The Queen’s Theater Hornchurch has released the first production photos of In This Smoking Chaos, the show continues from Wednesday September 21 to Saturday September 24 as part of the Theatre’s Blueprint Festival.
Part theatre, part art installation, part cinema – artist and designer Laura Ann Price and her team of collaborators crafted a raw human drama of 31 scenes in 31 minutes. It will be performed by two performers, who perform, dance and perform spoken word poetry and create live soundscapes. Laura is interested in how design and scene changes can tell a story beyond worlds.
This production is driven by its design. The play space is an impressive five meter high cube on the main stage of the Queen’s Theater Hornchurch which rotates to reveal the different facades and interiors of the ever-changing landscape. Bold projections and lighting illuminate the cube, and a soundtrack of high-octane contemporary music sets the emotional tone for the haunting drama.
From Edward Hopper’s poetic paintings to Gaspar Noé’s “disturb and disturb” cinema, In This Smoking Chaos draws on a range of cultural influences. Classical music meets rave and ambient sound on a soundtrack originally inspired by the heartfelt music of Fred Again (the DJ and producer of Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Aitch).
Laura Ann Price represented the UK at the Prague Quadrennial, an international event which aims to bring together the best in performance design, scenography and theater architecture from around the world every four years. To celebrate the diversity of performance design in the UK, the Society of British Theater Design has selected some of the most exciting artists working today to exhibit in an exhibition called Staging Places: UK Design for Performance 2015-2019. She presented her 2018 design for Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads for Leeds Playhouse.
Other design credits include: The Rising Sun in association with David Shearing, Donmar Resident Design Assistant, Hello & Goodbye (York Theater Royal), Dinner 18:55 (Leeds Playhouse), Linbury Finalist 2019, Talking Heads (Leeds Playhouse), Economy of Ecology (New Diorama & HOME Manchester) and Heretic Voices (Arcola Theatre).
Laura, 31, said, “Blueprint opens doors for creatives to explore innovative ways of working inside and outside of conventional theater spaces. Having the opportunity to experiment and create with the support of technical staff at Queen’s Theater Hornchurch is a game changer for me as an artist and designer. Thanks to QTH for taking a risk at a time when it would have been easy to fall back to safe standards and for standing up for artists and new work.
Laura’s collaborators are: Raisa Daya Assistant Stage Manager, Jitney (Old Vic/Headlong), Bring It On (Southbank Centre); Charlie Derrar Director, playwright and lyricist, Hand of God (The Hope Theatre), Clockwork (Bolton Great Hall); Yael Elisheva Performer and creator, Pride Table (Avenues: The World School), Take On Me (Retro Factory); Bar Groisman Movement Director and Designer, This Is Not A Show About Hong Kong (Edinburgh Fringe – Fringe First Award), Bar co-founded Sababa Co (a contemporary dance theater company); Tatenda Matsvai Performer, creator and lyricist, Anybody of Water (Theatre Peckham), Dark Matter (Black Womxn In Theatre); Stephen Pemble Lighting Designer, All My Sons and Neville’s Island (Queen’s Theater Hornchurch); and Anna Short Sound Designer, Seven Celebrations (Orange Tree), I Know I Know I Know (Southwark Playhouse).
Blueprint: a festival of new ideas for all tastes. Two weeks of 12 exciting events inside and outside the theater using every available space, from rooftop to basement and parking lot – featuring new writing, immersive experiences, scratch party, culinary delights , walking shows, Essex stories, accessible performances, DJ Chinaman and Suite. Most events cost £5 plus a 65p QNext fee and some are free.
Tickets for In This Smoking Chaos are £5, £3 off. For full details of In This Smoking Chaos and the full Blueprint Festival program go to www.queens-theatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01708 443333. Blueprint is valid until 24 September.
Photo credit: Zbigniew Kotciewicz