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Loaded Dance Show at Old Rep Theatre

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Dance Show Inspired By Tragedy And Science
Inspired by tragedy and bereavement, a new dance production is heading to Birmingham this Autumn about the mechanics of weight and what happens when we face the limits of our strength.

Scribbled thought, Loaded, dance , Birmingham, old rep theatre,
Loaded dance show comes to Birmingham


Loaded is directed by Olivier-nominated Sinéad Rushe and will be at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham city centre from October 5 to 6.

It has a small cast of five international performers, who use everything from sandbags to ballast, pulleys and planks to explore how bodies and structures learn to bear loads – or fall apart.

Loaded is a new devised work combining dynamic movement with an evocative original sound score and texts ranging from ancient literature to modern science. It has been created by out of Inc & produced by Scribbled Thought

Scribbled thought, Loaded, dance , Birmingham, old rep theatre,
Science and dance combine in Loaded


Director Sinéad Rushe says: "My idea for this show came out of a period where I experienced a lot of death in my family. One of our oldest family friends was diagnosed with a brain tumour, my uncle became psychotic after the death of his wife and my aunt was very suddenly killed outright in a car crash."

She adds: "I was struck by how when we're grieving we often feel that our muscles are weak, or we experience it as a physical sensation – as a weight, heaviness or downward pull, similar to being crushed or carrying an oversized load. So I began to think of bereavement as a kind of physical force that traumatizes the body, and became curious about how that actually works, right down to the molecular level."

"In Loaded, we explore the theme using 50 sandbags (weighing 7kg each). Just as a sandbag is designed to take an impact, or to save us from impact, the human question for us in this show is: can we absorb the impact and bounce back? What makes it possible to bear the burden we face, or even redefine it in order to lighten the load?"

Rushe adds that the dance show is not doom and gloom: "In spite of its heavy theme, Loaded is full of lightness and humour. It is a physically demanding dance show performed by actors, rather than dancers and the ensemble's tremendous vulnerability and fallibility make the work captivating and accessible to all."

Scribbled thought, Loaded, dance , Birmingham, old rep theatre,
Loaded was inspired by tragedy


After a sell-out run at Jacksons Lane Theatre in 2014, Loaded returns to the stage as a larger-scale production with collaborations from a celebrated creative team, physicists and biologists. This new and exciting production combines the inventiveness of physical theatre with rigour literary inspiration and detailed text work.

Performances at The Old Rep will also include education work in both devised theatre and physics, created in partnership with Ormiston Academy Trust with support from the Ernest Cook Trust and the British Science Association.

This aims to encourage young people to engage in both science and arts in new ways and includes digital resource packs for teachers, curtain raiser performances and Q&As with the creative team and scientific advisors. The question and answer sessions take place on both days of the performance.

Loaded has been commissioned by The Place (UK) as part of Choreodrome 2017 and developed with support from Arts Council England, Ernest Cook Trust, Unity Theatre Trust, British Science Association and Ormiston Academy Trust.

Loaded
Old Rep Theatre, Station, Street, Birmingham
5 – 6 October, 2pm & 7.30pm
Running Time: 75 minutes
Tickets cost £12 or £8 concessions on 0121 359 9444 or through the Old Rep website.

Q&As:
5 October 7.30pm – Creative team discussing process behind Loaded

6 October 2pm – Director, Sinéad Rushe and Dr. Vijay Tymms

Cast: Rose Riley, Gabriele Lombardo, Mathias Asplud, Sophie Dessauer & Rachel Leah-Hosker

Movement Director: Sandra Harnisch-Lacey (Harnisch-Lacey Dance Theatre)

Designer: Rosie Elnile (Royal Court, The Gate and Resident Design Assistant at Donmar Warehouse 2015/6)

Lighting Designer: Colin Grenfell (National Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, Opera Holland Park)

Sound Designer/ Composer: Lex Kosanke (Arcola, Shunt, Finborough)

Original Choreographers: Vicki Manderson & Neil Bettles (National Theatre, Harry Potter and Cursed Child, Frantic Assembly, National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Court)

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Why? See exciting new dance show inspired by grief
When: October 5-6
Phone: 0121 359 9444
Where: Old Rep Theatre Birmingham
Cost: £12
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