrent, Senior Producer (Unlimited):
“Kaite O’Reilly’s 'And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore 'd'Monologues’ is exactly the kind of work Unlimited exists to support - high quality, provocative, challenging - and not just in relation to the disabled artists involved, or the innovative access elements planned to enable a greater number of disabled audience members to benefit. The biggest impact is the change in theatrical form that occurs when you truly embed disability-led creativity in the heart of the work, and that benefits us all.”
For more information please contact Rachel Kinchin email@example.com/ 07769 290369 or Kaite O’Reillykaitekor@aol.com/ 07775944345
And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore ‘d’ Monologuesis commissioned and supported by Unlimited, with funding from Arts Council of Wales and British Council.
About Kaite O’Reilly
Kaite O’Reilly is a leading figure in disability arts and culture in the UK. She recently was awarded Culture Woman of the Year in Wales for her work in diversity and disability arts in Chwarae Teg’s Womenspire18. As a playwright, radio dramatist, writer and dramaturg, she has won many awards for her work, including the Peggy Ramsay Award for YARD (The Bush, London), Manchester Theatre Awards best play of the year for Perfect (Contact Theatre), Theatre-Wales Award for peeling (Graeae Theatre company) and the Ted Hughes Award for new works in Poetry for her reworking of Aeschylus’s Persians for National Theatre Wales in their inaugural year. She received two Cultural Olympiad Commissions for In Water I’m Weightless, produced by National Theatre Wales and Southbank Centre as part of the official festival celebrating the 2012 London Olympics/Paralympics, an Unlimited commission.
She is the patron of Disability Arts Cymru, and DaDa (Disability arts Deaf arts). Dramaturg for The Llanarth Group, she co-creates work internationally with renowned theatre director Phillip Zarrilli.
Unlimitedis an arts commissioning programme that aims to embed work by disabled artists within the UK and international cultural sectors, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people. Unlimited has been delivered by the disability-led arts organisation Shape Arts and arts-producing organization Artsadmin since 2013, and is funded from 2016-20 by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012. Since 2013 Unlimited has awarded over £1.8 million to ambitious disabled artists working in theatre, visual arts, literature and music. These artworks resulted in 2,323 performance and exhibition days, which were seen by 132,059 people.
QUOTES / ENDORESEMENTS:
“Kaite O’Reilly is a writer to cherish.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian.
“…high quality, provocative, challenging.” Jo Verrent, Senior Producer, UNLIMITED.
“a call for the redefinition of disability and how it is viewed in society… Just like water, And Suddenly I Disappearis renewal; its representations are fluid and its diversity is refreshing. And just as in water, it promises to make more waves.” Centre 42, Singapore (review of Singapore premiere).
“Sara Beer is really funny. I mean, very, very funny…” Disability Arts Online(March 2018)
“O’Reilly passionately believes in the need to stage issues of disability in mainstream theatre. Her award-winning work…stands testimony to this passion.” British Theatre Guide
UK PRODUCTION INFORMATION:
And Suddenly I Disappear is produced in the UK by The Llanarth Group. For production information contact:
Executive Producer: Kaite O’Reilly’s And Suddenly I Disappear
Artistic Director, The Llanarth Group
Tyn y parc
Llanarth SA47 0PB
01545 580376; 07557 416831
After premiering 08 March 2018 at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, and touring Wales through 23rd March, richard III redux heads to Mainz, Germany for a performance on 20 September, 2018 as part of this year's Grenzenloskoultur Theater Festival ('Theater without Boundaries').
Here's WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT richard III redux:
Arts Scene in Wales: ‘…unpredictable… evokes laughter and reflection in equal measure…intimate…witty…ingenious…commanding and nuanced…thought provking…uncompromisingly funny…great power and impact…brave…’
British Theatre Guide: ‘…a bold, informative, occasionally traumatic, and irreverently amusing 70 minutes of theatre.’
Wales Critics Fund review (5*): ‘dynamite theatre… an absorbing exercise in personal insight, humour, pathos and historical amendments’.
The Stage: ‘an incendiary look at the lack of inclusivity in theatre.’
Theatre Wales Review: ‘Sara Beer’s Richard is…captivating…confirmed by the loud, loving, standing ovation…’
Disability Arts Onliine Magazine: ‘Sara Beer is ‘really funny. I mean, very, very funny…[she] has…oodles and oodles of on-stage charm. Audiences love her, whether she’s sending herself up as a would-be diva or revealing her younger self. This audience was no exception, laughing one moment and then the next hanging on her every word… go and see it. You won’t regret it.’
Wales Arts Review: ‘…Redux is a strong piece of work… Redux is full of grenades…dropped with disarming gentility by Beer….Beer is…charming and erudite, extremely good company…a damning indictment of an industry that actively discourages disabled actors from entering…’
To register, contact: Phillip Zarrilli, P.Zarrilli@exeter.ac.uk
INFORMATION ON THE 2018 SUMMER INTENSIVE TRAINING AT THE TYN Y PARC CVN KALARI/STUDIO IN WEST WALES: Beginner's and Intermediate/Advanced (below)
BEGINNER'S INTENSIVE: July 14-17, 2018
Led by Phillip Zarrilli
An introduction to the psychophysical training I have developed over many years utilizing yoga, kalarippayattu, and taiqiquan, applied to performance/acting problems. Participants are introduced to a core set of exercises, key principles of the training are elaborated, and the principles of the training are applied to structured improvisations.
Saturday 14 July: arrivals by 15:00.
Session 1: 16:00-19:00 session 1: training
Sunday 15 July: 10:00-13:00 session 2: training
14:30-17:30 session 3: training plus application
Monday 16 July 10:00-13:00 session 4: training plus application
14:30-17:30 session 5: training plus application
Tuesday 17 July 10:00-13:00 session 6: training plus application
Departures after lunch from 14:00.
Admission is by application only: those interested should apply by sending a professional resume indicating previous training as an actor/performer, dance/movement training, other trainings, performance experience, etc. Please indicate why you wish to undertake this specific training at this point in your development/career. Send application by email to P.Zarrilli@exeter.ac.uk.
COST: The all-inclusive fee for the 4 days is £375. This includes instruction, simple vegetarian meals, and housing (mostly shared twin accommodation either on-site or at nearby Woodlands Village).
TRAVEL: Especially for those coming to Llanarth for the first time, as you plan your travel PLEASE KEEP IN MIND HOW LONG IT TAKES TO REACH LLANARTH, WEST WALES VIA RAIL/BUS!!!!
It generally takes 5 to 6 hours to reach Llanarth or Aberaeron via rail/bus travel from London Heathrow, Bristol, Cardiff, or Birmingham airports. For example, from Birmingham International Airport there are direct trains to Aberystwyth that take about 3 to 3 ½ hours, plus another 1 hour from Aberystwyth by bus to Llanarth. After reading this information and going on-line, please contact me if you have questions!!!
For UK RAIL TRAVEL information you can visit and book on-line rail travel: (note…the earlier you book the cheaper the tickets!)
You will want to travel either to ABERAERON or CARMARTHEN. Aberaeron is located approximately 50 minutes by bus north of Llanarth. Carmarthen is located approximately 94 minutes by bus southeast of Aberaeron. Approximately two weeks before your arrival, I will ask all of you to inform me of your travel plans so that I can pick you up by car either in Llanarth (Ceredigion) OR Aberaeron (Ceredigion) and deliver you to your accommodation either on-site or at Woodlands Village, New Quay.
I will provide fill information on bus timings, etc. closer to the beginning of the workshop.
FOR THOSE TRAVELING FROM ABROAD, YOU WILL PROBABLY WANT TO ARRIVE IN THE UK ON FRIDAY 13 JULY AND OVERNIGHT BEFORE TRAVELING TO WEST WALES, and you may need to overnight in the UK before your return trip home after our final workshop on the 17th.
[NOTE: Occasionally it is possible to consider an individual for both the Beginner’s and Intermediate/Advanced workshops. After the initial application, admission would be based on a skype discussion.]
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED: July 19-28
Led by Phillip Zarrilli, and for application work Phillip Zarrilli and Kaite O’Reilly
The Intermediate/Advanced workshop will have two daily sessions of training and/or application of principles/processes to performance. Playwright/dramaturg Kaite O’Reilly will again join Phillip Zarrilli in working with participants as we explore and develop performances structures and begin to link them in sequences for
‘…that which comes after…’
Following on from the 2017 summer intensive where we began work with ‘…that which comes after…’, in 2018 we will pick up where we left off, reviewing writing exercises and structures initially developed last summer, and adding new exercises and structures. The process will provide stimuli for the imagination and/or generation of psychophysical scores, and text (spoken or unspoken).
Housing either on-site or at Woodlands Village. Two communal meals on 18th July and 27th July (first and last evenings together).
Wednesday 18 July: arrivals anytime after 14:00-15:00. Plan to arrive no later than 18:00. Begin gathering at Tyn y parc for the evening meal together at 18:30.
Thursday 19 July: two training sessions
Friday 20 July through Friday 27th: two sessions daily, training/application
[One half-day off mid-way through the workshop, based on good
Saturday 28th: departures between 10:00-12:00
TRAVEL REMINDER: Especially for those coming to Llanarth for the first time, as you plan your travel PLEASE KEEP IN MIND HOW LONG IT TAKES TO REACH LLANARTH, WEST WALES VIA RAIL/BUS!!!!
COSTS: (on-site 700 [fully waged] 640 [not fully waged]; Off-site 600 [fully wages] 540 [not fully waged]
Great fun working with Sara Beer, videographer Paul Whittaker, costumer Deryn Tudor, and playwright/dramaturg Kaite O'Reilly on two location shoots this past Thursday in Cardiff. Capturing short video 'takes' as part of the set of commentaries/roles O'Reilly is creating for Sara Beer in this performative response to Shakespeare's Richard III!
We did a second location shoot at a red phone booth in Roath, Cardiff! What's not to like about working on 'richard III redux'. We even had sunny winter weather for the outdoor shoot! Hope we'll be this lucky next weekend when we do location shooting in West Wales!
With support from Arts Council of Wales richard redux is in rehearsals.
Richard III: Bogeyman. Villain. Evil incarnate.
Or is he?
What if he is she?
What if the ‘ hideous…. deformed, hobbling, hunchbacked cripple’ is portrayed by someone funny, female, feminist, and with the same form of scoliosis?
In this reimagining of Shakespeare's Richard III, how does the story change, the body change, the acting change, the character change when explored by a disabled actress with deadly comic timing and a dislike for horses? How would previous star vehicle Richards measure up to this reimagined richard???
Following their critically acclaimed collaboration on Cosy, Sara Beer will take on Richard III and his previous (non-disabled) interpreters with award-winning playwright Kaite O'Reilly and director Phillip Zarrilli, joined by filmmaker Paul Whittaker.
‘Sara Beer… steals the show… a brilliant and disconcerting comic turn…’ [Gary Raymond ‘The Arts Desk’ on ‘Cosy’ 2016.]
‘O Reilly is a writer to cherish…’ [Lyn Gardner. The Guardian.]
chapter arts centre (Cardiff): 8-9-10, 16, 17 March (8pm) 17 March (3pm matinee); aberystwyth arts centre studio: 14, 15 march (7:45pm); theatr clwyd (Mold): 19, 20 March (7:45pm); the torch theatre (milford haven): 21 March (7:30pm); small world theatre (cardigan): 23 March (8pm)
Hellenic Festival Lyceum WorkshopRead More
An intensive two-week psychophysical workshop applying principles to Samuel Beckett’s plays from 14–29 August 2017...Read More
Between mid-September and mid-November 2017, Phillip Zarrilli will return to the Intercultural Theatre Institute to work with acting students...Read More
Kaite O’Reilly recently received a major Unlimited International award to fund a new collaborative production with partners in Singapore...Read More
The 2017 annual summer intensive training will take place at the West Wales Tyn y parc Studio between 15-29 July 2017...Read More
Details of a new essay and Phillip’s latest book in progress.Read More