MACBETH R&D: Phase 1

We've been doing a lot of research lately.

R&D processes have typically been something we'd under go on our own, with no support, exploring an idea and trying to realise parts of it physically or through images, and then we'd talk about it a hell of a lot, and then we'd just crack on and make it.

However, recently with the support of National Theatre Wales #WalesLab and The Arts Council Of Wales R&D Fund supported by CADW and The Riverfront Theatre it feels like we've had time to focus, time to reflect and time to digest, and in having the chance to do that we've realised how important it is.

Yesterday me and some of the creative team for Macbeth (which consist of Phil Regan (Director), Bridie and James from Citrus Arts (Large Scale Spectacle), Jules Howarth (Production Manager), Peter Farago (Visual and Sound Artist) visited the sight at Raglan Castle to explore it and get a better idea of how we want to utilise the space.

It was a beautiful sunshiney day, so I thought I'd just take the opportunity to share some of the images that were taken…

We've got another day of R&D planned for next week, and I'll be sure to keep you updates with the progress of this project, which is no doubt the biggest thing we've ever wanted to undertake!




WalesLab R&D 3: I was not always bald

So we said we'd blog everyday, and that hasn't happened.

But we've been busy.

Currently three days into a residency at Barnabas Arts House we've been meeting with people, having conversations, asking questions and doing a far amount of paper/internet research and physical exploration into the piece (working title: 'The Old Man') and thus far it's been an awesome experience.

A lot of things have cropped up, as they have been doing for many months now, but more so than ever are we realising the vastness of this topic.

Yesterday I "interviewed" my Gran, this consisted of me visiting her with a list of prepared questions, purely to get the conversation angled towards our topic, and because even though I knew a lovely chat with my Gran would harbour a loads of experiential, historical and contextual details I also wanted to a reason for being there.

Here is a snippet of our conversation. It's one of the many poems my Gran (Hazel) has memorised. It's one of my favourites and I hope you enjoy it too.

It's called "The Man With The Single Hair"

Yesterday we all met and talked to older people and in feeding those experiences back to one another today helped push us towards something performative.

The main strand of our idea now seems to be rooted about misconception and the idea that "Old People" are cardigan wearing, white haired, tiny sweethearts. To often does it feel like we forget or ignore the fact that person has lived a whole life steeped in relevance and full of story… So we've begun to explore the dichotomy between the older self and the younger self; how those things feel separate but are in no way.

Here's some of what we did and found.

A photograph of photographs young and old, Georgina took this when visiting people.
Graffiti 1
Graffiti 2

We're visiting a care home tomorrow, working with some students from UWN again and we're showing back our work in progress on Friday night.

If you'd like to get involved or ask more questions please do:



For now,




WALESLAB R&D 1: Kindness Has It's Own Language

Today was our first day together working on our development project for NTW's Waleslab. As mentioned before we have had a working title for a piece based on older people for some time, entitled 'The Old Man' but have struggled with the time to develop this much further.

As a starting block for our research we all decided that we would take ourselves away separately and gather as much information, experience and elderly sustenance as possible. Antonio visited the 'University of the 3rd Age' a group that meet regularly to debate, share and learn new things. Justin had some lengthy telephone conversations and I had previously taken some home visits with my mum, who is a home carer.

Once we had arrived at Barnabus Art House this morning and began compiling all of our gatherings, it was only then it began to dawn on us how vast the subject matter of old age really is. We had so many questions that remain unanswered and assumptions that couldn't be generalised to even make a start on finding a common theme or through line. A few things discussed in no particular order were needs, wants, regrets, love, relationships, cognitive thought, technology, government, learning, inspiring, listening, change and of course the inevitable.....death. 

I found personally that my experience talking, listening and interacting with the older people I visited actually made me feel almost depressed. To think of people at the end of their lives, having lived (as they all expressed) fulfilling and fruitful existences with no regrets, somehow couldn't shake for me that one day, I too would be old, with the capacity only to reminisce about the 'good old days'. A good friend once said to me, something that has always stuck ' Nostalgia is like a drug for the elderly', to be able to share a story with a total stranger of how you first met your husband, the birth of your first child, where you grew up, your parents, your experiences, your life. When you are the listener in this interchange of story telling it encourages you to think of your own life in that way. 

It seemed that in the 100-odd year span we were looking at that ranged from when (according to the Guinness book of records) the oldest living woman was born to today, quiet a lot happened... (understatement!) to give you a clue there have been 2 world wars, 2 queens, 1 king, the invention of the television, public transport, computer, mobile telephones, commercial airline, moon landing and Harry Potter! 

We'll be posting a blog every day this week just to keep you up to speed on all we're doing.

And of course, once again, if you are interested in the project then you can email us at : tinshedtheatre@gmx.com to come along to a sharing/show back this Friday 6th June at 6.30 Barnabas House.



Project Manager Wanted - Macbeth R&D


Tin Shed Theatre Co. are working on a large scale outdoor production of Macbeth at Raglan Castle.

Having received R&D funding from Arts Council Wales we are able to successfully carry out a sight reccy, table meeting, creative meeting and script edit some time in June.

However, the Project Manager attached to the project has had to bow out as she has other priorities.

I am looking for a Project Manager to be present for two days of research and development (The Sight Visit and the Table Meeting) in order to properly plan, develop a strategy and devise a rough budget for the submission of higher grants closer to the proposed performance date (JULY 2015).

If anyone feels they would be well suited to this position, or can give me any help and or advice it would be so appreciated as it's getting close to the knuckle, and I have no one as of yet.

Hope you can help.

Email me Justin Cliffe at: mejustincliffe@hotmail.co.uk