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Double Act & Remix

Double Act Theatre Company

Tam and Paul were senior members of Bournemouth based Double Act Theatre company for nine and seven years, respectively.  Double Act is the umbrella organisation for two theatre groups: Disabled Actors’ Theatre Company (DATco), for adults with physical/sensory impairments, and TOPS, for adults with learning difficulties. The sister companies run drama workshops for disabled people and tour  educational plays and workshops around disability issues and well-known stories to Arts Centres (including Poole's Centre For the Arts) andschools  in the Dorset area. For many years Double Act worked in partnership with State of Play Arts (formerly Bournemouth Theatre in Education.)

As well as Acting, planning and co-leading workshops both Tam and Paul were active Steering group members and were also on the marketing team. They were heavily  involved with  assisting with the day-to-day running of the companies, organising and marketing tours and workshops and fund-raising.  

Double Act Productions which feature Tam (DATco) and Paul (TOPS & DATco) include:

  • January-July 2011: Various, Can I be Frank With You?, a modern take on Frankenstein, involving film, and cabaret style monologues, songs and dance (written by the cast and Directed By Jamie Beddard).
  • November 2009 – June 2010: Paul, Petula Rose, Tam, Various, Whirling Dogs Cabaret, a series of sketches, monologues, dances, songs and poetry. (Devised by Double Act, directed by Tony Horitz (State Of Play). Tam also worked with Mat Fraser on comedy, and on writing a monologue – Wedding Unvite.
  • November 2008 – January 2009:  Tam, Sophie Strudel, Paul, Igor, Beauty & The Beast Cabaret (adapted and directed by Tony Horitz (BTiE).
  • November 2007 – January 2008: Tam, Alice, Paul, March Hare, Alice In Wonderland, (adapted and directed by Tony Horitz (BTiE).
  • November 2006 – January 2007: Tam, Various, Paul, Vizier's Son Aladdin (adapted and directed by Tony Horitz (BTiE).
  • November 2005 – January 2006: Tam, Dorothy, Paul, Tin Man, The Wizard of Oz (adapted and directed by Tony Horitz (BtiE).
  • June – July 2006: (DATco only) Tam, Various, What If It Were you?, a devised integrated play and workshop exploring the stereotyped attitudes to disability in a parallel-universe society where the able-bodied and disabled roles are reversed. (Written by DATco & Tony Horitz, directed by Tony Horitz, (BTiE).
  • September 2004 – May 2006: (DATco only) Tam, Aqua, Fittings; The Last Freak Show (by Mike Kenny, directed by Jamie Beddard, Graeae Theatre Company).
  •  November 2004 – January 2005: Tam, Various, A Christmas Carol (adapted and directed by Tony Horitz (BTiE).
  • May – June 2003: (DATco only) Tam, Various, Angel, a devised piece taken from the short story ‘An Old Man with Enormous Wings’ by Gabrielle Garcia Marquez (directed by Tony Horitz (BTiE).

 Tam says:

"My time with Double Act has been hugely rewarding.  I have had the opportunity to grow not only as a facilitator/arts manager/administrator, but as a performer. It is exciting to think that the skills and confidence I have gained can now be passed on to others, and they will find out as I have, that disability is not a barrier to achieving your dreams. Drama and theatre are a great way of communicating what is important to you. Of course there are bound to be challenges along the way (as with anything in life!) but, with the right knowlege and guidence any hurdles can be overcome!"

Paul says:

"Double Act has been a wonderful part of my life. I have gained a lot of skills and now have friends who I want to keep in contact with all my life.
The skills I have learned from the company have been great and have given me an insight into working with people with with disabilities other then my own, which at the beginning I did not know. I think if it was not for the people backstage like Tony Horitz and Shaz Watkins who have pushed me to achieve the goals I have set out for myself, I would not have got this far"

 

Work with the Remix Youth Performance Company

(Managed by Activate Performing Arts)

Background

From Remix’s birth in 2007 until Spring 2011, Tam and Paul were two of the three Remix Associate Artists,’ representing Double Act Theatre Company as peer mentors to the young people, and  training as facilitators under the guidance of Artistic Director Claire Hodgson (Diverse City).

The Remix is an integrated company of young people aged between 12-19 years from Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. They meet once a month and for four day residencies in half term and holidays to create dance and theatre work which is showcased at festivals and events at Dorset venues such as Lighthouse Poole, and Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth.

The Remix work on a regular basis with Claire Hodgson, and residencies are led by leading UK disabled and non-disabled practitioners and companies. Regular names include Jamie Beddard, David Toole, Graeae Theatre Company, CanddoCoo and STOPGAP dance companies.

Remix Performances that the Associate Artists’ were involved in include, Club Shambles, Days Of Our Lives, Ska Hamlet, From Here To Hollywood, The Royal Remix, Flashmob, Pass The Peas, and Spotlight among others.

The Associate Artists’ role on Remix

The Three Associate Artists’ received funding from the Arts Coouncil’s Grants for the Arts and IMPACT programmes. Their duties included:

  • Being role models for the young people, supporting during rehearsals
  • Performing in dance pieces to support the young people
  • On theatre pieces, working with Claire in their areas of discipline (Tam as Assistant Director, Paul as Technical/facilitator, and the third artist, Shaine Singer as Writer in Residence)

 

Spotlight

On their last year of Remix, as their showcase production, the Associate Artists were given the opportunity to develop, write and direct  a play. Spotlight was performed by  a cast of 20 young people from Remix in the Ballroom at Bournemouth Pavilion

As part of their training and development, Tam Paul and Shaine:

  • Project Managed and planned their training and rehearsals
  • Worked on Story Development with Claire Hodgson (Remix/Diverse City)
  • Underwent facilitation training with Tony Horitz (Double Act/State of Play)
  • Shaine developed and wrote the script with Gill Horitz (State of Play)
  • Planned and liaised on costumes and music
  • worked on the production side and marketing with support from Project Manager Jenny Gordon (JAM)
  • Went on intensive training/work placements with outside organisations to gain further experience (Tam spent a week at the Orpheus Centre in Surrey, Paul went to Mind the Gap Theatre Company in Bradford and Shaine visited Bristol’s Firebird Theatre Company.)
  • Led a four day residency,  two subsequent rehearsals and Performance day (supported by Tony and Claire)

Audience feedback was very positive:

"The confidence of the young people is amazing"

"I think they’re magnificent"

"Fantastic"

"We think its a very worthwhile project"

"Roll on next time!"

"Inspiring -  puts your own life into perspective"

"It was very moving"

"You reached for the sky and you flew like a bird of pure beauty"

Paul says:

“I have loved my time working with the Remix.  I have seen how the company has grown and how the members help each other out. The Remix has given me the confidence to turn my ambition of becoming a producer into reality. I had the opportunity to go on a residency and work with a company called Mind The Gap  and then went on tour with them when they were down  south. I have a lot to thank the Remix for and I would like to say thank you to the Remix and Claire Hodgson, Jenny Gordon and Activate for having faith in me.”

Tam says:

“My time on Remix has been very special. I have learned so much about working with young people,  and watching them grow in confidence creatively and socially over the years has been very exciting. I owe so much to Claire and the rest of the team for giving me this fantastic training opportunity. Remix has become a huge part of my life – long may my association with the company continue!”