THEWHATWORKS Blog

Blogs are written by THEWHATWORKS' Artistic Director, Imogen Butler-Cole. Most concern productions, some concern experiences that she deems relevant to productions or to her development as an artist.

Foreign Body Feedback

This is collated feedback from the scratch performances of Foreign Body that took place at 7-Minute Itch, the Lyric Hammersmith, Space Theatre's One Festival and A Pleasance Scratch between November '15 and April '16. For transparency all feedback has been included. The piece I showed at the first showings was 8 minutes long and only contained my own testimony. Those at One Festival and the Pleasance were 15 minutes long and contained my own testimony, that of the perpetrator of the assault and a section of direct address where I spoke more about my thoughts on healing and forgiveness.

CASSANDRA: R&D Blog 1

Blog post by Natalia Biglou: Artist/Activist; LLB Law, King's College London; MA Applied Theatre, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Dhaka 2012 - The Tempest

Snippets from a month in Dhaka while coaching Dhaka Theatre on their production of The Tempest for Shakespeare's Globe

Kushan and the Old School Hip Hop Jam

I’d met Kushan a few times socially and didn’t realise until he called me up asking me to record a few tracks for his album that he was a rapper. I was about to go on holiday for a week and he needed the tracks recoded before he left for Canada a few weeks after that. We would record two days after I got back from my trip. I had a deadline, and deadlines are good for me. What I also had were titles to the tracks, which was also a great help as I tend to be lazy about finding material.

Humayoun Shadhu

The first time I met Humayoun Shadhu I was struck by the beauty of the man, inner and outer. It was at a festival and he was constantly surrounded by people so I had no conversation with him but I sat near him for almost a whole day. People came to pay their respects to him, gave him fruit, incense and the like, touched his feet, spent some time listening to the songs being sung, and went on their way.

Mohammad Fakir’s Shadhu Shongo

In early April this year a group of Islamic hardliners turned up at Mohammad Fakir’s Shadhu Shongo in Pangsha, a village in rural Bangladesh. A Shadhu Shongo is a yearly meet of shadhus, the mystic bauls of Bengal. The bauls sing devotional songs which outline their philosophy of religious freedom. Allah, Krishna, God and Buddha are all one they say, and there should be no bitterness or rivalries between members of the religions surrounding them.

The Vagina Monologues in Dhaka

On V-Day 2010 one of my best friends was visiting me in Dhaka. She is also an actress so I was on the lookout for shows to see while she was in town. So when I heard that the Vagina Monologues was being presented in Dhaka for the first time I booked immediately. I’d seen the show some years previously in Delhi and was interested to see it again in Bangladesh.

Acting in TV Natoks in Bangladesh

The first time I was asked to act in a TV commercial in Bangladesh I was entertained by the idea of getting on a set and seeing how it’s really done. I’d recently finished working for 9 months at the BBC World Service Trust in Dhaka and knew from my experience of visiting local sets that things here were done very differently indeed.

Visiting Kushtia

Having not had any food before I left home it seemed like a good idea to search out snacks for the journey to Kushtia, around a 6 hour bus journey from Dhaka. The “healthiest” thing I could find was dim paratha, a fried bread folded over and stuffed with egg. Fried food on the street is always a dangerous affair as the oil can have been sitting around and reused over a period of weeks. Even so it can sometimes prove irresistible. The people in the joint I bought it from were pretty irresistible too, pouring praise on my spoken Bangla, which, as always, gave me an immense amount of pleasure. One of my greatest pleasure during all my time in Bangladesh was the ecstatic reactions I got when I spoke Bangla.