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curious directive

six innovative projects contemplating our future

“A bright young company” – The Guardian

curious directive the nano story of our theatre company curious directive, based in the East, was founded in 2008. We’re an emerging ensemble of theatre makers working with scientific ideas. We create innovative devised theatre which encourages its audiences to be curious about the world, peering through the lens of science. We are curious about everything. Over the past 3 years we have created 14 pieces of devised work. In 2012, we’re delighted to announce our first collection of work; the HEXAGON season.

“By traversing theatre and science, this troupe has pulled off something special.” - New Scientist @c_directive “A company clearly destined for great things.” - The Telegraph

2009 2010 2011

THE HEXAGON SEASON six innovative projects contemplating our future

A HEXAGON of projects collaborating with 7 scientists, 19 venues and festivals and 21 devisers to craft 132 hours of science inspired theatre. During the spring and summer of 2012, curious directive are creating a HEXAGON of exciting new devised theatre projects. Devised theatre, with mysterious evolutionary patterns, is often extremely difficult to predict. But nonetheless, we thought we’d introduce you to our season so that you have a chance to catch us along the way. The six sides of our season reflect our constantly evolving approach to making science-inspired theatre. From our first tour to an invigorating r&d project and from collaborations with writers to an exploration of small scale theatre experiences, HEXAGON provides audiences, at six difference scales, with the opportunity to get to know the company, the work and the lens through which the company makes theatre. We believe in the stunning worlds of anaesthetics, epigenetics, marine biology, meteorology, myrmecology, perfumery and zoology. Welcome to the HEXAGON SEASON. Jack Lowe Artistic Director


FEB • MAR APR • 2012


curious directive

YOUR LAST BREATH, our Fringe First winning show, will tour to the Eastern region and nationally. Overview 1876 Christopher leaves his young family behind to work in Norway. He will map the uncharted mountains for the very first time. 1999 Anna’s body freezes after an extreme-skiing accident and her heart stops. But doctors gradually warm her until it miraculously starts beating again. 2011 Freija, a successful business woman, has just lost her father. She travels to scatter his ashes in Norway. 2034 Nicholas explains a medical breakthrough which saved his life as a baby, whereby the human body can be ‘suspended in animation.’ Spanning 150 years, curious directive fuse movement, live piano score and video unravelling the landscapes of the heart and our own personal geographies. Developed with the support of Jersey Arts Centre. Catch us at: Ustinov Studio, Bath; Jersey Arts Centre; Chipping Norton Theatre; Richard Burton

Theatre, RWCMD; Norwich Playhouse; Colchester Arts Centre; Camden People’s Theatre (SPRINT); Pleasance Theatre, Islington; West Yorkshire Playhouse (TRANSFORM); Auden Theatre, Holt; Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and The Lowry, Salford Quays.

“Rigorous, inventive and intelligent” The Guardian

“Simultaneously sad and stunning” The Scotsman

“The show’s staging is supremely imaginative” The Telegraph


MAR • APR 2012


West Yorkshire Playhouse (Furnace) & curious directive IN THE IMAGE OF YOU is a development laboratory project with the West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of a new work development programme, Furnace. Overview IN THE IMAGE OF YOU explores the fabric of the human body: DNA. 1952 Travelling between London, Paris and Lebanon, we follow Rosalind Franklin, the true character behind the discovery of the structure of DNA. 2013 Marcus is locked out of his flat in London. He sits on his doorstep, contemplating what he has just unearthed. He has just found evidence for a remarkable breakthrough in genetics. The secret of life, our genetic code, is over 4 billion years old. The key to its discovery was unravelled not by Crick and Watson, but by one extraordinary woman on a rainy afternoon. Furnace is about creating new work with performance makers from West Yorkshire and beyond: placing artists and audiences at the centre of the development and realisation of theatre. Made in collaboration with the University of Leeds Genetics department and developed through Furnace.


MAY 2012


HighTide Festival Theatre & curious directive BINARY is a new development scheme focusing on the relationships between scientists and the written text for performance. Overview BINARY sees curious directive asking two playwrights to choose an area of science which they are curious about. Following this, we are pairing the playwrights with a scientist of their choice in the creation of a hybrid piece of theatre. The process of creating the work is the focus, whereby curious directive bridge a relationship between scientists and writers to explore a new creative landscape. At the High Tide Festival, a symposium style presentation will reveal the workings of the collaboration as well as sharing the two world premier pieces of performance text. During the performance of BINARY, an Eastern based scientist will explain the writing process and an Eastern based playwright will explain the scientific process explored in the writing; thus creating a BINARY. By exploring the writer-scientist relationship, we hope to develop new modes of incorporating the written word into our devised projects. Playwright Ian McHugh in collaboration with Marine Biologist, Ellen Husain (BBC). Playwright Alexandra Wood in collaboration with a Meteorologist (UEA). bi·na·ry [bahy-nuh-ree, -ner-ee] noun - a whole composed of two. BINARY is being created through HighTide Festival Theatre’s organisational development programme Jerwood East supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.


JUNE • JULY 2012


curious directive OLFACTORY sees our return to making outdoor work on a new, intimate scale, it will form part of the Lyric Hammersmith’s Theatre in the Square season this summer. Overview A one-on-one experience in a specially commissioned outdoor structure, OLFACTORY explores our invisible relationship with perfume and smell. What is the smell of your family? Your mother’s perfume, freshly cut grass or the smell of a scarf? The piece will invert these nostalgic associations and take you deep into the fabric of what you could smell like in the future. If you could create an identity of what you want to be, what would that smell like? Made in collaboration with the generous support of Gorilla Perfume at Lush.


MAY • AUG SEPT • 2012


curious directive in association with Watford Palace Theatre AFTER THE RAINFALL is our follow-up piece at the Edinburgh Festival, and explores our evolving capacity to make mid-scale work interrogating the zeitgeist. Overview Throughout history, the study of ants (myrmecology) has been used as an analogy for human behaviour. AFTER THE RAINFALL uses myrmecology as a prism through which to view the present day. Globally the sound of the youth is building. We traverse time periods, social media graveyards, airports, sandstorms, mines and post-colonial struggles to dig deep into the heart of domestic and global political patterns. And you should listen. Carefully. Our distinctive fusion of multi-media video, live music, dynamic movement, sound, scenography, sand art and multi-layered narratives, 18 young creatives will collaborate to weave a piece which will capture hearts and minds. Made in collaboration with Simon Watt (BBC Inside Nature’s Giants) & Henry Ferguson-Gow (Institute of Zoology.) AFTER THE RAINFALL will preview at Sampled: Festival of Performance (5th6th May) at the Junction, Cambridge, is part of the Escalator East to Edinburgh programme and will show at the Watford Palace Theatre after the Edinburgh Festival.


SEPT • 2012


by Alistair McDowall curious directive

LIGHT IN THE NORTH is the first experimentation with a writer as the lead artist on a curious directive project. Overview Earth is drowning. The ice caps have long since melted, leaving a significant section of our land mass underwater. The human race clings to the last inhabitable scraps of land not lost to floods, drought or war, surviving on sporadic rations of artificial food. The invention of a drug able to induce a form of immortality has resulted in vast overpopulation. Outlawed by the government for a hundred years, over one million immortals still walk the earth, increasing daily due to backstreet ‘dosers’ able to provide a crude copy of the drug. Detectives Kim and McKenzie are in pursuit of a serial killer posing as a doser and leaving a string of hideously mutated corpses in his path across the globe. Their search will span desolated continents, through crowds of dislocated immortals and eventually off the planet itself, where the first signs of a mass exodus lie. Our work throughout the year will culminate in a staged reading.

curious team for

THE HEXAGON SEASON Artistic Director Jack Lowe Co-General Managers Ben Canning and Hannah Schmitz Associate Producer Sophie Larsmon Associate Producer Mark Cartwright Archivist and Design Jasmine Robinson HEXAGON Season Ensemble* William Cardozo-Boohan, Gwendolen Chatfield, Francesca Duncan, Elizabeth Holmes, Helen Miscioscia, Patrick Osborne, Karina Sugden, Gareth Taylor, Sam Wilkin, Mark Weinman and Russell Woodhead. HEXAGON Season Creatives** Adam Alston, Alice Birch, Sherry Coenen, Cai Dyfan, Georgia Lowe, Alistair McDowall, Ian McHugh, Jasmine Robinson, Oscar Robinson, Rhys Thomas, Jo Walker and Alexandra Wood. Programme Artwork & Layout Andreas Brooks / Board of Trustees Holly Kendrick (Chair 2011/12), Oliver Andlaw, Anna Cook, Sam Maynard, Howard Potts and Nick Roddick. Charity number: 1144024

Press Contact: Artistic Director: *: more to be cast throughout 2012 **: more to be finalised throughout 2012


Brochure for curious directive's THE HEXAGON SEASON 2012