Our Artistic Director Chris O’Connell has been busy over the last year working as a writer on a project with the Royal Shakespeare Company called Faith. It premiered in September as part of Coventry City of Culture’s programme, and you can watch it back on the live stream links that followed its performance on the day.
We say followed, because the piece, which consisted of four short plays, two by Chris and two by Chinonyerem Odimba, were situated in and performed on the streets, moving the audience in promenade across various parts of the city. “It was a fun and stimulating process,” Chris said, “not only trying to capture the essence of Coventry in the plays, and the city’s relationship to faith in both a religious and non-religious context, but also to see them come to life across the actual physical landscape of the city.”
All four plays can be seen within the Youtube website here or embedded in this blog post below.
Chris has also been busy on Radio 3 contributing to their series The Essay. He was tasked with writing about what makes Coventry specific to him, and asks the question: If Coventry was a character, what would it be?
You can listen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00101t1
Talking of process, our next piece to be seen at the Shop Front Theatre is called The Only Way Out Is In and features one performer and one audience member. The work is made by Sharron Devine, who Chris met several years ago at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after seeing her work there. They have long held plans to bring Sharron’s human-specific take on theatre to Coventry. “One to one work really is special,” Chris says, “you are held in the spell of the space, aware that only you and the performer are witness to the moment, that this is a unique slice of your day that no one else will know about.”
To learn more about Sharron’s fascinating practice and the development of the work, following our social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @theatreabsolute to watch regular short bursts of videos of Sharron responding to various questions around creative process. Here is one below where Sharron introduces herself:
The Only Way Out Is In runs from to 20th-23rd October. See here for details of times and how to book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-only-way-out-is-in-by-sharron-devine-tickets-169867354831
Cover image of Chris O’Connell by Vigen Avetisyan.