Speaking Stones, an arts project by Critical Moment Theatre Company supported by The Mayor of London’s marvellous Make London.
On 05, Aug 2021 | In Blog | By as1admin
‘Speaking Stones works with local people to show their part of town some love and give their neighbourhood artwork a voice. They work with community organisations such as libraries, youth theatres and social clubs and engage with local writers, actors, composers, musicians, photographers, designers and performance poets. The stories they tell are uncovered by librarians, local historians, retired railwaymen, joggers, passers-by, mums, dads, grannies, kids and cyclists – anyone at all who has a favourite artwork in their street, whispering to their imagination. Carvings, statues, sculptures and wall-paintings by street artists old and new find a voice, joining together in a vibrant-but-invisible community chorus: a sound installation where the local street art gets to do the talking. They put it all on a digital story map, bursting with photos and sound-clips, captioned for anyone with hearing difficulties. If you’re out for a walk, find an artwork on the map and it will speak to you from your phone. It’s like Pokemon Go for street art! And if you’re stuck inside, hungry to explore and you have never visited the area? You can enjoy its riches without ever leaving home.So take a look around… we think you’ll be amazed at who’s waiting to speak to you!’
A little bit about Critical Moment Theatre who help communities tell the stories that matter to them – stories for family audiences and stories on grittier issues for adults.
They’re inaugural project in 2020 was Speaking Stones, a digital audio trail funded by the Mayor of London, which brought isolated communities together in lockdown. It reached over 7,000 people online.
Since then, they’ve worked with Somerset NHS Trust on Open Door, a play exploring the origins of LGBTQ+ liberation in the West Country, received funding from Arts Council England and The Mayor of London for a new Speaking Stones trail in and around Crystal Palace, and completed R&D on a new play Red Rain at the Bridge House Theatre.
They seek to connect local communities and are also committed to serving the community of freelance theatre makers, by providing paid opportunities for them.
Critical Moment Theatre is led by Martin Malcolm and Ryan Mellish:
Martin’s plays include Kingdom of the Ice Bear, Drifters and Tiramisu (Theatre West), NightFlyer (Tristan Bates Theatre), Warped (VAULT Festival), The Signalman (Old Red Lion) and This Air We Breathe (The Space). His work is supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation.
Everything Theatre describes his writing as ‘brimming with a strange, gritty tenderness that draws you right in.’
He says: ‘Nothing beats seeing your words get up off the page to laugh, fight, bleed, love and dance. Living, breathing actors doing all that and more – and the audience right there with them, a living, breathing partner.’
Martin is the artistic lead for the Speaking Stones audio trails, which give a voice to the art on our streets.
Ryan is a Welsh writer, actor, and composer based in North London.
Writing credits include Supernovas for Super Loners (4* Ask The Ushers, Bread & Roses Theatre as part of ‘Viable’, 2021), Sandcastle (Mountview Catalyst Festival 2021), The Hunger Games (RADA, 2019, recipient of the Patrick Crean Prize), and Ellipsism (5* TheatreBath, 2017). Acting credits include Red Rain (R&D, Bridge House Theatre, 2021), Cadair y Fampir (7 time nominated Welsh language short, 2018), and A Bright Room Called Day (2017 Somerset tour with Invulnerable Nothings).
Composing credits include Speaking Stones (2020), Sugar Coated (2020), and Age of the Geek (5* West Wales Chronicle, 2018).Ryan is also a co-producer for Critical Moment Theatre, whose projects so far include Speaking Stones (2020), Open Door (2021), and Red Rain (2021).
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