Sneaky listen...

We're well into our production week here at Nottingham Lakeside Art and Hubbub is shaping up beautifully.  To give your ears a sneaky listen to the treats in store we've recorded three pieces from the show.  Enjoy

All tracks recorded live in rehearsal at Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Performed by members of the Aurora Orchestra: Florence Cooke - violin; Sophie Rivlin - cello;  Massimo Di Trolio - clarinets; Lully Bathurst - bassoon

Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.....

Well our first development week was certainly cheerful and full of balloons, pillow fights, sailing and of course that pesky beetle.  All is very bright at Mishmash HQ with the production of Hubbub: A Musical Adventure right on track and looking (and sounding) spectacular.

I've pasted below a few little teaser photos of the cast in full flow!  Enjoy, and please visit the Projects page where you'll find more info on the show and how to buy tickets.


Sneaky peek...

Well everything is gearing up at MishMash HQ for the start of our residency at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, and in just over a month we will looking forward to the grand premiere of Hubbub: A Musical Adventure.

More info on Hubbub can be found on our projects page, details about tickets for our autumn 2015 shows can be found in the blog post below, and a promo pack for venues interested in programming Hubbub in 2016 can be found here.

Although the cast don't get together until next Monday the creative team have been hard at work over the summer, particularly Hannah our designer and below is a sneaky peak at her lovely costume designs - it's all going to be very magical!

In the starting blocks

As we’re speeding towards the autumn and our final development weeks, premiere and tour all is very exciting at MishMash HQ.  Our promo pack has been wired to nearly 60 venues and the first enquiries for 2016 are coming in. You can find a copy of the promo pack here.

In the meantime tickets are now on sale at all 4 of our autumn 2015 venues:

Saturday 17th October Nottingham Lakeside Arts – 10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm

Tuesday 27th October The Apex Bury St Edmunds – 10am and 11.30am

Saturday 31st October Kings Place London – 10.30am and 12pm

Sunday 1st November CBSO Centre, Birmingham – 1pm and 3.30pm (co-promotion with BCMG)

You’ll notice we now have a projects page to the website which includes full details of the creative team and an insight into Hubbub: A Musical Adventure.  You can also download the production flyer here, and the promoters pack here.

Hannah has been doing some sterling work on the design and we will very soon be able to share with you the first images of our wonderful ‘den’ playing space.

More updates will follow and we look forward to sharing Hubbub with you very soon.

Hubbub: A Musical Adventure

Although we’re in between development weeks we’ve been working very hard at MishMash HQ and are very excited to confirm that our brilliant new show has a title - Hubbub: A Musical Adventure – and a confirmed tour in Autumn 2015:

Saturday 17th October 2015 – Public Premiere at Nottingham Lakeside Arts

Tuesday 27th October 2015 – The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Saturday 31st October 2015 – Kings Place, London

Sunday 1st November 2015 – CBSO Centre, Birmingham (co-promoted by BCMG)

Hannah, Richard and Martin have been beavering away with design ideas and plot development and it’s all coming together very nicely.  See the production flyer here

In other news there’s been a bit of a change in personnel with Massimo Di Trolio taking over on the Clarinet.  So welcome Massimo.

I’ll keep you posted on actual times for the shows ASAP and a new project page with much more detail will follow shortly.

A New Approach - Development Week 1

Photos: Alan Fletcher, March 2015

It has taken me a while to digest the enormity of our first development week and quite how well it went.  This first week has been a long time in the making – my research started in January 2013 – and as such had a lot to live up to, and I wasn’t disappointed!

One of the key objectives of the week was to develop a good working methodology for a group of professionals from two different sectors experimenting with a new approach.  It’s fair to say that there was apprehension from us all as to whether this coming together would work and it did, overwhelmingly so. 

‘I think the greatest triumph of a great three days has been to have found a really productive, communicative and imaginative working model in the room.  With such varied types of training and experience it was always going to be our challenge to harness these forces.  I feel we have managed this and some unique work has been done.

Making mistakes and feeling safe enough to make them in the room is also vital for us I think.  Classical training is often about rights and wrongs.  There is a prescribed right way of doing things.  There is nothing wrong with that and our work is benefiting from the high class musicianship that results from that training.  But it is also crucial that we feel we can fail – as we reach towards excellence.  Otherwise we can’t create anything truly original’.  Martin Berry, Director

The most important factor in that success was the level of excitement and open-mindedness that all 9 of us have brought to the project – particularly our 4 musicians and composer.  An open devising process starting with a great big blank page and no rules is far more common in theatre land so Hannah (Designer), Martin (Director) and Josie (Actor) came to this party already comfortable with that format.  For Sophie (Cellist), Richard (Clarinettist), Flo (Violinst), Lully (Bassoonist) and Paul (Composer) this was a new phenomenon and one that they embraced with staggering enthusiasm.

‘It's so interesting to do all this stuff that we would never normally do. Very challenging. Sometimes I felt really nervous because we were really put on the spot and had to think on our feet and react quickly. But I'm really enjoying the feeling of stretching myself beyond what feels familiar and comfortable.’  Richard Russell, Clarinettist

A second key objective was to explore whether the entire premise of this approach is possible – is it possible to produce the highest quality of music within a theatrical context and if so how far can we push that context.  The answer is most certainly yes, and whereas we are all very aware that the balance between theatricality and musicality is a delicate one and we need to ensure that balance doesn’t  risk the musical quality and integrity of our performance, we are also now convinced that there is huge potential here.

‘In the normal run of our profession, it is all too easy to hide behind our props - to reproduce unthinkingly the notes we see in front of us, to organise the how but not the why, to make sure we won't go spectacularly wrong but without really examining what it would be like to go spectacularly right.’  Florence Cooke, Violinist

One thought that came across time and time again was what a gift this project is.  To have the luxury of this amount of time with such a broad and experienced team is an unbelievable privilege and in that knowledge the expectations of the group are huge.

'I can honestly say, at 43 years old, this is the first time since graduation that I've had time to explore and try things out.  The first and only time. 

So I question how much risk I can take?  How many unconventional colours can I score?  What would happen if they don't work?  When I accept an orchestral commission I should really write two versions of the piece - one I know will work and one that is full of adventure.  If only there was enough time to try both of them (you'll be correct in assuming that there isn't).'  Paul Rissmann, Composer

‘No one can call this project normal.  I spent the morning listening to the most beautiful pieces of classical music, then got asked to interact with each piece. Total freedom to respond as instinctively as we want to each piece, myself first then physically with everybody. Actors rarely get this opportunity.’ Josie Rattigan, Actor

During the week we spent time a lot of time playing – music, games, instruments (and often the fool) – and built scenes around original music Paul had composed in advance and composed during our residency.  We also told stories, explored the mechanics of the instruments (including taking them to pieces giving Sophie a heart stopping moment involving her spike!) and other objects, story boarded, attended concerts, visited 75 children from Round Hill Primary School, discussed the relationship between musicians and their instruments, recorded, and talked and talked and talked.  And by the end we knew what was possible, not to say we entirely know what it will be just yet, but we have huge excitement in and belief of what is possible.

‘I think part of the reason I’m so excited about this project is because I really wholeheartedly believe in its premise. I think good quality music designed to engage and inspire small children is such a fantastic, important starting point. It seems ridiculous that there is not enough of this about and a gift to have the funding to attempt it.’  Sophie Rivlin, Cellist

All tracks composed by Paul Rissmann, recorded live in rehearsal at Nottingham Lakeside Arts and performed by members of Aurora Orchestra: Lully Bathurst, Florence Cooke, Richard Russell and Sophie Rivlin.

First Steps

It’s all coming together now: as well as our wonderful Director Martin Berry and Composer Paul Rissmann we now have our Designer Hannah Wolfe confirmed and our full ensemble/cast.  We are delighted to be working in association with the fabulous Aurora Orchestra and have on board Cellist Sophie Rivlin, Violinist Florence Cooke, Clarinetist Richard Russell and Bassoonist Lully Bathurst; the final member of our ace performance team being actor Josie Rattigan.

The countdown has now begun to our first development week starting on the 3rd March which will see us altogether, hosted by partner Nottingham Lakeside Arts working with a range of specialists including Sean Myatt (object manipulation expert), Gill Brooks (early years advisor) and children from the Foundation Unit at Round Hill Primary School.

It should be an exciting week and I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and welcome to the brand new MishMash Productions website. 2015 is going to be a big year for us with our very first piece programmed to premiere at Nottingham Lakeside Arts on the 17th October before a 3 date tour to London and the South East. However there is a lot to get through before we get to that stage: we have auditions for our actor/performer and a workshop for our musicians later on in January; before the completed MishMash creative team embarks on our very first development week in March.

We will keep you posted on developments and upload images and musical treats to this blog so you can follow our progress over the next 10 months. We look forward to taking you with us on this magical, musical journey.