Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 July, 2014
White Lab Central Saint Martins
The idea for this piece was conceived in 2012, when Josh was in the United States – where the place and perception of the British Royal Family is quite often questioned and, above all, a constant fascination. After some light research, the seemingly unknown story that Josh takes as his subject came to surface, and begged for dramatic treatment. Drawing massive influence from Katie Mitchell, George Aperghis andHeiner Goebbels, THAT WOMAN is a celebration and uncovering of the battles fought by one of Britain’s most scandalous couples – that resonates with today’s Royal Family – and a response to recent Royal events such as the Jubilee, Royal Wedding and birth of Prince George.
THAT WOMAN traces the lives of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson over the course of three very different scenes, beginning in 1936 – during the abdication crisis – and ending in 1981. The work exists, on one hand, in a rich audio world created by the electronic score and live performers and, on the other, in a vibrant visual world comprising scenes and vignettes created – using toys, pictures, lighting, mirrors and everything unexpected – by production assistants. The live action contrasts this with a bustling film set atmosphere. Scene 1 exposes the negative sentiment and stale situation that accompanied Edward VIII’s rise to the throne in 1936, as disapproval felt toward Wallis mounted. Scene 2 acts as the ex-‐King’s memoir: prosaic; the King retells the story of his abdication and the harsh events that immediately ensued. Scene 3 details Wallis’ side of the story in a groundhog-‐day manner; we live – with her – through every moment that she was alone, from 1937 to 1981.
Music: Josh Spear
Words: Ben Kelly
Director: Josh Spear
Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Suvi Peisanen
Costume: House of Ivory
Hair & Makeup: Adam Docherty Singers: Caroline Kennedy, David Jones Assistants: Richard Dodwell, Joe Hockley, Louiseanne Wong
Josh Spear is currently completing a Masters degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, where he studies under Edward Jessen. He is a grateful Trinity College London Scholar and a recent graduate of the University of Manchester (where he studied Clarinet, under Alan Hacker).
Ben Kelly is a Northern Irish writer and journalist. As a singer-‐songwriter, he has appeared on BBC’s The Voice and performed for The Queen at her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He is pleased to have written the text for THAT WOMEN, which marks his first contribution to Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival.
Suvi Peisanen trained at the University of Birmingham. Direction includes: Silver Point (Blue Elephant Theatre)
and Other People’s Gardens (LOST Theatre). Assistant Direction includes: The Cherry Orchard (Brockley Jack Theatre), Pool (Brockley Jack Theatre), The Spanish Tragedy (Blue Elephant Theatre) and Early Days (Finborough Theatre).
Rob Ivory studied pattern cutting at London College of Fashion. After working with Zandra Rhodes, he started up his own line of fashion and costume under the name: House of Ivory. He has worked with performers such as Vicky Butterfly at Café De Paris, Tempest Rose and the House of Burlesque.
Caroline Kennedy graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama’s opera school in 2011. Most recently, she covered The Dew Fairy, Hilde and Papagena (Scottish Opera), Cleonis/Love Medea and Josh/Lucy Perfect American (ENO), and has sung Papagena (Nevill Holt Opera), Cis (Mid Wales Opera), Amore/Valetto (Ryedale Festival) and Ninetta (Bampton Classical Opera). Future plans include cover Gretel (Pimlott Foundation).
David Jones studied at Oxford University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, supported by the Morag Noble scholarship. Recent highlights include: appearing on Radio 3’s In Tune with the Blossom Street Singers and Jonathan Harvey’s Passion and Resurrection. Recent credits include: Title Role Hamlet and Ariel The Tempest (Oxford Chamber Theatre).
Richard Dodwell is a performer based in London. He studied at Queen Mary, University of London and has been producing experimental work for theatre group The Blackburn Company since 2011. Current and previous company collaborators include: Katherine Angel, Philip Venables, David Hoyle and the artist Paul Kindersley.
This is twenty-‐year old Joe Hockley’s first public performance since leaving Frensham Heights school in the Summer of 2013. He now lives in West London.
Hong Kong born and bred Louiseanne Wong draws from this diversely cultured hub to create her own path. Having graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Music, she now studies MA Choreography at Trinity Laban College of Music & Dance. Her visions for the body and movement are subtle and iridescent – often blurring genres of performance Art poetically.