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Erewhon by Arthur Meek

Slide01New Zealand playwright Arthur Meek is currently writer in residence with Magnetic North. As part of the residency, we have commissioned Arthur to write a new play, Erewhon, based on Samuel Butler’s 1872 utopian satire. 

Please join us at the Traverse Theatre on Wednesday 14 September at 7pm for a sharing of work in progress followed by a Q&A with Arthur Meek and Nicholas Bone.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Arthur’s starting point is the illustrated talk that Butler’s narrator describes giving after his escape from the land of Erewhon.  In this 21st century version Powerpoint meets the magic lantern lecture in a solo performance piece with plenty to say about familiarity and difference across cultures. 

Arthur worked on Erewhon as one of the artists participating in our creative development residency, Rough Mix, earlier in the summer and has also spent a week at Cove Park working on the text before starting these 2 weeks of development at the Traverse.  He has been supported throughout by our artistic director Nicholas Bone. 

The commission is supported through a Playwright Residency and Exchange Programme led by Playmarket New Zealand and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, funded by Creative New Zealand. Thanks also to the Traverse for their support of the development and sharing.  

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We look forward to seeing you there.

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Magnetic North associate artists at the Edinburgh Fringe

There’s a great crop of shows by Magnetic North artists, associates and Rough Mixers at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and beyond this summer.

Denton and Me

Denton and Me 300x300Magnetic North’s artistic director Nicholas Bone directs the revival of Denton and Me by Sam Rowe, part of the curated Made in Scotland showcase.  This multi-layered, stunningly designed show weaves together writer and performer Sam Rowe’s autobiography with the writing of Denton Welch (1915-1948), a fascinating figure in queer literary history, and favourite of Alan Bennett, William S Burroughs and John Waters.  A hit in its first outing at The Arches ("amusing, complex and forthright" «««« The Herald), Denton and Me runs at Summerhall from 3-28 August at 15.05.  

 

In the Making Collective

Nicholas is also performing as part of In the Making Collective, a shifting assemblage of Scotland based dancers and makers.  Led by Matthew Hawkins with Rough Mix participants Merav Israel and Claire Pencak, the group are collaborating to develop score-based choreographic performances with a different offering each day.   The project experiments with collective devising and presentation, looking at processes of making, multi-authorship and shared leadership.  The group’s first public performances, Mushroom!, take place at Gayfield Creative Space from 24-29 August at 16.00. Tickets. 

Faslane

Fringe First winner Jenna Watt will join Magnetic North as assistant director on our upcoming production of Our Fathers by Rob Drummond and Nicholas Bone, as part of the FST bursary scheme.  Her own solo show, Faslane, explores what happens when the personal and political collide.  With family having worked in Faslane all her life, and with friends protesting at the gates, Jenna navigates her own journey through the politics, protests and peace camps. Rough Mixer Kim Moore is the sound artist.  Faslane runs at Summerhall from 3-28 August at 19.15.    

On the Conditions and Possibilities of Hillary Clinton Taking Me as her Young Lover  HCYL HERO 300x300

Arthur Meek is currently Writer in Residence with Magnetic North, thanks to a joint initiative run by Playmarket New Zealand and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland: the development agencies for playwrights for their respective countries. Arthur takes time out from developing new work to present his absurd and very timely comedy lecture, On the Conditions and Possibilities of Hillary Clinton Taking Me as Her Young Lover.  Premiered at La Mama Experimental Theatre in New York, the show runs at Summerhall from 5-28 August at 13.05

The Dwelling Place

Jamie Wardrop, an emerging artist at Rough Mix 2012, is presenting his collaboration with his brother Lewis, The Dwelling Place.  An immersive, limited capacity performance installation, The Dwelling Place transports its audience to an abandoned cottage on the Outer Hebrides with striking live visuals, electronic sound and the words of the great highland poets. It runs in the basement at Summerhall from 3 – 19 August at 4pm and 7pm.

Blow Off

Composer Kim Moore also took part in Rough Mix 2012, and subsequently wrote music and sound for Magnetic North’s production of Sex and God.  She has composed music for, and plays live in the world premiere of Julia Taudevin’s Blow Off, along with Glasgow’s indie-pop duo Tuff Love.  Part theatre, part gig, Blow Off is a fierce and playful feminist work exploring the psychology of extremism with haunting melodies and progressive punk riffs.  There are 2 performances as part of the Traverse festival programme on Mon 22 August at 4pm & 7.30pm

Extreme Light North: Shetland

Meanwhile in Shetland... Rough Mixer Clare Duffy is making a site-specific performance at Sumburgh Lighthouse in Shetland on 28 August 2016. Clare was resident at the lighthouse in January this year and will return to Sumburgh in August to create this one-off performance, Extreme Light North: Shetland.  Supported by a Creative Scotland Artist Bursary, the performance explores the effects of living in places with extreme light levels – a phenomenon only found north of the 60 degree parallel. As she prepares for the main performance, Clare will be also be making a series of daily short performances in view of the Sumburgh lighthouse webcams. These performances will be available to watch live via the webcams - check @xremelightnorth on Twitter for dates and times. 

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Rough Mix in Aberdeen

This year's Rough Mix takes place at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts.

The participating artists and our Artistic Director Nicholas Bone talk about their plans for the residency in this video:

Tickets for the free sharing of work in progress on Friday 15 July, 6pm, are available here. 

Rough Mix Aberdeen has been realised in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts and is supported by Creative Scotland, the David & June Gordon Memorial Trust and Aberdeen City Council creative funding.

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Walden at Hidden Door

We are delighted to be reviving our acclaimed production of Walden for this year’s Hidden Door festival.
Mon 30 May – Wed 1 June 2016, 18.30 & 20.30

“My purpose in going to Walden was not to live cheaply or dearly, but to live deliberately.”

On 4th July 1845, Henry David Thoreau walked into the woods near his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts and decided to stay. He found a spot next to a lake called Walden Pond and built a hut. For the next two years he tried to live entirely by his own resources.

Walden, Thoreau’s account of his ‘experiment in simple living’, is one of the most extraordinary and unclassifiable books ever written, with huge contemporary resonance. It is a meditation on self-sufficiency, the individual’s relationship with the environment and the desire to ‘live deliberately’.

First produced in 2009, Magnetic North’s adaptation was hugely popular with audiences and received a string of 4 and 5 star reviews.

Nicholas Bone, Magnetic North’s Artistic Director, and Walden’s director and adaptor said: “Magnetic North is delighted to have the opportunity to revive Walden for Hidden Door’s invited programme. As an Edinburgh-based company, we’re hugely supportive of the opportunities Hidden Door gives for artists and audiences to share work in otherwise disused spaces in the city. We’re looking forward to being part of the event for the first time this year.”

The production is performed in an intimate, in-the-round setting: 12 beautifully crafted benches made from American cedar join together to create an arena for the audience and actor, with just 40 audience members able to attend each performance.

Listings Information
Hidden Door Festival, Old Lighting Depot, King’s Stables Road, Edinburgh
Monday 30 May – Wed 1 June
18.30 & 20.30
http://hiddendoorblog.org/

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Writer in Residence

We are delighted to be hosting New Zealand playwright Arthur Meek as writer in residence with Magnetic North next summer.
Arthur joins us thanks to a joint initiative run by Playmarket New Zealand and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland: the development agencies for playwrights for their respective countries.

We will host Arthur for a 3 month residency from July-Sept 2016. He will participate in Rough Mix, spend a week at Cove Park, have the opportunity to see work and make contacts during the Edinburgh festivals in August as well as being commissioned to write a new play, Erewhon.

Based on Samuel Butler’s satirical utopian novel, Erewhon will be a solo show, performed by Arthur and taking the form of an illustrated theatrical lecture in which Arthur will attempt to amuse an audience of Erewhonians by contrasting his own society with their own. The experience of distance from New Zealand, and the mix of familiarity and difference that is a New Zealander’s experience of living in Scotland, will inform the writing and development of the piece.

Arthur will be supported throughout by our artistic director Nicholas Bone. There will be a work in progress sharing of Erewhon at the end of the residency.

Arthur Meek is an award-winning New Zealand writer for stage and screen. His two published plays, The Trees beneath the Lake and On the Upside Down of the World were both commissioned by the Auckland Theatre Company. His work has been shown in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US.

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J. Sharp Taking A Walk
07 September 2014
Very much enjoyed your show at the Brunton Theatre last night and the silent walk to start was an excellent addition, creating the perfect atmosphere....