Claire Cunningham and the National Theatre of Scotland Touring with Menage a Trois

Claire Cunningham in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland

Present

Ménage a Trois

At Tramway, Glasgow and Southbank Centre, London as part of the London 2012 Festival and touring from August 2012

Devised and directed by Claire Cunningham  & Gail Sneddon                                                                                                                            Video Designed by Gail Sneddon                                                                                                  

Performed by Claire Cunningham and Christopher Owen

Composer Matthias Herrmann, Designer Rachana Jadhav, Lighting Designer Karsten Tinapp,Costume Designer Kevin Pollard, Puppet Consultant Steve Tiplady, Dramaturg Davey Anderson & Animator Bruce Cameron

Sometimes I feel like a machine. I forget I was made to touch skin, to feel heat, breath, to have someone’s smile pressed into my neck. I wasn’t made to click… But with you I click. We. Click. Like a clique, a trio, a Ménage à Trois.

Ménage à Trois has been commissioned by the Unlimited Cultural Olympiad programme and is part of the London 2012 Festival. Unlimited encourages collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers and mainstream organisations to celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to create original and exciting works. The production will premiere at Tramway, Glasgow on 24 and 25 August, with a press performance on 24 August at 7.30pm and then tours to Bounce Festival, Belfast; Southbank Centre, London; Eden Court Theatre, Inverness and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.

In a dark, private chamber, a lonely woman begins to craft the perfect man out of the only thing she knows…her crutches. A hauntingly beautiful study of love, obsession, loneliness and manipulation, Ménage a Trois is a visually stunning new piece of dance theatre from award-winning performer Claire Cunningham.

Exploring Claire’s twenty-year relationship with her crutches, this darkly humorous and deeply personal portrait asks if it’s possible to find love when there are already three of you in the relationship.

Gail Sneddon, choreographer and installation artist has collaborated with Claire to create the video design for the production. Visually poetic and witty, the design creates an immersive and animated environment which brings a magical dimension to the production, enveloping Claire in the world of her imagination.

Originally a classically trained singer, Claire Cunningham worked initially in musical theatre, before developing an interest in aerial work and dance in 2005. The granting of a Creative Scotland Award in 2006 enabled Cunningham to investigate and develop a new movement vocabulary, specific and unique to her own physicality and virtuosity. She has worked and trained extensively with US choreographer Jess Curtis, and studied with artists including Bill Shannon, Candoco Dance Company, Wendy Houston and Sara Shelton-Mann.

After graduating at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in 1997, Gail Sneddon, has worked as a performer for companies such as Nigel Charnock and Athina Vahla. In 2000 she set up her own company Modusforum, creating performance/installation based works which concentrated on combining movement with sound and spatial design. After completing her MA in Scenography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Gail’s work has been firmly concentrated in both Dance and Film. She is currently working on a PhD at the University of West of Scotland where she is also a guest lecturer in Creative Media Practice.

Christopher Owen completed his studies in dance performance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and received a scholarship award to continue his training at London Contemporary Dance School. He has worked extensively with many dance and theatre companies including the National Dance Company of Wales, Scottish Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Ireland and also Candoco Dance Company. Christopher also choreographs and directs his own work under the name Percussive Customer.

Claire’s critically acclaimed solo show ME (Mobile/Evolution) gained her a prestigious Herald Angel Award at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and subsequently toured to dance and inter-disciplinary festivals throughout Europe. Alongside Menage a Trois, Claire has created ‘12’, a large-scale group work for Candoco Dance Company with Gail Sneddon (Assistant Director and Mentor). This is also one of the 29 Unlimited commissions for London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad.

To see the National Theatre of Scotland trailer of Ménage a Trois visit here: http://vimeo.com/41769886

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Tramway, Glasgow on Friday 24 & Saturday 25 August, 7.30pm 2012                          Accessible Performances: Audio Described on 25 August                                        Box Office:  0845 330 3501/http://www.tramway.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Bounce Festival, MAC, Belfast on Friday 31 August, 7.30pm 2012                           Box Office: 028 9023 5053/http://themaclive.com

Southbank Centre, London on Saturday 8 September, 8pm 2012                                Accessible Performance: Audio Described                                                                                                                 Box Office:  0844 875 0073/http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Eden Court Theatre (One Touch Studio), Inverness on Tuesday 11 September, 7.30pm 2012                                                                                                     Box Office: 01463 234 234/https://www.eden-court.co.uk

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh on Wednesday 19 September, 7.30pm 2012               Box Office: 0131 228 1404/http://www.traverse.co.uk/

For further information contact:  Emma Schad, Press Manager                                                                                       Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9016 / +44 (0)7930 308018  E: emma.schad@nationaltheatrescotland.com

You can follow the National Theatre of Scotland’s press office on Twitter @NTS_press

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.  Since its launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating 181 productions in 156 different locations. With no building of its own, the Company takes theatre all over Scotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings of Scotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests.  The company has performed to over 770,000 people, across three continents.

2. Ménage a Trois has been commissioned by the Unlimited programme, part of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad. Unlimited encourages collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers and mainstream organisations to celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to create original and exciting works. Twenty-nine Unlimited Commissions have been awarded. Unlimited is principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and is delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.

3. The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.  The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad is the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, running from Midsummers Day on 21 June until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. The London 2012 Festival celebrates the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

For more details on the programme, to download the London 2012 Festival official guide and to sign up for information visit http://www.london2012.com/festival

4. For more information about Claire Cunningham visit: http://www.clairecunningham.co.uk/

Contact: Emma Schad
Phone: 01412279016
Email: emma.schad@nationaltheatrescotland.com
Website: http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com