by Anna Jordan A live cinema show
We are actively looking for partners to stage and tour this radical live production that incorporates digital storytelling with live performance.
Our development of this project over the spring of this year is below.
Research and Development of a Live Multimedia Performance of the play YEN by Anna Jordan.
A showcase of 30 minutes of YEN ran at the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal, Bath in May 2019.
Supported by The Arts Council, BARN & Take Art, Salisbury Playhouse, Hamilton House & Youth Cinema Foundation.
YEN explores a childhood lived without boundaries and the consequences of being forced to grow up on your own. This Live Multimedia show is designed for touring.
Hench is 16, Bobbie is 13. They're home alone in Feltham with their dog Taliban; playing PlayStation, streaming porn, watching the world go by. Sometimes their mum Maggie visits, usually with empty pockets and empty promises.
Then Jenny shows up.
Yen engages a young theatre audience and explores questions posed around the use of digital technology. The play looks at teenagers being brought up surrounded by screens. Beautiful and corrosive, digital technology is integral to the production design and storytelling.
R&D Audience Feedback
Firstly choosing to use onstage cameras and mics together with camera and sound crew, operators bravely explored a new relationship between performers and audience. After a few minutes the extra people onstage disappeared as one became engaged with the unfolding drama heightened by close ups and offstage vistas. Seeing the characters in other rooms and corridors of their real urban tenement block, seamlessly inserted into the various entrances onstage, gave a reality to their situation that no on-stage set design could invoke.
Plus the detail of sound and vision transmitted from the live stage action gave the performers a context to convey intimacy and naturalness to their characters without having to artificially amplify every gesture to carry to the back of the auditorium .
Secondly the cast noticeably blossomed in this environment. Their intentions were directed to each other and not us, the spectators, giving a much more "fly on the wall" realism to our audience role.
This added realism seemed to sharpen up the timing of their dialogue. There emerged a confident space and measured pacing around events giving, again, a naturalistic flavour very unusual to see in such young performers . I can't recommend this approach highly enough, and I am looking forward to seeing the whole finished play. This represents important work.
Will Gregory, Musican and Producer - Goldfrapp
Photography by Simon Annand
After seeing Jack Price's W-I-P performance of Yen by Anna Jordan, I was left with a deep sense of wanting more. I wanted to see more than the three scenes on offer, and more of what I had already seen - more camera angles, more close-ups, more on-stage tech.
Taking the bold move to create a live cinema experience out of a play that already appeals to young people, they are opening up the world of theatre to the 'screen' generation in a way I've not seen before. I was worried before watching the show that the camera crew could hinder the theatre experience, but the opposite was true - they added a sense of urgency to quiet scenes and became part of the performance in ways not thought possible. This is set to not just be a 'multi-media production' but a game-changing way to experience theatre.
Holly Newton, Director, Alma Theatre, Bristol
Photography by Simon Annand
The quality of the audience management, set and performance and production team was excellent, and the organisation made it easy on the visitors and certainly generated a desire for more. The actual way in which the event was planned also made for a very educational experience for audience and team alike.
The themes raised by a play like Yen are timeless and yet the manner of the production has the capacity to make it contemporaneous.
The duality of film and theatre provides a level of engagement for the audience that allowed for them to switch between life and screen; facilitating the harder-to-swallow subjects in the manner they wished to experience them in, i.e are tough things sometimes easier face-to-face or mediated through the lens?
The performance takes account of the pressure on live performance and considered a honed down set which does not compromise on quality; making the event more accessible in terms of locations, will mean that such experiences can be shared with as many people as possible. Performance is a vital medium and I loved the innovative approach.
Debbie Hillyerd, Head of Education, Hauser and Wirth Somerset
Yen first opened at The Royal Exchange Manchester, 2015, The Royal Court Theatre, 2016
***** "Extraordinary" - The Guardian
**** 'Savage, completely devastating" Time Out
**** 'A moving account of the redemptive power of love.' The Guardian Michael Billington
**** 'Terrifying, witty, and compassionate.' The Independent Paul Taylor
**** 'Savage, completely devastating' Time Out Alice Saville
**** 'Zinging dialogue, unforgettable staging' The Observer Susannah Clapp
**** 'Hits like a fist.' The Stage Natasha Tripney
**** 'Exceptional. I now long to see more plays from Jordan's pen.' The Arts Desk Aleks Sierz
Photography by Simon Annand
Cast: Llewy Godfrey - Bobby, Elliot Courtiour - Hench, Laura Singleton - Jenny, Marrisa Rowell - Maggie.
Crew: Director - Jack Price, Producer - Keri Powell, Designer - Jackie Brooks, Assistant Producer /Social Media - Delilah Acworth, Camera Operators - Mitch Corrigan, Jack Hayter, Boom Operator- Josh Holloway, Vision Mixer - Mark Ashford. Photography by Simon Annand
Jack Price Productions Limited T/A Jack Price Company is a company Limited by Guarantee Company No.11461720