Get to know our Outside the Box artists!

In the autumn of 2020, we announced the four artists selected for the Outside the Box commission to develop larger-scale projects – live, virtual or both – which explore what ‘live performance’ can be at a time of closed theatres.

Those artists are Pigfoot, Adam Welsh, John Akinde, and Anna Morrissey & Tristan Kajanus.

Click here to see the end result! On this page you can get to know them better and find out what they’ve been up to.

About Pigfoot

Pigfoot is a multi award-winning theatre company, dedicated to making collaborative, carbon-neutral theatre.

We make devised work with & for those grappling with the climate and ecological crisis, as well as running workshops for schools, young people and theatre-makers. Our theatre ‘practices what it preaches’ (The Sunday Times on Pigfoot) & protests from within an industry which, in London alone, has been shown to have a carbon footprint of 50,000 tonnes a year – roughly equivalent to driving a car 1.5 million times round the M25.

Upcoming work includes a Spring 2021 tour of How To Save A Rock – a bike-powered family comedy about how to still have hope (Sunday Times Playwriting Award Winner 2019; Staging Change Award Winner for VAULT Festival 2020).

What inspired you to create the show you’re currently developing?

The climate crisis disproportionately affects people in the Global South and nearest the equator, and for the Most Affected People and Areas (MAPA), its devastating effects are being felt today. We also knew we wanted the show to share lots of climate solutions, and be powered by renewable energy – generated through dance! We’ve been working with some incredible young people in Camden, and setting them up with interviews with young climate advocates from across the globe. Through connecting our audience to some of the awesome action happening around the world to mitigate the crisis, we hope we can encourage empathy and hope.

How has the Outside the Box commission helped you?

It’s been such an incredible opportunity for so many reasons- we’ve finally had the time and support needed to expand our carbon-neutral technology, and to develop the accessibility of our work. We’re an emerging theatre company, so we’ve also really appreciated the advice and wisdom of the incredible CPT team, Dais Hale, and CPT’s many very (very) kind friends – which has kept us supported and sustained, even when out of our depth!

But if we’re honest, the biggest thing we’re grateful for is that we’ve been able to work with the most fantastic group of young people in the Camden community. Camden’s an incredible place- and it’s also at the very frontline of climate conversations in the UK. (Out of the whole UK, Camden was the first council to convene a Citizens’ Assembly, allowing its residents to examine the climate crisis & decide on practical solutions!)

With everything going on, we never thought we’d get this project off its feet – it’s totally thanks to the openness of the Outside the Box commission that we’ve managed it!

 

About Anna Morrissey

Anna trained in Movement at Central School of Speech and Drama. She works across theatre, opera and and dance as a movement director, choreographer and director. She is also regularly commissioned to make original work. Her work has been shown in West End, The National, The RSC, The Old Vic and Historic Royal Palaces. Credits as Director: A Midsummer Nights Dream (Nevill Holt Opera), Beyond The Deepening Shadows (Tower of London, Staging Director), We Are Here (Associate Director – NT, Jeremy Deller), Taming of the Shrew (CSSD), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CSSD), Beating Heart Cadaver (The Finborough), Elizabethan Christmas (Hampton Court), Ghost Plays (Royal Shakespeare Theatre education project), Through the Forest (NHO Education Project). Anna was about to direct She Described It To Death at the Linbury, Royal Opera House when the production was cancelled due to C-19. As a maker of her own work Anna has been commissioned to make dance theatre pieces by the RSC and the Royal Opera House and spent a year as Artist in Residence with Historic Royal Palaces.

What inspired you to create the show you’re currently developing?

North West is inspired by an instinct to bear witness. North Westminster Community School was my secondary school. After the school was demolished along with the surrounding council estates it was almost as if it had never been there. Paddington Gardens – a complex of luxury flats that replaced it – extols the virtues of local history and community on their website but omits anything about the school or the established communities that had formerly existed on the same site. Nearly 40,000 people were educated at the school and I wanted to make something that records and shares our experiences. North Westminster Upper School was at times brilliant and at other times brutal, and it was also the funniest and wildest place I’ve ever been. I felt that only an artwork could describe what it was like to be there. Interviewing former staff and students has revealed the political character of comprehensive education and how that sat in tension with Westminster Council and their plans for redeveloping the area, and the work bears testimony to how gentrification and redevelopment operate in London.

How has the Outside the Box commission helped you?

The Outside The Box Commission has given me the platform and the support to make this work. Making a digital audio piece is a departure from my usual practice in live physical work, and I have had great practical and creative support from the whole of the CPT team as I learn new processes and open up new areas in my theatre making practice.