Ovalhouse and Accidental Collective present
Here’s Hoping by Accidental Collective
An intimate collage of hopeful stories for these dark times, from Leningrad in 1942 to current day Aleppo, from Obama to Enya.
Wed 26 Oct – Sat 29 Oct, 7:30pm
You can buy your tickets here: http://www.ovalhouse.com/
Accidental Collective wrote and directed this piece and they chatted to Break A Leg about the piece:
Tell me about the piece and your vision for Here’s Hoping…
Times are tough and news is grim. We were in need of some hope, so we thought we should make a show about it. From Leningrad in 1942 to modern day Aleppo, from Obama to Enya, ‘Here’s Hoping’ is an intimate collage of hopeful stories for these dark times. Rather than offering black and white solutions, it asks questions and plays with the imagination in an attempt to find a way forward. Though the ideas we are exploring are big and complex, the show is quite simple: we are being ourselves, we tell stories, and we interact with the audience. ‘Here’s Hoping’ isn’t grand theatre, but a small, personal and heartfelt call to arms. It’s about determination and resilience, about not giving up, about keeping going despite the odds.
How is the space lending itself to the piece?
‘Here’s Hoping’ offers a different perspective, literally giving audiences a different view of the theatre. That means that the show responds to the quirks and features of each venue. It expands and shrinks as necessary. We last performed it at Theatre Royal Margate, which is an old-fashioned theatre (with a proscenium arch, balconies and plush red seats). So for Ovalhouse we have adapted and moved things around to better fit into this space. One of the great things about a black box studio is that there is a more intimate relationship with the audience, which really suits the performance.
What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?
We want the audience to have a different experience to the usual theatre show, where they passively sit in the dark. We want them to have a sense of coming together, of being present here and now, with us and with each other. We have found that hope is not an idea that people think about or confront very often. It is usually something very private that happens kind of at the back of your head. So with the show we want to give audiences the time and space to mull it over with us. That sounds very serious, but it’s also a quite playful show!
Have rehearsals altered your initial thoughts, at all?
At first we thought this would be a show about the triumph of hope. We wanted it to lift people up, to make their hearts sing. But the more we delved into the process and asked questions about hope, the more we realised that things are not as simple as that. Things developed for us when we read Rebecca Solnit’s wonderfully inspiring book “Hope in the Dark”. In it she argues that hope is not a fix-all solution, and that it can only be a first step – towards action! Taking all those things on board meant that the show became more nuanced.
What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?
We could all do with some hope. The show deals with some big questions but from a very human angle. It’s entertaining, but it also deals with something we are all thinking about, especially now. So it is a heart-warming show that everyone will be able to connect with.
Finally, any advice for budding directors/writers?
Keep going! Whilst we aren’t traditional writers or directors, and didn’t come to performance through those routes, we do believe that perseverance is vital to a career in the arts. And not caring about money. You need to adjust your ideas about success, there are no promotions like in ‘normal jobs’. Ultimately there is no one single route to making work in the arts world – you have find your own way. Listen to all the advice you get and then, put it to one side and decide what is going to work for yourself. First and foremost, be a pleasant human being, and create things that make you feel satisfied and happy.
Break A Leg, guys, the show sounds great!