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cambridge Junction Clifton way Cambridge CB1 7GX tel 01223 511 511 Company Reg. No. 2328810 Charity Reg. No. 801637 VAT Reg No. 700 1228 06


book online at junction.co.uk

Still House / Dan Canham: Ours Was The Fen Country (Will Hanke)


Welcome When I was growing up I thought the world would stay the same and my place within it would become increasingly stable. Now I’m a bit older, I’m amazed (sometimes dazed) but often excited by the rate of change. Social, economic, technological and cultural shifting sands swirl around us, simultaneously swallowing us up and pushing us onward. At Cambridge Junction we’ve been thinking about these shifts and how we can ensure we are an organisation that responds to change. We’re interested in creating a space where artists and audiences can explore and share experiences of the world we live in. Regardless of the ‘artform’ we’re presenting – whether theatre and dance, comedy, music, or anything inbetween – we’re interested in a space where art meets life. This year we’re relaunching as Cambridge Junction. It’s a small name change but one that starts by rooting us in Cambridge and signifying our location is important to us. Our name has always been a reference to our site beside the railway line but it also suggests an interest in a coming together and meeting. In imagining our future we’ve taken this idea of ‘the junction’ as a place of intersection, as one starting point to think about what we do. Adjunct is our new publication and one place in which we explore some of the ideas important to artists taking part in our programme. In Adjunct you’ll find listings of our arts events, which we have grouped around common interests and threads of ideas. Many thanks to the artists and writers for their thoughtful contributions and to Richard DeDomenici who suggested the title Adjunct. There’s lots more detailed information about all events online at junction.co.uk. I’m sure you’ll find something that interests you and the Junction team and I look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge Junction. Daniel Brine Director, Cambridge Junction

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For Richer, For Poorer Victoria Coren I always dress up for any poker tournament. Everyone dresses up for the televised events, but when there are no cameras the guys are usually in slacks and sports shirts, sometimes jeans if there isn’t a casino dress code. But I like to be smart, like Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve. Barbara Stanwyck was not a beautiful woman. In a generation of stars like Vivien Leigh, Lana Turner, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, she was quite an ordinary-looking girl. But in The Lady Eve – where Stanwyck plays a cruise-ship hustler on the high seas – she is beautifully turned out, wears her hair nicely and flirts effectively, all of which is a useful distraction from the fact that she is a brilliant card player. She’s easily capable of winning back Henry Fonda’s lost $32,000 in about three hands. (This film is Henry Fonda’s first attempt at playing the lover of a surprisingly able female poker player. He does it again in A Big Hand For The Little Lady. Twice in a lifetime, good work, Henry.) So: I wear a dress or skirt, cute, sometimes fitted, sometimes a lower neckline, but always quite modest. High-heeled shoes or boots. Black tights in a European country, no tights in Vegas. Clean hair, lipstick, but not full make-up or I’ll feel like a clown. Pink or gold watch, sometimes a little bracelet, usually a necklace. If it’s a televised tournament, there might be close-ups of my hands engaged in the constant obsessive shuffling and reshuffling of chips, so I might give myself a French manicure. Brightly coloured or scarlet nails are too vampy. But bare nails are risky because little bits of green baize are quick to accumulate under them, and I don’t want to look like I’ve just finished weeding the garden. There is a routine, then, before a tournament. Have a bath, wash my hair, dress nicely but not immodestly, add an unobtrusive slick of make-up, 4


sometimes a couple of coats of nail polish, a trace but not a full rattle of jewellery, a hint of perfume but not too much. Then take a deep breath, hide the nerves, go out there and smile. Sometimes, it makes me feel less like a poker player and more like an agency hooker. From For Richer, For Poorer by Victoria Coren. First published in Great Britain by Canongate Books Ltd. 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE. Victoria Coren writes a weekly column for The Observer and a bi-monthly column for GQ, presents the BBC4 quiz show Only Connect and the Radio 4 comedy series Heresy, and plays poker as a member of PokerStars Team Pro UK.

Urban Theatre Projects: Flamingo

At Cambridge Junction we’re fans of Victoria Coren and don’t mind a game of poker. If you are too, you might enjoy Urban Theatre Projects’ Flamingo. Interweaving spectacular card dealing, dance and nimble linguistics Flamingo is a fast paced, seductive show that explores the glamour and greed of casino gambling. The Cambridge Junction performance of Flamingo is made in collaboration with local amateur theatrical society members who have participated in a series of choreographic workshops with Urban Theatre Projects’ Artistic Director Rosie Dennis. Urban Theatre Projects is an award winning Australian theatre company that makes bold, poetic and adventurous work. Saturday 20th April 7.30pm J2

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All images are film stills from Gob Squad’s Live Long and Prosper

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Getting Involved Taking part including interactivity and audience and non-performer participation. Sam Halmarack and the Miserablites Part theatre, part stadium-pop concert: handclapping anthems and electro music to move and inspire. A lightning-fast journey from failure to euphoria in just a few songs.

Wednesday 20th February 7.30pm J2

Quiet Act of Destruction New Art Club Dividing the audience into Cambridgeshire’s own rival villages, Meldreth and Melbourn, these comedy-dance pioneers fuse wild games and activities for this true story.

Wednesday 6th March 7.30pm J2

We are Gob Squad and so are you & Live Long and Prosper Gob Squad (UK/Germany) A performance-lecture in which the boundaries between audience and performers will disappear completely, followed by a two-screen film playfully exploring death by re-enacting classic film scenes.

Thursday 21st March 7.30pm J2 Gob Squad will be hosting a four day masterclass at Cambridge Junction from Tuesday 19th – Friday 22nd March.

Flamingo Urban Theatre Projects (Australia) Part gamble, part social experiment interweaving spectacular card dealing, dance and nimble linguistics made in collaboration with local amateur theatrical society members.

Saturday 20th April 7.30 pm J2

Comedian Dies In The Middle Of A Joke Ross Sutherland An interactive piece of auto-theatre, reconstructing the last moments of a comedian’s life. Choose a role from bouncer, barman, critic, the rowdy party table, or even the comedian himself. Limited capacity.

Wednesday 24th April 7.00pm and 8.30pm J2

Troubadour SEGUE Touring by bicycle to local towns and villages, two Troubadours arrive carrying everything they need to perform their songs, sharing the tales of their journey.

Thursday 23rd May 7.30pm J2

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Dear Friend: This is, purposefully, a form letter. I am writing because a new show that I’m doing, entitled Purge, will involve you and the rest of my Facebook community. I will be inviting strangers to decide whether to keep or delete each of my individual Facebook friends.  Here’s how it will work:   1) The show will run 6 hours each day, with 5 minute breaks each hour and one one-hour break for lunch and dinner.

BRIAN LOBEL

2) Going in alphabetical order, each Facebook friend will be considered for one minute. Inside this minute, I will Describe my relationship with each person, Defend having them as a Facebook friend, and then it will be Decided whether to keep that relationship or not. I am well-aware that 1 minute is a woefully short amount of time, but it will allow me to perform the work and talk about each friend equally.  It will also prove an exhausting experience, and allow me to speak most from the gut where, I believe, friendships may be best evaluated. 3) Three audience members at a time will vote to KEEP or DELETE.  If deleted, I will send the contact a form letter (much like this) describing that three strangers, based on the information I discussed with them, have decided that we should not be friends, or that we should not be Facebook friends.   4) Because the audience members on the three-person panel will change constantly, each new panel will bring to the voting its own ethics about who should be one’s Facebook friend and who should not be.   5) The atmosphere will be a combination of casual coffee with friends and high-octane game show.  I will be making a few assurances to you, my friends, my Facebook friends, and all those in between.   1) I will not say anything untrue.

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2) I will have a live stream of the event available to be watched. This will evidence that I am not acting in bad faith, lying, or doing anything otherwise unethical.  3) I will discuss each person for only 60 seconds. 4) If you are still uncomfortable with Purge, but still want to be my Facebook friend, email me, we can find a way for you to be comfortable.   As I see it, you have a few options how to proceed from here. 1) Delete me preemptively.

3) Tell me the story you’d like me to relate about us to the audience in hopes of keeping our friendship, even electronically, alive. The project is not an endorsement of Facebook or its policies, nor is it a critique of them. It’s just that Facebook is the social networking site that I use the most at this time.

BRIAN LOBEL

2) Put me on ‘limited profile’ so that your information will not be seen by others.

Thank you so much for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.  I don’t mean to be so formal in an email - especially because I bet we have a very playful, meaningful friendship - but I wanted to get everyone this information.   Warmly, Brian

The one hour stage show of Purge tells the story of a durational, interactive performance where Brian Lobel subjected all his Facebook friends to the risk of deletion if he couldn’t argue for their friendship to three voting strangers. This is the letter that all his ‘friends’ received prior to that performance.

Wednesday 8th May 7.30pm J2

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tattenbaum-deluca on duets N: I’ d like to talk to you about duets. I’ve been working as half of a duet for two-years now (professionally) (whatever that means) but part of the same friendship-duo for a lot longer. I am used to people asking after her, my other half, when she’s not there. Or people calling me her name,or people calling her my name, or running them both together into a weird amorphous being of ‘Hana-and-Natalie’. We walk places together, two abreast (I like the image this conjures, but it’s not effortless, it usually means me waiting outside with her while she finishes her fag, or even just waiting on a street corner for her to arrive). We lived together, and that was pretty blissful, actually. We had a sofa each, and we would watch shows in which we both fancied the main character and drink herbal tea with sloe gin in. I’ d leave a light on for her when she worked late, and sometimes she’ d break-in through the french windows of my room when she was drunk and had lost her keys and I’ d wake up screaming because I really hated living in the country and thought it was some sort of monster-rapist but then we’ d laugh til we cried. She’ d politely ignore it when I had a boy in my room and throw me surprise birthday tea-parties. We both listened to each other endlessly, endlessly talk about men and relationships and art, and why that 68 was a real slap in the face and we should have got a First. And we congratulated each other when we finally did, in fact, get a First and the world spectacularly failed to care. We pulled each other through three years trapped in a field, through a bit of a weird time living in Berlin, through a train journey across America in which it always seemed that we were either hungover, or drunk. She carried the bags. I paid for the taxis.

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So it was weird that when we came face-to-face in a studio it was hard. I resented her notebook, she wanted me to shut the hell up and get on with it. She wanted to talk to me about things I found boring, irrelevant theory or somesuch and I just wanted to do the things I wanted without having to explain. I was overwhelming. She was unavailable. I was impulsive. She was risk-adverse. I’m happily writing this at work, in between selling people concert tickets, bashing it out the day I got the request and Hana....Hana will sit at home, for days, staring at a blank page, thinking and filleting and refining in the search for some perfect ever-elusive turn-of-phrase. She’s a perfectionist and I just want to git ‘er done. Obviously, this is of course why we work together, yadayada, we picked each other because we’re different, because the other represents everything we’re not, and that we want. Or alternatively, hate. In another life, with a different quirk of chemistry, maybe we’ d just want to f**k each other’s brains out. Instead, I only want to lick her brain and its clever ways. I want to watch it transform the stupid things I do and say, watch it chew them over, and then watch it give me them back, better than they were before. I want to watch her understand me. I guess she must feel something similar, although she’ d probably describe it differently, and with less licking.

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H: I’m sat at home, staring at the page and, as usual, you have bashed it out, and as usual I am searching for that ever-elusive turnof-phrase to give it back to you... In lieu of that, I’ ll respond to what you wrote, what it makes me think of. It’s been a six-and-a-half-year history, first as a friendship, then as a double-act. Seeing our name together written down as tatty-del - the graphic design commission, the joint artist statement, the website, it’s like a sort of marriage. We took all that history and became a ‘one thing’ that somehow had to fit the both of us into it. And, maybe like a marriage, all those differences that had made us laugh and squabble like siblings, hours on our sofas, became a sort of danger sometimes. When we speak now I feel the shadow that we might be speaking not for an ‘I’ but for a ‘we’. When you speak and I respond (with some boring, irrelevant theory or somesuch that compels me to argue that what you just said really was very relevant to heteronormativity or the ways that learning desire is being colonized toward a product-driven education economy that so totally is all about capitalism...) that sits uneasy, a tension of difference that threatens a break rather than a blossom in the space between us. But when we’re at it, arguing for hours because you think 50 Shades of Grey is inherently anti-women and I think that criticism of 50 Shades of Grey is inherently anti-women and we’re both gesticulating wildly, rattling away, laughing, choking and, maybe, sometimes, just about ready to strangle each other, there’s nowhere else I’ d rather be. Not because you’ ll ever agree with me but because we’ ll carry on regardless. When we lock the door at the end of the session we’re still looking at each other, still listening, and I half-feel like peace in the middle east might be that little bit more possible...

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And that’s where we meet. In the brief elated moments of agreement and in that generative antagonism that keeps us trying, working away at each other. We each tell half a story. I look at you and you speak all kinds of things I haven’t known before. We split the duties, you get to be the noisy, messy, centre stage and I get to be the awkward mate, the performance-partner who spends most performances looking vaguely pained at being up there. But I do get up there. To put on shows for a world that isn’t all happy endings and ‘you complete me’s, that recognises it’s really bloody hard and then goes ahead and keeps on trying. That there’s space up there (in here) for the Natalie (a Natalie) and the Hana (a Hana) and the very many other kinds of characters. With scribbly-bits and nobbly-bits and bits that just won’t fit inside that pre-set spotlight photo-frame. With respect and with compassion. Our duet a venndiagram forged in the overlapping of our linked arms. (Or: that I will write ‘ lapping’ where you will write ‘ licking’).

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tattenbaum-deluca: tatty-del are making it work (Dan Patrick Photography)


Relationships From digital acquaintances to best friends in couples therapy.

tatty-del are making it work tattenbaum-deluca Stand-up life/theatre following a tumultuous year for best friends, in which they hit the rocks, go into couples counselling and try to learn what it takes to hold two people together.

Wednesday 13th March 7.30pm J2

SAMPLE - DUET/part 2 h2dance Hanna and Heidi have decided they need more couple therapy. The Place Prize finalists take a brutally honest look at themselves, revealing truths and lies about their life as a twosome.

Thursday 14th March 6.30pm J3

Our Fathers Babakas An unforgiving tribute to fathers everywhere who tried to do their best. New theatre inspired by stand-up comedy, contemporary dance and video.

Wednesday 10th April 7.30pm J2

Purge Brian Lobel A show examining how we emotionally and socially interact with digital media, created after he gave strangers one minute to decide which of his Facebook friends to keep or delete.

Wednesday 8th May 7.30pm J2

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Changing fathers: men and family life in twentiethcentury Britain In October 1949, Daily Mirror agony aunt Sister Clare advised readers about fathers’ importance: ‘to his children, the man of the house is far more than Dad the bread-winner. He’s the apple of his baby daughter’s eye. The hero of his small son’s imagination. He’s the all-important influence—in what he says, in what he does and in how he behaves.’ This was more typical than might be assumed; throughout the twentieth century in Britain, and particularly since the 1940s, fathers’ importance and the value of their involvement has been highlighted, in popular newspapers but also advice books, magazines and similar literature. One might ask why: does this constant reminder of how important fathers are suggest that most men did not believe this? Or does this reflect the behaviour of involved fathers at this time? My research examines both the way fathers were represented in popular culture, and how families were actually living their lives. The start of the twentieth century saw the end of the Victorian era, with the Queen’s death in 1901. Yet the values of this period continued, and a strong male head of household was very important. Many historians suggest that the First World War was particularly influential in shifting societal attitudes around male and female roles, and there was much public debate on gender equality and the (perceived) differences 18


between men and women in the aftermath of the war. Men were often mocked in cartoons of the day fathers were often the butt of the joke, and were explicitly compared with their Victorian patriarch who was said to inspire a deep respect and even fear. The middle-class man in particular was treated as a figure of fun, in contrast to the workingclass father, who, many journalists and researchers suggested, retained at least a ceremonial position as the head of the family within his community. The interwar period was a time of much difficulty for many families; the depression of the late 1920s and 1930s saw very high levels of unemployment. In response, some men played more of an active part in family life, taking care of children whilst their wives worked and helping their families in ways other than financial provision. Others did not want to further jeopardise their already undermined masculine identity, and distanced themselves from anything that could be conceivably called ‘women’s work’. Babakas: Our Fathers

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By the 1940s and 1950s, there was an increasing emphasis on a ‘family-orientated masculinity’. In the wake of the Second World War, which saw thousands of men spending long periods of time away from their families, there was a new emphasis on fathers’ roles at the heart of the family. Researchers of the time suggested that fathers were becoming as important as mothers; one sociologist writing in the late 1950s found that around 85 per cent of the male and female workers interviewed said they shared equally the responsibility of the children’s welfare with their spouse. Let’s be clear – there were still some very important ‘rules’ for men, and it was crucial for them to remain ‘manly’ in their fatherhood. Whilst there was talk of an equality in responsibility between mothers and fathers, it was still commonly considered that they had different roles to play within their children’s lives. The late 1960s and 1970s saw a refocusing of fatherhood, with a ‘new man’ apparently emerging, one who embraced nappy changing and all the intimate details of parenting. By the late 1970s, most men attended the birth of their children, something largely thought of as out of the question in the 1940s and 1950s. Understandings of masculinity again shifted; whilst those becoming fathers in the middle of the century suggested that being anyway near the birthplace was ‘unmanly’ and many sought refuge in the pub or on the golf course, by the 1970s, manliness meant being a supportive figure and perhaps even cutting the umbilical cord. Since the 1990s, we’ve seen a suggestion that fathers have yet again become much more involved in family life, and indeed, there is much evidence of changing behaviour. The numbers of stay-at-home fathers has increased remarkably in the last decade, perhaps in the wake of the current economic recession. The government is looking at increasing the flexibility of parental leave to allow fathers to spend time with their new babies. Yet whilst fatherhood in the twentieth century has changed significantly, perhaps that change isn’t always as dramatic as one might assume. Whatever 20


time period you examine, you can find evidence of very involved and loving fathers. Many fathers took time off around the birth of a new baby, even before official paternity leave was introduced in 2003. And furthermore, there is abundant evidence that mothers still take on the majority of childcare today. My research suggests we should move away from sweeping generalisations about previous generations of fathers and look for a more complex history of men and family life. Whilst working at the University of Warwick, I worked with the theatre company Babakas. Their piece, ‘Our Fathers’ explores the lives of three fathers and their children, and contributes to that complex history of fatherhood that’s so important. Through informal discussions in rehearsals and a number of different public events, we explored fatherhood in the past and present - and both the theatre company and I learnt a lot from each other. Such collaborations between theatre companies, academic researchers, and members of the public can bring a new dimension to the theatre experience. The feedback we received from members of the public was testament to this, particularly as everyone can relate directly to this subject matter: we are all parents, know parents or have parents ourselves. As one audience member noted after watching the performance in June 2012, ‘it brought back unexpected memories, and the impact fathers can have in shaping our lives’. – Dr Laura King is a historian of fatherhood and family life in twentieth-century Britain and works at the University of Leeds. She is currently writing a book on fatherhood between the First World War and the 1950s, and is researching men’s experience of becoming a father from the 1950s to the present. She is also involved in promoting links between cultural groups, members of the public and universities. You can follow her on Twitter at @DrLauraKing.

A post show is discussion will follow the performance of Babakas’ Our Fathers at Cambridge Junction on Sunday 10th April

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Join us at Cambridge Junction for artist-led talks and networking events. Only the Lonely Produced and led by Claire Summerfield Launched at SAMPLED: Unfinished and Unleashed, 4 and 5 May No, not a staging, reenactment or live art interpretation of the Roy Orbison song... but a place to talk about art. Over the next 12 months a series of events will take place in and around Cambridge Junction exploring how we develop and interrogate art. More than just a ‘networking opportunity’ Only the Lonely presents a space for artists, producers, managers, designers (basically anyone involved in making art) to pause, reflect, and connect and maybe, just maybe, be challenged a little bit. Drawing from proven methods such as meals, the Long Table, Peachy Coochy Nites, and the Open Space format, Only the Lonely promises nourishment, a surprise guest or two and possibly just a little bit of fun.

Full details on junction.co.uk after the launch or contact Claire Summerfield the producer of Only the Lonely on c.summerfield@ntlworld.com.

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SAMPLE - Only Connect: Creative Conversations Curated by METIS Thursday 16 May 6.30pm, J3 For WORLD FACTORY, Simon Daw and Zoë Svendsen are working with Shanghaibased theatre director and cultural theorist, Zhao Chuan. Together they are researching the relationship between China and the UK as seen through the history of the global trade in textiles: from Engels in Manchester in the 19th century to the ubiquity of ‘made in China’ on UK clothing labels today. This public talk is led by METIS - a performing arts company that creates interdisciplinary performance projects through rigorous research – and is one in a series opening up discussions with experts who are helping them with the research for their new projects. Stemming from the notion of sharing process, knowledge and discoveries throughout artistic projects rather than keeping that work private in service of an end ‘product’, METIS hope these talks will also inspire further stories, ideas and artistic fodder for the development of work.


Junction University Short artist-led courses, workshops and experiences for the public exploring the intersection of art and life.

Saturday 16 February Create an invisible exhibition in The Fitzwilliam Museum with Luuk Schroder, write poetry inspired by records in the Cambridgeshire Archive with Anna Robinson, or explore Sonic Graffiti and install homemade sound modules with MrUnderwood and Bad Timing. Saturday 16 March Try out virtual tattoos using video-projection with Mamoru Iriguchi, write a manifesto detailing your ideas about art and its links to society and creativity with Charlotte Young, or create maps using dance and movement techniques with Filipa Pereira-Stubbs.

Saturday 06 April Transform political speeches into dance with Gillie Kleiman and Hamish MacPherson, write Haiku poetry inspired by subversive street art with Ben Mellor, or participate in a research field day investigating leisure with Possibility Archive. Saturday 18 May Turn ordinary moments in daily life in to dances with Igor and Moreno, create Mangathemed bento boxes in time for lunch with Irina Richards, learn about the social history debt whilst taking action against your own of all kinds with Harry Giles.

Full details online at junction.co.uk All Junction University events are free.

Images: Anna Robinson: Stories From The Archive Mamoru Iriguchi: Virtual Tattoo Parlour (Christa Holka)

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Still House / Dan Canham: Ours Was The Fen Country (Will Hanke)

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I can always remember – this is one for ya – I can always remember when I was just about 12 years old, when my uncle – he came in – this was one night. He came in with these eels… which had been caught. Got them on the table and they were about half as thick as your arm to nearly as thick as your arm at one end… okay, massive stuff. And er, I remember him just cutting the heads off, gutting them and skinning them right back. Granny cut them into two inch segments, threw ‘em in the frying pan and they were still wriggling. Okay? And that’s as true as I’m sitting here. And I could say “hell I’m not eating that.” But that’s how it was. Because you see an eel doesn’t die until the next moon. Dickie Doe, Upware, talks to Dan Canham for Ours Was The Fen Country.

And then there’s tales of eels having two brains because if you cut a head off an eel and skin it and gut it, that’ll still wriggle around for half an hour after. But we think that’s ‘cause it’s got like a prehistoric nervous system and it doesn’t know it’s dead. And what they used to do in the old days was – you get the heads off the eels and stick ‘em on your fingers, and they made brilliant finger puppets ‘cause their mouths would still be going for about half an hour after and you could scare the girls with ‘em. So, y’know, lovely little creature. I think they’re brilliant. But a lot of people find them scary. Peter Carter, Outwell, talks to Dan Canham for Ours Was The Fen Country.

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Made in the East, about the East

Quiet Act of Destruction New Art Club

Troubadour SEGUE

Dividing the audience into Cambridgeshire’s own rival villages, Meldreth and Melbourn, these comedy-dance pioneers fuse wild games and activities for this true story.

Touring by bicycle to local towns and villages, two Troubadours arrive carrying everything they need to perform their songs, sharing the tales of their journey.

Wednesday 6th March 7.30pm J2

Thursday 23rd May 7.30pm J2

Parkway Dreams Eastern Angles A heart-warming, nostalgic new musical documentary play using the real voices of architects, politicians and people who lived in Peterborough during the 1970s and 80s who transformed and grew the city.

Wednesday 1st May 7.30pm J2

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Ours Was The Fen Country Dan Canham / Still House produced by MAYK An ethereal piece of documentary dancetheatre, fusing movement and sound with the words of their native interviewees, getting to the heart of this beautiful, bleak expanse.

Thursday 30th May 7.30pm J2


Still House / Dan Canham: Ours Was The Fen Country (Will Hanke)

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-  Do you frequently use pop music in your performance work? -

Yes.

-

Would you say you love pop culture?

- Yes. - Would you say you hate pop culture? - Yes. -  Do you have a love/hate relationship with using pop culture material in your work? -

It’s a yes from us.

That’s 4 YESes. We really deserve to be here.

GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

All the usuals – stupification, mass sedation, objectification and commodification of bodies, perpetuation of heteronormative structures, you can be a star… blah blah blah. Many of the usuals collective reference, immediacy, accessibility, fun factor, cheap glamour, bad taste, catharsis, nostalgia, lightweight, you can be a star. In performance, using ‘pop’ references to critique society is not new. You could say it’s retro, derivative, passé, generic. Those are some of the things we love about it. It’s always a cover-version of itself. It only knows how to emulate – work by numbers – press buttons – fill a mould. It is utterly hopeless and weak when it comes to having a claim on anything new. And for that we salute it and consider it an excellent vantage point from which to start work.

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Jen looks to camera and takes a drag on a talcumpowder cigarette, then brushes wig out of her eyes. Camera pans around the table – Hester is fiddling with her Giant Hamburger necklace and chewing the leg of a pair of huge glasses. XXXX is playing in the background. Most of the light comes from a Macbook Pro screen. Lucy looks to camera and takes lollipop out of mouth, then swigs Diet Coke. Slow zoom-in...… Lucy McCormick: An artist using pop in their work might think “I’m doing this to myself, I’m using these pop references ironically and I’m co-opting them. I know about the politics around this, so I can do this anyway”. But the risk is we just want to be a popfantasised version of ourselves - we’ve actually got a secret desire to still be involved in that side of life and in that imagery, and maybe we all just need to stop revelling in it and giving ourselves an excuse to use it, because it buys into the biggest load of bullshit. ‘Irony’ can really be an excuse to -

GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

It’s the ‘4 EVER’ relationship between pop and irony that’s difficult. While we find irony useful, we have been wondering if it’s ever possible to uncouple it from pop. For example, it seems to us that if you play/use/reference a famous pop song on stage, you are (usually intentionally) creating a moment which brings notions of aspiration, attempt and the pathetic into the room. And as soon as we have amateurism and aspiration in the room, we probably have irony quite close by.

Hester Chillingworth: - just do the thing and enjoy the thing that you know there are problems with? LM: Yeah. Jennifer Pick: I think we have to be strict with ourselves. I remember when we first put music back into Big Hits, we put loads of tracks on and it was like a binge, because it was just so great to have it back. But we pared it down, and got very specific about the songs we use and why we play them. I think as long as everyone has a sense of ‘why’.…

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HC: Okay, so with the rabbit in Big Hits…what’s the function of that? You could say that is very ‘pop culture’ costume - it’s in that aesthetic of trashy and tacky. It looks easy and immediate and synthetic. And cute. But why do we feel the need to have that there? Is it to undermine, so that even if Lucy is singing a great song strongly, the moment is always problematised? JP: Yeah, because if it’s not there it becomes very different. Unless you’ve got something there that personifies pop, and holds its hands up to the saccharine-ness of it, you’ve just got a half-naked man, and a woman singing a song really well. But the rabbit is there to enjoy itself too, and I think it’s good to put that on stage. GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

HC: So that the show isn’t raising an eyebrow at its own content all the time? JP: Exactly. LM: We talk about love/hate of pop culture, but in Big Hits, it is the hate that prevails, isn’t it? I mean, is there a lot of love in that show, do you think, really? HC: It feels like the hate of the love…Hating that one loves it. There’s always the two sets of people in the room - there’s those three people on stage and then there’s GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN. You might think those three people on stage have big problems with what’s going on, but GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN probably really love it. LM: I don’t think there’s a lot of celebration in it at all. HC: The fullness of your voice, of the rabbit costume, of the rejection and objectification of Craig - it’s like, “seriously, are you going to treat him like that?”- the fullness and unapologetic nature of these moves, I think makes them quite celebratory. And when Jen starts off in the rabbit costume, she does some proper celebrating.

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LM: But the rabbit is undermining the stage picture – it completely doesn’t fit with the performance of the song – so it’s not like it’s just a celebration.

HC: Yeah - the backing track is rubbishquality, has no vocals, and plays through a rubbish PA. Which are all specific efforts to not have ‘the epic pop song’ fully in the room. There’s this depressing thing, where you can know that no matter how carefully you craft something, what interesting conversations you have, or how much you really build something… it’s always possible that if you just played a great pop song there, it would have the same effect – JP: Or at least, it would be instantly accessible, that effect. HC: And it would do the job you are striving to do with other things. And it can make you feel like, ‘shall we stop?’.

GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

JP: The rabbit’s dancing to the backing track, which, because it’s a crappy track, is itself a huge thing that is already undermining the song. The rabbit’s almost the visible part of the backing track.

Silence. Jen walks over to window. Outside it’s raining. Soft focus in foreground - Hester is redundantly pressing keys on the Macbook Pro. Camera goes wide as Lucy stands suddenly and karate kicks the table with her gold high heel - Diet Coke, lollipops, nail varnish and cables scatter in slow motion across the room. Close-up on Lucy’s face as she gives the camera some Attitude. Sudden pullback – Hester and Jen are in formation with Lucy. Dance begins. Hester Chillingworth, Lucy McCormick, Jennifer Pick

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GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN: Big Hits (Ludovic des Cognets)

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Pop culture meets art The point of intersection where art meets life. Music, comedy and film as formats and inspiration for theatre and the odd bit of biting attack. Big Hits GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN “Hello, we’re Big Hits. We’re going to blast our hearts RIGHT OUT for you, right here for you.” New theatre staring hard at censorship, propriety and pop culture.

Wednesday 13th February 7.30pm J2

Sam Halmarack and the Miserablites Part theatre, part stadium-pop concert: handclapping anthems and electro music to move and inspire. A lightning-fast journey from failure to euphoria in just a few songs.

Wednesday 20th February 7.30pm J2

The Furies Kindle Theatre Smashing together rock, metal and soul songs with text and poetry, drastically retelling the Greek tragedy of Clytemnestra. Loud, beautiful, unforgiving and passionate.

Wednesday 27th February DJ set from 7.30pm Show 8.30pm J1

We are Gob Squad and so are you & Live Long and Prosper Gob Squad (UK/Germany) A performance-lecture in which the boundaries between audience and performers will disappear completely, followed by a two-screen film playfully exploring death by re-enacting classic film scenes.

Thursday 21st March 7.30pm J2

The Odyssey The Paper Cinema Raging storms and supernatural forces prevail over one man’s almighty quest to get home. A silent film created before your eyes, set to a live score from exceptional musicians.

Tuesday 16th April 7.30pm J2

Comedian Dies In The Middle Of A Joke Ross Sutherland An interactive piece of auto-theatre, reconstructing the last moments of a comedian’s life. Choose a role from bouncer, barman, critic, the rowdy party table, or even the comedian himself. Limited capacity.

Wednesday 24th April 7.00pm and 8.30pm J2

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SAMPLE – h2dance: DUET/part 2

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Cambridge Junction is a centre for both the presentation and the development of innovative contemporary performance and we want everyone to know what’s been happening in J3, our studio space. We’re giving the space for artists to use, and sometimes we’re going to let you in... At Cambridge Junction, we’re interested in the kind of shows that need audiences. Performances that wouldn’t exist without the audience. Shows and experiences made for the live moment: teetering on the edge, about to fall off. Contemporary theatre doesn’t need fourth walls and we don’t own a curtain. To be a development house for performance for audiences, the artists making the work need to be able to test ideas with audiences and we want to be able to provide the contexts for risk-taking sharings of unfinished work with true, local audiences. We would like to invite you see the process of creating a show and, in some cases, to shape its progression and development, to take a risk. We like a risk.

SAMPLE is the brand for unfinished work shown in our programme, inspired by Junction’s annual Sampled Festival. The three types of unfinished performance you may see are: SAMPLE When an artist or company has been in our J3 studio developing something that’s taking shape and they’re keen to get some feedback from the public, they’ll be presented as SAMPLE-. The formats will change depending on what’s ready, but it’ll be crying out for an audience and ripe for the shaping. Lengths will vary. Always £3 SAMPLEr night The new name for JAM, Junction’s long running short work-in-progress night featuring three to four short performances from local and national theatre makers in the early stages, followed by feedback from audiences. Always £3 SAMPLEd festival: Unfinished and unleashed The annual festival gets a makeover. This year it’s a radical festival of work-in-progress at all stages, from artist pitches and yet-tobe-realized ideas, shows in development and some questioning the status of ‘finished’. Programme announced March 2013. We hope you’ll join us for some or all of the SAMPLE opportunities this season. And we hope to be able to show you some of the finished products in the future.

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SAMPLE- Holidad Bryony Kimmings and Richard DeDomenici Short pieces of writing, stand-up comedy, acting and video responding to a trip retracing holidays with their estranged fathers, for a project to better their art.

Friday 1st February 6.30pm J3

SAMPLE- Hunt and Darton Hunt and Darton They are working on some more Art and think it’s going to be about boredom. There will be more moves, poems and probably leggings. They are the opposite of bored about this.

Friday 15th February 6.30pm J3

SAMPLE- The Hugh Hughes Radio Project Hoipolloi In one of his boldest experiments to date, join Hugh in his rehearsal room, sharing his most joyful and moving stories whilst also broadcasting live across the web.

Thursday 28th February – Saturday 2nd March 6.30pm J3

SAMPLE- DUET/part 2 h2dance Hanna and Heidi have decided they need couple therapy. The Place Prize finalists takes a brutally honest look at themselves revealing truths and lies about their life as a twosome.

SAMPLER Night Our new-look evening of experimental, early-stages performance that’s begging for an audience and deserving of your feedback to shape it. Formerly known as JAM.

Sunday 24th March 7.30pm J2

SAMPLE- Idiot-Synchrasy Moreno Urzelai and Igor Urzelai Looking into their personal identities and values Moreno and Igor reflect upon wider social and political dynamics through their bodies, words and voices.

Thursday 2nd May 6.30pm J3

SAMPLED FESTIVALUnfinished and Unleashed Cambridge Junction’s annual weekend of new, innovative contemporary performance returns with a new focus on fresh ideas and work in progress. The festival programme will be announced in March.

Saturday and Sunday 4th -5th May

SAMPLE- BLOW Holly Bodmer An eccentrically discordant and un-harmonious performance exploring unhappy relationships between music teachers and pupils; the pressure of music examinations and the unsightly spit that falls out of blown instruments.

Thursday 30th May 6.30pm J3

Thursday 14th March 6.30pm J3 37


SAVE THE DATE! SAMPLED Festival: Unfinished and Unleashed Saturday 4th May & Sunday 5th May Cambridge Junction Sampled is Cambridge Junction’s annual weekend of new performance. We are a centre for both the presentation and the development of innovative contemporary performance and we are keen to invite audiences to see the process. In 2013 it will celebrate artists’ creative processes; the ideas behind, and the development of all kinds of performance. Visit junction.co.uk for the line-up announcement in March.


book online at junction.co.uk

Still House / Dan Canham: Ours Was The Fen Country (Will Hanke)


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Adjunct (issue #1)  

Cambridge Junction's first 'zine' covering the Spring 2013 season with contributions from Brian Lobel, tattenbaum-deluca, Babakas, GETINTHE...

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