This weekend was the Albert Dock Pirate Weekend. Kathryn Rigby (Captain Arabella Drummond) and myself (Quartermaster Widebeard the Pirate), now proud members of the Zebu crew were out and about engaging the crowds. Talking to the the young pirates, posing for photographs, leading the parade, singing and handing out treasure maps.
Meanwhile the more experienced pirates were sailing around the Albert Dock, firing muskets and cannons at each other and hitting each other with swords.
I made it into the paper… Portly Pirate though! I’ll have that scurvy dog hack for shark bait!
Today was the Hope Street Christmas Fayre.
The cast of Dismembered Empire were invited to Blackburne House with our performance of “Illumination Day”. The citizens of Dismembered Empire are torn between celebrating two mid-winter festivals. Illumination Day, or Crystalmas.
The Purple Hand want to celebrate Crystalmas. A community festival celebrating the longest night with hand made gifts, feasting, music, dancing and cavorting.
The Directorate want to celebrate Illumination Day. A celebration of the subjugation of the night commemorated by the giving of factory produced goods, putting up celebratory lights and producing a world that never stops working.
Professor Zong (Me) and the Arch-Orator (Brox) were also asked to judge the Movember Mo contest! Which was rather fun!
Howard Story and Lee Isserow (Howard be thy Name) treated us to an amazing evening in the Kazimier! The evening featured an amazing line up of bands. Zombina and the Skeletones, Lovecraft, Howard Be thy Name and Jimmy Lightfoot and the Kazimier Krunk Band.
The bands synchronised their songs to their music videos featured in a film, The Carny Ball Run, which I starred in! I played Mr Warb, the carnival owner, who posthumously sends the bands on a great race. You can catch my bits at 9 minutes and 1 hour 18 minutes.
A marvellous time was had by all!
Photographs above by John Kennan
This year’s show had 150 performers, four enormous puppets, loads of giant puppets and thousands of lanterns made by the local community. About 20,000 people attended the performance enjoying five main stages and numerous roaming performers!
We were based on four stages centred around coloured stones forming an ancient stone circle. We were playing the Ministry of Relics on National Sites, M.O.R.O.N.S. (pronouced moronce!). Our job was to interact with the audience giving our inaccurate accounts of what the ancient stones were erected for and chasing away the nuisance hermits. Four enormous tormented ghost puppet lanterns, each insatiably hungering for food, love, peace and freedom approached the stones at which a mystical ritual was performed by hermit and heartbearer to relieve the the ghost’s suffering. The ghost then span in satisfaction and passed on happily to the next life. This was followed by lively music, stunning fireworks and energetic dancing.
A beautiful and entertaining evening. We had a marvellous time! We got lots of great comments from the audience that they had really enjoyed the evening as we collected donations towards next years carnival after the show, which we look forward to immensely!
Pictures below by Mycroft Milverton
Photographs by AB Photography
Many months work has come to fruition with the performance of Dismembered Empire in the Williamson Tunnels. We started developing the show in February and the two performance nights were a great success!
Photographs by Kate Mullin
Within our fantastically imagined steampunk world the audience loved interacting with the Empire’s disturbed citizens, the live and original music echoing from deep within the caverns, the twisted plot based on corporate rule, mistrust, betrayal and sociopathic exploitation, enjoyed solving the mysteries of the Directorate and the Purple Hand and deciding for themselves how the play will end!
The unscripted show was largely improvised within a pre-planned structured plot line, particularly notable when three audience members cornered me and interrogated me about my unethical research. Nobody in the cast came to my rescue… but I blagged my way out of it by making hollow promises in exchange for them arranging a fast boat out of Liverpool.
For this production I did website development, world building, story arc, historical research, film and video production, provided some props and of course played Professor Zong. A full list of contributors can be found in the programme.
What is extremely cheering is the masses of great feedback we are getting! A great credit to all the production team, cast, musicians and particularly the director Jen Catterall.
I just wanted to say this was an awesome production and cant wait for part two :D well done guys :) xx
We went to another world over the weekend…was amazing! What a brilliant time here! Well done to all involved!
Dismembered Empire @ Williamson’s Tunnels tonight wondrous experience. Cant wait for part 2
Incredible show last night, sir! My colleague and I were blown away.
Great fun last night! Do please let us know if/when part 2 happens!
Congratulations professor! It was an awful shame about the vote (or a victory depending on the eyeglass you’re looking through!) well, onwards and upwards. To the purple hands! Huzzah!
It was a great experience! Congratulations to everyone!
We loved being part of it …well done to all involved in your brave & unique show.
that was an awesome night :D
And jolly top hole it was as well!
Excellent performance directed by Jen Catterall in Dismembered Empire this weekend. Well done, looking forward to part 2! xx
That was unbelievable last night Jen. A massive congratulations to you and all the cast. Pure, unadulterated aceness. DO MORE VERY SOON PLEASE
Well done for tonight Jen. A very ambitious project. Well done to y’all.
A splendiferous event, well done sirs and madams! Your humble audience member, Anastasia Tempus
Bonk Street Theatre performed an astounding sequel to From Beyond Iron Mountain with Return to Iron Mountain and Other Stories.
Brox played the starring role of Beelzebub. He wrote a very witty part and performed it to much laughter from the audience. I got to play Widebeard the Space Pirate, largely front of house work, entertaining the audience between acts but I got a couple of cameos.
This years tales included a humorous and existential tale based on a ghost train, a Mars Mission crew treated horrifically on their heroic return, human vivisection in the pursuit of infinite knowledge and the moral dilemma of what to do when your husband is cloned.
Marvellous fun this year. I wish I had been able to find the time to get more involved this time round.
On Saturday myself and Brox performed with the rest of the Sound Tracks group in Edgy: The Railway Cabaret. Part of the Working Class Life and Music Festival. Our show “Sound Bites” was inspired by the Oral History stored in the Edge Hill Archives.
Brox opened the show with a song he’d written “Life at the Edge” and performed a Soundbite about the Southport Service. I starred as William Huskisson MP, who was accidentally killed on the opening day of the Liverpool to Manchester Line. I did puppetry in the “Paper Boy” scene and voiced a drunken Jim McManus, with Brox as Charlie Faus, in a slapstick puppetry scene called “Pigeon Express”, a scene for which I had made eight polyfoam pigeons. The show concluded with us singing a song about the 1829 Rainhill Trials, where Stephenson’s Rocket proved itself to be the finest locomotive engine.
The whole Sound Bites show went really well! I hope to get a few pictures of the performance up when I find anyone who has taken some!
Following us came dance act China Pearl. An seemingly mismatched couple are strangely attracted to each other on a train journey, energetically showing off to each other, and growing closer on the trip.
The Suitcase Ensemble completed the first act with railway songs and reminiscences from the archive. Brox and I hid back stage and voiced a couple who were loudly commenting on the show. They were excited about the tights dance coming up. There was an uneasy silence from the audience when I cracked my pooing on the laundry joke, which was soon broken by laughter as a pair of my pigeons descended from on high and landed on the washing line. Phew!
The Railfan Three, the trainspotter MCs, kept the audience entertained as performers rearranged themselves backstage. The next act was Rebecca Joy Sharp with a moving solo performance of The Ballad on Juniper Davy and Sonny Lumiere through poetry and harp. Later Insanity Hurts, an energetic Hip Hop duo got the whole audience, young and old, clapping and dancing to their rap.
The Suitcase Ensemble wrapped up the show with scenes from their upcoming show, Look At Us Now, and some of their Edgy Cabaret favourites!
A fun day indeed. Doing this show brought together so many of my hobbies so I am hoping to do more in future!
This Saturday Metal celebrated Christmas Victorian style!
We had costumes, craft stalls, face painted, wholesome food, mulled wine, Santa and entertainment from the Formby Brass Band, the Kaleidoscope Gospel Choir and Mycroft Milverton (That’s me!).
I performed “T’was the Curious Incident of the Night Before Christmas”, a mashup poem I had written, heavily inspired by the poetry of Clement Clarke Moore, Edgar Allan Poe and William Wordsworth. With references to characters and literature of Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Bronte Sisters and Jules Verne. I also borrowed cliches from Victorian Christmas Carols too.
This was the first time I had written and performed my own show. It was only five minutes long but still nerve wracking none the less! So I was really quite nervous! Fortunately I had some great help from George, who helped me rehearse and fix the metre of the piece and invaluable physical acting tips from Mike ‘Livo’ Livesley (Sir Henry Rawlinson). Without their help it would not have been so good!
I also was very pleased to see that the performance worked on all levels with a range of young children and victorian literature fans all enjoying the performance alike! My favourite review was from Fionn age 7 “We saw daddy’s friend Warren who did a poem about Reindeer and a train and guess what, he’s invented a time-machine with a hatstand that’s got locks and chains on it, we went to see it in a big control room with all computers”
The Sound Tracks group put on their first show, Flowers on the Train, Dreams on the Line. A promenade production at Edge Hill Station. A dark yarn of dreams, nightmares, lost opportunities and unrequited love.
I played a “non-descript character” which involved wearing black and being busy through out the show with puppetry, singing, reciting poetry and playing my sax with the band.
We had spent the last twelve weeks learning performance skills, composing music, writing the songs and script and rehearsing the play. I even made a puppet film!
It was all jolly good fun and I was sad when it was all over. I was overjoyed to receive an email the next day asking “What next. Let’s meet up to discuss it!”
[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157625386835423" size="large']
This halloween I performed with the Sound Tracks Group and the Suitcase Ensemble and the Liverpool Lantern Company in the Halloween Lantern Carnival in Sefton Park. Our group was formed of Andy, Julie, Johno, Kaiya, Kelly, Jodie and Myself.
Our job was to man the departure gates for the otherworld, something we did with truly artistic incompetence! I spent the time barking out strange and random orders to recently departed souls who refused to follow them! At least I learned I donâ€™t have a great career in crowd control ahead of me!
The carnival itself was outstanding! A musical and visual extravaganza, pure entertainment that eclipses the Sefton Park firework display many times over!