Paint into text: the re-formation of an exhibition into a dramatic text

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE A PRESENTATION BY award-winning dramatist and director and Head of Media Department, James Martin Charlton, on the re-formation of an exhibition into a dramatic text.

When? Thursday 30th January 2020, 15.00 – 16.00

Where? Room CG09 (College building), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

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James Martin Charlton’s new play Reformation was premiered in London in June 2019. Inspired by the life of the German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, the play was conceived after the author visited an exhibition featuring the artist’s work for the Hohenzollern electors. This encounter with Cranach’s portraits and mythological scenes inspired a work which explores themes of sexual exploitation, power and patronage. In this seminar, the author explores how work in the static, two dimensional medium of painting can be reformed into drama, a medium which combines action and dialogue and which progresses through time and three-dimensional space. How does a painter of the 16th century inspire a contemporary dramatist? What uses does a writer make of historical research, and when might it be permissible to speculate and imagine beyond the historical record?

Biography

JMC-2019James Martin Charlton (writer) is a dramatist, director and academic.

His plays include Fat Souls and Coming Up (Warehouse Theatre, Croydon); ecstasy + Grace (Finborough Theatre); Desires of Frankenstein (Open Air, Regents Park/Pleasance, Edinburgh); The World & his Wife, I Really Must be Getting Off (The White Bear); Coward (Just Some Theatre Co.). He has written two short pieces for The Miniaturists, Fellow Creature and Battis Boy (Arcola Theatre). His recent play Been on the Job Too Long has been produced three times since 2015 (at TheatreN16, the North London Literary Festival, and the Talos Festival of Science Fiction Theatre).

He wrote an adaptation of The Pilgrim’s Progress under commission by the RSC, and his biographical play about William Blake, Divine Vision, was performed at Swedenborg Hall.

He has directed a number of contemporary plays, including Gob, Bumps (King’s Head), Plastic Zion (White Bear), Histrionics (Underbelly, Edinburgh). He has directed three site-specific production of plays by James Kenworth: Revolution Farm (after Orwell) played at Newham City Farm in 2014; A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham toured east London libraries and community centres in 2016; Alice in Canning Town was produced at Arc in the Park in summer 2019.

He has written and directed two short films, Apeth (2007) and Academic (2011). He wrote screenplays for the shorts Emotional Tribunal and Best Shot. He recently filmed his play Fellow Creature for 360° video, as part research project into the medium which resulted in the 2019 article ‘VR and the dramatic theatre: are they fellow creatures?’ in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media.

He has lectured at UEL and Birkbeck and is currently Head of Department of Media at Middlesex University.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2019-20 Language & Communication research seminars.

2019-20 Language & Communication Research Seminars

The Language & Communication research cluster is excited to announce the fantastic line-up of presenters for our 2019-20 research seminars, at our HENDON CAMPUS. The seminars feature world-leading authorities and acclaimed practitioners who discuss their work on language, discourse and communication, literature, creative writing, media and cultural studies. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Dr Johan Siebers: I Interpret You. Thursday 12th December 2019, 15.00-16.00, Room G230 (Grove building).
  • Dr Josie Barnard: The Multimodal Writer. Thursday, 12th March 2020, 15.00-16.00, Room CG09 (College building).

 

Check back here for additional listings.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

ALICE IN CANNING TOWN Comes To Arc In The Park Adventure Playground This August

Book your tickets now, to see ‘Alice in Canning Town’, the contemporary urban re-interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, by our colleagues James Kenworth and James Charlton, in collaboration with Middlesex students, local pupils and professionals. Performances 12th – 18th of August.

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ALICE IN CANNING TOWN Comes To Arc In The Park Adventure Playground This AugustFollowing their production of Animal Farm on a real-life farmyard in 2014, James Kenworth and James Charlton bring a brand new, contemporary urban adaptation of much-loved fantasy adventure Alice in Wonderland to an adventure playground in the East End featuring tree houses, swings, trampolines, rope bridges and giant slides and a cast of professional actors and local Newham primary and secondary school pupils.

This is Alice in Wonderland as you’ve never seen before. All the favourite characters are still there, but in new, modern guises. A cockney rabbit, a rave-mad Mad Hatter, a hookah-smoking ex-Bollywood actor, Tweedledee and Tweedledum as hipsters, and a would-be grime artist called MC Turtle. From Cockney to Bangra, from the Krays to Stormzy, Alice in Canning Town is a celebration of not only one of the best loved fantasies of all time, but a kaleidoscopic and action-packed journey through an East End that survived Hitler’s blitz and reinvented itself as a leading light in multicultural Britain.

 

Alice in Canning Town has been reconfigured specially for the East End, and performed site-responsively in Canning Town’s Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town. Arc in the Park is a vibrant Adventure Playground, featuring tree houses, swings, trampolines, rope bridges, giant slides, teepees, and as such, is a perfect fit for the playful and surreal world of Alice. The play will involve local Newham primary and secondary school pupils acting alongside professional actors.

Following the critical acclaim of James Kenworth’s When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm, and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, three plays which were a unique collaboration between professional theatre artists and young people in Newham, Alice in Canning Town is the fourth in a quadtrilogy that explores the borough’s rich heritage and shows off the talent of its young people. It continues the collaboration between Kenworth and director James Charlton.

James Kenworth’s previous plays include the award winning Dementia’s Journey (London tour), and Newham-based, site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi (Kingsley Hall), Revolution Farm (Newham City Farm) and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham (Newham Libraries/Community Links).

James Martin Charlton is an award-winning playwright as well as director and academic. His previous plays include the critically acclaimed Fat Souls and Coming Up (Warehouse, Croydon), the sell-out hit I Really Must be Getting Off (White Bear), and Coward (Just Some Theatre Co.).

A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THE PRESENTATION BY PLAYWRIGHT AND MIDDLESEX LECTURER IN MEDIA NARRATIVE JAMES KENWORTH ON HIS PLAY ‘A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham’.

When? Friday 15 March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

In this presentation/talk, I will focus on the ongoing importance of the concept of site-specific environments to my writing practice and thinking about theatre making; the fusing together of my principal interests in creating theatre-orientated work, namely use of public, unconventional performance spaces and non-naturalistic /creative language in a A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, the third instalment in my Newham Trilogy; and a brief consideration of the public, inclusive and social nature of community-orientated, history-based theatre.

BIOGRAPHY

imageJames Kenworth is a Playwright and a Lecturer in Media Narrative at Middlesex University. His writing include ‘verse-prose’ plays Johnny Song, Gob; black comedy Polar Bears; issue-led plays Everybody’s World(Elder Abuse)Dementia’s Journey (Dementia); plays for young people/schools The Last Story in the World; and a Newham-based trilogy of site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham.

His play, Dementia’s Journey, won the 2015 University of Stirling International Dementia Award in the category: Dementia & the Arts. When Chaplin Met Gandhi and Revolution Farm is published by TSL Publications. A Splotch of Red has recently been published in a collection of political plays by Workable Press, a new publishing imprint dedicated to trade unions and organised workers.

He is currently working on his new play Alice in Canning Town, a contemporary, urban adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, reconfigured for the East End and performed site-specific in Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.