Black Tonic 2015 Credits

July 23, 2015 by

Directed by Katie Day
Text by Clare Duffy
Video by Chris Keenan
Sound by Mark Day
Scenography by Xristina Penna
Card Game Designer Holly Gramazio
Stage management by Xanthe Parker
Creative Technologist David Haylock, Watershed
Producer Thomas Wildish
Identity Design by Sebastian Harding
Scientific Collaborator Professor Debra Skene

Performed by Ali Belbin, Angela Clerkin, Rochi Rampal, Graeme Rose, and Magdalena Tuka

2015 Tour funded by Arts Council England, The Sir Barry Jackson Trust, and our Kickstarter supporters. Supported by Watershed, Theatre in the Mill Bradford, and Birmingham REP. Official 2015 hotel partners: Radisson Blu Birmingham & The Bradford Hotel.

Originally commissioned by Camden People’s Theatre, and funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and the Sir Barry Jackson Trust, with support from Contact Theatre, CPT and mac.

Our thanks to the creative team and casts who played key roles in developing the original production in 2008.

Evaluation Report (2009)


An Evaluation Report of Black Tonic, produced in 2009 for the production’s principal funders the Welcome Trust, is available to download. Click here to download the Evaluation Report and Supporting Documents. This information is made available for the purposes of sharing our learning in relation to creating theatre that engages with science.

Sharing our learning about crowdfunding

July 17, 2015 by

I was asked to give a presentation about how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign recently, and thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of the learning I’d accumulated through running our Black Tonic 2015 campaign earlier this year, and the research I did that fed into the campaign.

I thought I’d share a PDF of the slides here, so others could take a look too.

Successful Crowdfunding Presentation PDF

R&D Retreat

July 17, 2014 by

R&D Retreat
Monnington House, Herefordshire February 2014

Watch the film documenting the week here

In February 2014 we brought together a small group of artists to develop ideas for a new project ‘Afterlife’ during a residential R&D week in rural Herefordshire.
‘Afterlife’ will be a 3 night residential retreat for 12 participants, where they are supported to select ONE memory from their life so far that would like to live in for eternity, and to receive artistic interpretations of the memory to take home that will act as memory triggers.
Our aim for the R&D week was to creatively interrogate the idea, and explore ways in which we could create this kind of experience for our participant­audience.
The artists all kept a journal during the week to note reflections and insights. Extracts from these are quoted below to help tell the story of the week.

We arrived at night, so none of us had a real sense of where we were, the look of the land nearby, if there were any houses, animals, etc… All this was unveiled the next morning. Having a secret location where participants arrive by cabs at night, might help with the sense of being retreated or in another dimension.


Every Monday should be labyrinth day! This was our first activity and one that I’ll keep in my mind forever.

The Labyrinth for me was a very apt introduction to what we are exploring. The group got together pretty fast and devised a way to make the shape of the Labyrinth collectively. The way these group dynamics worked contributed, I found, to the overall experience. The participation of everyone in the making of a common “game” with specific rules, and then the experience of walking the Labyrinth, helped me enter the right state of mind for thinking about the memories I would visit, and for sharing the space with the rest of the group.

We tried out a variety of creative techniques to find ways to unlock our memories, using smells, music, meditation, writing exercises, and visual prompt cards.

I like the more tangential sessions, approaching memory less directly: so, meditation and images are good and fruitful, the ‘think of a happy memory’ questions less so.


One writing exercise was based on our five senses: smell, taste, touch, sound and sight. What I found surprising was that every single sense brought completely different memories to the ones I had over the week. Five brand new memories.

Next we experimented with ways to get inside the memory and flesh it out, using drawing and writing exercises, and describing the environment of the memory to camera, then watching the films back.

Feelings and emotions are a key to this retreat. As a participant I was asked to delve into my past memories and pick one. This process, apart from bringing back these memories as images, brought up feelings and emotions. In some cases more intense than others.

We created immersive re­-enactments of two artists’ selected memories, and sought theirs and each others’ feedback on these.
Members of the team also created artistic interpretations of the two memories that would act as memory triggers: a haiku, a short piece of prose, a design for a trinket, a short film, an audio clip. ­­­

What worked for me was the interaction with other people’s memories.

The act of making the memory is a form of myth­making. This has the power to make the participants feel like they really are the heroes of their stories ­ if only momentarily.


We learned that the immersive experience is a powerful thing and valuable. It creates a new memory, linked to the original one.


Seeing her reaction [to the immersive re­enactment of her memory] made me a little emotional, but in a very positive way as I felt we’d nailed her memory recall experience. I felt proud of our work as a team and could imagine the sense of achievement we’d get from helping other people to re­live their memories and experiences.

Presentation to each other of artistic interpretations of our memories: micro films, creative writing, and designs for trinkets.

Creating something symbolic/impressionistic is more effective than something realistic. Also fragments are more successful as they allow room for the imagination. A sequence of fragments works well.


The team produced some beautiful things and experiences: films, immersive sensory experiences, poems, creative prose, designs for bespoke objects (drawings), tastes etc.

We found that the ‘metaphor’ of the memory is really helpful for creating the artistic memory triggers.


The difference with the sort of performance approach we have is that it puts the audience at the centre of the performance experience. The participants become directors of their own memories.

Katie Day | Mark Day | Chris Keenan | Jorge Lizalde | Katherine Maxwell­Cook | Xristina Penna | Louise Platt

Producer: Thomas Wildish

Director: Katie Day

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Protagonist – the ‘design fiction’ film


A design fiction film providing an example of what could be created by our automated ‘Protagonist’ service.

The Team:
Katie Day is Artistic Director of The Other Way Works, a theatre company based in Birmingham.
Dr John Troyer is Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath.

Concept & Content Selection: Katie Day
Example User: Hannah Nicklin
Animation & Video Production: Hazel O’Brien
Music: Mark Day

A software engine to automatically create a video life story from an individual’s social media content, ‘This is You’ is a practical attempt to make sense of our vast stashes of personal data in a human, emotional and narrative way.

‘Protagonist’ is a REACT Strategic Projects Feasibility Study

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), REACT (Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technology) is one of four UK Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy and is a collaboration between UWE Bristol (the University of the West of England), Watershed and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.

About the team:
Katie Day is Artistic Director of The Other Way Works, who create daring and remarkable theatre drawing the audience into the very heart of the experience. We recently produced Bandstand, a collection of audio performances for Bandstands delivered via a location-aware smartphone app. Katie Day produced Theatre Sandbox for Watershed in 2010, and brings that experience of developing theatre and technology projects to her own work on this project. “The Other Way Works is a dynamic young company that is successfully exploring the possibilities of what theatre can and might be” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Dr John Troyer is Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. His interdisciplinary research focuses on contemporary memorialisation practices, concepts of space and place, and the dead body’s relationship with technology. Dr. Troyer is also a theatre director and installation artist with extensive experience in site-specific performance across the United States and Europe.

A Sketch

July 28, 2013 by

A quickly made sketch of how we’d like the Afterlife experience to be remembered by a participant.

Homing Instinct Credits

July 24, 2013 by

Devised by Katie Day, Katherine Maxwell-Cook, Jane Packman and Louise Platt.

Music composed by Nuri Fontanals-Simmons.

Performed by Katie Day, Holly Denoon, Katherine Maxwell-Cook and Jane Packman

Treasured Credits


Directors and co-creators Katie Day and Jane Packman
Performers and co-creators Samantha Ann Fox, Katherine Maxwell Cook and Louise Platt
Lighting Designer Ben Pacey
Scenographers Alexandra Boussoulega and Rania Yfantidou
Jewellery designer makers Arms jewellery Louise Bryan
Neck jewellery Mikaela Lyons
Head jewellery John Moore
Stage Manager Gareth Nicholls

I Am Waiting Credits


Alexandra Boussoulega – Scenographer
Sarah Coyle – Performer
Katie Day – Director
Mark Day – Sound Designer
Chris Keenan – Film Maker and Photographer
Elyssa Livergant – Dramaturg
Ben Pacey – Lighting Designer
Jane Packman – Director
Louise Platt – Performer
Rania Yfantidou – Scenographer

Gareth Nicholls – Production Manager
Maggie Chipperfield, Julia Stidolph, Katie Sigafoos, Ailsa Hardy, Winifred Roberts Mok – Receptionists/Front of House

Thanks to:
Lucy Record, Zoe Charaktinou, Mark Basterfield and Ed Porteous, Nick Walker
Everyone who has contributed through attending work in progress sharings and posting on our Forum
The Artbox, THE pUBLIC, and mac

Complimentary Credits


Devised by the Company
Director: Katie Day
Performers: Gareth Nicholls and Louise Platt
Commissioned by Experiment:Grow
With thanks to Paul Warwick, Warwick Arts Centre, and artistic contributions from other members of The Other Way Works.

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