News: Fuel announce new online projects Charlie Ward At Home and Digital Farm

Fuel have today announced Charlie Ward At Home, a reimagining of Sound&Fury’s celebrated installation for audiences to experience at home for the first time. The installation will run from 22 June – 20 July, you can book a free ticket to access the piece from fueltheatre.com/projects/charliewardathome

Originally commissioned as part of 14-18 NOW’s opening season, marking the centenary of the First World War, Charlie Ward is an intimate and powerful piece, combining immersive sound design and mesmerising projections, that places the audience as patients at the heart of a wartime hospital. The installation premiered to critical acclaim at the Cinema Museum, London in 2014 before returning for a UK tour in autumn 2018.

C Ward. 1914. In a makeshift hospital, behind the front line, the war’s first casualties are treated. To boost morale, medical staff arrange for a Chaplin film to be shown for the bed ridden, with the ward’s ceiling serving as the silver screen. 

For one soldier, Harry, the flickering images, whirring projector and Chaplin’s perfect comic timing trigger complex emotions and memories. Transported from the trenches to childhood, from trauma to dreams, the experience sets him on a journey into a personal no man’s land.

Originally presented in a makeshift hospital tent with beds for an audience of ten, the installation has been redesigned by Sound&Fury to work binaurally through headphones and via laptops or projectors. New atmospheric sounds captured during the exceptional levels of silence experienced during the UK lockdown, combined with footage from Charlie Chaplin’s By the Sea, invoke the dream-like experience of being on C Ward at home.

Audiences will be encouraged to recreate the atmosphere of Charlie Ward by watching the piece whilst lying down in a quiet room made as dark as possible. Headphones are recommended for Sound&Fury’s immersive 3D sound spaces, whilst the video footage can be watched either on a laptop or via a projector if one is available. Upon booking a ticket, audiences will be sent a link to watch the installation, after which they will be asked to donate what they can towards the price of a ticket.

Kate McGrath, Director of Fuel said:

“After Barber Shop Chronicles at Home and alongside the ongoing digital tour of Love Letters at Home, I are thrilled that we are now able to share a reimagined installation for your own home in Charlie Ward, created by our long-time collaborators Sound&Fury. Fuel also continues its commitment to supporting producers through the migration and evolution of a version of Producer Farm to an online platform: Digital Farm will offer support and ongoing training to producers around the world in this critical moment.”

Digital Farm 2020, is a new initiative for UK and international producers developed in response to the cancellation of this year’s Producer Farm. It aims to address a need from producers for support and ongoing training throughout their careers as well as space and time to consider their current and future potential.

A joint initiative from Fuel, Bristol Ferment, Coombe Farm Studios and Dance Umbrella, Digital Farm will provide 23 producers with the opportunity to share experiences with their peers and respond to provocations and conversations led by the partners as well as guest speakers. These partners, along with In Between Time, have collaborated for four successful years on Producer Farm.

Each speaker will share a thirty minute reflection on themes including leadership in times of uncertainty and change, community engagement cultural democracy and sustainability. Digital Farm will run online from 22 – 25 June, after which highlights from the talks will be made available online throughout July starting on 3rd July via the Fuel website for the wider arts community to access.

Digital Farm 2020 speakers are: Stella Kanu (Executive Director of LIFT), Isabel Carlisle, (Director of the Bioregional Learning Centre), Mariko Finch (Deputy Editor of Digital Content at Sotherby’s), Margaret Wheatley (Founder and President of the Berkana institute) and François Matarasso (Community artist, writer and researcher).

Charlie Ward At Home will run from 22 June to 20 July. Tickets will be available from Monday 22 June at fueltheatre.com/projects/charliewardathome

Digital Farm will run from 22 – 25 June with highlights from the initiative released throughout July from the 3 July at fueltheatre.com/projects/digitalfarm

Photo credit: Fuel

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