Tuesday, 17 July 2012

From our Artistic Director

A message from the Artistic Director, Avril Hitman, on the production of 'The Ed Effect'

Artistically I knew this would be an interesting opportunity for Magpie as a company to work with Re: Bourne artists from New Adventures; two companies that have been around a long time, but with very different paths.  I have long admired Matthew Bourne’s work for the story telling through dance and for the accessibility and humour that he brings to New Adventures performances.  The collaboration has been a long time in the making, initial discussions with Re: Bourne started in September 2011.  The Artistic Exchange was planned in as an integral part to the project and was a very important part of the process.  This was the first time that Magpie has been involved in an exchange of this nature; it was incredibly valuable for each team to share an understanding of the ways that each company works to enable the collaborative process to move forwards. 

The 3 days residency at Easter was exciting to see how the story of Edward Sissorhands started to unfold and to find our ‘Ed’, the Magpie dancer who would dance the central role. Paul has risen to the challenge, making a fantastic Ed, bringing just the right mix of aloofness and powerful imagery for the dancers to work with. 
Edward Sissorhands is a story that has relevance to us all; acceptance, family life, bringing something special to life as an individual regardless of how we appear, or if we don’t seem to conform to the ‘norm’ whatever that might be. And importantly, being appreciated for who we are as individuals. These are all aspects of Magpie’s work and underlying ethos. 
It has been an ambitious project on a larger scale than previously undertaken at Magpie; however I wanted us to be challenged with the work and experience new ideas and ways of working.  I wanted us to experience character work as a starting point for the work, which is the basis of New Adventures way of working with a strong story to be told.  It has been interesting to see Magpie’s freelancers and New Adventures artists gaining an appreciation of each other’s work and finding the way through to bring something of each company to the piece.  I believe we have achieved this.
I’ve loved going into rehearsals to see the characters developing, adding more layers to the piece and bringing individual characters to life. We’ve been very fortunate to work with a great team from Magpie and New Adventures, plus a wonderful costume designer and prop maker! 
We’re nearly there now, be prepared to be amazed by the ‘Ed Effect’ on stage at the Churchill Theatre and Crystal Palace Park!
Avril Hitman
Artistic Director 13.7.12.

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