[Logo image credit: Julian Howell, BPT Member]
The Songbird Café is our new show in development, under commission from Brighton Festival with a view to being part of the Festival in 2024.
The Songbird Café will be a family-friendly musical. The idea behind it is to explore the crisis in mental health, loneliness, and isolation which our members have said is the most pressing theme they want to explore, this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. However, The Songbird Café will be a magical, uplifting experience for all the family. We want people to sing and dance together and to have a good night out.
“Having all your ideas used in such a lovely way is very empowering. My mind woke up, it was as if old chambers had been suddenly re opened and treasure discovered. The sense of well-being this delivered was so incredible. Each session took me out of my ‘everyday’ into the utterly absorbing, oh so professional, world of BPT.”
The Songbird Café Participant
The show was developed by the Creative Team (below) in collaboration with our members from January – June 2022. There are four different artists who are each leading the development of their art form, in collaboration with Naomi Alexander, BPT’s Artistic Director, who is directing the production.
We ran a sixth-month period of Research and Development (R&D) on The Songbird Café which saw monthly and then weekly workshops led by our creative team with our members to co-create the show. We ran workshops in writing, singing and songwriting, movement and set and costume design. Participants were invited to choose the areas they wanted to explore and had the opportunity to take part in workshops across all the different art forms.
We are applying for further funding to develop the show in time for Brighton Festival 2024 and will announce details of this once the finance is in place, along with further opportunities for people living in Greater Brighton to get involved with the production.
Find out more about our Creative Team for The Songbird Café below.
The photos below were captured by Kaleido Shoots during our research and development day in February 2022.
The photos below were captured by Rosie Powell during our research and development day in June 2022.
Naomi Alexander is the Founder and Artistic Director of Brighton People’s Theatre. She co-directed our first show, Tighten Our Belts. Previously she has worked at Battersea Arts Centre and Old Vic New Voices.
Lou Cope is a Performance Dramaturg with over 15 years of experience in working with artists, organisations, and academic institutions to creatively and collaboratively develop both their processes and productions. Shows Lou has worked on have won: 2 Olivier awards, The Benois Prize for Dance, The Critics Choice Award, UK Theatre Award, Total Theatre Award, Amnesty International Freedom of Speech Award, ACTA Eastern Eye Award, Herald Angel Award & a Lustrum Award. She is also Dramaturg in Residence for South East Dance and works as an Organisational Dramaturg to a number of companies. She is an alumna of the Clore Pulse Leadership course.
Luisa Hinchcliff is an Arts Producer, working across theatre & dance, supporting a range of artists working to create bold and ambitious works. Alongside supporting independent artists, she has worked with numerous arts organisations The Place, the Unicorn, Watermill and National Theatres, as well as lecturing at Goldsmiths College and Mountview Academy.
Guy Hughes is a composer, musical director, and actor with previous experience working with the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, Cheek By Jowl, Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Everyman. His recent musical, The Lost Musical Works of Willy Shakes, was included in the Telegraph’s Top 20 shows to see at the Fringe 2019.
Kane Husbands is a theatre director specialising in movement, physical theatre and choreography. He has his own company, The Pappy Show, and is an associate for National Youth Theatre and Squint Theatre. He was part of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and 2016/17 Re:Bourne, Overture cohort.
Jack is a performer, theatre-maker, writer and facilitator. Prior to his work with BPT, Jack worked as a teacher, musician and actor and experimental film-maker Egg (2016), The Hex (2017) and Words (2018). Jack retrained in Theatre Laboratory at RADA in 2019 and now his practice focuses on co-creating physical theatre through play using embodied approaches influenced through his time working with David Glass Ensemble, Theatre Re, Peta Lily, Gabrielle Moleta Company and Gecko. Jack currently works with the devising ensemble Kreants, Saksi Bisou and Bunkum, whose recent experimental film Dangling Man was in the official selection at the London International Film Festival and the Montreal Film Festival.
Tim Simpson is the Managing Director of Plunge Creations. They make ambitious sets and installations with a number of high-profile clients including St Pancreas Int. Station, Tiffany & Co., London Fashion Week, Kronenbourg 1664, Lego, Argos, Thorpe Park, Cirque De Soleil, Madame Tussauds, and Pixar. Along with an incredibly talented team of makers and designers, Plunge has a range of technologies and a large workshop space to produce large-scale, ambitious, creative design projects.