Vital Xposure in association with ARC Stockton:

Casting call for Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters

We are very excited to announce that we are touring a double bill of plays, Monstrous Daughters by Julie McNamara and Medicine by Omikemi.

Two powerful stories woven together across time to expose unpalatable truths on the treatment of people we still deem ‘unworthy of life’. Two women trapped inside the mental health system, two centuries apart, give us two vivid and vital takes on how we have cast away our disabled daughters for medicine’s magical gains.

The extraordinary debut play by Omikemi, Medicine, investigates contemporary experiences of the mental health system by women of African heritage – unravelling a hidden story of unethical medical experimentation and exploitation.

Monstrous Daughters is an eerie and humorous journey following the plight of Mad Mary and the young sluice boy, Walter Riddle – a haunting story from two characters who evade ‘the specimen collectors’, bringing the grisly reality of body snatching to light and inviting audiences to question our ethics in collecting and attitudes towards difference.

We are seeking to cast two black female actors for Medicine and a BSL interpreter with performance skills:

  • Elaine / Elsie – a deaf female actor of African heritage and BSL user, who uses her voice for spoken English, playing age 40 – 50 years
  • Kem – a female actor of African heritage, with good knowledge of BSL, playing age 15 – 25 years
  • A BSL interpreter to personify both characters in both BSL and spoken English

The audition will take place on the morning of Tuesday 9th July in East London (zone 2).  We are not able to see you at any other time, and sorry we cannot accept auditions by skype or self tapes.

To apply, please email us the following:

  1. Your CV including the name of two referees
  2. A short paragraph stating why you are interested in the work
  3. A headshot
  4. On a separate page, please inform us of your access requirements for the audition.

Please also indicate your level of BSL, and for interpreters, please supply a record of your BSL training.

These are paid opportunities. The deadline for applications is Noon on Monday 1st July. Please email to intouch@vitalxposure.co.uk indicating which part you are applying for in your email and with Medicine Audition in the email subject line.

We will notify all applicants by Friday 5th July.

For further details, you can download the information pack in Word document and PDF.

If you would like to submit your application in alternative formats or if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email intouch@vitalxposure.co.uk, call 0208 123 9945 or text us on 07432421825.

Note: The playing ages for the characters of Elaine / Elsie and Kem have been updated. All applications received are being considered so this change will not affect your application. We apologise for any confusion this may cause.

 

Vital Xposure is in the process of developing an application for Arts Council England’s Change Makers Fund. If our funding application is successful we will be offering a senior leadership training and development programme which will offer mentoring in a professional role, on the job training, ‘go-and-see’ visits and the exploration of a range of models of best practice in disability-led theatre. A paid bursary would be available for the programme which would aim to start in November 2016.

The successful candidate would work closely with our Artistic Director Julie McNamara and would play a key role in shaping the future artistic programme and creative partnerships of the organisation.

This opportunity is open to Black, minority ethnic and / or disabled people as the purpose of the Change Makers Fund is to develop the leadership skills and experience of Black, Minority and disabled potential leaders.

The first part of the role is to work with Vital Xposure to develop a very short expression of interest for Arts Council England by 28th April 2016.

For further information please contact Vital Xposure’s Producer, Chas de Swiet. If you want an informal conversation to discuss your application please also contact Chas at projects@vitalxposure.co.uk / 0208 123 9945

Interested individuals will be expected to submit a CV together with a short covering letter explaining why you are interested in the role by 10 am on 15th February 2016.

 

We are seeking enthusiastic and dynamic individuals to join our Board of Directors and support the company through the next stage of development. We are particularly interested to hear from individuals who have, although not exclusively, some of the following skills and experiences:

– Finance

– Fundraising

– Communications

– Chairing not for profit organisations

 

For full information and a Board recruitment pack please contact Emilia Teglia. If you want an informal conversation with Vital Xposure’s Interim Chair to discuss your application please also contact Emilia.

intouch@vitalxposure.co.uk / 0208 123 9945

 

Interested individuals will be expected to submit a CV together with a short covering letter by 10 am on 9th February 2016.

 

 

Julie McNamara talks about the tour that put ‘Let Me Stay’ front page on Brazilian national papers earlier this year.

Going to Pernambuco with ‘Let Me Stay’ was one of the most extraordinary adventures of my career so far. It has genuinely changed the direction of my working practices. For example, we are currently looking to build a touring model of an Audio Description booth that we toured with across NE Brazil. I was so impressed with the one we worked with.

The tour presented me with fresh challenges – I don’t speak Portuguese but I was playing my Mother with Alzheimer’s. She has no social brakes, no boundaries. She will talk to anyone and everyone, so I had to swiftly learn a few key phrases of Portuguese so that the character – my Mother, could wander through her audiences and make genuine contact with her ‘family in the house’. I became briefly immersed in Brazilian popular culture via people’s loves and hates of television stars. I had to find well known characters to throw at the audience that would immeditaely connect us. I discovered Pedro Baiao, a Reality Television star who it was felt had ‘let the side down’; I fell for the charismatic Tony Tornado not ever to be confused with Tony Ramos (the hairy one – a delight to ‘sign’ across any culture!)

I was so impressed with the creativity of the team touring with us and the dedication to detail in reproducing the design on our behalf. My grateful thanks to Producers Marisa Riccitelli and Paula Lopez!

We made front page news and that came as a surprise. I suspect the show was so very well received because of our universal human connection with grief and loss. Those of us blessed to have a Mother, whether good enough or not, will always secretly harbour the terror of losing her. I work with my grief on stage. Naked and afraid, the fear of losing my Mother is laid bare. Let Me Stay presents the audience with the reality of that long goodbye that Alzheimer’s so cruelly throws at us. But what the audiences did not expect was the great sense of celebration my Mother presents us with. She is living well with her dementia. And so her story is full of joy and great vivacity. She dances with life. My Mother Shirley, affectionately known as ‘The Queen of the Mersey’ attracts new friends and new adventures everywhere we go. Connection is crucial. Whilst her energy and her heart is at the core of this creative work, that is true of the way that this production has been received. The work itself attracts new partnerships, new adventures everywhere we go.

The show is built with love, with comedy and compassion. This is what I found in the people who welcomed me to the many places we visited in Pernambuco, to Olinda, Recife, Goiana, Caruaru. We had good audience numbers wherever we went. But I will never forget the audience on the last night of our tour standing and yelling her name in celebration: ‘Shirley, Shirley, Shirley!’.

I do believe that the after show Q and A was as long as the show itself. We didn’t want to say goodbye.