7th July 2020
Hello friends, I hope you’re doing ok in these confusing and crazy times.
I have gone through all the different feels recently as many of you, but I also managed to do a bit of work on a brand-new project and explore Zoom as a way to share – more on this soon.
Last month we also got the good news that Unfamiliar was shortlisted for a Zealous Stories: Performance Prize and were so happy. Thank you and congratulations to the team! This was followed by an invitation to adapt it to an online platform, performing it from home (which makes a lot of sense). It’s happening this Thursday 9th of July at 7.30pm as part of Forest Fringe TV. Would love to hear your thoughts on this experiment. You can book it here.
I was also newly appointed by artsdepot to join the Freelance Task Force, a group of over 120 freelancers to discuss our needs, have a voice in this moment and affect the future of the sector. It’s been an interesting new process, with rich conversations and lots of imminent actions. Inspired and hopeful to join in. If you’re a freelancer and have concerns about the industry, especially if you are feel like you have less access to the sector than others (i.e. black, POC, migrant, Latinx, Arab artists and professionals), I would love to hear from you.
Wishing you a lovely summer despite all hardship.
27th December 2019
What a year it has been! emotional and politically challenging but also so exciting, with lots of action, learning, great work and community. I’ve been busy with projects I love, so to round up this period I’d like to share some of my highlights with you:
It’s been wonderful to continue developing this piece with my partner, visual artist Yorgos Petrou. We explored ideas around what a family is, talked to a lot of members of queer families and discussed our hopes and dreams to become parents. We were kindly supported by Arts Council England. We had brilliant and emotionally challenging residencies at Pleasance Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and Applecart Arts, and were selected by Brighton Dome’s The Works to show an extract of the piece at The Basement in Brighton. We also performed at Fertility Fest’s Scratch Night at Barbican Centre. And we premiered the show at the opening night of CASA Festival at Arcola Theatre, where we had a lovely run, including a q&a with writer/activist Matthew Todd. We were so excited to be nominated for the LUKAS Awards for Theatrical Production of the Year and me as Performing Artist of the Year. We showed again at Papaya Fest at Bristol’s The Wardrobe Theatre.
WHERE TO BELONG
My solo about what makes a home, and being a Jewish-Lebanese Brazilian gay man, had a four-week run at Summerhall in August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe and Ellie Keel Productions’ Queer Season. It was incredible to meet such varied audiences, to get wonderful reviews and to be shortlisted for a SIT-UP Award. It was a very productive month with meeting lots of people. And to top it all Oberon Books printed the play text as part of the Oberon Modern Plays series, which is a first for me and it was so exciting.
In June I had the pleasure to curate an evening of forward looking queer performances to mark 50 years of Stonewall. This happened at the courtyard of the Battersea Arts Centre, under the stars on a beautiful evening. We had a mix of powerful, moving and personal performances from Laura Murphy, Alex Roberts, Es Morgan, OPIA Collective, Thania Acaron and an interactive installation about queer spaces by Lucy Hayhoe. And the lovely journalist and academic Ben Walters led a thought-provoking q&a.
SOME GOOD PEOPLE (Working title)
I have also continued participating in the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab where I have been writing a play about two brothers who are extreme opposites, and their search for a place where they can co-exist and perhaps connect. It explores left/right politics, family, queer identity, prejudice, intergenerational clashes and much more. An extract of this was beautifully directed and performed by Drama Studio London at the Soho Theatre. More on this soon.
Unfamiliar: Let us know if you’re in Brighton on w/c 13 Jan and you’d like to catch a sharing of Unfamiliar at The Marlborough.
Rituals: In mid-January I am starting research on rituals of letting go and I am looking for people from all backgrounds, who are not theatre performers, to join me for an afternoon to explore the themes at Shoreditch Town Hall. It should be fun and thought provoking. If you or someone you know feel like trying something different and being a part of a creative process please get in touch.
Wishing you the most beautiful year to come! Here’s hoping for a great one full of love, creativity, solidarity and connection!
All the very best,
Photo credit: Holly Revell