Love Street – The Musical
Martin O’Connor and I are once again working together – this time on a co-commission by Outspoken Arts Scotland.
We have been invited to develop a proposal for a new theatre production in Paisley called Love Street – The Musical.
Over the last couple of months we have been out and about visiting organisations and gathering stories from people in Paisley who have memories and connections to Love Street. More to follow…
The starting point for Night Vision is a series of non-narrative texts captured through an experimental writing practice in the middle of the night lying down in a semi-conscious, or liminal, state.
This is a very different artistic approach for me. Early inquiries were focused on selection, how to interact with the texts, and what happens when these words/sounds are given voice off the page?
The work was initially developed at Rough Mix, Magnetic North’s creative development programme. The residency was held in Perth Theatre in January 2019. Big, big thanks to Magnetic North and the artists and performers involved in the residency. Thanks to Lorna, Neil, Ian and Laurie for the first performance sharing of Night Vision. And thanks to Lise for recordings, chat and tech support.
The Mark of the Beast gets a ***** review
Presented by Martin O’Connor and Platform
Written and Performed by Martin O’Connor
With Nichola Scrutton and the North East Recovery Community
Platform, Easterhouse 13th-15th April
The Scottish Storytelling Centre 19th April
Inspired by Glasgow and its relationship with alcohol and addiction, Martin’s latest poetry performance The Mark of the Beast explores society through a prism of morality, temptation and family attitudes towards the ‘demon drink,’ and is performed in Martin’s recognisable blend of Scots and song, shot through with religious references and imagery.
The performance includes sound design created by Nichola Scrutton featuring personal experiences of alcohol addiction from members of the North East Recovery Community.
Martin O’Connor – Writer and Performer
Nichola Scrutton – Composition/Sound Design
Fergus Dunnet – Set Design
Hana Allen – Stage Management
Davie Green – Lighting Design
Alan McKendrick – Directing Support
Eoin Carey – Image and Production Photography
Theatre Review – The Herald
The Mark Of The Beast
Platform, The Bridge, Glasgow
“Whit ye huvin?” The voice has a chirrupy geniality to it: pure Glesca’ camraderie. “Ur ye huvin’ a drink or no?” The camaraderie is now teetering on the querulous, the aggressive even. Offence is on the verge of being taken, here. Minutes into this pithy, comedic, often harrowing monologue about various shades of alcohol addiction, writer/performer Martin O’Connor has wheeched us inside a pub, and into the core shorthand of belonging – of being a mate, a part of a community – that is inherent in the offer of a pint.
One pint… unseen voices chip in with memories of the wee swally that first introduced them – often, as far back as childhood – to the compulsive disorder of getting totally blootered. The recorded voices belong to Glasgow’s North-East Recovery Community: mixed into Nichola Scrutton’s chorale-cum-sound design, they will add personal witness to O’Connor’s tangy, savvy progress through the cumulative effects of long-term alcohol abuse. There’s the bilious heartburn of self-loathing, the upsurge of resolve – “Ah’m affit..” – and the lonely isolation of battling your demons when your pals remain in the boozer.
There’s a graphically vicious section when a posse of well-dressed lads become a pack of drunken thugs, relentlessly kicking a total stranger
just because… because he was there. It all sounds, feels, pungently real.
O’Connor’s talent for morphing social documentation into a bravura prose-poem pivots merrily on the rhythms of everyday Glesca’ patois, but – back-lit by designer Fergus Dunnet’s row of stained glass windows – he offsets the gallus patter with the soaring fire and brimstone of biblical texts, juggling revelations and hallucinations in a linguistic cocktail of those abiding havens: bevvy and religion. We laugh a lot, because O’Connor understands bathos but he never mocks the alcohol-afflicted, or diminishes their trials in what is a truly exceptional piece of work.
The Mark of the Beast is a collaboration with writer/theatre-maker Martin O’Connor that explores issues/ideas around alcohol and addiction in Glasgow.
Between November 2015 to March 2016, Martin and I undertook a period of research and development, commissioned by GEAC Platform-to-Health and GRAND (Getting Real About Alcohol n Drugs). Working with the North East Recovery Community.
At that time, I composed a sound installation Good Days Bad Days, incorporating the many voices/stories of participant’s experiences. For The Mark of the Beast, I re-visited and re-composed that material for Martin’s live solo show.
13th – 15th April, Platform, Glasgow
19th April Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Collaboration as composer/sound designer with writer/theatre-maker Martin O’Connor on his solo show Togail Nàisean/Building a Nation. We toured as part of a double bill with Aisling Oidhche Meadhan Samhraidh/A Midsummer Nights Dream and had a performance at Tramway, Glasgow in 2018. Read more about it at Martin’s website here.
Isle of Mull
Old Vic 12 2016 Shortlist
Very excited to have been selected for the shortlist of the Old Vic 12 2016 competition.
Top 20 Composers
I’m delighted to have been selected as one of the top 20 composers for The Old Vic 12 2016 Longlist. The shortlist will be announced in the next few weeks.
Is there a mistake around today that’s as big as the idea of the earth being flat? was created during the Phoenix Dance Theatre Choreographers and Composers Lab.
Claire Lefèvre and Nichola Scrutton
Dancers: Andreas Grimaldier, Lisard Tranis, Marie Astrid Mence
Percussionist: Sean Hamilton
Vocalist: Nichola Scrutton.