In the in 18 months since moving to Margate, I’ve been to more theatre than in the 15 years before that, when I was living in Worthing. I’ve been spoiled – drowning in a sea of good shows, great performances, interesting interventions across the town. I’ve seen Steven Berkoff, an army of mysterious Red Ladies spreading across the town, a crazed sequel to The Tempest, shows about explorers alone in a hut somewhere and the workers in the huts at Bletchley Park. I’ve experienced 366 Days of Kindness which had a bit of me in it, watched The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Reduced), spent an evening with John Cooper Clarke, and seen the rebirth of repertory in Paines Plough’s Roundabout. One good thing after another, more than I can see (I kick myself for the things that I’ve missed). The programming by the Theatre Royal has been to theatre what Turner Contemporary’s shows have been to the visual arts.
So now, in a small way, I’m returning to theatre, which is where my career in the arts started. I’m helping to bring new people to see a series of shows, as part of Fuel’s New Theatre In Your Neighbourhood project, funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
The next show as part of that programme is Feral In Margate.
Feral combines puppetry, film, digital technology and live sound to create and destroy a world in front of its audience’s eyes. Joe looks back at the town of his childhood. Bright, vibrant and idyllic the world resembles a haven of comfort. But as the walls are peeled back, the story of a community’s fall unfolds around him.
Feral seamlessly blends film and live performance. Puppeteers manipulate and bring to life a tiny world, while simultaneously creating a live animation, as they follow its every breath via a digital camera.
The show is being remade for Margate, and to build on that, we’re asking people to film their favourite Margate place, and upload it with the #mymargate hashtag. Nothing fancy: I shot my contribution on my phone, in less than three minutes. All entrants’ films will be screened before the Feral in Margateperformance on Friday 13th March and the winner will receive a bespoke puppet from the show, a piece of the set and a £50 John Lewis Voucher