Rebecca McCutcheon

Director theatre & site specific performance


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Til We Meet in England 2017

Til We Meet In England At Safe House, Peckham, 2017

‘Til We Meet In England was a site-specific performance in Peckham. Created in and for Safehouse, a tiny, semi-derelict Victorian house in the backstreets of Peckham, ‘Til We Meet in England is part-performance, part-installation, fusing text, movement, objects and song to create a potent, intimate experience.

The production took Elizabeth Inchbald’s rarely performed tragedy, The Massacre, as its starting point. A brilliantly successful writer of wryly observed sex-comedies, this was Inchbald’s only tragedy, using the lens of the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacres to comment on the Terror in France. Wrestling with her horrific, lurid content, Inchbald uses fragments of ‘testimony’, words she claims come from eyewitness accounts, a nascent foreshadowing of testimonial drama. Ultimately, she censored the play, advised that it was unlikely to please (the subtext of this advice being that her own radical liberal politics were the problem).

Newly recovered for a contemporary audience, the play was vibrantly re-imagined for its perspectives on cultural intolerance, refugee experience, and its long-view of England’s international role. It offers a valuable view of Britain’s long, notable and now threatened identity as a place of tolerance and humanism. Examining the play in this context shines a spotlight on a long-silenced woman’s voice, presenting England’s moderation, and a much-needed positive image of Britain’s European past and present.

Lost Text Found Space is director Rebecca McCutcheon (Dido, Queen of Carthage, Vincent River), designer Talulah Mason (Traces, London) and a talented company, in the tiny found space of Safe House are a rare opportunity to encounter this remarkable gem in an intense environment.

See images here:

https://www.losttextfoundspace.com/gallery-1

Press and Audience views:

‘In Inchbald’s The Massacre, the company prove there is a play for today’ – The Times

‘Most impressive is the seamless move between installation and linear narrative’ – The Stage

‘Lost Space/ Found Text’s approach is gentle and intimate, guiding the audience through the performance and inviting them to participate in small ways. The performers’ refrain ‘Can you help me?’ is an invitation, not a command.’ – Exeunt Magazine

Audience responses:

‘I felt part of the action at all times which was both nerve-wracking and exciting – two sensations I rarely feel in the theatre! I was with you all the way.’

‘An intimate exiting way to experience performance. Brilliant cast and space.’

 


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Mariam in Peckham – The Cary Cycles

August 13th 2013 – Mariam Pop Up event – The “Gretchen Day” Gallery, Peckham

Last night was the first of our two pop up performances in the fictionalised Gretchen Day Gallery, on Copeland Park, Peckham.  My talented research group worked so hard to develop the performance-as-art-exhibition, which managed to be beautiful, funny and moving. The ‘frame’ of the high-profile retrospective, complete with conflicting curators, performance installations, giving way to Mariam’s post-Herod power-vacuum, was lucid, absorbing and visually arresting. Our intrepid audience moved and challenged us to explore their presence in relation to our site, performance and text. Well done to the whole team for taking the ideas to new and interesting places, and thanks so much to our generous audience whose feedback has been extremely insightful and positive.

Here are some bits of feedback which give a flavour of the performance:

“I liked the realisation that somehow one version of the story (the play) seemed to slip through a wormhole into another version (the installations).”

“I didn’t expect the gallery to be a kind of lens to see the play through. I was so impressed by how ‘present’ the words sounded.”

“The piece was generously providing me with surprises in terms of its nature, its presentation, its plots.”

Jack Davies and Jamie Smith both documented the performance and process with the following images.

Kayleigh Hawkins; photo Jamie Smith

Kayleigh Hawkins; photo Jamie Smith

Kate Russell Smith; photo Jamie Smith

Kate Russell Smith; photo Jamie Smith

Kayleigh Hawkins, Photo Jack Davies

Kayleigh Hawkins, Photo Jack Davies

Sarah Vevers, Kate-Russell Smtih and audience; photo Jack Davies

Sarah Vevers, Kate-Russell Smtih and audience; photo Jack Davies

Flora Wellelsey-Wesley; photo Jack Davies

Flora Wellelsey-Wesley; photo Jack Davies

Flora Wellesley-Wesley; photo Jack Davies

Flora Wellesley-Wesley; photo Jack Davies

Old waiting room

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In August 2012 I supported Peckham Vision in mounting their first ever public exhibition, which took place in the beautiful Old Waiting Room at Peckham Rye Station. This room is currently closed to the public, and it was wonderful to open it up and share the amazing atmosphere of this hidden gem with Peckham’s finest. I’m so greatfeul to all the volunteers and businesse who supported this project which was part of Peckham’s Cultural Olympiad. Local businesses included Persepolis, Anderson’s onBellenden Rd, Ganapati and our friends at the Montpelier Pub.

I hope we can see this space used for the community to create a new cultural space for Peckham.

Peckham Vision continues to develop as a local organisation with an interest in community action.