So where were we? In India. We’re not there any more, so here is a blog post that is about a million different things, because we never wrote anything to conclude that, never mentioned what’s coming from it, what we’ve been doing since, what we will do next, and this feels like as good a place to put all these things down as anywhere. The sun is shining, I’m on the train from London to Bristol and whilst the pastoral scenes outside are lovely, I can afford to type in to my computer for a bit to put something here.
India was amazing. It’s hard to fully express how brilliant it was, to explain the way the festival worked, to communicate the strength of the friendships we formed out there, We’ll never be able to adequately thank the people who made us feel so comfortable and well looked after, so many miles from home.
It’s now two months on, and I’m trying to reflect. A few things;
We’re fucking missing this, a lot:
Thespo is a brilliant festival. In many ways it resembles the annual National Student Drama Festival that happens here in the UK, but differs in it’s total commitment to YOUTH. The festival is organised, staffed, performed by under 25s. QTP, the company who started the festival 15 years ago place enormous trust and responsibility for this huge organisational feat in the hands of the people that the festival is, after all, for. I can’t think of anything in the UK that runs like this, so it feels important to point this out. In this country these jobs would be called an ‘internship’, or ‘apprenticeship’. Mithila Palkar, who is 22 (and amazing) would not be given the title of Festival Director over here. I can’t see it happening.
Mumbai is a surprisingly safe place to be a woman. It is a much safer place to be a woman than anywhere else in India, and because of this it is home to an amazing array of strong, independent Indian women with careers and opinions and their own homes. I was amazed at how much safer I felt in December, with Jojo, than I had when travelling in India four years ago with my boyfriend at the time. Part of this is undoubtedly to do with being older, and with being in the country for work rather than as a tourist, but I do believe you can feel a shift in Mumbai that wasn’t there even when we travelled to Pune and Panchgani, which are relatively close to the city.
I already can’t imagine the smell of the city but I remember what I wrote about it at the time (in all the postcards and letters that never got to their recipients, perhaps a Mumbai postal worker was offended by my description of the smells and put them in the bin?) – sea / faeces (human) / spice / sweat / street food / dust / pollution / faeces (animal) / cigarettes / fish / noise. Noise isn’t a smell, but I think in Mumbai noise smells.
There are lots more paragraphs about things that could go here, but then it wouldn’t be a ‘few things’, but many, and perhaps you wouldn’t read the rest.
Here is one very exciting thing: It is looking like we will get to smell Mumbai again! We are brewing a plan for a new show, that will hopefully premiere at Thespo next year, and also looking into setting up an exchange between young Indian and UK based companies. We’ve had a few positive conversations lately with people that might be able to support each of these projects, so all going well – and obviously funding dependent – we will find ourselves back in Mumbai, and for longer, and with a show!
TIPS FOR THE REAL WORLD
Tips for the Real World is a performance lecture/website/zine that we started working on about a year ago. It’s a survival guide for graduate artists. We want it to be the resource that wasn’t available to us when we were students.
We’ve performed the lecture a few times, at Falmouth and in Bristol (at In Between Time/The Showroom Projects’ Beginning in the City event) and recently went down to Falmouth again to do it for the careers department there, which went down really well. We’re now looking to take this to more universities across the country. The lecture has dancing and music and stories and boobs in it, which we think makes it better than a lot of lectures that don’t have these things in them.
The website for it has taken us ages to get together but it’s now UP, and you can see it here: www.tipsfortherealworld.co.uk . We hope you like it.
The amazing Jo Hellier also made us a video about it that you can watch on the website, under the ‘lecture’ section. What a babe.
VOLCANO TOUR (last thing, promise)
Volcano is on the road! We’ve just got back from performing at Shoreditch Town Hall in London all weekend (which was really nice) and are now getting our act together to take it to Cambridge, Cardiff, Rose Bruford (Sidcup) and Salisbury between March and June. You can see all our dates on our website here.
The arts council gave us money to do this, which is really, really nice of them. It’s so great (and unfortunately unusual for most artists of our age) (/any age?) to be able to pay yourself for the work you do. I’d highly recommend it. This also means that we can afford things like FLYERS which is pretty cool. We’ve now got 5000 copies of the same typo! Hooray! They’re still pretty cool though.
When we were in Shoreditch Paul White also came up to take some photos of the show. They are amazing and we will post some on here this week.
Is that enough? That’s probably enough, probably too much. Sorry if you got bored.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is: we’re busy, there’s a lot going on, we feel okay about it all.
I hope you feel okay too.