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Artists revealed for new collaboration with academics around loneliness

Photos of Andy Barrett, Jane Mason, and Natalie McGrath

We’ve joined forces with the University of Exeter’s Wellcome Centre for Cultures & Environments of Health to bring the subject of loneliness and community to a wider audience.

Last year, a show about epilepsy called Beyond My Control, which was inspired by cutting-edge research from the university’s mathematicians, was toured around the country. This latest collaboration will highlight the centre’s project about modern and historical understandings, experiences, and causes of loneliness.

This project will enable academics to introduce a number of performance makers into their process, to consider how creative practice might impact on their research methodologies. It also allows us to commission three artists to consider how a performance might be informed by this latest research.

After an open call out, we are delighted to have selected:

Andy Barrett

Andy is a playwright and the Artistic Director of Excavate theatre company.  His work includes Dolly, a cloning meets country and western musical,  selected by The Times as one of their top five shows of 2010; and the first ever stage version of Ibsen’s The League of Youth for Nottingham Playhouse.  He has just finished working with the community of a Pune slum making a play based on their stories.


Jane Mason

Jane Mason is an independent artist based in Devon. She trained in theatre before freelancing as a dancer for choreographers including: Wayne McGregor, Wendy Houstoun and Deborah Hay. She creates interdisciplinary work to tour and collaborates widely in theatre and community contexts. At the core of her enquiries is a persistent fascination and love for the human body and its movement.


Natalie McGrath

Natalie McGrath is a playwright and Co-Director of Dreadnought South West. Her credits include for Dreadnought, Oxygen celebrating the centenary of the Great 1913 Women’s Suffrage Pilgrimage and most recently a South West tour of The Cause.  Coasting and Wild Doves for Bristol Old Vic, Rift for Brewhouse Theatre Taunton, Scottish Kiss for Paines Plough’s, ‘Come to Where I’m From’ at Bristol Old Vic, Metal Remains for Theatre West. Blessed has received script development support from the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh as part of their Open Submissions programme.

Over the coming months, Andy, Jane and Natalie will be meeting with academics and engaging with students through workshops and activities outlining the first stage of a brand new performance project.

Watch this space for news of further developments and opportunities to see what’s evolved from this innovative new project.


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