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Duncan Speakman Re-Examines the Classic British Street Scene
A pattern of activity will start to emerge and a plot will unfold whilst listening to the instructions.
LONDON.- Duncan Speakman, Vauxhall Collective member and critically acclaimed theatre practitioner, invites you to join him as he re-examines the classic British street scene. Our everyday lives are set to be re-invented as Speakman takes to the streets and asks us all to reconsider the ground we walk on. Famous for his “subtle mobs” and cinematic style of theatre using soaring soundtracks and beautifully presented framed scenes, Speakman is asking the people of London, Bristol and Liverpool to arrive at a secret venue at a specific time and date in November, armed only with an MP3 file and headphones. The audience, who can sign up to take part in the free event through the website www.subtlemob.com, will be sent an MP3 file to download onto their i-pod or mobile phone prior to the event, and asked to gather at a given time and location, put on their headphones and press play to begin their own simultaneous experience of the subtle mob.

The audience will at once be transported from an average street in a big city to another world where nothing is quite as it seems. Speakman applies the poetry of our routines to his work, creating invisible public artworks, inviting us all to look at the everyday in a creative light. Working closely with a plethora of performers, actors, sound engineers, musicians and contemporary “makers”, as well as speaking to local residents in each of the cities and asking them to contribute to the voiceover in each location, Speakman will lead the public in a very personal re interpretation of life today in Britain.

Each individual audience member will become part of a larger group, all experiencing slightly different versions of the same events. A pattern of activity will slowly emerge as participants see a plot unfolding through the events and information presented throughout the walk. Both spectators and participants, the audience members will see the street they walk down framed in a very different way as Speakman offers them an alternative view of their surroundings.

Winner of the Vauxhall Collective commission for theatre, Speakman was chosen by a panel of industry experts from Soho Theatre, Pleasance Theatre and interactive theatre specialists Gideon Reeling who were last year’s Vauxhall Collective members for the category. The Bristol based theatre practitioner was selected for his ability to create compelling experiences that both physically and emotionally engage audiences in public spaces.

Speakman was commissioned by Vauxhall Motors to create a piece of theatre with the theme of “re-inventing British classics” and he has produced the three performances as part of his ongoing exploration of how the use of sound influences the perception of public places. He toured the three UK locations in his Vauxhall Astra EcoFLEX to get a feel for each city. The theme of re-inventing British classics was chosen by Vauxhall as it fits well with the re-invention of the car, something the car company is doing with Ampera, their first electric vehicle.

As If It Were The Last Time soundtrack has been co-written with Sadie Anderson of Chrome Hoof, with additional contributions from Laura Groves (Blue Roses) and will be devised with members of Uninvited Guests (Lynn Gardner's Edinburgh festival favourites), Action Hero and a number of other contemporary theatre/performance makers and performing arts students.

To sign up to be part of Duncan Speakman’s subtle mob performances visit www.subtlemob.com

Duncan Speakman
Duncan Speakman is an artist based in Bristol, UK. Originally trained as a sound engineer at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, his work now examines how we use sound to locate ourselves in personal and political environments. Seeking out the poetics of the everyday, he creates socially relevant experiences that engage audiences emotionally and physically in public spaces. Alongside his art practice he is a senior lecturer in Media Practice at the University of the West of England and is currently developing site-responsive soundwalks, street games and pervasive theatre works.

He has been exhibited internationally and in 2001 was awarded the Clark Trust Bursary for digital arts and has received critical acclaim for his videoblog, 29 fragile days. In 2007 he was peer advisor on the Almost Perfect locative media residency at Banff New Media Institute and since 2008 has been an artist in residence at the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol.

Vauxhall Collective | Duncan Speakman | Audience | As If It Were The Last Time |


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