After such a busy summer, with the ‘Hearing George, Deaf Dragon’ tour having clocked up a lot of miles, we are back in the office and planning the next set of shenanigans. And, as we start to begin the much and many preparations for a brand new Kat-show, here’s a publicity shot (by P G Adamson) from our first, ever touring show. ‘HOLLY-DAZE’ ran for 10 weeks in the summer of 1982, and took this original Kat company of Alastair S Macmillan, Fay Prendergast and Kinny Gardner across the length and breadth of the UK, with trips to Belfast, Shetland and Penzance, all in a rickety second hand mini van.
We are delighted to announce that the company have received a very encouraging grant from Arts Council England for our tour, out on the road later this year, of a new workshop experience ‘Hearing George -Deaf Dragon’. With the current maelstrom in the international arts funding world, Krazy Kat is so pleased to be recognised as a leading light in cross cultural D/deaf/Hearing accessible visual theatre provision. ONWARDS!
As part of our ongoing teaching work Kinny was invited to write a memory of how we first started using Sign Language in our work. It has now been published in this delightful online magazine ‘Zannizine’. This is a photo by Robert Workman from that very first signed show ‘Cacophony’ with Kinny Gardner as Arlechinno and Alastair S Macmillan as Zanni. Oh my, if we could play some music, these characters would be bouncing, swinging and dancing! A link to the article is HERE.
Not the one in this photo, though. ‘WOLF!’ is our new workshop tour which is out on the road later this year. We are writing, scheming, plotting and planning to get it out and about throughout the UK. In the meantime, this lovely archive photo was taken by Sue Buckmaster in the 1990’s when Alastair S Macmillan and Kinny Gardner were on the first tour of our early years repertoire work ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. The show toured for many years, including trips to U.S.A. , Holland and France, and it was out first creation that was translated and re-directed into British Sign Language by our long time collaborator Robbie Jones.
However, it’s not! On 1st April 2022 The Krazy Kat Theatre Company is forty years old. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the International Theatre scene, and have contributed quite a bit to the ecology of community based, disabled – led, arts in the UK. Here’s a statement that our original Company treasurer, the late Jenny Watson, penned for our 20th Birthday –
“It was only yesterday that we were all in Aberdeenshire, searching for costumes in charity shops, or where we could afford. Cold in the winter; singing in the heart. The company have done so well, time has flown and Krazy Kat has flowered. So many shows, so many workshops: many in places, where there had been no live professional theatre before. I cannot imagine the numbers of people you have brought inspiration and joy to, and encouraged to go and live their lives to the fullest extent.”
We send our thanks and hugs to all Kats, old, new and gone, and say loudly (and in sign language of course) “Here’s to the next 40 years!”.
Taking over the lead role in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ at London’s Palace Theatre in the West End is our own Jim Fish. Actor and co-creator with Krazy Kat for many years, he has been in the Harry Potter company for a while, and now steps up to play the great man himself. We couldn’t be prouder, and YES we have seen him and YES he is FAB. A brilliant 40th birthday gift for all of us!
One of our Kats requested to see this again. And who are we to disagree! It was a joyous production, co-produced with Fittings Multimedia and The Royal Exchange Theatre in lovely Manchester. Edmund has now retired to the south of France, but occasionally visits the office to spread his own special brand of Pigginess… Click on the link below to have a short You Tube ‘blast from the Krazy Kat past’.
… we thought to post some ‘historical’ archive materials. And so, here is an article from Time Out about our first EVER sign-language extravaganza. ‘CACOPHONY’ was created in 2000, with funding from Arts Council England, as an experiment in developing our own visual voice. It was brilliantly directed by Barry Grantham,. It featured Kinny Gardner, Alastair S Macmillan, Katie Fenwick and brought into the company the wonderful Tinca Leahy.
There is a lot of excitement in the Kat office for 2022! We are continuing our development of our touring sign language drama workshops and starting to look at creating a new touring performance piece. All top secret at present, but it may well involve our old friend ‘The Big Bad Wolf’… In the meantime, our offices are closed until early in January 2022, and we send happiest of seasonal greetings to ALL.