Part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone – Culture Programme Plymouth project
Barbican Theatre and Plymouth Culture are excited to present the finale of their High Street Heritage Action Zone – Culture Programme Plymouth project Meet Me At The Sundial, taking place with a day of events and performances on Plymouth City Centre’s Piazza, on Saturday 25 March.
On this final day the work of the 6 commissioned artists will be presented on and around a stationary Plymouth Citybus double-decker, the culmination of their six month commissions to celebrate Plymouth and the everyday stories of its communities, using creativity to bring people extraordinary experiences.
Sam Gilroy, Creative Producer for the event says
“I’m really excited for everyone to see and experience our City Bus installation inspired by Plymouth commuters’ stories, created by our six amazing artists, and all right in the city centre by Plymouth’s most legendary meeting point – the sundial!
As well as the six commissioned creations featuring music, art, a mobile app and a spoken word film, there will be dance and sound recordings in the evening for people to experience live, through headphones, on and off the double-decker bus parked on the piazza.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made this possible including Plymouth Culture, Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Citybus.”
Our six Meet Me At The Sundial artists have created six unique pieces as part of this commission:
Alex Robins & Max Robins: Bus City App
Alex is a playwright and video game developer based in Plymouth who has collaborated with brother, Max Robins on this commission, a new mobile game app called Bus City. His work in theatres has been primarily made for / with Plymouth residents, and he has transferred that co-creation experience into this process. Alex and Max have been talking to passengers about their connection to the city and asking for feedback as they play in-progress versions of the game. The new game launched on 9 March and has already been downloaded more than 150 times.
Chloe Georgakis: Bus Views Gallery
Over the last few months Chloe has been travelling on Plymouth’s buses and using the bus window as a viewfinder into the city, gathering together fragments of these journeys through her own and other passengers, drawings, photographs and words. Her final piece is a collective scrapbook of these journeys, layering up passing scenes and memories, and imprinting them onto a travelling window. From mid-March the installation will be popping up around Plymouth’s Heritage Action Zone and will also be stationed at Grow, Plymouth and also available to view at the city centre events on 25 March.
Chris White: Chatter Chatter Chatter community poem film
Chris isa performance poet and producer, who likes making silly and surreal work and at the same time getting all kinds of people writing and engaging with poetry and spoken-word. He has spent his residency writing new work on the buses, and also creating a “community poem,” taking lots of different responses from passengers, and weaving them into a crowdsourced poem. Chris has performed this community poem for a film which is available on the Barbican website and youtube channel. He will also perform it at the main Meet Me At The Sundial event on 25 March.
Watch the video below
Daisy Higman: Meet Cutes podcast
Daisy has many years of experience as a voice practitioner, composer and singer. For Meet Me At The Sundial she has spent her time on the buses talking to people about special times when they have taken the bus to meet someone or when they have met someone by surprise. Daisy has turned these stories into a podcast with an original score she composed and performed. This podcast will be available to listen to at the 25 March city centre event and can also be listened to on the Barbican Theatre’s Soundcloud.
Gabi Marcellus-Temple: Drawn To Ride gallery & interviews
Gabi is a visual artist, writer and translator based in Saltash. As a wheelchair user, Gabi’s experience of the buses might be a little bit different to other people’s and she has spent the past few months of the project regularly sketching on buses, at bus stops and around the city. She has led a sketching workshop on the buses and recorded interviews with five Plymouth based artists about their practice, travelling to different parts of the city with them. These sketches will be available to view at the 25 March city centre event and the interviews can be listened to on the Barbican Theatre’s Soundcloud.
Leo Geyer: ‘Reflect on the Past, Wrestle with the Future’ soundscape
Leo is a contemporary classical music composer and conductor. His project commission is an original soundscape is inspired by the poetic description of Plymouth’s bus network by Richard Stevens, Director of City Bus, “Reflect on the Past, Wrestle with the Future” , and is a meditative soundscape as requested by passengers. Somewhat unusually, this composition is a duet for bassoon and bus engine! Every sound has pitch including that of a running bus engine. So, embracing the buzzy nature of the bassoon, chords “in-tune” with engine, slowly emerge eventually evolving into a lyrical melody. The idea is to enable listeners to meditate on the everyday sounds around them, and to notice that even the sound of a bus, can be beautiful.
Hannah Harris, CEO of Plymouth Culture says
“We are delighted to see the artists residency on the buses culminate in this event. The conservation area is located in the city centre but we know the bus network plays a crucial role in connecting people to places and we wanted to celebrate this. The bus stops that line Royal Parade are a point of arrival and departure, and it is this flow of people and the moments, views and conversations they exchange that we wanted to capture through this project.”
Events on Saturday 25 March are split into two parts; day time events from 12pm – 5pm which people can turn up to and experience without booking. These include a ‘Bus Gallery’ with images, sketches & podcast episodes featuring interviews with local artists – created by Gabi Marcellus-Temple; a mobile artwork by Chloe Georgakis; and QR codes providing access to Alex Robin’s Bus City app; Leo Geyer’s soundscape; Daisy Higman’s Meet Cute sound & stories audio track; and a film of Chris White performing his community poem.
In the evening there are two bookable opportunities (7pm and 8pm) to experience a 30 minute live, open air performance on the Piazza, taking place on and around a double decker Plymouth Citybus, with headphones provided by Sound Communities, featuring:
- Spoken word performances by Andy Blackwell & Chris White
- Dance-theatre performances choreographed by Charlotte Eaton, Clair Beckett and Sarah Farrow-Jones, and featuring Far Flung Dance Theatre company dancers, Estel Ebazerova & Amber Palfreyman
Steve Hughes, Chief Executive Plymouth City Centre Company says
“We are delighted to support this exciting event in the city centre which we hope will attract a new audience and enliven the city centre. The shows and events Barbican Theatre have brought to the city centre over the past few years have drawn huge crowds and this unique event looks to have something for everyone as it evokes memories of travelling to and meeting in the city centre. It’s definitely something not to be missed.”
Meet Me At The Sundial is a High Street Heritage Action Zone – Culture Programme Plymouth project brought to you by Barbican Theatre in partnership with Plymouth Culture and Plymouth City Council. Funded by Arts Council England’s Heritage Lottery Fund, HM Government, Historic England and Plymouth City Centre Partnership. Supported by Plymouth Citybus.
Ellen Harrison, Head of Creative Programme and Campaigns at Historic England, said: “Meet Me At The Sundial is an inspired project to capture and keep what Plymouth’s city centre means to the people who travel into and out of it every day. It’s a brilliant way of reflecting people’s sense of belonging to Plymouth.”
Tickets for the 7pm and 8pm performances on Saturday 25 March are free and available to book at barbicantheatre.co.uk. View the six artists’s pieces and see their creative journey at https://barbicantheatre.co.uk/artists/meet-me-at-the-sundial/