Present : Tense / One


9 October 2005

Old Red Lion Theatre

present : tense challenges some of the UK's most exciting young artists to respond to the most important news story of the moment in just seven days.

Four playwrights, four directors, two film makers, two poets and a musician convene this Sunday 2 October to scour the newspapers for the most significant story on the news agenda. They each have seven days to create a piece of work that responds to the topic they choose. As the news changes, they will be forced to adapt their work, until it is performed for the public exactly one week after they began, on Sunday 9 October.

present : tense aims to be backlash theatre at its most responsive, offering artists the chance to have their say on the most important issue of the day.

Here's the mouth-watering collection of talent being put to the test:

The Playwrights:

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm Morgan Lloyd Malcolm is a writer and performer. Her main work is with the comedy theatre company Trippplicate with which she has written, produced and performed in three hit Edinburgh and London Fringe productions. Her independent writing and performance credits include the BBC Talent Week, and she is also a member of the Old Vic New Voices company.

Al Smith Al, a recent graduate of Edinburgh University, is the author of two plays, Chalk and Enola. Chalk was performed by the Edinburgh University Theatre Company in February 2005, and Enola was performed at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it received the Three Weeks Editors Award.

DC Moore DC recently completed his first full-length play, Alaska, which received a rehearsed reading at the Royal Court Theatre earlier this year, as part of their Young Writers Programme. Following this, DC was a UK representative for the Royal Court at Interplay, a festival for young playwrights held in Australia. DC is currently writing his second play and is nabokov's associate playwright.

Rachel Wagstaff Rachel was one of the writers in the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays, and is part of the invitation group at the Royal Court. Her play Night Sky is having a rehearsed reading at the Old Vic on 30th October, starring Simon Russell Beale. She is developing another play, Footfalls Echo, with Soho Theatre.

The Directors:

Hannah Berrigan Hanna studied English at Saint Catherine's College, Oxford, has an MA from RADA and King's College London and trained at the Gate. She has just finished as the staff director on The UN Inspector at the National Theatre, and previously worked at the RSC as the assistant director on the regional tour of Julius Caesar. Directing credits include: La Musica Deuxième (Gate Theatre), God is a DJ (Latchmere), Been So Long (Broadway Theatre), Paradox (The Other Place, Stratford) The Wheel (The Rosemary Branch), and The Birthday Party (Edinburgh Fringe).

Will Mortimer Will has directed for nabokov shorts on several occasions, including tackling the US elections last November in Riding The Back of The Tiger. He spent 2004 as an assistant director for the King's Head Theatre, and most recently assistant directed at the Old Vic on both 24 Hour Play events.

George Perrin George is associate director and co-founder of nabokov. He was the first recipient of the Genesis Directors Award at the Young Vic, is a member of the Old Vic's New Voices for whom he directed one of the 2005 24 Hour Plays. He is currently the assistant director at Paines Plough.

Hamish Pirie Hamish has worked extensively with new writing directing work by Chloe Moss, Jack Thorne and Alexis Zegerman. He was the resident assistant director at Paines Plough where he was assistant director on The Straits and The Small Things. He is currently assistant director to Peter Gill on Epitaph For George Dillon by John Osborn and Anthony Creighton.

The Film Makers:

Azhur Saleem Azhur is currently in his final year of study at The London Film School. During his time there, he has made a number of short films and shortly goes into pre-production for his graduation film. Upon graduating Azhur will move into feature-film directing.

Sue Luciani Sue co-founded a double barrel productions film production company in 2001. Heading up the film division of double barrel she's made a documentary in Bali, Indonesia that screened at International Film Festivals 2004 and 2005 and is currently in post production on a 35mm short film Love Dolls narrated by Charles Dance.

The Poets:

Luke Wright Luke Wright is a one of the country's most exciting new poets. He is the founder of Aisle16 who have become the UK's most sought after live poetry collective. Their 2004 show Powerpoint raised the bar for spoken word in the UK, mixing poetry, theatre, and comedy with multi-media visuals. The show was awarded Critics' Choice in Time Out and enjoyed sold out dates at the Old Red Lion. Their follow-up show, Poetry Boyband, received similar plaudits at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005 and transfers to London in December. Wright is also a formidable competitor in poetry slams having finished runner-up for the whole country in the UK's first televised slam in 2004.

Chris Hicks A lyrical big hitter and sure fire slam finalist, Chris Hicks has extensively toured the UK as one quarter of poetry supergroup aisle16, and was the founding delegate of the motivational seminar Powerpoint, the poetry/theatre/comedy monster which sold out the Old Red Lion for three weeks early this year. Look out for aisle 16's latest hit show Poetry Boyband which opens at the Old Red Lion later this year.

The Musician:

Gavin Osborn Gavin is a 28 year old singer-songwriter. He has been singing and playing his own unique songs for 5 years, to mild acclaim. A regular performer at Soho Theatre's acclaimed Political Animal, Gavin's songs mix the personal with the political, weaving tragi-comic vignettes with biting satire. He was recently invited on tour with Perrier Award winner Daniel Kitson. Gavin has recently attracted interest from folk legend Roy Bailey, who is planning on covering some of his songs for his forthcoming album.