Scheduled to open in Spring 2021, Brixton House is taking the opportunity during lockdown to look back on some of its brilliant productions from its Ovalhouse days. Four productions that were filmed by LIVR, the 360° virtual reality theatre platform, will be released across four weeks. Random Selfies from Mike Kenny, WHITE and GREY from Koko Brown, and Derailed from Little Soldier will each be available free on the Brixton House website for one week only.
Exploring mental health, loneliness and coping strategies, these four productions have only gained in poignancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a venue, Brixton House keeps focussed on today’s concerns to spark the conversations that are so vital during these difficult times. Using theatre to connect with those stuck at home, each show will have a launch party starting from Thursday 4th June; Koko Brown and Little Soldier will also take part in a Twitter Q&A.
To ensure accessibility, where possible, productions will be accompanied with a downloadable transcript on request where captioning is not available and Koko Brown’s GREY embeds BSL within the performance. Koko Brown, a former Associate Artist, has always been a passionate advocate for using methods like BSL to promote inclusivity and her work demonstrates the powerful need for the arts to promote accessibility, especially in the digital age.
Owen Calvert-Lyons, Head of Theatre and Artist Development commented: “These plays come from the Ovalhouse archive and a collaboration with LIVR in 2018, when we filmed Ovalhouse productions in 360° VR to create The Virtual Theatre, a tourable miniature theatre in which six audience members at a time could experience theatre as if they were really there. We were determined to ensure that plays streamed to your home were not solely the preserve of mainstream, large-scale theatres. It is just as important for audiences to access the work of independent theatremakers with powerful and important stories to tell.
So we’ve chosen four of these plays from the archive to share with the public for free. It felt especially important to share Derailed by Little Soldier during a time when half of the creative team are in lockdown in Spain. Koko Brown’s WHITE and GREY also felt important during a time at which the mental health of the entire country is under strain. And finally, we chose Random Selfies as a way of reaching out to the millions of children feeling lonely during this crisis.
Thanks to LIVR’s new LIVR Player we can stream these fantastic plays from our archives directly to your home for free.”
The full programme is as follows:
By Mike Kenny, from Ovalhouse archives
Thursday 4 June, 3.30pm (1 hour), age recommendation 7-13 years
If I lived in the middle of nowhere, you could understand it. If I was halfway up a mountain. Or at the side of a lake. And I had no brothers or sisters. Well, you could understand it. Couldn’t you. If I said I was lonely. But I’m not any of that. I live in a flat. In one of the biggest cities on the planet. I’m never alone. But I am lonely.
Directed by Owen Calvert-Lyons and designed by Rachana Jadhav, Random Selfies by Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Kenny is performed on a digitally animated set.
Lost Kid Collective presents WHITE
By Koko Brown, from Ovalhouse archives
Thursday 11 June, 7pm (1 hour)
What are you when you are always the other? A show about identity, blending spoken word with live vocal looping. Join Koko as she considers the concept of mixed-race privilege, tries to connect clashing cultures, and explores what it means to be mixed in contemporary Britain.
Written and performed by Koko Brown, WHITE is directed by Nicholai La Barrie.
Lost Kid Collective presents GREY
By Koko Brown, from Ovalhouse archives
Thursday 18 June, 7pm (1 hour)
She is a strong, independent, black woman. She has a roof over her head. She has food in her fridge. She lives a good life. She’s also a little bit sad, a lot of the time. She doesn’t understand why. Following her 5-star solo show, WHITE, Koko Brown brings the second instalment of the Colour Trilogy, GREY – a candid show exploring depression and black women’s mental health.
Blending spoken word and looping, GREY fully embeds British Sign Language and contains sensitive content. Written and performed by Koko Brown, GREY is directed by Nicholai La Barrie.
Little Soldier Productions presents Derailed
Devised by Little Soldier, from Ovalhouse archives
Thursday 25 June, 7pm (1 hour 15 minutes)
Twelve years after arriving in the UK, with too many heartbreaks to count, one child, half a marathon, 5 drum lessons and a permanently overdrawn bank account, Patricia and Mercè are feeling the post-Brexit blues. Fuelled by rage at the state of world, they want to turn anger into positive action. So, what else is there to do apart from host the mother of all leaving parties with gazpacho, live rock music, dancing, pig noses, Theresa May, and Cava to toast an uncertain future? An unpredictable, heartfelt story of belonging, failure, and wanting to change the world.
Direction and dramaturgy by Ben Kidd and Jesse Briton, Derailed is created and performed by Mercè Ribot and Patricia Rodríguez, Thomas Abela, Dan Lees.