2019 started with a bang! Our call out for performers for Bridge resulted in over 90 performers, including circus artists, dancers and physical actors, submitting applications from places as far flung as Russia, China and Birmingham! We have ploughed though hours of showreels and auditioned 30 amazing performers in Birmingham and London.
Our outdoor arts producer training programme is underway, with our 7 bursary producers and project managers attending the first two days of training in Coventry led by Helga Henry and Lara Ratnaraja.
In Coventry and Grantham the project teams are busy meeting groups and artists who might become our partners in creating work for our residencies in September.
February also saw the official launch of the Bridge project in Worcester, with a business launch in the Guildhall and meeting of some 40 artists and organisations keen to get involved in the project in 2020.
Meanwhile the next version of the Bridge design is being worked on by designer, Dan Potra, ahead of a two-day design meeting in mid-March to agree the final design for the structure ready to begin the build in early April. This week our ingenious design assistant Lauren Dix joined us with her sketch model of the Bridge for a two hour meeting with Circus Director Paul Evans, dramaturg Nick Walker, performer Tiago Fonseca and Bridge Director Orit Azaz to look at how the structure will support performance and what the audience experience will look like.
Our colleagues at Arup are busy modelling our DaVinci bridge kits which will offer communities and artists an opportunity to build their own Bridge, bringing together people who would not normally meet, and sharing experiences of building and burning bridges, hopefully bridging some of the divides in their own communities. Prototype kits have been trialled at the Daimler Powerhouse, with death defying test of its load-bearing capability by Arup pioneer Derek Lawrence!
As we speak I am on a train to London for another set of workshop auditions and we are on target to fully cast the show ahead of our next major milestone, our first performance R&D week in March, where the core creative team and cast will explore the performance vocabulary and initial narrative ideas for the performance.
March 4 2019