What’s On 2006
I Am Waiting…
While the Birmingham Opera are entertaining in an old bank broad Street, The Other Way Works (TOWW) are taking over another unlikely venue for a multi-media public art performance entitled I Am Waiting For The Opportunity To Save Someone’s Life.
Transforming a deserted flower shop in the Mailbox, the site-specific work has been inspired by the theme of waiting – be it from such time consuming pastimes as hanging about for public transport, a phone call or the washing machine to less physical and more emotional issues, such as the waiting for a kind remark.
Developed through various open discussions and unfinished taster sessions, I Am Waiting… is envisaged as a walk-through performance for which the ten-strong team – who include actors, a composer, film-maker and lighting designer – aim to create a unique environment with visitors encourages to roam amongst the cast and projections. dipping into the experience for as long as they wish.
Specialising in the unexpected, TOWW’s back catalogue includes Mayfly, a five minute light and sound show based slice of guerilla theatre set in a tent and performed unannounced on festival campsites, and Homing Instinct.
The Metro 2006
Five Questions For… Katie Day
What does I Am Waiting For The Opportunity… involve?
It runs for three hours a night but the audience are free to spend as long as they like there. We’ve created a series of spaces for them to walk through where there are performances happening that all investigate the idea of waiting, which seems to be perceived as a negative thing these days, when everyone’s in a rush.
Why are you performing it in The Mailbox?
The space came as part of The Artbox scheme and it’s a good location because people use it as a transit route so they can just drop in. But it’s also affected the feel of the work. We’ve made the front of the shop very slick, to look similar to a lot of other businesses here, but as you go further back things get darker and stranger in there.
What’s the ethos of The Other Way Works?
We always collaborate and make devised work with a diverse range of artists – it’s not just myself, Jane Packman and a bunch of actors. We’re working with a film-maker, lighting designer and musicians and everyone’s had input. And the audience are equally important – it should be more of an interactive experience rather than just a show.
What sort of things are you waiting for?
I’m really impatient and hate waiting! But having said that, I’m going to Italy soon and I’m taking the train for environmental reasons – so I’m swapping a three-hour flight for a 20-hour journey.
Who would you like to save your life?
My husband, because he’d just get on with it and I wouldn’t feel indebted to him afterwards.
The Stage 2006
Shoppers in Birmingham will soon be given the chance to get their hands on some precious culture while scratching the consumer itch.
The city’s Mailbox shopping centre is soon to play host to theatre company The Other Way works and its new project I Am Waiting for the Opportunity to Save Someone’s Life.
The show will be in situ from march 17-19 and march 22-26 from 5-8pm.
Presumably shoppers will also be issued will a small slip of paper reading “Please don’t touch the displays.”
Birmingham Mail 2006
IT USED to be a florist tucked in between the swanky shops and boutiques of the Mailbox.
But a Birmingham based theatre company has now transformed the empty shop into a performance space and will be entertaining shoppers with a unique free show later this month.
The company specialises in putting unusual shows in unusual locations.
“We are trying to take performances out of the theatre into public space,” said Katie, 26.
“We are still creating the show at the moment, but it will be a response to the surroundings and will include actors and video installations. We will even be using flowers in our performance because of what the place used to be.”
The new show, I Am Waiting For The Opportunity To Save Someone’s Life, is part theatre performance, part artwork.
Visitors are even able to contribute their suggestions and ideas to a website and could become part of the performance. “We had heard that the Mailbox was offering artists a space, but we suggested doing something a bit different,” added Katie.
“The Mailbox was really receptive and we were able to take over the space for a few months. We are building walls at the moment so there will be different spaces to move through. The show will really get the visitors involved.”
The Mailbox Birmingham
17–19 and 22–26 March 2006
Up Close – an open process
Alongside making I am waiting we ran Up Close – an open process, which created opportunities for the public to participate in the making of the production.
This included a web forum to facilitate discussion between the Company and our audiences and an intensive Work-in-Progress programme.
We found an enthusiastic and committed group who attended the Work-in-Progress Sharings, helped us painting vast areas of the space, performed as receptionists in The Q waiting area and became invaluable advocates for the production.
Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England