THE IONIAN ENCHANTMENT
TRANSFORM AT THE WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE
For two weeks at the beginning of June, I worked with Peepolykus on their project The Ionian Enchantment for the season of Transform at The West Yorkshire Playhouse. The Playhouse in Leeds had invited theatre companies to come and 'play' with the idea of 'performance'; the act of people coming together to experience theatre and how theatre can be transformative for an audience. Transform is about looking at things differently, about exploring new ways of transforming, its is a response to changing times, provoking new conversations and asking new questions of the idea of what you might experience and what you might imagine theatre to be.
"Imagine a theatre where anything is possible" (West Yorkshire Playhouse)
The Ionian Enchantment, a project run by Peepolykus is in concept a work-in-progress piece; a new performance is created each day through the participation of different writers, directors and actors working first hand from new scripts to create new performances in just a few hours- questioning the very dimensions of theatre itself.
Peepolykus are a comedy touring theatre company. Peeploykus have produced six devised touring shows to date, which have travelled both Nationally and Internationally and have enjoyed sell-out runs at The Edinburgh Festival, The Lyric Hammersmith, The London International Mime Festival and The British Festival of Visual Theatre.
Theatre of the Lens was 'the lens' for this project creating an exploration of moving image for theatre, working closely with the visual and the dialogue. Theatre of the Lens filmed performances experimenting and finding different ways to interpret and manipulate live performance with the use of film and the projector, mixing the live and the filmic, theatre and cinema, performance and film in an attempt to 'translate' and 'transform' the works again within themselves. Some performances became cinema, shown on a monitor or projected in front of an audience, other performances used film as a backdrop or dimension in their stories, where others were solely about the practice of the 'live' using the recorded as a means to 'communicate' or 'interact' with the live performance (or which simply used the recorded as a piece of documentation).
These 'pop up' performances took place anywhere, challenging the form and conventions of theatre- at the box office, in the green room, in the street, at the bar or in the foyer, in-between sets of doors and occasionally in the theatre itself.
Photographs show Theatre of the Lens' work in situ at The West Yorkshire Playhouse 2011