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DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Wed, October 03, 2012 12:47PM

Since moving to Margate Eoin and I have been running Club Hydropathe with Dom and Jo Bridges (a film-maker and a photographer we have met down here), a weekly night of off-beat cinema, wayward sounds and frequent surprises at the Tom Thumb. Every Monday we screen films, play music and hatch plans. From Bluegrass to Blue Velvet; New-Wave to No-Wave via a smattering of Noir.

The first Club Hydropathe took place on Monday 3rd September. Since then we have screened a variety of films - documentaries, sci-fi, experimental musicals - including an awesome night curated by the wonderful Matt Chapman, which featured a specially invented flavour of ice-cream. I kid you not. Last Monday, to celebrate our first month Birthday, we screened Eraserhead and were delighted to follow the film with a set from the incredible Emit Bloch (check him out, he’s seriously good). Before the film, in true .dash style, we acted out the lady in the radiator scene from Eraserhead (complete with foundation covered cotton wool stuck to my cheeks, Eoin’s beloved hazer and Dom playing the organ in a bin-bag). It was a lot of fun.

In other news, Eoin and I have just finished editing our short for the Cut Chorus project. We look forward to sharing it with you soon.

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Camera Test

DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Thu, August 09, 2012 01:51PM
We are very excited to be working with our friends Cut Chorus on "Camera Test", a series of short monologue/duologue web films created as part of the research for their future production of "Romance". The project explores the way in which the atmosphere of a filmed story is affected by the manner in which it is filmed; which feeds in nicely to our own exploration of the interplay between live and recorded work.

We have just been allocated our script - a witty one-hander by Mark Murphy - and are busy throwing ideas back and forth. The monologue will be performed by Luke Harrison, a frequent .dash collaborator, who has worked with us on a number of projects, including "Chaika Casino" and the early development of "And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out". Let the cameras roll.

In other news, Eoin and I are now moved into our new home in Margate, where we will be helping to run the Tom Thumb Theatre. After just over a week we have already met a whole host of interesting and interested folk, exciting artists and potential collaborators. Work is being programmed and plans are hatching: please do not hesitate to get in touch with your thoughts and ideas.

The photo: I left the .dash mirror ball (from "And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out") in my parents' house in Brighton. My mum was telling me that at a certain point every afternoon it fills the room with stars. I demanded evidence, this is it.

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Margate Calling

DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Mon, June 25, 2012 11:49AM

It's been an exciting month for .dash, as two of us - Eoin and I - prepare to move to Margate. Just over an hour out of London, Margate is a beautiful, historic, rough-around-the-edges beach resort. It has gained a lot of interest lately, following the opening of the Turner Contemporary art gallery. There is an burgeoning arts scene simmering away, which we can't wait to contribute to. We'll be working at the wonderfully charming Tom Thumb Theatre, a converted Victorian Coach House (complete with flock wallpaper and velvet seats) which is one of the smallest theatres in the world.

Eoin and I took a trip to Margate this weekend to see what we could see. The Tracey Emin (Margate's celebrated export) retrospective at the Turner was fantastic; her work really comes alive when seen in the flesh. We then popped into LIMBO (an experimental arts space in a converted substation) and chanced upon "Close To Darkness". Described as an "exploration of duality and polarity – ranging from the interface between lightness & darkness and positive & negative to the realm of the seen & unseen and the heard & unheard", the piece was a collaboration between Edda Jones and Russell Burden. It was an entirely immersive sensory experience that played with striking sound in near complete darkness; before beautiful glowing images emerged as one’s eyes adjusted. It was deliciously disorientating and linked in nicely with the themes we explore in "Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out". Definitely fuel for thought.

The star of the trip however, had to be the sea, pictured below. Glorious.

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Beware! Falling Ox

DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Sun, May 27, 2012 01:00PM

Yesterday we took a road trip to the sea to scratch "Beware! Falling Ox" at Pot Luck 5. At the event - which is run by the wonderful Accidental Collective and was guest curated by the lovely Phoebe Marsh - works are presented Rare, Medium or Well Done. Ours was very much on the Bloody side of Rare; the first realisation of an idea Eoin and I have been vaguely discussing about the most shambolic gig we could imagine (the kind of early hours discussions that start "wouldn't it be funny if . . . ").

Armed with a wireless camera, a guitar-on-its-last-legs, a projector, a distortion pedal, a laptop and a plethora of cables we explored framing the ‘mistakes ‘ within live-work; defining moments within chaos. Lit only with the projected static from the camera, we worked with looping feedback screeches, hums and buzzes to create a cacophony of noise. We played with expectations within a live context – both in terms of underscoring stereotypes and breaking conventions. We’ll hopefully have some video to post soon, but here are a few pictures taken during the performance and documenting the aftermath. Thank you for having us Phoebe and Accidental Collective; it was a lot of fun!

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Brighton Previews

DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Tue, May 08, 2012 10:20PM
For want of a less obvious statement: it's been a manic two weeks at .dash HQ. After a rush of last minute press (a lovely preview/interview here, a piece for Latest 7 TV here and lots of features in some great blogs); the final rehearsals; a tetris-like transportation of set and some last minute toy-train shenanigans we arrived in Brighton for our previews.

The technical rehearsal flew by in a haze of mirror balls and fiddly train tracks, but -astoundingly - we made it through the get-in, rig, focus and cue to cue in our allotted four hours

Last minute adjustments were made around the kitchen table at Jess' parents' (Poll and Pete's) house (who did an amazing job of housing/feeding/watering the whole creative team) well into the early hours.

In spite of the inevitable teething problems (15 minute get-ins with train sets and treadmills are not the most straight-forward) the previews went incredibly well. We were overwhelmed with the reaction; wonderful audiences and a string of four star reviews (please see the press quotes on our main website, the following was a particular favorite: "in no way formulaic, those familiar with the work of Forced Entertainment will enjoy the similar style and shambolic nature . . . It is all very bizarre, but also quite beautiful . . . What .dash do is different and daring, but they do it so well").

Of course, we learnt a lot about the show from putting it in front of an audience. We can't wait to get back in to the rehearsal room and continue developing it.

Below is a few photos taken by Grainne, Eoin's mum (who also provided us with some pretty phenomenal cake), from our tech/get in/late-night-pylon-making-session.

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Workshop Five: The Red Super Giant

DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Fri, April 20, 2012 09:21AM

With our previews at the Brighton Fringe fast approaching, we have focused the last few rehearsals on generating the remaining material and developing, refining and distilling what has already been created. We have been looking specifically at Red Super Giants - enormous, cool stars with high luminosity that form after a star has used up the fuel at its core; the beginning of the end of the relationship.

We also had a fantastic meeting with Boris, the astrophysicist advising us on And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Mind. Blown. (As usual.) Over a beer he explained causality and the concept of a closed universe. My note-book is full of furious scribblings and emphatic capitals.

Set and key tech pieces have started to arrive, much to the delight of Eoin. We now have a massive train-set set up in our rehearsal room, a wireless cctv camera and a giant mirror ball. More to arrive imminently.

Music has become (even more of) an essential element of our rehearsals; impacting not only the sonic environment, but also the visual aesthetic of the piece. The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Shellac and Nirvana have been popular additions to the rehearsal room play-list. We like our theatre noisy.

We were delighted to discover that Fringe Review have chosen us as the Special Recommendation at The Warren. Below is our poster.

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Workshop Four: Main Sequence Star

DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Fri, April 06, 2012 12:26PM
With just over a month till our previews at the Brighton Fringe, rehearsals have stepped up a gear. This week we concentrated on introducing live music to the show, underscoring scenes with a guitar, loops and a laptop. Obvious as it may sound: it's astounding to what extent music can effect your emotional engagement and interpretation of a scene. It was fun playing to conventions and (dutifully) breaking them, experimenting with using tracks people would recognise as opposed to original material.

This week we concentrated on the Main Sequence Star; the body of the couple's relationship.

Also this week we were delighted to discover we have been recommended by Fringe Review in Top Theatre at Brighton Fringe. Below is the photo from our eflyer.

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Workshop Three: The Supernova

DiaryPosted by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Tue, March 27, 2012 10:49AM

It’s been a pleasingly manic week in the .dash camp.

Previews for And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out have been confirmed for the 5th, 6th and 7th May, 4.30pm, at the Brighton Fringe Festival. Performances will take place at The Warren, a new 150 seat venue in the heart of the city, run by the fine folk at the Three And Ten. Book your tickets here now!

We made a video trailer in celebration. Take a look below.

Our third workshop as a whole company focussed on the couple. Shani ran improvisations to really get inside the heads of the characters. We also bashed out a basic trajectory for the couple and identified which part of the star each step related to. We discussed what will constitute the couple's Supernova; the beginning of the end for the relationship.

This week also saw thet start of specific rehearsals: Eoin, Jess and Nick looking at the scenes Johnny had written for the couple; Shani, Eoin and Jess looking at the initial compere speech (think: Nick Cave possessed by My Brightest Diamond spouting 1920’s cosmology lectures).

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