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Ground-breaking new show coming to Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 18:15 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 March 2020

Gecko, physical theatre company, and Mind the Gap have collaborated on a new show 'a little space' which explores the different feelings produced by the notion of being alone  Photo: Tom Woollard

Gecko, physical theatre company, and Mind the Gap have collaborated on a new show 'a little space' which explores the different feelings produced by the notion of being alone Photo: Tom Woollard

© 2019 Tom Woollard

Gecko is one of the world’s leading physical theatre companies. It makes its award-winning shows in Ipswich before touring across the globe. Next week it unveils its latest work at the New Wolsey

Gecko, physical theatre company, and Mind the Gap have collaborated on a new show 'a little space' which explores the different feelings produced by the notion of being alone  Photo: Tom WoollardGecko, physical theatre company, and Mind the Gap have collaborated on a new show 'a little space' which explores the different feelings produced by the notion of being alone Photo: Tom Woollard

Ipswich-based physical theatre company, Gecko, a world-leader in contemporary physical theatre, is bringing a ground-breaking collaboration to the New Wolsey Theatre next week.

They are teaming up with Bradford-based Mind the Gap theatre company to present a show called 'a little space' which explores the different forms of solitude and what it means to be alone.

Gecko is an international company which devises its shows in Ipswich before touring them throughout the world. Speech and text is kept to a minimum, movement and expression is a common language shared by audiences around the world.

Shows can take two years or more to develop as artistic director Amit Lahav and his team start with an emotional phrase with which to explore the theme for the show.

Mind the Gap is a theatre company working with learning disabled performers and after a chance meeting at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017 decided to work together to create something new, something that combined the philosophies of both companies.

Artistic director and co-creator Helen Baggett said that the artistic quality of Gecko has been combined with the Mind the Gap's innovative way of looking at the world to create a show which is a genuine collaboration.

"Dan Watson, our devising performer and I, have been working with Mind the Gap's performers and students to create something truly unique. It is a genuine collaboration.

"Set in an apartment block, the devised piece follows the lives of five people and explores what happens when they connect and disconnect from each other whether through choice or through isolation.

"Started by asking them to respond to the word 'lonely', exploring what it meant to them, from a variety of different perspectives and viewpoints - we didn't want to just focus on the negative."

Drawing on the performers' own experiences, a little space is a powerful piece of physical theatre, which uses movement, imagery, sound and lighting to portray the needs, desires and fears of the subject.

Co director Rich Rusk, of Gecko, said that the presentation of the work with a dynamic sound and lighting design is an integral part of the experience and functions as another presence on stage.

"Together we have created a piece about people; about the positives and negatives of living and being alone; the stories unfold in a space that everyone will recognise so it has given us an opportunity to really make the ordinary extraordinary, using a blend of theatre, choreography and dynamic sound design."

Helen Baggett said that one of the most exciting aspects of the show was that it promoted communication and understanding between different communities and groups of people, promoting awareness of issues and problems and helping to solve them simply by being aware they existed.

Karen Bartholomew, associate artist at Mind the Gap, said: "Sometimes you can be in a room full of people, but still feel like you're alone. Sometimes being alone is the best feeling in the world, sometime loneliness is the most painful experience you can ever live through."

Gecko and Mind the Gap are staging 'a little space' across three performances at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, on March 10-11. Tickets can be booked online here

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