In Their Own Words

by Michael Betteridge & Anna Braithwaite

1 Oct | Showroom Big Space | 7pm | £10/£8

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A work-in-progress performance.

Composers Anna Braithwaite and Michael Betteridge have teamed up to create a radical new music-theatre piece, staged by director Nick Blackburn. The production premieres two new works, one from each composer, that set the stories of people facing life-changing diagnoses to a musical backdrop, using the subjects’ own words as their source text. The composers have drawn upon an eclectic set of influences from both avant-garde and popular culture to create pieces for solo voice, clarinet, tape and percussion.

In an era where the rate of HIV-positive diagnoses are on the rise, Michael’s work addresses the issue by telling the story of a twenty-one year old man living with the virus. Having conducted a series of interviews with his subject, the resulting text has enabled him to write a candid and intimate depiction of his daily life which interrogates attitudes to safe sex in the wider LGBT community. Presented in partnership with And What? Queer Arts Fest.

Anna’s piece scrutinises society’s role in caring for people with dementia as her subject, a young woman, struggles to stay independent in her own home. The work uncovers universal themes of memory and identity in the issues affecting her daily life and celebrates the ingenuity of the human brain, even when under existential threat.

These are humourous and poignant musical portraits, told ‘In Their Own Words’.

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