Earlier this year, AYT brought you news of the work of Hoxton Select, a panel of young people who were entrusted with programming Hoxton Hall‘s spring season, appropriately named Rebirth. The successful companies, who pitched their work to the panel and have been selected to perform as part of the season, have now been announced as the Lotos Collective, and Underbling and Vow.
The Lotos Collective is an inventive group of young professionals whose mission encompasses social inclusion and establishing dialogue between “locale, history and popular consciousness”. Its performances seek to place the audience as witnesses, producing collaborative and accessible art. Lotos Collective seeks to break the mould by finding alternative means of encouraging audiences to see its work. Its innovative approach, along with the promising exhibition of its work, won over the panel.
“Lotos’s pitch had everything: you’ve got the surreal narrative, the Junk Orchestra, the audience immersion in the dancing and circus acts. I think they’ll engage people on a number of different levels, and in ways that people won’t necessarily be used to”, explains Dan, a member of the panel. Natasha, a drama student at Goldsmiths, adds: “Lotos had so many interesting suggestions for involving the wider community, such as going round people’s houses and offering to collect their recycling, then giving out a leaflet for the show. I’d definitely be more likely to see a play if the cast had been round to empty my bins, even if I didn’t normally go to the theatre.”
Lotos Collective’s play, The Trial of the Mariner, is the story of a young group of sailors who are driven to insanity when they are lost at sea. Eventually, they arrive at the Plastic Continent of the Pacific Gyre, where the Mariner’s adventures are brought to life. The piece is inspired by two timeless classics: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. Having stayed true to itsmission, the Collective’s piece is an interactive fusion between dance, puppetry, circus arts and music. The Trial of the Mariner sets out to entertain, but revolves around a very serious subject: the ongoing destruction of our oceans and its devastating effect on climate change.
Underbling and Vow’s winning bid, ‘Ave a Banana: a Knees Up Through Time and Space, is a quirky, sing-along piece telling the tales of four Music Hall travellers as they use their gin-and-tea powered machine to transport themselves in and out of entertaining situations. When probed about the success of their pitch, Jillian McKeague, the scheme’s co-ordinator says: “Knees Up with Underbling and Vow are amazing. As soon as we saw them we were excited, they’re just so much fun! After the audition process we all went home dancing and singing their songs.”
The panel are clearly passionate about the companies they have selected to perform, and this May audiences at Hoxton Hall will be treated with the chance to see two very different pieces of theatre.
Hoxton Select – Rebirth Season, featuring The Trial of the Mariner by Lotos Collective and ‘Ave a Banana: A Knees Up Through Time and Space by Underbling and Vow, runs at the Hoxton Hall from 4 – 21 May 2011. Tickets are priced £5-£12.50 and are available from the box office: 0207 684 0060 / www.hoxtonhall.co.uk/whatson