Dysbiosis R&D at Queens Theatre, Hornchurch

We had an amazing week developing a new project at QTH, so we should start with a huge thank you to the venue for being so welcoming and supportive. Thanks also to all the creative practitioners involved for their generosity, intelligence and imagination. Clockwise from left, in the picture above: Shakira Stellar, Fran Olivares, Tasnim Siddiqa Amin, Paul Burgess, Nuke Lagranje, Kathryn Webb, Yael Elisheva and Jo Palmer. We also had remote contributions from Zia Almos Joshua and a talk on eco-scenography from Andrea Carr. Some more creative professionals will be joining us as the project develops.

Bringing the community-building ethos and cross-cultural story exchange methodology of our East project together with the visual theatre work of director Paul and the combined art and theatre background of assistant director Tasnim, the project is a critical look at the Global North’s relationship with the more-than-human world, using a lens of queer ecology to question not only the engrained world-views of mainstream Western thought but also some of the heteronormative and binary assumptions of the environmental movement. New themes emerged during the week too, not least how folk stories and myth act as an intermediary in our relationships with Nature. But the big question for the R&D was more methodological, and goes right to the heart of Daedalus’s mission: how to bring together a multiplicity of voices to create a truly collaborative performance that can hold different styles, viewpoints and perspectives. Over the years we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, but we also know that every project is different, and it’s exciting to start the journey of finding what’s right for Dysbiosis.

From lichen-inspired music to poetry-inspired movement, from scientific essay to spoken word, from traditional tales to news stories, from microscopic video to post-colonial analysis, we generated and then experimented with juxtaposing a wealth of material. In fact, we ended up creating far more than planned, so we’re in a great place for the next stage of development. We’re also investigating ways to connect the wider Havering community in with this work, establishing a two-way exchange of ideas, knowledge and creativity that will form a significant part of the final piece… whatever that turns out to be!

So do please watch this spacee!

Hannah Davis, a truly remarkable photographer, also based in East London, took some photos of our R&D sharing, which we want to share with you. She also took the group photo above. Open the photos to get more info on each one.