Hats off to Skeg! SO Festival, Skegness, 2014

In July 2014 Russ, Rob, Zoë and Jude enjoyed much merriment and many adventures in sunny Skegness. 

Commissioned to reinvent Dive-in Movie the gang took to the yellow pedalos with much glee!

In the guises of Antony Wainfleet, Mabel Thorpe and Roxy Boxy the gang were pleased to meet and greet members of the public and entertain them with Hats off to Skeg! a romantic comedy ('rom com') featuring our old friends Maurice and Maureen Parkinson. All in all they had a 'splashing' time!

More images are available in the gallery 
here and in the SO Festival Archive here.

Please enjoy Hats off to Skeg! our 2014 SO Festival commission 

SO FestivalEast Lindsey District Council in partnership with Arts Council England (ACE), launched a summer festival in Skegness in 2009, called SO. The title 'SO' comes from the famous 1908 John Hassall poster which features the town's Jolly Fisherman prancing along the beach with the slogan of 'Skegness is SO Bracing' at the bottom and in this instance stands for 'Skegness Organises'.

Parky Tales, Grynparkas, Kaunas, Lithuania, 2013

Parky Tales was originally commissioned by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Magnetic Events for the Enchanted Parks event in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, December 2011. This was adapted for the international festival for culture and ecology, Grynparkas 2013. The festival explored the relationship of culture and nature in an urbanised location. EMBEDDED IN NATURE was an itinerary of live installations, performances, interactive situations on the island of the river Nemunas, in the centre of Kaunas city.
In honour of the occasion, Lines of Desire built themselves a Nemunas nest, in which Russ and Nicky Rushton took on the characters of Maurice and Maureen - part Park Keeper, part Bowerbird. They spent the duration of the festival preening, curating their nest and singing to themselves (much to the delight of the audience and passers by). More images are available in the
gallery here or on the Grynparkas Facebook page here.

Dive-in Movie, Enchanted Parks, Gateshead, 2012

Dive-in movie was commissioned for Enchanted Parks 2012. The piece was a twist on a 1950s drive in. Lines of Desire created an outdoor cinema, consisting of movie screen, projection booth, concession stand and a theatre area where visitors could view the movie from the privacy and comfort of, not parked cars but swan pedalos (which were woken from their Saltwell Park winter nest).
Sited on the Aviary Lawn (in keeping with the bird/swan theme), visitors were first greeted by usherette Susie Cygnet, who provide torch light guidance and a bit of cheerful cheekiness. Once in the cinema, visitors were able to watch The Bench, a bespoke slapstick movie featuring Maurice and Maureen Parkinson (who originally featured in 2011's Parky Tales),  the story of two romantics who want a quiet moment together on a park bench. Further entertainment was provided by projectionist Sad Cyril and Sidney Plumage, the charming Commissioner. Some lucky members of the audience may have found themselves in the love seat or one of the cheap seats

Despite the challenges of floating and cleaning some very sorry swans (who had been quarantined due to green algae) plus breaking ice to access them…it all paid off. Dive-in movie received very positive feedback and an estimated 15000 visitors over the 5 days. 

The swans are now back on their lake - probably missing the love and attention they have grown accustomed to.

here for more Dive-in images.

New Hartley Memorial Pathway, Northumberland 2012

Russ Coleman and Rob Walton were commissioned by Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure and the New Hartley Community Association to create a Memorial Pathway.  This was to commemorate the 150th anniversary of a mining disaster at the Hester Pit in January 1862, when 204 men and boys died, having been trapped underground after an iron beam crashed into the pit shaft.  Rob and Russ researched the events, using written records from the time to inform their work.  Rob worked with local schools and the wider community to generate ideas, which he then used to write the text which appears on the path.  Russ and Rob worked with the local community to create a shared idea of how the path should look.  Russ then designed and cast the resulting text and images in his workshop in North Shields, using white concrete for the letters against a black concrete background.  Other artists collaborated during construction. The unveiling will take place in September 2012.

here for news article video clip featuring Russ and Rob.

here for more Memorial Pathway images.

Parky Tales, Enchanted Parks, Gateshead, 2011

Parky Tales was commissioned by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Magnetic Events for the Enchanted Parks event in Saltwell Park, Gateshead which ran during December 2011.  Rob Walton wrote the script, based on research about the history of the park and Gateshead in the twentieth century.  The performers, Rob and Zoe Lambert, then used this as a basis for improvisation and interaction with the family audiences.  The set , props and costumes were designed and made by Russ Coleman, assisted by Evelyn Walton.  Songs, laughter and popping hot chestnuts could be heard in the park as audiences queued to take part in this critically acclaimed production.

here for more Parky Tales images.

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