Emerging local artists join Curve for first ever Scratch programme

Mon 4 Mar 2013


Leicester, 4 March, 2013… / Four local emerging artists will join Curve today to take part in the theatre’s brand new Scratch Programme.

Unveiled in October 2012,

Scratch forms part of Curve’s new Community Engagement programme and for the first time offers a platform to help emerging artists in the East Midlands develop their creative ideas with practical mentorship, resources and performance space.

Curve’s first Scratch artists are Jennifer Manderson, an East Midlands based contemporary dance artist; Leicester based playwright and journalist, Beverley Hancock-SmithThe Impulse Collective, an emerging professional theatre company based in the East Midlands; and Elaine Pantling’s one-woman theatre company, Laurielorry Theatre.

Scratch commences with an intensive two week period, called a Scratch Window, where the artists will explore a new idea onsite at Curve with technical and artistic support, culminating with a performance to a live audience. Here, the four artists can share their work in development for the first time to receive feedback in order to strengthen and develop their ideas further. In the first Curve Scratch, the audience will be invite only on Friday 15 March.

Throughout the rest of the year, Curve will arrange for further development opportunities for these artists, including master classes and workshops with both its in-house experts and the internationally acclaimed artists Curve brings to the East Midlands.

Suba Das, Associate Director (Community Engagement) at Curve commented on the project; “It’s thrilling to be engaging with these exciting local talents and welcoming them into our incredible building. I think the range of work these artists are exploring, using things like interactive projection, site-specific work and dance, shows Curve’s commitment to helping create the theatre of the future, right here in the heart of the East Midlands.”

The first Scratch projects are:

Forgotten by Beverley Hancock Smith, a play exploring the lives of “the forgotten generation”, based on a series of interviews with elderly residents in care homes and sufferers of dementia.

The Last Cuppa by Elaine Pantling is about the ritual of making and sharing a cup of tea and how that experience shapes our lives.

The People Next Door by Jennifer Manderson an engaging piece of community-based dance-theatre involving shared personal memories and will engage elderly members of the community in the creative process and potentially, the final performance.

The world of viral videos will be interrogated by The Impulsive Collective. Through series of research, workshops, durational improvisations and devising, The Impulsive Collective want to know how, and if it is possible at all to bring the world of the viral video into the theatre in new and exciting ways.

Leicester based playwright, Beverley Hancock Smith commented; “With two weeks to create and develop the piece, the intensity and immediacy of the process will force me to work in new and exciting ways, whilst dramaturgical and technical support from Curve will enable me to push the boundaries of my writing. Scratch promises to be both a challenging and exhilarating process.”

22 companies and artists from across the region applied for selection for Curve’s first Scratch Programme. Selection was carried out by a panel including Curve Associate Director Suba Das, Curve Assistant Producer Alex Smith and Sophie Bradey, Producer at Battersea Arts Centre, the London venue which invented Scratch, and which first uncovered the international hit War Horse in a Scratch Window.



Please contact Clair Horwood, Media Officer at Curve

Tel: 0116 242 3574 or email [email protected]

Curve’s Scratch Artists:

Beverley Hancock-Smith:

Beverley has been writing for over 12 years as a playwright and journalist. She studied Drama at Exeter University (2001) and Journalism MA at Liverpool John Moores (2007) before graduating with distinction in an MA in Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths University (2009).

Bev’s previous plays include Just for Today, a verbatim play in which service users from Quality of Life shared their experiences of recovering from addiction, Sunday/Saturday for Off the Fence Theatre Company, Into the Blue for the Arcola Theatre, AdriftFat Camp and Best Before for Action Transport Theatre Company and Best BeforeCall Girls and Preggars for Attic Theatre Company. Her play Dead End Job won Most Promising New Writer at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre Write Now Festival. Bev lives and works in Leicester as a freelance writer and lecturer in English, playwriting and creative writing.

Scratch project: Forgotten

A combination of verbatim and fiction, the play Forgotten aims to explore the lives of “the forgotten generation”. Based on a series of interviews with elderly residents in care homes and suffers of dementia, the play will ask if life can begin again for those who are preparing for death?

Jennifer Manderson:

Jennifer Manderson is an East Midlands based emerging dance artist who graduated from Coventry University in 2010, with a first class honours in Dance and Theatre and Professional Practice. Jennifer is currently living in Nottingham where she teaches regularly and works collaboratively with other recent graduate artists. Jennifer is interested in creating dance work that is immersive and engaging, whilst challenging the conventional performance space. Her work is interdisciplinary; integrating voice and movement whilst investigating the use of props and objects. She hopes that her work will speak to a wide range of people, allowing new audiences to grow within the dance-theatre field. Jennifer is incredibley passionate about promoting contemporary dance within the East Midlands, and endeavours to deliver high quality community based projects to those who would not usually access the arts.

Scratch project: The People Next Door

is currently being redeveloped in order to create an engaging piece of dance-theatre which will become central to a wider, community-based project. Due to the memories and past experiences that the performers share with the audience, Jennifer hopes to explore the possibilities of engaging elderly members of the community within the creative process and potentially, the final performance

The Impulse Collective

Impulse Collective is an emerging professional theatre company based in the East Midlands. They specialise in contemporary devised theatre using large amounts of ensemble movement, verbatim, projection and comedy. Impulse Collective perform regionally and nationally in theatres as well as doing a lot of work with local communities and young people in schools and youth centres. Currently they are supported & mentored by New Perspectives Theatre Company as part of the STEP UP Companies scheme 2013. Made up of 5 graduates of the University of Northampton, they formed in 2011.

Scratch project:

Impulse Collective will be interrogating the world of viral videos. Through series of research, workshops, durational improvisations and devising, we want to know how, and if it is possible at all to bring the world of the viral video into the theatre in new and exciting ways.

Elaine Pantling / Laurielorry Theatre

Laurielorry Theatre is Elaine Pantling’s one-woman theatre company, taking everydayness and transforming it into a profound and extraordinary performed situation. The aim of Laurielorry is to explore the comedic possibilities in performance, to expose humour and pathos that not only enlightens, but also communicates with the audience. Elaine graduated, at the age of 40, from De Montfort University with BA Hon’s in Performing Arts. As Artistic Director of Laurielorry Theatre she has written, produced, performed in and toured nationally with

Roll Out The BerylApple Pie Order, a show that includes workshops that raise awareness of Domestic Violence/Abuse.

Elaine worked for twenty years as a ‘Time Served Cutter’ in the Hosiery trade… mainly in ‘Knickers’.

As a performer and writer she has devised, written and performed ten professional shows and built up a national following. She is currently touring a number of her works nationally to critical acclaim.

Scatch Project

‘The Last Cuppa’, explores the ritual of making and sharing a cup of tea and how that experience shapes our lives. The performance involves tea and cake to embody the housewife’s last cuppa! This is my biscuit broken for you. This is my teabag infused for you.