Talking/Making/Taking Park: a festival of theatre and discussion
22 and 23 November 2014, Ovalhouse, London
Do you love watching plays but find participation alarming?
Do you love thinking about theatre but find it hard to talk about?
Then this is the festival for you…
Dialogue’s first festival invited audiences to participate in informal discussions and interactive performances, to join in building a temporary community and discover new ideas to take out into the world. Curated by Maddy Costa and Jake Orr of Dialogue, in collaboration with Ovalhouse, Culturebot (NYC), Theatre Bristol and Something Other, the festival involved:
- 14 artists performing one-on-one or small groups works, which invited audiences to smash up china, talk about feminism and gender transition, follow a toddler, take the UK citizenship test, swap stories of magical thinking, answer a survey of questions asked in Sex and the City, have a tarot reading, and more;
- 7 speakers – including Andy Horwitz from Culturebot, Tanuja Amarasuriya from Theatre Bristol and Mary Paterson from Something Other – leading discussions about participation, politics and new approaches to theatre criticism;
- 2 interactive shows in the Main Theatre;
- and a free lunch for everybody on both days!
Talking/Making/Taking Part was generously supported by an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts. This enabled Dialogue to pay all of its artists and weekend hosts, and to target this event at people who wouldn’t usually attend theatre discussions or participatory work, by keeping ticket prices low – the full-price rate for a weekend ticket was £10 – and working with community and engagement specialist Lily Einhorn to reach out to local groups.
You can read more about the festival – including reflections from the organisers and participants – and see films and photos of the event, under the Documentation tab.