The Hunted – review from our Drama Artist

An eerie atmosphere descends into the theatre when the house lights go out and the only thing we see are dimly lit bulbs hanging from the stage. The bulbs illuminate a mysterious place: the forest, a place of intrigue, the unknown, a place filled with  suspense, desire and fear. And so begins the atmospheric and bold reworking of Red Riding Hood by the award winning and ambitious Visible Fictions.

“Once upon a time” the actors begin before quickly telling us that this is not ‘once upon a time’ like other fairy tales. This tale is of any time, of now. And it’s not simply about a girl who walks into a forest on her way to granny’s, but about us, you and me, and the choices we do or don’t take.

Meet the girl. She wants to be a hunter. So the hunter takes her on as his apprentice as they go in search of the infamous white wolf that lives in the forest. But her decision, having been led by her desires, has her begin a journey that sees her being the apprentice-hunter to becoming the hunted. It’s tense, pacey and, aptly, captivating.

The presence of the wolf is subtly played by each of the three performers, in turn prowling the back of the stage – a neat device evoking a real sense that the wolf is very near, too near even.

The play also cleverly uses a kaleidoscope. Look into and turn a kaleidoscope you’ll see the pieces fall to create different possible images. With The Hunted, the analogy is clear – the choices we make, even the most insignificant, create different possible worlds. It is with the kaleidoscope that the girl reveals an ending with an unsuspected twist. Closer to reality than you might first imagine…

The Hunted. I dare you to enter the forest…

Thu 13 & Fri 14 Oct 7.30pm
playhouse
Approx. 1 hr 10 min
Tickets (friends) £9.50 / £12 full / £9 conc / £7 U18 & students
Suitable for ages 11+

More information and online booking here

Uncharted Waters review from ambassador Tom

Uncharted Waters contains three stories that explore how human beings can become trapped by the struggles of life.

The first sequence successfully creates an image of sailors caught in a storm. I was particularly impressed by the use of props and minimal staging to create the setting of a ship.  The dancers utilise a central pole to climb to an elevated level, to signify shipmates battling the elements.  It was enjoyable watching the dancers running up and down the pole without the help of any harnesses or supports.

The dance then moves onto a solo performance by a male dancer who is trying to discover his true sexuality. One of the most effective parts of this sequence is when he has to conform rather than truly express his emotions.  This idea develops into a moving depiction of the struggle against perceptions that takes place in the world around us.

The dance enters the last stage where a dancer twists and turns from tight ropes in order to break free. It could represent a foetus being liberated from the womb continuing the motif of life’s struggles and Mans attempt to break free that forms a central theme of the dance. I enjoyed these sequences and was pleased with the skill of the dancing, which led to a successful performance and an enjoyable experience for the audience.

Coming to macrobert Wednesday 28 September, 7.30pm. More info and online booking here.

Artistic Director Sonia Sabri on Kathakbox

Artistic Director Sonia Sabri:  “Kathakbox is a dialogue, rather than a fusion, of artistic disciplines, a poem, capturing a thought about our identity, separation and togetherness and how we relate to others.  Audiences here and abroad really respond to the underlying emotional content of the work, as well as appreciating the diversity of the company and the unique talents of each performer.   Working with hip hop we have found so many parallels with kathak; hip hop is raw, informal, spontaneous which is how kathak was originally and still is in many contexts in India.

“We recently performed Kathakbox in Jordan where audiences loved the non-instrumental aspect – how we create a rich sound without using musical instruments.  They were rapping along with the show right to the end – we didn’t feel a language barrier at all!”

Birmingham-based Sonia Sabri is currently the only professional female Kathak dancer who was born and entirely trained in the UK.  She has been performing since the age of 14 and founded the Sonia Sabri Company in 2002 with the aim of presenting Kathak dance in a new light, reflecting both Indian and British culture.  As a performer, choreographer and artistic director Sonia provides a positive role model for how performing arts can be inspired by and used to engage with issues such as faith, gender, motherhood and relationships.  Sonia is committed to nurturing the next generation of dancers and established Kathakaars, a creative forum for emerging dancers and musicians in Indian classical forms.

Kathakbox is comingn to macrobert this Friday, 23rd September at 7.30pm. Make sure you get along to see this wonderful, exciting fusion.

Tickets £9.50 (friends) / £12 (full) / £9 (conc) / £7 Students and U18s

More info and online booking here.

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Sonia Sabri

macrobert Autumn – Winter 2011 season released…

Finally! I can now let you know about the wonderful, touching, macigal, hilarious season we have lined up for you all and let me asure you, you will not be disappointed, just read on…

We kick start the season on the 1st September with Tenorissimo! Three tenors in Concert, Geoffrey Coles, James Fitzgerald and Morgan Lee James. From Bring Him Home (Les Miserables) through The Barber of Seville and Lloyd Webber’s Music of the Night to Nessun Dorma this wonderful show is sure to captivate and delight all who love light opera, musicals and songs from the shows.

Leading on from Tenorissimo! is stunning dance from SmallpetitKlein who created Falling Man a dance piece inspired by Richard Drew’s iconic photograph The Falling Man, and the 9/11 events. “I am honoured and humbled that your company has chosen my photograph as inspiration for your work”, R. Drew.

This is only to kick start the season – September is jam packed with even more peformances, from the likes of MsFits with Mad, Bad and Danergous to Know a hilarious one wowan show,  Zoe Gilby’s Jazz Quintet, Fire Exit present Untitled Love Story written by David Leddy, From Andly Manley and Starcathers comes My House for the kids, Sonia Sabri with Kathakbox which brings together Indian Kathak dance’s grace and vigour and the rhythms & rhymes of Hip Hop culture and all of this is only the first half of September… there is so much more you need to come along and see, check out the full listings here and keep an eye on our blog for even more information.

You can also receive all this information and more straight to your inbox by signing up to macrobert’s weekly e-newsletter, do this here and keep completely up-to-date with all things macrobert.

Guest blogger – Treehouse Manager about creative dance opp…

Can’t wait for “Seasonal” –  creative dance workshop to start! – this will be a fun hour each session for the children to unleash their creativity through dance!

Working with Rosina will be a blast – lots of fun and heaps of energy! This week will be a great opportunity for the children to work alongside not only Rosina Bonsu but other dancers from Reid Kerr College. This workshop was inspired to begin with by the treehouse garden project. For anyone who doesn’t know the treehouse garden is a small space below the treehouse window which with help from treehouse staff, children and a green fingered macrobert duty manager was transformed into a great quiet, peaceful, tidy and nurtured space where the children from treehouse regularly plant and grow!
When the “insert title” project was launched treehouse staff jumped at the opportunity to work with Rosina – having worked together in the past we knew any children involved in any of her workshops would have an exciting fun time learning from one of the best! “Seasonal” will incorporate music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and will capture the children’s imagination and creative ideas for dance and movement.  Roll on Tuesday 26th July!

Happy birthday to us…

We have alovely article all about out 40th Birthday in the Stirling Minds magazine… very interesting read, have a look here and see what our plans are!

Amanda x

Scottish Legends – iRIDE brings you some great films on two wheels

It’s been a while since our last iRIDE event Hell on Wheels, which truly inspired me to get back to get some miles in the legs on the road bike, with recently cycling 424km in one day from Edinburgh to Flodigarry on the Isle of Skye. The two upcoming films will inspire you, whatever bike you ride, to get out in this beautiful country. Filmed in Scotland, Home & Find capture the beauty and diversity of places like the Isle of Skye, Torridon and Lochaber, combined with some of the most skilled riders in the world : Danny MacAskill, Steve Peat, Hans Rey & Ruaridh Cunningham, just to name a few.

And we have more exciting things coming up soon, as I just hold a fresh copy of our cinema brochure in my hands. On 23 July we will have a very special screening of The Flying Scotsman and a panel discussion in our mainhouse, as part of the London Opening Weekend 2012. And with Klunkerz we bring you the history of the mountain bike on screen, featuring industry heavyweights like Gary Fisher, who was part of a group of cyclists that turned the bicycle world upside down. For all people that would rather be outdoors this time of the year, Going Carbon Neutral Stirling is hosting a Big Bike Fun Day on the 31st July 2011 on our doorstep, so mark the date for that as well, you are invited to get refreshments from our lovely bar. For more information please see www.cyclestirling.org.uk

And when we send our new season brochure to the printer in July, I will be heading off on another trip to cycle from Land’s End to John o’Groats on a singlespeed in six days, taking pictures of our brochure in the various parts of Britain I cross. More soon here!

Keep on riding,

Markus

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