The Time (for change) Is Now

After the success of our Time Is Now commissions, we are delighted to share with you three new commissions from South West artists, who have created digital projects that reflect on what the last year has taught us about ourselves, our society and the changes that are needed when we finally emerge from this crisis.

Grown Ups

Devon-based playwright Lucy Bell’s new short film is inspired by interviews undertaken by students from Dawlish College with people in their 70s, 80s and 90s. Grown Ups shares stories across generations, gathering reflections on life from people with a broad range of perspectives and experiences.

Prior to being selected as a Northcott Associate Artist, Lucy graduated from Exeter Northcott’s Futures programme which gives support to Devon-based theatre-makers. She is also the Director of Documental Theatre. Since winning the prestigious Kevin Elyot Award last summer she has written five short stories set on a fictional Devon Island called Exiles; developed a play The Ha-Ha which was long-listed in the Paines Plough Women’s Prize; written a video monologue called Comfort Stop and has overseen the production of six new podcasts and radio plays for a project called Props.

Hope in the Face of Heartbreak: A Queer Information Film

Alistair Debling’s film uses AI generated imagery to explore the queer community’s ability to adapt, evolve and survive a pandemic and the coronavirus’s own processes of mutation, adaptation and survival. Featuring text devised and performed with Krishna Istha, Nando Messias and Edythe Woolley, the AI-generated video was made using a machine learning model trained by the artist on a database of images of disco balls, coronaviruses and exploding planets. Part survival guide, part disco, the film borrows its name from José Esteban Muñoz’s landmark essay on queer futurity.

In Search of Rainbows

Hannah Baxter-Freeman has created a short film about the strength people have found in the face of adversity. Her emotive short film In Search of Rainbows explores the moments of happiness that illuminated the dark during the whirlwind year that was 2020. Using a montage of moments captured by a broad range of participants, and overlaid by Hannah’s poetic and reflective words, the film’s starring role goes to you – our audiences. Thank you to everyone who contributed photos and videos clips to make this project a reality.

Hannah, who recently completed the Northcott’s Emerging Artists programme, is a Producer, Performer, and Collaborator working in the South West. She has a BA in Theatre and Performance and specialises in devising physical theatre and producing short films.

We had such a positive reaction to the first iteration of The Time is Now commissions – they enabled us to support artists in new ways and continue to engage our audiences whilst the theatre was closed. We’re delighted to be working with three more artists on these digital projects to help us think about the changes we’ve experienced at this time and the changes we want to make for the future.

Helen Bovey, Northcott Producer