On Saturday the 24th of September, rising stars and graduate success story – The Thirteen Club – will join an array of talent presented across the whole weekend for the 11th staging of Margate’s Jazz Festival.
Book your tickets for the annual School of Music and Performing Arts Musical Thoroughly Modern Millie which will involve around 60 of our talented students – onstage, backstage, or playing in the live band!
One of our senior lecturers Marissia Fragkou has been giving some brilliant talks and has more upcoming. Have a look below and check out the weblink for more details!
29 April 2016: ‘Precarity or Crisis? Navigating what’s Overwhelming’, Crisis in Excess? Peforming Europe Today, event organised by Inside/Outside Europe Network, University of Winchester.
This provocation will be responding to the event’s call for revisiting the term crisis as ‘excess’. Drawing on my current research on precarity and performance, I will make a case for understanding contemporary notions of crisis through the framework of precarity. In doing so, the paper will discuss post-1990s understandings of notions of crisis in relation to identity, biopolitics and their affective registers.
21 March 2016: ‘Chorality and Rituality in Contemporary Theatre’, Guest lecture, Department of Theatre, Performance and Media Studies, University of Ghent, Belgium.
This guest lecture will present work from my recently published chapter ‘Precarious Citizenship in Rimini Protokoll’s Prometheus in Athens‘ (Performances of Capitalism, Crises and Resistance, ed. M. Zaroulia and P. Hager, Palgrave, 2015). I will be looking at connections across the use of chorality in contemporary European theatre and its intersections with street politics and understandings of precarity, public space and radical democracy.
10 March 2016: ‘Between “childhood crisis” and “masculinity in crisis”: Precarious Representations of children and Young People on the Contemporary Stage’, London Theatre Seminar
This paper emanates from a book project entitled Ecologies of Precarity in Twenty-First Century Theatre: Politics, Affect, Responsibility (Methuen, Drama Engage) which examines the proliferating representations of precarity in the theatre of the new millennium as iterations of an affective politics against discourses which render human lives disposable. This talk seeks to explore some ways in which contemporary theatre negotiates identity politics and human life. Taking the 1990s ‘childhood crisis’ and ‘the crisis of masculinity’ in conjunction with Judith Butler’s understanding of precarious life (2004; 2009; 2013) as its key departure points, the talk will consider the figure of the precarious child/young person as a crucible of ‘crisis’ and a conduit of ethical ambivalence.
Once again we were treated on this dreary afternoon to the wonderful Top Voices, directed by Chris Price. The pieces, which had been sorted into wonderfully named categories such as Love and Leaving and Slightly Fantastical, gave us a slightly eclectic but beautifully arranged concert.
Some were soft and lilting, such as the beautiful Lullaby ( Billy Joel), a song about remembrance. The gentle harmonies managed to even bring out the sunshine at one part, which i could stand to say was not a coincidence. Others were uplifting and humorous like the brilliant Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
(Tom Lehrer) which joyfully describes exactly what it says on the tin in an upbeat and jazzy manner.
The pieces were all performed by the group in it’s entirety, excepting two numbers. A joyful ode to the post box entitled Pillar to Post ( Flanders & Swann) and the hauntingly lovely When I Was in My Prime (Michael McGlynn). The latter, a wonderfully sung trio was accompanied by the slightest of drones from the rest of the group, enhancing the sound and adding a layer of depth to the number.
Kudos to Hannah Jacobi, who conducted a couple of the number with ease, and to Sara Wilson, who not only conducted but arranged a few of the numbers, including a glorious rendition of Summertime (Gershwin) which could very easily have slotted into the original musical Porgy and Bess without any trouble at all, and i doubt George or Ira Gershwin would mind at all.
Anyone who didn’t manage to see this amazing choir should try and find time to see them in the future, as you certainly do not want to miss this twice!
This lunchtime we were treated to a concert by the University Big Band, lead by the Wonderful Steve Waterman. The concert consisted of five numbers, chosen to show off the brilliant playing and improvisational skills of the performers. Each of the performances were seamless, with Waterman’s careful but precise conducting. He would always stand to the side during a solo so that the audience could appreciate it better, but then bring all of the band’s attention back to the piece with the slightest of gestures. Coupling this with the laid back style of music made the atmosphere much more relaxed and enjoyable.
The pieces were a wonderful contrast to each other. From the bluesy Sandu by Clifford Brown and the wonderfully sweet Little Sunflower by Freddie Hubbard to the upbeat and cheerful Killer Joe by Benny Golson, the beautifully moving A Child is Born by Thad Jones to the New Orleans funeral march Red Vest Man by our very own conductor and composer Steve Waterman that made you want to get up and salute the bygone heroes of the ’40’s and then have a great big swing dance afterwards
(I think you can tell which was my favourite piece).
The solos by the performers were spectacular, made even more so by the fact that they were improvised. A beautiful moment passed during one solo in which Jason (guitar) gave an appreciative smile towards Ben ( piano) during the latter’s solo in one of the numbers. It is such moments as this that make you realised not only are these students incredibly talented, but they respect and build up each other’s talent and strength in doing so. the only thing i could say was that the stunning piano solos by Ben and the guitar solos by Jason whilst reminiscent of the Modern Jazz Quartet were sometimes not loud enough to be fully heard and therefore appreciated more. Thankfully, the brilliant trumpet players Matt, Ayla and Adam, as well as drummer Chris had no such problems.
A special mention must be made to Anne Louise Jones, William Marsh and Evie Lawrence who stepped into the band at the last minute to cover performers who were unfortunately unwell. ( Evie stepped in less than an hour before the concert!) If it had not been mentioned at the start i genuinely believe that you would not have realised that they were there from day 0 given the way that the band worked perfectly through the pieces.