They might not play a brass instrument between them. They might not be able to get over the day their musical career was thwarted. But something about the tradition of British brass bands has inspired them…
Look at us Now is an intriguing new performance featuring live music, theatre, comedy and dance from theatre company The Suitcase Ensemble.
The Liverpool-based collective has prepared a tribute to the unsung history of the once famous Edge Hill British Rail brass band. As artists in residence at Metal @ Edge Hill Station, they share the same base as those musical legends from days of yore, and they like to think they can emulate some of the commitment, discipline and team work that secured the success of that championship section brass band.
Of course, none of them actually plays a brass instrument themselves. But with a cheeky blend of live music, quirky theatricality, and absurd humour, The Suitcase Ensemble promise to take their audience on a raucous journey through the history of industry and working class music, with more than a few pit-stops along the way to share stories of lost glory, thwarted ambition and childhood humiliation.
Director and performer Tessa Buddle said: “Since our last tour, we’ve been locked away in a strange little blue room at Edge Hill Railway Station writing songs and poems, making cardboard puppets, learning about the working history of the railways and performing experimental cabaret shows. The Edge Hill Brass Band and their exploits around the country inspired us to get back on the road – and Look at us Now. Our quirky little show for quirky little venues will appeal to fans of absurd comedy and theatre, those interested in our industrial heritage, rail enthusiasts, lovers of folk, punk and/or brass band music, and anyone with memories of music tuition at school…”
Look at us Now is co-produced with the artists’ laboratory Metal @ Edge Hill Station, an
organisation dedicated to “championing the need for continual investment in artistic investigation and development that could shift the thinking about arts and culture in the UK.”
Metal is based within the refurbished spaces inside the oldest running passenger railway station in the world. The show will be performed in the unique miniature theatre on Platform 4 from October 6 to 8 at 7pm & 8.30pm, with an earlier open workshop for ages 18 upwards on the Saturday at 1pm (free with ticket)
The Suitcase Ensemble will also be embarking on a local Liverpool Outreach Week (October 10 to 15) as part of The Decade of Health & Wellbeing. Events include special performances and workshops for Culturepool and Knotty Ash Youth and Community Centre.
Other local and Merseyside performances include October 18 at the Rose Theatre in Ormskirk, October 19 at The Brindley in Runcorn, October 20 at Mash Art Cafe in St. Helens, and October 22 at Southport’s newest venue Southport on the Fringe.
MADE UP is a blog that attempts to cram in as wide a variety of news, reviews and interviews on theatre happenings in Liverpool as possible.
If you're a theatre company or performer with something to shout about, I would love to feature you and help to spread the word about what you're doing.
© Vicky Anderson 2013