Purposeless Movements


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Purposeless Movements is a visually stunning dance theatre piece that riffs on the stories of four guys with cerebral palsy, how it affects their lives, their gender, their masculinity and their movement.

Funny and challenging in equal measure, the show fuses music, video, movement and text as the guys tell humorous and poignant stories of their laughter, their inappropriateness and their tears – stories that ask what it is to move and be moved. How do these stories come together to shape their identities? What do they share with one another and what sets them apart? And how much of this is down to Cerebral Palsy?

When they were born the doctors called it Purposeless Movements – for them it’s just how they get around.

The production is accompanied by music performed live on stage.

Originally produced in 2016, Purposeless Movements was revived for Edinburgh International Festival in 2019
(skip to 2016 information)

Performance Details:

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock Fri 16 – Sat 17 Aug 2019

The Studio, Edinburgh Mon 19 – Sat 24 Aug 2019 (part of Edinburgh International Festival)

Part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2019

Trailer for Purposeless Movements at EIF

 

ACCESS INFORMATION

BSL trailer:

Route to The Studio:

This video shows you a level access route of how to get from Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, to The Studio. For information on how to get to Festival Theatre, please visit their website here. For further access information about The Studio you can visit the Capital Theatres website, Edinburgh International Festival website or the Access Scottish Theatre website.

Easy Read & Visual Synopsis:

Please click on either of the following links to view the Easy Read & Visual Synopsis of Purposeless Movements.

Set & Costume Description:

Please click on either of the following links to view the set and costume descriptions of Purposeless Movements.

To book a Touch Tour please call 0131 472 2056 or click here for further information.

For anybody who requires a quiet area, there is a Retreat Space in the foyer of The Studio.

 

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IN THE MEDIA

FEATURE INTERVIEW: Robert Softley Gale
The Guardian

“…a brilliant, brainy and beautiful piece that leaves you with generous answers as well as multiple questions.”
★★★★★ The List

“Honest, gripping and emotively intimate, this is a must see. A very importance piece of theatre which educates as well as entertains.”
★★★★★ Edinburgh Guide

“… compelling deliberations on the ways in which men with disabilities negotiate their gender identity and sexuality.”
★★★★ The Times

“… a warm and funny experience that achieves what all the best theatre does: open a window on other lives…”
★★★★ The Independent

“Sharp humour and glimmers of hope weave through the piece as they start to poke fun at their own disability.”
★★★★ The Stage

“…celebrating both strength and vulnerability while taking preconceptions of disability to the edge.”
★★★★ The Wee Review

“Provocative without being confrontational, it is a rich and intelligent production that cajoles even as it seduces.”
★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

 

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM:

Robert Softley Gale: Writer & Director

Robert is an established figure in the Scottish arts scene. His professional acting debut was in 2002 and since then he has appeared in many productions – including co-writing and performing in Girl X for National Theatre of Scotland. His award-winning solo performance – If These Spasms Could Speak – was a hit of the 2013 Made in Scotland programme and has subsequently toured internationally to countries including Brazil, Estonia, the USA, Ireland and India. For BOP he has directed the smash-hit sex comedy Wendy Hoose and wrote and directed My Left / Right Foot – The Musical, which won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018.


Rachel Drazek: Movement & Associate Director

Rachel’s work spans Movement Direction & Choreography for Theatre.

Her current projects include Sunday in the Park with George for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in March; the return of My Left/Right Foot, for NTS/BOP in Spring 2019 ; and a new piece of work made for Kensington Palace, happening later in the year.

2018 credits include : If we’ve never been to the Moon and The Naughty Fox both for The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; a large-scale outdoor piece for Gravity Fields Festival; a sell out run of My Left/Right Foot at the Edinburgh Fringe for NTS/BOP ; Digging for Victory (Watermill), and Electra (The Bunker, London).

Other credits : Dido & Aeneas (Festival Voices London), 100 Years of War & Peace (Rosa Productions, Greenham Common), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Southwark Playhouse London), Purposeless Movements (BOP) & Hurricane Boy (Ellen Havard).

Rachel is Performance Coach for Post-Graduate Creative Musicians at Leeds College of Music (LCoM), and recently travelled to Rwanda with BOP & The British Council to develop a new show with local artists.

She trained in Acting at GSA Conservatoire, and UCLAN for an MA in Somatic Movement.


Laurence Clark: Performer

With over ten years’ experience in hosting and performing at corporate events, Laurence ce is in high demand on the conference circuit. Whether it’s stand-up comedy, a keynote speech, a witty talk after lunch or dinner, facilitating a workshop, or hosting an event, Laurence has the ability to connect and communicate with a wide and diverse range of audiences.

Laurence Clark is an internationally-acclaimed comedian, screen writer, playwright and actor who has cerebral palsy. He has performed everywhere from 10 Downing Street to a double-decker bus touring Sheffield. His observational, political stand-up, and filmed stunts, demonstrate the endearing naivety and ridiculousness of human behaviour by seeing the world through his eyes – with humour and warmth.

With television appearances on BBC, ITV and Channel 4, Laurence was the subject of major BBC1 documentary We Won’t Drop the Baby, been a presenter for BBC Newsnight and has recently appeared on The Wright Stuff and The One Show. He was awarded Shortlist magazine’s Funniest New Comedian and has been a finalist in the Amused Moose Edinburgh Comedy Awards. He has blogged for BBC Ouch, The Independent and The Guardian and regularly performs with the comedy collective Abnormally Funny People.

His solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe have gained him a plethora of four and five star reviews. He is also a prolific writer
. His first play, Cured about a group of young disabled people who rebel whilst on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, won an Unlimited commission and is being developed as a full production by Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre. He has completed Channel 4’s Commissioner Mentoring Scheme and his drama series Help about two disabled parents who control their own support, based on personal experience, has been optioned by Lime pictures.

He has written and performed in his first short film, Tick Box for 104 Films which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017. Together with Matt Holt, he was commissioned by Channel 4 to write a sitcom pilot called Intolerable which they’re now developing with Objective Fiction.


Pete Edwards: Performer

My artistic practice spans acting, writing, devising and leading workshops.

My acting work includes:
Moliere’s George Dandin, directed by Phillip Osmond. The short film Welcome Stop, directed by Michael Achtman. My solo show Fat which I wrote and performed, which was also directed by Michael Achtman.
I took Fat on tour which included DaDa Festival Liverpool where I won the “Emerging Artist Award” of 2010. I also went with the show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival In 2012. In 2016 I was in the first production of Purposeless Movements, that went on a short tour of Scotland.

My other work includes:
In 2013 I was supported by the Arts Council England, the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School of Music & Drama to design and deliver performance workshops for people with alternative forms of communication.

In 2014 I was awarded an Unlimited R&D, exploring themes of rape and sexual abuse of disabled people through a mixture of realistic and abstract scenes.

I have also delivered accessible drama workshops for RAWD in Liverpool, spoken at the Integer ART conference in Geneva and at the Live Art Development Agency’s Access All Areas conference in London. I am currently writing a book which is based on my life.



Colin Young: Performer

Colin Young is a disabled actor with Cerebral Palsy. Making his debut in “Call The Midwife”, Colin played the role of Jacob Milligan who had an on-screen relationship with Sally Harper, played by Sarah Gordy MBE. Colin has since appeared on CBBC’s Dumping Ground. Colin was apart of the cast of Purposeless Movements in 2016.


Amy Cheskin: Performance Interpreter


Amy Cheskin is an experienced British Sign Language (BSL) Performance Interpreter. She graduated from the University of Bristol in 2008 with a 1st Class Hons BSc in Deaf Studies where she opted to pursue specialist knowledge of Sign Language Literature and Performance. Over the last 10 years she has continued to study and develop her own linguistic nuance and style of theatre interpreting. Previously regaling a more traditional ‘side of stage’ interpreting role, it was within the beautifully crafted Purposeless Movements by Birds of Paradise (2016) that she took centre stage. Amy has since performed at a wide range of venues across Scotland with particular interest in the integration of BSL as a creative artistic tool. She is particularly remembered for her work in Stud (2016), Chess (2017), Blanche & Butch (2017), Spring Awakening (2018), In Burrow’s (2018), Hamnet (2018), Pride & Prejudice *sort of (2018) & -ish (2018). Amy is particularly keen to continue developing work that is open to all audiences, and hold the door open for the next generation of aspiring talent both within the interpreting and the deaf community.

Scott Twynholm: Composer & Musician

Scott Twynholm is a Scottish composer.

He was a member of Looper with Stuart David of Belle&Sebastian, formed the electro-pop band Hoboken with filmmaker Jonathan Carr and released solo records under the Metrovavan pseudonym, the first release of which picked up single of the month in Record Collector Magazine.

Music from Looper appeared in many films including Vanilla Sky and Palm D’or nominated Edukators. After an electronic pop career he returned to study classical composition and he now works
predominately in the collaborative mediums of film, dance, theatre and art. A versatile composer, his music often spans the worlds of contemporary classical and experimental pop.

Recent releases include the soundtrack to the documentary about artist and writer Alasdair Gray and an extended dance work, In the Ink Dark, for choreographer Luke Pell. In 2018 he also scored Make Me Up, the first feature film by multi-media artist Rachel Maclean.

He is published by Mute Song.


Jill O'Sullivan: Musician

Jill O’Sullivan is a multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter based in Glasgow. She released 3 critically-acclaimed albums with band Sparrow and the Workshop between 2008 and 2013, during which time she toured with seminal bands The Pogues and  the Brian Jonestown Massacre, performed at prestigious music festivals Glastonbury, Bestival, Green Man and T in the Park, recorded with Leo Abrahams and was playlisted on BBC6 Music. She has also released albums with Bdy_Prts and Do the Gods Speak Esperanto and has appeared on albums alongside renowned musicians Alex Neilson, Scott Hutchinson, Emma Pollock, Alasdair Roberts and James Yorkston. Jill recently co-wrote and performed the music for Magnetic North’s lauded theatre piece “Lost in Music” and performed as a musician in BOP’s critically-acclaimed work “Purposeless Movements”. She is currently working on new project Jill Lorean and will be releasing new material in 2020.


Luke Pell: Dramaturg

Fascinated by detail, nuances of time, texture, memory and landscape Luke Pell is an artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland who collaborates with people and places, imagining alternative contexts for performance, participation and discourse that might reveal wisdoms for living. Working with words and movements – words as movements – to draw together seemingly unrelated constellations of bodies and thought their practice takes form as intimate encounters – poetic objects, installations, performances and designed environments – choreographies in print and in person.

As a maker, curator and dramaturg Luke’s work explores how dance and choreographic thinking meets with other worlds and realities, collaborating with independent artists and organisations – often considered outliers – to support the creation of distinct projects, navigate processes of change and explore the emergence and evolution of practice. Artists Luke has worked with include Birds of Paradise Theatre, Nigel Charnock, Claire Cunningham, Jess Curtis, Caroline Bowditch, Jassy Earl and Chloë Smith, Mirjam Gurtner, Shobana Jeysasingh, Naomi Lakmaier, Kate Marsh, Ania Nowak, Janice Parker, Claricia Parinussa, Lucy Suggate and Athina Vahla.

Luke teaches and lectures for students and professionals worldwide – British Council, Central School of Speech and Drama, D.O.C.H, Imaginate, Trinity Laban, The Place, The Royal Academy of Dance M-Tech, Skånes Dansteater – and been an advisor to a range of companies and institutions – Jardin D’Europe with Southbank Centre, Metal, Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Awards and Wellcome Trust Arts Awards. Formerly Head of Learning and Research with Candoco Dance Company, Chair of the Board for Chisenhale Dance Space and Dramaturg in Residence with South East Dance, Luke is an Associate Artist with Fevered Sleep and of Dance Base, Scotland.


 
This video is an interview with Robert Softley Gale made by the Edinburgh International Festival as part of a series of interviews they filmed for the festival in 2019. Apologies for the lack of captions – this video was made by the EIF.

 

⬇️ Information about the 2016 tour ⬇️

Performance Details:

Tramway, Glasgow Thu 25 – Sat 27 Feb 2016

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Wed 2 – Fri 4 Mar 2016

Eden Court, Inverness Wed 16 Mar 2016

Reviews

“…this is one brilliantly shrewd triumph of a show…”
“It’s theatre with an intensity of purpose, honest even unflinchingly graphic, wickedly funny and memorably impressive at every level.”
★★★★★ Herald »

“real laugh-out-loud stuff…wit, charm and pathos…”
“the music and song is an integral, and often beautiful, part of the show’s emotional integrity”
★★★★ The Scotsman »

“…a genuinely engaging, touching and amusing production…”
★★★★ Broadway Baby

“Unflinching, inventive, and tender…”
★★★★ The Stage »

“The stories…are personal, often very intimate, and also incredibly funny”
★★★★ TVBomb

“…as satisfying in its form as anything crafted for the big popular circuit….its true value in creating theatrical magic…”
★★★★ AllEdinburghTheatre

 

Discover what audiences thought of Purposeless Movements

Production Photographs

DOWNLOAD THE TOUR PACK

2016 Tour Information

Made in co-production with Tramway

Tramway, Glasgow Thu 25 – Sat 27 Feb 2016

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Wed 2 – Fri 4 Mar 2016

Eden Court, Inverness Wed 16 Mar 2016

CHECK OUT THE PROGRAMME

A promotional poster for 'Purposeless Movements'. It shows two men arm wrestling. The other side of the promotional poster. It has information on it such as tour dates and ticket prices.

⬇️ Meet the 2016 Creative Team ⬇️

Robert Softley Gale: Writer & Director

Robert is an established figure in the Scottish arts scene, with over ten years experience in diverse and varied roles – including disability rights activist, actor and performer, writer, artistic director and supporter and advocate of equality of access to the arts for disabled people whether as artists or audiences.

Robert’s professional acting debut was with Theatre Workshop (Edinburgh) in Nothing Ever Burns Down By Itself in 2002 and since then has appeared in many productions and has developed his own artistic practice – most recently instigating, co-writing and performing in Girl X for the National Theatre of Scotland, directed by Pol Heyvaert of Belgium’s Campo. In 2011 he was awarded and undertook a Creative Scotland residency which allowed him to develop If These Spasms Could Speak.

A graduate of Glasgow University with an MSc (Hons) in Business & Management, Robert’s other role is as a director of flip – disability equality in the arts which works across Scotland to support individuals and organisations in the arts sector.

Other acting credits include: The Hogmanay Boys, Asylum, I Have Before Me…, The Threepenny Opera, The Last Little Fish in the Net and Hans Christian Andersen: A Christmas Tale (Theatre Workshop); The Irish Giant and Brazil 12 – Scotland 0 (Birds of Paradise), Heelz n Wheelz (Fittings Multimedia); A (Gay Disabled Transsexual) Love Story… (Boygirlfruitflower) and Private Dancer (Janice Parker). Film and television credits include Out of Order (MacInnes Films), Trouble Sleeping (Makar Productions) and River City (BBC Scotland). He has recorded a number of dramas for BBC Radio 4.

Laurence Clark: Performer


Laurence Clark is an internationally-acclaimed comedian, presenter, writer and actor who has cerebral palsy.  His observational, political stand-up and hidden camera footage demonstrate the endearing naivety and ridiculousness of human behaviour by seeing the world through his eyes with humour and warmth.  He’s performed everywhere from the House of Commons to a double-decker bus in Sheffield.  His 6 critically-acclaimed solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe have gained him 21 4-star and 3 5-star reviews.

With television appearances on BBC, ITV and Channel 4, Laurence was the subject of a major BBC1 documentary called “We Won’t Drop the Baby” shown in March 2012.  He was awarded Shortlist magazine’s Funniest New Comedian, for 5 years wrote a popular blog for BBC Ouch and regularly performs and writes sketches for comedy collective Abnormally Funny People, resident at London’s Soho Theatre.

Pete Edwards: Performer

Pete’s artistic practice spans acting, writing, devising and leading workshops.

His acting work includes: Moliere’s George Dandin, directed by Phillip Osmond. The short film Welcome Stop, directed by Michael Achtman. His solo show Fat which he wrote and performed, which was also directed by Michael Achtman.

Pete took Fat on tour which included DaDa Festival Liverpool where he won the ‘Emerging Artist Award’ of 2010. He also took the show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival In 2012. In 2013 he was supported by the Arts Council England, the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School of Music & Drama to design and deliver performance workshops for people with alternative forms of communication. In 2014 he was awarded an Unlimited R&D, exploring themes of rape and sexual abuse of disabled people through a mixture of realistic and abstract scenes.

Pete has also delivered accessible drama workshops for RAWD in Liverpool, spoken at the Integr ART conference in Geneva and at the Live Art Development Agency’s Access All Areas conference in London.

Jim Fish: Performer

This is Jim’s first role working with BOP and he’s very excited to be involved in the project. He trained at the Oxford School of Drama and has worked with many different theatre companies over the years. He is currently a principal member of the well established Krazy Kat theatre company, who specialise in innovative and visual performances for deaf and disabled children. He has also worked with Fittings Multimedia, a disability-led company on Master Juba and with Deafinitely Theatre, one of the UK’s best Deaf-led theatre companies whose work include touring new writing around the UK to performing Shakespeare at The Globe Theatre. Some of his other acting credits include, The Winters Tale, King Lear and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (RSC), Two (Southwark Playhouse), The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse), Seven Jewish Children (Hackney Empire/Gilt and Grime), The Tempest and Adventures in Wonderland (Teatro Vivo), Day By Night (The Albany, Deptford), The Perfect Spot (Cartoon Theatre/Arts in Motion), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CBSO), Fire in the Fields (Theatre and Beyond), For Once I Was (The Silent Collective), Body Checks (Guildford Yvonne Arnaud), Transmissions and Toy Theatre (Birmingham Rep), La Cage Aux Folles (Tour), Blood on the 3 for 2 Display (Old Red Lion/Paines Plough), The Wedding Dress (StoneCrabs), Film credits include The Brits are Coming, High Rise and Neighbours from Space. He also played Max Cunningham in the multi award winning short The End.

Colin Young: Performer

Colin Young’s interest in performance came through college and university when talking part in productions including, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Crucible. Since joining VisABLE Colin has had 3 major appearances in Call the Midwife and the Dumping Ground for the BBC. Colin continues to pursue acting while working in the third sector and completing a PhD.

Rachel Drazek: Movement Director


Rachel’s work as a movement practitioner spans a wide range of performance and community contexts. Having just finished work as Movement Director on The Hurricane Boy (regional tour) she is very much looking forward to working with the team on Purposeless Movements. Rachel facilitates community projects widely throughout the Uk including Inclusive movement, Somatic movement and Dance for Elders sessions – as featured in The Guardian newspaper last year. With a BA in Acting and and MA in Movement, teaching and working alongside actors is a key area of interest and work. Teaching credits include; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), ALRA (North & South), The Dukes Theatre Lancaster.  Rachel’s dance interests very much lie in the social dance arenas, teaching international folk dances and Rock’n’Roll partner work. Recent performance credits include; Crazy Jane, Birds of Paradise; I Do, Dante or Die; Blown Away, Birds Nest Theatre; and The BFG and Snow Queen both for The Dukes Theatre Lancaster.

Luke Pell: Dramaturg

Luke Pell is an artist living in Scotland. Working in and in between spaces of dance, theatre and live art. Maker and curator he collaborates with other artists and organisations imagining alternative contexts for performance, participation and discourse that might reveal wisdoms for living. Fascinated by detail, nuances of time, texture, memory and landscape. His artistic projects take form as intimate encounters; poetic objects, installations and designed environments – site-responsive choreographies – for physical and virtual spaces. He is Associate Artist with Candoco Dance Company, Janice Parker Projects and Fevered Sleep.

Luke’s work has been presented throughout the UK and internationally including Not Simply Dancing, Greenwich Dance; Unlimited Festival, Southbank Centre, London; In Between Time, Bristol; E- Motional, Romania, Anti-Festival, Finland and Room of Requirement, Berlin. His recent collaborative work Take Me To Bed with Jo Verrent, won the prize for ‘Best Overall Work’ at the inaugural Light Moves Festival of Screen Dance, Ireland, 2014 going on to be presented at Dance Live, Aberdeen; Dance International Glasgow, Tramway and Dansens Hus, Stockholm.

His curatorial projects have included: What Next 2013 for Independent Dance, London; A (Supper) Room Full of Words for Greenwich Dance; the In Dialogue series for Candoco Dance Company and Supporting Artists with PAL Lab he is also a repeat recipient of Jerwood Performing Arts Residencies at Cove Park.

Scott Twynholm: Composer & Musician

Scott Twynholm is a musician and composer based in Glasgow. Recent work includes the scores for the feature documentaries: My Brother the Ark Raider (BBC ALBA), Alasdair Gray – A Life in Progress (Hopscotch Films), Scottish BAFTA winning Marty Goes to Hollywood (Urban Croft), and BAFTA nominated drama short A Love Divided (Solar Bear). His compositions have also appeared in Palme d’Or nominated The Edukators, Cameron Crow’s Vanilla Sky, numerous adverts and TV programmes. In 2015 Alasdair Gray – A Life in Progress was released as a soundtrack album on De-Fence records.

He has also composed music for many theatre and dance productions. These include Love Struck (BalletLORENT), Denton And Me (The Arches), The Gamblers (Greyscale/Dundee Rep), Wallace (The Arches/National Theatre of Great Britain), Catch-22 (Northern Stage), Endurance (A Moment’s Peace), Far Away and The Grapes Of Wrath (Citizens Theatre), GirlX and This Is What We Ask (National Theatre of Scotland), Spoonface Steinberg (Jermyn St Theatre, London), Yarla and the Winter Wood (Starcatchers), First Light (Imaginate), If These Spasms Could Speak (The Arches, Edinburgh Festival), Good With People (Paines Plough).

Kim Moore: Musician

Kim Moore is a composer based in Glasgow, she makes work across the arts and under the name WOLF. Kim also used to make music with Glasgow indieband Zoey Van Goey. Her work includes collaborations with Glasgow Film Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, Magnetic North, Sound and Music : Adopt a Composer working with Bristol Reggae Orchestra, Eilidh MacAskill, Traverse Theatre, Barrowland Ballet. 2016 sees Kim working with Barrowland Ballet touring internationally, Curious Seed, Julia Taudevin, Terra Incognita, Tom Dale, Jenna Watt, Playtronica, and starting a new record label called ICOSA records.