Theatre of Now, a troupe of multi-talented players who have travelled the high roads and the low roads of Britain and Europe, will be at Friction Arts on Cheapside from the 18th to 27th March, performing and running workshops. All their events are supported by donation, with a suggested amount for each to give an idea of the level of work that goes into the performances and workshops. And here’s what you can enjoy while they’re in Birmingham.
Shakespeare’s Richard II: 22, 24, 26 March, 7.30pm; 23, 25 March, 2pm – This production has been developed over two and a half years, taken around the UK and Europe as a work in progress. Now touring as a full production, it is created using the theatrical structure called Fooling – devised by director Jonathan Kay – which opens up the performers’ inner world, so that the costumes, set and props emerge from their imaginations. Then the characters are created out of shapes, with several performers playing parts at the same time, resulting in a rich dramatic feast. (Suggested donation: £10.)
Music Be the Fool of Love! Weekend Workshop in Fooling with a Musical Tilt: 19, 20 March, 10am-5pm – Theatre of Now also offer workshops in Fooling, providing the audiences with the opportunity to learn the structure of Fooling, forging a stronger relationship with their imaginative selves and becoming more present in the performance. Theatre of Now bring their own ‘Tilts’ – influences from their lives – to the workshops, in this case music. (Suggested donation: £60.)
Music Be the Fool of Love! Performance and Jam: 19 March, 7.30pm – Pure improvised Fooling; the audience calls the tune and plays are created in tandem with them using the characters each performer has developed, called their ‘repertory company’. For this occasion Theatre of Now will be improvising using the structure of Fooling with music. (By donation.)
Celebration of Spring with Ceremonial Life Drawing: 20 March, 7.30pm – An evening combining performance, ritual and fine art; the audience will be able to draw the scenes set out before them as the performers pose for between two and 20 minutes. This performance is a celebration of the vernal equinox. (Suggested donation £8/£5.)
Fooling Workshop with a Physical Theatre Tilt: 26, 27 March, 10am-5pm – And here’s another chance to learn how to use the structure of Fooling, this time in the context of physical theatre. Suitable for anyone over the age of 18, this work is emotionally rigorous and explores physicality, so wear comfy clothes. (Suggested donation £60.)