Magnetic North Blog
Magnetic North is delighted to announce the lead and collaborating artists for our next Rough Mix creative lab. Rough Mix brings together five lead artists, each with a new idea to develop, two collaborating artists, and an ensemble of six performers. Each lead artist spends time observing, assisting or collaborating on the other artists’ projects as well as working on their own project. Rough Mix 2022 is a partnership with Macrobert Arts Centre and will take place in person at Macrobert. Should this not be possible then the residency will move online.
The lead artists are Beth Dynowski, Kathy McKean, Priiya Prethora, Jennifer Paterson and Lewis Sherlock. The collaborating artists are Amy Conway and Ben Fletcher. Together they work across dance, physical theatre, aerial, music, writing, theatre, sculpture and performance.
Rough Mix will run from 17-28 January 2022. We'll be sharing a video of the work produced online - keep an eye on our social media for updates.
Tickets for 759 (so far!) Fringe shows are now available to book on edfringe.com.
As we collaborate with a huge range of playwrights, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performers and others to create work, here's a list of shows by some of our alumni.
For the full programme and ticket information, visit edfringe.com
Mamoru Iriguchi (Rough Mix & Space/Time) Sex Education Xplorers (S.E.X.) (live)
Mamoru took part in our most recent Rough Mix, and has been a Fringe regular at Summerhall. This new show is described as "a time-travel ride through the evolution of sexes, celebrating our diverse gender identities and sexualities. Packed with humour and DIY tech, this is a playful new take on sex education."
Not one but TWO favourites from playwright and actor Apphia Campbell, who was a performer at Rough Mix 2020 and our Canadian online co-pro Stories from Here . She was also a lead artist in the Breaking Boundaries attachments last year working on a new play.
Tony Mills (Rough Mix, Space/Time & CEC diversity project) City Breakz (live)
Tony is a choreographer and dancer who took part in Rough Mix 2014 and more recently as a lead artist in last year's Breaking Boundaries attachments. City Breakz is an outdoor pop-up hip-hop performance trail taking over unexpected places in city and town landscapes, where anything can become a dancefloor.
Jo Clifford (Space/Time & Micro-Commission) A Space to Bless - Daily Blessings (online)
Playwright and performer Jo will give a daily blessing live from St Mary’s Cathedral – a radical queer space for contemplation, connection and meditation. Jo received a Micro-commission from us last year to develop a new play The Not-So Ugly Duckling with Maria McDonnell (see below)
Christine Devaney (Rough Mix, Dust and all that), Karen Tennent (Our Fathers, Lost in Music) Skye Reynolds (Space/Time) & Greg Sinclair (Rough Mix, She Sells) Field - Something for the Future Now
Edinburgh-based Curious Seed bring their immersive site-responsive piece both to Holyrood Park and the Edinburgh International Festival. We're delighted to have worked with the entire creative team on various projects over the years!
Lubna Kerr (Luminate Space/Time) Tickbox (live)
Lubna is an Edinburgh-based stand-up, playwright and performer and took part in a Space/Time residency earlier this year. Tickbox "combines theatre, storytelling and comedy to interweave the journeys of these two Scottish Pakistani women united by passion and determination."
Maria McDonnell (Luminate Space/Time) Miss Lindsay's Secret (live)
Maria is a storyteller, writer and actor; last year she received one of our Covid Micro-Commissions to work with Jo Clifford (see above) on The Not-So Ugly Duckling. She took part in a Space/Time residency earlier this year. Miss Lindsay's Secret tells a true story unearthed in Glenesk Museum.
Andy Cannon (Rough Mix) Is This a Dagger? (live)
Andy re-tells Shakespeare’s classic, taking audiences on a thousand-year journey from fact to fiction and back again. Andy was a lead artist in Rough Mix at Summerhall in 2015.
Caitlin Skinner (Rough Mix) Hindu Times (live)
This semi-staged reading is a co-production between the International Festival and the Lyceum of a play by writer Jaimini Jethwa. Caitlin is Artistic Director of Stellar Quines and took part in Rough Mix in Peebles in 2017.
Penny Chivas (Micro-commissions and Rough Mix) Burnt Out (live)
Penny is a dancer and choreographer based in Glasgow; she took part in Rough Mix 2021 and received a Covid Micro-Commission last year. Burnt Out weaves spoken word and movement to take its audience through Australia's fiery history including Penny's own experiences.
Morna Young (Rough Mix 2014, Scotland/New Zealand Playwright Exchange 2018) Aye Elvis (live)
Morna is a playwright, actor and musician. Her play about a female Elvis impersonator has become a Fringe-favourite since its first appearance at a Play, A Pie and A Pint.
Magnetic North The Dream Train by Tom McGrath (online)
Yes, we're at the Fringe too! This specially-made film is a new production of the very first play we produced in 1999, made last year to celebrate our 21st birthday and what would have been playwright Tom McGrath's 80th. Four characters wander in and out of each other's dreams and stories to the accompaniment of Bach's Goldberg Variations, played live by John Harris.
I’m writing this in the middle of the coronavirus lockdown, which makes this reflection even more poignant. It was only a few months ago that I spent two incredible weeks at Summerhall working with a brilliant bunch of artists on Rough Mix. In case you don’t know, Rough Mix is Magnetic North’s annual opportunity for 5 experienced artists to workshop their ideas alongside 2 emerging artists and a group of performers.
We are delighted to be hosting New Zealand playwright Arthur Meek as writer in residence with Magnetic North next summer.
Arthur joins us thanks to a joint initiative run by Playmarket New Zealand and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland: the development agencies for playwrights for their respective countries.
We will host Arthur for a 3 month residency from July-Sept 2016. He will participate in Rough Mix, spend a week at Cove Park, have the opportunity to see work and make contacts during the Edinburgh festivals in August as well as being commissioned to write a new play, Erewhon.
Based on Samuel Butler’s satirical utopian novel, Erewhon will be a solo show, performed by Arthur and taking the form of an illustrated theatrical lecture in which Arthur will attempt to amuse an audience of Erewhonians by contrasting his own society with their own. The experience of distance from New Zealand, and the mix of familiarity and difference that is a New Zealander’s experience of living in Scotland, will inform the writing and development of the piece.
Arthur will be supported throughout by our artistic director Nicholas Bone. There will be a work in progress sharing of Erewhon at the end of the residency.
Arthur Meek is an award-winning New Zealand writer for stage and screen. His two published plays, The Trees beneath the Lake and On the Upside Down of the World were both commissioned by the Auckland Theatre Company. His work has been shown in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US.
For the past week in Rough Mix 2 I’ve been investigating in two main concepts. First of all, darkness, second, us. The first one questions what happens when you put out the lights in a performance, in a theatre, in a room. The second thinks on how do we tell the story of ourselves nowadays.
Each day, all the team of RM, has met as the work time comes to an end in the T4 space of Tramway to jump into the darkness. It has, in a way, become a sort of ritual, day after day, meeting each other as a last action, and spending some time together deep in obscurity.
There is something compelling in a community of people inhabiting a space where they can’t really see each other, reaching to one another, trying to stay together in a place where solitude is extolled by the surrounding and thick darkness.
Darkness, as I see it, has two main characteristics related to the individual and the community. On one side, it makes oneself more aware of himself, his physicality, his loneliness, his voice, his thoughts, his actions. On the other hand, it equalises everyone, sharing a common reality where we are blinded, dissolving our outlines into a sort of totality where we are one, where our edges can`t be really defined.
It is this duality that links for me darkness with the story of ourselves nowadays. Where we need particular stories, private anecdotes, confessions, dreams, that touch our individual being next to songs, events, facts that define a common background, history. A place where what is told has this dual characteristic, it has a personal link, told by a voice, attached to a personal life, but belongs to no-one, as there is not a body to link it with, it flies through the darkness and hangs there, like vibrating, resonating in all the bodies. Saying it belongs to no one is also saying it belongs to everybody, it has no owner or it is owned by all of us, to the community. We are free to feel addressed, identified, with it, as it doesn’t belong to anyone.
This path from individuality into community provoked by darkness and worked through storytelling takes roots in a long ritual tradition that can be traced into tribal feasts and shamanic events and somehow, in a society where this apparently doesn’t exist, still echos in us.